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How to save the consumer camera: DON'T!


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The above video was just terrible. I do not know the German message, but I don't care to learn either, it didn't created me any positive emotions at all.

The big humans in history (the greatest examples, Aristoteles and Da Vinci, the best in ancient Greece and Rennaisance), were trying to be as complete as possible. You can not care only for one aspect of our job. I hear that a lot from empirical shooters, that underestimate Universities. no, NOT going to university is not going to be a disadvantage in real life, but being in a Bachelors degree program in another country, study and work there, was an immerse experience that made me who I am know.

More "succesful" people I know here, didn't study anything, usually they had the connections because their fathers were working for the state television (Watch the Bacalaureat, the Romanian film, if you want to know how things are done in east/south Europe), maybe they have more money (they do!), does that make them better people and/or professionals? Most of them are terrible people full of complexes , the worst to work with.

Everything is relevant, if you want to achieve great standards. It is funny to see that people that argue about "comment/money/views/likes only" are the young ones. 

To be a complete human with knowledge, logic and reasoning, goes beyond making you a good professional, it makes you a good citizen.

Know how to use your tools is another trick in the craftsman's sleeves. Everything is part of the story, either being an Alexa shot, or something purposely shot on Sony Experia Z phones.

 

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I don't understand the video and don't understand why it is being given as a good example of cinema. This is mainly a cinematography forum, about cameras and shooting images. It isn't a cont

Damn so close to the end of the article. One day you will bother to read the last 1%. Had you done that, you'd have read that I described Canon as "boring", that they will in future struggle to s

Thanks Andrew, this is a good article.  I think consumers will be perfectly happy with their smartphones. They will get better, and consumers will have no need for another camera - it's not perfe

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Films are not going away...far too much money at stake...what has changed considerably is the content created for television ( at the same quality level as any feature film now)...but sticking to movies...many links in the chain that either makes or breaks a project....and success depends on an audience member being able to completely immerse themselves in a film...hard to happen when you're watching something shot on an iPhone with little or no production design, bad sound and of course poor acting and directing...sorry....a little off topic, but read a post a while back saying in a 100 years there'll be no more movies made...as long as humans are around, we'll be hungry for the escape movies/television can bring us...as far as cameras today go...we're more than there and I think Andrews point is well taken...smartphones are the new point-and-shoots that consumers want and you can now use an actual point-and shoot as a crash cam or in a difficult to fit place or a drone etc....

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On 11/21/2016 at 7:32 PM, IronFilm said:

That chart you made is quite a damning commentary about the direction cameras are going. 

No it's not. It's more a statement about the direction of yen.

On 11/21/2016 at 1:11 PM, berkenboom said:

The camera's in smartphones are getting better and better, but so do "traditional" camera's

And you cant beat physics. for example a f2 lens on a 1/2" sensor (~30mm2) wont cut it to a larger aps-c(370mm2) camera with even a kitlens.remember f2 on such small sensor its equivalent to  f11 (full frame)  due to the 5.41 crop factor.

Until flat lenses become available, the camera and lenses will be limited due to the lack of space in a smartphone. (nobody likes a big protrusion on their phone) you want more quality? get a bigger camera

Many consumer compact camera's like the ixus are spec wise not better than a smartphone, maybe except the zoom function. they usually offer the same sensor size, smaller screen, also lack many direct controls for setting iso shutter speed etc.

Prosumer/enthousiast camera's are becoming the only reasonable step up from a smartphone. although the definition of "prosumer" is kind of vague.  I think entry level dslr's  are under that group too. most users wont care much about taking control, they just want better pictures. as for enthusiasts the newer camera's seems to differentiate more and more towards a high end, including a higher price point. here is a list of introduction prices:

a6000: 650€
a6300: 1250€
a6500: 1700€

sony a7: 1500€
sony a7II: 1700€

Sony A7s: 2400€
Sony a7sII: 3400€

RX100 Mk1: 650€
RX100 Mk2: 750€
RX100 Mk3: 850€
RX100 Mk4: 1100€
RX100 Mk5: 1200€

And that worries me. enthousiast that are serious about  photography (not the Instagram kind) a camera should still be at a acceptable price.

I dont think apps are the best way. the way i see it, its a way of asking money for something they shoud be in the camera in the first place. Like the intervalometer in the sony a7.


 

The rise of prices has more to due with the yen appreciation on the last 6 years.  

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8 hours ago, Tiago Rosa-Rosso said:

No it's not. It's more a statement about the direction of yen.

The rise of prices has more to due with the yen appreciation on the last 6 years.  

Making smaller production runs will drive prices up, regardless. Without the mass of consumer sales, manufacturers will be looking to up profit margins as well.

On the post at hand: Tony seems to take a lot of ideas from all over the Internet, including Thom Hogan (some of the stuff he talks Thom has written about for nearly a decade). Most of them might have worked had the Japanese moved earlier, but that ship has long sailed. I'll just echo what has been said: Camera manufacturers need to make workflow a priority. Right now compared to a smartphone it's completely clunky and annoying to work with.

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Interesting for news makers, documentary style shooters, etc. and the growing mobile audience for video / consumers not owning 4k TVs:

http://www.newsshooter.com/2016/11/25/bbc-news-app-launches-vertical-video-is-the-joke-on-us/

My questions again in this context:

  • Who needs 4K (even downscaled 4K to 1080p) on small mobile devices?
  • Who cares about the "ultimate" IQ as color science / contrast / sharpness on small mobile devices?
  • 2014 there were only 2.5 percent of consumers owning 4K TVs (in Germany) --> http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/4K-TV-Ultra-HD-Geraete-verkaufen-sich-kaum-2349085.html (German language) - I know, in Japan it's much more, but worlldwide, 4K display market coverage is still a joke in comparison with marketing claims of manufacturers and distributors

My opinion: Till 4K and highest quality videos will get popular and viewable on bigger displays than just now, it will take years - if not a decade. Till then, it's just a matter for a few geeks and enthusiasts. From a realistic point of view, there is NO RELEVANCY and NO DEMAND for higher resolution / quality films (from point of view of IMAGE QUALITY) for web and TV at the moment...it's only relevant for a enthusiastic minority / avantgarde...

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13 hours ago, Arikhan said:

My opinion: Till 4K and highest quality videos will get popular and viewable on bigger displays than just now, it will take years - if not a decade.

Same could be said of 1080p.  No one in the US broadcasts 1080p over the air.  The best you can get is 720p or 1080i.  Cable is terrible.  They compress their signal like hell to keep from building out more infrastructure and also they push 1,000 home shopping networks.  1080i over the air looks better than so called HD some cable providers are pumping out.  And streaming of course is heavily compressed.

Bluray penetration is barely better than 4k...

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In other words, Blu-ray penetration, which currently sits at just 16 per cent, is unlikely to climb much higher if sales continue to follow the same pattern.

That is from a report in Australia in 2015.

http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2015/02/blu-ray-is-nearly-dead-in-the-water/

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@Damphousse

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Same could be said of 1080p.

DSLR camera manufacturers (and some camcorder style manufacturers too) simply didn't really care about an excellent 1080p IQ over the years. They sold people cams with soft & mushy 1080p - nothing to do with a "honest" 1080p resolution. Now they all offer 4K - for a realistic 1080p (by downsampling from 4K)...It's simply a joke and nothing but marketing bullshit. There are not many affordable DSLRs out there being capable to deliver a honest 1080p resolution (Nikon with the D810, D750, a7s ii, some Panasonics...). Canon doesn't care about a realistic 1080p quality and this is a mistake. They have very solid cameras and I think aomething like the 80D with a 1080p IQ of the a7s ii will be great and for most film productions perfect.

That said, please consider that the upscaler of modern UHD TVs are quite fantastic. I've took a look at some sequences filmed with the C100 II in 1080p, and the IQ on large display TVs is awesome. No considerable difference in viewable resolution (about 3,5m away from a 135cm TV) between 4K (filmed with a Pana) and excellent 1080p images. As said, NOBODY but only pixel peepers put their nose 10cm close to highly calibrated quality displays or TVs, commenting on 300% crops. That might be neccessary for movie theater or Hollywood productions, but how many percent of films are made for this? A honest 1080p resolution (affordable to work with in post) and a pleasant color science should be fine for more than 98 percent of film productions...but at the moment this is an exception...

Before marketing 4K and HDR, manufacturers should be able to produce solid cameras for 1080p. But most of them are not or simply don't want. Wait for TWO years and then they will deliver the same lack of quality in 4K and will try to promote their 6,5 or even 8K cams. Never believe the marketing morons!

No doubt, 4K & HDR are the next big moves. BUT it will take 5-10 years to get the market coverage in people living rooms or PC desktops...AND, staying away from the big display for about 3m (as people mostly do when watching TV), the "ultimate" quality will never be noticeable for most consumers....

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@IronFilm

Yes, but most people I know, just downsample the 4K footage to 1080p NOT because for crop / zoom / pan, but for benefits of IQ in downscaled sequences. The lack of honest 1080p is still a shame for all manufacturers declaring the mushy something their cameras deliver as "Full HD"....The race to more and more resolution is just a blatant marketing lie, if manufacturers aren't capable to deliver the resolution they claim when selling their devices. So, the "1080p lie" is just the same as the coming "4K lie": for honest (real) 4K the manufacturers will tell us, we need 8K footage...WTF? Why do consumers have to handle 4K, when just needing 1080p?

For sure, shooters who want to crop, zoom, or pan around are well with 4K. These possibilities are doubtless benefits of the high resolution footage. But the lack of real 1080p forces camera users to shoot in 4K. I don't like people forcing me to buy a Porsche Cayenne, when I just need a car for modest mobility purposes only...Many manufacturers don't care about our real needs and requirements - they just about caching technical lacks in their overpriced devices and care much more about marketing wish-wash...

Look, I shoot 4K too - because I love tack sharp footage. But this is my hobby. Beeing realistic, I NEED "real" 1080p only...Just because it's much easier to work with on a "normal" laptop, doesn't need much storage space as 4K, etc., and because a vast majority of today's consumers watch footage on small mobile displays or TVs with a maximum of FullHD resolution. Without any doubt, 4K is useful and "real" 4K well shooted is really beautiful...BUT: Why do consumers have to handle 4K, when just needing 1080p

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12 hours ago, Arikhan said:

@IronFilm

Yes, but most people I know, just downsample the 4K footage to 1080p NOT because for crop / zoom / pan, but for benefits of IQ in downscaled sequences. The lack of honest 1080p is still a shame for all manufacturers declaring the mushy something their cameras deliver as "Full HD"....The race to more and more resolution is just a blatant marketing lie, if manufacturers aren't capable to deliver the resolution they claim when selling their devices. So, the "1080p lie" is just the same as the coming "4K lie": for honest (real) 4K the manufacturers will tell us, we need 8K footage...WTF? Why do consumers have to handle 4K, when just needing 1080p?

For sure, shooters who want to crop, zoom, or pan around are well with 4K. These possibilities are doubtless benefits of the high resolution footage. But the lack of real 1080p forces camera users to shoot in 4K. I don't like people forcing me to buy a Porsche Cayenne, when I just need a car for modest mobility purposes only...Many manufacturers don't care about our real needs and requirements - they just about caching technical lacks in their overpriced devices and care much more about marketing wish-wash...

Look, I shoot 4K too - because I love tack sharp footage. But this is my hobby. Beeing realistic, I NEED "real" 1080p only...Just because it's much easier to work with on a "normal" laptop, doesn't need much storage space as 4K, etc., and because a vast majority of today's consumers watch footage on small mobile displays or TVs with a maximum of FullHD resolution. Without any doubt, 4K is useful and "real" 4K well shooted is really beautiful...BUT: Why do consumers have to handle 4K, when just needing 1080p

This is true. The max I have delivered in is 1440p. I only use 4K because it gives me detailed moire free images. If it weren't for that id stick with 1080

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I have only just begun delivering 4K to YouTube from my GH4, but if Panasonic offered 1080p with no aliasing, moire or digital artifacts, I'd probably choose to shoot HD as well. In fact, back in February, I was standing in front of a large screen TV in a showroom at Best Buy when I told a salesman how gorgeous the 4K image was, and he told me it wasn't 4K, it was an HD screen.

At the same time, I'm not going nuts that camera manufacturers aren't offering genuine HD - the 4K files are manageable enough, I can edit them on my Mac, and they don't require all that much extra storage. And when h.265 is the industry standard, the file sizes will be that much smaller still. 

28 minutes ago, Tarantinofan said:

8k, 6k, 4k, 2k, and HD, but most people still prefer having a DVD put in a DVD player regardless. I doubt that many people know what is Vimeo, and perhaps hardly have any money to afford Netflix.

 

Amazon Video is your best option.

DVDs? Sorry, but you lost me... what country are you talking about? Because DVDs are shiite. And we are not 'most people'. Who gives a donkey's ass what 'most people' prefer? 

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@jonpais

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And when h.265 is the industry standard, the file sizes will be that much smaller still.

Yeah...BUT when Samsung presented the NX1 with h.265, self proclaimed experts blamed this (talking about "downsides of the NX1"), though it was revolutionary at that time. The truth is, there are only TWO possibilities to handle footage: compressed and non compressed footage (RAW). For people aiming to work with compressed footage, there must be efficient codecs on the market. And the h.265 is doubtless an efficient codec and (from current point of view and technical knowledge) probably one of the best possibilities to handle compressed, high quality images in 4K and above. Not perfect, but at the moment a very efficient (IQ <-> compression rate) possibility...

So far the theory...But many camera manufacturers refuse the implementation of h.265 in their devices, and offer consumers low end or shitty codecs for their cameras...

Sometimes I think, buyers WANT to be kidded...One funny example: There is no Panasonic "professional" camcorder up to 3.000 Euro offering by far the same image quality as the 550 Euro GX85 - an affordable consumer hybrid camera...Guys, that's an unacceptable joke. And it only works because buyers ("professional users") just accept overpriced devices and kidding wish-wash argumentation...Best review and the only client side argument manunfacturers understand, is NOT BUYING their devices (in this case, the camcorders)...

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The reason other manufacturers don't offer H.265 is not because it is better/worse than other codecs, but simply because they don't have the resources to design the hardware encoders in their processors. They already have H.264 encoder logic designs so they just use that instead. Samsung was different because they DID have the resources, having designed the necessary logic in processors for other devices they make.

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@tugela

Talking about h.264 and 4K and more: h.264 is for >4K, demand for more IQ and the requirement in easier and affordable editing a "no future codec". It's h.265 the codec to go when having visions of 6,5K and more, while preserving IQ of compressed footage. 

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hey don't have the resources to design the hardware encoders in their processors.

You are right! They have intelligent and creative egineers and developers, but just don't want to invest money for additional resources and fundamental changes (R&D). From economical point of view, they just want to ride the "h.264 horse" to death. It's just a matter of profit, as simple as that. That's why the NX1 was a revolutionary camera. The Samsung engineers just broke with existing rules - with fantastic results for enthusiasts and freaks. But though, Samsung retired after that...

Manufacturers are conservative and don't like dramatic changes. The only hope of independent or enthusiatic filmakers is still the competition, companies that brake existing rules and "standards", just offering their clients a little bit more for money than competitors...And that's the point bringing us back to Northrup and Andrew Reid's article: Does the film gear industry really want the "democratization" of film making by availability of affordable cameras and gear with great IQ for masses? Or should "serious fimmaking" stay in the hands of experienced companies / people with some REDs, ARRIs, and endless possibilities in lighting, editing, special effects, etc. - people with high-end gear and deep pockets, unaffordable for normal Joe?

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No, they are not in the business of processor design. Samsung is. That is why it was realistic for Samsung to do it, but not other camera companies.

Them not being in the processor design business is what holds a lot of them back as well, such as Canon and Nikon in particular for example. People go on about "marketing segmentation" and "holding features back", but the reality is that manufacturers are limited by the capabilities of the processors available to them. Samsung makes processors, so they had state of the art tech available to them. That is why the NX1 was ahead of its time. Other manufacturers to a greater or lessor extent do not have that luxury and have to use what they have.

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15 hours ago, Tarantinofan said:

8k, 6k, 4k, 2k, and HD, but most people still prefer having a DVD put in a DVD player regardless. I doubt that many people know what is Vimeo, and perhaps hardly have any money to afford Netflix.

 

Amazon Video is your best option.

That has not been my experience...

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In fact, Netflix is in 36% of all American TV households, while Amazon is in 13% and Hulu Plus is in 6.5%, according to Nielsen.

http://money.cnn.com/2015/03/11/media/nielsen-report-netflix-amazon-hulu/

Keep in mind 24.5% of households don't have broadband.  So if you look at the universe of people who have a TV AND have broadband Netflix market share is pretty big.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The REAL reason why the low-end is dying (apart from cellphones) and the companies are offering higher-end (or simply raising prices, like Nikon) is they are going after a growing upper-middle class and ignoring the shrinking middle class. This is not confined to cameras, many companies are following the same course.

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