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Everything posted by mikegt

  1. Let's remember all the wonderful things about celluloid: 1. The lovely "bob and weave" in the image, as each frame never lands exactly in the same place as the previous one as it goes through the camera or projector gate. 2. All the sparkling dust and dirt in the image which gives it that nice "real world" feel. 3. The fine lines of scratches that appear if you dare to run your film through a projector more than once. 4. The fun of having no idea how your shots came out until a day or two later when your film comes back from the lab. 5. The marvelous megatons of toxic waste generated by photochemical processing. 6. The joy of your footage turning yellow or pink if you store it in a hot place. The fun of having to store film stock in refrigerators to stop it from going bad. 7. The ecstasy of spending about what a Canon 5D costs to buy thirty minutes of film stock and get it processed (workprint or video transfer not included).
  2. Okay, so we have an audio solution with the Tascam. Another issue with recording video with Canon DSLRs is that they usually don't have peaking or other focus aids, in sunlight the LCD panel is hard to see and their optical viewfinders are unusable in video mode (a problem that mirrorless cameras don't have). So some sort of third-party add-on viewfinder is needed, which attaches to the back of the camera and shades the LCD screen while magnifying its image. I've been looking at the Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 2.5x (see pic below) but it costs $375. There are cheaper viewfinders available, but Zacuto claims theirs is better due to anti-fog coatings on their optical elements, etc. Anyone have any experience using the Zacuto or the cheaper alternatives out there?
  3. What do you think of the Tascam box for filling in some of the missing audio features?
  4. Lookup "trade" and "dumping". Regarding Amazon, they were not doing "R&D". They deliberately operated at cost / below cost for years to build market share. And, yes, to drive a lot of brick-and-mortar establishments out of business. They succeeded on both counts. Let's talk solutions instead of causes. Thanks to third-party companies, you can add some of the stuff Canon deliberately left off their more reasonably-priced cameras. Here's a box made by Tascam, designed to attach to the bottom of a DSLR and it provides a headphone jack for monitoring, XLR connectors, level meters and controls, etc. Very reasonably priced at $200, the only drawback I can see being that it adds a pound of weight to your camera and makes it more bulky to carry around. Probably more useful for tripod than hand-held use. Any comments on this?
  5. To those who don't believe a company would lose money on purpose, the poster child for that very strategy is Amazon.com. Their business plan stated that they did not expect to make any profit for the first five years; instead they focused on building market share even if that meant losing money on many transactions. That strategy, considered by some to be crazy at the time, did eventually make them the world's largest online company. Another example was the "dumping" of steel by Japanese companies in the United States market back in the Nineties. They purposely sold steel at below the cost to manufacture it, taking substantial losses at the time, in exchange for the goal of driving U.S. producers out of business.
  6. Andrew: The mountain of glass as I said was a legend but the losses were real. Manufacturing yields on early flat panels were terrible and yes they did scrap enough of them to make a very large pile of glass. Everything I stated as fact can be confirmed with a little research. Sony's huge losses in the content business have been well documented in business publications and their own financial reports. Red advertised Scarlet as being "3K for $3K". It never shipped anywhere near that price point. I labeled as "I suspect" the stuff at the end about Blackmagic. We have no choice but to speculate on why their sensors have problems since they are unlikely to ever tell us what really happened, but we know they don't make their own so describing them as being at the mercy of their suppliers is factual.
  7. As someone who has owned his own business for over 20 years, I can tell you that is an over-simplified view of how businesses work. Businesses willingly take losses if they feel that they will profit in the long term. For example, Sony lost tons of money when they invested in Hollywood studios and various movies that did poorly at the box office. They kept at it despite their losses because they strongly believed that owning their own content would eventually give them an advantage. Years ago Asian electronics companies lost loads of money trying to develop flat screen technology. Legend has it that somewhere in Japan there is a mountain made of glass from all the panels that were scrapped. They persevered, companies in the US dropped out of the business but the Asians kept going despite their losses and today, if you want to build something with a flat panel screen, you have to go to Asia to get it. Same with camera sensors. I suspect that is why Red was never able to ship Scarlet at the price point they originally promised and why Blackmagic cameras suffer from "black spot" syndrome on point light sources. They are at the mercy of the Asian sensor makers, but can't say anything about it because alienating their suppliers would put them out of the camera business. > I'd be pretty surprised if they don't at least match competition with their next releases though. Time will tell. Anything is possible, but so far that has not been their strategy. In fact, they are a bit locked in now by that strategy. How can they start offering 4K video on a $2K camera, and still get the pros to pay $20K for the same thing?
  8. The only thing oversimplified here was your response. I took the time to read the financial reports for Canon and Panasonic. As someone else previously mentioned, Canon is making a profit currently and Panasonic is losing money. It's starting to get clearer what Canon's strategy is here. With the market for mass market cameras shrinking due to competition from cell phones, etc., they have evidently decided to preserve profits by cutting product development costs except for their high margin lines. So their APS-C cameras have shared the same sensor design for the last five years. 4K capability was added only to their two most expensive cameras. The only real innovation added to any Canon model under $10,000 in the last few years that I can think of has been "dual-pixel" focusing on a few models. Panasonic and Sony are doing the opposite - taking some losses to make cameras so advanced that they hope cell phones can't compete with them. For the advanced videographer who doesn't have $15,000 or more to spend on a camera, currently the best choice of what to buy, I'm sorry to say, is probably a camera that doesn't say "Canon" on it.
  9. You have a good take on what probably occurred. Unfortunately this is a symptom of business practices that have been happening in the video camera market for a long time. In the olden days you had television stations making tons of money, and therefore willing to pay sky-high prices for equipment. At one time the prices may have been justified, but when the home video market took off, manufacturers of video gear had a problem - how to offer VCRs and camcorders at prices affordable to the consumer, while not risking the fat margins they were making on the professional stuff? The solution of course was to deliberately cripple the consumer gear, by both cutting the resolution and color depth that could be recorded and played back. Effectively both consumers and pros got screwed by this, while the manufacturers laughed their way to the bank. Amateur and low-budget filmmakers got screwed worst of all - forced to make their creations on crippled formats (like DV), just so the manufacturers could protect their high profit margins on the pro gear. Then Canon added video recording to the 5D, and low/no budget filmmakers rejoiced because it seemed like we were on the verge of finally being able to make movies as good looking as the pros were able to do with their $50,000 cameras. Canon however saw it as an opportunity, as you said, to make something for the high margin crowd. How high margin? Well, the C300 came out with an 8 megapixel APS-C sensor that was likely just a mild re-spin of the original 8 megapixel APS-C sensor from the old Rebel XT. They threw in a faster CPU that could handle the frame rate and some professional audio connectors, and presto they had something they could sell for $15,000. With a parts list that probably doesn't exceed $500 in total cost. This probably explains why Canon is making a profit while some other makers are currently losing money.
  10. You may be right, but I'm not ready to be that cynical. At least not yet...
  11. > How difficult is this to understand? I understand you are being a troll here, telling folks on a forum devoted to using DSLRs for filmmaking that we are using the "wrong" tool. According to you. Don't you have something better to do ?
  12. > The camera is not being marketed at sole videographers. It is being marketed to photographers that also do videography. That has nothing to do with Canon leaving out features that would cost a buck or two to add (like a headphone jack) to try to force folks to buy much higher priced gear. That is what we are discussing here. > That doesn't make the DSLR a video camera any more than the screwdriver is a hammer. Your statement makes no sense. Canon advertises their DSLRs as being suitable for recording videos, so they are "video" cameras, as you put it. If you don't think DSLRs are suitable for use as video / filmmaking cameras, then why are you posting on a site devoted to using them for that exact purpose? Are you just trolling here?
  13. I agree, it probably is time regrettably for serious videographers to "move on" from Canon due to their decision to "price the masses out of the market", as you put it.
  14. I think you don't understand the whole concept of DSLR filmmaking. And you are ignoring Canon's own advertising.
  15. > almost like Canon OWE them something. They do, the relationship between company and consumer is not a one-way street. You buy a product with the expectation that it will live up to its advertising and be fit for the purpose it was intended. If Canon wasn't claiming that their DSLRs are designed for videographers and are excellent for that task (read their ads for the 7D Mk II) then there would be no problem, but they are so there is. > Compared to 10 years ago we are living in a dream land... If we are, it is only because consumers have learned to start pushing back on some of the less-than-nice business practices of the major camera makers. I think we have the Internet to thank for that - it's provided a place for people to gather and discuss these issues and work on unofficial unauthorized hacks like Magic Lantern to get more out of the hardware than manufacturers like Canon are willing to provide. In the interview Andrew did, note Canon's hostile reaction to the mention of Magic Lantern. They are taking active steps to stop ML, for example by requiring that the higher-priced cameras be sent in to get firmware updates. Remember, the first push for "affordable" ($20K) digital cinema cameras came from a little company called Red, not from the major players like Sony who were charging close to $100K for CineAltas that were less capable at the time. So yes, go out and "shoot", but also keep in mind what it took to get to where we are, and that Canon's policies are unlikely to change if we don't continue to speak out regarding these issues.
  16. > I honestly don't understand why people are so upset over what Canon are doing or not doing I think people are upset because they bought the 5D Mk II and invested in Canon lenses thinking that Canon would continue and improve upon what they started, in the same relatively affordable price range. Instead, Canon put the next version of the 5D on ice for almost four years and told Canon DSLR videographers that if they wanted any improvements, they would need to take out a second mortgage on their house and get into the high-priced Cinema Series. To rub salt in the wound they withheld basic video features on their DSLRs that they were happy to give to the cheap small-sensor camcorder crowd. When you can get a head-phone jack on a $249 Canon camcorder but not on the $2,000 6D (like the 7D also advertised by Canon as being designed for videographers), there is no way that can be explained away. Yes, you can sell all your Canon gear and buy something with more up-to-date video features at a more reasonable price from a different manufacturer. But for true Canon fans, it's a sad occasion when they have to do that, reflecting on what could of been if only Canon had stuck by the folks who helped them start the whole DSLR video revolution in the first place.
  17. > The Vixia is a video camera. The 7dmk2 is a stills camera. Your statement directly contradicts what Canon's advertising says about the 7D Mark 2. Here is the very first thing Canon says about the camera on their official product page: The Canon EOS 7D Mark II digital SLR camera is designed to meet the demands of photographers and videographers who want a camera that can provide a wide range of artistic opportunities.
  18. I'm guessing you work for Canon, probably in their PR department. :D
  19. Just to illustrate (even more) how artificial Canon's restrictions on video features on Canon DSLRs are, take a look at the little Canon Vixia HF R400 camcorder. It retails for $249 (I got one on sale for $199). It can record 1080p at 60 frames per second and has a headphone jack for monitoring audio, features not present on any Rebel or the $2,000 6D, although these finally did show up on the new $1,800 7D Mk 2. This cheap little camcorder can also do clean HDMI out (!), another feature not present on any Canon DSLR that costs less than $1,800. It also does not suffer from moire and other line-skipping issues. However, before you all throw away your Arri Alexas and get one of these $249 camcorders, I do need to mention it has a tiny sensor so in low light the grain looks like a snow blizzard. What amazes me though is that Canon is willing to give their cheap tiny sensor cameras features that they withhold from DSLRs costing six times as much. If you are willing to spend another $100, for $349 you can get a Vixia with built-in WiFi, the same feature that costs $850 to add to the $1,800 7D Mk 2.
  20. In the DPreview interview of Mr. Maeda of Canon, when asked why the new $1,800 7D Mark II does not have WiFi (but the cheaper 70D does), he replied: ...we have a solution with the optional Wireless File Transmitter WFT-E7A. I looked up the price of the "WFT-E7A", it's $850 ! You can get an Eye-Fi card for $50, so I am wondering how Canon can justify charging seventeen times the price for their solution. Mike.
  21. Andrew: Don't let the "we don't care about video features in our Canon cameras" crowd get you down, I had a similar reaction on DPReview when I dared to say that Canon DSLRs don't compare well with other makes when it comes to video features. The folks on that forum started attacking with comments like "no one but you cares about video", "Canon's DSLR video quality is in fact fantastic", etc. etc. This reminds me of the Apple iPhone fans who would attack anyone who suggested that the screen size of the iPhone was too small in comparison to Android models, with comments like "only an idiot would carry around a phone with a screen bigger than 4 inches!". These are the same folks now lined up around the block to get the new iPhone 6 with it's 4.7 inch screen, now that Apple has officially blessed the idea that a bigger screen is not a bad thing. As to why Nikon doesn't seem to want to compete in the higher-end video market, I suspect this may be because they get their sensors from Sony and others, who they don't want to annoy by stepping too heavily on their turf. Mike G.
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