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2013 camera predictions?
  • So i'm coming into some money soon . . . and by coming into some money, I mean I'm getting my student loans soon and plan to spend it on something other than school. Anyways, I've been looking to get a better camera and I've been looking at Black Magic's camera. It sounds great and for a great price. The only reservation I have is that I've been looking at and reading about the Black Magic for quite awhile. In the mean time it seems there have been a ton of new and huge camera and image sensor innovations. This young trend of making extremely affordable and capable raw cinema cameras seems as though it is about to explode (more than it already has) and I wanted to know what kind of expectations anyone might have for cameras coming out in the near future regarding technical specs and prices. I.e. 16-bit 4k and high frame rates (not point grey) for $3000 ? I might be hoping for too much but after seeing some of the latest camera innovations it doesn't seem that far fetched.

  • 16 Replies sorted by
  • @pletta

    Good habit - camera must be exactly last in your priorities.

  • That's why I was looking at the low price point of the Black Magic. I should be able to afford school and any other student expenses and some sort of camera as well. I just didn't want to buy one camera only to have a far better one come out in like a week (although sometimes that's unavoidable). At this point I don't necessarily need the student loans for school so i'm considering them an investment in my occupational opportunities.

  • Maybe keep GH2 or GH3 and wait for next revisions of Black Magic camera and possible competitors?

    But if you really need the dynamic range, Black Magic seems the most affordable alternative now. And when new version is on the market, you get a good B-cam out of the older one and will already be used to its RAW workflow.

  • @pletta

    I'm a senior in college and I say buy anything but a camera setup. If you're going to school for film, everyone around you will have DSLRS (at bare minimum), and probably some of them will have picked up the BMCC soon. If you want to make high quality small films, buy a small ARRI (or other) lighting kit, an audio recorder and a Senn shotgun. Everyone will be asking you to light/boom op on their films if you have and know how to use those two tools . . . and you can always borrow a camera.

    Edit: I have a GH2, and I'm certainly going to be holding off buying a new camera body until S35 RAW mirrorless higher than 1080p hits my price range. It's gotta be coming soon, especially if BM can get off the ground with their first camera.

  • If you're going to film school, there will be no shortage of equipment--especially cameras. If you must use the money for something other than school, put it in an account and don't touch it. Then you'll be the one film student with the one indispensable thing every film needs--actual cash. You'll be the king.

  • Chinese tablet manufacturers will make a retina screen tablet with built-in 4k camera. $600. Unfortunately battery life is only 6 minutes :)

  • @jleo


    They won't make such thing, as no known or planned LSIs for tablets have 4K encoding unit.

    As for battery life, I always advice to read US early computer history. This guys will learn :-) Look at their greations one year ago.

  • Maybe spend your student loan on education--it will last a long time unlike the cameras which are disposable after two years.

    As far as predictions, obviously a lot of great engineers are working on phones so I expect to see a phone with some pretty great vid fairly soon, some sort of large sensor solution. I think holography will make some inroads and you will see several companies offer 2k+ on their cameras to compete with the phones. I expect someone to put together a DSP chip that will do decent HDR in the 2k video as well, and it certainly has been a while since we have seen a real innovation in sensor technology so I expect to see innovation or regearing of say Fuji style binning, maybe even by Fuji.

    I would be disappointed if someone did not discover some kind of pulsing, popping, crackling or banding in the GH3 that only affects serial numbers with the letter "O" in them because that always generates hundreds of threads that I can read late at night.

    I expect to see a focus solution for BMCC and m4/3--they are smart people so if they don't think of something, well, first they need to figure how to get those cams out the door.

    I expect to see an amazing LED projector of some type, maybe 2K.

    Next year could be a make or break year for internet TV and the TV in general--interesting to see how that will shake out, and what the TV networks and TV manufacturers will do to keep that market going.

    Lastly it seems like networked arrays of cell phones should be capable of something we haven't seen before, some king of giant array, so it will be interesting to see how that shapes up, like maybe some sort of "crowd 3D".

    My wishlist includes 24p on Olly cameras but they seem tone deaf. Maybe it doesn't matter anymore.

  • I heard that film schools have really very little practical use, according to many of my talks.

    As for predictions.

    3D will come into more power. Not mainstream cameras, but on TV market (as it'll be just default feature).

    4K monitors and 4K TVs will be available and will be quite easy to get, but could be pricey.

    4K large sensor and small sensor cameras will be announced and some will be available.

    raw trend won't get very big support in 2013, as all the products on it will be Apple Newtons. It is slightly soon for mass market.

    Overall it will be year then US, EU old guys preferences will mean less, and in 2014 it'l be even less.

  • I do appreciate the advice. Alas, I'm not a film school student, just a few classes away from graduating with a very different degree. My town is still small enough that video making is still somewhat of a novelty, so I don't really have access to any cameras except my own.

    I'd like to see companies move towards using global shutters more.

    I'd definitely like to see someone put some serious effort behind the Foveon stacked sensors concept for video (though this is probably unlikely, and I don't know if it would be worth it but it looked interesting. I also don't don't know if the concept itself is tied up in patents).

    @Vitaliy_Kiselev What do you mean by old guy's preferences? Are you saying that things like raw and low priced cinema cameras would be ignored in favor of something like compressed 4k for the masses? Scary thought. I can see the video version of instagram coming.

  • What do you mean by old guy's preferences?

    Nope, I mean "old" (in mind) guys from EU and US. As their economies will be shrinking.

    We'll see big divide - one part will be serving all needs of top class, and another part (much larger one) will be going into troubles.

  • a) don't get further into debt!

    b) if you're going to get a camera anyway..... why not a GH1/GH2/GH3? Much cheaper, and in the right hands can produce incredibly good pictures (the GH2 won: ). It would be an especially good idea if it is your first serious try and film productions, that is my plan myself. Going to be my first time doing it (aside from cellphone clips), and like you I am on a similar budget constraint, so I'm going to get either the GH1 or GH2 (haven't made up my mind yet between them... but will within the next few weeks).

  • @pletta yeah don't get too far into debt, a loan is a loan and this ties you down. the "old guys" don't want young people with empowered minds as much as they want them to graduate with loans and credit card debt. Seeing as your cash is coming anyway you could be totally irresponsible and sell what you have and hit the road and travel for a few years, especially to India and Asia where things are happening. Take some notebooks and write down everything you see and feel. When you get back you'll be equipped with life experience, something education can't provide and is far more valuable than any tech device. By that time the BMCC rev3 will be out and will have everything you need and then some to go after your vision. ( ...but again this would be totally irrational and irresponsable and maybe even fun).

  • @MirrorMan

    "yeah don't get too far into debt, a loan is a loan and this ties you down. the "old guys" don't want young people with empowered minds as much as they want them to graduate with loans and credit card debt."

    +1 They also don't want graduates empowered with easier/democratized means of production. They want everyone to shoot on big-expensive film cameras that require you to work 20-years as a focus puller until they decide to retire and "give" you their jobs. This was the real psychological reason for the anti-DSLR rhetoric, it wasn't really ever about the technical limitations, the "old guys" just wanted to go back to expensive cameras that were extremely expensive and hard to get a hold of.

    They want you to think filmmaking is harder than it is. They want you to think that you can't make anything worthwhile without a 100+ person crew. This is how they keep making films "their way". This was probably the most important thing I learned in film-school and spending my first year in LA...

  • In days of uncertainty just invest in the good enough. Look at the guys who invested in a rep epic two month ago. The camera went from 38K to 20K. With the case of new competitor, maturing technologies and inside competition (dslr) the video market is only now moving at a digital pace. That is every two years you can expect a camera price to be cut in two. So a gh2 did come down from $ 1000 to $ 500 and a red epic $ 38000 to $ 20000. So the gh2 guy lost $ 500 and the Epic guy $ 18 000.

    So I think the safe bet now is either the gh2 or the gh3. There are serious work that has been done on the gh2, search Musgo for example. There is also a scifi sundance film. The gh3 for now seems better overhaul except perhaps for a little bit aliasing. With the investment in the gh3, you won't loose more than $ 300 for the next year and you get it right now, on the contrary of the BMC. You will also be able to afford a lot of things with the price difference. Like a good tripod, support rig, sound recorder or mike. These will last many generation of camera bodies. The lens for the gh3 would work on the m4/3 version of the BMC if you choose to upgrade.

    The last advice that I would give to you. Is that, if you cannot do some nice work with the gh3, then believe me no other will do.