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Andrew Reid

Canon "exploring" 4K GH4 competitor

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It may be closer than we realize.  There was this rumor from 3 months ago that suggested something was coming at NAB.

http://www.canonrumors.com/2014/12/canon-to-target-the-gh4-with-new-dslr-type-cr2/

 

​I wouldn't pay too much attention to that......after all rumours around the 7D2 had it coming with 4K, but that wasn't there when the camera finally arrived.

My reading of the exec's comments is that they are "thinking about it", in other words it isn't coming any time soon. That isn't to say that they will not have 4K products at NAB, but I suspect those will be cinema EOS and camcorders, not a hybrid like the GH4 or NX1. I think it is more accurate to say that they have finally realized that there is a market for such cameras but are not ready yet. If they do come up with something it will probably be half baked like the M cameras.

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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

Really curious on how they could compete with GH4 or NX1..

For having a GH4 competitor they need to come up with a CHEAP camera, otherwise it wont compete, it will be just another expensive Canon offering.

 

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​How do you explain the Samsung NX1 then? APS-C, 28MP and yet does 4K with full pixel readout. Barely gets warm. It's cheap. The processors for 4K are already even in smartphones.

​That is because Samsung doesn't see impossible like Canon does ;). No one told them it couldn't be done, so they went and did it.

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I'm sure Canon is well aware that 4k on the consumer level isn't going to move the needle very much as very few people actually own 4k tv's. Its still a small market. The best selling UHD tv on Amazon US is #49 right now and there are only 2 in the top 70. Even with that, they undoubtedly have stuff in the pipeline.

That being said, I think they'll roll out 4k broadcast cameras at NAB and I think the 5d4 - announced sometime after the 50MP cameras actually ship - will be a 4k camera. It will cannibalize very little from the C100/300's because that user base values the extras that the cinema line brings to the table - proper audio, ND's, better codec and so on. ENG/Doc/Reality/TV crews will still choose the Cinema line. My sister is a producer for a large cable network and many of the series' she works with shoot C100/300's as their main cameras. Same for the countless pilots she screens for the network. DSLR's are secondary cameras in that realm.

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Well after paying a fortune for a Sony DSR570WSP camera (anyone remember those!) back near the start of the century, then moving to a Sony EX3, I finally jumped on the DSLR bandwagon with the Canon 60D (due to the menu view driven audio levels out of the box). I purchased some nice Canon L lenses expecting to stay with Canon for a while, only to be disappointed with Canon's future progress and price compared to the competition.

In the end I finally sold the Sony EX3 and Canon 60D and switched sides to Panasonic and the GH3's. Love the ease of the GH3 settings and menu's (Andrew was late in the game with a GH3 book, I'd picked most of it up by then - but still got the book). I also very much like the 12-35mm f2.8 Panasonic lens and only attach my Canon lenses with manual aperture adapter when I need the faster glass.

Due to the price of the Panasonic bodies I can upgrade and change more frequently these days, if I went down the Canon Cinema route that would never be the case. I'm still basically spending the same amount of my budget every couple of years on more camera's, its just Canon isn't seeing any of it.

I've already upgraded the GH3's to GH4's. Initially got one and love the added benefits of focus peaking, zebra and timecode (things i missed from my old Sony broadcast cameras). 4K filming looks great. I don't really need it and have never output anything in 4K in the last six months, but love the fact that I have the ability to film in 4K with a great internal codec. It's been handy a couple of times for cropping.

My second GH4 body only cost me £860 inc taxes from China (couldn't get the UK version, as I need cameras that can record more than 30 minutes without stopping). What has Canon really got to compete with a 4K camera that has most of the bells and whistles of a broadcast camera with added benefit of DOF for £860!

I film and edit small corporate films, school shows and wedding films and consider myself a prosumer user. However, I can't see Canon reducing the cost of their products enough any time soon to pull me away from other manufactures, they have set their bar far too high for my liking compared to the competition, maybe they don't want my money? I don't have any intentions of selling my Canon lenses (love the 50mm f1.2), but instead of buying more lenses from Canon I'm getting the Leica 42.5mm f1.2 next for the GH4.

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I'm sure Canon is well aware that 4k on the consumer level isn't going to move the needle very much as very few people actually own 4k tv's. Its still a small market. The best selling UHD tv on Amazon US is #49 right now and there are only 2 in the top 70. Even with that, they undoubtedly have stuff in the pipeline.

That being said, I think they'll roll out 4k broadcast cameras at NAB and I think the 5d4 - announced sometime after the 50MP cameras actually ship - will be a 4k camera. It will cannibalize very little from the C100/300's because that user base values the extras that the cinema line brings to the table - proper audio, ND's, better codec and so on. ENG/Doc/Reality/TV crews will still choose the Cinema line. My sister is a producer for a large cable network and many of the series' she works with shoot C100/300's as their main cameras. Same for the countless pilots she screens for the network. DSLR's are secondary cameras in that realm.

​Yes, but that #49 probably coincides fairly well with the sort of people who buy prosumer cameras though, so it is very much THE market. The people buying HD sets right now likely have no intention of buying high end cameras for the most part for the very same reason - they cost more.

 

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Instead of "exploring" a 4K competitor, why doesn't Canon just go ahead and make one. For a company that started the DSLR video movement, they're now even behind Nikon who at least offers a flat profile and zebra in their higher end FX and DX cameras. However, the mirrorless manufacturers are way ahead of Nikon so Canon needs to act now. Unfortunately, I don't have much confidence in them based on their latest camera showings with regards to video.

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​Yes, but that #49 probably coincides fairly well with the sort of people who buy prosumer cameras though, so it is very much THE market. The people buying HD sets right now likely have no intention of buying high end cameras for the most part for the very same reason - they cost more.

 

​But you're talking about a small segment of the market, and Canon isn't looking to capture niches with mass-consumer level cameras. 4k for the masses will not happen until there's significant amounts of content - most notably broadcasting - and that's still years away. Its always going to be a gear head niche until content is cheap and easy to access.

You also have to look at the fact that many have moved to flat screens in the last 7 or 8 years, until those TV's start crapping out there will be no reason to upgrade since there's still almost no 4k content. 1080p TV's are also ridiculously cheap - so those looking for new sets can now get 65" or TV's for under $1000, making 4k a tough sell to most of the TV buying population.

Panasonic and Sony combined make up a fraction of Canon's market share - they have to push the envelope and be different to be relevant. Trying to emulate what Canon does simply isn't going to work - ask any Sony A-mount owner. People have been banging the "Canon needs to innovate or die" drum for years and they still own the market.

Its not like they're going to let the cat out of the bag for DPreview anyway, what else is he going to say - "sure we have tons of 4K cameras coming." They have to keep a lid on what they're developing. We'll see what surfaces at NAB.

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​But you're talking about a small segment of the market, and Canon isn't looking to capture niches with mass-consumer level cameras. 4k for the masses will not happen until there's significant amounts of content - most notably broadcasting - and that's still years away. Its always going to be a gear head niche until content is cheap and easy to access.

You also have to look at the fact that many have moved to flat screens in the last 7 or 8 years, until those TV's start crapping out there will be no reason to upgrade since there's still almost no 4k content. 1080p TV's are also ridiculously cheap - so those looking for new sets can now get 65" or TV's for under $1000, making 4k a tough sell to most of the TV buying population.

Panasonic and Sony combined make up a fraction of Canon's market share - they have to push the envelope and be different to be relevant. Trying to emulate what Canon does simply isn't going to work - ask any Sony A-mount owner. People have been banging the "Canon needs to innovate or die" drum for years and they still own the market.

Its not like they're going to let the cat out of the bag for DPreview anyway, what else is he going to say - "sure we have tons of 4K cameras coming." They have to keep a lid on what they're developing. We'll see what surfaces at NAB.

​Let me repeat it.....the people who are buying the mass produced HD screens are not the people buying high end cameras. The mistake you are making is looking at the entire camera market and comparing it with the entire TV market, rather than looking at only the high end consumer segments of those markets, which is where the high margins are to be had. The people buying high end cameras for the most part are also buying high end TV sets and probably upgrade them more frequently than the average consumer, because having the "best" stuff is a status symbol to them. You might think that only professionals or wannabe pros buy that sort of equipment, but in that price range the bread and butter of both markets is mom and pop with money to burn. That is the reality, it isn't you.

The people buying 4K screens also represent the primary market for DSLRs in the $1500-3000 range. If I go down to Granville Island on a Sunday afternoon in summer, most people carrying stuff like 7D or 5D3 are housewives and uncle Bobs. They buy those cameras because they are expensive and want the best money can buy, within reason. Those people also represent the market for 4K panels, and when they shoot video clips they will want to display that on their shiny new TV sets. And guess what, Canons can't do that effectively. So they are failing to deliver in a critical market space. The failure of Canon and Nikon to include 4K video in their offerings in this market segment is a foresight failure of epic proportions.

 

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because they would be antagonising their own products. with all the expertise and quality if they do make another camera in 4k they would be shooting themselves in the leg.

i was in MWC2015 last week and went to see the broadcasting media area, they were using Canon Cseries everywhere to broadcast live (example cnn booth,) and other channels, I havent seen more Cseries gathered in one spot. iI mean people were running around to cover this massive congress, and they would bennefit from a smaller camera, but canon cannot price it at 10.000+ so even if they come out with one, it will have some major made up deficiencies to justify the high cost of the other ones.

half the attendands in the congress where holding canon dslrs. This was a techie corporate crowd so not the average joes, but i guess these are the people that have the money to buy a bulky mark3 for tourist pictures.

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​Let me repeat it.....the people who are buying the mass produced HD screens are not the people buying high end cameras. The mistake you are making is looking at the entire camera market and comparing it with the entire TV market, rather than looking at only the high end consumer segments of those markets, which is where the high margins are to be had. The people buying high end cameras for the most part are also buying high end TV sets and probably upgrade them more frequently than the average consumer, because having the "best" stuff is a status symbol to them. You might think that only professionals or wannabe pros buy that sort of equipment, but in that price range the bread and butter of both markets is mom and pop with money to burn. That is the reality, it isn't you.

The people buying 4K screens also represent the primary market for DSLRs in the $1500-3000 range. If I go down to Granville Island on a Sunday afternoon in summer, most people carrying stuff like 7D or 5D3 are housewives and uncle Bobs. They buy those cameras because they are expensive and want the best money can buy, within reason. Those people also represent the market for 4K panels, and when they shoot video clips they will want to display that on their shiny new TV sets. And guess what, Canons can't do that effectively. So they are failing to deliver in a critical market space. The failure of Canon and Nikon to include 4K video in their offerings in this market segment is a foresight failure of epic proportions.

 

Halo products aimed at high end consumers don't drive profits because the sales numbers aren't there. Canon's bread and butter is lenses and APS-c bodies. Its no surprise they're not chasing 4k (and mirrorless) as the companies offering it (Panasonic, Sony and Samsung) can barely make a profit (or are losing significant amounts of money) selling cameras, its still very early for widely available/cheap 4k hardware and its not a critical market space - its a small piece of the pie.

We'll have to agree to disagree because the market share numbers doesn't jive with your assessment of no 4k being an epic failure. Until 4k is adopted by broadcasters and other mainstream means of distribution and viewing, its a small niche market as general consumers are not buying 4k TV's in large numbers - and they will not until they can flip on their TV's and get lots of 4k content. That's years away at best. User generated content is not enough to drive the market as the vast majority have something that 's good enough.

With the 50mp bodies Canon has done something out of step for them - create something that caters to a small niche segment that wants a higher MP body and doesn't care about video. This will be the future going forward as the market continues to shrink since millions of DSLR buyers that fueled the crazy sales numbers over the last 5 or 6 years have a "real" camera and will not be upgrading. I think Canon will fill another small niche soon - a 4k DSLR - with a more video focused 5d next. 

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Halo products aimed at high end consumers don't drive profits because the sales numbers aren't there. Canon's bread and butter is lenses and APS-c bodies. Its no surprise they're not chasing 4k (and mirrorless) as the companies offering it (Panasonic, Sony and Samsung) can barely make a profit (or are losing significant amounts of money) selling cameras, its still very early for widely available/cheap 4k hardware and its not a critical market space - its a small piece of the pie.

We'll have to agree to disagree because the market share numbers doesn't jive with your assessment of no 4k being an epic failure. Until 4k is adopted by broadcasters and other mainstream means of distribution and viewing, its a small niche market as general consumers are not buying 4k TV's in large numbers - and they will not until they can flip on their TV's and get lots of 4k content. That's years away at best. User generated content is not enough to drive the market as the vast majority have something that 's good enough.

With the 50mp bodies Canon has done something out of step for them - create something that caters to a small niche segment that wants a higher MP body and doesn't care about video. This will be the future going forward as the market continues to shrink since millions of DSLR buyers that fueled the crazy sales numbers over the last 5 or 6 years have a "real" camera and will not be upgrading. I think Canon will fill another small niche soon - a 4k DSLR - with a more video focused 5d next. 

​Let me say it once again, since you are missing the point. The general market and the upscale market are NOT the same thing. Trends and behaviours in the general market having no bearing on what the upscale market is doing. Unless for bizarre reason you think people who buy 4K sets are buying HD video recorders because the common people are buying HD sets.

They want cameras that can showcase THEIR sets, not someone else's sets.

By all accounts the 4K products from Panasonic, Sony and Samsung are doing considerably better than they expected, so your thesis that the demand isn't there is wrong. Canon and Nikon are not tapping into that demand because they quite simply so not have any products in that market at all. (and please don't say market share bla bla bla, because you are looking at the entire market, not the prosumer market, which is quite different)

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Look at that rank and you will see Sony in places 1 to 7. Stuff like the A6000 and A7 Mk II is selling very well.


Even better in Europe and Asia where mirrorless has caught on.

​Thanks to the Panasonic GH4 and Sony A7, mirrorless cameras are becoming a must for stills and 4K-video recording,
they no longer have to mimic the DSLR look (roofprism over the lens in central position) to be seen as serious pro cameras.

Since there is no optical problem to slide the eyepiece to the left side of the camera (the Leica M position), it is now possible
to let the left eye see the scene being filmed. (as a bonus this prevents the operator's nose to oil the monitoring screen...)

Note that in order to avoid the camera housing to become a barrier between the filmmaker and his subject,
professional video cameras  (by following the Aaton LTR and Arri SR structure) all moved their
wiewfinder eyepiece toward the lens-port plane, at a short distance of the lens axis.
I hope Canon's designers and others will remember this point when redesigning their DSLRs into mirrorless
cameras.

Photoshoped picts of the NX1 and A7 show the eyepiece left position 'cleans' the upper desk,
giving more room for the right hand to rotate the setting crowns (e.g. ISO) while filming.

 

Samsung NXn.jpg

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