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Silicon Imaging SI-2K
2/3" 1080p IT-integrated 10-bit digital cinema w/direct-to-disk recording.


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Old July 26th, 2008, 10:12 AM   #1
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Price drop?

Hey, guys, I've been doing some thinking. Next year is going to start off big with RED releasing Scarlet and Epic, as well as full manufacturing of RED One cameras. The Scarlet in particular is going to be a big bombshell for independant filmmakers with its estimated $3,000 price tag. Well, I've heard before about the SI-2K being a little overpriced for some folks, mostly because the RED can be configured as a cheaper solution and having 4K resolution versus the 2K of the SI-2K. Admittedly, now that I know what I know about my taste in workflow, I would rather have bought the SI-2K back when it was about $12,000 for the Mini versus saving up now and trying to buy a RED. But now that the price is higher than that (about $17,500 last I heard for the Mini), I was thinking that with people getting ready to work with 3K at $3,000 dollars a camera, maybe the SI-2K would drop in price?

Just think about it, Silicon Imaging could make a killing if they had the SI-2K Mini down in the sub-$10,000 market competing with the Scarlet and the other sub-$10,000 cameras. Heck, interchangeable lenses alone would, I think, get more people opting for the SI-2K versus the Scarlet. In my case, I certainly would. Plus, there really isn't much of a threat to the higher end SI-2K body setup, although that would have to either equal or undercut the RED One's standard body price to stay truly competitive. What do you guys think?
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Old July 26th, 2008, 03:13 PM   #2
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The Euro is strong at the moment, which could make difficult for SI to reduce the cost of the camera.
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Old August 6th, 2008, 12:03 PM   #3
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Yes, the Euro is strong. I've read a thread on the SI forum that was strangely very similar to this one I started. Well, that's all that people could say "The Euro is strong, the US dollar is weak, so no price drop."

Well, if that's really the case then the SI-2K is in even bigger trouble than I thought. If RED could make a camera here in the US for $17,500 US dollars, then wouldn't it make more sense for filmmakers outside the US to buy a RED versus an SI-2K? Surely because the Euro is so strong, they would save a few thousand by buying the technically superior RED from the US? Granted, RED isn't making cameras for the masses yet, they still have to finish up the reservation orders, but last I checked, they're getting pretty close. So, unless I'm wrong about all this, wouldn't the Euro being so strong give P+S Technik even MORE incentive to lower the price of the SI-2K to maximize sales worldwide?
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Old August 6th, 2008, 01:32 PM   #4
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The RED One camera is manufactured in Singapore rather than the US. I expect some people will be making choices on what they plan to use their cameras for and well each camera will meet their needs. "Superior" would depend how well each camera meets your purposes, if you need a 2/3" camera the RED starts to lose it's 35mm sensor advantage.

The Mini has the advantage of compact size and interchangeable lenses, which is an advantage to some people. However, it does come down to the SI business plan and if they earn enough with smaller sales with higher profit on each camera compared to higher volumes, but with low profit margin on each camera. I suspect SI have gone for the more traditional professional market, although I expect they'd like to have the SI 2K with a V/F going for under $30,000.

However, I wouldn't cost a RED One at $17,500 - a very basic kit figure seems to be around $23,000 with most apparently costing around $30,000 - plus the lenses.
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Old August 6th, 2008, 05:08 PM   #5
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A quick look at the build quality of the SI-2K reveals where much of money goes.
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Old August 6th, 2008, 06:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale View Post
However, I wouldn't cost a RED One at $17,500 - a very basic kit figure seems to be around $23,000 with most apparently costing around $30,000 - plus the lenses.
Yes, but through some savvy cutbacks based on realistic needs and third party solutions, an independent filmmaker can nab a fully working RED One with lens and microphone for less than $21,000. Granted, lens choices factor in, but toss in Douglas Underdahl's new Nikon mount update for DX lenses and a Nikon 18-200mm DX zoom and you'll have all of your focal ranges for a little bit over $1,000 altogether.

But even so, let's say you do build a RED one setup for around $23,000 or even the higher end $30,000 to satisfy the DP. The SI-2K is still around $30,000 all on its own. The US versus Euro factor still comes in, granted it could be a little more than an SI-2K setup, but I can guarantee that you'll be getting a lot more bang for your buck for the RED setup. But if it utilizes cost saving solutions like I mentioned earlier it would be a truly incredible setup on a $30,000 budget.
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Old August 7th, 2008, 04:39 AM   #7
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Looking at the figures that working professionals use on REDUser, $30,000 seems to be realistic as a base camera kit - plus the lenses. There are people going to to be using the cameras on their own productions, but it's not really up to the standard of kit expected on a professional production. For a full day's work you'll need at least 4 batteries (6 would be about right), plus the chargers and all these extras add up. Certainly you can cut back, but given what people are saying, those old bare minimum paper figures thrown around in the early days don't stack up in reality.

The Nikon 18mm to 200mm would be an extremely limiting lens to use, apart from the big aperture ramp, at f3.5 (T4?) to f5.6 it's very slow. Most people seem to be planning to use still camera prime lenses rather than the zooms, with the Birger mount offering interesting possibilities. The IMS mount is another possibility, allowing a wide range of lenses to be used.

However, I don't think SI are aiming their product at the market you're describing. They'd likely get caught up in the EX1 & EX3 market too easily (which does offer extremely good bang for bucks). Their big problem would be if RED decided to bring out an interchangeable lens Scarlet a year or two after it was introduced like Sony did with the EX3. although, RED say they don't have any plans for such a camera.
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