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Old October 10th, 2008, 06:06 AM   #1
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Will camera development slow down now?

Giving the economic state of things, do you think camera development will slow down now? I've heard some people say that during recessions entertainment budgets go up but I'm not sure that's applicable to video cameras.
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Old October 10th, 2008, 08:06 AM   #2
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I'd say Sony and Panasonic are in pretty good shape for a while with their current models, while Canon and JVC have some work to do to move toward solid-state recording. I'd guess Canon may have something new next year and JVC is an unknown; the others could coast for now if they feel like it.
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Old October 10th, 2008, 12:30 PM   #3
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I say no. The releases will continue. Everything up until now is just testing the water. New cams will keep being released with furry until full HD cams that record 1920/1080 60p are finally the standard and not this HDV 1440 stuff. 2k, 4k or even 16k could become the norm. With SLRs driving the resolution game I don't see development for cams slowing down. Did I mention RED?
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Old October 12th, 2008, 09:08 AM   #4
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Keep in mind display technology needs to "improve" before 2K, 4K or more cameras are commonplace. While 2K and 4K have a place in digital cinema, the average consumer has no way of playing back imagery of that size. There are no consumer displays or consumer playback devices currently. Heck, at this point 1080P is only JUST becoming commonplace in peoples homes and I remember hearing about it 10 years ago when I was in media college.

As much as we would like for the truth to be otherwise, the consumers ultimately drive the economic realities that allow for formation of things like the sub $100,000 high def camera (which seemed impossible 10 years ago). Yes, there will always be high end systems on the leading/bleeding edge but for technology to become affordable to the working pro as a purchase item, there needs to be an install base that creates an amortized research and development that brings the selling price into the realm of the individual.

Much of the high def content that is being produced by independent producers right now is either being converted to SD (DVD) or encoded for the web and tiny bitrates. There isn't a MASSIVE acceptance of BluRay even yet.

I look forward to shooting in a world of 16K but for now I'd just like Apple to let me author my own BluRay disks...
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Old October 12th, 2008, 09:15 AM   #5
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Camera developement will accelerate as the computers design the computers. Every new piece of kit has a shorter life expectancy than the item it replaced.

In the 70s you could have a 35 mm SLR for 7 - 10 years and not feel it was out of date. If you've got a 2003 Canon 10D now, it's so old it's laughable.

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Old October 13th, 2008, 02:34 PM   #6
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I like your thinking Tom. Like you, I also think it's only a matter of time before computers start designing their computers. I bet this will happen in my lifetime.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 03:58 PM   #7
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Well the computers have already sent a T100 from the future to be governor of California. And I believe his wife is a T101. So it's already happening.

Rather than add more pixels, I think the next big step in camcorder evolution will be improving dynamic range / color resolution. That will do more to technically improve image quality than anything else, if the storage tech would just catch up. Even if they dropped all research to increase the # of pixels, the current pixel counts are way more than "good enough" for 90% of the work out there. But if more color information could be included in the image, the quality of images at all pixel counts would increase dramatically.

I can't wait until the Marketing folks get a hold of this basic idea. Everything including my microwave oven will all of sudden have "high dynamic range".
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Old October 13th, 2008, 09:46 PM   #8
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Mmmm, I high dynamic range oven that can make high dynamic range food. *drolls*

I agree with you also, I wish Fuji's chips that go into the S5 would be put in cameras.
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Old October 13th, 2008, 10:52 PM   #9
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There's this idea floating around that if you put 3 CMOS chips into a video camera, and have each one record at a different exposures, you could combine the multiple exposures into one high dynamic range image. Might be able to get 18 stops from it. Betcha somebody's developing something like that right now.
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Old October 24th, 2008, 01:09 AM   #10
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Here's the wikipedia link to what I was originally talking about.

Technological singularity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Make fun of me if you want to for linking to wikipedia, I don't really care that much, but here is the statement that I find am scared of and also can't wait for to become a reality.

Let an ultraintelligent machine be defined as a machine that can far surpass all the intellectual activities of any man however clever. Since the design of machines is one of these intellectual activities, an ultraintelligent machine could design even better machines; there would then unquestionably be an ‘intelligence explosion,’ and the intelligence of man would be left far behind. Thus the first ultraintelligent machine is the last invention that man need ever make.

followed by.

Vinge first addressed the topic in print in the January 1983 issue of Omni magazine. Vinge (1993) contains the oft-quoted statement, "Within thirty years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly thereafter, the human era will be ended." Vinge refines his estimate of the time scales involved, adding, "I'll be surprised if this event occurs before 2005 or after 2030."

Last edited by Eric Stemen; October 24th, 2008 at 02:27 PM.
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Old October 24th, 2008, 03:02 PM   #11
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A machine is a machine. While it can certainly be infused with massive amounts of DATA, i.e. the knowledge bases of infinite humans on infinite storage (this in itself is very powerful), a machine will always lack TRUE sentience, barring a miracle of some sort. All sci-fi aside, it will still be a machine, albeit in theory a very smart one. "Intelligence" and being a living being are two entirely different things...

Computers already exceed carbon based organisms in sheer processing horsepower, i.e. the vast number of calculations and analysis of data. BUT, in terms of the OTHER stuff that the CPU of the human bean handles, like breathing, pumping blood, seeking sustainence, friendship and a good time, framing and composing a shot, etc, etc... a computer is about useless.

My vote for the future is for an enhanced biological approach (borg, with less techno bling). The question will be how to interface the human mind with its creativity, illogical jumps and vast versatility... with the data and analysis horsepower to present it to the biological component withut causing madness or burnout??

We already see the mass consciousness of the WWW, with it's relatively crude point and click interface, and has it made mankind more intelligent, thoughtful, kind, and improved?? I'd vote it's made the collective "us" isolated, rude, and far more thoughtless and detatched, perhaps even more prone to psychosis than ever before...

Certainly there are pockets of light (like DVi), and the access to information (good bad or ugly) is unprecedented....but when one observes the general masses on the internet, you think more of a gigantic running episode of "Jackass" than you do of "intelligent beings".

I guess what I'm saying is that it's unlikely a machine will ever "replace" the human bean, good bad and ugly, warts and all. Technology may as always lead us to destroy ourselves, but it's but a dream we could "create" a replacement...


To bring it back to cameras... yes, engineers with computers are able to make better and better tech (YEA!), and as long as anyone sees room for improvement or a profitable market for the product, develpment and advancement will continue - it may JUMP (as in SD-HD), or just plug along in fits and starts (improvements in sensor technology or image processing), but it will move forward.

As long as people continue to expect bigger (or smaller), better, faster, more fun, more realistic, more like 50 year old film, whatever, and are willing to fork out pesos, dollars, euros, pounds or whatever for it, the tech will continue to move forward. If we're all standing in a bread line, well, that's a different story...
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