Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor



So far we have had a semi pro glimpse at full frame video sensors, I predict Sony are working on a full HD 1080 50p spec camera with a full frame sensor, one that will allow a far better shallow depth of field, possibly an EA70.


Sony spent most of last year supplying camcorders for almost everyone but need to get back in touch with their core market and produce low noise full spec camcorders for the NX70 users who are delighted with AVCHD 1080 50p using SDHC cards. Sony need to supply an NX5 style camcorder with a 20x constant aperture manual/servo lens with 1/2″ CMOS low noise chips with 2 card slots getting away from SxS and 50Mbps.

A camcorder not unlike the EA50 with the LCD/VF on the side running at 35Mbps and fast frame rates like 240FPS.


Panasonic must be looking at re-introducing a more professional large sensor camera with Sony on their seventh since last year Panasonic have a long way to catch up. Panasonic are also introducing the micro P2 card adapter this year along with SDHC and SDXC cards, this will definitely help P2 sales like the HPX-250 camcorder but some say a year too late.

I would like to see Panasonic add 35Mbps via a firmware update for the 160 AVCCAM models the same as the JVC GY-HM600 camcorder.




JVC will be looking to build on their GY-HM600 success with new CMOS shoulder mounted camcorders and hopefully be able to upgrade with a firmware update the 600/650 to 1080 50p. JVC are one of the most promising manufacturers for 2013 and seem to be staying well clear of the large sensor race and applying all their knowledge to what they know best, the conventional video camcorder.

It would be nice to see JVC bring out a 1/2″ 3 sensor CMOS camcorder dropping the S/N even further and giving the PMW-200 a run for its money.


Canon I feel will re-introduce a new XF camcorder this year as the XF300 range is very long in the tooth and very much due for an update, I do hope they stay clear of 1/3″ sensors as the XF range suffered from poor noise levels from 6dBs and above.

I also hope we get a redesign on the C300 camera with XLRs on the body itself and the LCD at the back its hard to see how they can improve the sensor but any improvement would be a bonus.

Canon need a camera to run alongside Sony’s FS700 with high FPS like 240 or better at full HD. Canon also need to bring out cameras with 1080 50p if they are to stay in the competition.


Blackmagic Design will start supplying their Cinema Cameras mid January and at the price point of just over £2000 should sell bucket loads, I have no doubt BM will have version two on the drawing board and lets hope will be a bit more end user friendly with frame rates of 50p.

Following on from BM we could see a camera from AJA or the Chinese at NAB 2013, Arri are looking at a 4K Alexia this year to try and compete with Sony’s 4K PMW-F55 though I do think Sony have a clear edge on size alone, Arri have had a good two years but the F55 is this years drama camera for both size and specifications.


With Sony and Canon having the lions share of the large sensor cameras I think it’s time to improve on the conventional camcorder this year with lower S/N and constant aperture lenses. Lets also get away from “sales damaging” expensive media certainly for their core customers, video manufacturers must stop thinking “Broadcaster” as they are a drop in the ocean compared to the hundreds of customers all over the UK who update about every two years and make up the majority of camera sales.

It may be time for the older 2/3″ chips to see their way into the prosumer camcorders this would give older technology new life and give the handheld camera a fantastic S/N and low light to die for.

I get fed up listening to manufacturers beefing on about the broadcast market who usually get camcorders at a “good rate” to buy 25-30 cameras every 5-10 years !


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

One thought on “My predictions for 2013

  1. Yes, I agree full frame video sensors for 2013 and also more slow mo features (120 & 240 fps etc) as on the Sony FS700. For me, if the Canon C300 could shoot HD at 240fps I would get one today.

    Thanks Philip for all the great reviews and insights -looking forward to reading HDW in 2013.

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