Cut|Color|Post

excerpts, quips, and musings on the production and post-production industry, and other stuff of interest

Canon 5D Mark IV

Northlight is reporting they’ve been told that the EOS 5D Mark IV isn’t scheduled to be announced until the fall of 2015 at the earliest, and that we won’t be seeing it until the EOS 5DS/5DS R are shipping in reasonable numbers. It was interesting that they also mentioned that current EOS 5D Mark III sales are still good and that may delay the release of the EOS 5D Mark IV until after the EOS-1D X Mark II is announced. It sounds like this has yet to be decided.

If true, I find that very interesting, particularly that the "Mark III sales are still good." While many people bag on Canon's lack of "innovation" (I'm looking at you EOSHD.com) their products sell well to many segments - photo, video, news, cinema, etc. While I also hope Canon releases some face-melting cameras this year, they are a business. And if their products are selling well it's understandable that they may delay an announcement for a replacement product to avoid the Osborne effect.


The New MacBook

The MacBook itself, meanwhile, runs quite well for a device powered by a Core M processor and with no fan inside. Based on a few minutes of web browsing, typing my name over and over in a Pages document, and poking through Numbers, it seems like it’s up to the tasks for which it is clearly meant. It’s not for gaming, it’s probably not for editing video, but it does the basics really well.

It's a MacBook. Not a MacBook Pro. This machine is for general, simple computing tasks - Word Processing, Facebook, Twitter, online shopping, etc. It is not meant for heavy computational tasks, like photo/video editing, color grading, compositing, or audio production - it has an Intel Core M processor and integrated Intel HD Graphics 5300 GPU for crying out loud. Those aren't powerful chipsets. If you need a lightweight, ultra portable machine that lasts all day and has an absolutely gorgeous screen...this is your machine!


Competing for Your Most Valuable Resource

Philip Hodgetts in regards to Twitch (it's like YouTube for video games):

Watching game play has become a huge audience, with very low production costs. While it’s not traditional production, the time spent watching gamers play video games, erodes the time available for other forms of entertainment, specifically films and television!

I think this concept stretches to many different mediums now. Your Xbox, iPhone, AppleTV, Roku, traditional broadcast TV, cinema, Redbox, YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Facebook...they are all competing for your most valuable resource - your time. We all have the same amount of hours in a week and how we chose to spend them means we're choosing one medium/format over another.


4K Needs More Than Just Resolution

“Broadcasters know consumers can barely see the difference between HD and 4K if you do nothing more than change the resolution, and this is well based in solid trials methodology. It isn’t just a bit of prejudice. The higher numbers are good for marketing, but not much else,” said Paul Grey, director of European research for NPD DisplaySearch.

For the new format to make a real difference, improvements other than a higher resolution are needed, including higher frame rates, better color reproduction and a higher dynamic range for brighter whites and deeper blacks, according to Grey.

The second paragraph is the key to me (I'm assuming the first paragraph to be true, that it's hard to tell HD from 4K when only resolution is changed). I'm not so concerned with higher frame rates, but better color space, bit depth, and dynamic range are areas that need some iteration. I would be more than happy with 24fps (or 30) at HD with better color, and dynamic range than the current craze of bigger resolutions that we can't actually deliver. The press to 4K seems like little more than marketing at this point to me (save for the rare benefit that you can (1) show it in its original resolution on a screen that benefits from it, (2) do pan & scan in post for mastering to HD).

For why 4K still doesn't matter in your home, see here.


Where the 7D Mark II Fits

Despite having used a 7DmkI for 3 years, it is clear to me that the 7DmkII is not a portrait focused camera. If you read the announcement and specifications, it is obvious the rumor mill had been correct regarding one main theory about Canon’s intentions with the 7DmkII: It is clearly designed for sports and event photography mainly. You can candidly call it a baby 1D, perhaps, but reading up on the 7DmkII’s specifications clearly shows a camera body that was designed for action, wildlife, sports, and events. Canon even excitedly compares it to the 5DmkIII, and state that the new 7D is ideal for weddings.

This is what Canon built the 7DII for - sports and event photography. It's not your next video camera. It's not your 4K monster. It's not your lowlight video king. It's not your super cheap, Super35 high-end codec camera. It's a DSLR! Period. Remember those....the ones that take pictures? And it takes pictures of fast moving objects while tracking them and keeping them in focus!

Take a look at some of the specs: 65 point AF, built in intrevalometer, 10fps (31 RAW and over 1,000 JPEG as long as your card is fast enough to write the data), automatic lens distortion correction in-camera, GPS, weather-sealed aluminum body, and a completely revamped and upgraded metering system. These are features video guys/gals don't care about. Action photographers do. This camera makes a legitimate swipe at the Canon 1D X and Nikon D4S for a third of the price (yet, there are still reasons why a photographer might want a 1D X or D4S over a 7DII).

If Canon wanted to announce a new video camera, DSLR or not, it had NAB in April or IBC last weekend in Amsterdam. But they didn't. They announced the 7DII at Photokina, a photography show. That should say a significant something about where they intend to position this camera in their lineup.

Read the specs and press release for Canon's 7D Mark II here.


Saying No to Work

When I arrived, the organizers were nothing short of total jerks. No one so much as smiled in my direction, and I was ordered around like some shifty teenager who might dash out at any moment, a bottle of stolen champagne tucked in my jacket pocket.

Cause or no cause, the event turned out to be one of the least meaningful photographic experiences of my life, an abrasive series of grip-’n’-grins that said nothing, inspired nothing, meant nothing.

And just like that, I was done. I completed my contract, delivered the photographs, cashed my check, and vowed to say NO to work that didn’t align with my personal desires.

Saying "No" to work is one of the hardest things to do. It can also be one of the most rewarding.


Even Without Aereo, Those Problems Don't Go Away

Americans are still fed up with huge channel bundles, high prices, poor service and the lack of ability to watch all their shows on all their devices. That’s part of why Aereo was attractive: It offered a few dozen local broadcast channels and the Bloomberg TV financial channel on multiple devices for just $8 a month.

Industry watchers say the pay TV business must continue to evolve to win over unhappy customers, even if the nation’s top court said grabbing signals from the airwaves and distributing them online without content-owner permission isn’t the way.

”Even without Aereo, the reason people were cutting the cord, for cost reasons and so on, those don’t go away,” said Robin Flynn, an analyst with market research firm SNL Kagan.

Robin's right. Killing Aereo doesn't stop their problem. In the same way that shutting down Napster didn't help the RIAA. The problem is that technology is moving faster than these companies. And the companies want to continue to sit on their profit margins more than serve their customer base. It's only a matter of time until a company, product, or service crops up that really addresses how customers consume media (anytime, anywhere, on any device) and forces the main telcos to adapt. Or if it plays out like the RIAA, until an Apple like company throws the telcos a lifeline via an iTunes-esque software/service and then begins to shift the balance of power.