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-   -   How long can the giant (Sony) sleep? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/area-51/51254-how-long-can-giant-sony-sleep.html)

John Trent September 17th, 2005 10:46 AM

How long can the giant (Sony) sleep?
I'm posting here because I'm asking for rumours. Rumours were the only thing telling us what Canon was up to. The experts were predicting 2007 for a HDV offering from Canon but we all know now it'll be out before the endlessly talked about Panasonic HVX200. Pretty funny, huh?

It's very unusual for all the competing companies to be releasing competing products at the same time, they usually stagger them. So, will Sony finally weigh in with a HDV camera for filmmakers?

Here's what I think. Canon's 24/30f sounds an awful lot like Sony's 24/30 psf (their method of progressive scan, not CF stuff, boys and girls, the real F'ing 900 thing), and remember Canon NEVER invents anything, they just license others technology. Their XL1 (sd) and GL series used Panasonic's ccd block and rumour has it Sony's steadyshot. So, will Sony just give their psf away and leave it's loyal customers with a bad CINEFRAME taste in their mouths? Sony's been trickling down their psf tech into their PRO sd line but there's a price gap between their Z1 and their 450WS ($15,000) that they've got to be itching to fill.

BLU-RAY. Rumour has it Sony will be pushing this at consumer camcorder levels this Christmas. Doesn't it make sense ,from a greedy corporation p.o.v., to finally give it's customers what they want, only when they can package it with something they really need us to buy into? Progressive scan, by any other name will look just as sweet. Thoughts? Speculations?

When? This Christmas? Early next year? Sometime next year? Or never, like Sony's answer to the gauntlet thrown down by Panasonic with the DVX100? I'm sorry for the mania but this whole Canon thing has got me pretty amped for the Sony camera I really want, and they might never make. Pretty funny, huh?

Michael Wisniewski September 17th, 2005 11:58 AM

Canon and U.S. Patents
Actually Canon invents a lot of things. Since 1995, Canon has consistently ranked as one of the top 3 corporations receiving U.S. Patents. IBM consistenly ranks #1, with Canon and NEC competing for the 2nd and 3rd positions. Sony is in the top 10, but they have yet to break into the top 3 category.

That's not bad at all when you consider that Canon's focus is imaging technology, while the others are more broad based in their approach.

Okay, sorry for putting facts into Area 51.

Michael Wisniewski September 17th, 2005 12:04 PM

I expect to see the GL3 by Christmas, that's right you heard it here first, I expect to see the GL3 by Christmas. Notice I didn't mention what year ...

I was expecting to win the lottery last week, and that didn't happen either.

Michael Wisniewski September 17th, 2005 12:36 PM

Re: Sony & filmmaking camcorder
I don't think Sony's interested in a filmmaking focused camcorder at the consumer level. You can use their camcorders that way, but Sony doesn't seem to be focused on that angle. Their bread & butter seems to be broadcast TV, and that looks like where they're focused on staying, with the advances trickling down to the consumer line.

The Canon XL H1 is interesting because it squarely targets Sony's broadcast roots, while at the same time leaving open options for filmmakers.

John Trent September 18th, 2005 09:56 AM

As far as Canon is concerned, I'm not talking about printers or 35mm SLR cameras or digital cameras, I'm talking digital camcorders. I hope I'm not misquoting but I believe it was Barry Green who said JVC was 1st and Canon was last in camcorder innovations. Right now all the talk is that the XL H1's ccds are actually Sony's. I've even heard it said the only thing that is Canons on one of their camcorders is the lens. I think they improved on the Sony liscened steadyshot, this and their imaging circuitry might just be carried over from their still cameras. I've always wondered if their tape drive mechanism and some of their digital imaging is JVC's, since they both suffer from the tapes being misaligned and getting stuck in the camera and the dreaded dead pixel problem. I, personally wouldn't be surprised if the Canon offers the best picture quality of all the companies offerings. But as far as reliability and repair service, I won't take the chance -- too many horror stories. Right now on the GL thread there is some poor soul who sent his camera in for repair only to have Canon lose the camera but still insist on charging him for the repair, they replaced his camera with a used and broken one. I won't buy Canon.

Sony doesn't care about filmmakers, thats true, neither does Panasonic. No one was buying Panasonic's 1/3 camcorders until Panasonic saw a niche and created the DVX100. If your Sony, and thinking like a corporate weasel, your VX series is selling well, why change, it'll cost to change. You create your HDV line, why put progressive on them, it'll up the cost and HDV is just gap technology anyway. But BLU-RAY, you want that to take over the world. You want everybody, even filmmakers to buy it. You don't want them buying into P2 cards and HVXs. In fact you wouldn't put 24/30 psf on your FX/Z1's because it might stop people from upgrading to your BLU-RAY super camera. This makes sense from a money and strategy point of view. Does anybody else think this camera might explode out of nowhere like the Canon XL H1?

Boyd Ostroff September 18th, 2005 01:35 PM


Originally Posted by John Trent
If your Sony, and thinking like a corporate weasel, your VX series is selling well, why change, it'll cost to change.

You're a "weasel" if you make products that sell well? They should be a charity that designs expensive cinema cameras and sells them at a loss to a tiny market segment.

Sony is a huge company which has been poorly managed and is now in serious trouble; in about a week they're announcing their restructuring plans. I hope they still have a few "weasels" around so they'll still be selling cameras at all. Some divisions of the company are about to go away for good.

I suspect you may not be too far off with your conjecture about Blu-ray and an upcoming camera though. But until then... the Z1 hasn't even been available for a year yet, has it? Considering how well the FX1 and Z1 have sold, and the bright future for the HC1 and A1, that's not too bad for a "sleeping giant"...

John Trent September 19th, 2005 10:37 AM


I think ALL corporatations are chock full of weasels. I also don't think lawyers are good decent people or that the prisons are full of innocent individuals. My camera has never had a rose colored filter on it, nor will it ever. To each his own view though, peace and all.

I'm glad you think Sony might come through this time with the BLU-RAY camcorder and finally make a camera for filmmakers. The XL2 hasn't been out long and already Canon's moving on. There's room for different models because of different needs. I know the Sony's are HDV compared to the sd XL2, but I've heard Sony is looking to push BLU-RAY this Christmas. When in financial trouble a company can either retreat (cut back production and people) or wage war (competing head on with the competition over features and price). Sony will wage war.

I never said weasels weren't smart.

Chris Hurd September 19th, 2005 11:27 AM


Their XL1 (sd) and GL series used... Sony's steadyshot.
I realize this is Area 51 where thankfully nothing really means anything, but you've got this backwards. Canon invented optical image stabilisation. Sony has a license from Canon to use it. Whenever you see "Super SteadyShot" on a Sony camcorder using optical image stabilisation, that's a Canon core technology that they have licensed, re-branded and put to work on a Sony camera. Hope this helps,

John Trent September 19th, 2005 04:38 PM

Mr. Hurd,

I've read repeatedly that it was Sony's technology. Just proves you can't believe everything you read or are told. I defer to your knowledge, Chris. Thanks for setting me straight and for not being snide and condescending about it, like so many would be.

I'm I also mistaken about Canon's 24/30f really being Sony's 24/30 psf technology? Or would that just be speculation at this point?

Thanks for this web site. I've learned a lot here.

Chris Hurd September 19th, 2005 06:48 PM

Hi John,

Canon's optical image stabilisation technology is explained at:


The shift-method patent is the one which is licensed to Sony as optical Super SteadyShot.

I have only recently begun to learn about Canon's 24F and 30F frame recording modes. The best advice I can give you is to consider reserving any judgement about those modes until you've actually seen the video output with your own eyes.

Michael Struthers September 20th, 2005 12:04 AM

Sony is laughing all the way to the bank. They will sell one hell of a lot of HDV camcorders, which more important to the bottom line than being no.1 in the rock-bottom indie film community. They still get a few people who rent their f900 and 950's too...

It looks like they will be releasing a very good sub 20k hd cam, so it looks like that's the price level they want to play at.

Sony will be keeping an eye on Canon and Panny sales, but I'll bet you both these new cams combined will never touch the amount of hdv cams that Sony sells.

Steven White September 21st, 2005 01:36 PM

Sony isn't asleep at all... They have no less than 4 sub-$10k HDV camcorders out now, and they occupy the cheapest end of the market with their 1 CMOS HDR-HC1.

Personally, I'm hoping Sony will do several things:
- drop CCD technology entirely and switch to CMOS
- implement a true 24p 1920x1080 3 CMOS camcorder (i.e., 3 HC1 chips) on a form factor like the FX1
- implement true burst variable frame rate technology (up to, say 1000 fps in a huge RAM buffer to be recorded to disk at slower than real time) using the aformentioned CMOS system
- incorporate uncompressed HD-SDI into all future models.

I really really want compressed HD-SDI (and later, Dual Link HD-SDI) to become a standard on all the camcorders. The implementation of this on a camcorder won't add much to the cost (the processing is all there to begin with, and the connectors, being simply decent BNC connectors, are pretty cheap), and it will encourage a new market for portable high-end video capture solutions (iPod w/ HD-SDI in... common... it can't be too far off...).


Mark Utley September 27th, 2005 10:16 PM

The day camera companies replace tape decks with hard drives will be the day I jump up and down for joy.

Lawrence Bansbach September 28th, 2005 07:07 AM


Originally Posted by Steven White
. . .
- implement a true 24p 1920x1080 3 CMOS camcorder (i.e., 3 HC1 chips) on a form factor like the FX1

Is that chip capable of progressive scanning? If so, why would Canon have gone with an interlaced chip and claimed that a true 1080p chip wasn't possible on a camera costing less than $100,000?

Steven White September 28th, 2005 10:20 AM


The day camera companies replace tape decks with hard drives will be the day I jump up and down for joy.
And the day those hard drives crash and you realize you didn't back it up is the day you feel nostalgic for good ol' tape.


Is that chip capable of progressive scanning?
It's difficult to know if they're capable of progressive or not, but there are a few issues with the HC1 chip (rolling shutter, low light performance) that may disuade someone buying a $9k camera from considering it. From the sounds of it, CMOS has a little ways to go before it can absolutely match CCDs for quality.


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