Saturday, October 11, 2014

Top 3 most boring new cameras - Nikon D750, Canon 7D Mark II and GoPro Hero 4

I haven't written much lately, and readership has gone down as a result. It's not that there are no new cameras to talk about - it's that the new cameras are not very exciting - in fact, they are downright boring.

Some blogs, for example, are touting the full-frame goodness of the new Nikon D750, to which I say "meh."

So what if Nikon has finally figured out how to compress video without moire. They should have done it years ago.

And while others are promoting the Canon 7D Mark II as worthy successor to the 7D for video - I say...well, my answer isn't printable on a blog intended for polite audiences.  And as for Canon's latest marketing campaign, "See Impossible" - I won't dignify it with a response.

Nikon may have figured out moire-free compression, but Canon hasn't. And they'll nevertheless advertise this thing as a video capable camera and charge shooters $1800 for it.

Anyone who has read this blog for long knows that I have not been hesitant to promote new products (when there was actually something new and worthwhile about them), but I just can't bring myself to recommend these cameras for shooters who care about video - even if Canon has finally put a headphone jack on an interchangeable lens camera under $2000 - or if Nikon has finally eliminated full-frame moire.

Neither of these cameras gets rid of the major liability that comes with the reflex mirror - the lack of a video viewfinder, which is the dirty little secret of the DSLR. As I've said elsewhere, the lack of a video viewfinder is a hidden tax on filmmakers, who are often surprised to learn that they can't see their LCDs in bright sunlight and end up buying expensive and cumbersome LCDVFs and/or EVFs just so they can see what they are shooting.

Until these manufacturers give up on the mirror (and the 30 minute limit for cameras sold outside of the EU), it will be hard to take them seriously when they advertise the video features of their cameras.

As for the GoPro Hero 4 Black and 4K, there has been a 4K/30fps action camera on the market for over 6 months, it's called the Panasonic HX-A500, and no one seemed to care until GoPro released the Hero 4.

But some of it is the fault of Panasonic's marketing people. Here's Panasonic's tired and slow moving 4K A500 demo on YouTube, which has garnered a pitiful 9,200 views between March of 2014 and this post:

Contrast that with GoPro's fast moving Hero 4 4K demo video - which has had over 9.5 million views in a few weeks - over a thousand times more than Panasonic's A500 video:

To me, GoPro is a little like Canon - riding a wave of brand recognition while trailing Panasonic in innnovation.

All three of these cameras are the equivalent of "New Coke" for me - corporate marketing designed to sell repackaged version of old products rather than meeting the needs of contemporary consumers.  I don't recommend them, and won't be posting links to them, even if it costs me money.

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