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February 10, 2010 at 7:49 AM #47819AnonymousInactive
Hi. I wonder if anyone is excited about the Red Scarlet camera which is supposed to come out sometime this summer. It’s supposed to have a 2/3″ sensor, and shoots video in RAW format (all this for around $5k). Do you think it’s going to transform the low budget/indie video industry?
February 10, 2010 at 2:28 PM #196712Grinner HesterParticipant
I think we’ve all learned by now that no single product is going to “transform the industry”. Yes, things are changing over time and yes, I’ll be scooping up a Scarlet like many of us. Will it transform my company? Naaa… just part of a never-ending and quite enjoyable evolution.
February 10, 2010 at 5:04 PM #196713D0nParticipant
Well make no doubts, I am a Pentax camera collector, but I keep buggin’ people I know, that know people…. and with a little luck, maybe this thing will do video as well as stills:
if it does, It might well be worth buying over the Red system for me…
all drooling aside, it would make sense for my business…
some of the rumors have it with a 39mp sensor and dual sd slots and an hdmi out… those specs combined with the website teaser showing motion video behind the silhouette and Pentax’s recent success with video capable dlsr’s all give me reason to hope!
February 10, 2010 at 5:22 PM #196714
RED cameras make great images no doubt, but unless you’re doing high-end work for high-end pay they are not worth the money to buy or rent as an independent. With the DSLR’s from Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony you can do nearly everything a RED does in less time, money and space. For the 5k you’d blow on a SCARLET you can get a 7D, a couple of good lenses, 2-4 high capacity CF cards, extra batteries, a bag and probably a portable drive to download your footage. Best of all, you’d have an image that is slightly larger than a Panavision Super 35mm! I’m sure you could make similar claims with the other models.
I’m with Grinner saying the SCARLET won’t be a game changer. In fact I’ll go so far as to say I think RED’s a ‘year late and a hundred bucks short’ with their release. They’ll still pull in RED devotees, but the DSLR’s are the ‘big kids’ on the block now.
February 10, 2010 at 6:27 PM #196715AnonymousInactive
@Derek: Great! I’ll be looking forward to the review.
I agree video DSLRs do look promising, with huge sensors by video standards. One thing I’d like to see is the ability to shoot video in RAW format. As with stills, it allows for more options during post (an oft-mentioned advantage of the RED system).
The other things the VDSLRs should have are the usual camcorder features like zebra, peaking (for focusing), unlimited record times (sensor overheating is apparently a problem here).
February 10, 2010 at 10:26 PM #196716
For the 5DMkII there are a number of firmware updates from Canon and third parties that give not only zebras, but audio levels and more. I’m with you on the “unlimited clip thing”, but I do believe that it is as much an issue with the cards being formatted in FAT32 as the overheating CMOS. Though 12 minutes is a good deal of time for one clip, depending on what you’re shooting that could be a serious limitation. I wouldn’t mind seeing a RAW setting as well but it must not be that big an issue as many high-end production co’s that use RED cameras also use Canon DSLR’s to back them up.
February 10, 2010 at 11:52 PM #196717AnonymousInactive
Believe it or not, The reason why there is a 12 minute limit recording time for one clip is because the EU put a Tax on it, so you can only have a 12 minute record time. I think that is a crazy reason, but blame the Europeans on that one.
February 11, 2010 at 1:14 AM #196718AnonymousInactive
@composite1: Thanks, I was not aware of the firmware updates for the 5D. That’s nice. However, I don’t think FAT32 limiting clip sizes is really an issue. Sure, files cannot exceed 2GB, but why not split the footage into more than one file, and keep doing it till the card becomes full?
Many camcorders do the same thing (multiple .mts files), using a FAT32 filesystem on the SDHC cards.
@yourvideographer: The EU tax restriction is silly. Why does it apply to NTSC cameras? Canon can just make a NTSC version, right?
February 11, 2010 at 4:28 AM #196719
Concerning the FAT32 issue, that was just one of the issues that came up in the ‘White Papers’ I read for the Canon DSLR’s. The primary issue mentioned was overheating the sensor. I’m aware of ‘file splitting’ but as I remember, they mentioned something about that and took it into consideration when designing the cam. Besides, wouldn’t a 12 minute clip in 720 or 1080p be much larger than 2GB’s even with compression?
As for ‘Your’s’ ‘European Connection’, I just let it pass.
February 11, 2010 at 4:38 AM #196720CraftersOfLightParticipant
Just spent the day at a local video show. CMVS10 was put on but a local store that deal with high end video. Had a great time. Two seminars were given on the 5D and 7D by Canon. Excellent demonstrations on the video qualities of both systems.
During the Q and A at the end, this issue was brought up at both sessionsand the response was interesting. The 12 minute window had nothing to do with the CMOS.That it hadeverything to do with the FAT32 format of the memory cards and the max file sizethat formatcan support. One even went so far as to say that the recording stops because the camera’sOS has to write the “end-of-file” marker which disrupts the data recording.
February 11, 2010 at 4:50 AM #196721AnonymousInactive
Due to EU tax regulations the cameras are limited to 30 minutes of shooting in their SD modes, which equates to a 4 gig quicktime h264 file. At HD bitrates this results in a 12 minute shot. Neither camera has been found to have issues with immediately shooting follow-on shots, so the limitation seems solely based on the EU video camera tax limit.
February 11, 2010 at 4:53 AM #196722AnonymousInactive
That is the article where I got the information on the 12 minute limit, I hope you enjoy the reading!
February 11, 2010 at 5:22 PM #196723
Ever since I heard about that FAT32 issue I’ve been curious to see if you could reformat a CF card to NTFS would both camera and card function properly and allow you to make clips longer than 12 minutes.
February 11, 2010 at 5:27 PM #196724
Okay I took a look at the article and the reasoning is retarded. Instead of doing like they have always done with PAL vs NTSC and just make a ‘EU’ version Canon makes a blanket version to sell everywhere else? Now that there are firmware ‘hacks’, now I’m seriously interested in one for getting past the ’12 minute mark’. Still though, don’t blame the EU. Canon is the one that caved in for that foolishness.
February 12, 2010 at 1:12 AM #196725CraftersOfLightParticipant
I have tried reformating a couple of flash cards, SDHC, to NTFS. I can read and write to them from the PC fine. But plug them into a camera and it reports back with a “Check Card” error. I don’t think the camera’s OS is able to recognized anything other then FAT32 or, in some cameras, FAT16
February 12, 2010 at 1:55 AM #196726
“I don’t think the camera’s OS is able to recognized anything other then FAT32….”
I figured as much but it was a nice dream anyway. The drawback of making sure that the cards work in both Mac’s and PC’s…. I miss the days of ‘PC and Mac’ formatted media. Ah well, maybe it was too much to ask for Canon and the others to write an OS for the cameras that could read both. In the meantime, let us pray for a firmware hack that works.
Anyway, we digress. This thread originally wanted to know if the SCARLET would ‘change the game’. So far we haven’t heard from any dedicated RED users or wannabe’s to give us their POV.
February 12, 2010 at 3:34 AM #196727AnonymousInactive
A couple of comments:
I think at least some Canon camcorders use the exFAT/FAT64 filesystem, which allows for large files. Why not use this on the 5D?
The mac can read NTFS just fine, so there’s no problem using it as the card’s filesystem.
February 12, 2010 at 5:47 AM #196728
“The mac can read NTFS just fine, so there’s no problem using it as the card’s filesystem.”
Yeah, but if you want to write anything you need third party drivers to do so. And you mean the ‘exFAT’ format (FAT64 doesn’t exist.) Not even Snow Leopard can read a volume formatted with exFAT. NTFS and FAT formats are completely different file systems which is why mac users have such fun creating their virtual machines mixing and matching mac/pc software. But don’t take my word for it, read the journal of a mac user trying to get his Snow Leopard powered mac to work with exFAT:
I don’t believe formatting a CF card to exFAT would work either simply because the built-in OS probably wouldn’t recognize it either.
February 12, 2010 at 5:52 PM #196729AnonymousInactive
That link was interesting. Btw according to the wikipedia page on exFAT, FAT64 is just another name for it. It’s called that because of 64-bit cluster addresses: this is what allows for a large files/drives. I guess it’s not a popular name. SL doesn’t read it, but possibly Canon can include a driver/utility program; just a thought.
As regards to NTFS, to transfer footage from a camera, you just need to read it. I don’t suppose you need to write out to a SD card often. But you’re right: writing is still a problem.
Going back to the original topic: I do hope RED releases Scarlet on time. I have been planning to upgrade from my little HF200 and so far the Panasonic HMC-150 looks really good. Hf200 is nice, but I want full manual controls. The Scarlet’s estimated price puts it in the same range as the 150, but with vastly superior hardware.
February 12, 2010 at 7:17 PM #196730D0nParticipant
Pentax cameras don’t have that restriction…. record to the capacity of the card.
Are you reformatting your cards in camera or in computer? I hear it is not advisable to reformat in computer.
as far as red is concerned… it was a great idea, and I look forward to seeing a review, but hope the camera brand I own brings out something that is compatible with the lenses i already own…
February 12, 2010 at 7:59 PM #196731
That’s a great little video and a prime example of how the RED SCARLET may be a ‘year late and a hundred bucks short’ with its delivery. I’m still wiping the drool at the prospect of being able to mount 5D’s and 1D’s in numbers like they had ‘just for plates’.
I knew eventually the move towards using these cameras for ‘principal photography’ as was mentioned was a matter of time back when I saw LaFloret’s breakout video using the 5DMkII. If Canon pull its collective head out and rolls on the request for motion picture-grade lenses since Panavision had foolishly left the field wide open for them, that would be a game changer.
Still though, I’m interested in what the SCARLET will bring to the game. Right now though it’s going to have its work cut out for it.
February 14, 2010 at 2:18 AM #196732
Okay since nobody is rushing to defend the SCARLET against the DSLR’s, here’s a screengrab of ‘Izzy’ shot with the RED SCARLET:
It definitely looks great, but it’s $4k just an ‘All-in-one’ version with a permanent zoom made of inferior glass @ 3k resolution. Granted, it is RAW format but the 5DMkII is rated at 5k. I’ve recently read some (rephrase, 1) complaint about artifacts being prevalent in all the DSLR’s when shooting at deep DOF. Nothing I’ve seen so far made me notice anything like that and since I have yet to take one out for a spin, I can’t say it doesn’t. I’ll still hold judgment on the SCARLET until after more video shot with it comes out.
February 14, 2010 at 9:46 PM #196733AnonymousInactive
composite1, can the 5D output higher than 1080p? If not, then how is it rated at 5k? I read a post by Jim on reduser.net (“Resolution 101”) in which he compares the resolution of the 5D with various RED models. It seems the 5D delivers less resolution, after the conversion to 1080p.
Is there a way to capture the raw sensor data from the 5D through some kind of external hookup?
There’s a post in RED’s defence for ya 🙂
February 15, 2010 at 3:18 AM #196734
“Can the 5D output higher than 1080p? If not, then how is it rated at
5k? I read a post by Jim on reduser.net (“Resolution 101”) in which he
compares the resolution of the 5D with various RED models. It seems the
5D delivers less resolution, after the conversion to 1080p.”
As you may have read in post you mentioned the 5DmkII has a CMOS sensor that tops out at 21.1 megapixels (5,616 x 3,744 pixels) which is larger than the RED ONE’s 12 megapixel (4520 x 2540 active, 4096 x 2304 max recording.) I guess for engineering reasons and to keep the cost of the rig down, Canon decided to down sample the images from the sensor for HD video by only using every third line making it 4:2:0 chroma sampling instead of 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 had they used more lines.
The RED ONE also hamstrings its sensor as well just not as significantly as the 5D. But the 5Dmk II is no doubt a 5k camera. Even if you can capture directly from the HDMI out to a laptop or such, I’m not sure how much of an extra bump in picture quality you’d get. So far I have yet to see a rig or adapter that would allow you to capture directly.
One thing is for sure, despite it being ‘hamstrung’, imagery shot with the 5D holds up to stuff shot with the RED side by side when blown up to theatrical sized projection. Now, the RED color corrects more fully from what I’ve seen but I can’t give it a full thumbs up against the 5D in that respect because Ive only seen one example.
For more on the discussion of the MkII, 5k and a side by side comparison of the RED, 5D and others check out my past posts:
5k Anyone? and Advanced Info.
And that wasn’t much of a ‘defense’ of the RED. You must be British-based English speaker based on your spelling the word with a ‘C’. I say old man th’ ball is in your court sir!
February 15, 2010 at 8:08 AM #196735AnonymousInactive
composite1, thanks for your reply. So the 5D has a great sensor, but in its present form the data acquisition doesn’t use it fully. Canon should look at providing an (optional) upgrade/firmware to capture raw data. We can then have a comparison with the new Mysterium-X sensor; it may even fare better than the RED!
I’m trying to decide whether to wait for the Scarlet, or go in for a HMC-150 or equivalent. Just wanted to get some opinions from you guys.
About “defence” – you’re close: I’m based in Canada, where the British form is used more often.
February 16, 2010 at 1:40 AM #196736
“I’m based in Canada, where the British form is used more often.”
Well howdy neighbor eh?
After re-watching the video from the “5k Anyone” post, I truly believe Canon whipped out some stuff intended for photogs and department that built it had no ‘effin’ clue what kind of beast they actually created.
Since the camera’s video gear was more of an ‘oh by the way’ sort of gizmo they put in, they really missed the opportunity to completely blow RED out of the water. These days cheaper, better, faster are the real-world mantra in this biz.
If you’ve noticed, Canon has backtracked with the release of the 1DMkIV which has more controls but a bigger price tag. They’re trying to play catch-up to the demand of what filmmakers are asking from them but they are still sticking to the old model of ‘let’s see how expensive we can make this.’
The two things that made this work for their DSLR’s is they give phenomenal imagery and their cheap! Making the rig more expensive puts them in the same pile with RED.
February 16, 2010 at 9:14 PM #196737AnonymousInactive
Hopefully all this innovation will eventually trickle down to the cheaper cameras. I’m a Nikon person myself (FM2n, F80, D80, and an assortment of lenses), and am holding out on upgrading till they release a decent video capable body. The D90 seems a bit frustrating. I prefer to use my cameras on manual as much as possible, except when shooting fast action.
I’m not a professional videographer (a physicist, actually :), more a serious hobbyist. I have done a little bit of freelance still and video work. I’m currently using a HF200 and have recently upgraded from iMovie to Final Cut Express, which I find is much better. However, my HF200 is not fully manual (though it has a lot of adjustments) which is beginning to frustrate me. The Sony FX1000 is looking very attractive to me, and its 60i wrapped streams are perfectly compatible with FCE (similar to HF200). Maybe I’ll pass up on the RED and get the FX1000, and upgrade from my D80 to a VDSLR later on when the technology matures a bit. Another option is the Canon XH-A1s but I fear its native progressive modes might not work with FCE. The same goes for the Panasonic AVCCAMs.
It has been a very helpful discussion. Thanks everyone for your comments.
February 20, 2010 at 3:06 AM #196738AnonymousInactive
Thanks for the link! Nice to see that RED has some prototypes. On the other hand, the EOS 1D Mark IV is looking very enticing, with full manual controls for video, and a full frame sensor with amazing low light capabilities.
Meanwhile, Sony has released the HXR-NX5U and the A2000.
This is going to be most interesting.
February 20, 2010 at 9:06 PM #196739
That’s pretty cool. I think the whole modular and upgradeable capabilities are where RED will really make their mark. Now, if they can manage to keep the price down they’ll be a mega-weight contender. Where Canon should be taking notes is where RED mentioned a line of prime lenses under 1k! I’ll believe it when I see it, but that’s a mighty attractive selling point. Canon lenses as is anything at 2.8 apeture or below is going to cost more than $1k. You mentioned using a 1.4 apeture lens for the 7D in another post and you can’t look at a lens that fast for less than $1500.
One thing for sure though, RED is an attractive setup but its the accessories that will bankrupt you!
February 20, 2010 at 9:32 PM #196740
I believe he said the lenses are 1k each, and they are the mini-prime lenses. The mini-prime set is about 5 grand. Their Pro Prime lenses are no where near 1k each. You can get the Pro Prime set for 19k, which is a set of 5 lenses.
In my opinion, RED doesn’t need to go any cheaper. I believe he says that Scarlet will go for about $2700 for the body. So the body and a lens together will cost as much as what a Panasonic DVX used to cost. Shooting 3K for the price of a DVX sounds like a hell of a deal to me.
Yes, all their accessories sound pricey when all you do is look at THEIR price, but they are not when you compare them to other manufactures. Even 19k for the Pro Primes is a good price. A great piece of advice has stuck with me since I took a business class in college. The advice was, “Never spend your own money.” The key to buying all this high end gear is grants.
Also, if you were to buy into the Epic or Scarlet, if you wanted to upgrade to a higher resolution all you have to do is buy a new “brain.” These cameras are designed not to go obsolete, which makes them an even better investment. Can’t say that about any other DSLR.
February 20, 2010 at 11:02 PM #196741
“The advice was, “Never spend your own money.” The key to buying all this high end gear is grants.”
Yeah, that’s the mantra that got us into the economic mire we’re in. Far as grants go, it’s not as easy as saying “get a grant”. What I meant about “RED keeping prices down” is if they want to get a good chunk of the prosumer, lower end pro market they seem competitively priced according what the guy was saying in the vid. Also, the man in the vid said they had prime lenses for the EPIC and SCARLET under $1k. I’m like you and priced out RED lenses and you’re right what I saw wasn’t near that price.
And the replacement of the ‘brain’ as you said is the ‘modular’ ability that I agree will make them a mega-weight contender and give a long-term advantage over the DSLR’s (long as RED doesn’t go under all of a sudden. Before you say nay see ‘History of Delorean’ and ‘History of SATURN Automotive’. RED already has the film industry sold, it’s the now even more broke indie’s who would spend the money on one of the less expensive systems.
The deceptive difference between the RED line and the DSLR’s is with the RED line except potentially the SCARLET you don’t get an out of the box ready to go rig. You gotta’ buy accessories. With a DSLR, if you’ve already got lenses, slap in a CF card and off you go. How many indie’s have RED Prime Lenses laying around?
Above all else? Why should I be excited about SCARLET and EPIC when they’re already shoving 3D down our throats? Does RED already have the upgrades to 3D in the pipeline?
February 20, 2010 at 11:54 PM #196742
February 21, 2010 at 5:31 AM #196743
Is that an asteroid I see up in the sky…?
February 21, 2010 at 9:07 AM #196744AnonymousInactive
composite1, the Scarlet 8x fixed model may be the only one which is ready to go out of the box. Am I right in assuming that at the projected price point ($4-5k) this does not give the fixed model much of an advantage over a DSLR? You have to replace the entire thing if you want to upgrade, except maybe the REDmote and the LCD screen.
Another question: assuming the Scarlet fixed is available at $4k, what will be the point in buying cameras like the Sony NX5U or the Panasonic HMC-150? Am I missing something or will these other cameras become instantly obsolete?
February 22, 2010 at 12:18 AM #196745
I think the main point is to not let this stuff blow your head off. Really RED cameras are for well-heeled individuals or companies with access to those ‘grants’ Rob mentioned. Bottom line is; what are your production and distribution plans? Normally, I say if your financing a project on your own buy the gear so you can have it on hand for the next project and that will be one less thing you have to budget in.
But unless you’ve got serious distribution in mind you’re looking at maybe getting into a couple of three festivals and perhaps getting online distribution or just posting it up on ‘the Tube’ or Vimeo. If you’re trying to attract attention from larger outfits I think you’ll do just as well with a DSLR on the short end, produce just as good imagery and you can spend that extra money budgeted out for the RED on making your flick better.
What’s really going to make your film attractive is a solid story, solid acting and production values good enough to not distract from the story you’re trying to tell. Having worked with the RED may get you in on some gigs where their using it or not. As an indie without any hard industry connections, you cannot afford to throw money at gear. Far as gear ‘obsolescence’ goes, soon as you take your gear out of the store, it’s obsolete these days. Don’t sweat it. Unless you’ve got ridiculously deep pockets, don’t give yourself a stroke trying to chase technology.
February 22, 2010 at 2:49 AM #196746
“what will be the point in buying cameras like the Sony NX5U or the Panasonic HMC-150? Am I missing something or will these other cameras become instantly obsolete?”
I think post production is something to consider. The RED workflow is very different from common workflows and does require a pretty decked out computer at least in the finishing stages if not the whole post production process. If you don’t have the money for a computer that will do it’s job, then spending money on a RED camera is a huge waste.
Another thing to consider is that the RED cameras shoot the resolution of film and higher. If you’re not doing any film outputs for theater viewing, that’s another reason to consider a different camera. But also keep in mind that shooting these high res images and down converting to HD resolution will look a bit nicer than originally shooting HD.
It’s all a matter of what you’re doing, if you have the money to do it, and if it’s even worth the money.
February 22, 2010 at 3:30 AM #196747AnonymousInactive
Thanks composite1, your advice is much appreciated!
As I said earlier, I’m just starting out with a few ideas for a project in mind. My “artistic” background is mostly still photography. I have a good understating of computers and camera technologies. I have programmed kernel drivers and several applications, also a lot of numerical simulations for my main profession which is theoretical physics research.
I have a very modest editing system (a 17″ MacBook Pro and Final Cut Express), so I am looking for something which will work well with this and also produce decent HD footage. So far I am leaning towards the Sony HDR-FX1000. It seems completely supported in FCE (due to the 60i wrapping) and has good reviews (“ultimate amateur camera”) on Videomaker and other places. Does it matter much that this camera is tape based?
Basically I would like to shoot in 30fps progressive mode. It seems that the new AVCHD cameras have a native 30p mode which is not supported by FCE (or iMovie). Is there a way around this? If so the Sony AX2000 seems to be a better choice.
I am interested in the (yet non-existent) Scarletmostly because of the large sensor and the associated benefits (shallow depth of field, low light performance, etc). However as you have pointed out, VDSLRs already have these features. Ok, so the RED is a not a good investment for me at this point.
February 22, 2010 at 4:43 AM #196748
If you’re just starting out, use tape. It’s cheaper, less hassle to store long-term your raw footage and the time you spend digitizing will force you to grow an eye for good and bad takes. Store your digitized clips on large capacity portable drives or get one of those ‘toaster’ style hard drive units and just plug in a storage drive when you need it. In the meantime, sharpen your skills shooting with both DV and HD. Both have differences in how you light them among other things.
Take the time to learn that stuff. Tape is stupid cheap now. As you go along, then move up to solid-state cards. The workflow is different from tape, faster in the respect of not having to digitize but unless you’ve learned how to spot good takes you’ll end up with way more crappy ones in your bins. I hate it when I get footage from a shooter using solid-state cards and there are 40-to-1 crap takes vs good ones because since it’s so easy to download footage, shooter’s get lazy and don’t bother to ‘flush out the crap’ first.
As for the RED ‘not being a good investment at this point’ you’re right it’s not. I know it’s old-fashioned these days to say, ‘first crawl, then walk, then run and when you get to the cliff, fly!’ Jeez, just because the tech is waaaaay beyond what used to be doesn’t mean you’ll instantly know how to use it. Nobody in their right mind would give a Stradivarius to a kid to play on their very first lesson. Starting out your mantra should be ‘Good and Cheap!’
Rob’s sooo right about the post-production dilemma with RED. They lead you to think that ‘all you need is the camera and everything will be awesome!’ But they aren’t talking to you. They’re talking people like Grinner, Earl, Rob and myself to name a few who are working pros that have access to facilities to handle the massive storage requirements for raw 2k+ footage. And like Rob said, unless your final product is headed for major broadcast or theater distribution, fuggeddaboutit!
Now if out of the blue some outfit with a hardcore budget pulls you onboard as a DP and their crazy enough to let you shoot your first major feature on the RED just to try it out….
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