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Vincent Sweeney

Before you buy... good write up on real price and issues.

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Just had a one hour long conversation with a good friend who was wondering if he should buy a scarlet or stick to his F3. The F3 won in his case. I ran across Bloom's thoughts while looking for a break-down on the hidden costs and issues to consider. I feel like red is sort of shooting themselves in the foot with the lack of better frame-rates, media costs and battery issues, and this is outside of the beta B.S. that I have dealt with time and again.

 

http://philipbloom.net/2011/11/20/scarlet/

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RED cameras are for some people, not all. For the projects I work on its great and worth the price. Those write ups about Scarlet are interesting but I think it was very smart of RED to do what they did for the specs of Scarlet. They gave us Epic owners enough of a gap between the two cameras to justify the price of the two. There are things I don't like about RED but its more about the way they conduct certain aspects of their business and not about their products.

 

The fact is that the F3 isn't a 4K camera. Its a 1080p camera and it seems that format is on its way out. Does that mean that you can't get jobs anymore shooting on the F3...of course not. But I need to future proof my footage and 1080p is a joke...to me. So if I had to make a decision between Scarlet and the F3 I would go with the Scarlet. Sure the RED cameras are in a constant state of change with firmware builds but that's something I like. To me it seems like RED is always trying to improve their products even after they leave and are in the shooters' hands. Some people don't like that and if they don't then all they have to do is stick with the release firmware build and they should be fine.

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The fact is that the F3 isn't a 4K camera. Its a 1080p camera and it seems that format is on its way out.

 

It'll be a long time before 1080p is on the way out, it isn't yet fully introduced yet. 4k makes sense for theatrical productions, for most others it probably doesn't make sense within the lifetime of the production.

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Can you talk about why you think your particular needs are met by shooting "4K"? I'm honestly curious. I'm not an owner of anything anymore and glad of it.

 

I'm just questioning a lot of this red stuff recently because of my own continuing issues on shoots I've been on that would have been much better off with something like an F3, etc. Jim's lack of answering my questions related to parts/support longevity of his products (and sunglasses) isn't helping my own take on the products either. ;)

 

Do the brand guys really think all the big movies on the Alexa or F35 that are in theaters every month are not future-proofed? What does "future-proofed" mean to you? Wouldn't this mean something more like 8K and in 3D? Will "Tron" (F35) be watchable later on? What about the new film "Like Crazy", which was shot on a 7D? How did that little film make it into a huge distribution deal while being shot on a crap camera? Do the red owners honestly sell producers on the K thing, saying it will somehow help their films?

 

What about established people who decided to shoot movies on S16mm recently? It won't resolve 4K. Is "The Wrestler" or "Blue Valentine" going to be useless in 10 years? Why would top DP's like Deakins and Richardson shoot on a 1080 camera?

 

I'm just curious how guys who invest so much personal time and money into a brand see these kinds of issues, while putting up with so many difficulties that their camera causes, as well as continue to do final outputs to 1080, or worse, often for the web.

 

I'm coming at this from the feature film angle so some of this may not apply to someone who is doing stock footage work, or someone who rents out to first-time indie producers who think their little movie is going to IMAX screens. The "K" marketing has caused a lot of unnecessary anxiety for so many ignorant producers. It makes me wonder if something like this happened with producers in the past with Vista Vision or 65mm.

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And now Philip Bloom has been banned from Reduser!

What is it with these guys?

I'm surprised they have any foot left to shoot themselves in... :(

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Banned for what?

Apart from writing the above blog?

Who knows? There's nothing I can see in his last few posts that was particularly inflammatory.

But that was exactly the same in my case, and in quite a few others. Out of curiousity I've looked up the posting history of a number of banned people there. Sometimes it seems plausible, in the overwhelming majority of cases others I'm damned if I can see what the problem is.

The fact that they made Tom Lowe a moderator says it all really :rolleyes:

By the way, the Reduser search function is crap; you're better off using google advanced search and put www.reduser.net in the "Site or Domain" box

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Philip was banned in error. His ban was lifted.

 

Jim

And you wonder why nobody in the mainstream media seems interested in your story :D

I think you know what the answer is...

Sorry, I was just pushing one of the other buttons on this oversize mouse I got when you told me my mouse was too small...

 

Hang on; what's this one?

Click

"Mr Rhodes! Clearly, if you have to ask that question, it is quite obvious that you do not know the answer!"

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Can you talk about why you think your particular needs are met by shooting "4K"? I'm honestly curious. I'm not an owner of anything anymore and glad of it.

 

I'm just questioning a lot of this red stuff recently because of my own continuing issues on shoots I've been on that would have been much better off with something like an F3, etc. Jim's lack of answering my questions related to parts/support longevity of his products (and sunglasses) isn't helping my own take on the products either. ;)

 

Do the brand guys really think all the big movies on the Alexa or F35 that are in theaters every month are not future-proofed? What does "future-proofed" mean to you? Wouldn't this mean something more like 8K and in 3D? Will "Tron" (F35) be watchable later on? What about the new film "Like Crazy", which was shot on a 7D? How did that little film make it into a huge distribution deal while being shot on a crap camera? Do the red owners honestly sell producers on the K thing, saying it will somehow help their films?

 

What about established people who decided to shoot movies on S16mm recently? It won't resolve 4K. Is "The Wrestler" or "Blue Valentine" going to be useless in 10 years? Why would top DP's like Deakins and Richardson shoot on a 1080 camera?

 

I'm just curious how guys who invest so much personal time and money into a brand see these kinds of issues, while putting up with so many difficulties that their camera causes, as well as continue to do final outputs to 1080, or worse, often for the web.

 

I'm coming at this from the feature film angle so some of this may not apply to someone who is doing stock footage work, or someone who rents out to first-time indie producers who think their little movie is going to IMAX screens. The "K" marketing has caused a lot of unnecessary anxiety for so many ignorant producers. It makes me wonder if something like this happened with producers in the past with Vista Vision or 65mm.

 

Well the idea of shooting at higher resolutions beyond 1080p is so that in the future I don't have to go out and shoot the same shot over again. So, for me, shooting 4K, 5K and 5.6K works really well for me and the clients I works with. I understand that not everyone needs anything higher than 1080p...cool for them. But I know from tests that I have seen at Warner Bros., Disney and Fox that material shot at higher resolutions and then down converted to 2K look way better than material that was shot at 1080p. There is a noticeable and significant different between the two types of footage.

 

Now is that to say that movies being shot at 1080p won't be watchable in 10, 20 or 50 years from now. Of course not. There are movies that have been shot almost 100 years ago that are completely watchable today. I don't think the argument is that movies shot at 1080p will be un-watchable in the future. I think its more that if you shoot at higher resolutions now the footage will be able to hold up longer against footage that will be shot in the future.

 

Again, for me shooting at 1080p is a joke and I would never do it. Getty, Corbis and a couple other footage houses want 2K files. When I first started with Getty they were fine with 1080p. But now the times have changed and so has the demand. The idea is to be ahead of the curve. Not behind it or even in it. I would much rather my footage be selling for a very long time instead of not being sold because it isn't high enough resolution. Resolution matters and its going to matter more and more as digital projection moves to 4K and even home theater systems.

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Philip was banned in error. His ban was lifted.

 

Jim

That's not what Philip is saying on Twitter.

I wonder who is telling the truth?

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Again, for me shooting at 1080p is a joke and I would never do it. Getty, Corbis and a couple other footage houses want 2K files. When I first started with Getty they were fine with 1080p. But now the times have changed and so has the demand. The idea is to be ahead of the curve. Not behind it or even in it. I would much rather my footage be selling for a very long time instead of not being sold because it isn't high enough resolution. Resolution matters and its going to matter more and more as digital projection moves to 4K and even home theater systems.

 

It depends if you actually own your footage. Many, if not most, professional cinematographers don't own their footage, they're hired to shoot a production and the mastering format is decided by the producer or the production company. If you're shooting library shots that will be sold in the future to a wide range of productions and you hold the rights to them, that's another matter.

 

For TV productions 1080p will be around for many years and given the current nature of the world economy it's very likely to be some time before 4k is used in the home for anything other than high end home cinema.

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One film: 'In Time'

 

Shot on the Alexa at 1080! Does anyone really still needs to compare the Red to an Alexa? What good does it give you 4K? Its only size. Red has an horrible highlight rolloff as well as on the shadow areas. Why so many people rave about 4K and Raw, when this camera can't even handle a highlight?

 

It looks miles away from an Alexa image on Pro Res at 1080! With all honesty, with this camera, Red doesn't even qualify as a competitor! There's more to image quality and consistence than 4k! Although Red tries very hard for you not to think so...

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Being future-proof is a terrible argument for shooting red because 95% of these movies are finished at 1080p or 2k. So how is that future-proof? Oh, I'll just export ALL my footage again from raw, redo all my effects, recolor the whole thing. If you happen to make the next Star Wars, maybe 20 years down the road someone will do this for it. For now, shooting Red does more to date your footage than it does to future-proof it; like it or not Red has a pretty distinct "look" and for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the look (for better or worse) the camera has been adopted for indie and low budget movies and so the red look has become associated with "cheap." Kind of a victim of its own success. Lately, the 7d look has become associated with "even cheaper," which is too bad since both cameras have their merits. The red camera's constant state of flux doesn't help either; original Red footage (old redcine; old sensor) looks bad and The Informant, for instance, is already visually dated. There's a solution to this, though, and that's shooting and grading really well and the red footage is super flexible to grade and the mx sensor is not bad at all. The red workflow remains horrible but its a pretty awesome camera for the price if you can coax a good image out of it in post.

 

For stock footage, I can see 4k being totally useful, though. Way more flexibility and a longer life in this case. For vfx there is also a good case for red; it keys nicely and can be blown up in post.

 

2k vs 1080p is almost semantics. It's a matter of one format being 18 pixels wider. 3D 4k is not part of the DCP spec. If you look at the mtf of a 4k image vs a 2k image and the integral of the curve (which equates roughly with perceptual sharpness) a 2k red down convert has like 75% of the useful resolution of the original file and the Alexa has almost as much, too.

 

From a marketing perspective, 4k is a big deal, though.

Edited by M Joel Wauhkonen

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That's not what Philip is saying on Twitter.

I wonder who is telling the truth?

On this Reduser thread (Edit: That thread has now disappeared), a number of Reduser members emphatically deny that he was Philip was ever banned, but obviously that's not that case, as Jim Jannard's post above demonstrates.

 

(Well I know he was; I saw it myself. :( )

 

However that forum has a long history of making contradictory statements...

Anyway the Reduser thread has now been closed, JJ having the last word, but without commenting on Mr Bloom.

 

I think the problem is that too many people there have admin priveleges, which threatens to turn it into Wikipedia :blink:

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I could spend a thousand words expressing my continued horror at the apparent behaviour of Jannard and his company, but I won't. It's no longer that surprising, but that doesn't make it any more pleasant to witness. It's certainly the sort of thing I'd expect from these people; they seem to have a limitless appetite for confirming my worst suspicions about them.

 

I have also been on the receiving end of corporate displeasure about my public speech - privately, happily, as these were corporations run by responsible professionals with at least some sense of civilised behaviour. As such I applaud Mr Bloom for his robust response.

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I use to be one of RED's biggest supporters and I still love my Epic. But Jim needs to hire a PR person and just stop going on reduser or something. Personally I like Jim, at least the Jim I have met in person. Very polite and willing to listen to everyone. The problem is that when he's in front of a keyboard he does some really off hand things. The other problem that someone else stated here was that they have way too many moderators running around with the power to ban and make things disappear.

 

RED also needs to stop dicking people around because its going to get so bad that no one is going to want to deal with them. Because at this rate they will piss off the wrong person and that will be the end of it, no matter how kickass their cameras are. RED is the only camera company that I know of that threatens their customers to shut up or they aren't going to even let them buy gear for their cameras they already have. I was told to shut up when RED was just sitting on my camera with all my money. When I kept asking where my camera was after they had my money for over a week I was told that I can be quiet or that I wouldn't get a camera. The biggest problem I see is that most of the Bomb Squad reps are completely in the dark as to what is going on. Why not tell them what is happening so that they might convey that info to the customers that they deal with day in and day out.

 

Its a shame what happened to Phillip Bloom and his whole RED experience but it doesn't surprise me in the least bit. This kind of stuff has been going on for years. Its about time someone just said "**(obscenity removed)** it" and shed some light on what is going on.

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I guess it shows that at the very least you should "burn in" the camera in yourself before doing any work with it. Arri seem to have a heavy duty "burn in" process on the Alexa, I don't know if RED have a similar stage, but I know the BBC do it with at least some of their new cameras and probably all of them.

Edited by Brian Drysdale

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Its a shame what happened to Phillip Bloom and his whole RED experience but it doesn't surprise me in the least bit.

Me either. Alarm bells rang for me almost immediately - there's a post from me somewhere on this forum, from about 2006, in which I wax enthusiastic about Red and the idea of a wealthy man doing something interesting and useful with his money. That state of mind didn't last long, unfortunately, and I quickly began to anticipate exactly this sort of situation, based on a feeling that the company was more interested in the showmanship of publicising rather flexibly-defined technical specification and deadlines I didn't think they could meet (and in my view they didn't).

I never wanted to criticise Red for producing a bad camera, although I now think in terms of their first release, certainly at the time of release and until the sensor refresh, it was a pretty bad camera. The HVX-200 was a pretty bad camera and I don't feel this way about Panasonic, for instance.

P

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[ The HVX-200 was a pretty bad camera and I don't feel this way about Panasonic, for instance.[/size]

P

 

I remember that IBC well, Panasonic were not a happy bunch.

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Rent Rent Rent Rent........ Unless you know you can make the money you paid for the camera back quickly I just don't see any reason to buy one of these little technological time bombs. Want to shoot your Indie breakout hit on a Red? Budget for the whole film is less than the cost of a Epic? There are plenty of Red-1 MX rigs out there for rent... Need to shoot a industrial with a little look? How many days of rental on a F3 is it going to take till you are better off owning it? Allot, like 45 days and that is without any accessories.

 

With film cameras you can be fairly well assured that in fifty years it will still be making great images, with Moore's law the whiz bang camera you got today may be superseded in a matter of months by something half the cost.

 

-Rob-

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