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Old October 4th, 2008, 07:56 PM   #16
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In commerce, there is such a thing as letting some hapless pioneer do the legwork.

The market is allowed to prove itself before the moving in, either by takeover of the pioneer or entering the marketplace with a second generation of the product with a competitive example and better promotion.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 02:54 AM   #17
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What's frustrating for me about the 5D II is that if they only added audio support...
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Old October 5th, 2008, 09:37 AM   #18
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What's frustrating for me about the 5D II is that if they only added audio support...
Do you mean better audio support? It does have a mono mic and 2 channel unbalanced inputs. The two Rode video cam mics (shotgun and stereo) should work on top of the 5dII.
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I do think anyone trying to use this camera as a full camcorder replacement is going to be in for a lot of frustration, however. The form factor and lack of controls make it pretty much the camcorder equivalent of a view camera.

My plan is to shoot stock when I'm set up to do still photography. I'm looking at trying it out with the 5DII, but I'm hoping next year we will get better than 1080p in a dslr.

This is a very interesting game RED will be playing with the big guys. There are so many variables that I expect all the players are scratching their heads. To RED's benefit big companies usually make a lot of mistakes.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 10:04 AM   #19
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What's frustrating for me about the 5D II is that if they only added audio support...
But the 5D Mk. II does indeed support audio. From the press release issued by Canon: "The new camera features an input terminal for external stereo microphones as well as a built-in monaural microphone for convenience."
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Old October 5th, 2008, 11:02 AM   #20
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In commerce, there is such a thing as letting some hapless pioneer do the legwork.
True, but I would not characterize a self-made billionaire as "hapless."

In my opinion, the answer to the question "could (any major Japanese electronics manufacturer) challenge RED?" is most decidedly *no,* they cannot. And the reasons why none of them can challenge RED has less to do with technology than corporate culture. I'm surprised nobody else has mentioned this yet: the challenge that RED presents isn't technology so much as how they run their business. It's completely counter to the way the major Japanese electronics manufacturers operate, and for any one of them to attempt to duplicate RED's success, they would have to throw out their long-established business model of trickle-ware and incremental change... and I just don't see that happening. Not overnight, anyway.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 11:40 AM   #21
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Chris - totally true except for one major aspect , and that's demonstrated by visiting Reds site - it says now serving numbers 2000 and so , up to 2000 and so . That's the problem - manufacturing capacity . If Scarlet is released , and it's the success everyone is hoping for , then how will they meet a production of 60,000 units ? That's why Canon might be smart enough to enter the foray and break with their habits . That and they don't really have any pro 100k camera markets to protect , and the satisfaction gleened from kicking Sonys' tail as revenge for Sony entering the dslr market.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 11:55 AM   #22
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Sure, I can see a RED-Canon war over the Scarlet, since it intrudes on Canon's territory. But it's harder to see Canon getting into the RED ONE - EPIC market -- digital cine cameras are a small market. At least a DSLR that can do 24P 1080 still works as a DSLR, and most people are going to use it to take still camera picture with, not HD video. So it fits within an established marketplace where Canon already exists.

But a major corporation like Canon getting into high-quality digital cinema cameras... a small lower-profit non-mass-consumer market where they have very little presence? For Sony, it makes a little more sense simply as an extension of their high-end broadcasting line -- cameras like the F23 and now the F35 also have broadcast video features (unlike the Genesis which is a bit more stripped down for cinema work in terms of features) and even if the sales numbers are low, they help with marketing their broadcast line.

And as someone said, the one area where Canon does make money in high-end broadcast is HD zoom lenses, and this digital cine camera that uses their DSLR lenses would cut into those profits.

So it's hard to see the corporate reasoning behind getting into that market unless they felt that there was no room anymore for prosumer HDV cameras, that the whole market was going to shift, above cheaper consumer HDV cameras, to either 24P DSLR's at one end and digital cine cameras at the other, with no more mid-level prosumer cameras.

However, I could see Canon tailoring their prosumer HDV cameras to be more competitive with Scarlet in terms of price and features.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 01:14 PM   #23
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...it says now serving numbers 2000 and so , up to 2000 and so . That's the problem - manufacturing capacity.
Those numbers actually prove the exact opposite of what you're saying. RED has been incredibly prolific and has now produced more UHD cameras than all of the other D-cinema / UHD camera manufacturers *combined.* They have literally flooded the D-cinema camera market. Their manufacturing capacity -- remember it is outsourced -- isn't a "problem" at all but an asset.

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If Scarlet is released... how will they meet a production of 60,000 units ?
Frankly I have no idea how they will do it when Scarlet is released, but I'm confident that RED certainly knows how they'll do it. Just because you and I don't have the first clue about how they'll do it, doesn't mean they can't pull it off.
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Old October 5th, 2008, 07:09 PM   #24
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I believe I've said the same thing in other forums. Canon is in the cat-bird seat, not Nikon. Though Sony could also do it. In addition to your astute list. I believe Canon has a bunch of patents on Image stabilization technology (they were the first to release a consumer IS still lens). I'm an old school Nikon still photog but have come to respect Canon optics in recent years and am in love with my humble HV20.
In truth, it's time for some mergers in CameraLand. No reason Nikon & Canon couldn't merge and lead the way to the next gen hybrid cameras. Several participants in the Camcorder race ought to drop out to narrow the field a bit. I personally hate the plethora of non-choice choices so 4 consumer/prosumer camera makers in the world would be more than enough.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 09:02 AM   #25
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I didn't read every single post in this thread, but it seems to me that another lost point is that we wouldn't even be having this discussion if it wasn't for Red popping up a couple years back. Whatever your opinion about them or their products, they did help jump the industry forward and a lot of what you see coming out of the larger more established companies this year and in the coming years is a direct response to the impact that Red has had on the market and on the consumer. I hear what you're saying about their rigid corporate culture and strict product release schedules, but I really do think that the big guys have sped development up a bit to keep up with the new demands.

We as consumers now expect and want more from future product releases from the Canons, Sonys and Panasonics of the world than we would have before Red came along and showed the type of technology that currently existed and what it was capable of. (and at a lowish price) Without Red, this year we would have been happy being offered a 1/3" 1080p camera that was slightly less noisy than the previous model. As it stand now, we're all clamoring for a 5Dish video camera with full manual control and proper form factor for around a 5D price. That's hugely different.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 01:09 PM   #26
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Interesting comments.

As far as Scarlet, the product isn't even defined. So how it fits with the 5DII and other products doesn't seem particularly relevant. There's a big difference between cranking out a 100 4k camera a month and making a volume product.

I don't get the idea that the large Japanese companies can't compete with red because of corporate culture. I'm still looking for what advantages Red has that they can protect. The only one I can come up with is the UHD market is too small for large corporations to go after.

I'm interested to know if the 5DII reads the whole sensor and then bins the pixels down to 1080 30p. That may be what the video processing chip does before handing the smaller data stream to the main processor. Sending the raw data out of the camera through a high speed interface would cost almost nothing.

If I'm doing strategy for Red I'm not thinking that the Japanese can't compete. I'm looking at the core tech of the 5DII and thinking that Canon technology is getting too close for comfort.

Canon makes a $450 dslr with a chip about the same size and capacity (aps-c 12 mp) as RED. What does the near future look like when that camera can output 4K raw video? I don't know, but it's going to be very interesting.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 02:35 PM   #27
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Canon makes a $450 dslr with a chip about the same size and capacity (aps-c 12 mp) as RED.
Same size, yes, but it's a different game to make a chip to a dslr and to a camera like RED. In particular, the art is in making the 12 MP chip fast enough to enable one to shoot 24-50fps or more.

What comes to business style I feel the same way as Chris. Canon, Sony, Nikon all have marketing depts around the world in all major countries and this costs alot. So far RED is nothing but a website, main office in California and the new center to be opened in London.

Multiplying production is not that a major problem I think. Nokia went at some point from several ten/hundred thousands of mobile phones up to tens of millions phones in a very short period.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 03:05 PM   #28
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I don't get the idea that the large Japanese companies can't compete with red because of corporate culture.
I think I can define it for you by pointing out these key differences:

RED's CEO and his immediate inner circle are online all the time, actively communicating with their customers. The product development process has been open from the start. The product line itself disrupts the existing market. They are not following the deeply entrenched trickle-ware economy model by which incremental changes are slowly introduced through a succession of separate product revisions over a period of time that would require a separate purchase (as in XL1, XL1S, XL2... or VX1000, VX2000, VX2100... etc.). Instead, the original production units themselves are occasionally recalled for updates and re-fits. They are offering to buy back previous models to facilitate their customers in upgrading to the next model (as in their offer to provide full purchase price trade-in value on a RED One towards the difference in buying the higher-end Epic). They are offering to retro-fit older products with newer components (such as their forthcoming image sensor upgrade program for the RED One). There are other significant corporate culture differences but these are the ones which have been instrumental in delineating RED's radical departure from the long-established Japanese optics / electronics manufacturer's corporate philosophies.

I'm not passing judgment on one side or the other -- just stating the extreme differences between them.

For any of the Japanese majors to compete against RED, the key to doing that successfully does not involve technological advancement so much as it does a rapid shift in the way they do business, and that's like asking an ocean liner to reverse course: it takes a loooong time to turn a big ship around. That's the point I was trying to make.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 03:18 PM   #29
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Same size, yes, but it's a different game to make a chip to a dslr and to a camera like RED. In particular, the art is in making the 12 MP chip fast enough to enable one to shoot 24-50fps or more.
I don't think RED makes any chips. They ordered the sensor from someone with expertise. I don't think anyone would dispute that Canon and Sony have the most expertise and patents in CMOS imaging. I believe RED lists software as their most important asset.

But none of this means Canon or Sony will release a 4K product. I do expect Canon 1 series camera to have better video than the 5DII. But I don't know if "better" means more than 1080p. Without UHD consumer display devices I don't know that the niche is any bigger than RED's target market.

But the 5DII must signal a tidal shift coming in the camcorder market. How they play this new hand will be very interesting. I'm sure the 1080p low light clips from the 5DII is freaking out a lot of competitors.

I'm more psyched about Canon's low light/small DOF ability than wanting more than 1080p.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 04:08 PM   #30
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...I'm more psyched about Canon's low light/small DOF ability than wanting more than 1080p.
Regarding Scarlet, the 3k size wasn't for 3k output. It's really for 1080p and 2k delivery. Nobody will deliver in 3k.

There are two reasons to go with 3k. One is that the optical anti-aliasing filter is gradual. To get rid of aliasing, it filters resolution down to the neighborhood of 2.4k. 3k (or 2.4 actual resolution) also lets you do a little re-framing - or show the scene just outside of the intended window on the LCD.

Also consider that Redcode RAW needs to deal with the native resolution, so the captured files will be 3k. Two reasons not to downsample in the camera: one is that the result wouldn't be RAW, the other is that it would require an expensive processor that eats your battery.

Anyway, those are the reasons to want more than 1080p - even for 1080p delivery. You get to work with RAW, you still get true 1080p resolution on your final, and you can re-frame, if needed.
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