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Author Topic: Panasonic's GH4 Has Nothing to Fear  (Read 19975 times)
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« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2014, 04:24:44 PM »
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I think the total video crop ends up being 1.15x for the Sony and 2.3x for the Panasonic (versus 35mm full frame).

I would suggest using 16:9 Super 35 (roughly 24x13.5mm...it varies a bit by brand) as the standard format here. 135 is but a minority player in motion as BC notes. Thus the Sony's video format is larger than standard, not a crop of it. What is the GH4's video format size...something like 15x8.4mm, yes? A crop from Super 35 but larger than Super 16.

-Dave-
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« Reply #21 on: April 08, 2014, 02:14:45 AM »
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I am a little reluctant to jump in here, as I am a very new videographer, and only have a smidge of knowledge with respect to the overall tech specs of videography.

However, as far as the A7s is concerned, I'm under the impression that with no pixel binning at 4k, recording to the Atomos Shogun in a 10 bit 4:2:2 ProRes wrapper, (or Cinema DNG raw...I don't know if the A7s or GH4 is capable of that or not), and with SLog2, the grading and pushing of the 4k video out of the 7s shouldn't be an issue. Or am I entirely mistaken?

It appears there is a great deal of flexibility with the A7s, albeit with a woraround solution...but a pro videographer or filmaker is going to use an external recorder shooting 4k anyway. Also, wouldn't 4k be able to downsample to 4:4:4 10 bit 1080p? Just my humble thoughts.

I like the idea of the A7s, but I'm definitely torn between it and the GH4 for pro video work.      
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #22 on: April 08, 2014, 04:38:41 AM »
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Sorry Sony, but unless there's something that you havn't yet told us, from a video perspective the A7s just doesn't cut it.

Michael


Michael, most sensible videos sequences require a wide, a medium and a CU.

Simply it is great to work with a lens about 24-105 (full frame)

And that is where Sony comes into play. Full frame. Our lenses work.

As for cinema being based on S35 - of course that is true, but it also based on cine lenses like 18/1.8 - not a lens most of us own, but entirely replicated by somthing like a 24 2.8 on a fullframe camera.

Personally I use an old manual nikkor 28-85 enjoying the tactility of 'real focus' and the possibility of using this 'properly' is a huge excitement.

The panny format requires zoom lenses that don't exist or overpriced plastic, no character, fisher price fly by fire focus horror stories.

Primes? Well when working with cameras that have no ND onboard personally I find primes really annoying.

Bottom line. I think the GH4 will be technically better but the Sony will be more fun to use.

I have a technically good and no fun to use camera (Sony F3) and feel that getting the sony will be more fun than the GH4 Smiley

Fun is important, because the images are better (content wise) when you are having fun.

Additionally cost wise the GH4+ a speedbooster and/or a MFT zoom is more expensive than the Sony.

This camera may replicate the initial joy most of us had with the 5d2 with a few less of the gotchas. Fantastic.

S
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 04:51:51 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: April 08, 2014, 06:27:59 AM »
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Bottom line. I think the GH4 will be technically better but the Sony will be more fun to use.


I'm not a fan boy of anything, so cameras work better for me than others and like I said if the Sony hit all the points I need I'd go that way . . . if the file "looked" cinema like.

Personally, I think all motion cameras should have a super 35mm or something close format, just because it's a standard, you can think in those numbers rather than a 14 is a 28 X .3.

I understand the technical reasons but that doesn't mean I like them, though it won't stop me from buying two gh4's, because the 3's opened up our lifestyle work like no camera ever has.

Though for me and this isn't to compare against the Sony, I know the gh3's I use are really as you say fun, because they work in a form factor I'm used to and with practice autofocus like nobody's business.

When I get my gh4's I'll test them, but would bet that I use them as 2k 10 bit 422 cameras more than I'll ever use 4k,due to the 200 mbs data transfer,  but that's just a guess because they aren't out yet.

I do have to give credit to all the companies that are coming out with these smaller form factor cameras.  I simply love my olympus omd's for stills, can't imagine not having them and am quite use to the 2x crop.

This simple little still shot was with an em-1 at 1250 of a second F 2 or less, with very scrimmed down 575 hmi.  I also shot the same image with my Leica s2 and of course the depth of that file far outstipped the olympus, but the olympus was sharper in movement due to shutter speed and shoots very pretty.


I'm not knocking Sony but I think they disappoint when it comes to their lower end cameras.   There is always a gotcha and I've never understood it because I doubt if any company has the technical ability of Sony, no company seems to intentionally hold back like Sony does.  

Sony's a7 cameras aren't a new idea, but a good idea, though I'd love to see them not knee jerk.   Olympus has a hit with a retro style omd and Sony tries a one up on the A7(R), then panasonic announces a good priced 10 bit 422 4k and Sony announces 4k, though with less specs.

IMO

BC
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Sareesh Sudhakaran
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« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2014, 07:13:14 AM »
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BC...one can't argue with you when you post beautiful images of pretty women! By the way, was the modifier a Para?

I like the A7s, and feel it is better than the GH4 based on what I've read and seen so far. Reasons:

Full frame sensor, lower noise and the ability to take any lenses made for full frame
APS-C mode that can shoot 120 fps in 720p (and 4K if you want it), so you can take all kinds of cinema lenses too
Low light - clean until 12,800 ISO and I'm pretty sure usable till ISO 20,000 - that kind of performance matches the C300
Ability to add XLR inputs via a Sony accessory
8-bit 4:2:2 4K output - which is perfectly acceptable. Those who crib about 8-bit vs 10-bit have never seen the difference, and never will - because there isn't any in practical terms
HDMI output going to the Atomos Shogun, which has a 1080p 7" monitor for $2,000 - shooting Prores HQ
Synchronization - I want to know more about this, but it seems interesting
Full video features, the ability to change levels just like video cameras
SLog2 mode - which looks super impressive
Stainless Steel mount (in this respect it is different from the A7 and A7r) that can take heavier lenses
Price inclusive of Shogun - $5,000 - a full frame 35mm sensor camera that can shoot log 4K up to 30 fps and has a tiltable screen, 7" monitor and full LUT, video and audio capability.
It's better than the 5D3, and that's saying a lot for a camera that might come in under $3000.

The most exciting camera this year (so far) is the AJA CION. Now this looks like a winner. 4K up to 60 fps internally and 120 fps with a recorder, only $8,995 (Shit, that's what I paid for my ProHD six or seven years ago and all I got was 720p 1/3" CCD!!) and comes with a PL mount, though they are open to people who want to replace it with other mounts.

There's a lot of animosity at NAB this year (judging by the videos I've seen) against BMD. But then again, they have earned it.
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michael
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« Reply #25 on: April 08, 2014, 07:43:36 AM »
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I suppose it comes down to the type of shooting that one does.

I agree with Cooter, many people will be using the GH4 as a 2k 10 bit 422 device. Which can be done in-camera; no external Shogun needed.

As for saying that adding an external recorder recorder is what most people will do, maybe not as many as thought. For many the GH4's 4K in-camera will be a compelling sell, both for its 2k 10 bit 422 capability but also for times where heavy grading isn't needed, but light weight, low bulk, inexpensive 4K is.

No doubt the A7s will be an interesting camera. I just think that it seems like a rapid Sony response to the GH4, rather than a well thought out competitor.

Michael
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BJL
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« Reply #26 on: April 08, 2014, 09:20:00 AM »
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Full frame sensor, lower noise ...
This low noise advantage is true only when one wants, or can accept, less DOF than is possible with the smaller format.  On the other hand, as soon as the smaller format gives the desired DOF (for example at f/1.4 in 4/3" format or f/1.9 in Super 35mm), the full 35mm format needs a higher f-stop to get the desired DOF (f/2.8 in my example) and so needs to user a higher ISO speed (about four times higher than with 4/3" and 2.2 times higher than with Super 35mm) and then it only gathers light from the subject at the same rate, so at the same shutter speed all formats have the same level of photon shot noise. Then you expect about the same noise levels in any of the formats, though experimental comparisons show that a larger format generally has a bit more dark noise, probably due to the larger photosites and longer signal paths.

So one important question in format choice is "does it cover my shallow DOF needs?".  I have never got the impression that even the smallest cinema 35mm formats (about 21mm wide) suffer for lack of shallow DOF options; I do not know how the slightly smaller 4/3" format (about 17mm wide) fares with the current lens choices (f/2.8 zooms, assorted primes around f/1.7 plus a few at f/1.4, f/1.2, and all the adaptor mounter options when MF is satisfactory.)

Of course, if speed boosters can be used, they greatly reduce or eliminate the minimum DOF and maximum low-light performance of the sub-35mm formats by giving the ability to go one stop faster.

Another quirky option has just been announced: JVCKenwood has announced that it will make 4K video cameras with Micro Four Thirds Mount but "Super 35mm" sensors.  Apparently the sensor is the Altasens AL41410C, Altasens being a subsidiary of JVCKenwood, whose 4K output is about 21mm wide, so actually a bit smaller than Super 35.  My guess is that the plan is to use the MFT mount as a "universal recipient" of various cine-camera and APS-C still-camera lenses via adaptors, but maybe many MFT lenses could be used, by exploiting the somewhat larger-than-needed image circle that many lenses have.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 09:24:24 AM by BJL » Logged
Manoli
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« Reply #27 on: April 08, 2014, 10:26:55 AM »
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I just think that it [A7s] seems like a rapid Sony response to the GH4, rather than a well thought out competitor.

So SONY produce

>the guts of the D800, a sensor later to appear in the A7r, a ground breaking sensor
>the sensor to drive the latest generation of MF CMOS backs, again a first
>the A7 and A7r, the first 24x36 ILCs
>now the A7s, apparently 3 years in the making, same sensor as the D4s, with 8 micron sensels and see-in-the-dark capability
>a rumoured A9, before Photokina, to fill the 'gap' in their line-up (and possibly your video gripes)

and you interpret all this to be a rushed response as opposed to a distinct (long-term) game plan.
Really ?


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Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #28 on: April 08, 2014, 10:42:14 AM »
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As a non-videographer this debate is starting to sound like pixel-peeping. One thing that Sony has put to bed is that the A7s is a hasty response to the GH4. They say this camera was developed alongside the A7 & A7r for the past 2 to 3 years. It appears to be targeted to a slightly different audience using a different philosophical if not technical approach. What can be bad about more choice?
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michael
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« Reply #29 on: April 08, 2014, 11:38:02 AM »
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So SONY produce

>the guts of the D800, a sensor later to appear in the A7r, a ground breaking sensor
>the sensor to drive the latest generation of MF CMOS backs, again a first
>the A7 and A7r, the first 24x36 ILCs
>now the A7s, apparently 3 years in the making, same sensor as the D4s, with 8 micron sensels and see-in-the-dark capability
>a rumoured A9, before Photokina, to fill the 'gap' in their line-up (and possibly your video gripes)

and you interpret all this to be a rushed response as opposed to a distinct (long-term) game plan.
Really ?


Unless you're a Sony shareholder, or employee, there's no need to take this personally. They produce some great cameras, they produce some great technology. It's just that in my view the A7s isn't what the Doctor ordered.

No in-camera 4K is a fail. No in-camera 10 bit is a fail. A comparatively low bit rate codec is a fail.

For the still photographer wanting ultra-high-ISO, great. But the camera was introduced at a major broadcast video products show, along with other pro-level Sony video products. In my view it fails to meet those needs, and fails to compete adequately with the GH4.

And if you think I'm alone in this view, visit some of the pro video / cinema web sites. By comparison, I'm being gentle with Sony on this one.

Michael
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« Reply #30 on: April 08, 2014, 12:13:00 PM »
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Both of these cams, really have not 'grabbed' me.. I'm disappointed in that.

They could therfore be said to be lacking.

But then I dont know 'what camera I want'

Personally im feeling the need for a 'fun' camera .. that probably does not involve an external recorder

and also Id like a 'mount' (car mount/Movi) that would be a 'production tool' and neither really work for either.

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Manoli
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« Reply #31 on: April 08, 2014, 12:26:41 PM »
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Unless you're a Sony shareholder, or employee,

I'm none of the above, just a retired investor living on a pension ... *

In my view it fails to meet those needs, and fails to compete adequately with the GH4.
And if you think I'm alone in this view, visit some of the pro video / cinema web sites. By comparison, I'm being gentle with Sony on this one.

I've read your posts and all those above, including cooter, Sareesh and Morgan. Enough to convince me that there are going to be two sides to this coin. The only continuing criticism that, IMO, holds validity is when cooter complains that Sony have mastered the fine art of keeping their customers on a hook and compelling/tempting them to stay on the upgrade wagon.

The observations are valid - from your perspective, not necessarily as important from others' perspective. The point I queried was your interpretation that this was a knee jerk response to the GH4. I don't see anything in Sony's strategic planning that I'd call a 'rushed response'.

... there's no need to take this personally.

I don't.
Neither should you.

M

--
Edit:  * obviously a quote from a well known movie, not to be taken literally.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2014, 12:37:57 PM by Manoli » Logged
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« Reply #32 on: April 08, 2014, 02:48:50 PM »
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No in-camera 4K is a fail.
I do agree.

Quote
No in-camera 10 bit is a fail.
I agree with Sareesh Sudhakaran here... in-camera-10bit is really not needed as long as the camera produces a banding-free image (and the A7s sure will produce a very clean image - comparable to camera-JPEGs I assume). Color Correction in post production should be done in high bit, though. But here you need 16bit ... 10bit is too low for heavy grading.

Quote
A comparatively low bit rate codec is a fail.
I disagree. When the sensor produces very low noise there's no need for high bitrates. And the sensor of the A7s wil certainly show extremely low noise.

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« Reply #33 on: April 08, 2014, 02:51:17 PM »
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For me this is just Sony being Sony, they have the best CMOS sensor at the moment (just see Nikon or Phase One buying to them), but lately they seem to have some really interesting products with a critical flaw that stops them from being perfect.

You have the nex series, great sensor, great size, horrible menu system.

You have the a7r, great camera, and one that many landscape photographers with limited money resources and heavy investment in canon glass look at it, but the shutter shake problem make me think twice before buying one.

Now you have the a7s, looks like a great camera but they went cheap in a critical point, the possibility of recording at 10bits at 4:2:2 in the card... Even if it is full hd instead of 4k. And I suspect they could do it, maybe with a better processor (could implied a bigger size) or with just a firmware upgrade.

Of course, in the middle they made great products, like the A7 and the other full-frame one, with the fixed 35mm lens...

I'm thinking to start to get myself into video, the gh4 looks like the camera to go, problably at the beginning  just full hd, but with the possibility of 4k in the near future... Anyway... No rush at the moment, just seeing how the market evolves...
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« Reply #34 on: April 08, 2014, 03:58:48 PM »
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For me this is just Sony being Sony,

This is the main point of everybody's post.  It's not that Sony didn't offer features because they can't, it's that they didn't offer features because it would probably break into upmodels they want to protect (that last part is just a guess).

Also Sony loves to announce and  make people wait forever, see fs700 4k.

Sony makes great sensors, funky cameras.   The A99 black outs when shooting in fast sequence and doesn't track focus.   That's not a Canon Nikon competitor.

The A7(R) can't seem to work well with Canon or Nikon autofocus lenses, though a company like Leica with a lot less recourse can make my contax lenses and H series blad lanes work on an S2 just as well as their own native bodies, actually better in regards to the contax.

Panasonic has it's issues, the gh4 isn't close to perfect and given they crop the sensor for 4k they should have olympus style stabilization, so Panasonic isn't perfect.

But their damn good.  I've deeply graded the gh3's 420 files and as long as you watch the highlights, build your own profiles, it shoots way above it's specs.  We finished a series of videos that totaled 180 minutes in final form and 90% of the lifestyle footage is the gh3's and we carried three reds, two canons and one sony.  The sony fs100 never left the bag.

But I know what my market is asking for which is stills and motion for multimedia projects and Sony isn't hitting all the basis, just some.  I've listed earlier what they could do to let me put up three camera cases and go all Sony, which I would do if I really believed they'd get their soon, but  . . . just about the time they get close to the A7 series being up to spec, they'll probably have another mount, with their medium format chip and the circle keeps spinning.

Man do I wish Panasonic and Olympus would share tech.


IMO

BC




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Isaac
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« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2014, 06:08:27 PM »
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It's not that Sony didn't

It's not that we didn't reserve judgement because we can't; it's that we have so much more fun, piling-on with instant opinion and speculation than we would if we waited until there was a camera in our hands :-)

I blame them Internets!
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michael
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« Reply #36 on: April 09, 2014, 06:56:56 AM »
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It's not that we didn't reserve judgement because we can't; it's that we have so much more fun, piling-on with instant opinion and speculation than we would if we waited until there was a camera in our hands :-)

I blame them Internets!


Ya, you're probably right. Let's wait till the Russians invade the Ukraine before jumping to any conclusions about their probable intentions. (pointed irony alert).

Michael
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« Reply #37 on: April 09, 2014, 10:04:31 AM »
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There are those of us who are still shooters (Canon 5D3) who really see the beauty in motion and crave to shoot it, but cannot see an easy way to achieve this as part of our daily job with Canon/Nikon.  No EVF & crappy in-camera  audio.  On first look the Panasonic is a perfect fit, but as Sam points out the "way the lens looks" below 85mm on M4/3 are very different.  The Sony maybe a better "compromise for a stills guy" who runs it as a primary (read: singular) kit.

With Sony we have the same "stills look" as we did with the Canon/Nikon and here are my observations.

1. Lens choices below 85mm are realistic
2. EVF for video (no Z-Finder or monitor required)
3. Audio options via the Sony multi-interface shoe are quite elegant
4. The XLR adaptor works exactly the same way as Sony Pro-Camcorders

I've got a ThinkTank ChimpCage on my stills belt, here's what's in it.

1. Sony XLR Adaptor with Sony ECM-MS2 Mic fitted
2. Olympus  LS-11 with Sound Professionals binauaral mics, Olympus Deadcat, earbuds, Rode PinMic & extension cords (all in Olympus pouch)
3. Sennheiser Radio Mic
4. Sony ECM-XYST1M Stereo Mic (very handy little mic that requires no battery)

Yes, that all fits into a ChimpCage and just pops on the belt of any ThinkTank bag!  This makes Video for someone like me "FUN" -- it's that moment when you're shooting portraits, you're having a good old chat and think "I should be recording this" and you reach in that ChimpCage and pop-on that "tiny" ECM-XYST1 Mic and hit the red button "AND KEEP LOOKING THROUGH THE VIEWFINDER!"  It's brilliant, what a great time to be involved in image making!

Cheers, Chris
« Last Edit: April 09, 2014, 10:07:48 AM by chrisgibbs » Logged

Sareesh Sudhakaran
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« Reply #38 on: April 09, 2014, 11:14:29 AM »
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This low noise advantage is true only when one wants, or can accept, less DOF than is possible with the smaller format.  On the other hand, as soon as the smaller format gives the desired DOF (for example at f/1.4 in 4/3" format or f/1.9 in Super 35mm), the full 35mm format needs a higher f-stop to get the desired DOF (f/2.8 in my example) and so needs to user a higher ISO speed (about four times higher than with 4/3" and 2.2 times higher than with Super 35mm) and then it only gathers light from the subject at the same rate, so at the same shutter speed all formats have the same level of photon shot noise. Then you expect about the same noise levels in any of the formats, though experimental comparisons show that a larger format generally has a bit more dark noise, probably due to the larger photosites and longer signal paths.

A small note...video differs from stills in one respect - In video, we stick to (usually) a shutter angle of 180 deg, or 1/50th of a second. The ISO needn't be bumped that much. Secondly, noise reduction is greater in video, because the loss of resolution is acceptable, and desirable for various reasons.

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« Reply #39 on: April 09, 2014, 11:23:39 AM »
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This is the main point of everybody's post.  It's not that Sony didn't offer features because they can't, it's that they didn't offer features because it would probably break into upmodels they want to protect (that last part is just a guess).

Also Sony loves to announce and  make people wait forever, see fs700 4k.


The F5/F55 are stellar cameras, and has had regular firmware updates as announced. They also have a 2014 roadmap. If you're looking for one camera that is un-Sony like, and can handle any type of production there is, the F55 is it.

As for the first point, which camera manufacturer makes just one product? Even Leica have multiple models for every price point.
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