Petka: Electronic hadrware prices are falling so fast that the only thing that still costs something is the lens. Prices of those (good ones) are not falling, alas.
Yup, stubbornly... while electronics leverage improvements in software as well as general-purpose CPUs, glasses are stubbornly stuck in the realm of old-school physics, which don't abide by Moore's law in any way. Kinda like whiskey ;-)
That, and the two players that really have the know-how and power to produce professional-quality cine (manual) lenses at drastically lower price - Canon and Nikon - don't seem to care, and are entrenched in their old ways. Canon enjoys selling their cine and broadcast lenses at $40-100k, and the SLR divisions of those companies focus exclusively on auto-focus lenses and don't care (or are not allowed to care) about the cine market.
As you know, the most interesting developments in the cine glass market in recent years have come from Zeiss and Fujinon.
dr8: OPINION - This is not good news : - "The camera .... records to a single proprietary SSD drive." I love that word, "proprietary", you know it means it's the best, that it will ALWAYS be the best, MOST productive, AND versatile. - Then I read that it's designed to operate with-in the closed-loop "Apple" world... sigh... Oh well, I will never be able to afford to use it anyway.
You see a lot of this proprietary stuff in storage media for professional digital cinema. The reason is that we'd often rather pay the price premium for the peace of mind that comes with the manufacturer's own choices. If you're familiar with AJA, they don't mess around, and have the best warranty in the business. They will guarantee that it will work with the camera and won't blame "the storage vendor"; they'd help with data recovery; and I do trust them to choose good chips to put inside their module.
Also, this is SSD storage. What would make "your" brand of choice more "productive"? "Versatile"? They all weigh around the same.
Most likely, they are using someone's SSD and just doing their extra QC and packaging in the caddy. Sound Devices (now Video Devices) was more open, and let you buy the SSD yourself to fit in their caddy. I saved a few bucks, but in the end you want the manufacturer's recommendation anyway for maximum reliability.
jaaboucher: Is anyone else skeptical about all of these video cameras coming out at NAB with jaw dropping specs and low prices? Something this perfect seeming must be too good to be true.
What's the use of a $300 CD player when a pair of Genelec 1038B speakers cost $16,000? Your statement doesn't make much sense, and you're pairing a budget professional camera with the best lenses money can buy.We can all keep ranting about how expensive professional cine lenses are (and we should), but the productive way to look at this is to be thankful how cheaper camera bodies are getting, and plan your budget appropriately. Yes, you should be ready to spend more on glasses than on the camera. But you should think about a set of CP.2's or cinevised ZF.2's (at $12,000 to $25,000), or a lovely Cabrio lens at under $40,000.Or rent...
There are two things that make technology cheap: software and quantity. Unfortunately, those two things are absent from cine lenses.
When you write a program, your costs of making one, a thousand, or a million copies are virtually the same (and virtually zero). This is just not the case with hardware. Cine lenses are basically all manual, and there's just no replacement for fabricating extremely high quality mechanics and optics, with an all-metal constructions that's a couple steps above the best still lenses.
If it was easy to make a lens like this for $5K, someone would've gotten up and do it. Tokina can't, Nikon passed, and Canon opted for the same price level.
A 28-80mm f2.8 (T2.9) is considered a 'classic' cine zoom lens, and there have been dramatic price cuts over the past 2 years. Just a few years back, the cheapest option for the above was the Angenieux Optimo, for $65K. You could settle for the newer DP Rouge 30-80mm for a mere $42K, then just last year Fujinon announced their 29-90mm for $38K. This is why the $20K price point for this Zeiss is news. You can't compare it with a Canon L because you can't do with an L what you do with those lenses.
BTW, the CZ name isn't for Carl Zeiss - it's for Compact Zoom. It compliments Zeiss' CP (Compact Prime) line of entry-level cine lenses.
My company was looking to acquire our own cinematography package, and after months of research (and 10 years in the film/TV business) I recommended a $12,000 cinevised Zeiss prime set and a $700 Panasonic GH2. We're happy with the purchase and the value it brought us, and that includes my boss.
It is rather pointless of DPR to post these. These lenses are strictly for cine use, and a complete waste of money for stills (get a Canon L). Motion picture has a completely different set of needs by virtue of taking 24 (or more) exposures per second and projecting them successively. Manual focus, aperture pulls, focus tracking, breathing, internal focusing, consistent aperture... all those things are rather pointless in stills and critical in movies.