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    Why don't more camera manufacturers make film lights?
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    Arri makes film lighting with huge success.

    Why don't sony, panasonic etc. get in the lighting game?

    Film camera vs. HMI lighting for example doesn't really register as a comparison of similar technology.

    Today's cameras and more sophisticated LEDs are MUCH closer in shared technology. While not next to each other on a spectrum, I don't think they're at opposite ends either.

    Is it just too risky? Or are they waiting until a company like aputure blows up enough then they'll buy them out? Or there isn't much money in the mid range compared to their camera earnings?

    I'm not saying an arri takeover would happen overnight but it seems like a company like sony could develop/release products that would claim most of the space shared by aputure, hive, rayzr, etc.

    Mitch, I know you're dying to develop some Panasonic LEDs!


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    Maybe because it's like comparing Apples and freight ship propellers, very different businesses. At least with Arri, I know, the lighting division is, for most purposes, a different company within the master company, as is the camera group. Arri also has a long history of being in both businesses.
    Without insider knowledge and analysis of each unit for profitability, long term strategy and market viability, it's impossible to say. I used to work for a high end business consulting firm and one of our clients was Sony, I knew their entire corporate business strtegy circa 2011-13, so I can hazard a few guesses.

    Just as a guess, I would say one word, China. Go on B&H and look at how saturated the LED market already is, there are dozens of lighting companies that most of us have never even heard of. Prices, other than for a few select premium brands like Arri, have dropped a ton and continue to drop.
    Innovation is very high, competition is ridiculous, copying and corporate espionage from ruthless competitors who will instantly rip off your intellectual property, we are in a trade war with the home of the LED, China, tariffs, etc. I can see dozens of reasons as a business person why I would never want to get into the lighting business. If there was a good profit versus risk ratio there, you can bet that huge organizations like Canon and Panasonic would already be in it. They are smart with their investments and strategies, that's why they will probably be in business long after small companies like RED, Atomos, etc. go under. They diversify but only for new tech that makes financial and market opportunity sense
    and LED lighting obviously doesn't. In a few words, oversaturated, overly competitive, high end niche market that itself is struggling.
    It's a business first and a creative outlet second.
    G.A.S. destroys lives. Stop buying gear that doesn't make you money.


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    That's sort of like asking why more construction companies do not go into making automobiles, as Hyundai did. There's no one answer to that.
    Big sources matter.


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    It's just another business, requiring a different set of engineers, factory, sales staff, support, etc. It's running another business entirely. Panasonic does lots of stuff. It's the biggest battery manufacturer in the world (the Tesla GigaFactory is a 50/50 partnership with Panasonic and most of the good batteries in V- and Gold-mount out there contain Panasonic cells). We may do some lighting for all I know, maybe industrial stuff in Japan only or something. It's a big company.

    I think we make way more money in rice cookers than we do with all our professional and consumer cameras. We certainly do with Toughbook laptops -- those guys are huge.
    Mitch Gross
    Cinema Product Manager
    Panasonic System Solutions Company


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Gross View Post
    It's just another business, requiring a different set of engineers, factory, sales staff, support, etc. It's running another business entirely. Panasonic does lots of stuff. It's the biggest battery manufacturer in the world (the Tesla GigaFactory is a 50/50 partnership with Panasonic and most of the good batteries in V- and Gold-mount out there contain Panasonic cells). We may do some lighting for all I know, maybe industrial stuff in Japan only or something. It's a big company.

    I think we make way more money in rice cookers than we do with all our professional and consumer cameras. We certainly do with Toughbook laptops -- those guys are huge.
    Thanks Mitch. But it's not like Panasonic is thinking about getting into the shoe business. They obviously have a philosophy that draws a line somewhere, which lets them accept and reject ideas to expand their product line.

    I'm sure it's just crunching numbers but was curious if there was anything more to it.

    At some point arri decided to make electronic stabilizers too. Maybe more products let arri offer turnkey studio solutions e.g. 1000x s360 skypanels, handful of cameras/accessories and gimbal packages with significant savings as in incentive for those buying?


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    Adding to what Mitch said, for huge conglomerates like Sony, Panasonic, and Canon, a new business has to be something that has to have a big, make that huge revenue opportunity. I suspect it just isn't that attractive a revenue opportunity.
    If a company sees an opportunity, it does a business plan - does it make sense to get in this business?
    1 Market size - mega companies like Panasonic need mega divisions. So if a market is small compared to their overall business, they won't consider it.
    2 Competition - if the market is saturated and they don't see any way to carve out a good percentage of the business, they won't consider it.
    3. Turn up costs - if the market size and competition check ok, then there is the cost of turning up all the things Mitch mentioned. If you make cameras, it has nothing to do with lights. There is nothing common. So an entire new company (division) has to be started. That is an enormous cost - figure 2-3 years to get it going. The bigger the company, the longer it will take. So they spend piles of money getting it started, it better make good on the promise.

    That's why companies buy other companies. It's too risky to try to start a business on your own. Better to buy someone that has proven the market.


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    I wonder how much arri actually does.

    Some of my Cstands/gripheads have Arri stickers and are Avenger or Manfrotto.

    Im very unconvinced that my Arri sandbags are not a re-logoed product.

    --

    Sony make or sell various top lights.


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    Quote Originally Posted by morgan_moore View Post
    Im very unconvinced that my Arri sandbags are not a re-logoed product.
    Hahahahahaha


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    Lighting fixtures have generally a fairly low barrier to entrance and most of the LED beads/COB themselves are outsourced anyway.

    The technological development is done by the major LED manufacturers like Philips and Cree, who then make their product available to the fixture makers.

    Back around 2013 or so, if one glanced at YouTube, there were plenty of clips on how to use Home Depot type lights for video. A year later, the LED panels became "affordable", where a 500 bead 1x1 (of dubious CRI to boot) was down to ~ $500. Now, they're about $50 with a higher CRI and a more powerful punch.

    Quote Originally Posted by morgan_moore View Post
    Im very unconvinced that my Arri sandbags are not a re-logoed product...
    The sand is imported from China.


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    Arri doesn’t bother to make C-stands and sandbags. The only reason they would resell someone else’s product is because many customers want a 1-stop purchase. They want to issue a single PO with all the line items on it. This can be very important for a corporate or bid sale.
    Mitch Gross
    Cinema Product Manager
    Panasonic System Solutions Company


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