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Old October 9th, 2007, 10:05 PM   #1
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What would you pay for....

A camera similar to lets say a Canon XHA1 that is hdv(1920x1080), about 2lbs larger with slightly less zoom range,

3 chip but 35mm format, giving 35mm depth of field, and with that larger chip would go a great reduction in noise which would allow for a higher baseline light sensitivity, likely taking it from what is near now (320 iso) to a 640iso ?

What would something like this be worth to you realistically?

I see the depth of field issue as the major downfall of digital vs film or cameras with full size chips, and the system used to adapt antiquated lenses to a box that vibrates a focusing screen to allow reduced DOF is really backwards, not to mention going manual focus and requiring a much great expense and size/weight to ad electronic remote focusing and iris controls.

I see the value of these system only because there is no camera at a relative price point that can simulate that filmlike DOF without them. But the pricing and inconvenience of the systems should suggest that there is a market for a camera built to do just that at a great price.

So I was curious what you think a camera like this would be worth? Of course all the standard things included in the current hdv would be present, but in keeping it as low priced as possible it would be very similar in feature set to current offerings. Please keep it real, as this is not a wishlist for an imaginary santa to create a camera that can do miracles for one tenth the current price, but rather a realistic camera that could be brought to market in either ccd or cmos 3 chip. Or perhaps one larger ccd or cmos would be a better/more cost effective way to go.

I know I would gladly pay 4000.00 more than the current price for that added feature. It would cost me more if I added all the adapters now anyway and I would only be losing light sensitivity.

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Old October 10th, 2007, 01:58 AM   #2
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I have ranted enough about electronics companies skimping on imager size for a while now. If a $200 still camera can have a 1/2" CCD, why does any camera with more than a 1/3" chip cost $25,000? That problem is being partly remedied by two cameras, the Red and the Sony XDCAM EX. Yes, the Red is expensive and the Sony EX only has 1/2" chips. That doesn't mean that this isn't significant progress for 1997. Considering it would probably cost 5 times as much to outfit a competitors camera, the Red is dirt cheap. Considering the cost of big lenses and other cameras with flash memory and/or SDI connectors, the EX looks rather affordable.

I think the big question is not how much would one pay for a camera with 35mm format chips but rather how much a decent lens would cost for a camera like that. The lens alone would cost more than $4000.
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Old October 10th, 2007, 03:24 PM   #3
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So are you saying that a old manual focus nikon or canon fd lens fit to a brevis, or other adapter is good enough but a new canon eos 35mm,24-70 is not? why is it so high in price? standard lenses are working on adapters, eos lenses can be adapted to a xlh1 and work so what is the problem if they were to design a lens built on to be suited directly to the camera?
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Old October 10th, 2007, 06:59 PM   #4
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The newer lenses are not good enough in many cases because of their high f-stop and vignetting. Some of the older prime lenses are actually better choices. These lenses work in a very narrow set of circumstances. A video lens needs to be a zoom lens with a low f-stop so it gathers enough light. Look at an SLR zoom lens and you will see that many have f5.6 as their most open position. If a video zoom lens were that closed at it's best position, you wouldn't be able to shoot inside a building without cranking up the gain. No professional would accept anything less than a lens with capabilities in the ballpark of f2 that zooms from about 28-200mm. An SLR lens like that would cost thousands. Add the electronic controls and you get a lens that costs $3000 to start. B&H has six pages of video lenses for 2/3" cameras an the bottom of the FIRST page is lenses that cost over $7000. The most expensive are around $50,000. Let's assume that the lens can be done for $3000. There are lots of other things to work out on a camera like this. A high-definition LCD is probably going to cost $2000 itself. Without even building the camera or storage system, we have a starting cost of about $5000.

I agree that the size of camera imaging chips has been kept artificially small. The Red camera really is an affordable camera for something in it's class. It is so cheap that many people assumed it to be vaporware but now there are examples in the wild.

I think a more realistic possibility for "affordable" video cameras with large chips would be a 2/3" model (similar to 16mm film DOF) in the $10,000 range some time in the next few years. This would give about 2 f-stops more exposure than current 1/3" cams and still be in the budget range of event videographers so the sales numbers would be high enough to keep the price down.

I think the Sony XDCAM EX with 3 1/2" CMOS opens the door to another interesting possibility for indy moviemakers. A single 1/2" CMOS in a camera like the FX7 would give a bit of shallow DOF capability and increase the light sensitivity. The little single-CMOS cameras are rather impressive and they would be almost perfect if they had more light sensitivity and an imager large enough to notice the DOF. Of course, a larger body like the FX7 and a manual lens would complete the package.
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