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    #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Gross View Post
    I come at this from a very different perspective as I have been on both sides of this type of situation...
    I remember in March 2016, Panasonic dropped the price of their premium expressP2 cards by 40%.

    How come one day all of a sudden that just happens and even with all of that time spent dealing with and testing media it's still okay to sell for 40% less?

    Just wondering...obviously we've seen the same thing happen with CFast right before our eyes, and they have almost become a SD-like commodity (besides the high-capacity cards which always take the longest to drop in price).

    https://na.panasonic.com/us/news/pan...nema-camcorder


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    Accessories are also expensive because you sell so few. Take the viewfinder for the Sony Venice. Sure, it's $5,000, but so far this year Sony has sold only five of them. And the guy who drew its blueprints is paid $120,000 a year, and it took him a month. Then the gal who programmed the magic factory machine to turn $5 worth of raw materials into a viewfinder, she also is paid $120,000 a year, and it took her a month. So Sony has just barely broken even.

    Meanwhile those same two people also designed the A7S. It took them a little longer, but Sony has sold five million A7S cameras, instead of only five viewfinders. So that's why the whole A7S actually costs less than the Venice's viewfinder.

    (I may have fudged the numbers a bit.)

    Red is not selling its cameras at a loss and hoping to make it up with media cards. So my analogy with the Gillette razors is probably less accurate than Mitch's behind-the-scenes story of tech-support horror. Maybe it's more about Red reducing its healthcare costs for all the headaches an open market would cause, or maybe it's about pride in the company and not wanting random failures in the field to besmirch the Red name.

    Still something gnaws at the back of my mind. "Solid State" is just one more enormously dorky phrase, invented by some engineer, that sounds esoteric but really means, "no moving parts." There are no moving parts, so why are we so freaked out about failure? I've heard of someone fishing an SD card out of a pond and it still working. CF cards were even more rugged. Surveys say that failure rates are actually miniscule. If companies were okay letting third parties make videotape (moving parts, gummed heads) why are they so much more skittish about Solid State stuff?

    Maybe it's because when they fail, the failure is absolute. It's not that there is a glitch in your footage at 35:18. It's "Card cannot be read." Which is unfortunate.

    Anyway, maybe when fast cards are also cheap, then you will use them like film (write once, then shelve). It's more likely a card will fail on the hundredth time you erase and reuse it than the first time.


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    #23
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    I have both perspectives. I know exactly what manufacturer's do because I used to be one of those evil people that charge egregious prices for proprietary commodities. We used to charge an embarrassing amount of money (some 1000% markup) for an item that could be bought on the open market. But we tracked the serial numbers and if you didn't buy it from us, it didn't work. Our customers were furious, but they couldn't do anything about it.

    Mitch tells the truth. It costs more to test and qualify supplier's components. It is a PITA. It is more expensive. But manufacturers never let an opportunity go by. If you have a lock on a commodity, it only makes sense to use it as a tool to pocket some revenue. There's nothing evil about it. You don't have to go along with the program. There's other options. But you certainly can complain about it, because it is truly a ripoff and one manufacturer's' will take advantage of as long as they can.

    It's simple. Prices drop out of the sky because the market changed.


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    #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by filmguy123 View Post
    ... But I don’t why this would surprise anyone. And there’s nothing unethical about it either, its just par for the course. But some will always believe there’s magic dust on it.
    People should have a cow with Red and a lot less with Convergent Design of the Mitch era. It's one thing to offer a more expensive but tested cards, leaving the ultimate choice to a customer. It's another to create its own ecosystem, where you can only buy what you are given by the proprietor of that ecosystem.

    The top example in the photo-video world is not even the media but the mount. You have thousands invested in the EF glass? Well, Canon got you for a lifetime. You want auto-focus too? No EF, no DPAF. And then your hearts and minds will follow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul F View Post
    I have both perspectives. I know exactly what manufacturer's do because I used to be one of those evil people that charge egregious prices for proprietary commodities. We used to charge an embarrassing amount of money (some 1000% markup) for an item that could be bought on the open market...
    So, you worked for a US defense contractor.

    Me2. In an accounting department, no less. (during a summer break)


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    #25
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    People didn't have a choice with CD...they had to use their drives until Samsung was approved.

    It was the same RED-like ecosystem.


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    I don’t disagree DLD - also one reason I don’t lust for a red camera, or a Mac Pro desktop. If I had way more disposable income or higher paying clients I might not care, these things are all relative.

    At the budgets most red customers are operating at, they’d probably choose the red certified media even if they were given the choice. Just for safety. I can’t see a Hollywood set shooting the next blockbuster doing otherwise. But then the question arises, if red offered both options for sale would they be able to profitable afford a media validation department? Maybe, if most customers chose the high priced validated media anyway.

    At the end of the day I more just think it’s slimy when companies try to lie about what they are doing. No problem with high mark up, that’s consumer decision and we weigh the pros cons. Big problem with misrepresenting things or trying to paint the picture as something it’s mostly not.


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    #27
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    Either way this is a nightmare dealing with everyone's questions and thoughts and opinions.

    I wonder if anyone has ever questioned the true resolution of their cameras.

    [I don't and wouldn't care anyway because they already look so good regardless.]


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    #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLD View Post
    ... So, you worked for a US defense contractor.
    Good one, but no. But a similar somewhat captive customer. How else do you get away with those kinds of markups?


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    #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLD View Post
    This is from other threads, which are somehow related. (well, they should be in the video gear talk)

    Prices are falling, the quality is up, you can have 6K for $4,000 soon and there's no need to spend mega bucks on a camera. The history of most industries is the economy of scale, not the artisan shops. That favors Sony, Canon, Nikon and Panasonic. It doesn't favor Red.
    I mostly agree, but I think it's even more dire than that: Canon, Nikon, and Panasonic seem to be struggling to compete against iPhones and cheaper dSLRs. Red has monster marketing and monster specs (8k, raw, slow motion) to trump their competitors, but the industry standard is still 2k/1080p 24fps for most deliverables. I think the economies of scale will increasingly favor iPhones, not cinema cameras.

    Red briefly considered dipping its toes in the "affordable" market, with the $3k for 3k camera, but they wisely chose not to compete in that arena. Red has always been great at marketing–Fincher, Soderbergh, Michael Bay, and the other "bad boys" of cinema use their product. The "obsolescence obsolete" tagline was basically marketing speak for a semi-broken camera that required an expensive upgrade path to remain competitive. The base prices are in no way representative of a fleshed out camera system, but they allow Red to seem more affordable than it is. I have no idea if Red is remotely profitable, but if they are, it's through high margins and marketing and a focus on the high end. The Raven seemed like a pretty good deal. The Gemini seems to be their best camera. But the marketing is all 8k, carbon fiber, racing stripes, etc. etc. I think the idea is that only at the very highest end can those margins remain.

    And look how the current high end Red packages–many of them six figures–are marketed. It's more Ferrari than workhorse. And there's a place for that. Alexas work great. They're the Bentleys? But they're boring. So Red is the alternative for bad boys. And by marketing toward the high end, you're catering to a wealthier demographic that's either more capable or more passionate, and the resultant footage will look much better than the camera alone is responsible for if you put it in capable and/or wealthy hands. Same goes for the Alexa. Ten years ago, nothing could touch the Alexa or even the Red MX. Now, that's not the case. But no one can touch Deakins and Lubezki, Fincher and Bay. So if you buy the expensive car, you can afford the expensive gasoline. Of course the memory cards are marked up. So are Alexa cards. The markup here doesn't seem so scandalous to me, it seems par for the course. But I'm not Red's target market.

    And yet, despite all the drama, they have been an innovative force in digital cinema. Whether "digital" cinema is a good thing or not... is another argument entirely. I liked Social Network. :/

    Despite that, ten years ago it was democratizing digital cinema. Now it's a luxury camera, a status symbol. How things change.
    Last edited by Amulet Man; 07-11-2019 at 06:54 PM.


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    #30
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    I enjoy the drama, but I can't say I feel too upset. Mostly cause I'm not surprised at all. Companies are gonna do what they do. Capitalism, and all of that. Like those AV cables that have a billion percent markup that audiophiles insist on having.

    I'm more frustrated with the consumers and their stockholm syndrome. Convincing themselves that their lives aren't complete unless they have these cameras and specs. RED has been eating great off of these people for years.


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