4K recording, Super 35mm crop mode, 1080/60p, log profile, uncompressed 4:2:2 HDMI output. $15,000 ($8,000 more than the similar 1D X.) Panasonic and Sony are following with 4K products of their own. Because everybody has to do 4k now (or at least soonish.)
It’s awesome and gorgeous and aimed at a segment of the market that will see this as a bargain. But it’s also part of something that bugs the crap out of me.
A couple of months ago, Christina mentioned the peculiar Hollywood rule that says ‘as the technology gets better, the costs get higher’. While this is true for VFX, it’s a totally artificial, culture based phenomenon when it comes to capture technology.
When DV first appeared, it was better and cheaper than Hi8 and mid-range beta. But engineers complained that they couldn’t justify replacing $15,000 cameras with $3,000 ones in their budgets so the camera industry responded with the more expensive DVCAM and DVCPRO implementations. The chips and optics were the same but there was just enough differentation to justify a higher price. The tapes were the same but cost 3x more.
And it was a practice that repeated itself time and time again over the past two decades. When HDV hit the market, all new “broadcast ready” flavors of HDV (and AVCHD) popped up on the more expensive end. When DSLR video revolutionized the low budget and pro-am video market, suddenly the pro “cinema” cameras got more expensive. And now that you can shoot 1080 lines of resolution with your phone, lo and behold, 4K is the new more expensive standard that everyone is moving to.
I spent years railing against this when I used to work the technology and engineering side of broadcast. And yes, it’s a little bit more complicated than this but not really.
The entrenched need to justify their budgets and salaries with higher cost, more complicated gear. These moving targets keep them in place.
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