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Oliver Daniel

What will a mirrorless camera be like in 2023?

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Just for a bit of fun and banter... what will a mirrorless camera be like in 2023? 

My predictions....

Sony: "Zombie skin" is finally history in 8k, but the footage on Vimeo still looks like shit because everyone is shooting at 100,00 ISO at "4k" 480fps in underexposed SLOG4. With the M31 LUT. 

Panasonic: The GH7S becomes an actual religion, because it's the first camera that actually does everything you've ever wanted. On a M43 sensor. 

Fuji: The X-T5's video is so sharp that it damages your eyes. It does 8k, but only shoots in F-LOG at 6k. 10 bit in 4k. Or something. 

Olympus: The EM1 - IV is almost out. Did somebody mention the GH7S? 

Nikon: The time-lapse video mode is spectacular! 

Canon: The EOS M-whatever full-frame with perfect DPAF. In 8 bit 4:2:0 though. "Only" 4k. No CLOG. Still the best colour. ;) 

iPhone: Actually becomes to the level of an actual properly serious video camera with very clever, voodoo type computational imagery stuff. It was gonna happen eventually. 

 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Oliver don't make things even harder. 

I can't buy a GH5 cause GH5s is coming. 

I can't buy an E-M1mkii either cause the new E-M5mkiii is coming. 

A7rmkiii? No, because the A7smkiii is coming. 

An X-T2? How can I when the X-H1 is coming?

Of course I can't buy Canon or Nikon cause their kickass FF mirrorless is about to unveil for few years now. 

Terrible christmas I am telling you. Now I will have to use all these lousy cameras that already have everything that I have ever wished for. 

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I predict that either Sony or Panasonic will not be in the consumer/prosumer hybrid camera business by 2023.

And if they are, the video features will stall at the jump from 4K resolution to 6K or 8K... whichever the next big leap is.

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I predict the downfall of at least one of the bigger players. Probably two. 

Other than that it will be the same story. Just like today cameras will have every single thing we asked for a few years earlier. But we're still not happy.

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Chinese and Korean lens manufacturers increase their total market share to 20% worldwide auto focus,DSLR and mirrorless

lens sales.They shewdly employed some of the best computer programers so that their lens autofocus

could match or exceed native lenses.Face detection now gives a facial "freckle count".

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A lot of Sony "zombie skin" is from filmmakers using LOG and de-saturated profiles where they shouldn't.  I've tried to be the "LOG police" on the Internet but will give up.  The desire to believe you can get pro-equipment/lighting quality in mirrorless is stronger than the simple fact of the matter--"film quality" (what should we call it?) is now moving well past consumer equipment.  The trend will only continue into 2023.  In other words, many consumer equipment filmmakers will always believe in snake-oil ;) (LOG, 10bit, rec2020 as a shooting CODEC, etc.)  Of course, all those shooting wild-color music videos and zombie movies will be as proud as peacocks with their mirrorless kits ;)

The epiphany came for me while watching Netflix's "Abstract" series--on a 720 TV.  I thought it was done on something like the Canon C300, or even C500.  Nope, RAW-shootin' Red Epic Dragons with $10,000+ glass.  When this site was in its formative years ER (I believe) shot a whole episode using a 5DII.  It was good, but not as good as the professional equipment of the time (too much aliasing from spread out pixels on that FF sensor).  I believe a 5D4 is no closer to today's professional video cameras--farther even.

Unless consumer cameras shoot essentially RAW quality (and it seems physical power limitations are preventing this because SD cards are now fast enough) then the cameras of 2023 will be as you describe.  Better than today's cameras.  Not as superior to the cameras of 2017 as today's cameras are from 2012.  

All that said, one can get in the game, even with a G6 (what was his name on this forum that championed that camera?) that was IMPOSSIBLE when I was young and even a few minutes of 16mm film was $100 back then (never mind the camera!).  

Some more proof that video has diverged is @Mattias Burling. He used to shoot RAW, now it's 8bit.  So I believe his YouTube quality has gone down, but seems I'm the only one (though it doesn't stop me from watching his videos)!  If mirrorless today is good enough then it should be good enough in 2023.  

Other questions, are, will consumer available video editing/processing software and lighting get powerful enough to do David Fincher type work?  I'm certainly interested in your thoughts there Oliver!   I know this seems left field, but I've heard the iPhone X is selling mostly because of the real-time video emojis it can create using its face recognition post processing software/chips, etc.  That's what I mean about post technology.  Maybe computer visual processing will be more important than whether or not it's 8bit or RAW sourced.

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99% of photos and video will be shot on your personal life device (PLD), CANIKON CORP (they merge in 2021) has just gone bankrupt and the names Canon, Nikon and Canikon will be picked up for a song by the company holding the "Polaroid" name.

There will be much debate as to if the large M43 format is really THAT much better than the standard introduced by the 1mm Senors in most PLDs.        PLDs and old fashioned larger sensor ILCs mostly being made by the imaging and communication division of the Indo/Chinese company formed by the government owned company of the Peoples republic of the eastern hemisphere.

Then again, I could be wrong since my crystal balls sensor was made by Sony.

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On Friday, December 08, 2017 at 7:58 PM, Aussie Ash said:

Chinese and Korean lens manufacturers increase their total market share to 20% worldwide auto focus,DSLR and mirrorless

 

I bet one of the Chinese brands will emerge as a major player in the mirrorless world. Such as Yi, Kinefinity, or DJI. Or maybe some Chinese brand will surprise us out of the blue like Aputure and make a camera. Or even more likely, it could be a new brand name we have not even heard of.

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For me it's hard to tell. I work in the tech sector and there are a lot of technologies coming online that could serve the film industry particularly well. I think the bigger question for me is how will the industry react to new paradigms? I think in an evolutionary sense, the approach of filmmaking has stayed relatively unchallenged and unchanged as we have wrapped current technology around the current ways of how we think about filmmaking.

But let's say for giggles and grins we get to the point of an having a tiny camera implanted into your eye that can transmit a signal, which btw does exist to aid the blind, albeit in rough form currently. (The video signal is projected on the back of the brain same as a functioning retina)

Suddenly, you are the camera and the way you frame the world is immediate and you are the film and audiences tune into your perception? Or maybe they are the film and shape how it progresses using you as the container? Maybe audiences will reject narratives altogether and actually live out their dreams and fantasies instead of live them vicariously through someone else's vision of the world?

Remember, film in it's original intent was an answer to the limitations of sharing visual stories in it's time. Just cave paintings were a limitation of technology for the caveman. What has now become an established art and craft, started out as solving a technological challenge for inartistic purposes. 

If you're a filmmaker you should invest in the skill of storytelling, not the technology, because it's too unpredictable and exponential to rely on. What was fine to rely on in past decades will be less and less reliable as technology moves faster and faster. 

In the immediate I definitely see a trend for smaller and smaller footprints with increased quality in output and more intelligent automation. Technology is already at the point where huge machines are not needed to capture great technical content. I see cameras getting ever smaller and crews getting smaller too. It's a really simple equation. If one could have Alexa/RED quality in a form factor that fits in the palm of your hand why would you ever choose to use a heavy and cumbersome machine that needs a ton of accessories and a crew of people to help give it the quality and fluidity of seeing the world through the human eye? If you have any sense and instinct about you, you wouldn't. Unless you're just a nostalgic fool and love the art of complication. (Some do, no judge)  

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On 12/8/2017 at 7:36 AM, maxotics said:

A lot of Sony "zombie skin" is from filmmakers using LOG and de-saturated profiles where they shouldn't.  I've tried to be the "LOG police" on the Internet but will give up.  The desire to believe you can get pro-equipment/lighting quality in mirrorless is stronger than the simple fact of the matter--"film quality" (what should we call it?) is now moving well past consumer equipment.  The trend will only continue into 2023.  In other words, many consumer equipment filmmakers will always believe in snake-oil ;) (LOG, 10bit, rec2020 as a shooting CODEC, etc.)  Of course, all those shooting wild-color music videos and zombie movies will be as proud as peacocks with their mirrorless kits ;)

I think is is a rather prescriptive way to view the challenges of today as being actual challenges in the future. There's nothing to say bit rates, codecs, LOG, RAW, ISO, mirrorless vs. mirror, rolling shutter vs. global, or shutter speed altogether all will even be factors to consider in 2023.  Personally, I think the paradigms and conventions in which we currently interact and think about technology are going to rapidly shift, even 5 years from now. The delta on this is greatly exponential and technology leaders are already thinking 5-10 years out. In some cases some companies are sitting on technologies today that would make most of us crap our pants either in joy or horror. Working in these sectors companies are working really hard to make screens become irrelevant. 

On 12/8/2017 at 7:36 AM, maxotics said:

The epiphany came for me while watching Netflix's "Abstract" series--on a 720 TV.  I thought it was done on something like the Canon C300, or even C500.  Nope, RAW-shootin' Red Epic Dragons with $10,000+ glass.  When this site was in its formative years ER (I believe) shot a whole episode using a 5DII.  It was good, but not as good as the professional equipment of the time (too much aliasing from spread out pixels on that FF sensor).  I believe a 5D4 is no closer to today's professional video cameras--farther even.

Unless consumer cameras shoot essentially RAW quality (and it seems physical power limitations are preventing this because SD cards are now fast enough) then the cameras of 2023 will be as you describe.  Better than today's cameras.  Not as superior to the cameras of 2017 as today's cameras are from 2012.  

All that said, one can get in the game, even with a G6 (what was his name on this forum that championed that camera?) that was IMPOSSIBLE when I was young and even a few minutes of 16mm film was $100 back then (never mind the camera!).  

Some more proof that video has diverged is @Mattias Burling. He used to shoot RAW, now it's 8bit.  So I believe his YouTube quality has gone down, but seems I'm the only one (though it doesn't stop me from watching his videos)!  If mirrorless today is good enough then it should be good enough in 2023.  

Other questions, are, will consumer available video editing/processing software and lighting get powerful enough to do David Fincher type work?  I'm certainly interested in your thoughts there Oliver!   I know this seems left field, but I've heard the iPhone X is selling mostly because of the real-time video emojis it can create using its face recognition post processing software/chips, etc.  That's what I mean about post technology.  Maybe computer visual processing will be more important than whether or not it's 8bit or RAW sourced.

Filmmaking is not about the camera. And it never will be. The filmmakers of yesterday would (and do) argue the merits of celluloid film, because that's the technology they used to develop their art and passion for film. It becomes an emotional attachment of sorts. An identity. We are doing the same here with camera's associated with Hollywood level production because many of us have busted our chops using them. But if someone told you 20-30 years ago people would gravitate towards a platform were content takes an actual dip in image quality and compelling narratives, would you have believed them? I would have never imagined it myself. You're thinking about the future with the convention of today and that's a false pretense. Technology in five years will be five times the rate of speed that it is now. 

The best advice I can give the more mature filmmakers among us is to be open and ready to suspend disbelief, else become irrelevant at the rate of 5x. 

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On 08/12/2017 at 3:36 PM, maxotics said:

Other questions, are, will consumer available video editing/processing software and lighting get powerful enough to do David Fincher type work?  I'm certainly interested in your thoughts there Oliver!   I know this seems left field, but I've heard the iPhone X is selling mostly because of the real-time video emojis it can create using its face recognition post processing software/chips, etc.  That's what I mean about post technology.  Maybe computer visual processing will be more important than whether or not it's 8bit or RAW sourced.

 

I think with the progress smartphones are making, and technologies like the Light L16 camera, Lytro and GoPro Fusion - we will certainly see a more post software focus on cameras...

Being able to do intricate focus pulls, while choosing your aperture and your preferred bokeh in software will eventually become the norm. 

I could see some mirrorless cameras wirelessly hooking up with a bundled lighting kit, where you could actually change the strength and colour of the lighting fixtures directly via your camera, and being able to manipulate the light even further in post. 

While all this is happening, most users of this technology are getting caught up with the wow and not focusing on their stories. Everyone will be doing it, because their phones will let them. 

Meanwhile, the response to this is that other smaller companies and startups rebuild more classic cameras with a digital flavour (like the D16), rebuilding classic lenses and offering a more old-fashioned, authentic route to capturing cinematic images. 

All in all, video will become so common and easy to get nice "automatic" style results, to truly stand out, making a great story / content will be more important than ever. 

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17 minutes ago, Oliver Daniel said:

All in all, video will become so common and easy to get nice "automatic" style results, to truly stand out, making a great story / content will be more important than ever

Honestly, it’s like that now. If you search GH5 on Vimeo, everything looks pretty good, but the ones that truly stand out, visually, are from the usual suspects that make  any and every camera they pick up look good.

But any of the creators will excel if they go out and make good content. The next huge indie film will be shot in 4K by some kid on his new 90D and the DPAF focus pulls will look like a Hollywood AC racked the focus.

The tech is already there for what your envisioning it’ll just take a naive, but creative kid to go out and do it and not sit on forums like I do and talk about it.

At this point the only real necessity is an upgrade in internal audio. Once these cameras have good preamps with a 3.5mm jack, the whole package is complete. The only camera I’ve used in the past five years that has decent internal audio is the RX10ii. And if Canon (or Panasonic or Sony, or whoever) fixes that, any kid with an idea can get a Rebel for Christmas and shoot a movie by the New Year...

Hell I should do that this year with an 80D...

Crap, it has shitty preamps... oh well, maybe next year.

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1 hour ago, IronFilm said:

Better preamps alone won't solve audio. 

You still need more than 2 tracks, quick access manual controls, and...  a dedicated sound operator with his full focus on getting the best possible sound.

Yeah, if you insist on making a movie the same way that Hollywood does. But I’m talking about a kid grabbing a camera and making a movie, using creativity to work around and with current and future tech. Sound can be cleaned in post as long as you get a clean recording. What’s acceptable for a theatre release is completely different than what’s acceptable for online, and vod distribution. Hell, even Hollywood movies I watch on Netflix sound like shit...

The point being that with a $300 DSLR, some creativity, and a great story, a kid... or anyone... could go out and make an amazing film.

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sorry, but better cameras mean better image, not better sound. Even "better pre amps", better microphones, and better recorders, do not mean better sound. 

That kid, or anyone, could always do something amazing with 300$. I still have my super 8 slicer, film stock on the fridge, and a couple very good cameras. That kid, or anyone, could have done amazing things with all these.

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Sorry but we’re talking about the state of cameras in 5 years from now. Oliver said that cameras will be so good that tech wont be an obstacle (I’m paraphrasing) and story will be the only factor.

In some ways it is like that now, yes, but when these cameras are complete packages, with great AF and with usable internal sound, a Rebel will be more than enough, technically, for any kid to pick up the camera he/she got for Christmas and start shooting a movie the day after and only need to worry about telling a good story.

Sure a kid could do that now, but they would need knowledge, skill and more equipment than just a camera and a external microphone... in 5 years... that may just be enough.

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Recording sound for video is exactly the same the last 30 years (I am working as a sound man the last 20 of them). Only big difference I am aware of (and I am going half a century back to make it count)  is the wider use of wireless systems. 416, a 70s design, is still my workhorse, and a lot of people's also. What you need, now and then, is physics (acoustics) and a lot of experience. Nothing is going to change the next 5 years. At least not as much as in sight/image.

My hi fi system is from the 90s, there is absolutely 0(zero) reasons for me to upgrade. To the contrary, in the generation of bluetooth speakers and listening music from tiny ear buds, my hi fi is even more impressive (acoustically).

Do you know how many TV sets and image players have me and my family changed since then?

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Man guys, I hate to sound pompous or harsh, but you guys are still thinking kind of small and insulated about this. You're estimating the rate of advancement from past and present models but this will not be the case in 5 years time. The delta is not a steady 45 degrees upward. The incline is more like 80, and reaching towards 90 with each day that passess.

Forget 10bit, forget RAW, forget HDR, 8k, and all the current conventional buzzwords (which will become known as limitations in due time) floating around.

When you add an AI to something, you crack open pandora's box and I don't mind sounding like the crazy guy sitting on the park bench because the probability of being validated in time is quite high.

I've seen and experimented with tech that the public is not even aware exists. What you see released to the public is not the extent of all a tech company has to offer at that time. Oh no, they're sitting on bigger stuff, and dialing it in.

There are some frightfully brilliant minds out there that approach and solve challenges in a very different way than most of us. They're usually doubted and sometimes even mocked until they break ground and us dum-dums catch up to the bell curve and finally get it.  

Don't be surprised if what you know as "camera" today is vastly different in the future and to the extent of which technology enables us to be "super-human". 

The only constant here will be the ability to tell a good story. But don't be surprised if an AI bot figures out how to tell a better one and in much less time. In some ways the technicalities of the physical aspects of the trade will be far more approachable and immediate, but you best keep that creative brain nice and sharp.  

Anyway, enough preaching. Let's just get on with it. 

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