Mere days after Sony’s 4K bomb dropped, with the F5 and F55, RED CEO Jim Jannard announced an across-the-board price cut on the “brains” of all its current camera models. this included a Crazy Eddie slash of its “battle-tested” (i.e. used) RED ONE MX, from $25,000 to a mere $4,000. That’s slightly more than a used FS100, though of course will require expensive peripherals to bring it to life. Still 4.5K RAW for $4k sounds pretty unreal. It’s 5K offerings also see substantial drops. The EPIC-M falls almost half from $39,500 to $24,000, while the EPIC-X falls to $19,000 from $34,500. The Scarlet drops a less dramatic sum from its pricetag, to $7,950 from $9,700.
It now remains to be seen how Sony will respond. It was cleverly silent on the pricing for its latest announcements – aware, no doubt, of RED’s impending move following Jannard’s earlier post hinting such a change was imminent. Now it can adjust its final pricing accordingly.
It’s Canon’s move now – its push into digital cinema a bit more precarious following these announcements. Its 8-bit 4K 1D C DSLR is $13,000 and it’s $26,000 C500 is due this month. It’s anyone’s guess when and how it responds, but its DSLR division has shown itself eager to drop prices in the wake of product launches, so a similar move is not unthinkable.
As with all things digital, the end user is the ultimate winner. It’s hard to remember that prior to NAB last spring, anything beyond Full-HD seemed exotic. Five digit pricetag cameras like the C300 and F3 were happy offering 720/60p. But now we have three cameras under the magical $10,000 threshold sporting greater than HD resolution and many with high framerates to match their astronomical resolutions. The corollary cost, of course, is the increased processing power and storage needed to handle the massive resulting files. Nevertheless, it seems that the long-awaited high resolution future is indeed now.
Update: we added a poll to get your take on the current landscape!