Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Can you afford to shoot a day of 4K Footage on a RED Scarlet?

Now this is something I had not even considered until I read an insightful article by Phillip Bloom 'To buy a Scarlet or not to buy, that is the question' 

Firstly is is a bargain compared to the Canon C300, right?

Well not exactly.

As Phil points out for $9k you just get a box, you have to spend $14k to get a package that you can just about shoot with.

Then the batteries...oh my word, why more people are not talking about this is beyond me.

They last a pitifully short period of time, 35mins in standby according to Phil.

Yes, thats right folks 35 wonderful minutes

At least you get 2 of them I suppose in the $14k kit.

But if you want to shoot for more than an hour you will need more.

Phil needs 12 to get him through a days shooting

That is $2350.

A BP975 battery lasts 305 mins in a Canon C300.


Oh my word this is where it gets really eye watering.

To quote Phil again

'To be honest on all my Epic shoots I have come close to filling up all 4 of my 128gb SSD cards, never running out, but close. If I shot a feature doc on them for sure I would run out, unless I compressed the redcode to the max. Each one of those cards costs $1800. Yes, you don’t need that many for some shoots, but unless you have someone on hand to offload for you during the shoot, you are playing with fire not having enough cards. It will grind your production to a halt and cost you time!'

4 of those cards is almost $8000!!! That has bumped the price up rather!!

You have to be pretty set to shoot at 4K to follow this through.

I don't doubt that some people DO need 4k and this could be the camera for you, but I think it would be wise to not fall in love with a spec sheet and go into the purchase with your eyes wide open.


Simon said...

I've read a bunch of the to-ing and fro-ing between Red and Canon users and it's getting just a little irritating now. They are clearly different cameras. PR wise they've both made a mistake in pitching to each others audience and people should be spoken to about that.

Will feature Hollywood movies be made on the C300? Probably, but not that many. Will they on the RED? At the lower end of multimillion dollar budgets, I'd say yes they will.

Will the RED be used on TV shows? Not many I'd bet, you don't need to shoot at 4K when the max transmittable res is 1080p.

Will the C300? Yes, a lot.

You can compare and contrast as much as you like and say one's better than the other for this that and the other. But if I was shooting a TV doc you better believe I'd go for the Canon, if it was a movie, it would be RED.

In my opinion, RED has never really been about mass market whereas Canon has. Therein lies the problem.

Unknown said...

Hi Simon,

Thanks for your comment which are absoloulty spot on.

A very good overview of how I think it will actually pan out.

The rationale behind my C300/RED Scarlet blogs was the hysterical comments by the RED fanboys about the Canon at launch.

Such as 'its dead in the water' 'obsolete at launch' The C300 is a ******** disaster'

All comments which Believe are totally unfair.

I was seeking to write something that would provoke but importantly make people THINK and consider the options in a much more balanced manner.

RED is a different animal and will be used more by the movie boys and yes, the Canon will be used by the TV guys, with exceptions in both camps.

To consider the Scarlet and the C300 as true competitors IS a mistake.

I actually like RED as a company and believe that without them movie camera development would be several years behind.

Good on them! Whats more I sincerely hope they will be around for many years to come.

But RED have a certain degree of responsibility for this situation by shifting their product launch for the same day as the C300 to steal some of Canon's thunder, which indeed they did.

In the very short term they did indeed grab the headlines with a 4k for $9k.

Long term I'm not really quite so sure that they did the right thing.

Grabbing the headlines on 4th November is one thing but slowly, surely and quietly the tide is turning in the C300's favour as people become aware of just how significant it is with its stellar low light performance and sheer day to day practicality.

When you go head to head with a large multi national like Canon, you as sure as anything should make sure the product is spot on and not released prematurely as when people have looked beyond the sexy spec sheet, they start to see the shortcomings and the disappointment grows.

I know of 2 people who were going to buy the RED Scarlet on the strength of the spec sheet but when they looked at the small print they realised it was not the camera for them.

Those people have now placed orders for C300's

I wonder how times this has happened?

I wonder how much better it would have been for the long term best interests of the company NOT to go head to head with Canon, by enjoying the fantastic but perhaps short lived launch hype but waiting until they had the new sensor and having a real world battery solution.

Short term gain, long term pain I think