In a word; Quality
Better signal processing
More resolution (HDV cheats a lot :-)
The ability to do most of the setup fine tuning from a remote position
A camera plate that doesn't wobble
Far better lenses that can be changed
More weight (makes it more stable)
Ability to gen-lock (cause multiple cameras and other devices to be in sync)
Crisp black and white viewfinder so you can tell if you are in focus
The ability to program "looks" and store them on a memory card
It looks professional (you may laugh, but sometimes size does matter)
Full manual control of everything (pros don't use "auto" for anything)
Too many things to list, but I'm sure you get the idea
Large-size imaging chips (CCD)
HD resolution imaging chips
Low-volume, likely NOT high-yield imaging chips
12-bit video processing
Super low-noise analog video circuits
Likely custom VLSI image processing chips
Low-volume camera production
What the HD broadcast market will bear.
Note that price does NOT include:
Lens (likely another $50000)
Camera control unit
There's no doubting the superiority of these megabuck HDCAM types over
even the best HDV's, but the law of diminishing returns has put many
producers and broadcasters into a bit of a tizzy. The bean counters
bosses have traditionally relied upon the advice of retained techno
geeks, who though on the brink of obsolescence (remember the days when
one could earn a very good living as a computer operator), can still
recite specifications and algorithm equations ad nauseum. Trouble is
though that the human eye, being the most advanced HD system available
to our industry, is starting to question the very high cost of the
emperor's new cloths; i.e. TV viewers don't detect the difference when
their favourite episode of JAG or what ever cuts between a Z1 and a 950
(sic). The fact that experts can go squinty eyed whilst searching
intensely for evidence to the contrary is, in the real world, irrelevant
to the business of TV. Expect manufactures to develop new market
dynamics, with 1080 and 720 HD dropping in price like a stone, so don't
go out and buy that HDCAM 950 just yet, even if only because the better
HDCAM 750 is available significantly cheaper. The wonderfulness of 24p
for film transfer, is only an NTSC reality issue. 25p PAL cameras have
been doing an excellent job of this for years. The Arriflex-Locheed
Martin 5,000 line (same as 35mm film) 'Super HD' has already been
invented, OK so the recorder still has to be truck mounted, but then I
worked with Sony's original HD format in the early 90's and that was
truck mounted too. Now I have an HVR-A1(amongst other types) that nearly
fits into a large pocket and produces 1080i images that are only a
wafers width less astonishing, profoundly, it cost me considerably less
than a couple of days rental of an HDCAM.
? ?????? ??? ??????
I'm also wondering, now that everyone has trashed their VCRs and got DVD
players(notice:players NOT recorders) and the big ones are still in a format
war, HDDVD and blu ray are to come.I personally don't give a damn if I see
the silly news on HD or regular PAL.I also got (one of the last to be
produced) analogue 8mm camcorder just because it came for 400 euros with
the HI-8 for 500 euros and a good sony mini dv for more than 800 in cash.I
personally don't find that great a disantvantage that in the one or two
movies I shoot a year (usually concerts my sister plays in or presentations)
the people involved will get a VHS cassete instead of a dvd.The story goes
on, because my computer is a celeron with only a cd burner, and is very
unlikely to capture digital video without major upgrades...
major in electrical engineering,freelance electrician
FH von Iraklion-Kreta, freiberuflicher Elektriker
dimtzort AT otenet DOT gr
That's only part of the story: the price curve is a "hockey stick"
because the higher quality camcorders, being more expensive, sell fewer
and lower volumne means the price needs to be higher!
If they could sell 100x the number of units the price would come down.
What you CAN GET in a consumer camera would have been miraculous 10 yrs ago.
A local TV Station in Houston, Texas, just purchased 5 JVC GY-HD100U
cameras for field use. Apparently the quality is sufficiently high for
their broadcast needs -- and they are a mere $5,000 each.
Sony may be the top of the line, but you are paying for much more than
the camera itself!
Some will say quality, and they are right, to an extent. Professional
cameras have much better lenses, sturdier construction, tighter
tolerances, the whole gamut. The HDTV portion is certainly going to add a
huge cost. Also, most professional cameras have an image sensor per
primary colour, much higher quality, much higher price.
Aside from this is: volume. A consumer camera is often made in the ranges
of 10s or 100s of thousands of units. Real pro cameras have MUCH smaller
volumes. Mass production = lower cost.
And finally, they are that expensive since there is FAR less competition
and the customers are "used" to paying insane prices, so the prices are
inflated for that very reason.