So looking at the many options for a possible camera purchase in 2014, I did some research into what camera’s were popular in 2013. A good place to investigate is the rental market, to see which camera’s became work horses and which ones stayed on the shelf. 2013 saw the launch of a couple of cameras which could have been contenders, such as the Sony PMW-200 and Sony F5/55.
Camera’s for broadcast have seen a recent shift from the usual shoulder mounted, B4 lens style to a larger sensor with changeable lenses. The list below comes from ‘Televisual’, who asked the same question to a number of rental houses to see which of their camera’s were in demand. This is what they discovered.
10. Sony PDW-700
Still in use and working away hard, but not for long as Sony have introduce other models which are more then likely to replace the Sony PDW-700.
9. Canon 5dmk3
Quickly following the rear is the Canon 5dmk3. Canon 5d’s become very popular a couple of years ago and quickly became the must have B camera. This is still a popular camera especially if you have all the lenses to go with it. But with the camera not being 50mbs many people have since upgraded to the Canon C300.
8. Sony F55
A new comer for 2013 hence being lower than expected, this camera has great potential for 2014 likely to be rated higher than 8th this time next year. With 4K filming the Sony is likely to be in high demand for clients wanting to add a little more in post production.
7. Sony PMW-500
The camera that allows for B4 lenses whilst shooting 50mbs on SxS media for HD broadcast, it always going to do well. The Sony PMW-500 is a great for events and observational documentary where there isn’t such a desire for shallow depth of field.
6. RED EPIC
Large sensor camera with a 4k sensor… what more could you ask for. Well 6K isn’t far behind! The RED camera is a trusted bit of kit in the drama and documentaries. This camera has all the features packed into one, you just need a budget to allow for it. Hence being lower than perhaps expected.
= 4. Canon XF-305
Canon launched this camera as the first small hand held to be BBC HD approved. It took over the market which was held by Sony PMW-EX3, quickly become the obdoc camera of choice. Still hold a place in the market as it suits many production companies budgets.
=4. Sony PMW-200
This was Sony reply to Canon XF-305. It took a little while to come out, but it soon took on. It boast all the same feature then the XF-305, but with a slightly larger sensor making it all that bit better in low light, it has since become the number one camera for low budget observational technology.
3. Sony PDW-F800
Possible the workhorse of industry, with its workflow of recording to disk it means data is automatically created as an archive format. This camera is incredibly versatile being used on a number of productions.
2. ARRI Alexa
Industry standard and number one for high end drama and documentaries with a budget. This camera has become the go to camera for high end shooting, being the number one choice for many DP’s. It’s robust build and reliability makes it a trusted camera for high end productions.
1. Canon C300
This larger sensor camera with 50mbs, has been a number one for a while, with many opting for its overall features vs budget. It offers great images with C-Log for the grade and allows the operator to use all those EF lenses they own from the 5d. A PL mount version is also available for cine lenses. It’s a good option for those stepping up from the prosumer to something offering a little extra in visual style.
So there we have it! 2014 will be an interesting year, will 4K be the new thing that everyone is after? Or will the Canon C300 hold it’s spot for another year? We will probably see a rise in the Sony F5/F55 and the new Arri Amira will both feature well. Camera’s like the Arri Alexa and RED will always do well as they have quickly become industry standard. The same can also be said for the smaller hand held Canon XF-305 and Sony PMW-200. With both shooting 50mbps, they too will be strong contenders for holding their spots.
Every camera has it’s pro’s and con’s! And as always, it comes down to budgets and preference. Two camera’s that may stir things up and new to the market in 2014 are the Arri Amira and the Sony F5. They have been highly anticipated and will we see a possible Canon 4K announcement to rival the Sony F5….? Could be an interesting one.