Cut|Color|Post

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

C300 Mark II Likely To Cost More Than Sony FS7

In regards to the upcoming NAB 2015, here's a nugget from Canon Rumors:

This will be the star of Canon’s show. It will shoot 4K and you can also expect some minor ergonomic changes. We also think that it’s going to cost more than Sony’s FS7.

Unfortunately, I think this is completely accurate. While the C300 Mark II should only cost $8K, like the Sony FS7, I'm guessing it'll cost closer to $10K or even $12K (or $16K as announced on April 8). Reason being: I don't think Canon believes the FS7 to be a competitor to this camera. I can see why Canon would believe this, but in the marketplace the consumer sees these two cameras as in the same class, even if the manufacturers do not.

I think this line of reasoning is further supported if you look at Canon's current price breakdown pyramid for their Cinema EOS lineup (current mark down pricing is listed below):

Canon C100 Mark 1 - $2,999 (link)

Canon C100 Mark II - $5,499 (link)

Canon C300 Mark I - $6,999 (link)

Canon C300 Mark II - $15,999 (link) - updated after Canon announcement

Canon C500 Mark I - $15,999 (link)

Canon C500 Mark II - $19,999 or $24,999 (speculative)

I also wouldn't be surprised for Canon to pull a page out of Apple's iPhone playbook and continue to sell the previous version of their Cinema EOS camera at a reduced price. That would allow Canon to sell a Cinema EOS camera at nearly every price point. And if there's one thing that Canon (and Apple) is good at it's providing a product offering at nearly every conceivable price point (specs are different story!). If the product pyramid that I've outlined above holds that would allow Canon to sell a camera as inexpensively as $3K and as premium as $25K.

Additionally, if you're in the market for a great 1080p camera the original C100's and C300's are absolute steals at those prices. Since 98% of projects today (2015) are finished and presented in HD 1080i/p, those cameras will still get the job done well for the next several years. I have no intention of giving my EOS cameras up at this point, and may even add an additional one soon!


The GH4 and DSLR Cinematography

In fairness though, the GH4 is not so much a ‘replacement’ for a professional cinema camera, more an additional option for the filmmaker which will be selected when the unique abilities of the tool are required by certain work. The simple fact that there’s even a comparison to be made to a $15,000 cinema camera says a lot about how far Panasonic has reached to connect with filmmakers.

I think you could also say how well designed, both ergonomically and technologically, the C300 is, that even after 3 years of being on the market it still sells/rents so well. As a corporate video pro the C300 is my preferred camera for shoots. I can shoot outside in bright daylight, inside in a dimly lit environments with minimal extra gear (rigs, recorders, XLR packs, screens, etc.). Everything I need to pull of a quick shot is onboard the C300 from Day 1. Even today in the growing world of 4k this and 4k that, the C300 still creates a crisp 1080p image that I turn to time and again for my day-to-day work.

That said, there are more and more cameras that are starting to look appealing to me (none of which are DSLR based cameras). Specifically, the Sony FS7, when it ships, looks like another winner for cinema, corporate, or event shooters. The XAVC codec continues to get praise from every corner of the industry. Sony may have finally produced a camera "for the rest of us" in the FS7 for around $8K according to pre-order pages.


Everything You Need To Know About Codecs

I explain the concepts behind different types of codecs, but I also give some real-world examples which should help you understand how these algorithms work on a practical level, pulling frames into Photoshop to break them down and examine how our codecs have changed the image.

Does Sensor Size Matter?

So that brings us to the physical size difference. Is that such a big deal? The thing that I would first consider is depth of field. The larger the sensor, the shallower the depth of field you get at a given aperture. I’ve run a few tests for myself and I have yet to see a big difference in this regard from APS to full frame. When I jump to the Phase? That’s when it shows up. Night and day difference on not just the amount of fall off with focus, but the way the focus falls off. I hate the term bokeh because 99% of the time I hear people use that word they have no idea what in the hell they are talking about. It’s become this catch phrase for “out of focus” or “shallow depth of field.” When people say, “Wow. I love the bokeh in your pictures,” that’s a pretty good sign that they don’t know what they’re talking about. There’s how much focus falls off then there’s how it falls off.

There's always quite a debate when any new camera is announced about how big the sensor size is. Terms like full frame, crop sensor, Super 35, Micro 4/3, or Super16 get tossed around on blogs (like this one) and forums. Having shot many of the formats above sensor size does make a difference, but I don't think it makes as big of a difference as the pixel peepers would like to make it out to be. I think Zack has some good illustrative pictures on his post that support his claim that sensor size just doesn't matter that much. Nearly, all of the movies shot digitally are technically shot on a crop sensor camera, Super 35 (i.e. not full frame) - Skyfall, Gravity, Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Zero Dark Thirty, Captain America, World War Z, Guardians of the Galaxy (and that list is just the Arri Alexa, not counting RED or Canon C cameras). I don't remember thinking in any of those movies about how bad the falloff looked due to a Super 35 sensor....!


Adobe Doubles Down on Lightroom

Put simply we’re doubling down on our investments in Lightroom and the new Creative Cloud Photography plan and you can expect to see a rich roadmap of rapid innovation for desktop, web and device workflows in the coming weeks, months and years. We also continue to invest actively on the iOS and OSX platforms, and are committed to helping interested iPhoto and Aperture customers migrate to our rich solution across desktop, device and web workflows.

As I mentioned earlier, if you're not an Adobe Creative Cloud user for Lightroom/Photoshop there's never been a better time to start.


Why Make Video Look Like Film?

Art Adams has an interesting interview with Lance Lones of Rubber Monkey software:

Lance: Film look is indeed sort of a strange thing to try and define. On a technical level there are very specific colour responses and associated printing responses. But  that’s really only half of the story, because the real arbiter of a film look is this funny plastic thing called the human brain which does all sorts of odd things. Both it and the human eye adapt over time, so the exact same thing will look different depending on a number of things such as how long you’ve been sitting in the theatre, whether or not it was sunny or cloudy outside the theatre, how dark the theatre is, and what colour the walls are, just to name a few.

So, coming back to film… well, it’s hard to say what the film look is. It’s not the exact colours that are important, but moreover film has what I call a more “organic” feel: the highlights roll off nicely, the shadows roll under nicely, there’s a strange twist in the middle of the colour response, and a curious lack of real deep blues. When running through a projector, the fact that the photosites move around from frame to frame (grain!) adds to the effect, which your brain puts together and screams “film!”

I agree digital isn't exactly like film, but it's darn close. The gap is closing rapidly. I have a very hard time telling the difference in theater between a scene shot on film and a scene shot on a digital camera. Arri's Alexa has gone a long way to minimizing the gap.


I Don't Need This Stuff

Good NAB wrap-up video by Sebastian over at cinema5D and a good reminder that stories drives video, not simply technology (plus I love the look of Zeiss CP.2's):