What do you think of my prediction?

I haven’t made any predictions on this site because I haven’t been around long enough in this industry to make predictions based off lots of experience. But what the heck I going to make my first prediction.

I will predict in 12 months to 18 months we will see our first DSLR camera announcement that will shoot video in a RAW format. In order for this to happen the camera manufacturers have to be working on concept cameras for this right now. I have a feeling at least Canon got a wake up call this spring when Black Magic announced their RAW camera (not a DSLR) for only $3k. I bet you that Canon had spies within Nikon, and Nikon has spies within Canon as well (just look at the same day announcement of the entry level full frame cameras). But Canon or Nikon didn’t have spies at Black Magic and I bet Canon/Nikon were stunned by the announcement.

Canon has had a lead in DSLR video for sometime since the 5D Mark II, and I would argue that Nikon has finally caught up with the Nikon D800, I bet Canon wants to stay ahead of that curve and ever since the Black Magic announcement has been working hard on a prototype or a concept camera.

Canon has reached out to me in the past but I have no inside knowledge about this at all, in fact I will predict that Canon will not be the first to announce a camera like this. I don’t think it will be Nikon first either. It will come from either Sony or Sigma (yes Sigma makes cameras). But my bet is on Sony since they seem the underdog in the DSLR market and don’t mind being disruptive right now. Canon I bet is working on it right now, and they are very conservative when it comes to cannibalizing on their higher end cameras.

SSD inside the Camera?

With all the RAW info flying off the sensor how will it captured? To be honest I have no idea. But one thing they could do is record the SD or CF cards for very short videos, and then offer a “battery grip” type attachment below the camera that could house an SSD or additional storage.


If Canon made it I am sure they would want a premium price which would be about the price of their 1DX at close to $7k. If it came in at that price it would drive more people to the Black Magic camera. I think it should come in around $4,500 to really sell well.

What If I am Right?

So if I’m right and a new DSLR camera from Sony that shoots RAW video gets announced between Nov 2013 to May 2014, what do I get? Ah, it would be nice if Sony gave me one for free! (not going to happen)

Why Not Buy The BMCC Now?

You might be asking why not just buy the BMCC now? One of the things I love about DSLR’s is you can take awesome pictures and awesome video in a nice small package, the BMCC is basically just a video camera, not something you would use on a fashion shoot or a sporting event.

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  • Na, Black magic doesn’t do stills, battery
    is not interchangeable, Na.
    APS-C Sensor will develop to the noise performance of APS, and is better for video by the fact that is easier to focus, Isn’t it ?
    Raw to external clean HDMI for sure.
    DSLR are modular to keep the form factor.
    7D Mark II will blast this market next year

  • Nikon already took the first step by providing an uncompressed HDMI video signal in their DSLR. This way you can connect an external HDD recorder.
    This is also available in the new Panasonic GH3 and will be available for the Canon 5d3 with the new firmware in April next year.

    RAW would be the next step but first i’ll set some money aside for those expensive SSD’s and a new Computer for rendering and a NAS upgrade to store the RAW files 😉

  • Dave,
    I prefer to have double purpose camera right now. My 7D fills that role nicely. The only reason I’d get another dslr is because the value was to good to pass up… otherwise a BMCC would probably be a better choice for me. The extras required to make it a useable camera has me torn though. 3K for RAW video is great but you need more than that to get rolling.

  • Dave,

    That are some pretty bold predictions, but I don’t totally agree with your optimism. Don’t get me wrong, I really hope they do, but Nikon will play it’s cards with the HDMI out, and Canon won’t dare do this because of it’s newer CXXX line.

    My bigger fear is storage and processing power on the editing side. Will our current batch of computers handle RAW files, or will I need to buy a new $5000 Mac Pro just to edit?

    I would more likely put my money on the folks over at Magic Lantern. Maybe they could find a way to unlock it on the newer high-end cameras with bigger processors like the 5DMkIII or 1Dx.

    Nobody will do it until it gives a competitive edge against the other guys, which may be in line with your Sony prediction. Unfortunately, it would record to some stupid Sony memory card in a weird format.

  • Raw out to an external recorder could be possible but I doubt Sony would do it. They sell the 2k/4k raw module for their cameras for $5000. Doesn’t make sense for them to make a dslr with raw video… Unless their dslr division moves separately from the video division.

    Maybe Nikon will do it since they don’t have any high end video cameras.

    Or someone new like GoPro.

    I’m sure we’ll see smaller raw video cameras next year at cheaper prices. Maybe a mini blackmagic that can be handheld easily. Or one of those Chinese kineraw cameras.

  • Um… Canon already announced a 4K RAW DSLR. It’s called the 1D-C and it’s $15,000.00. I don’t think they care much about the consumer/prosumer market with this type of product. Not yet anyways.

  • I can’t wait too see magic lantern come up with the hack for the 1dx or 5d mk iii that allows it to shoot 4k video, since the 1d-c and the normal 1dx are the same camera but with different firmware. If only black magic allowed you to take stills and put it into an ergonomic dslr body…

  • The thing is for some of us amateurs working on RAW on the family Laptop isn’t going to happen.

    Personally I work happily away on our Real Estate videos in Premiere Pro essentials 11 , with 4 G of Ram, Just, performance wise!

    The PC manufacturas will, I hope offer more power to cope with the ever increasing video flies. Mac seem to be on the case , but as yet there are some of us who haven’t moved over to the dark side!

    RAW video files, they say are huge!

  • With raw you are talking about a ton of data. I would settle for 10 bit 4:2:2. And BTW you can record 4:2:2 from a Sony A99 out the HDMI port. 🙂

  • You have to take into account the project lifecycle. To be released in 12/18 months they should have started to work on it by now.

  • I too have been eagerly anticipating the new cameras. I don’t see myself as a geek but rather a practical, pragmatic person. I try not to be played by marketing babble. I own a 550D/T2i which I have put to good use in the past few years and here are my findings, based on real world experience and use:
    – 13 or 14 stops of dynamic range I consider marketing babble: the human eye can only see 13 stops of DR. The general public, ie the causual viewer is happy with 8 stops.
    – HDMI-out recording is no comsumer feature, but a pro’s. Don’t need it. It is also expensive and a hassle.
    – 4k (and 8k!) raw recording is extremely time and power consuming in post production. Again not a consumer feature.

    Here is what really matters to me:
    + noise free, low light (high iso) recording
    + full hd 240fps recording
    + no time/size limit on recording (allowing to record a footballmatch or concert without interruption)
    + a dedicated video sensor (sharp / no moiré / no aliasing)
    + 4:2:2 color space
    + no sensor blooming
    + no rolling shutter
    + codec (esp. bitrate) allows for fast L/R pans
    + all this for under $1500

    None of the current DSLRs can offer this.

  • Why not Panasonic? They are one of the most respected brands in the video market. They already have a huge following the GH2 and the GH3 is to be a hit. The GH3 will out shoot anything Canon has or Nikon as far as video goes.

  • +1 for Panny. Their new gh3 camera is already providing true 1080p unlike the mushy effective 720p of canon. They are also packing in broadcast quality codecs and uncompressed hdmi 8bit 4:2:2. Possible focus peaking and 120fps 720p in the future as well as a rumoured xlr adapter!

    My prediction is a ghx in 18mths with global shutter and servo zoom 2.8 lens, peaking, zebras, xlr adapter, attachable loupe, in body stabilisation for legacy lenses, high quality pre-amp with dedicated volume buttons, oled screen, dual card slots, 120fps 1080p, digital nd filters and 24fps 22mp burst rate lol

  • People think they want RAW but they are wrong. Raw takes up so much space and is very demanding of current tech to process. You cant just shoot it with a couple of SD cards and edit it on you macbook pro like people do with Dslrs.

    If you can afford to shoot raw you can afford to do it on a proper camera, not a stills camera.

    This may change in the future but what is more practical AND realistic is better more efficient codecs and better features (peaking, zebras etc)

  • Hi Dave! I guess you have a bit the impression, that Video RAW will be the Same as Stills RAW, but its a whole different story! As some already menshioned, its way more than just the camera you need to handly RAW. I dont want RAW at the moment…id be pleased with PRORES 4:2:2 in DSLRs.

  • Hi Dave,
    I think that’s pretty much impossible (FF sensor wise). You are looking at next models of D800 or 5D Mark III which can’t be replaced in the next 12 months, can they? Their life span has to be longer. I’d say more accurate would be to say that in 12monthd time we might get an announcement about RAW DSLR. Nothing more.

  • Dave I also think you missed the boat by not including the Panny gh2/3’s. Canon cannot match the price or image to date. Did you see the results of this years Zacuto’s shoot out???
    No question Canon’s large sensor is king in the stills department but they charge a premium.
    How is it that a $600 4/3 camera can compete with camera’s that cost thousands of dollars more, and can’t compete with the image (albeit hacked.
    The next logical step for DSLRs is going to be to kick the sensor up to the 10-12 bit range.
    The sensor in the BMCC is smaller then that of the GH2/3 but has the higher bit sensor.
    That makes all the difference in data produced especally in the dynamic range.

  • I am a DIT and work a lot with the Sony F65. We shoot 4K 16 bit linear files. I gotta say, it is a lot of work. 1 hour of video literally is 1 TB of data. While I am grateful for the large sensor and massive amounts of data that keep me employed at work, my freelance stuff is never going to get that type of quality because it is too much work for something like a wedding video. On top of which, RAW video means color correction, which adds more time and money. In the current economy I would rather fix a few bad shots and get onto the next gig than spend hours grading the entire project. Gotta stay competitive. 🙂