Take a deep breath, take a sip of scotch, and slip into something more comfortable because it is time for The Vision Wrangler 2012 Top Ten Cine Gear Hits and Misses. Vision Wrangler has punched the shift clock and ready to take over Cinescopophilia, have a little fun, and add more than a little sass to the Blog and to your reading. By sass we mean, part serious part tongue in cheek with a whole lot of truth sprinkled on top.
Well 2012 what a year for gear, cameras, cameras, and still more cameras. In Twenty Twelve at times it felt like a new camera, a new accessory, a new court case, and sadly a new delay was announced every week. Unicorn cameras flew, got cheaper, and had more technology added, much to the delight of peoples wallets. Camera gear accessory manufactures on the other hand had a tough year with knock offs finally making it to the mainstream and a slew of new makers entering the market too.
Maybe 2013 will be The Year Of The Rig with no two cameras looking, feeling, costing, or indeed outputting the same way. Maybe. But for now let us deal with the cards we were dealt with in 2012: cameras.
If you are still sitting on the fence as to which camera to get or are still waiting for that one Unicorn camera with all the fancy features to be announced at an insanely cheap price, then it has to be said you really need to hang up the lens. Now 2012 saw camera manufactures dish up some magic, with Sony taking up the charge with their slew of Sonycorn cameras that started with a POV action camera, moved on and hang out at Billy’s soccer game, captured low / mid end broadcast, and finally the biggy, went right up to a full blown production cine camera lineup.
Oh and RED ain’t dead, just cheaper now. Not bargain bin out the front of shop cheaper, but a more market friendly cost effective solution. Just don’t mention that to the guys who still have to hire out the dearer versions for a budget price now.
Now the BMCCorn or Blackmagic Cinema Camera is a red carpet Diva it must be said. She announced she was coming, was briefly seen on dates with a bevy of high profile Blogographers, then said she was coming again, asked for a room upgrade, and finally asked for more time to get ready. Who is to blame for her not turning up at the ball on time? The buck stops at her manager, no where else. You can’t shift blame to the guy hired to put only green MM’s in her room. It’s the managers job to deliver her! But thanks for the updates anyway.
Panasonic had a crack at the pointy end of the market too with the 4K Varicamcorn…. err 4k Varicam, which they outed at NAB. It was all funky looking, and modular, and even had a slot for an android phone to snap in and control it. Only thing missing though on the Panasonic 4K Varicam was, well… For it to be real and not a hey I’m over here not drowning waving.
GoPro, what can we say now that Protune has arrived, other than to say put it all on black with the Hero 3! At least you can tell the clear difference between the CamOne Infinity and any GoPro camera now.
Drift Innovation slid out a new Drift HD Ghost camera which also went down well.
JVC even got in on the POV camera act with the GC-XA1 ADIXXION POV Action camera. But you knew that right?!!
Vision Research released a bevy of Phantom cameras onto the market, with each of course a slomo specialist. But all cameras released now are of the multi frame rate variety, right?
Kinfinity firecracker popped but did you see it, or even hear it? KineRAW s35 camera probably should be called the KineRAWcorn. It needs desperate PR help, and proper distribution plus a real price tag to move that beast outside its country of origin. However it makes for good reading on Chinese blogs though where a few English speaking Blogographers were really carved up for their efforts with that unit.
The AATON Delta Penelope showed up at IBC. Might cost a pretty penny but dang! She is one fine looking woman, and bonus she looks like a camera.
2/3″ sensor baby, the Antelope PICO a POV style ultra slow motion camera system capable of 250fps made an appearance, but did you see that one too?
The Flea so called 4k camera bounced then went back to the niche it was destined for.
Ummm… OK the Digital Bolex, well um… aaaaah… errr, looks good on paper, but do we blame anyone yet or just wait it out? Let’s just wait… Yeah wait, I need to get my hair cut anyway.
Firmware updates, colour fringing, and powering units down just to change a lens, oh we must be in the Canon corner where a few cameras got rubbed out or added, I forget. Bye bye 5D MKII, bye bye flower bed tests, bye bye bad pull focus, hand tremors bleeding into video image stabilization, bye bye razor dull shallow DoF…. See ya Fan Bois… Bye bye…. Wait what, it’s still going to happen.
Nikon not wanting to be left out jumped in and said hey we want to make up for the D90 and dropped the D800 / E… Also the Nikon PR camp announced the Cinematic Arrival of the D4 and D800 and then removed those BBC words less than a day later. They also said not to lick or breathe on a lens and removed those words a week later too.
Weisscam had stated the T-Camera was getting a crowdfunding campaign in 2012 to get off the ground, but sadly it has been postponed till a later date.
Apertus the ongoing open source cinema project, released the first short film shot with the Elphel Camera. Did you see it?
Hitachi even introduced 3 HD Cameras at NAB 2012 but let’s not talk about that.
FOR-A dropped a clanger in the FT-ONE camera which has a full 4K recording up to 1,000fps. Not too shabby.
We must mention the Ikonoskop Panchromatic camera. Footage looked interesting, just needed to see more of that free spirited black and white stuff.
Whew! If you sipped to each camera announcement in 2012… Well let’s face it, you’re very drunk right now.
Legal stouches saw RED Vs the world it seemed in 2012. Well to be fair the alleged ARRI email hacking, corporate espionage and false advertising claims happened late December 2011 and spilled over into 2012. That EPIC battle is still to be fully played out. On to RED Vs Wooden Camera over alleged Patent Infringements and for some reason Sunglasses. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be a 3rd party. Again this is still being played out.
Now to the doozy that ruffled a few feathers, the Litepanels 337 Complaint. There is a lot at play in this patent case for USA players, and some importers into America. So what do you think we saw? The legal system played out? In part we did, the final outcome however will be in early 2013. What we did witness was an anti-Litepanels ratty half arsed fake website full of its own self importance dropping made up dribble for dolts to lick at. Oh they apparently hate the English too???!!! Great job manning the site during office hours guys, it gave away who ran the campaign and how much skin you have in the LED lighting game.
Camera Shootouts dished up over the last 12 months have been utterly puerile, pointless, pathetic, pish posh. No exceptions. There I said it. In 2012 camera shootouts checked in, achieved the Peter Principle badge and became Mayor of Feculence Town. Camera shootouts serve no value other than proving those running them have a bizarre agenda, or indeed no idea what the hell they are doing. Besides successful camera shootouts have long existed and that formula kicks any puny attempt to feebly compare $600 DSLR’s to $65,000+ cine cameras. That formula is of course The 48 Hour Film Project. In 2013 say no to camera shootouts!
And finally it is still going on, this silly continued arrogant preamble that appears in front of some Blogs and it is beyond the pale. Next time you read any Blogographer’s post and it starts with an ethics statement, you can well and truly take it for granted that commercial consideration is afoot.
OK with that all said let us get on with it then in no particular order.
The Vision Wrangler 2012 Top Ten Cine Gear Hits and Misses:-
Bright Tangerine Matte Box:
What do you get if infuse the colour orange, an ex, and ARRI? Well a lot of drool from a guy that has burst onto the scene with a lot of matte box goodness.
The future is ahead of schedule was the claim from Sony. The F5 and F55 bought on a credit card would be just that. Just allow a little extra for well, extras.
GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition Camera / Protune:
It costs how much? Jeez if you don’t have one of these in your kit or on order then you never will.
Blackmagic Cinema Camera:
No one saw this coming.
Fujinon PL 19-90 Cabrio Lens:
At around $38,000 it is not for everyone. Yet thanks to outstanding presales at NAB 2012, this glass is going to do very well.
OConnor O-Focus Dual Mini Follow Focus:
Multi award winning follow focus. Sounds good doesn’t it? It is and it does.
Rycote Tac!T XLR Cable:
An XLR cable with a knee at around 60Hz. Filter that audio clean, clear, crisp and vibration free. Hmmm yes please!
Ergocine Wooden Camera Rigs:
With an official Aaton seal of approval these Honorary Aaton Shoulder Cats are something else.
Focus pulling never seemed so easy.
RED Slashing Camera Prices:
The best bargain in the history of man says Big RED Jim about the offer of 4K for 4K. If JJ writes on RECON about another company being a zero threat to the RED plan, then take it to the bank that, that company has cameras coming in under a week that threaten RED in some way.
Nikon D800, SmallHD DP7-PRO Series Monitors, HyperDeck Shuttle 2, Sony Sony FS-700, DJI Phantom Quadcopter, Denz Multi Camera Base Plate, Zylight F8 LED Fresnel Light, SmallHD AC7-OLED Monitor, ARRI Anamorphic Lenses, RED Meizler Module, Tokina 16-28 F2.8 PL Mount Cinema Lens, PARALINX ARROW Wireless HD Video Transmitter System, TruColor HS Light, Genustech Eclipse ND Vari Fader, AJA T-TAP, AJA Video Systems Ki Pro Quad, Rotolight ANOVA Light
Hey I work in PR for a respondent. I will do a mass mail out with half truths, set up a crazy website and mishandle any opportunity to capitalize on any facts. Sad but true. Is that website even around anymore?!!
Blackmagic Cinema Camera:
No one is seeing this coming. Those that want it can’t even get the name of the company right. For the record it’s Blackmagic Design, not Black Magic anything.
Sony FS700 4K Recorder:
Sold on a promise about future 4K, the FS700 soon turned out to be an expensive joke. No one laughed. If they did it was in 1080p
Sony Something Big is Coming:
Rehashing an old PR campaign line from when the EX1R came out, the PMW200 too turned out to be a beat up. Cinescopophilia managed to get a few cease and desists over it. But everything was hiding in plain sight.
Vimeo tip jar:
Rewarding mediocre with cash rewards. Let us instead add constructive criticism in the comments. Now that’s a tip jar.
Panasonic 4K Varicam camera:
Concept cameras?!!! WTF… Just do it.
Looks great as a promise, looks great as a render, let’s hope it looks great in the hands of… well anyone.
Come on, this is the little boy who cried AF200 coming to NAB all over again. He also cried that Nikon would never do the D4 because of the 4. Guess he knows Asian culture like he knows cameras.
Panasonic GH3 camera:
Ummm in a world that has moved on… well we have, deal with it.
RED Slash Camera Prices:
By one click of the entry key the ROI of many RED owners was carved up. Well they were if the did F all with the camera to get a return on it before the button was executed.
The failed Kickstarter eye3 Affordable Radio Controlled Camera Helicopter, Camera shootouts, HyperDeck Shuttle 1st version, Limited Edition camera rigs, Nikon PR not reading BBC tests properly, KineRAW s35 camera, Avid for iPad, 3D, That real shoulder mounted slider, Bags of signature wind named after a sex act
Apart from 2013 being The Year Of The Rig, it will be a huge 12 months for lights. That’s right lights. 2012 NAB showed that the lighting industry is on the boil and at the 2013 NAB show perhaps we will see a whole swag of affordable lighting solutions come our way.
H.265 High Efficiency Video Coding or HEVC is going to be a huge buzz word in 2013.
Sony will deliver on those high frame rate 2K and 4K to consumer cameras.
RED will need to drop, not just announce a new Soccer Mum camera to cut off BMD at the knees with their next camera announcement.
Digital Bolex, well they need to just get a camera out. If they do then perhaps all will be forgoten and it turns out to be the darling of the DNG set of cameras.
The Panasonic 4K camera will be trotted out again; and even more catchup will ensue.
HALL of FAME:-
The very first induction into the Vision Wrangler Top Ten Cine Gear Hits and Misses goes to…. Drum roll please…… The Canon 5D MKII.