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Fred Magilicutti

RED-One vs. Sony PDW700 for TV "only" ???

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Because we are a VERY small production company, shooting mainly documentaries of wildlife and natural history for television companies like National Geographic, PBS, Discovery Channel, etc., and we are going to have to use our "own" funds to buy a new camera, it now comes down to what we can afford for our purposes.

 

We can wait no longer for the Scarlet, so it is now a decision between the RED-One and the Sony PDW700 Camcorder.

 

Considering taxes, since we live in California, the cost of the RED-One is now more than the Sony (with the exception of a color viewfinder for the camcorder). Considering the 2/3" sensor of the Sony vs. the full frame RED-One, the Sony would suit our needs better because we can use our specialty Super16 lenses, etc., and since we only shoot for television anyway.

 

At this point, the ONLY advantage I can see for the RED-One is that it comes with a color EVF.

 

I would greatly appreciate anyone's input, opinions, advise, and recommendations about the benefits or drawbacks of these two cameras.

 

Thanks.

 

.

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The PDW700 a 3-CCD camcorder... so Super-16 lenses aren't really designed to focus red, green, and blue correctly through a prism block onto three different sensors. I'm not sure you can easily use your own lenses and have them look sharp for HD broadcast.

 

So if you had to also get an HD-quality B4 video zoom for the PDW700, versus a 35mm zoom for the Red, does it even out more? B4 HD zooms can be pretty expensive.

 

Also, the PDW700 is limited to 1080i/720P, so no 1080P at 24 fps if you want that film look.

 

It's sort of an apples to oranges decision, they are not really similar cameras.

 

Now if all your markets want 1080i, you may be better off with the Sony simply because of the ease of recording in XDCAM in long amounts, which suits nature work better, but I think you are going to have to invest in some decent HD zooms.

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Where do you shoot? If it's all over the world, and under extreme conditions, I'd go with the XDCam. Sony is a huge worldwide company, so if anything needs repair or replacement, you're more likely to be able to get up and shooting again quickly with their support. The reality guys I've talked to like XDCam for its ruggedness.

 

Try your lenses on the Sony, they might work fine. At long focal lengths and deep stops, the slight difference in where the optical block wants the colors matters less than at wide angles and shallow stops.

 

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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If you are determining the only advantage of the Red for your style of production to be the colour EVF you should be aware that the old style Red EVF has a tendency to solarise when it gets slightly cold and then becomes practically useless. You can try to keep it warm with heat packs but it can be a struggle. I hope that the new Red 'bomb' EVF works in the cold.

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Why would you use a 35mm sized sensor to do wildlife with anyway? I'd hate to think of the focus chasing issues given the focal lengths you must work with, not to mention lens sizes/weight needed. There's a good reason 2/3" and 16mm sized film/sensors exist.

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You can also think about a Red One, shooting in 2k with a 16mm zoom. It's a good option of quality and you can shoot at 100 fps, wich often is necessary in nature documentary.

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It doesn't do 1080 24p, but does 25p (and 30p), which is useful for the UK market....from the Sony website:

 

"The camcorder features multi-format recording at 1080/50i, 1080/59.94i, 1080/25P, 1080/29.97P*, 720/50P* and 720/59.94P*."

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Because we are a VERY small production company, shooting mainly documentaries of wildlife and natural history for television companies like National Geographic, PBS, Discovery Channel, etc., and we are going to have to use our "own" funds to buy a new camera, it now comes down to what we can afford for our purposes.

 

We can wait no longer for the Scarlet, so it is now a decision between the RED-One and the Sony PDW700 Camcorder.

 

Considering taxes, since we live in California, the cost of the RED-One is now more than the Sony (with the exception of a color viewfinder for the camcorder). Considering the 2/3" sensor of the Sony vs. the full frame RED-One, the Sony would suit our needs better because we can use our specialty Super16 lenses, etc., and since we only shoot for television anyway.

 

At this point, the ONLY advantage I can see for the RED-One is that it comes with a color EVF.

 

I would greatly appreciate anyone's input, opinions, advise, and recommendations about the benefits or drawbacks of these two cameras.

 

Thanks.

 

.

 

I own both a Red One and a Sony F800. I used to have the 700 camera. THe Red and the F800 I use on completely different types of work. The F800 (700) is great for corporate, TV work. The Red I use when I shoot TV Ads, music videos and short films etc.

 

You can get a colour Viewfinder for the 700. I own the color VF and love it.

 

Feel free to contact me to discuss.

 

Regards, Tim.

Edited by Tim Bradley

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