Banking, real estate and the stock market: all three are prone to "irrational exuberance." As it turns out, the production community is not immune either, witnessed by the hordes rushing to buy (or wishing they already owned) a RED camera or a Canon 5D mkII. Mind you, both are excellent tools - but neither is a cure for everything.
The Tulip Mania of the early 1600's saw the contract price of a single tulip bulb exceed ten times the annual income of a skilled craftsman, and is widely considered to be the first speculative bubble. The late 1990's saw the astronomical rise of Internet stocks, heralded by the CEO of Amazon.com as a paradigm shift wherein the purpose of a company was no longer to make a profit. After that horrific crash we set ourselves up for an even bigger catastrophe: the real estate bubble.
In each case average human beings jumped on the bandwagon of fast and sure riches, only to find the brakes didn't work as the wagon went off a cliff. As mentioned above, the media production industry is seemingly no different, as witnessed by REDmania in 2007 and 2008 and now Canon 5D Mark II mania in 2009.
Each camera has its strengths and weaknesses, and neither is the greatest camera ever. And yet RED has created for itself a product image that has seen 4,000 RED ONE's fly off the shelves. The Canon 5D has sold approximately 40,000 units with a further 17,000 on backorder.
It's important to recognize that the biggest advantage of either of these cameras is its price, and as both cameras are reasonably affordable compared to their higher-end brethren it is quite alluring to think that they are equally as good.
In some ways they are, and in some ways they aren't. Read on...