“You hear that Mr. Anderson?
That— is the sound of inevitability…
It is the sound of your death…”
As I was unable to attend NAB in person, I read the same news as everyone else and there are clearly a few trends that it pays to notice because they will have a dramatic affect on production in the future. Whether or not you want to go this route, the sounds of inevitability are becoming louder.
Panasonic revises their HVX-200 (the P2 and Mini-DV camcorder) and makes a Mini-DV-less version that is P2 only.
Sony creates the EX3, another SxS camcorder with a removable lens and more advanced features than the other solid-state recorder, the EX1.
Just before NAB, Sony started delivering their latest HDV camcorders that also feature compact flash recording capability concurrent with tape.
JVC shows a solid-state recorder attached to their HDV / MiniDV camcorder.
RED shows Scarlet, a $3,000 3k camcorder with dual compact flash.
Only Canon continues to make tape-only camcorders, but only in the prosumer realm.
Canon has been making solid state and hard drive-based camcorders for consumers for some time now.
Lastly, Panasonic, Kodak, Samsung and others now make digital still camcorders that shoot HDTV video. Image stabilized, with sound, you’re able to zoom… it’s almost like a HD camera except, well, not as good. But, in a pinch (or for crash cam) good enough!
Where is the optical media?
Where is the tape?
In the upper echelon. Sony’s F23 and 32… DVCPRO HD, XDCAM, are hard drive, tape and optical disk- based, respectively. But, as RED and other manufacturers have shown, flash recording is the train coming down the tunnel.
There is little we can do to stop it.
Flash will get faster, cheaper, and bigger.
Despite issues about long term reliability, and the fact that flash transistors do decay through use, higher reliability is also inevitable.
If we have not started to get used to using flash media and develop a workflow for handling media from flash (like with digital still cameras) then we need to start working on it now. Waiting till you get booked for a job to try and figure it out is too late.
Professional photographers have demonstrated that film can be left behind.
That sound you hear is the sound of inevitability.
For several other formats, it is the sound of death.