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.
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...