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Old April 16th, 2013, 05:52 PM   #1
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Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

I know this is somewhat simplistic but perhaps not overly so hence this post.

As the announcements at NAB last week by Blackmagic regarding the new cameras soon (hopefully) to arrive on the scene sinks in I canít help but wonder what impact this will have on the market place. If just the other day I needed to spend x dollars to purchase a pro camera and now I need only spend say one tenth of x (more or less) then surely not only will this seriously hurt the manufacturer but also the reseller/retailer. Suddenly a huge percentage of the dollars going into this market are...not going into this market. I imagine the rental houses also stand to see profits disappear as no doubt renters will baulk at paying the same rental for a device costing $4000.00 as one costing $24,000.00 (imaginary figures for illustrative purposes only). Not only that but I imagine some folks who would rent a $24,000.00 piece of equipment will just purchase a $4000.00 device.

Seems the winners here are the end users and Blackmagic while the losers include the big name camera manufacturers, the rental houses and the taxation department (not to mention a slew of peripheral people including.the 'expert', and even, yes...DVINFO perhaps!)

Isnít capitalism wonderful?
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Old April 16th, 2013, 08:08 PM   #2
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Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

I understand what you mean, but I think the bottom line is still talent. The vast majority of video intended to be "artistic" (as opposed to just someone posted video of their children, the family dog, etc.) are just not very good and often just crap. Having access to a good camera will not give someone the ability to make better creations. The crap just looks sharper. ;)

I've been fortunate enough to purchase some fairly expensive equipment and I have decent technical ability, but I accept that I simply do not have the creative talent that so many here on DVInfo have. No matter how much better I get at the craft, I don't think I will have that "something extra" that so many of the great people here have.

(Thank goodness, though, that so many of those wonderfully talented people are willing to share and help people like me get better.)
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Old April 17th, 2013, 06:31 AM   #3
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Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John McCully View Post
Seems the winners here are the end users and Blackmagic while the losers include the big name camera manufacturers,
Why? The cost to produce a camera with X ability is actually cheaper for a big name manufacturer. If Blackmagic can make this camera and sell it worldwide for $4,000, imagine how much extra Sony or Canon are charging for their cameras!

But it's not that simple. There are many features that the $4,000 camera will lack. A professional grade camera has a workflow in-built for many shooting scenarios, while a BMCC needs to be rigged, and the workflow isn't that straightforward. You'll end up spending money on other things.

JVC already has a 4K camera selling for $5K. 4K isn't 'enough', it's not even important.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 08:26 AM   #4
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Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

In any production I know, the camera rental is way below the line.
Most of the time, more money goes into catering and craft service, let alone the stuff that is going on IN FRONT of the camera and postproduction.

So, as long as the BMC can't make free lunch and coffee, and as long it doesn't replace actors and crew, there is no reason to worry. Cheapish brushes haven't put painters out of business, you still need a lot of good folks to handle all that stuff.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 08:54 AM   #5
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Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

Talked to a seasoned broadcaster / stringer about a shoot for MTV. They paid $2500 for the day shoot, which is what he is used to, but they required the 5Dmk2. This was in early 2012. He was not used to shooting on the 5Dmk2. He owns a Panasonic AG-HPX2000. $25,000 rig... I don't know what this means.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 09:49 AM   #6
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Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John McCully View Post
Isnít capitalism wonderful?
Tell it to Kodak.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 05:35 PM   #7
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Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

I'm working on my exit strategy from the industry after 15 years... that's what it means to me.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 05:39 PM   #8
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Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sareesh Sudhakaran View Post
Why? The cost to produce a camera with X ability is actually cheaper for a big name manufacturer. If Blackmagic can make this camera and sell it worldwide for $4,000, imagine how much extra Sony or Canon are charging for their cameras!
It is EXACTLY this sort of ridiculous hyperbole that is killing the industry.

"Company X is ROBBING us blind!"

I'll take a camera that stands a chance of WORKING AS ADVERTISED every time.

BMD screwed up the BMCC release with not getting flange focal distance right. This is an amateur mistake.

Their firmware updates amongst their entire product line break more stuff than they fix.

Check out the BMD Forum if you don't believe me...
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Old April 17th, 2013, 06:42 PM   #9
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Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

Come on Shaun, are you kidding ?

Canon, Sony and Panasonic have never had to recall a camera or other device because they had to fix a problem ?

Do you remember Canon 5Ds with bad pixels ?

Seems like there was similar problems with the Sony EX line.

How about this one: Digital Camera CCD Recall Instructions

And what about the switches on Sony PDs and VX lines that started going hay wire immediately.

And tape mechanisms that start signaling malfunction at the drop of a hat.

I won't even mention the problems that they refuse to acknowledge-- like Sony's initial advertizing that the VG 20 had scene settings....

You seem to be missing a lot along the line.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 09:35 PM   #10
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Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

Chris, I understand you are trying to go to bat for the darned thing based on the sheer number of posts you have supporting it but I stand by my statement:

I'll take a camera that stands a chance of WORKING AS ADVERTISED every time.

Sony, JVC and Panasonic have had their fits and starts. Curiously absent is any mention of RED, another company with its fair share of fan boys that has a history of new release missteps. And I know you have been vocal about the VG series scene settings but that PALES in comparison to lenses that CAN'T focus to infinity because a manufacturer didn't bother to resolve flange back. A mechanical interface. The EX series by Sony was an issue with a fairly new phenomenon in the market, which was flange focal distance look-up tables built into a compact video zoom lens. That is a lot of math.

The flange issue on the BMCC to the best of my knowledge is caused by a spring,

BMD has broken or end-of-lined OS support for EVERY single piece of their equipment I currently own.

It is like trying to run an IT infrastructure with an open source OS architecture.

And people are touting these things as the Next Big Thing.

Rubbish!

The Emperor has no clothes on!
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Old April 17th, 2013, 10:40 PM   #11
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Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

All I am saying is give the camera a chance. There is no doubt there are changes that we need to the camera. But when the 5D first came out, Canon wasn't listening real close either. It took people pushing the envelope with the hack firmware to get Canon to realize what was going on.

Yes, I have been vocal about the VG 20 and Sony's mistake there. I also recognize why Sony didn't put that capability in the VG20. It was too good, and the FS 100 would have died, much like it seems to be dying now. I still love the VG 20 for its simplicity in many of its features. In some ways it is a lot like the the Black Magic Cimema camera. Very few inputs that the user cam really use to alter the image in camera.

Black Magic has the hope of further updates to make it work better. If they don't fix the deficiences, the one thing I would like to see is someone get into the firmware on that camera. or even have Black Magic make it open source, so the users could move it along.

Now to the camera itself. It is for the independent small film maker what Red was supposed to be. I can remember following Red as it was developed, thinking it was going to me a triumph a great company working with small film makers, to bring out a camera that was affordable for the small film maker. DVinfo had early input into that. But then it started mushrooming into this and that and before long, it was clear that the original market was being abandoned. The promise for the not budget film maker died.

I realize that at this price point, I can't expect everything that cameras twice three and four times the price provide, so I am thankful for the things that are there.
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Old April 18th, 2013, 12:26 AM   #12
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Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

The inevitable evolution of technology necessitates the evolution of business models. I've heard the same complaints about disappearing profits for small recording studios and for record execs alike. I welcome the loss of profits for dinosaurs that have bled artists dry as a business model, and welcome the empowerment of the artists in both the available technology and the new opportunities for independent distribution, promotion, etc. etc.
hard to feel sorry for Canon, and while i have sympathy for smaller companies, evolution won't and should not stop. so evolve or perish...
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Old April 18th, 2013, 04:22 AM   #13
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Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
It is EXACTLY this sort of ridiculous hyperbole that is killing the industry.
"Company X is ROBBING us blind!"
That's capitalism, isn't it? It's funny how manufacturers selling expensive gear also harp about price. You'd think it was important to them!

Quote:
I'll take a camera that stands a chance of WORKING AS ADVERTISED every time.
The second paragraph actually implies this, so I agree with you 100%. Most amateurs don't see 'far enough' when it comes to feature sets.

I might buy one of the two new BMCC cameras when it comes out, but only as a backup - unless the imagery is so mind-blowing it ends up being the A-cam. I know better than to spend money on unproven technology.

But once something hits the market and finds buyers, it has a chance to get better. The sudden drop from $3K to $1K of the 3K BMCC is quite a shocker, but indicative.

Look at Android phones and phone makers. In the last couple of years, more than ten 'manufacturers' of mobile phones have popped up in my country. None of these have any history, but are obviously owned by those with deep pockets with access to Chinese factories. No legal issues whatsoever.

Don't misunderstand me, Shaun. I'm not asking anyone to get used to it. I'm hoping you see the importance of preparing for it.

Quote:
BMD screwed up the BMCC release with not getting flange focal distance right. This is an amateur mistake.

Their firmware updates amongst their entire product line break more stuff than they fix.

Check out the BMD Forum if you don't believe me...
Agree, but there are many BMCC users who are happy with their cameras. I'd say they are in the majority. This position is similar to how Red started, and I'll bet Sony and Canon had the same problems.

When you like something you tend to forget its weaknesses. That explains the Red fanboy behavior, but wouldn't you agree that it might also explain Sony or Canon fan behavior? Especially when many have invested years with these companies?

I fully understand it when you say:
Quote:
It is like trying to run an IT infrastructure with an open source OS architecture.
In my country one can say the same about any manufacturer, except Canon. I have gotten used to the idea of not getting support. Imagine that.
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Old April 19th, 2013, 07:23 PM   #14
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Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

Changing times, changing business models. Manufacturers, renters, professionals, clients, everyone.

Like a lot of small-time ops, I can't buy every camera I might need in the hopes of paying it off. In the past year, I shot professionally on EX1/3, 5D, FS100, HMC150, XF100, HVX200, AF100, GH2, 7D, GoPros... And I only own 3 of those (AF, GH, HVX). As my work evolves and cameras change, I'm just giving more and more money to rental houses.

Eating that depreciation doesn't make sense anymore unless I'm going to use the camera enough to pay for it within a few weeks... Yes, a few weeks, because that's almost the cycle now. One new camera system pops up, gets dumped once the next one is introduced a month or two later, and so on and so on. Black Magic (arguably) obsolesced their EF camera with their MFT camera, and then promptly obsolesced both with their Pocket and 4k announcements, and did that all in the span of about a year while barely producing any of the things. So screw all that. I'm not chasing that snake any more.

I have lights, lenses, support, and skill. I'll happily cling to my few cheap, long-toothed cameras until they absolutely can't do the job, and rent whatever else I need.
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Old April 22nd, 2013, 08:04 PM   #15
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Re: Disappearing profits while enabling the person on the street.

Yup, one of our recent graduates, who has been gaffing for another recent grad who owns a Scarlet Kit, is able to rent it for $100 a day. Okay, granted, he has a good connection with whom he was done a lot of favors for, but seriously, $100 a day for $20K worth of gear? Heck, I used to get that to rent my tripod. The camera rental market is not where I would suggest anyone new investing these days. The established rental houses have all the extras and goodies available and are likely to give a good deal on the camera just so they get the add-ons.

As happened to the publishing industry first, the audio industry next, has been beating on the film/video industry for a while now. From working in the audio industry for years, basically it became a couple of BIG companies who had tons of pro gear and real good engineers to run it, PLUS lots of clients (GM, Ford, Festival Producers, national acts) willing to pay what it was worth. These companies are doing just fine thank you. Then there are the bottom feeders, which ranges from companies with tons of crap gear and so-so engineers whose clients who don't care about anything but low cost. These companies are hanging in there, but not having much fun. Then there are the kids with a bit of gear who are willing to work for almost nothing.
They come and go like the seasons. This biz model spread throughout the audio industry about 10 years ago and hasn't changed. Most of the good engineers I know went to work for the big companies, sold or kept their stash, got real busy and never looked back.

YMMV.
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