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Various topics: HD, UHD (2K / 4K) Digital Cinema acquisition to distribution.


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Old September 5th, 2008, 06:03 PM   #1
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Could Canon Challenge RED?

If you step back and take a look at the entire Canon business you see that they possess all the components necessary to create a camera that can challenge RED, or at the very least mop up the entire HD market.

1. Being a lens manufacturer, they already have a huge DSLR lens arsenal.
2. They could easily use their DSLR mount on a video system for convenient interoperability.
3. They already have tight relationships with chip foundries. 2K CMOS would be a good start. 4K a generation or two later.
4. RED has already paved the way to prove the market is viable (something Canon has historically been hesitant to do themselves).
5. They already have a loyal user base who'd love to stick with Canon over "switching" to our friends in Irvine.
6. Plus they have a huge engineering team in Japan that could rival RED in terms of ergonomics and functionality.

Would they be this daring? Somehow I doubt they would. But man it would send shockwaves throughout the entire industry/community if they stepped and challenged RED's impending dominance. They've got everything in front of them already pre-developed. They've got the R&D dollars. They just need the will to do it.
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Old September 5th, 2008, 10:39 PM   #2
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The answer is yes.

But you could just as easily said Nikon or Sony, rather than Canon, and your argument would still hold.

In some ways it would be easier for Nikon to do it.
They have no existing pro video product line that I am aware of, therefore they don't have to consider what of their own they are about to make utterly obsolete.
On the other hand, if Canon came out with a RED Scarlet/RED One/RED Epic equivalent, what happens to the products they already have?
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Old September 5th, 2008, 11:50 PM   #3
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If you step back and take a look at the entire Canon business you see that they possess all the components necessary to create a camera that can challenge RED, or at the very least mop up the entire HD market.
The technical things like a 60 fps sensor, encoder, and post-production are pretty difficult, but Canon might be able to speed up and start trailing RED if they tried. But there are also non-technical components that Canon lacks. RED listens to suggestions from customers. RED talks back (and tells you if your idea stinks and why). RED has the foresight to see beyond next year's revenue statements. They're not artificially limiting the cameras to maximize their short-term profit. Canon needs glasses to correct its near-sightedness and stop withholding vital features that are trivial to implement (Nikon has been doing better here lately, so maybe that will help Canon get in gear).

So as much as would love to be wrong, I don't think Canon will step up and compete at a high level in 2009. I'm selling my XH-A1 for Scarlet. The only thing that has kept me from selling my Canon DSLR is the 24mm f/1.4.
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Old September 6th, 2008, 12:46 AM   #4
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They fully could and I hope they realize that. The funny thing to me is if they do, unlike panasonic and sony they have nothing to loose. They don't make any super high end cameras that need protecting or anything. Keep the current cameras alive and just slightly lower the price points(because those cams have already made their money) and create their own sony type cf card piece for them.

Then above that intro two models. One shoulder mounted and the other handheld style shooting some kind of canon raw to cf cards. Make the mount interchangeable for EF mount and regular 1/2" and up lenses. They could both either be full frame or at least 2-3k res.

If they did that, they could call it a day.
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Old September 6th, 2008, 11:04 PM   #5
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Except that canon's not really in that business, and while they wouldn't have a broadcast camera who's sales they would be cannibalizing, they do have a very well known broadcast lens devision, every time someone bought a hypothetical Canon 4k camera instead of an f900 they would be losing potentially 30k per lens. (figure about 2 lenses per camera) you come to roughly 60k worth of sales not occuring in that department.

I once tried t figure out how and why canon acts the way they do and honestly it's so hit or miss. I kinda secretly believe there is some super genius in Japan who design's the xl series in his free time and is allowed to produce the camera's because he has something on one of the ceo's or something. Of course that's just my imagination but it does seem odd how poorly supported the camera is, compared to the other manufacturers.


That being said I would love for them to do it, I've even requested something along those lines in my signature. Just at the current time (and probably 2 or 3 mroe years to come) I think if you want something like a red your best bet is to buy a red.
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Old September 8th, 2008, 03:03 PM   #6
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The main reason I thought of Canon as a potential RED challenger is because they're such an unorthodox company. Sony and Panny, love 'em or hate 'em, have a very specific action plan for their entire camera lineups. But Canon's sort of the red-headed step-child of the camera manufacturers. They usually wait and see what everyone else is up to and then they create a killer product. Well, RED's made their move. Sony's made their move. Panavision seems disinterested in making a true "Cinema" camera. So that leaves Sony and RED.

I do agree with Nick's assessment that if you want a camera like a RED then shoot with a RED. I will. And soon. But I can't help but feel a little saddened at the thought of abandoning all this Canon gear I've purchased and acquired over the last two years (now getting relegated to the EPK). And I'm sure there's an emotional component to it, as well (being a Canon fan for so long).
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Old September 8th, 2008, 03:20 PM   #7
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Would they be this daring?

I find it odd to describe copying another companies product that as "daring". What RED is doing is daring; for Canon to try and make their own 2k camera would just following the trail. I think that Canon could do it and I agree that they would be the best to do it and hopefully the big four will be forced to follow suit.
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Old September 8th, 2008, 07:36 PM   #8
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I think the folks at Canon USA would love a product like this if Canon Japan had the balls to build it. And from many discussions I've learned that it's not really Canon USA that's preventing them from producing cutting-edge technology, it's Canon Japan that refuses to listen. It's Canon Japan that has it's proverbial head up its ass.

Canon USA has been crying for years for Canon Japan to get serious about building products for "cinema" first and then letting it trickle down from there. Sure, Hollywood only buys so many cameras and the numbers are in supplying cameras to event videographers, dentists, and small town TV stations. But it's the "Hollywood factor" that gets all the press, gets all the attention. It's the indie filmmakers that truly, ultimately, drives the technology forward. Forums like this one often have the loudest voice, the biggest demands and are the most fickle and difficult to please.

But look what happens when you make a product this crowd LOVES! Witness the A1. What a hit that camera was. Why? Indie filmmakers baby!

Does anyone REALLY think Sony makes a dime off building F23's? Hell no. In fact, they most likely lose a TON of money. They build it because it's their "flagship", their "bragging right". And they use the F23 in all their CineAlta literature and advertisements when the reality is they're probably selling 10,000 XDCams to every 1 F23. I recently heard Sony's only imported 150 F23's to the US. 350 World wide. In two years! That's all.

Canon could do the same if they wanted to. Sony did it and will continue to. Panasonic has said "Meh, no thanks." There's an opening there. ;)
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Old September 9th, 2008, 02:57 PM   #9
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when the biggest lens manufacturer doesn't even bother to make a manual HD lens for their top of the line video camera, I really don't think they will go after red.
I'm giving up on canon and my h1 soon after waitng over a year for a proper lens for my camera. I think they don't care about anything but consumer cameras. Probably where the money is.
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Old September 9th, 2008, 03:45 PM   #10
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True. But I've been told that there's really very little demand for a manual HD lens. They'd probably only sell a couple hundred of them. And on top of that the older 16x manual lens actually works really well on the H1.

Canon's engineers and the folks over at Birns & Sawyer have said that the 16x is over-engineered and is actually very well suited to the H1. Even though it's SD rated it's resolving power is good enough for HD. I own one. It's great. But I have to admit ... I don't use it much.

Still, at the end of the day I think the XL line has runs its course for Canon and I doubt we'll see any new products to support it. It's time for something dramatically new. I think Canon knows this. The question is...how will they respond?
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Old September 10th, 2008, 05:39 PM   #11
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Robert-
I thought I said not to say anything!! Now the cat's out of the bag!!

(smiley)(wink-wink)
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Old September 10th, 2008, 06:23 PM   #12
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I really hope they listened to you, my brother. I really do.

And if they did do something this ballsy, isn't it kind of ironic that Canon would be considered the "underdog" next to RED? Funny, this world we live in.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 07:29 PM   #13
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I move that we close this thread before it becomes a rumor that will wildly spin out of control and, at the end, could possibly disappoint somebody in the future.
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Old September 30th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #14
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Since this thread started, we have the introduction of the 5D II from Canon. It seems to me that this is just the beginning of large single CMOS products from Canon - in both the DSLR and video lines. But is the 2K/4K market big enough for Canon to target?

Can RED match Canon's low-light performance? Now that we have 1080p samples from Canon it appears that the 5DII is the real thing. Does RED have any significant intellectual property that can't be easily matched by Canon? RED makes a big deal about their lossy RAW, but I have a hard time believing that Canon, Sony, and Panasonic can't implement something similar.

I doubt RED cam match Canon in sensor value/performance.
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Old October 4th, 2008, 04:12 PM   #15
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I agree esp. since Canon now has their own sensor factory . I think it's obvious and they're probably already well down the road doing so . I think the 5dmkll wouldn't have been if Canon wasn't planning on putting larger sensor into their video cameras , even though they are a very conservative company , they have no upper end market to protect , and they probably realize they could own the middle ground .
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