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In my continued bafflement over the pricing of just about anything cinema gear related, there comes another simple thing that defies belief, the Arri RMB-8 Rod Mounting Bracket:

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How on earth can this demand AU$200+, when something like this only costs AU$20 and does the exact same thing and I'm sure there are alternatives:

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Are these companies have a lend of people and making $5 items and then charging $199 for the name emblazoned on the item?

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This is an easy answer .. $180 of the $200 is for the ARRI stencil .. the quality will be better but not 90% better .. just the way it is .. Arri charge alot because the people using Arri gear are on shoots generally with a higher budget and higher rate for the DP.. .. cine gear has always been expensive but the rates for camera people were pretty good and they could afford it, but have basically declined heavily over the last 20 years when you factor in inflation .. so probably the days of the $200, $20 widget might be on the way out .. the gear I have now is a fraction of what a Betasp 400AP and an ENG ⅔ zoom cost me 25 years ago.. lights, tripods , lenses , batteries, Mattboxes .. everything now is really cheap compared to even 10 years ago.. .. to decide to be a camera person full time with gear when I started meant investing a fair bit more than the cost of an average house in the UK in the 90,s.. now you'll get alot more, and a far better camera for less than the cost of the average car ..  for better or for worse ..

Edited by Robin Probyn

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7 hours ago, Nezih said:

Specifically, read all the replies from Dan Chung.

I can understand where he's coming from, but I still disagree with the comment that they are expensive because they are made in small numbers. Yes, in some circumstances this is a valid argument, such as when say some specific lens is made in small quantities and require special manufacturing/materials etc.

But in the Panasonic example, and in mine, these are items that are made by the millions every day. Panasonic probably puts these in numerous other electronic products that they make, converting mains to DC power, only changing the DC cable end. How about Blackmagic? They supplied a mains power converter with the BMPCC4K and they are a but pimple on the butt of the Panasonic giant by comparison. My Atomos Shinobi came similarly supplied .

And this thing by Arri. Now if these clamps were hand carved from blocks of alloy by Arri elves somewhere in Europe, I could imagine that there would be a price premium. But what engineer/marketing/supply team would consider making such a thing in-house, when there are significant cost savings to be had by simply engaging a Chinese manufacturer that can make these in the thousands for next to nothing, in next to no time?

Look at this clamp that I bought from Amazon to hold a V-lock battery on my light stand. This cost AU$46 and is much more complex and materials intensive than the Arri clamp, and you might wonder how many of these are actually sold:

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Basically it's price gouging at its best by Arri (and the others) because of they can. The only thing special about the Arri clamp is the name and number painted on the clamp. It's not even laser engraved, the least you could expect for the price. People really need to jack up and let the likes of Arri know that they aren't going to pay this sort of money for what is a $5 item to make.

 

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I just thought I'd add this, should anyone wish to add to the Twitter discussion. Not long ago I bought an IDX dual battery charger that cost me about AU$179. This charger came with the power brick, the charging unit and several plates for different batteries. Now IDX is a well know company, but no where near as large as Panasonic, yet can still produce and sell high quality gear for nearly a 1/10th of the price of the charger discussed in the Twitter page. It just makes you wonder.

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The good thing is there are plenty of options out there for all sorts of gear at different price points. The video and film world has always been expensive. The unfortunate problem with a lot of equipment getting cheaper is that a lot of people’s intellectual property, designs, and concepts get ripped off and blatantly copied. I don’t think most consumers care as long as they save some $. 
 

As Robyn mentioned earlier, everything has become a lot cheaper in the last 10 years. You don’t have to pay a 1/10th of what you used to in the old days. 

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The reality is that patents only have a 20 year life anyway, so once that period has elapsed, the concept is free for copying/improving or whatever. Kodak would still be the only ones able to make film (that is 35mm and similar) or digital sensors.

Additionally, IP isn't always so cut and dried, minor changes can make something that appears to be a copy quite legitimate, even though the application is the same. What Arri has produced isn't patentable, it's been around since Adam was a boy. All they can do is trademark the Arri logo. Just like Cadbury has been able to trademark a variation of the colour purple.

If patents, IP and whatever were for life, there'd be no innovation or advancement whatsoever. Every product we know of, use in our daily lives and even produce ourselves has been copied and improved upon because no one entity owns the IP for that idea for life. No one could even make a sandwich, were Lord Sandwich able to patent his idea for life and pass it onto his children.

There is a tendency to feel sorry for companies that say their IP has been stolen, but when you look deeper, it's not quite so simple. Pretty much everything we know has already been invented or conceived of, if not turned into actual products, it's only that the technology may not be there to turn it into viable products. The first electric car was invented around the 1800s, same as the first disk brakes and even fuel injection was invented around 1925.

 

 

Edited by Australian Image (Ray)

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