Preroll: The DSLR Cam Rises
The DV Forums (www.dv-forums.com) are a good place to test your technological mettle, as the regular posters engage in that time-honored Web tradition of challenging and nit-picking their way to the heart of every issue, question or controversy, often cutting to the chase in unexpected ways.
One forum veteran — Jerry_R — recently commented on the increasing convergence between the video and DSLR camera realms, noting that Nikon has some additional HD-capable units coming to a party currently dominated by Canon’s EOS 5D Mark II. “Could get interesting,” he wrote.
“The inevitable convergence is not the big item I am watching, but, rather, the effect convergence has on the big players,” fellow DV Forum member Bassman replied. “The video industry has been engineered around the big manufacturers dribbling out little advancements at their own pace in order to keep this hierarchy of cameras in their product offerings. Well, the more time that passes, the more they risk losing the middle and lower markets as well as the stepping stone to their larger offerings.
“The budgets are not there and image quality is almost at saturation. Folks are shooting video with the 5D that looks very nice, and I think this camera costs $2,700 and the top lenses for it cost $1,000-$1,500.
“I don't see a market for the $30,000 camera body when the results from a $4,500 setup are really nice. My point is once somebody builds the 5D in a video camera body, the game will be forever changed. The 5D is not the story — the wave behind the 5D is the story, IMHO.”
Bassman is concisely expressing what so many are thinking, but the light-speed evolution of HD-capable DSLRs is hardly waiting for anyone to build these cameras out before using them as full-fledged video units.
The pic above shows director of photography Michael Mickens and director Liam Finn with their modified Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1 on the set of Rejouer, their forthcoming sci-fi-flavored indie action feature that claims to be “the first HDSLR movie.”And, yes, that's a PL mount lens on the front of it.
It’s real, it’s happening. And you’ll read more about Rejouer in the next issue of DV.
David E. Williams, Editor