Date: December 20, 2010 6:08:26 PM EST
To: Roberto Mighty
Subject: Re: Left Behind
That was quite a fine post. Thanks. I don't remember being so stirred up by any email before. Yours got to me, and the wheels are spinning fast inside. I fully agree with a main issue: no equipment will make us better filmmakers. The messy area for me is what will we need to do/rent/buy to avoid being left behind.
I'm troubled by lots of the HDSLR problems that we and others have discussed, but I now get that this large sensor look is hot, and in big demand as the current wave - probably. For how long, and how deep is it? Perhaps the essential issues are whether the current set of offerings are good enough to put how much money into, where, and when?
The Internet is where most things are rapidly heading for us and our paying clients, and it is heading, as with broadcast TV, into higher image and sound quality: In 4 years broadcast TV will have a new standard called Quad HD (also Quad HDTV and 2160P), with video resolution of 3840 x 2160. I think better-than-CD quality sound will be expected too. A little over a year ago YouTube was unable to handle most HD video. I expect that YT will be handling 2160P video before broadcasters do. At the same time as iPhone-sized screens are another massive trend in the opposite direction... I think we are going to need to produce high enough quality original image and audio to handle the demands of the very high-end media, not just enough quality for the mini screens, mp3 players and the Internet's current state. Future-proofing to some degree.
In the 70's I did not grow sideburns, buy a Nehru jacket, or bellbottom pants, unlike various friends and their fathers. Perhaps that would have helped in getting dates, but it seemed like a fad and I wasn't buying in. This is of course different, with real work that may or may not demand new gear. The point of all this is that I've long tried to determine what has a feel of endurance, what feels truly right at the moment, and to see what is maybe merely hot at the moment, then to make choices from there. That said, I am expecting to get an new digital camera soon, so I will aim for one that can shoot good useable video too. I've been a photographer since elementary school - I got my first home darkroom in 6th grade - yet I happily put aside my 35mm Nikon SLR and a large-format panoramic Horseman camera around 10 years ago, taking them out now only when the subject material is too rich to be done justice with a digital camera. Digital photography was a movement that made a lot of sense and had profound promise, with some major advantages over film. I'm really not sure about HDSLRs, but do want to record with larger sensors.
As far as seriously investing in my next primary working video recorder, I still expect that I'll hold out for the Red Epic S35 or Scarlet. The Epic's first version began shipping this week - www.studiodaily.com/blog/?p=5043 - and the Scarlet was brought out publicly too (almost 2 years late): http://vimeo.com/17819409. They seem to be upgradeable, shoot 3K and up, are likely to be hot items but not flashes in the pan. It's mostly a question for me of budget, and whether they - and I - are likely to go the way of the dinosaurs because of waiting too long to move ahead (or evolve).
I'd really like to hear from people on this, before my head explodes from all the spinning in there.