Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

“2014 a big year for 4K and fast frame rates”

2013 was a good year for camera manufacturers making camcorders fit for purpose in fact lets have a look at my predictions for 2013…


2013 prediction “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.”


Sony indeed brought out the NX3 but no constant aperture lens, they also brought out the PMW-300 which is the camera I predicted less the 20x zoom.

What can Sony possibly pull out the hat this year they seem to have a camcorder for everyone, 4K will certainly domineer 2014 and I think we are going to see a couple of 4K camcorders from Sony this year.

The PXW-Z100 is a good run and gun 4K camcorder but I predict Sony will have one last shoulder mounted 4K camcorder this year, we have every possible combination of  shallow depth of field camera from Sony so a broadcast pro 4K camcorder with interchangeable lenses is my bet for 2014.

I also think we will see a further increase in full HD fast frame photography 500fps or better from Sony as they have seen how popular this feature has been on the FS700.


2013 prediction “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.”

Panasonic did not add any further large sensor camera to their range but concentrated on the shoulder mount PX5000, with 10 bit 422 and 1080 50p this is a fantastic spec P2 and micro P2 camcorder.


The new HPX270 is due early 2014 with micro P2 card slots, AVC-ULTRA, 10bit 422 and 1080 50p this hand held camcorder is set to be a killer.


I still see the need for an revamped AF101, one with 4K capability using the new CFast media, I feel Sony has such a vast edge on all market fronts but a few Sony boys up in Glasgow swapped back to Panasonic last year…its not all over yet for Panasonic.


2013 prediction “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.”

Sadly the HM650 was never upgraded to 1080 50p as the chip would run too hot and the fan could not cope.


2014 will see JVC bringing out a shoulder mount version of their successful HM650 finally with 1080 50p and I hope 10bit 422.


2013 prediction “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.”


Sadly Canon seemed to have lost the plot during 2013 bringing us the XA-25, a camcorder that did not fit the professional marketplace and certainly not as I had predicted with an XF305 in need of a revamp and with a flagging range of cinematic 8bit camcorders, not to mention the C500 the only 4K camcorder that could not record 4K internally !

I seriously hope Canon are marching into 2014 with a fine range of 10bit 422 or better camcorders with updated “C” designs with the XLRs on board the camera…this time !

BlackMagic Design…

2013 prediction “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.”


BlackMagic were hit with terrible production problems during 2013, delaying the 2K cinematic camera beyond the release of their 4K version which is now delayed till this year.

So that’s my look back at 2013 and some predictions for 2014, there’s no doubt that this will be a 4K year with the Panasonic GH4 predicted to have at least 4K 25fps on board.

Both Panasonic and Sony are now proving that there is no place for 8bit 420 camcorders any more so lets hope 2014 is sprinkled with 10bit 422 camcorders the preferred choice of the professional film maker.


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.

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