Is video raising cost of bodies? Is it wasted for many shooters?

kdsand

Newt II a human stampede
Nov 1, 2011
278
0
121
north west indiana
I think most people would agree that yes the price is all about supply and demand.

I also believe most people would admit that videos is making an increased impact.

I myself for one am not going to jump brands, turncoat nor quit photography. :eek:

I have to wonder if people saying shut up grin and bear it are actually closet videographers. Hmm? :-[ :-X :-[

Lol love the cartoon. :D
 

Hillsilly

EOS R
Oct 16, 2010
1,100
2
But video does hinder a camera's ability. Canon has $X to put towards new product development. Without video, all of it would be put towards photography and useability features. We'd have variable ISO across the sensor, inbuilt ND grads, GPS, Bluetooth, WIFI connectivity, inbuilt ST-E3 functionality, inbuilt IR autofocus assist, improved weathersealing and durability, carbon fibre camera bodies, increased processing power, buffers, longer lasting batteries etc etc. They'd also have the money to develop an adapter for EX speedlites that provides wireless connectivity with the ST-E3 and 600EX. They'd even have money to develop a longer camera strap. But instead Canon has chosen to develop DSLR video features.

I'm not saying that Canon (or any other manufacturer) is wrong with this. Clearly, the market has spoken and we've said that we value video more. last year, I even went out and bought a camera specifically because I wanted to take videos with a DSLR. But to answer the initial question, cameras could be improved from a pure photographic perspective if video development resources were allocated to other areas. But I think Canon has their priorities right in developing video. My only concern is how much people have to pay to get top image quality (especially if they decide to discontinue the 5Dii).
 

NormanBates

www.similaar.com
Aug 31, 2010
487
0
Madrid, Spain
www.similaar.com
the mistake there is to believe that "Canon has $X to put towards new product development".

it has $X if it's going to develop a stills-only camera (which they predict will sell A units) and $Y if it's going to be a stills-and-video camera (which they'll predict will sell B units)

none of us has any idea what X, Y, A, B are, but I'd guess that a $3K camera that doesn't record video won't sell as much as one that does, so A<B, and I'd guess that means X<Y

in any case, the cost of including video is very low: once you have live view, all you have to do is record that signal feed; and the encoding is not expensive: the video processor in the $15K Canon C300 costs less than $50 to manufacture (it can also be found on $300 consumer videocameras); please start a thread complaining that the 5D3 is more expensive than it need be because it has weather sealing that you don't need because you don't ever shoot in the rain; it's much more expensive than this silly video thing

as for the price hike, don't blame the yen, video, or anything like that: blame Canon
the D800 is also made in japan (yen argument us bollocks) and also shoots pretty decent video (see recent Philip Bloom review and comparison with 5D3), and it's $3K instead of $3.5K, while beating the 5D3 in nearly every metric that matters for stills


edit: I'm a video shooter, but if I buy a 5D3 it will be 90% for stills only
 
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paul13walnut5

Guest
@kdsands

Just noticed you've installed magic lantern on your T2i.

So are you a closet videographer then? ;)
 

AvTvM

EOS R6
Nov 4, 2011
3,165
0
yes - video raises the price of DSLRs.
Because up to now, Video-DSLRs are still the cheapest available large-sensor camcorders, video shooters are happy to pay whatever is charged for a video-DSLR, as long as it is substantially lower than what a similarly capable dedicatedvideo-cam costs. This drives up prices of DSLRs for stills shooters.

yes, video is wasted on the majority of all DSLR-buyers
only a smallish proportion of purchasers uses (hi-end) video capabilities. Many others may capture a few short clips after purchase "to try it out", but will never seriously use video in DSLRs at all. Videos that are up to the standars of "enthusiast amateur still photos" are not easy to produce. In terms of creative imagination, skills, time and money for planning, capture and post production, even a fairly simple video is beyond the realm of most amatuer DSLR purchasers.

I for one would love to get a DSLR like the 5D3 with all video-capabilitis disabled in firmware [except liveview] at a 25-50% discount on current price.
 

elflord

EOS RP
Aug 2, 2011
692
0
Hillsilly said:
But video does hinder a camera's ability. Canon has $X to put towards new product development. Without video, all of it would be put towards photography and useability features.

It doesn't follow, because X is not some fixed constant. The amount they're prepared to invest depends on the anticipated returns. That's why stills only cameras are not cheap -- they might put the money into those extra features but they need to charge more per unit shipped to get it back.
 

OldSalt

Amateur Hobbyist
Jul 20, 2011
11
0
56
North Eastern Seaboard U.S.A.
I for one am not at all interested in shooting video. I was perfectly happy with my 450D (last Canon Rebel DSLR to not have a video function) and only upgraded to improve my still shot capabilities. I also believe it is impossible to add video into a DSLR body without increasing the cost, IT JUST CANNOT HAPPEN! Now I would not want to speculate on how a MFR such as Canon might go about determining the return/retail costs, since there are so many factors that go into such an analysis, but I guarantee you the cost of development and features for video function are ADDED to the end cost, MFR's are not giving us anything, ever.
So IMHO there is an increased cost to adding the video functionality albeit probably not a significant added cost to retail (10% is my WAG) and the limited R&D costs are also shared in the development of a DSLR thereby taking away valuable funds that might go towards still photography features that are at present being spread a crossed both still and video. Could they build a "still only" and create a single minded focused purpose built DSLR with today’s modern features strictly as they are related to still photography (such as a option of in-camera HDR) and sell it, I'm sure they could but I doubt it would cost any less simply because the video features taken out of the body would be replaced with added still photography features.
 
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paul13walnut5

Guest
I just don't get it.

If you don't want to use video then don't. Some of us do.

Canon have been adding to their feature set (in camera wireless flash, increased ISO ranges) but folk will always find something to moan about.

I use about 15% of my cameras interface (video postion, M and if I'm feeling lazy Av) I also use the depth of field preview a lot, although I know that many folk do not.

I wish Canon would make a DSLR with XLR audio inputs, a headphone socket, but without spot metering, without a 2s self timer, without a P or CA or PIC modes. In fact, lets bin Tv mode and AiFocus whilst we are at it. I'll keep all the AF points on my 7D, but I wish canon would make a rebel with one single centre AF point, as the rest are entirely superflous to my needs. I would rather the cost of developing firmware that lets you switch your shutter and Ae lock buttons was instead spent on an external audio level control.

But then it would be a camera for me. Not for the x'ooo's of people needed to make the product commercially viable.

I have a 7D a 550D and have recently bought a 600D. And the swivel LCD and audio levels make the 600D the camera I go to most for video. Which is now my main usage of my EOS cameras (I've used EOS cameras since the early 90's, first was a 1000fn, followed by a 5, a 300, a 3, a 50e, a 300x, a 400D, and I sold a fair few cameras in my days in camera retail)

I love that canon are adding decent video functionalty to their DSLRs. And my EOS is often first choice ahead of the 2/3" ENG camera I use where longer record runs are required.

I could live without CA, P, Tv, BULB, DEP, PIC, I could live without any ISO setting above 1600 (in fact I would prefer a range from ISO25-800) I could live without AF pretty much entirely, and to keep the cost down, just give me centreweighted average metering.

My point is that Canon aren't making cameras for any one individual. Believe me, that with the exception of the 1D-C and the C300 & C500, video plays second fiddle to photo on every EOS camera. I can't believe the offence some folk take at the inclusion of video. Really? Go and march on a bank. Stand for election. Open a soup kitchen and get some real problems.

You don't like video, hell, don't use it. It really is that simple. Your stills are not being done down because of it.
 

Orangutan

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 25, 2010
2,140
3
I think one of the problems is that the anti-video crowd believe that Canon develop their specs first, then develop the tech & features to go in it. It's more likely the reverse. Sure, they have a rough idea of what the next camera will be, but not the details -- the market will determine that. Let's consider my guess about the time timelime of a new hypothetical 70D.

Ongoing schedule: Canon's various R&D departments continue to develop tech that could go into their crop line: several types of sensors, screens, processing chips, etc. This process never stops, they're just always trying to develop better and/or cheaper components. These same departments work on the tech for all of their models, not just the 70D, so the new screen or sensor could go into a 7DMII as well, depending on later market conditions.

About 6-9 months before product announcement, Canon must start to "lock down" their feature set. They will know from experience how long it takes to prepare a factory line for each new component and the finish assembly. Features will be locked down in the order required to lock down other components, and by the prep schedule of the factory lines. E.g., they must lock down the body size and shape before locking down layout of internal components. At this point, nearly all the tech is already designed, prototyped, tested, and estimates are made of production costs. Next, Canon checks the market conditions, and also examines tea leaves to determine what the main competition is likely to produce. From this, they select the components to go in the new product. In some cases they may be able to delay this decision for a while, but at some point they must just go with a choice or delay production.

Probably around 3 months from launch, all the features must be locked down. Now the firmware engineers start working overtime to polish and test the firmware with the exact feature set. Occasionally, the firmware engineers will find problems that can only be solved by a hardware change (e.g. processor is just not fast enough for a given task); this delays production while R&D determines the cheapest of their dev components that will do the job.

From 3 months to launch: factory lines ramp up, marketing department goes to work, writers go to work.

Based on my assumptions (yes, these are my _assumptions_) there's nowhere in the process that video can *substantially*increase cost, it's just one part of the process. Sure, it might take $10 extra or even $20 -- but nothing worth worrying about. To put it another way, they sell $150 p&s cameras that take HD video roughly on par with the SLR line (the main difference is the sensor quality), and I refuse to believe that much more than $20 is the cost of including video.

In short, considering R&D spread over multiple models and the relatively decent video quality in cheap P&S cameras, it's seems like a lot to swallow the notion that it's a significant cost in DSLR's.


Are there any production engineers out there who can critique the above hypothetical timeline?
 
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briansquibb

Guest
Are there any components where compromises have to be made which will detrimentally impact the design for a still camera? - for example 22mp is a video size, perhaps it might have been as cheap and easy to make a 28mp sensor which was optimised for still image
 
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paul13walnut5

Guest
@briansquibb
for example 22mp is a video size

Really? How do you come to that conclusion? On a chip that is neither natively 5:4, 4:3 or 16:9 aspect into the bargain?

This really is getting to the nonsensical stage. Try and find any comparable product at a comparable spec and price that doesn't feature some kind of video capture.

If you don't like it, don't use it. Really interested to hear the logic of how any 3:2 aspect chip is video sized, let alone how 22MP specifically is a video resolution.
 

Orangutan

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 25, 2010
2,140
3
briansquibb said:
Are there any components where compromises have to be made which will detrimentally impact the design for a still camera? - for example 22mp is a video size, perhaps it might have been as cheap and easy to make a 28mp sensor which was optimised for still image

I think this is unknowable: given that the overwhelming critiques of the 5D2 had nothing to do with resolution, we could easily attribute this to other design requirements, such as fps, and not drawing sales away from the 1DX. Again, look at the D800: video is comparable to the 5D3 but higher MP, so we can't really say that 22MP is a "video size." Without more detailed and definitive info (which we may never have) there's no reason to believe this was video driven as there are plenty of other plausible reasons. There are lots of wedding/event still photographers who are overjoyed that it's not greater than 22MP. 28MP would be a better landscape resolution, but is that the 5d3's market position?

While it is plausible 22MP was selected for video, it's no more so than other explanations. I think it would be more legitimate to complain that Canon hasn't release a true landscape camera (D800 direct competition) than to ask why the 5D3 has the specs it has.
 
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briansquibb

Guest
Orangutan said:
briansquibb said:
Are there any components where compromises have to be made which will detrimentally impact the design for a still camera? - for example 22mp is a video size, perhaps it might have been as cheap and easy to make a 28mp sensor which was optimised for still image

I think this is unknowable: given that the overwhelming critiques of the 5D2 had nothing to do with resolution, we could easily attribute this to other design requirements, such as fps, and not drawing sales away from the 1DX. Again, look at the D800: video is comparable to the 5D3 but higher MP, so we can't really say that 22MP is a "video size." Without more detailed and definitive info (which we may never have) there's no reason to believe this was video driven as there are plenty of other plausible reasons. There are lots of wedding/event still photographers who are overjoyed that it's not greater than 22MP. 28MP would be a better landscape resolution, but is that the 5d3's market position?

While it is plausible 22MP was selected for video, it's no more so than other explanations. I think it would be more legitimate to complain that Canon hasn't release a true landscape camera (D800 direct competition) than to ask why the 5D3 has the specs it has.

I was asking the simple question - has the 5DIII design been compromised as a stills camera by incorporating video?
 

unfocused

EOS-1D X Mark III
Jul 20, 2010
6,235
3,662
67
Springfield, IL
www.mgordoncommunications.com
This is ridiculous. Video doesn't increases the cost of cameras, it reduces it.

Cameras are a mass produced object. It's not like your 5DIII is being handcrafted and each feature must be individually installed. It's a mass production item.

Let me explain. Manufacturer "A" makes $100 profit on each unit they sell of Product "B." They have a goal of $10,000 profit. They sell 100 units, they make $10,000. But, if they add feature "C" to the product, it will reduce their per unit profits by $10.

But at the same time, they know that adding feature "C" will boost their sales by 30%, so when they sell Product "B" at $90 profit, they actually net $11,700, exceeding their sales goal. So, instead of selling Product "B" at $90 profit, because they have increased their sales volume, they decide to cut the price by $3 and sell it at $87 profit. The company still surpasses their sales goals and consumers get a product at less cost, but with more features.

As long as the ratio between the increased sales due to video exceeds the marginal cost of including the feature, the per unit cost (which is what we consumers should be concerned with) is actually lower with video than without. This is what is called the "industrial revolution" and it happened about 150 years ago.
 
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paul13walnut5

Guest
Ah but the cost of the plastic switch could have made the 5D3 36MP instead.

Or some such absolute bo11ocks.

I've stopped banging my head against the wall. Nikon trumped Canon for a change, so it must be the fault of the video (which the D800 also has)
 

Orangutan

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 25, 2010
2,140
3
briansquibb said:
I was asking the simple question - has the 5DIII design been compromised as a stills camera by incorporating video?

Probably not. We can never know for certain. Therefore it's not worth fretting about.

Not all simple questions have simple answers.
 

preppyak

EOS R
Oct 18, 2011
1,025
78
paul13walnut5 said:
Really? How do you come to that conclusion? On a chip that is neither natively 5:4, 4:3 or 16:9 aspect into the bargain?
I'll let another user answer that for you

a slight increase to 22mp is intended for EOS-Movie, horizontal pixels 5760 is exactly 3 times of 1920, this indicates that 5D Mark III will do a full-sensor readout and 3x3 pixel binning to produce clean, sharp and almost-no-moire HD video.

Now, that's hypothetical for the reasoning, though it makes sense to make a sensor that can be used among many cameras (including the C cameras) that works well with video capture. But, they might also have found 22mp to be compromise between low-light and resolution that they liked best.

That moire is basically non-existent in video would lead me to believe that the sensor size isn't accidentally a solution for that, but, I wouldn't say its the only reason. Canon settled on 21mp for the 5dII with video as an after-thought; it might just be the magic number for them

briansquibb said:
Are there any components where compromises have to be made which will detrimentally impact the design for a still camera? - for example 22mp is a video size, perhaps it might have been as cheap and easy to make a 28mp sensor which was optimised for still image
It's an interesting question. I'd have to imagine that there was a slight compromise there...though, a true video person would be even happier with 4x4 binning, which would mean a sensor in the 35mp range. Canon have made sensors MUCH larger than that, so, they are clearly capable of such a thing. I imagine they tested it and decided that for the target market (wedding, event, indie movie set), low-light handling was more important than that added resolution, and their sensors only allowed them to go so far.

So, sure, it could have been 28mp, but, do you really need that extra resolution if it cost camera a stop of light, or didn't solve issues from the older 5dII (moire, etc)
 

AvTvM

EOS R6
Nov 4, 2011
3,165
0
unfocused said:
This is ridiculous. Video doesn't increases the cost of cameras, it reduces it.
wrong.

As long as a KB-sensored "dedicated videocam" with video-performance similar to a 5D3 costs in excess of 10k, Canon figures, they can charge a much higher price than they could for a video-less stills camera. Obviously Video-users will happily pay anywhere up to 9999 - thus driving up the price of the cam for all stills-only users who are forced to cross-subsidize the video crowd, as Canon does not offer a video-less version of the camera (say a a reasonable 2500) but prefers to demand a whopping 3.500 for a video-enabled camera that only a minority of purchasers will ever use to regularly capture video.

The only one "spoiling the game" for Canon is Nikon with its D800, which offers the whole video shebang plus better stills performance for 600 less. This is why Nikon will sell a boatload of their new DSLRs and is gaining market share against Canon in 2012.
 

preppyak

EOS R
Oct 18, 2011
1,025
78
AvTvM said:
This is why Nikon will sell a boatload of their new DSLRs and is gaining market share against Canon in 2012.
Got a link for that? As I imagine it'd be pretty impossible for the D800 to have gained Nikon market-share when its barely even available in stores
 

Orangutan

EOS 5D Mark IV
Sep 25, 2010
2,140
3
Apparently we've got three lines of reasoning:

1. Basic video features increase the cost to produce the camera enough to affect end-user price. This one is likely false, but ultimately unknowable. (marginal cost to add basic video is low, and overall sales would suffer without video)

2. High-quality video features alter design decisions, resulting in compromise of still features. Maybe, but it's Canon's game and they can do what they want. The market will sort this out.

3. High-quality video features drive up consumer demand, resulting in higher end-user prices. If true, this is music to Canon's ears, and this would be a great business decision. Like it or hate it, we're stuck with it.

For high-end bodies (5 and up) it's possible that high-quality video increases price through consumer demand. If so, there's nothing to be done but vote with your wallet.

For consumer-level bodies (7D, XXd and below) video is a requirement of this market segment, but the quality is not high enough to pull in serious video enthusiasts, so body price is not affected.

These are just opinions and speculations, I have no hard data.