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How many cameras are there?


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#1 John Sprung

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 02:15 PM

If we were to add up all the professional quality 35mm and HD cameras in the inventories of all the rental houses in the world, how many would we find? How big is the business of cinematography?



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#2 Mitch Gross

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 02:50 PM

Forgetting the prosumer stuff as well as gear not in rental inventories (say, cameras at a studio or TV station), I'd guess that somewhere around 5000 cameras in active rental at most. And RED is expecting to add another 2000 in the next year...
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#3 John Sprung

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 03:55 PM

Forgetting the prosumer stuff as well as gear not in rental inventories (say, cameras at a studio or TV station), I'd guess that somewhere around 5000 cameras in active rental at most. And RED is expecting to add another 2000 in the next year...

Wow. You figured out the reason for the question.

I was thinking that if Red ships a lot of cameras without lenses, and people rent the lenses, could it distort the rental market? Could rental houses get stuck with bodies on the shelf because they literally ran out of glass, and couldn't put together a package?



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#4 Logan Schneider

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 04:01 PM

The waiting list for Ziess Masterprimes is about 1 year right now. Arricams are booked 3 months in advance or more. There really isn't that much top level equipment in existence. It will be interesting to see how scarce the glass will get, and whether the RED lenses will catch on.
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#5 Mitch Gross

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Posted 16 July 2007 - 04:09 PM

I would expect that there are vastly more cameras out there than lens sets already, at least modern lens sets. It's all about tiers. What happens to the Arri BL4s when the Arri535A shows up? Or then the 535B? Or the Arricam ST & LT? And did all the Arri35-3 cameras stop functioning when the various generations of the 435 arrived? There are many cameras out there that are still renting but are not packaged with a set of lenses per se. There are plenty of Arri standard sets, Arri SuperSpeeds of various generations, Ultra Primes and Master Primes, as well as Cooke S4 sets.

It will effect the industry, but probably not in the way that you are thinking. I seriously question whether the magority of reservation holders have worked out a realistic business model for their cameras. And this has nothing to do with the qualities of the machine itself and more to do with the "revolution" mentality. It will change things in the industry, just probably not in the way they are thinking.

Here's a potentially more important question: How many RED One cameras will be resold in the first year of ownership? I think a startling amount -- far greater than any film or professional video camera. Again, nothing to do with the technology.

Fascinating times.
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#6 Max Jacoby

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 02:07 PM

I know that Arri have been selling off their older cameras to India and the Middle East while they upgraded their rental inventory to mostly Arricams. Also I recall 3 or 4 years ago the 1000th Arri 435 was sold, meaning that they now should be somewhere beteen 1000 and 1500 for that camera alone. And that is for probably the best selling modern 35mm camera in the world.
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#7 Michael Collier

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 03:53 PM

I would be willing to be the majority of Red users will probably end up using the adaptors for nikkor or canons EOS lenses. Nobody said they had to use PL mount lenses. I think a fair group of them care more about the box than they do the lens attached to it. Still more broke the bank on the 17500, and don't have funds left for PL mount lenses. Others might have a fair assortment of still lenses they like and they want to use those. I doubt that anymore productions will be renting lenses then would otherwise.

The way I look at it, there are productions willing to rent a camera package whos "numbers line up" ($/pixel ratio is THE number for WAY too many people) and productions that are willing to rent the best lenses and a camera that works for their needs. I think most red users will fit into the later, and the ones that would fit the former probably would have rented that PL mount lens that weekend or month anyway, they just might have put it on a different camera.

I doubt you'll see any monumental shift in the lens rental industry. It might not be a reason to go out and purchase a brand new set right now. Though I think if you got the need and the funds, you might look at picking up a used set of lomos or similar. Once red hits, I think Ebay will clear out of cheap used PL lens options. Then the true professionals (whether shooting red or not) will rent at about the same level they have in previous years.

Thats the way I see it, I am by no means a suthsayer.
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#8 Michael Nash

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 05:20 PM

These supply and demand type of situations usually have a way of working themselves out. I can see the potential for some rental houses to not be able to keep up with demand for lens packages initially, especially if they take a "wait and see" approach to which lenses gets the most work from the red before investing in additional glass.

But honestly, I don't see where the availability of the camera is suddenly going to free up the money for producers to shoot more productions. It's more likely that the Red/35mm lens setup will simply borrow some of the existing rental share of other formats: some of the 35mm film camera market, some of the 2/3" HD market, some of the Super16 market, and maybe even some of the 1/3" HD + PL mount adapter market. When you look at it that way, the only real spike in demand for 35mm lenses will come from the former 2/3" HD and Super16 markets. And even from that, some producers will still opt to shoot at Super16 resolution (with the super 16 focal lengths), and some will choose a B4 mount with an HD zoom for shooting convenience. The overall demand for 35mm lenses will go up a bit, but not too much in my opinion.

But that's just my take on it.
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#9 Mitch Gross

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 11:44 AM

These supply and demand type of situations usually have a way of working themselves out. I can see the potential for some rental houses to not be able to keep up with demand for lens packages initially, especially if they take a "wait and see" approach to which lenses gets the most work from the red before investing in additional glass.

But honestly, I don't see where the availability of the camera is suddenly going to free up the money for producers to shoot more productions. It's more likely that the Red/35mm lens setup will simply borrow some of the existing rental share of other formats: some of the 35mm film camera market, some of the 2/3" HD market, some of the Super16 market, and maybe even some of the 1/3" HD + PL mount adapter market. When you look at it that way, the only real spike in demand for 35mm lenses will come from the former 2/3" HD and Super16 markets. And even from that, some producers will still opt to shoot at Super16 resolution (with the super 16 focal lengths), and some will choose a B4 mount with an HD zoom for shooting convenience. The overall demand for 35mm lenses will go up a bit, but not too much in my opinion.

But that's just my take on it.

I agree. After the Cooke S4 and Zeiss Ultra prime lens sets first came out until the P+S Tecknik Mini35 and Pro35 addapters became available, the value of 35 format Zeiss SuperSpeed lenses dropped like a stone. Then when those adapters became popular all of those cheap lens sets were snapped up and there was a dearth of inexpensive good 35 glass. I think the "shortage" period for 35mm format lenses has passed its tipping point. Now there are plenty of cameras and adapters that are already out there for a more finite number of lens sets. RED might squeeze this a little more, but in reality the amount of production will likely remain about the same, just the camera used may change.
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#10 jan von krogh

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 04:09 PM

I would be willing to be the majority of Red users will probably end up using the adaptors for nikkor or canons EOS lenses. Nobody said they had to use PL mount lenses. I think a fair group of them care more about the box than they do the lens attached to it.

For Germany, i would take that bet. How much? Or is that offer only valid international? ;)
- Ludwig & partners in Munich have 10 Red coming. They have a huge selection of Canon, Zeiss, Fuji.
- We & partners have 2 Reds coming. Well stay with our 5 Angenieux Zooms (3 PL, 2 2/3 HD) and the 2 Zeiss primesets.
From the other 6 units coming this year to Germany i know of, i don´t know exactly what they are planing - however the mayority here clearly is on Canon Film, Zeiss, Angenieux, not Nikon/Canon Phto in this part of Europe.

Still more broke the bank on the 17500, and don't have funds left for PL mount lenses.

While i do agree that there are several newcomers who have red on order, I am not really certain if that applies to the A-Budget directors (Peter Jackson, Steven Soderbergh etc) who have several units or several units coming, to the large rental houses (ludwig) and mid-sized ones.

One thing is for sure: this particular camera has customers from worldclass top-end to HDV-users.
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#11 Mitch Gross

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 05:26 PM

All of the high school students who clog up the reduser.net forum will by Nikon lenses. All of the real industry people who will actually be able to afford to shoot with the cameras will have proper cine lenses. I think even big rental houses will invest in some RED lenses, if only to use them as -- dare I say it -- crash cam glass. At $17,500 a pop, I know that it's one of Jim Jannard's fears that RED Ones will be purchased to be used a relatively cheap crash cam cameras. Disposable technology for a certain crowd.
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#12 jan von krogh

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 06:27 PM

All of the high school students who clog up the reduser.net forum will by Nikon lenses.

I don´t think that all poorer buyers, including students will go for nikon/canon.

Simply for the reason that the adapter costs 500 dollars - and i suppose some of them might decide to buy some very cheap prime lenses instead for that money, like really old zeiss planar T2 or cooke speed panchros and use pl-adapters. Visual products usually has old primes at ~300-500$, so that might even be cheaper for the ultimate striped down starter kit.

If students buy their own red cameras, they will probably be using nikons & canon photolenses very often, certainly, that is: If their university doesn´t buy red.

The universities & colleges buying cameras however, usually have a good selection of gear.
We get request from younger people for our 35mm PL glass as they want to use it on the p&s every second month or so - usually for the typical diploma or short-film.

It will be interesting to see how many reds will be sold to the educational sector.

All of the real industry people who will actually be able to afford to shoot with the cameras will have proper cine lenses.

Certainly. The people in production shooting with red as we speak (Steven Soderbergh, Timur Bekmambetov) use classic 35mm cine lenses. Soderberg is the first one to shoot with the red zoom on "guerillia", iirc. Bekmambetov, who shoots "wanted" on 35mm and red certainly has non-red lenses in use, as he started very early. Peter Jackson used cooke primes and angenieux zoom for "crossing the line". Rodney Charters, Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor did use red lenses - but that was for their testdrives, so it remains to be seen what they finally will use.

I think even big rental houses will invest in some RED lenses,

indeed, some did.
It would be pretty interesting to know if they also became market leader in orders in that segment - i don´t think so.


if only to use them as -- dare I say it -- crash cam glass.

i would surprised to see red crashcams in 2007. the resale value is higher than buying price and there are good offers for low reservation numbers. So - producers who know their job wouldn´t be to eager to waste the money.

At $17,500 a pop, I know that it's one of Jim Jannard's fears that RED Ones will be purchased to be used a relatively cheap crash cam cameras. Disposable technology for a certain crowd.

i am curious - how do you know that? did you have a talk with him or do you have a source?

however, i suppose red doesn´t care to much for what reason a buyer buys the camera - as long they sell their cameras.

Sidenote: 17.500 won´t give you a working red, don´t be blinded by the price of the body alone. Add at least screen or viewfinder to actually control & setup the camera (1.700-3.000$), a storage option (~900-6000$) in order to record the 4k image (for 1080p/2k you could use the hd-sdi), a a PL lens, or +500 for canon/nikon adapter & glass. And power supply.
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#13 Mitch Gross

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 10:46 AM

i am curious - how do you know that? did you have a talk with him or do you have a source?

I have my sources...

The response was basically, "Jim, we can position the camera all we want, but the clients will do whatever they choose once they rent it from us."

So you can at least know that I was talking to a rental facility from that.
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