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Camera predictions for 2021?


kye
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It seems like we got given a dizzying array of new cameras, between the A7S3, Canon C70, and others, but it seems there's probably more to come this year.  A few people have mentioned the idea that BM might release a new camera this year.  There's still a mythical GH6 in the wind that could arrive at any time.  The C50 is rumoured.  Etc.  Etc.  Etc....

What cameras do you think will arrive in 2021?  What are you hoping for?

Personally I'm watching with anticipation of the drama of it all, both hoping for the perfect camera to be released, and also hoping it won't so I can use what I have and focus on the craft..

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1 hour ago, kye said:

both hoping for the perfect camera to be released, and also hoping it won't so I can use what I have and focus on the craft..

I always get a bit amused by this thought that those buying new gear are not focused on their craft. How?  If I buy a new camera, if anything I film more not less.  😁😁

As for your question.  My hope lies with BM.  Canon have given a C70 and maybe a C200 Mark II would enter my radar. 

Panasonic, my wish is maybe a GH6.  A S1H mark II would maybe lean me there of AF is addressed.  

Sony, Nikon and Fuji aren't on my radar. 

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2 hours ago, kye said:

It seems like we got given a dizzying array of new cameras, between the A7S3, Canon C70, and others, but it seems there's probably more to come this year.  A few people have mentioned the idea that BM might release a new camera this year.  There's still a mythical GH6 in the wind that could arrive at any time.  The C50 is rumoured.  Etc.  Etc.  Etc....

What cameras do you think will arrive in 2021?  What are you hoping for?

Personally I'm watching with anticipation of the drama of it all, both hoping for the perfect camera to be released, and also hoping it won't so I can use what I have and focus on the craft..

Honestly, I think you could ignore camera releases for this year.  2020 hit a benchmark with so many great tools at more affordable prices. 

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The top two I would like to see are an XH2 and a GH6.

I could go with either or neither.

Neither especially if this year doesn’t happen for business and my best forecast is for 50% at most and worst case scenario, zero business.

I expect we will see an A7iv and it shall be the son of god. For Sony fans...but it probably will be the most capable hybrid camera bar none when it appears.

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1 hour ago, MrSMW said:

The top two I would like to see are an XH2 and a GH6.

I could go with either or neither.

Neither especially if this year doesn’t happen for business and my best forecast is for 50% at most and worst case scenario, zero business.

I expect we will see an A7iv and it shall be the son of god. For Sony fans...but it probably will be the most capable hybrid camera bar none when it appears.

If the XH2 can catch up to Sony with auto focus it’d be tempting. I want to see unlimited recording and RAW out on the Fuji. I’m kind of invested in full frame right now though. 

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16 hours ago, TomTheDP said:

If the XH2 can catch up to Sony with auto focus it’d be tempting.

I suspect it won't as Fuji and Nikon always seem to be that one step behind Canon & Sony, with Panasonic and Leica, one step behind Fuji & Nikon.

I know a few have criticised Fuji's AF, but I never had a problem with it, even in tracking where if there's any flaws, that's where they are most likely to be highlighted...and I can't see how the XT3 could be better than the XT4 anyway but...

So just 'up a notch' would be OK with me, but I'm not interested in an XH2 (or any other camera) that doesn't yet exist other than as potential because they might cock it up or even make something only a tiny minority are interested in.

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On 1/17/2021 at 11:00 PM, Oliver Daniel said:

Honestly, I think you could ignore camera releases for this year.  2020 hit a benchmark with so many great tools at more affordable prices. 

That's kind of what I was thinking, but then people kept saying "a new camera from BM" and I was thinking that the P4K is over two years old so potentially due for a refresh (depending on how long the product cycle is) or BM could be introducing a new model (they've been pumping them out in the last couple of years!).  Then I remembered the GH6.  Then the C50.  etc etc etc.

So many manufacturers with so many camera lines.  Sony has 5 lines in FF MILC hybrids alone (A7, A7S, A7R, A7C, A9) and there are manufacturers like BM who have lines across multiple sensor sizes, etc etc.  I was thinking that if we tallied them all up there would be quite a few that were "overdue" for an update.

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1 hour ago, kye said:

That's kind of what I was thinking, but then people kept saying "a new camera from BM" and I was thinking that the P4K is over two years old so potentially due for a refresh (depending on how long the product cycle is) or BM could be introducing a new model (they've been pumping them out in the last couple of years!). 

How long is a camera product cycle for BMD?
You could look at the time span from a BMCC to a BMPC4K? But that wasn't a replacement camera at all, even though the body shape was the same. 
You could look at the time span from an OG Pocket to a BMMCC? But that wasn't a replacement camera at all, even though many saw the Micro as the natural upgrade from the Pocket. 
You could look at the time span from an OG Pocket to a Pocket 4K? But that wasn't a true replacement camera in my eyes, as the Pocket 4K really was "Pocket" in name only. This was BMD going in a somewhat different direction once again (just like the Pocket => Micro progression, but this time taking the opposition path in going bigger).
You could look at the time span from a Pocket 4K to a Pocket 6K? But that wasn't a replacement camera at all either. 

The ONLY camera series that BMD has had a "product life cycle" of sorts for is the URSA series. 
Which is understandable, they're constantly pushing the URSA series forward and iterating it to try and find ways to make URSA a top choice on professional sets. 

Thus they made the OG URSA, realized it was too large, went for URSA Mini 4K & 4.6K, realized they had a hit with the 4.6K sensor so stuck only with that for the next couple of iterations with the Pro G1 that added many desired features then the G2 with further refinements. Now they're trying to grab headlines again with the URSA Mini 12K. 

My guess is that in 2021 or 2022 they'll do another iteration of improvements with their URSA range somewhere. Perhaps a URSA Mini Pro G3, sticking with the 4.6K sensor but with a few more polishes to the platform. Perhaps for instance adding an eND instead, or allowing a proxy recording workflow, or adding quad channel AES for audio, or adding an extra SDI output (as seriously, it has too few!!!), or who knows what. 

Or perhaps they'll stick the cheaper sensor from a Pocket into an URSA Mini Pro body but at a cost similar to the original URSA Mini 4K (remember that? It was only US$3K, but has now been discontinued) as a way for BMD to capture the mass market again with their URSA line up. 

1 hour ago, kye said:

Then I remembered the GH6.  Then the C50.  etc etc etc.

Yup, 2021 might be a big year too!
Heaps more that you didn't mention either: a X-H2??? A pro APS-C body from Nikon or Sony? (is about time!) etc... who knows. 

But still, if you purchased any of the many good cameras in 2020 then you can pretty much ignore what happens this year as you're sorted and set sweet.

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11 hours ago, IronFilm said:

How long is a camera product cycle for BMD?
You could look at the time span from a BMCC to a BMPC4K? But that wasn't a replacement camera at all, even though the body shape was the same. 
You could look at the time span from an OG Pocket to a BMMCC? But that wasn't a replacement camera at all, even though many saw the Micro as the natural upgrade from the Pocket. 
You could look at the time span from an OG Pocket to a Pocket 4K? But that wasn't a true replacement camera in my eyes, as the Pocket 4K really was "Pocket" in name only. This was BMD going in a somewhat different direction once again (just like the Pocket => Micro progression, but this time taking the opposition path in going bigger).
You could look at the time span from a Pocket 4K to a Pocket 6K? But that wasn't a replacement camera at all either. 

I was aware of that when I said it, so I totally agree.

I guess this raises an interesting question around BMs business model - will they ever stabilise their lineup, or will they just build new cameras with whatever seems like a good idea at the time?  From a business perspective, it's way cheaper to take an existing model and make some upgrades, rather than having to re-do everything.  I don't know what the insides of the P4K and P6K look like, maybe they re-used the same circuit board layouts, but maybe not.  I suspect you already know this, but even the task of taking a circuit that is fully designed and working out how to physically design the circuit board (where all the little wires go on the board, and where they get routed so they don't cross each other or interfere etc) that's a long and complicated process, just in itself!  If you can keep the same layout then you can save money on not having to reconfigure all the machines that build them, etc etc etc.

Maybe BM will be famous for being the camera company that just builds new cameras, with the sensor, sensor size, resolutions, storage mechanisms, battery type, lens mount, etc etc, being different on almost every camera they ever make.  It certainly means they can be super agile!

If so, I vote for them making a camera that's smaller, mirrorless, has an articulating screen, IBIS, and very long battery life.  They could make it FF to compete with the latest trends.  Then I'd record in 1080 Prores internally (downsampled from the full sensor) and be a happy camper!  If they put Prores 4444 or HQ in there then we'd have 264Mbps / 396Mbps in 12-bit and it would be practically like RAW.  I'd really enjoy their updated colour science and likely inclusion of dual-native ISO.

11 hours ago, IronFilm said:

My guess is that in 2021 or 2022 they'll do another iteration of improvements with their URSA range somewhere. Perhaps a URSA Mini Pro G3, sticking with the 4.6K sensor but with a few more polishes to the platform. Perhaps for instance adding an eND instead, or allowing a proxy recording workflow, or adding quad channel AES for audio, or adding an extra SDI output (as seriously, it has too few!!!), or who knows what. 

Yeah, who knows what.

They're so unpredictable and seem to want to grab headlines, which I understand makes sense for commercial purposes, so I guess you can't rule anything out.  It would make sense for them to release a box-style camera though, probably based on the P6K, as it would make a great crash / drone camera, which is something that Hollywood / film-makers would use, which seems to be their target market.

Although having said that Hollywood are their target market, I wouldn't be surprised if secretly people like Monica Church, a Youtuber with ~1.4M subs who uses the P6K for little doc style pieces as well as vlogs, and may well have picked it for the punch-in ability for single-camera interview setups, which she uses from time to time.

I suspect she has two of them, but not sure.  There must be hundreds or even thousands of folks like Monica who use the P6K for stuff like this.  Her previous camera was a GH5, which she loved:

 

11 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Yup, 2021 might be a big year too!
Heaps more that you didn't mention either: a X-H2??? A pro APS-C body from Nikon or Sony? (is about time!) etc... who knows. 

But still, if you purchased any of the many good cameras in 2020 then you can pretty much ignore what happens this year as you're sorted and set sweet.

Yeah, crazy times!

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16 hours ago, IronFilm said:

But still, if you purchased any of the many good cameras in 2020 then you can pretty much ignore what happens this year as you're sorted and set sweet.

Work or lack of, made purchase of new gear unnecessary for me.  Aside from a used lens I bought for personal projects, I didn’t spend.  

That aside, the cameras of 2020 whilst on spec impressive are not top of my list for various reasons.  R5 has overheating.  R6 too.  S5 is nice but feels too stripped back, plus the need to invest in new lenses. Its a possible purchase.  URSA 12k out of my price range.  C70 is a great camera, but the lack of RAW bothers me.  Komodo is great but it needs extra money to rig it up, making it quite expensive for what it would bring to my work.

So I'm quite happy to sit back and see what 2021 brings.  I still have some old GH4r to be replaced, ideally with BM as I have 2 Pockets and a 3rd BM camera would be perfect, as 3 cameras is the sweet spot for most projects I do and allow me to be 100% BRAW and BM colour science.  

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Most rumors point toward flagship mirrorless cameras from Canon, Nikon and Sony coming this year - and before the Olympics - so we should see a flurry of announcements come spring. Canon expanding RF offerings in every direction is coming too, from crop bodies to high res models to more Cx0 video bodies. Fuji will release 18 more bodies with the same internals but different body, EVF and LCD tilting mechanisms further confusing their already disjointed lineup - there are a few letters of the alphabet they haven't used in X models yet. Olympus is fading into Pentax territory. Blackmagic is the wild card, what will they drop this year to up their game? And the a7IV will re-assert its dominance at the $2000 price point - eventually.

Personally I love what the a7sIII is doing as my main video body and my current photo workhorse/video backup the a7III is doing, so for me the a7IV is the only thing that's interesting. Though if they get the photo DR in the next a9 up to the a7III levels, that might interest me as well since I shoot a lot of action. But likely its a7IV or bust.

Cheers

Chris

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I am going to add in Fuji’s shortly to be announced into the mix.

Their 100V is my desert island stills camera.

I loved the XT3 for my static video work.

I’d go XT4 today over it for the additional build quality, marginal handling improvement, better battery life, but mostly for the IBIS.

The XE4 if it has IBIS could be on my radar as a more flexible alternative to the X100V. But I suspect it won’t meet my needs... 

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