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Sharp's new 8K M43 camera

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35 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

Yeah but I will tell you something. I have been taking video for a Hell of a lot of years of my family, and my TV Job,  my advertising company, weddings, etc., 30 years easy. Now probably one main problem is I have moved so many times. But I have absolutely Zero, Nada, None, any footage of any of it left. It has all, and I mean tons of it either lost, thrown away, corrupted hard drives, hard drives that I can no longer use due to incompatible things, disappearing Thumb Drives, on and on.  I have had, owned just about every type of video media you can have other than 1" tape. That was part of the problem. Things changed a lot. But guess what I have a hell of a lot of the photographs, well my daughter has them for safe keeping. Now I am talking a span of 50 years here now. Now the negatives, not so many. They were on digital media, Ahh the problem. But good old hard copy photos seem to last. Digital media not so much. So just be cautious as hell. You might find yourself in a situation where the media you have isn't even something you own, like a 8 Track Deck. Who has one of those, or a Hi 8 deck, mini DVD, Beta SP deck, who has one of those big things laying around? But most people have photo albums, even years and years later. Something to think about. You have been warned as they say.

Excellent points.

In a sense I've been lucky as apart from 2 disposable film cameras (IIRC) I've only shot on digital.  I've also been careful / lucky enough to still have all the files, and they're backed up too, on a disconnected drive so a reduced risk of ransomware. The only thing I don't have is an offsite backup, which is probably something I should get around to doing.  There are also overlooked backups these days, with things like facebook and YT having been steadily fed the highlights of life, assuming you use those things.

The wife and I have plans for some photo walls in the house but life has been absolutely insane over the last 3 years so we've not gotten around to it yet.

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11 hours ago, kye said:

So, are the sports photographer jobs turning into sports videographer jobs then?  Or will we end up with a single agency having a few cameras around the place and only employing a few people?  I know that it used to be that there was a photography team at every newspaper and it's not like that anymore, but people still want to see sports events without being there, surely?

Its a combination of a few different elements of that.

Exclusivity of event access given to certain agencies would be one aspect of it and in cases where that isn't the official case it is becoming the de-facto one by virtue of a combination of preferential pre-allocated positioning and the number of accreditations granted. So if you take football as an example, a small agency would be given one accreditation and have to take their chances where they are positioned and cross their fingers the most important action of the event happens where they are sat while the larger agency are able to cover the entire field from four or five positions guaranteeing they get the shot.

Subscription based distribution of images favoured by those agencies also means that per image payments are becoming rarer as its so much easier and cheaper for a newspaper to illustrate a story with any number of images as part of their subscription plan than it is to deal with individual payments per image.

If you combine both of those factors then it becomes economically unviable for a lot of agencies and photographers to cover events so where you might have had a typical match with, for example, 30-40 photographers covering it then even if you have two agencies with subscription models and multiple photographers at it the opportunities to earn a worthwhile sum is reduced to a very small amount for half of them. 

When the market opportunity for the images to be able to be sold into gets reduced to that extent then so does the market for the purchase of the gear to make those images, hence why I'm bewildered by Sony getting involved for anything other than vanity or completeness purposes in it.

These agencies also have direct deals with the clubs themselves which also severely limits the opportunity to sell images from aspects outside of the 90 minutes such as training sessions and press conferences both by price (because again, these images are "free" for publications who have all you can eat subscriptions) and also by virtue of them having enhanced access to the stadium and the players.

The same agencies also have deals with the organising associations of the tournaments so its a short hop to tie the whole thing together into a deal to being the official and exclusive supplier of images.

Its worth bearing in mind that as with any editorial content, in sports photography it is often the most controversial images that will earn the biggest fees through syndication bolstered by exclusivity. Very often of course those images would be considered 'off brand' for players, clubs and organising associations so control of the brand image though exclusivity of access is also a powerful driver for this change. 

And then you get on to the TV rights holders who are paying literally billions of pounds to broadcast the events and who are also very keen on protecting and polishing the brand as well.

If there is a fight in the crowd at a football match or a streaker runs on the pitch etc then you are very unlikely to see that on your TV screen as the broadcasters choose what goes out so it irks them that photographers (who pay zero of course to cover the event) don't also turn their lenses away from a disturbance but are very much likely to turn their full attention towards it and start firing away. With the super fast distribution of still images from pitch side these days those unfiltered scenes can be on newspaper sites unhindered within a minute and be damaging the 'brand'.

Taking all of that into account leads to a logical conclusion that TV rights holders will eventually do a deal with a large agency to give them live access to the TV images for frame extraction and editing (transmission of out of camera images to remote editors is already standard practice anyway) as soon as the image quality is there.

Will the pictures suffer ?

Yes and no.

The TV companies have the best coverage positions and quantity of coverage of anyone in the stadium so they can produce arguably more interesting content anyway.

What you will lose is the individual aspect of choice with which a photographer will create the image as you will be stuck with making something out of what you are given so if the TV framing of a piece of action is wide then so will your 'picture' of it and if its in tight then so will your version of it be as well whereas you might well have chosen to do the exact opposite in both cases.

One thing that will also advance its introduction in football at least is the phasing in of the VAR video refereeing decision system which is used for supporting or overturning decisions made by the on field referee. As these are normally the contentious and hence newsworthy incidents such as was it a penalty, was he offside etc, the images from the numerous cameras that the system uses arguably capture the peak moments of action and frame extracts are increasingly being used by newspapers to illustrate them with.

I'm going to give the whole thing probably three or four years tops (particularly in light of the 8K at the Tokyo Olympics) before the balance tips, which is why I've wound down my involvement in it virtually completely in the past six month.

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@BTM_Pix Great post - thanks for taking the time to type all that :)

The consolation makes sense, both from an economics perspective as well as an efficiency perspective (which are related under the assumption that a perfect market optimises efficiency) and the subsequent exclusivity and price hikes also make sense from a profit and power-broking perspective.  I was once part of a business that ran an online store of sorts, and the system provided an easy way to gather competitive pricing for the clients, and they were surprised when the system provided better prices than their "special deals" with suppliers (who knew they were the only people quoting), and then after some time our business went under because the main client tried to eliminate the fixed per-order cost that we charged by going back to the "special arrangements" they were being promised by the suppliers behind our backs.  Capitalism is a strange thing when you understand how far from a perfect market we actually have.

In terms of the images suffering, I can see competing priorities.  Having wide angles for the TV audience to follow the ball and stay oriented with who has the ball and who is open for passes etc, having simultaneous coverage and detail for the virtual umpire to make decisions on, and having the right angle and framing for the killer photo are definitely things that aren't 100% overlapping.

8K will help to crop in to wider shots for stills, but there are still fundamental conflicts because no matter how much you crop in to this angle:

stoppage_in_an_afl_game.jpg

you can't get this angle:

Finalists-announced-for-the-Nikon-Walkle

In a sense that decision isn't one I'm forced to make personally as my only choice at my kids games is to sit down or stand up, but if I'm shooting for video then I'll still want images that are a lot wider than the portrait shots, and without multiple cameras it's a tradeoff between resolution for stills, wide enough shots for video, and simply being too cropped in and losing track of the action or players.  It's also a tradeoff in terms of having a nicer image with a larger aperture vs losing focus and missing a moment, or having a shorter shutter speed for images vs 180 shutter for nicer movement, etc.

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I think you meant "consolidation" rather than "consolation" as there is no consolation in this consolidation for me personally ;)

NHK have been broadcasting 8K at 120p which does offer a workable compromise if you want to maintain the 180 degree rule. There are also the main super slow mo cameras behind the goal that take that already produce fast shutter speed captures.

The key to it is the additional angles that stills photographers can't produce and will actually provide some pretty compelling content.

The Steadicam operator for example can get much closer to the action and isn't limited to the crap shoot of hoping the action happens where he happens to be as he can go to the action.

And with the best will in the world, I'm never going to be able to levitate over the pitch to get the shots that the wire cameras can ;)

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Yes, consolidation, not consolation!

8K at 120p....  and we're sitting around talking about if 8K 30p is possible!!  That's amazing.

but one thing that I think you're wrong about..... instead of accepting defeat instead you should work on your levitation skills 😎😎😎

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3 minutes ago, kye said:

 

but one thing that I think you're wrong about..... instead of accepting defeat instead you should work on your levitation skills 😎😎😎

Accepting defeat and levitation is exactly what I've been trying to do by rising above the Brexit hysteria so you know how thats gone!

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On 1/14/2019 at 3:44 PM, Mokara said:

Current processor technology likely could encode 8K30p, but it would require serious cooling to do so, which is not practical in consumer setups.

Not when people have 85" 8K TV panels as the consumer standard (and yes, that will happen sooner than you think). You can already tell the difference between UHD and FHD on a 65" 4K panel (when footage is actually shot with a camera that delivers properly resolved 4K). What do you suppose will happen when the consumer sweet spot hits 85" 8K? All of your FHD footage that is really only 720p resolution is going to look pretty dated on those screens.

Consumers might have 8K TVs but how many will be playing 8K content on them?

It’s not the screen sizes it’s the cost of storage and data transfer rates that drive resolutions. They start to become quite expensive once you reach 8K. But I’m sure Samsung or LG would love to sell you that 7 foot 8K television to hang on your wall for bragging rights. 

 

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3 hours ago, Video Hummus said:

Consumers might have 8K TVs but how many will be playing 8K content on them?

It’s not the screen sizes it’s the cost of storage and data transfer rates that drive resolutions. They start to become quite expensive once you reach 8K. But I’m sure Samsung or LG would love to sell you that 7 foot 8K television to hang on your wall for bragging rights. 

 

I bought a gaming laptop with a 1060 6GB last year, as a middle solution for 4K editing, before I spend 4-5000€ (including a good con/pro-sumer, but not reference grade monitor) for a new workstation this, or the next year.

If I need 5000€ for a good, but not very good, 4K solution, how much I will need for 8K? And how much an 8K reference monitor will cost?

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2 hours ago, Kisaha said:

I bought a gaming laptop with a 1060 6GB last year, as a middle solution for 4K editing, before I spend 4-5000€ (including a good con/pro-sumer, but not reference grade monitor) for a new workstation this, or the next year.

If I need 5000€ for a good, but not very good, 4K solution, how much I will need for 8K? And how much an 8K reference monitor will cost?

*cough* proxies *cough*

An 8K reference monitor will be crushingly expensive, just like every other genuine reference monitor out there.

Here's a thread where professional colourists discuss reference monitors that might prove interesting to everyone here....  https://lowepost.com/forums/topic/467-budget-grading-monitors/

We are all playing in the very shallow end when it comes to grading (and our wallets are very grateful..)

8K is a resolution to shoot in, to do VFX in, and to export in.  It's not a resolution to edit in, or grade in.

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Exactly my thoughts : ) To me, resolution is just a workflow spec. No need to concern too much myself about it. Nothing wrong on proxies. They are intrinsic part of 4K workflow today as will happen along 8K. I don't even feel the need for 4K monitoring, go figure and you're able to buy any 4K display for a few hundreds today ; -)

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17 hours ago, Video Hummus said:

Consumers might have 8K TVs but how many will be playing 8K content on them?

It’s not the screen sizes it’s the cost of storage and data transfer rates that drive resolutions. They start to become quite expensive once you reach 8K. But I’m sure Samsung or LG would love to sell you that 7 foot 8K television to hang on your wall for bragging rights. 

 

Storage is cheap. Data transfer rates will be less of an issue going forward into the future since higher speed interfaces are constantly being added. The main hurdle to overcome is neither storage not data speed, it is the processor overhead required to decode encoded footage. But that will get better over time as well.

People who shoot home video with their 8K imaging devices are the ones who will play content of their 8K sets. And in any case, upscaling of current 4K footage will improve the overall experience just as upscaled FHD looks better of a 4K panel than a FHD panel. It will smooth out the aliasing effects that come from the panel itself. That may not improve resolution but it will reduce the artifacts you might otherwise see on a big 4K panel.

So the content is already out there.

On 1/16/2019 at 7:33 PM, kye said:

My goal is the best of both worlds.  I film my kid playing, so I don't have the pressure of having to get every moment or get coverage or whatever.  

I made a highlight video of his 50th game (banner, game, award, speeches), but really my brief is to get enough footage to be able to cut something together down the line as a highlights reel for the family history, and to get a few shots where we can extract a frame and hang it on the wall, as you say.  I am pretty good at anticipating the action and operating the equipment, the main challenge is that I don't know what framing or shots to try and get.  I want to capture the effort he puts in and to make him look good essentially, so studying professional sports photography and videography will help me see that.  I don't watch sports on TV or read about it, so my exposure is pretty minimal.

I tell you one thing though, using video as 24fps burst mode for photographs sure gives you a lot of options for choosing shots, and really makes you appreciate the skill in photographers who only have 5-10fps non-continuous burst-mode, let alone the film days when bursts were what happened between changing rolls of film!

Probably the biggest demand is that when the game is finished he always asks if we saw that goal / kick / or key moment, and of course, he remembers exactly what happened because he's out there putting in 110% and so you better have seen it and remember it!  He's the top tackler in his team and if the players end up in a heap then there's a good chance he's underneath most of them, so trying to get footage or stills that live up to the intensity of his experience is a tall order. 

You had multiple cameras and an assistant(s) to handle that. Sort of like the circled wagons of pioneer days when they had muskets. You would have multiple muskets and some guy who could shoot reasonably accurately would do the shooting, while those who could not shoot so well (women, children, etc) would do the reloading.

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8 minutes ago, MonsterZero said:

What else are they supposed to have?

Well I'd like a camera with good DR, Bit Depth and Bitrate, but maybe that's just me.
It's still possible they could upgrade it from what was said in the video.

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The camera didn't even have a menu!

I am sure it will much better on release, but it seems more like a prosumer experiment and it may get lost between the prosumer grey area, not really an amateur's full auto futuristic dream nor a professional's full metal jacket.

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