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norliss

Blackmagic: a middle-gound...?

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Firstly: apologies if this has been discussed here before (if so I've never read anything) but a thought just occurred to me....

At the moment Blackmagic has the Pocket Cinema Camera 4k at £1055 +VAT and the URSA Mini Pro at £4845+VAT with nothing in-between. What are the odds of them coming up with something in-between i.e. something a bit bigger than the Pocket with an APS-C/Super35 sensor but about £2500-£3000? Surely there are loads of people that want something a bit more than the pocket (ie a bigger sensor) and able to spend more but unable/unwilling to go for the URSA Mini: it would be a winner, no?

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Well I suppose the argument against the type of camera I have proposed would be that it would potentially cannibalise sales of the URSA Mini but I'd argue that it wouldn't because it would be for people that wouldn't/couldn't justify/afford an URSA Mini Pro to begin with.

Steve Jobs once said something like "If you don't cannibalise yourself, someone else will" but that seems to be the mindset with many of these companies now.

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10 minutes ago, norliss said:

Firstly: apologies if this has been discussed here before (if so I've never read anything) but a thought just occurred to me....

At the moment Blackmagic has the Pocket Cinema Camera 4k at £1055 +VAT and the URSA Mini Pro at £4845+VAT with nothing in-between. What are the odds of them coming up with something in-between i.e. something a bit bigger than the Pocket with an APS-C/Super35 sensor but about £2500-£3000? Surely there are loads of people that want something a bit more than the pocket (ie a bigger sensor) and able to spend more but unable/unwilling to go for the URSA Mini: it would be a winner, no?

At first glance this looks like a good idea, even a necessity in a certain sense. But let me play devil's advocate for a moment.

The problem is with (a) availability of  S35 sensors with the same properties as the one in the BMCC4K and (b) the lens mount. 

If they somehow manage to overcome the first problem, the one with the mount remains. Having an EF or PL mount defeats the purpose of such a camera; a BMPCC4K with a speedbooster will be its equal or better. They could go for a m43 mount (it can cover a S35 sensor for video) and also perhaps offer their own SB versions, with embedded ND, but I don't consider it probable. 

I still find the idea of such a camera highly interesting, especially considering the larger physical format could enable updated battery power, cooling, different storage media or even a clever modular design. 

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I think what's being described really (APS-C, MFT mount, integral ND, speedboostable, long battery life) is the JVC LS300 with a RAW option but unfortunately I'm not sure JVC are going to update it any time soon.

Funnily enough, I'd like to see BM go the opposite way to some extent and offer an alternative with the Pocket 4K internals inside a form factor more akin to the Micro Cinema and Micro Studio cameras.

 

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8 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

I think what's being described really (APS-C, MFT mount, integral ND, speedboostable, long battery life) is the JVC LS300 with a RAW option but unfortunately I'm not sure JVC are going to update it any time soon.

Funnily enough, I'd like to see BM go the opposite way to some extent and offer an alternative with the Pocket 4K internals inside a form factor more akin to the Micro Cinema and Micro Studio cameras.

 

The real trouble with the Micro Cinema/Studio format was that, by the moment you need to do some more serious work you end up rigging them anyway, with external storage, monitor, power, etc. The BMPCC4K, in theory at least, can (marginally) be used as is, thus resulting in a more compact form factor. Also I'm not sure heat dissipation concerns would allow a real "pocket" version of the BMPCC4K. 

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what middle ground do you need? ibis?!? what is up with you guys? there has been 0 cinema cameras with ibis to date.

23 minutes ago, deezid said:

OLPF, IBIS and DPAF as well as some integrated ND and bigger batteries and a 5" flip LCD

invest 2k and you have all those things, there`s middle ground for you. OLFP, what 500€, ibis(ronin s) 600€, ND-s 200€, external power 200€, external monitor 300€. 

If you want a vloger and travel backpack camera, well this ain`t it, get a gh5, fuji, or what ever. There is not one camera on this planet that would suit everyone and everything, get a grip! 

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I think there's room above the Pocket 4K for the same image quality in a better built body with more features. Seems like a no brainer to me. People love the image and the back-end monitoring on the Pocket but it's never going to have the depth of features of a GH5 for the price it is - they would have to up the price to make it more ambitious. Around $2500 would bring us all sorts of goodies. I also wish the form factor would be more along the lines of a GH5 as well with an EVF.

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2 hours ago, norliss said:

What are the odds of them coming up with something in-between i.e. something a bit bigger than the Pocket with an APS-C/Super35 sensor but about £2500-£3000?

It is called the URSA Mini 4K

You get all the goodness of the URSA Mini 4.6K!

Except with a worse sensor....

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29 minutes ago, eyesuncloudedphoto said:

The real trouble with the Micro Cinema/Studio format was that, by the moment you need to do some more serious work you end up rigging them anyway, with external storage, monitor, power, etc. The BMPCC4K, in theory at least, can (marginally) be used as is, thus resulting in a more compact form factor. Also I'm not sure heat dissipation concerns would allow a real "pocket" version of the BMPCC4K. 

Its the versatility I'm after rather than it being a real "pocket version" to be honest and I wouldn't baulk if it was the same price.

I'm thinking more of stripping it to fit on a small single handed gimbal as an Osmo RAW alternative for one thing.

But there have also been some very nice compact setups made for the BMMCC using inexpensive EVFs etc such as the one in this thread here which would give it an edge for handheld shooting.

The remote port on the BMCCC is really good for making custom controls and its sad really that the Pocket 4K has dispensed with the LANC port as even a simple start stop if its on a gimbal will require using their app or an as yet unreleased 3rd party Bluetooth LE controller from someone ....

With regard to the heat, at least on the BMCCC the battery sits outside the chassis and I've got to say even after just 5 minutes of poking around in the menus of my newly received Pocket 4K earlier it was getting a bit warm inside the grip. 

From my point of view-and its only a personal preference - if a BMCCC form factor version (not necessarily as small but just the same principle of sensor in a box with no screen but with the ports, external battery etc) had been available then I'd have definitely picked that one over what I've got in front of me. 

Maybe I'm just a 5" loupe and a next generation compact gimbal away from loving this one ;) 

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2 hours ago, norliss said:

Surely there are loads of people that want something a bit more than the pocket (ie a bigger sensor) and able to spend more but unable/unwilling to go for the URSA Mini: it would be a winner, no?

I don't even want a bigger sensor! 
Would just like to see a slimmed down URSA Micro Pro (but keeping all the I/O) with the BMPCC4K sensor in it for $2K. 

1 hour ago, eyesuncloudedphoto said:

They could go for a m43 mount (it can cover a S35 sensor for video) and also perhaps offer their own SB versions, with embedded ND, but I don't consider it probable. 

Sadly they missed the obvious of having an URSA Mini 4K MFT camera, a focal reducer would have helped the weakness of the 4K sensor in low light as well.

 

55 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

I think what's being described really (APS-C, MFT mount, integral ND, speedboostable, long battery life) is the JVC LS300 with a RAW option but unfortunately I'm not sure JVC are going to update it any time soon.

True! 
But I wonder if JVC might have given us one gem camera with the LS300, only for it to be a one off and never release a similar second camera. 

 

55 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

 Funnily enough, I'd like to see BM go the opposite way to some extent and offer an alternative with the Pocket 4K internals inside a form factor more akin to the Micro Cinema and Micro Studio cameras.

That would be nifty too!

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12 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

True! 
But I wonder if JVC might have given us one gem camera with the LS300, only for it to be a one off and never release a similar second camera. 

Its the video camera version of "Never Mind The Bollocks".

But without the spitting.

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JVCs new camera shoots ProRes internal. They just need to cut the lens off and put a mount on and they’d have a winner. 

The problem is, it’s JVC and whatever they do, their cameras will never be the talk of the town no matter how good they actually are. How many LS300s sold compared to FS5? Even when they were giving you a Atomos Inferno in the package.

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A P4K with the ergonomics of an XC15, including a removable grip would be an interesting middle ground. If they could stick a Sony NP battery under the screen that would help. You can hold it like a DSLR, or remove the grip for a minimal, boxy design. Include that nice remote port, and the stripped down version could replace a BMMCC very nicely.

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JVCs new camera shoots ProRes internal. They just need to cut the lens off and put a mount on and they’d have a winner. 

The problem is, it’s JVC and whatever they do, their cameras will never be the talk of the town no matter how good they actually are. How many LS300s sold compared to FS5? Even when they were giving you a Atomos Inferno in the package.

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1 hour ago, Anaconda_ said:

JVCs new camera shoots ProRes internal. They just need to cut the lens off and put a mount on and they’d have a winner. 

The problem is, it’s JVC and whatever they do, their cameras will never be the talk of the town no matter how good they actually are. How many LS300s sold compared to FS5? Even when they were giving you a Atomos Inferno in the package.

There were some significant issues with the JVC LS300. It isn't like it was the best camera ever, and noone bought it. 

Also, they must have sold quite a few. It is the most common JVC camera around here for sure. Do we even know the name of any other recent JVC camera?! I don't.

Edit: it sure is broadcast.

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5 hours ago, norliss said:

Well I suppose the argument against the type of camera I have proposed would be that it would potentially cannibalise sales of the URSA Mini but I'd argue that it wouldn't because it would be for people that wouldn't/couldn't justify/afford an URSA Mini Pro to begin with.

Steve Jobs once said something like "If you don't cannibalise yourself, someone else will" but that seems to be the mindset with many of these companies now.

That only works if you move enough stock to pay for the development costs. Otherwise you have to limit yourself to a full feature but expensive product, while covering the lower end with a bargain basement product that costs less due to cheaper materials or removing things that add to the cost but are unlikely to be used by the target market. In order to be economically feasible your product has to cover {(cost of development) + (cost of materials) + (cost of marketing)}. This is why high end products are much more expensive than low end products even though performance differences are not that great. The cost of materials in your higher end product may be 50% more than the lower end product but the cost of development will be the same. Since you will sell 10x (or more) of the low end product, the cost of the high end product has to that much higher for you to break even, which is why you see such big differences in cost between the high and low end. If you throw in some intermediate product you may take away enough market from the high end product to make it unprofitable, while at the same time your intermediate product will also be unprofitable due to insufficient market. So, in that situation you are a fool if you make the intermediate product, you can't run a business that way. 

Basically the cost of development is a constant irrespective of how many units you sell, and it is that fact which determines if you can cover the entire market spectrum with variants or only cover some parts of the market. If you move a lot of product then the cost of development is proportionally a much smaller component of the overall cost of an individual item, that is the situation that companies like Apple and Samsung find themselves in (which is why you get a large number of variants of things like cell phones from places like Samsung - they have the volume where they can afford to do that without losing money).

A company like Blackmagic does not move enough product to pay for the development cost of more than a few models. They are a niche player, targeting people with big dreams and few resources. So, at the high end the make something like the Ursa to target those sorts of people in the pro segment, and something like the 4K pocket camera for those sorts of people in the consumer segment. If they did something in between they would not be competitive in the pro segment or the consumer segment (and it would come at the expense of their more targeted products that are competitive, potentially rendering them uneconomic), but it would still cost them the same as the other two cameras. That is why they are unlikely to do it.

4 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

With regard to the heat, at least on the BMCCC the battery sits outside the chassis and I've got to say even after just 5 minutes of poking around in the menus of my newly received Pocket 4K earlier it was getting a bit warm inside the grip.  

Can you use an external power source?

Without decent stabilization and AF it is probably only good for a tripod anyway, so an external battery back is not a big impediment. 

1 hour ago, KnightsFan said:

A P4K with the ergonomics of an XC15, including a removable grip would be an interesting middle ground. If they could stick a Sony NP battery under the screen that would help. You can hold it like a DSLR, or remove the grip for a minimal, boxy design. Include that nice remote port, and the stripped down version could replace a BMMCC very nicely.

Or stick the battery on the front of the camera, so you can use the battery itself as a grip. I have one on my Ninja V, it makes hand holding it quite convenient, lol.

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