Back in the fall of 2008 after Vincent LaForet shot “Reverie” with a Canon 5DII, suddenly everybody who shot video wanted a 5DII.
When manufacturers (mostly Red) started pushing 4K, suddenly everybody wanted a 4K camera.
When the online “press” started promoting raw with the Black Magic Cinema Camera, suddenly everybody wanted a camera that would do raw.
In most cases, people wanting those new must-have cameras already had perfectly good video cameras, but the web-enabled instant transmission of knowledge (or what passes for knowledge), the hype hits everyone at about the same time and that hype feeds and multiplies and more hype happens. The end result–people often want what they don’t really need.
Any professional digital cinema camera made today is capable of producing images fit for the big screen. Assuming the operator is good enough. Yes, 4K has more resolution, but do you need it at this time? Yes, raw allows you to fix a shot that’s over or underexposed, but are you capable of lighting correctly so you don’t need to do that?
My basic point is: there’s a difference between want and need. I want a set of Zeiss CP.2 cinema lenses, for about $20,000. Do I need a set of Zeiss cinema lenses for the kind of work I do? The answer is no, I don’t need them. The lenses I use are more than adequate. Will a $20,000 lens purchase make my work any better? Not really. The slight gain in image quality would go unnoticed by anyone but me.
How about if I combine that $20,000 lens purchase with a $15,000 Sony F5? Probably more like $20K by the time I would get what I wanted with it. If I spent $40K on a new camera and lenses, would my clients pay more money for my work? Absolutely not. Would my video look better? Maybe a little, but I’d still light the same, so the difference wouldn’t be all that great.