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The stage of DSLR cameras in the future
  • This thread isnt for talk or praise the quality of the Pocket Camera that are already well known and there are two thread of it, its for analyze and maybe a little speculate because I havent a crystal ball and dont know anyone who works within the industry film or camera makers to speak firmly of things to come.

    Some time ago I've been thinking that one day they will see cameras with dreamy benefits available to our pockets and BMC has taken the first big step.

    After impact caused by Pocket Camera at NAB seems as if all DSLR cameras literally stay in the past, the film market and videographic intermediate, semi-pro and professional low budget now has a gear of very low cost, then I wonder how that argument would have for example someone who wants today to buy a 5D MKIII about U$3000 for videos and films when for a third of the cost you have a body that offers RAW with 13 EVF of DR. Who less would suffer possibly are cameras under US$1,000 where the user amateur looking a camera for photo and with video to record the dog pacing on the garden, the family eating BBQ, an afternoon at the beach or something without more pretense, but I dont know if that market segment is sufficient for these traditional manufacturers.

    I assume that traditional manufacturers must have a headache because they did not expect this movement. Anybody what will buy a camera for video a film low cost will prefer a DSLR digital -regardless the record format- to a camera to record in RAW?

    BMC's movement beneficent the market because it will be forced to Sony, Panasonic, Canon and Nikon to compete with similar or better gear features, that or leave the market for inematographers and filmakers low budget because they havent argument to compete equal now.

    PS, sorry for my poor english.

  • 25 Replies sorted by
  • My prediction: a lot more tethered shooting through Thunderbolt or similar interfaces. If you can offload much more of the processing and storage onto a fast laptop, then you can keep the price of the camera unit down. And a Thunderbolt cable (optical) can reach 100m. And with superfast Wi-Fi coming it could even shoot untethered at Thunderbolt speeds directly to a laptop.

  • And I feel a little sad because the fever of the line GH will fade despite its nobility. :(

  • Why compare apples to oranges?

    Most DSLRs are geared toward consumers and prosumers photographers. Products like BMPC are for niche market. It is specifically for cinematographers. The niche market wouldn't budge the "traditional" photo camera makers. e.g. Fuji X lineups have sucky video features, but Fuji is doing alright.

  • @Manu4Vendetta GH lineup would fade away only if it fails to entice photographers.

  • @stonebat, possibly I dont have the reason, but understand that low budget cinematographers bought DSLR, just look at the number of short films, films and even some commercial made ​​with DSLR's.

  • The latest DSLR trend seems removal of AA filter which isn't good news for videographer. I don't think DSLR will lead video tech side. More likely tail end. Most people buy cameras for photo, not video. Thankfully there's a rise of RAW camera :) In a few years it'll be easy to capture and edit in RAW video format from a laptop. Plus 256GB SDXC memory card around $100? It's just a matter of when. Well it's been always a matter of when. Fun time. But same old same old. Storytelling, framing, lighting, editing, color grading...

  • @stonebat, I'm not sure of thaht, if one of the things that annoyed some purists was that incorporate video at DSLR because they believed that a camera for video should be just a camcorder, I'm almost certain that sales of camcorders down to the emergence of DSLR for being more versatile despite its worst ergonomics.

  • I think the problem with Panny, Sony, Canon and Nikon is this - or maybe it's just funny to see somebody as frustrated as I am by the state of the camera manufacturing industry.

  • Just so I'm clear. The point being if you're doing a 100 things or a 1000 things, and you're just doing them "sort of ok", You'd probably be better off doing a smaller number of things really, really well.

    BMD is doing the latter. They haven't won me over, yet. But they're on the right path.

  • amen to the rant. its just the core of capitalism, making people believe they need the next shit although it does hardly offer anything new. but we got to keep buyin and buyin or the fukker collapses for real!

  • I think there is defiantely a niche market for the BMPC, RAW sounds like it must be fantastic to work with. 13 stops of DR in such a small factor is really quite amazing.

    However, for paid work such as Weddings, advertising, music videos etc etc... i still think Cameras like the GH2 and GH3 have a purpose, and will continue to for quite some time.

    Ergonomics is the key here, i don't have time to push lots of buttons or go through menus or worry about vignetting. I need something that is small yet easy to use. Big buttons, thumb wheels, pop up flash. I need better runtime, more than 1 hour. I need a workable codec that i can start using straight out of the camera and turn around my work quick enough. I don't want to grade every shot, only the ones that matter. I need enough DR to look cinematic, shallow DOF to emphasise key points and make people better looking than they actually are.

    If a user needs these things, the BMPC will not convert them.

    However, a BMPC with a smaller sized codec? One that still retains some of the high DR. Then i'm sold bigtime. I just don't have the time/resources to work with RAW on the computer that i've got.

  • The BMPC will not convert them for fast work, but they will probably still buy it. The tide is turning at this moment and it's just a matter of time when the separation of still and video cameras will increase, but I doubt it will go away completely. Most consumer viewers probably can't tell the difference between something shot on a RED or a Canon 5D.

  • Thoses arguments are reasonable and had not thought of that. Obviously, who uses video to record a wedding, birthday or social events, even I think even for interviews and reports dont need RAW. But for a person who studies film or this beginning and want make projects such as short films if get benefits of RAW.

    But I keep the argument what the currents DSLR would lose the interest of low-budget filmmakers, for example Im studing film, I'm comfortable with the GH2, but if I were to buy another camera right now thinking about my future short and likely movies, I would go for the Pocket Camera, not to the GH3. Although I am not interested to buy any camera right now, but expect future events as they come. Unknowing if engineering allow that GH5 can record RAW and make photo still, although some RED cameras can do this, dont know if Panasonic will continue focusing on the same or to focus more on how to respond to the Pocket Camera.

  • @Manu4Vendetta

    First, Pocket Camera does not exist on the market, and after release for unknown time will have Prores only.

    Second, no one need raw just for raw. They just need format that contain as much information as possible. And can be other format and compression approach that will play this role.

  • dslr are a reality now, pocket is vapor-future-ware... like past bmc camera... actually bm has dimonstrated to not have the organization, and capacity to produce for mass market, then mean they will probably produce since 1000-2000 units of pocket and 200-300 units of bmc 4k cameras... but we don't know for when.... and not only, they produce product half developed... a bmc camera with passive m4/3 (announced 6 month ago) when they know how to develop an active m4/3 like for pocket camera (just developed in that period, probably in parallel development).

    i know a lot's of people that preorder original BMC and actually they still attend it, they must buy other cameras to work, and still attend...

    canon, panasonic, sony actually have the capacity to produce cameras for mass market, blackmagic unfortunately not have this ability...

    raw format mean a lot's of things... actually most of people wan't to use a DI codec like prores, cineform, avid be cause told that waste too much space on their hardisk (in an era where you can buy a 3tb for less then 160$)... how many of them buy a raw camera to use raw?

    raw is not enought to justify a dslr killer camera.

  • @Mirrorkisser

    its just the core of capitalism, making people believe they need the next shit although it does hardly offer anything new.

    This is not capitalism. This is Corporatism or Coroprate-Statism. Ownership of the market for the companies benefit. Red creating the first affordable digital cinema system was capitalism. Blackmagic releasing 4k for $4k and the Pocketcam is capitalism. We now have a $999 RAW camera with 13stops of DR all thanks to the free-market that everybody seems to hate. Tired of companies like canon releasing crap with miniscule improvements? Well that's because they own the market and decided they could do whatever they like. Vote with your wallet. Give your money to Blackmagic and other companies and Canon will have to react if they wish to stay in the market.

    but we got to keep buyin and buyin or the fukker collapses for real!

    Yes, exactly. This is how you beat them at their game. We have better options now. Take your money else where and force companies like canon to offer better products or they will collapse. Which they won't let happen. Their only option will be stop their BS practice of crippling products.

  • The beauty of the BMD products is that they are targeting a very specific niche market of indie cinema. They are giving the users more of what they want. I prefer the body style of the Canon Cinema line but not so happy with the pricing. IMO if Canon wasn't priced so high with their Cinema line they would have done a great thing. Either that or just not cripple the DSLR's so much.

    I don't believe that DSLR's are necessarily on the way out for many users. The Panasonic Hybrid concept is pretty much how many DSLR users want to use their cameras. They want high quality stills and video in one camera. Also the form factor is tried and true whereas the BMD form factor is awful with the exception of the Pocket Cinema, which is a perfect little camera form. Even after a little rigging it will still be small. I think they should've made the full sized BMCC with a similar style much like a DSLR or the Canon C300 form. Canon has already moved toward the future of DSLR with the 1DC. The only issue is that it's WAY overpriced IMO. If they made a 2.5k version of the Canon 6D and priced it realistically I think that would've been a more acceptable product.

    Nikon might have a winner if they come out with a new Nikon 1 with expanded 4K recording.

  • NAB 2013: Is DSLR Video Dead?

    Matt Allard of News Shooter discusses with Andy Shipsides of Abel Cine, Jason Wingrove, and Paul Schnieder the topic, "Is DSLR Video Dead?"

  • @Aria

    I'm hoping that BMD will one day release a V2.0 of the BMCC, with an active M43 mount and a form factor designed in response to the criticisms of the original unit.

  • @Cde, I actually love the form factor of the C300 but I doubt BMD will ever move in that direction. I think they like the form factor they have. For one thing they probably saved a TON of money manufacturing the very simple case. Also the longer they keep that form the more 3rd party companies will develop better rigs for it and accessories. There is something to be said for maintaining a form long enough for it to be an established form factor with a vibrant support ecosystem. It's why DSLR form factor is so well established and comfortable.

    I really have good feelings about the BMPCC. It's such a familiar form and since it's so small even after adding some small bits to make it a little more robust it still won't be big.

  • The only reason to ever have chosen a DSLR was for the image quality of a more expensive, dedicated video camera, minus the features. Blackmagic is now offering video cameras for the same price as DSLR's, with better image quality, but still minus many of the dedicated video camera features. There are plenty of reasons to choose a DSLR, but if you're only consideration is video quality - yeah, they're pretty much dead. Blackmagic has fundamentally changed the playing field.

  • @theconformist

    You understand that it takes very little for Japanese companies to offer same features as BM cameras?

    Their only issue now is their management.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev

    I do, but they won't until it's too late. You know better than anyone that their cameras are not maximized to their full potential, they limit the camera's capabilities intentionally so they can sell different grades of equipment. Blackmagic has come along and lowered the price point significantly, which leaves Canon, Panasonic, Sony, etc in a difficult position when it comes to attracting those customers who use DSLR's primarily (or solely) for video. Their only choice is to significantly upgrade the capabilities of their DSLR's and lower prices, which in turn means doing the same with their dedicated video cameras. It may not be the end of the DSLR's for video, but god willing it's the end of "Buy our new DSLR for 2x as much as the last incarnation because it has a new button!" garbage.

  • I think the big japaneses can release cheap raw cameras just for video for low price because the sensors will be just 2 megapixels (1920x1080) so it will not hurt the photo DSLRs sales (today, professional photos need 16Mp or more).

    Also in DSLRs world hdr video will become a feature soon, so HDR will be for DSLRs and RAW will be for 2Mp video cameras.

    different markets

  • @shian Thanks for the link to the video rant. I enjoyed it.

    I think the issue at the moment is only partially one of market saturation but also more importantly one of product differentiation. I think fewer consumers have issues with the introduction of new iterations of each product than are simply confused by the lack of clear differentiation - both between past and present products and between different products available at the same time from the same company.

    I don't know about anybody else, but as someone that works a lot with cameras, I'm frequently getting asked for advice by my friends about "what to buy" or "whether to upgrade", etc., etc. and it honestly takes a really long time to help each one of them find the camera that's right for them.

    And the thing is, it wouldn't take so long if the companies were more consistent in their approach to camera evolution or even to market segmentation. Want to separate the mid-level DSLRs from the entry level ones by burst rate and buffer? Fine, then do that consistently so that I don't have to worry about whether an older mid-level model or a newer entry level one is going to have a faster burst rate (or whether they will somehow be roughly equivalent).

    Want to separate this year's models from last year's across the line with new video features? That's fine - do it across the board and do it well. And hey, a synchronized (or close to synchronized) refresh across the line would really be helpful so that people wanting the high burst rate don't have to wait for better video or (worse yet) sell their mid-level camera to use a an entry-level one.

    And that gets to the crux - make sure that your most expensive cameras can do everything the less expensive ones can (barring issues of size/portability/crop). There is no excuse for making consumers pick and choose what features are most important to them from multiple models instead of including them all in your flagship model if you are going to charge a premium.

    Also - don't just add and remove features seemingly at random year after year. If you include something, try to maintain or refine it - people get used to those features and can suffer from real buyer remorse if it is suddenly gone.

    Finally make ALL the details easier to find and document them more clearly. The Panasonic TZ5 was one of the only superzooms that supported a continous burst mode in stills that would keep writing indefinitely, just like I was used to on the Canon 50D. I had to spend an insane amount of time to find out which other cameras did and did not support that sort of burst mode shooting vs just taking a few pictures. Panasonic even removed it from successive models for a mile before splitting the line (ZS8 vs ZS10 for instance) and restoring it to the pricer model again.

    Here is what boggles my mind - the manufacturers want the money the consumers are going to spend. The consumers generally want the manufacturers to make products that the consumers will want to buy. So it s in the manufacturers' best interest to make it easy as possible for consumers to buy one of their products. Heck, if they make it easier to figure things out than their competitor, the consumer might be more likely to buy their product simply because they find it less stressful to research it.

    So, to end my own rant, manufacturers need to focus more consistency, clarity and keeping consumers happy about buying their products. If you frustrate your customers, repeat business starts to fade.