Where Random Happens

Panasonic’s Got A Brand New Bang

I'll be your Bartender today12 years ago, the first true Smartphone (email, text, phone, Internet, apps), the Convergent Blackberry, hit the market. The headspinning speed at which consumers embraced and used it was so surprising to onlookers that they called it Crackberry (Blackberry users gleefully loved this insult and adopted it).

As with most “insanely great” consumer technology, it so caught Steve Jobs by such utter surprise that he forced Apple into a mad scramble for 30 months and $150 million dollars (in association with Cingular) to eventually create the iPhone. The iPhone was released an excruciating slow motion (in modern tech and ‘Net time) three years later. Blackberry had to earn its devoted fanbase, while Steve Jobs created an L. Ron Hubbard cult around his ego. So the Apple iPhone was an even bigger hit. So big that Steve never saw it coming, and Apple was once again scrambling to satisfy its devotees (who immediately hated the iPhone and sued Apple – but that’s another story).

If we graph their rise and fall, the popularity of the Blackberry was a blip*. The popularity of the iPhone was also a blip*. Even Android with its cutesy candy iterations (Android 1.6 Donut, 2.0 Eclair, 2.2 Froyo, 2.3 Gingerbread, 3.0 Honeycomb, 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, 4.1 Jellybean, 4.4 Kit Kat, 5.0 Lollipop), is working so far for the 10.0 Suckers (like me) who are lapping it up.  But Android may also fall by the wayside as the biggest selling point for all the various Smartphones is not that they use Android, but what they do that others don’t: and that means hardware. Which is why the two neck and neck top rated Smartphones in the U.S., as of this writing, are the bells, whistles, and kitchen sink HTC and Smartphones.

With the modern Samsung Galaxy S5 you can now shoot a 4k movie from your phone that will satisfy the visual picture quality demanded of a theatrical release (4k is higher than Super 16mm. Avatar was shown in 2k). So direct to video and VOD is a given.

That, however, is not enough for a company like Panasonic. Panasonic already makes 4k theater quality visual cameras. Now they have introduced an actual camera lens for their Smartphone (Lumix CM1, announced in October, 2014) and the 4k hardware and consumer software to back it up. It’s still in Europe, it hasn’t come to the U.S. yet, but we’re the biggest plum and Panasonic is working feverishly on their marketing campaign for U.S. ( all that work for just little ol’ US? Aww…! You Guys! ).

Panasonic Lumix CM1 Smartphone CameraIf consumers embrace this, then billions of dollars from hundreds of companies will be spent creating the next best thing that tops it.

Considering that, once electronic tech is adopted by the competitive consumer marketplace, the rapid expansion of that tech immediately begins halving and quartering the timeline of rapid technological advance (look at the decades it took to get 1 terabyte onto a single 2.5 hard drive. It took all of a single year to double that and all of a second year to double the 2 terabyte), imagine everyone being able to shoot theatrical quality video in six years from their phone.

Check out the full story at No Film School.

*Poor consumer marketing crushed them. The elitist corporate arrogance of “Give the people what we say they want.”, instead of what the people say they want.

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Also look for my story Cedo Looked Like People, in the anthology, FEAR THE REAPER, edited by Joe Mynhardt and available in Paperback and eBook.

Looking for a great guidebook on filmmaking? Interviews with Ray Bradbury, Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Tom Holland, George A. Romero, me, and many others in HORROR 201: The Silver Scream Vol.’s 1 & 2.


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