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Future DSLR Predictions

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Danny Grizzle
Future DSLR Predictions
on Jun 7, 2011 at 10:24:02 pm

Over a decade ago on the DV-L list, I predicted the demise of prism blocks and 3-CCD cameras "as soon as massive 35mm sensors can be sampled fast enough and digital storage data rates allow."

Frankly, I had no idea this would be solid state memory, but the rest made perfect sense.

Obviously, Canon's 5D Mk II accidental revolution has opened a lot of ideas.

What's next? Some say a 5D Mk III is possible at this fall's Photokina... or something better at next year's NAB.

----------------

My minimum wish list, Canon 5D Mk iII:

* Some sort of RAW capture Interface for an external recorder such as the AJA Ki PRO mini or Sound Devices PIX 240.

* Dedicated form factor for video use (5Dv), with integrated RAW recorder. If the camera maintains the SLR form factor, it will probably never have a full featured RAW recorder section. I'd like to see Canon partner with AJA or Sound Devices, or both considering they could offer a docking design.

* XLR mic inputs and a real audio section. This is where Sound Devices has total credibility. Actually, I don't mind double system sound, and XLR connectors are horrendously oversized in the modern miniature world. I would personally prefer Lemo, or a (imagine this) Lemo snake, if only to pigtail out to a breakout box for conventional XLR connections. Oh, and 4 channels, please.

* Professional quality connectors. No consumer HDMI, etc.

* Remote control. What an oversight on the 5D Mk II.

====

Canon 5Dv Mk IV ???

Another generation, and I'd love to stop seeing line skipping. There is no reason we shouldn't see 4K resolution off DSLR image sensors.

====

Optics

My head spins from all the discussions among cinematographers about putting $30K lenses on $2,500 camera systems.

I'm back to basics on this. I hate autofocus lenses now, I always have. The short throw focus ruin them for me, and anybody else shooting critically for shallow depth of field.

I'd simply like to see Canon put their existing optics into precision manual focus mechanisms that are better optimized for cine shooters. And while we are at it, IS is nice, but too noisy as implemented for still cameras.

While I'm wishing, might as well add quality motors for zoom, with excellent creep and ballistics.

I'm not opposed to motorized focus, as opposed to auto focus, so long as manual focus is not compromised. It would be nice to have remote wireless focus and zoom control of cameras mounted on jibs, for instance.


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Noah Kadner
Re: Future DSLR Predictions
on Jun 7, 2011 at 11:32:48 pm

Problem is all the features you're describing do nothing useful for a stills camera user. And like it or not the Canon 5D/7D/60D/T3i are stills cameras first, 1080p shooting video cameras incidentally/second. It'd be a lot more likely to see those features rolled into a video camera form factor with the same sensor- i.e. XL4?

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Danny Grizzle
Re: Future DSLR Predictions
on Jun 8, 2011 at 12:56:25 am

Yes, the 5D is a still camera first. But the core thing I want to see is simply an additional connector to spill RAW imager data. I'd be completely happy to use an external device like the ones from AJA or Sound Devices to capture that signal. This request seems entirely possible within the current scope of the product, and at negligible cost - not something that will add anything to the list price of the next 5D. And I actually believe Canon will do this because if they don't, it will be an easy thing for some competitor within the DSLR space to do. Any DSLR manufacturer who does this will own the DSLR market if the feature goes unanswered by competitors.

Upping the resolution at a RAW video output would be an even more gutsy move. Why not? The data is already there on the sensor! AJA and Sound Devices would have to redesign their capture devices significantly, bringing the cost of the capture device more into question than a runaway feature jacking up the cost of the still camera. But the end result would steal a lot of thunder from RED and Alexa.

Canon should just open the camera to 3rd party developers like AJA. Just hand them the signal off the chip. Let AJA or Sound Devices determine what costs the video market will bear and deal with all the tradeoffs of line skipping, color space, compression algorithms, file formats, and storage media. The outboard storage vendors would probably come out with a tiered product offering if for no other reason than the performance limitations and capacity of Compact Flash Cards. They might offer higher end recorders using SSD or SxS or who knows what. And all this at no cost to Canon, nothing but upside in sales potential.

Let's not pretend that DSLRs are the tool for theatrical release. But even in a world where 1080p is the practical upper limit of distribution, I would like to capture extra pixels, 2K, 3K, if not 4K, because more and more tools such as image stabilization, color grading, and other image effects are available, not to mention additional flexibility in the motion graphics suite to track, pan, zoom, and rotate in post.


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Danny Grizzle
Re: Future DSLR Predictions
on Jun 8, 2011 at 1:04:22 am

Really, this is not a question of if, but when.

It can be simplified to this:

Will the next Canon 5D iteration contain a Thunderbolt connector?


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Richard Harrington
Re: Future DSLR Predictions
on Jun 8, 2011 at 1:17:46 am

Keep dreaming.....

Not going to happen.

The camera is a still camera first and foremost. They aren't going to jack its price up for such a specialized connection. Show me one photo camera with even a FireWire port on it.

Richard M. Harrington, PMP

Author: From Still to Motion, Video Made on a Mac, Photoshop for Video, Understanding Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Studio On the Spot and Motion Graphics with Adobe Creative Suite 5 Studio Techniques


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Danny Grizzle
Re: Future DSLR Predictions
on Jun 8, 2011 at 2:40:46 am

I'm looking forward to telling you, "I told you so."

If not next go round for the 5D Mk III, then on the Mk IV or EOS-1 line.

I would wager AJA is already working on portable Thunderbold devices.

I started shooting with Canon cameras when they were being imported by Bell & Howell. Back then, Canon was an unknown upstart and no serious professional would touch anything but Nikon. But I'm telling you I'd drop Canon like a hot potato if Nikon put RAW video out and Canon tried to ride h.264 as "good enough."

(OK, maybe overstating that considering my Canon L glass... but I would definitely switch to Nikon for video.)

You guys would switch, too. And the whole DSLR industry would have to reshoot all their marketing materials because nobody would be caught dead being seen with an uncool h.264 limited platform.

Camera RAW output will be the definitive transition for HDSLR. It is do or die.

BTW - FireWire is dead and gone as my Kodak DSC Pro SLR/c, which does in fact have a FireWire port. Unless USB3 will get the job done, somebody is going to put a Thunderbolt bus on an HDSLR.


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Brent Dunn
Re: Future DSLR Predictions
on Jun 8, 2011 at 4:56:11 pm

Well, it's already happened. They are just not called DSLR's. Sony & Panasonic has provided all of your requests in these amazing Supper 35mm cameras. Film like cameras for very little cost.

They are the Sony FS 100 and the Panasonic AF 100

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/761580-REG/Sony_NEX_FS100UK_NEX_FS100...

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/731509-REG/Panasonic_AG_AF100_AG_AF10...

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Noah Kadner
Re: Future DSLR Predictions
on Jun 8, 2011 at 10:16:53 pm

You're asking for a motorcycle with two more wheels and a roof. It already exists... Panasonic AF100, Sony FS100, etc. Canon's video division will catch up sooner or later, they always were a little slow.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Canon 7D.


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Danny Grizzle
Re: Future DSLR Predictions
on Jun 8, 2011 at 11:01:12 pm

I don't see the excitement with the Sony and Panasonic products. They are nothing compared to the appeal of hybrid still/video DSLR cameras.

The problem is they are missing a huge piece of the puzzle: lenses. One major appeal of DSLR systems is the ability to get in with only the incremental cost of the camera body.

Canon still lenses may not have cine ergonomics, but they are readily available for purchase and rental, the line is extensive, and they are comparatively affordable. Once you stray away from Canon and Nikon, you are more isolated and on your own. Or venturing into the world of kludged lens adapters.

I'm not discounting these other camera systems, only saying there are extra considerations. What makes sense in major markets like Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York may not hold anywhere else because of missing infrastructure.

10 minutes on Google tells the story about the industry's direction. You can bet all the excitement is not for sake of h.264. File compression is, in fact, the Achilles’s Heel of the HDSLR. The manufacturers would be crazy not to address this. I personally think USB3 won't get it. HDMI might pass for the present. But Thunderbolt is the more futureproof solution because it could pipe 4K data and more. After all, this discussion could get into more than resolution and color depth, but also frame rates. There is no such thing as too much data in an acquisition format.

It makes too much sense for Canon to simply provide a RAW data spigot and let 3rd parties like AJA and Sound Devices sort out details of downsampling, file formats, and storage systems. It seems to me that Canon and Nikon could add this capability to their cameras at almost no additional cost, while maintaining their current internal h.264 capability to SDHC and Compact Flash. I don't mind if they omit it from entry level EOS Rebel cameras. In fact, a RAW output bus would be a terrific way to differentiate their own cluttered product lines and justify purchase of the more upscale models.


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