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Author Topic: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?  (Read 19321 times)

gmrza

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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2012, 02:57:51 AM »
It isn't the cost of the hardware which is the issue - it is the cost to produce the firmware which is high. The extra software will cost millions to produce - and that has then to be spread over each body sold

It is probably true that video capability does add to the cost of the software running on cameras in general, however, I am sure that a lot of the code is reused across multiple systems - it would be crazy for manufacturers to code everything from the ground up for each body.  Sure there is some code that is specific to the 5D3, but I am also certain that there is more code that is common across all EOS bodies.  The same goes for the hardware components, like processors - most of the R&D cost is probably shared across Canon's entire line of cameras.

I suspect that the cost benefits of a greater target market (more scale) due to video capability are greater than the additional cost of supporting video in each body.
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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2012, 02:57:51 AM »

dilbert

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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2012, 03:16:12 AM »
You're Canon and you have to consider what is worse:
- the added cost of R&D for video or
- sales lost because a tick-box feature is missing

PeterJ

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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #17 on: May 12, 2012, 03:29:48 AM »
Anyway I think if we all agree the the cost is something like +/- $200 at the extremes the OP Scotty used the example of a $3,500 camera possibly having $1,200 worth of video functionality. I assume he's disappointed with the price of a 5D3 and wonders if it would be a $2300 camera minus video. If it became a $3,300 option I dare say many / most peple would pay the extra 5% odd extra just in case they ever needed it and because of a likely larger resale market. But personally I'd say the 5% more would still be at the upper bounds of possibility.

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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2012, 04:12:48 AM »
It isn't the cost of the hardware which is the issue - it is the cost to produce the firmware which is high. The extra software will cost millions to produce - and that has then to be spread over each body sold

It is probably true that video capability does add to the cost of the software running on cameras in general, however, I am sure that a lot of the code is reused across multiple systems - it would be crazy for manufacturers to code everything from the ground up for each body.  Sure there is some code that is specific to the 5D3, but I am also certain that there is more code that is common across all EOS bodies.  The same goes for the hardware components, like processors - most of the R&D cost is probably shared across Canon's entire line of cameras.

I suspect that the cost benefits of a greater target market (more scale) due to video capability are greater than the additional cost of supporting video in each body.

The real cost of the software is in the debugging and testing it - which would have to be model specific

once

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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2012, 04:35:12 AM »
Is it raising the cost of bodies? Probably, yes, to a degree.

Is it wasted for many shooters? Probably, yes, to a degree.

It seems you won't be swayed from your perspective--at least not easily...

Consider that I think this is one of many gripes that characterize the situation Canon is in. They make products to satisfy as many people as possible, but their primary market is...? I don't know, maybe they sell just as much to professionals as hobbyists?

Surely, they have done a little bit of research before deciding to spend millions of dollars on R&D for their cameras. Which is probably less than 5% of their budget, but anyway.

But then any time a new product comes out, each group has their criticisms.

So, what to do?

Anyway...I would tend to be on the other side of your argument.

Do you really think the 5D III would be $1200 less for a camera without the video features? The technology is not likely that expensive, considering that it had already largely been available in the previous version. And, you can get a T3i now for what...$600? So...historically speaking, we're talking about unprecedented value and inexpensiveness for recording HD video on a DSLR.

So I doubt the video features are much of a big deal.

Also, consider what is the most expensive part of a camera. Isn't it the sensor? (I am not sure) I highly doubt video software is enough to command 33% of the cost of a camera. We're talking about 2 megapixels, right? That's not asking much, at this point.

Anyway, it would be a nightmare at this point to separate the two. Can you imagine? I'm sure some people would be very pleased that you would have to buy an entirely separate setup just to record the 2 minutes of video you might want to (or in the case of professionals, you have to) record.

Oh wait, for those who really want to spend some more money, you can spend a whole lot more to feel like even more of a professional! You can pay as much as 20 times more for the body, and 40 times more for a lens. Lots of people are surely happy about this.  :o

But I'm glad for all these developments. Now the serious HD video is a separate R&D budget, and any technology that may trickle down will not be at more than a marginal cost added to the DSLR.

It's ironic to think...I mean this happens often, right? New product comes out, vocal minority gets upset about any number of things.

These numbers are likely off--surely they are inaccurate:
Before 5D, a full frame DSLR cost...$5000? Everyone's happy...
After 5D II it cost...$3300? Oh wait...did the price of the camera drop, or stay the same, and they added video? Unacceptable!
After 5D III it cost...$3500?
And now you can get a full frame body for $2000.

The initial price seems to have stayed the same over time, so I am sort of glad all the extra features haven't added any further cost to the bodies. But, I do not like the price of the 5D III, for the record, Canon.

Also, before 5D II, HD video would cost something like $1200 for a separate camera--if you got the point and shoot version.

It was $2500 to start, or maybe more for a "real" camera, and I have no idea how much extra lenses would have been.

Are you saying you'd want to have this? As above, you now have that.

It's funny that more than a few are suggesting that video is messing with the DSLR budget. I get it: historically, any new technology or improvement meets with dissatisfaction. But before 5D II, a lot of people would never have considered spending $2500 to get an extra body for video only.

And after 5D III, a small number of people are wishing it was like it was "back in the day."

What features do you imagine are missing from the 5D III? Do you want 14 fps, carbon fiber shutters, full carbon fiber and basalt body, in a smaller package? 71 point all cross point brain-controlled autofocus? Because although I think they could have included "a few" more features, I don't think they could have included "a lot" more features. Look to the 1D X to see what more they could include, and to the...eh, the 5D II to see how much less it could be, with less features. Though that last part would be wildly inaccurate, because it's already been out for so long.

My take: Canon put video in because a lot of people seemed to want it at the time. They also had the benefit of finding that after including it, they increased their market share by >10%, or whatever the fact may be. Correlation is not causation, but I don't think they'd like to step away from that. I certainly hope they don't!

I feel like they actually added it at marginal cost, not even knowing what would happen. This is one of those things..."Well it only costs 5%, but...more people will buy it!"

In fact, maybe that extra market share helped Canon to allow more budget for R&D--which I imagine will remain the same or go even lower for video, now that they have separate video cameras. That would explain all this stuff coming out...

Now about those new lens prices...

once

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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2012, 04:42:04 AM »
Opinions?
Is all the expensive, ever-more sophisticated video capability jacking up the price of DSLR's?  Is super-serious video/audio capability wasted on most purchasers of DSLR's? 
Should they come out with at least a couple models of stills-only DLSR's that would cost less for people who don't shoot any "serious" video?  If I buy a pair of snow skis, they don't force me to buy a set of golf clubs at the same time.  If the camera body I'd like costs $3,500, but $1,200 of it is just the video capability I won't use, I'd just as soon pass on that munti-functionality.

Also, as of this year, conventional HD in itself is no longer the standard of super serious.

And it's not that they're forcing you to buy two completely different things at the same time. It's a classic business case of, "how cheaply can we add something that will allow us to sell a lot more?" HD is a perfect case--especially in the case of the 5D.

Photographic technology both has and hasn't changed a lot since the 1980s...but I would say it's definitely gotten a lot more accessible.

HD is a good distraction, anyway. When the 1D...(XXX?) comes out and we have double the frame rate...I mean do we really need 30 fps mechanical shutters?

Where is the technology headed? Because although there have been a lot of improvements, there haven't been a lot of breakthrough new features. And I think that's because...what more is there? And, what more is there that we can do, while keeping the price the same?

TexPhoto

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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2012, 08:05:18 AM »
Considering 3rd party software can be added to a 50D to shoot video with a Canon that was never designed for it, It does not seem like the software or hardware could be adding that much to the cost of the camera.

Also the video capabilities have added large numbers of sales to these DSLRs that they would have not had anyway. The 5DII then 7D were runaway hits in large part because they had video when other cameras did not.  So without it, and thus fewer sales, camera prices may have been higher.  Profits for Canon certainly would have been lower, and subsequent cameras and lenses more expensive.

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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2012, 08:05:18 AM »

illogict

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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2012, 08:28:20 AM »
Once you have LiveView (and I doubt many people would want that removed, no matter how vocal they are about video), video is nothing than recording that feed. Adding a sound chip, a mic and a speaker is not much at all hardware-wise.
Software-wise, you mostly need to code that h264 encoder -- once it's done, you can just reuse that for every other product. Obviously, Canon already had that for the compacts and video cameras, thus no need to recode it. So what's missing? Some UI and polish.
Video came basically at no cost for Canon. Why bother? That's a no-brainer.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2012, 09:29:48 AM by illogict »
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elflord

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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2012, 08:46:45 AM »
Sorry but it is hard to accept that the video capability is free.   Whether it is hardware of software or (probably) both, they market it as a selling point, so it must cost something.

Again, nothing against video, particularly simple video, but one shouldn't have to be rich to get into photography in a DSLR.

Well, what do you mean by "free" ? It's not free to develop, but that's not the same as saying that it makes the shipped product more expensive.

You're welcome to buy a Leica if you don't want to "waste money on video". But they cost more (even though they don't "waste money" on video).

The total R&D is not free, but from that you need to subtract sunk costs (R&D already spent on prior models, or allocated to different models like dedicated video cameras) to get R&D spent. Then you have net R&D costs. But if that feature results in an increase in sales, the extra sales dollars could exceed the net R&D costs.

So in terms of cost per body, the "economy of sale" factor could actually trump any "advantages" of avoiding "wasting money on video". That's at least part of why Leica bodies are not cheaper than Canon (even though they don't "waste money on video")

In terms of manufacturing cost per body, the difference is tiny as has already been pointed out -- so it all boils down to impact on sales versus impact on costs. I put it to you that not only it does in fact result in lower costs per unit shipped -- but that a low cost full frame body would probably not be viable today without video.


sanj

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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #24 on: May 12, 2012, 09:05:12 AM »
So much speculation without any solid inside knowledge.

elflord

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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2012, 09:08:05 AM »
The real cost of the software is in the debugging and testing it - which would have to be model specific

Similar logic applies to this too though -- you're dealing with marginal cost of debugging and testing. Once you have software that works on several platforms (or bodies), the marginal cost of adding an additional platform is quite low. By the time they've got video working on the 5DII Rebel line and their 1DC, cost of adding it to 5DIII firmware can't be too bad. It probably cost them more to have it on the 5DII, but it's not clear that this made even that body a whole lot more expensive (was the D700 cheaper ?)

elflord

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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2012, 09:16:31 AM »
So much speculation without any solid inside knowledge.

Well, who are you saying is doing this speculation ? Some are insisting that video raises the cost of bodies but offer absolutely no evidence in support of this position. They have insisted that video "must" add to "costs".

The counter argument to this has little to do with "inside" knowledge, but everything to do with "solid knowledge". The counter argument is that gross costs are not the same as marginal costs, which are again not the same thing as price paid by the consumer, and that it is quite plausible that an increase in gross cost does not result in a price increase for the consumer. This argument does not depend on some proprietary knowledge, it is a simple mathematical fact.

In response to this the complainers simply stamp their feet and ignore the counter to their argument (because they don't understand it perhaps ?) and insist that video "is not free". We agree that it must cost something to develop support for video, but no-one has made the case that it makes cameras more expensive. Assuming that it "must be so" really doesn't cut it.

 The empirical evidence really does not appear to be on the side of the complainers, as there appears to be next to no correlation in the market place between having video and price of the body (except perhaps that really expensive stills cameras generally DO NOT have video features)
« Last Edit: May 12, 2012, 09:18:47 AM by elflord »

KeithR

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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2012, 09:18:10 AM »
What Illogict The Enlightener said...

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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2012, 09:18:10 AM »

DavidRiesenberg

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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2012, 09:53:07 AM »
This horse has been beaten to death many times before and it doesn't change the simple fact that hardware and software costs have almost nothing to do with the final price. What determines that is the market and what it can bear. Nothing more, nothing less.

cayenne

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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2012, 10:04:44 AM »

The real cost of the software is in the debugging and testing it - which would have to be model specific

Well, the cost of the software/debugging is likely more processor specific....but that would be the case not only for video, but for the still shot resources. Since most of the hardware 'can' support video, it is likely little added on.

And if you code correctly, in a modular manner...etc...it can more easily be ported for different processors..of which I think Canon works with mainly what, like 2x different processors?

cayenne

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Re: Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?
« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2012, 10:04:44 AM »