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Posts posted by TC

  1. I too am somewhat sceptical.  Don't forget the electronics giants have spent the best part of the last 5 years desperately trying to REDUCE the output quality of their 1080p cameras.  The specification on the side of the box has been meaningless.  Here are some of the tricks that have been played:

     - Record only in non-standard 30.00 fps (Canon)

     - Record only 24fps or 25fps, depending on region (Sony, Panasonic)

     - No manual aperture control in movie mode (Canon, Nikon)

     - No manual ISO control in movie mode (Nikon)

     - Deliberately introduce timing artefacts into HDMI out (Panasonic)

     - Overlays on HDMI out (Canon, Nikon, Sony)

     - High bit-rate mode which results on a higher spec on the box but no improvement in quality due to inferior codec (Canon, Panasonic)

  2. Well, being the world's number 1 sensor supplier gives you a lot of leverage.  And they are also a competitor to most of their sensor customers, in stills cameras, video and mobile devices.  


    But if it is not crippling, what is it?  It takes actual effort writing firmware to add overlays to an HDMI output.  It didn't happen by accident.  Just sending a clean feed is easier and is what any engineer would do if not told otherwise.


    Anyway, crippled HDMI outputs are ancient history now and I think we agree on most things.  Nice post by the way.  You are right to highlight the issue with Nikon's product development speed.  Four years just for a re-styled body!  That analyst you quoted the other week is quite right.  Nikon say they have a five year plan to save their business, but in five years time they'll be lucky to still have a business to save. 

  3. This is why I don't believe in the crippling theory at Canon and Sony, etc. Nikon have no pro video line to protect yet still can't be bothered to put the relevant range of jacks and decent codecs on their high end DSLRs.


    It is crippling, no question. It is because Nikon's main sensor supplier is Sony, a company with a very large pro video department to protect.  No doubt the restriction will have been specified as part of the contract to supply the sensors.  

  4. And now try making it 100% stable and consumer friendly for a mass market. That might take some time...


    Sure, that still needs to be done.  It takes a bit of work, but that is (relatively) easy.  10 years ago to enter the market you had do what RED did - have someone invest billions in sensor research and high-speed electronics.  Now you can do what Blackmagic has done - assemble the best off-the-shelf components you can find and concentrate on the software, firmware and colour science.  The hard work has already been done - by huge companies who have already invested in similar technologies to sell cameras and processors for smartphones by the millions.

  5. Great article Andrew.  JVC is indicative of the ailing giants of the electronics industry -

     - Creating products that are not just mediocre, but like this one: totally wrong by design, oblivious to the market it is launching into.

     - Creating products that ignore new technologies and specifications and instead resort to ridiculous work-arounds like in this case recording to 4 separate SD cards and outputting video over 4 HDMI cables.  

     - Releasing said products at astronomical prices, regardless of the competition, ignoring the massive advances in low power electronics we have seen in the last five years thanks to the huge market for smart phones and tablets.  


    JVC are, unsurprisingly, doing rather badly economically.  And they have had an accounting scandal as well: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/05/jvc-idUSL3E8C5EOE20120105

    The only thing we are missing is a link to organised crime, then we have the full set.

  6. 10 bit raw would be great.  Computationally it is very easy to go from 14 bits to 10 bits - you just throw away the bits you don't need.  3k raw would comfortably fit within the UDMA 7 spec with a 10 bit colour depth.  The data rate is 152MB/s:




    The latest cards from Toshiba claim a 150MB/s peak write speed.  That is probably burst rate, not a sustained write speed.  But sooner or later cards that can handle this will be on the market.  


    Also, with 10 bits of colour depth, 1920x1080 is only 62MB/s, opening up the possibility to use a lot more cards than just the high-end Lexar models.

  7. They gave us the XL1 removable lens camera, then the 5D2 cheap 1080p full frame camera, and now the C-series including the 4K DSLR camera, the jack-of-all-trades C100, and the HFR RAW C500. All price and quality leaders in addition to revolutionary, and they all work, and work well.


    The Canon C series are definitely *not* price leaders.  The C500 is insanely overpriced - it costs $26,000 but can only record 8 bit MPEG 1080p in camera.  It is surely one of the worst value cameras on the market today.  But it is physically almost identical to the C100 which Canon sells for $6000.  That gives you an idea of the margins Canon is making, because a heat sink and an SDI socket are not $20,000 parts. 


    The 5D2 was a great camera.  But let us not forget it was released without manual control of the aperture (classic Canon deliberate crippling) and shooting only at the non-standard 30.00fps.  They back-tracked on that pretty quickly when all their customers started buying Nikon lenses with manual aperture control.  And the 5D2 still has a crippled HDMI out to this day.



    Canon is happy to let Atomos and Convergent and Aja etc. handle the recording duties with no royalty or proprietary media for Canon's benefit. That's awesomely generous. 


    You are joking with us, right?  It has taken nearly 5 years for Canon to remove the crippling from the HDMI output of their DSLRs.  They have only done it for one model - the 5D3.  And hidden in the firmware with this update was new code to prevent the camera working with third party batteries.  


    And they have allowed the EF format to be cracked and speedboosted and strapped in front of the Blackmagic cameras and I don't think they are getting a royalty for that. 


    The EOS mount was introduced in 1987.  The patents have expired, that is all.  It is not an act of generosity on Canon's part.

  8. The raw video looks really, really impressive.  The difference is so great compared with the factory video mode you really have to ask again, what did Canon have to do to make the default video so bad?  

    It is not an accident.  

    It is not the result of compression (because we now have an HDMI out).

    It is unlikely to be line-skipping, because the camera shows no moire or fringing.  


    As I have suspected since the 5D mark III's release, it seems like they have deliberately softened up the image in the camera's firmware.  I can't think of any other explanation.

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