I have a dream…

As much as the dSLRs have redefined indie filmmaking and democratized it even more, I feel that paying $800, plus the cost of lenses, is still prohibiting for many people. What I envision is a Canon S95-type P&S camera, specifically made for filmmaking students & film enthusiasts, and as a “test” camera for professionals, that costs no more than $300:

Video recording properties:
– 3072×1728 (3k, windowed): 12p fps, up to 30 secs of recording
– 2048×1152 (2k): 25p, 24p
– 1920×1080: 30p, 25p, 24p
– 1280×720: 48p[->24p], 50p[->25p], 60p[->30p] (option for unlimited real-time recording, or slow motion with up to 30 secs of recording)
– 960×540: 72p->24, 75p->25, 90->30p, 96->24p, 100p->25/50, 120p->60/30/24 (slow motion only, up to 30 secs of recording)

Other features:
– Full manual control (shutter, aperture, ISO), P, Tv, Av, auto modes
– 50 mbps VBR bitrate h.264, 4:2:0, with optimized h.264 encoder compared to the current Canon cams.
– 192 kbps VBR AAC or PCM, stereo. No mic input (size restrictions, let people buy external recorders, as they should anyway)
– Customizable colors (ability to get very low contrast, saturation, sharpness if desired, also skin tone/R/G/B), movie look profiles, including a port of Technicolor
– f/1.4-2.2 IS lens, 28mm-105mm (~4x zoom), physically large aperture. The Olympus XZ-1 is today the closest P&S camera with a similar lens (examples: 1, 2, 3).
– 2/3s 10MP CMOS sensor with vastly improved rolling shutter, high quality internal resizer
– 3.5″ 24bit touchscreen at 640×360 or higher resolution
– Option to turn off the touchscreen after recording started if an external monitor is connected (to save battery in-camera)
– mini-HDMI out, live, uncompressed RAW output up to 2k (“4:2:0 makes the most sense with a single-plate sensor, since that’s fundamentally what the sensor sees, and anything beyond that is interpolated“, my husband says)
– mini-USB connector & charger
– USB-to-USB cable to provide 3D support with genlock
– 37mm or 43mm filter thread
– standard tripod mount
– SDXC slot
– manual focus with ejectable mini-wheel that also supports a larger follow-focus wheel addon. Hidden when not ejected.
– autofocus in macro/std/wide modesl & focus lock
– smooth continuous autofocus, smooth exposure jumps when in auto
– Touch-focus, and touch-exposure in addition to a traditional exposure scale and possibly zebras
– miniature timelapse support as in current Canon cams
– some timelapse options
– gridlines and crops for various sizes including 2:35:1


Anders Kjaer wrote on May 20th, 2011 at 12:59 AM PST:

Eugenia – Can’t wait that Canon start producing this one 🙂

Michael wrote on May 25th, 2011 at 8:02 AM PST:

I’d buy this camera for 300$ right now.

CRFilms wrote on May 26th, 2011 at 8:36 PM PST:

Great dream, but it will NEVER happen. They’ll never give you more for less. They have a price point and then build something to that point and give you just enough to justify that price. Look at the GH1. Capable of doing such great video, but it’s cripled from the factory and they then made it unhackable once people figured out how to unleash it’s potential.

I bought a GH1 because it was on sale though panasonic’s facebook site for $350+ tax. It was a new unhackable model, though for that price I felt it was the best in it’s price range and if it became hackable then it’s a steal.

Well, they just hacked it. AND panasonic has them on sale now for $299 body only….just ordered another one. 100mb and native 24p here I come!

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