PANASONIC HVX - HPX: Panasonic HVX - HPX Series Panasonic Varicam Panasonic AG-DVX Series

Re: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.

COW Forums : Panasonic Cameras

Respond to this post   •   Return to posts index   •   Read entire thread

Chris Cardno
Re: Systems and Solutions? Just say no.
on Jul 22, 2009 at 3:11:58 pm

John, your post echoes a lot of what I'm hearing and seeing from camera owners and operators and rental houses. The diversification of formats and standards, coupled with the limitations of proprietary systems, are causing headaches for everyone and reticence to invest in new cameras and move forward -- and that should be the primary alarm bell ringing in the heads of Panasonic and Sony.

The problem as I see it is that image acquisition technology is now equitable to computer technology and is advancing at the same speed. Moore's Law starts to come into play and while that's fine if we're talking cell phones and Netbooks it's a horror show when we're discussing $30,000 cameras. Like you, we've had calls from clients who want to shoot with the latest and greatest gear and if we don't have it we're either going to lose the job/rental or have to sub-rent and say goodbye to actually making any money.

I think RED's idea of selling "brains" is fascinating but, like you said, there are issues that just doesn't appear to be compatible for every type of shooting. Panasonic and Sony don't appear to be moving in that direction but they're kind of like oil tankers out at sea, it takes a loooong time for them to make course corrections due to their size. Given the speed of technology and the grumbling they must be hearing from their customers I have to assume that their R&D is working on next generation solutions.

Which brings me back to your original point: the problem of systems. The next generations cannot be proprietary data acquisition formats. Data is data. Editors reduce everything to 1s and 0s, we're used to transferring footage to hard drives from P2 and SxS cards, the ability to digitize footage from whatever tape format it was shot on is a concern for every producer/production company. The camera manufacturers need to realize two things:

1. Nobody cares how the images end up in the edit room, they just need to get there.
2. There are a LOT of very smart computer people out there who understand how to capture, move and wrangle data and when they start working on this it's going to become as diversified as computer accessories.

Point 1 is not to say that nobody cares about the image -- that HAS to be the largest concern for all. However, once the decision is made to move forward with the tool that captures the quality of image required the data acquisition just has to be safe, reliable and efficient. Which brings to me to Point 2 and two handy examples: Convergent Design and AJA? With the Flash XDR and NanoFlash from CD and the Ki-Pro from AJA we're seeing a shift towards third party capturing tools. This is a field that's going to expand because all we're talking about is data: 101010101010. That's it. And, as I said, there are a lot of clever people who spend all their time thinking about the best way to get data from one place to the other safely, securely and without problems.

Sony and Panasonic cannot (I hope) be thinking that they are going to be able to control data capture and the capture medium -- that ship has sailed and was always going to do so. It's a part of their business that they're going to have to let go. Instead, they need to focus on the part that made us buy their cameras in the first place. Image. Give us the best image possible. After that, sure, if you've got the best capture device/codec/future doohickey, yeah, we'll buy that as well.

While I'm stunned to be typing this in 2009 our Sony DXC-D50, like yours, John, is beginning to look like a prescient camera system. Imaging Block + Acquisition Device = Flexibility. And as we try and do business in an industry that's evolving now as quickly as the computer industry, flexibility is going to be key.

Chris Cardno
Visual Edge Productions
Bethesda, MD

Posts IndexRead Thread 

Current Message Thread:

© 2017 All Rights Reserved