This is less of an article and simply a repost of something I wrote recently. I am amazed that some representatives from certain manufactures spend most of their time these days trolling the web, not to promote their products, but rather to misinform people about the competition. I am not alone. Many professionals are tired of the outright misrepresentations and dare I say lies that some reps are spreading. I wanted to post this response I made to one professional who like me is fed up with people misrepresenting formats and cameras only because they don't know how to respectfully sell their own without stooping to tactics that are simply wrong. In this case it involves certain companies spreading what are simply mistruths about the HDV format. Some mistruths that you may believe not from experiecne, but from posts on the web, but I as a daily user of the format can't replicate.


On 10/23/07 11:11 AM, "Tim Kolb" <> wrote:

> The problem is that so many users take all of this propaganda so much to
> heart that they're afraid that if they're shooting a dog that sneezes on

Tim, don't let it get under you skin.

It's sort of sad. There used to be a day in sales of professional equipment where manufactures might not have liked the competition, but they never spent every waking moment trying to publicly bash everyone else with half truths and near lies. Rather in days past, they had a bit of professional respect for each other. There was also a day on boards like this that manufacture reps were resources, offering information about their equipment.

Yet today you have some manufactures creating completely phony websites that are supposedly written by former employees of the company, who are supposedly letting you in on 'inside secrets' of the companies new equipment, only to find out that it's astroturfing. Astroturfing is when a company tries to disguise their sales agenda as an independent public reaction to their product, in this case with a phony website with covert disinformation. One such example of this technique is what Panasonic did when they introduced the HVX200. They created such a website until it was uncovered that while it had no reference to being a Panasonic supported website, it was. They since took it down in shame. That is really sad!!!

Today, many of these same people who work for various manufactures maintain an air of professional respect that has always existed in the industry, while others are out to create examples of problems with formats, cameras, etc that are near impossible to replicate in the real world, just to scare less tech savvy and less equipment knowledgeable people into buying their equipment.

Sad, because while most of the equipment reps out there today still choose to take the high road and offer positive information on how their equipment works and its advantages (with a bit of jabbing at what others don't have as all have done -with respect), others would rather take off the professional gloves and spread test tube scenarios or Armageddon as real world problems.

See you can have all these test tube scenarios and half truths spoken by certain manufacture reps as if they were real and ruining productions every day, and then you have folks like you and me who use this equipment every day in real world scenarios, under the most extreme conditions and yet who deliver perfect material to our clients with none of these test tube scenarios destroying our footage like a what I see as a handful of less than reputable manufactures reps would like you to believe.

But here is the real question? Do you think that if HDV and all the MPEG derivatives (which include the DVDs you watch and the digital broadcast television Americans watch) was as bad as these less than honorable handful of reps wants you to believe, that most all manufactures (except Panasonic who has stuck with DVC Pro) would be investing their future in it? Panasonic is alone wolf in that regard and it must be scary for them as HDV and its derivatives start to squeeze sales from Panasonics older format. If HDV was so bad do you think it would be selling as well as it is and in fact, overall selling far more units in both professional arenas such as networks, station groups, etc and in prosumer/consumer arenas?

Do you think that production companies, news organizations, and individuals who are now buying HDV and its MPEG derivatives like hotcakes would be doing so if it was anything less than a format(s) that performed no less than any other professional format they were used to and maintained the same integrity that past formats they routinely used did?

Would someone of your caliber even bother to use it if it really was a format you couldn't rely on professionally. And if you did and found these supposedly glaring problems, would you ever use it again? Would someone of my caliber who shoots material for broadcasters around the world use it?

About six months ago I saw a hole in my productions. I needed a lightweight professional camera that I could use to do everything from network to local commercial work with that wouldn’t break the bank. I've already got the higher end niche formats (HDCAM, etc), so was looking for some mid level equipment. I had spent nearly two months with an HVX, the HD100/200, HD1 and Z1 doing every possible side by side I could from nature shots to horse races.

And in that time I was also being hired to use these cameras in real world shooting scenarios so was getting what no testing could give me, and that is real world performance scenarios. In that testing and real world use of all of the HDV formats I did not detect these test tube scenarios that some manufactures try to present as reality. Could I? Sure. I could show you all sort of things with any format/camera but those examples would be so on the fringe as not to be something I would worry about in the real world as a 25 year video professional who has worked extensively in all areas of production, engineering, and design. Except sales. I never worked selling video equipment but knew every rep from every company from Sony to Chyron to Grass Valley over the years. Even today I could email five reps from five manufactures asking them to tell me what they really thought about this and that and out of respect they'd rather tell you about what their equipment can do and give you vague answers to others equipment, not tell me about what others can't do only in test tube scenarios. I tried this and the reputable reps simply will not take the low road.

After extensive testing of all of these mid level $6-$12k cameras, the clear choice for me was the JVC HD200. The whys were personal likes mostly of the camera and it's performance as any choice in camera is. But I will say that these test tube scenarios that some of these (as I see them) less than honorable reps present is the equivalent of your mother telling you not to go out in the rain because you will get struck by lighting. It's rubbish that they create by deliberately trying to find ways of exploiting a camera to create a problem so that they can tell the world, look, if you use this format you'll be lucky to come back with anything useful. I could create many conditions that could increase my odds of getting struck by lighting, but why waste my time. The odds are slim and I'll simply do what needs to be done to prevent such a thing, not try to make it occur. Yet some of these people are so desperate to keep the sales of their equipment going and their performance bonuses as a result, that they would rather keep it raining all the time so they can warn you about lighting. Sad!

Sure they will convince the less than savvy people with their misrepresentations of other manufactures equipment, but we know better. We use the stuff and can easily see that the 'Inconvenient Truths' they convince the masses of, have as much merit as Al Gore's documentary which has been sliced to shreds by (you guessed it) folks who work in the real world dealing with atmospherics, not some sales rep trying to sell you an umbrella and galoshes because they say the future is all rain.

Don't believe me. Got to BH like I did and ask the video guys what sells the most. They will tell you it all sells well. JVC, Sony, Canon and Panasonic. If there really was a problem with HDV formats like some of these folks want the world to believe, mega sellers like BH would have to increase their returns personnel so much that they'd be out of business.

So don't let these folks get you down. The equipment they are pushing is good too. It's just sad to see they have to misrepresent everyone else as they do. Thankfully it's only a handful of people.

A smart person I know who knows a lot about marketing said it best. He said
the high road is the proper and credible place for manufacturers, as a foundation of Brand Equity. When failed strategy leads to a manufacturer finding themselves painted into an untenable corner is when "low road" behavior - including shrill disparagement - can begin. Since strong players ACT strong, it's not unusual to find the most strident disparagement (aka "propaganda") coming from the weakest player.

Notice how quiet companies like Sony, JVC, and especially Canon are. They are also very highly respected.




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