Note: this post was supposed to run back in December.
In a follow up to this post on what I thought of the Sony F3 footage, I thought well, shoot. Might as well blog about where I think the market is and where it’s going.
I look at the camera market like buying stocks; when do you buy in? (if you’re looking for a camera). Technology’s been going crazy this last year! I think we’re going to start seeing it level out this year. I think the F3 and the Ikonoskop kind of mark this. We’re seeing d-cinema sensor cameras come in around the $10K-15K range. And our DSLR cams with vid features coming in just above the DSLR line at $6-$10K. Good news for the guy who wants a F23-like camera in the back of his car for less than the price of a Ferrari.
And here’s where I think it’s going: DSLRs aren’t going to have all the features we want, because the $6-$8K cams will have them; larger sensors, same codecs, vide0-cam features. Weren’t going to start hitting the indie D-Cinema cams with 16mm/35mm sized sensors with better options and features (like quality outputs, RAW, interchangeble lenses or a combo of all 3) at the $8-$15K range. Then we get into the $15-$$$$ range for everything else that people rent and/or whatever.
Finally: RAW is the end of the line. Haven’t seen too many new developments over the last few years in digital photography because I don’t think you can do much more beyond that except larger sensors. Red’s doing RAW and Ikonoskop just released a cam that does Uncompressed CinemaDNG (not quite RAW but mostly like-RAW).
Then it’s all going to come down to personal preference- which it pretty much should be now. Like, I think the AF-100 is the ugliest camera I’ve ever seen, the F3 is a more refined version with the best upgrade-ablility, the A-Cam Dii looks like sex incarnate and does digital negatives to boot and the Red Epic looks like a DSLR with a TV-sized sensor and the Alexa is too big to be functional outside of big commerical shoots. And they’re going to continue making new cameras that are about the same as the previous ones (like cars)- so pick one you love and roll with it.
Now go film something! …(and hire me as your colorist because I love it much 😉 )