Is Modularity the Solution to Too Many Camera Choices?

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Can there be one camera to rule them all? Simon Wyndham of RedShark News explains some of the drawbacks to too many camera choices and what he feels the solution should be.

“There is an often-heeded rule of selling goods in a shop that says that if a customer is faced with too much choice then they often make no choice at all, leaving the shop without making a purchase at all. With so many boundaries being blurred and so much choice, this is a risk for any would be purchaser of a camcorder. It is hard to find a system that offers a good balance of all capabilities,” he writes.

Yet, Wyndham does understand the factors at play. “The pace of progress is such that it is often outstripping the ability of gear to make its money back, or to keep up across the different manufacturers,” he writes. “In other words we have a bit of a dilemma. We as professional camera users need equipment that lasts a reasonable amount of time and can easily make back the money that was invested in it. It should be robust and easily usable. On the flip side as professionals we don’t want to get left behind the curve and the camera manufacturers need to keep releasing new products in order to stay in business.”

Wyndham’s solution is one which Blackmagic Design already announced at NAB Show this year with their URSA: a modular camera. “Eventually we will need another paradigm shift in design. One where the absolute base level for good all round general professional use is a camera body with highly usable ergonomics and controls, good codec, decent sized chip, a choice of easily swappable lens mounts, decent viewfinder, audio meters, built in ND, decent resolution and framerate choice, good I/O, and a good range of manually controllable lenses,” he writes. “A modular design can build from that base point so that the final price is dependent on your choice of sensor, recording codec, better viewfinder and such like if you wished to upgrade.”

Read the full story here.