Canon went from being surprised by the overwhelming response of the original 5d, which makes zero sense since indie film makers, smaller tv productions, commercial producers for everything from big international spots to web ads have been asking (make that begged) for a digital cinema camera, (any cinema digital camera) that had a frame large enough to throw some focus and a filmic look.
That's why I jumped on RED as soon as I could, not because I thought the price was brilliant, or the RED mystique, but because the R1 worked and the files look like cinema film (at least in my opinion). So many others "video" cameras looked like video.
Also RED had a fairly stable (though changing) workflow that wasn't that difficult for a still photographer to learn and use.
I talk about autofocus and I don't see that it has to be mandatory but I do know at times it's useful. Hang the crew size, but look at schedules. Sometimes you just need that shot where two people walk through a crowd with a long lens and doing that manually is fine, but it goes from 4 takes to 8 takes if you work manually.
Also in the motion imagery business, anything that can go weird goes weird. Your perfect take has some security guard walk past the front of the lens, or some civilian takes 4 cell phone flashes while you shooting that perfect moment.
Anyway, Canon's focus on Hollywood sounds glamourous but Hollywood doesn't toss out money on the small to medium scale, just the huge blockbuster or medium priced filler movie productions.
When you compare the amount of real paying productions, comparing business to business industrials (a hollywood term, not mine), advertising, news, small indie production, the numbers are probably Hollywood 1, all others 10,000.
To me that's where a $25,000 pl mount canon falls down. Maybe it will help that it will cut easily with a C-300 and a 1dx, but in reality it's never really $25,000 if your a buy rather than rent guy, because you need two cameras, if only for backup, you need glass, rails, hoods, monitors all sorts of cables and not to leave out storage space that would make the Science department of UCLA wince and most asc deepees don't give a rats ____ about post production.
Had the new canon come out with autofocus, changeable mounts, and got to the price of a Scarlet instead of climbing towards epic territory then it would gain my attention, but Canon didn't call me, I am sure they talked to the studios and a whole group of ASC deepeees. The thing is other than owning a 5d2 and a meter, most DP's don't own anything, they rent and the style of the production and production company plays as big a part of deciding what camera package will be used as the dp or director.
We're into the 4th leg of a 4 country gig, just finishing Moscow, then on to Italy and England. It's funny, most of the time the very last thing we think about is cameras, other than what is most reliable. Yesterday was the brutal day of brutal and I went with the R-1 or anything that allowed a lot of lighting and planning, the Sony fs100 for anything shot fast and moving and (most due to autofocus) and the Scarlet as a C cam just to give the editor some options. If I had brought my second R1 the scarlet would have stayed home. I think the data could be broken down 75% R1, 25% Sony and and another 25% B cam scarlet.
If I was in the Canon world only it would have been a C500, a C500 and . . . . a C500.
The one thing I do know is coming from a still background, film crews drive me nuts. I can appreciate the specialties and skills but they move slow like a large army (even small crew) where still guys move fast and multi task. It always breaks my brain when I see a sound tech take their little kit and walk past 3 swings that are picking everything in sight, or a 6'4" focus puller that takes his little shoulder bag of sound kit and if someone says, "hey can you grab that LED and hand it to me and he replies, "I don't do that mate".
When guys like Mr. Halibut are shooting 3 seconds of a 30 second spot, laying tracks, firing up generators, using fisher dollys that weigh more than a Toyota Prius, we're shooting from a wheelchair, so the still mindset to the film mindset is really different.
Sometimes when I look at the new Canon cinema cameras I here this voice that says "I don't do that mate".