01 Jan 2018

Is the camera industry in meltdown or is this a new age for cinematographers. And can you build a camera in your shed?

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Can you build a camera in your shed? Can you build a camera in your shed? RedShark


This is pretty much what Blackmagic has been able to do

This is pretty much what Blackmagic has been able to do, in a very slick and clever way. They've taken certain parts off the shelf, integrated them, wrapped an excellent (if controversial) industrial design around it, and called it a product. I don't want to minimise their efforts here, which were extreme and spot-on, but probably the bulk of the R&D which they have done has probably been around the macro-level rather than a micro one. Their skill has been strategic, and they have wrapped software, support and distribution logistics around their new products to create an end-to-end ecosystem for building and selling cameras whose performance defies belief in their price. (Note that when I say “off the shelf” this doesn’t mean they’re buying a shrink-wrapped item. As we have seen with Blackmagic and very recently with Aaton, as a product integrator, you still have to deal with quality and supply issues when dealing with outside suppliers. You're also at the mercy of your suppliers, because if they decide to end-of-life a product that's intrinsic to your design - you have to redesign!).




So does this mean that we'll see a rash of new cameras conceived and designed in a garage? Not necessarily. The camera field is getting pretty full now. But what we might see instead is, what, exactly?

It's impossible to say. The very high end vendors will keep doing what they and their customers absolutely love - very high resolution cameras with utterly dependable performance. It's worth paying that bit extra when each minute that you're paying the talent probably costs more than the camera itself.


David Shapton

David is the Editor In Chief of RedShark Publications. He's been a professional columnist and author since 1998, when he started writing for the European Music Technology magazine Sound on Sound. David has worked with professional digital audio and video for the last 25 years.

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