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Arthur Woo
11-13-2014, 07:39 AM
Hi all,

Owner/operator here. I upgraded to Epic from Scarlet a couple of months ago and loving it. Having a little bit of a dilemma in regards to the Dec 1 price increase for the Dragon upgrade so would appreciate some input. I have budgeted out for some other tools like a 3-axis gimbal, more lenses, and a personal project. Not sure if I should take the plunge on Dragon and push all these items back a few months, since I am not sure where Dragon sits in my future with technology moving the way it is.

I've read lots of posts about it on this forum, watched the test footage, etc. I shoot in all sorts of conditions, harsh daylight/outdoor to very dark indoor settings. So far, the MX sensor has been able to handle most of the situations I've been in. I don't know if the market will eventually say that it matters that it's Dragon over MX (most of my clients don't really care what camera I use as long as 4k is in there somewhere), but I also don't want to be kicking myself later having to pay an additional $3k

Thoughts from other owner/operators who don't shoot million dollar projects on a regular basis?

Troy Bakewell
11-13-2014, 01:37 PM
I'd go for it now. Dragon really rocks! The interchangeable OLPF feature is the icing on the cake. Plus I wouldn't be surprised if MX cameras get a lower price soon. 30% is a big savings. Plus gimbles are only going to get better and cheaper. Lenses likely as well. I don't know. It's a tough call but I'd say go for it now.

Just my $0.02.

Arthur Woo
11-13-2014, 02:16 PM
I'd go for it now. Dragon really rocks! The interchangeable OLPF feature is the icing on the cake. Plus I wouldn't be surprised if MX cameras get a lower price soon. 30% is a big savings. Plus gimbles are only going to get better and cheaper. Lenses likely as well. I don't know. It's a tough call but I'd say go for it now.

Just my $0.02.

Thanks Troy, sound advice. I really do keep seeing 'Dragon is amazing', but I haven't had the opportunity to test it, so I guess I can't appreciate how much of a difference it makes. I've heard/read it's subtle and not an in your face upgrade, and that you come to appreciate it if you jump to another different system.

I am just wondering if I'm setting myself back from not getting any of the other tools if most of my clients won't be able to tell apart MX from Dragon vs they can immediately see the value of a gimbal. Although I already own a steadicam unit which has proven to be really valuable, it's not ideal for most smaller shoots with no PAs to lug the package around.

Mike Garrick
11-13-2014, 02:33 PM
To be frank what else is out there around the price range of the upgrade? Sony F7? Cion ? For more money F5/55 or C300/500.

When you look at all the others just getting into 4k with a whole lot of gotchas IMO. the only other camera for consideration has an Arri on the side and it costs a lot more than the upgrade price.

Adam Rook
11-13-2014, 02:34 PM
I agree with Troy. Gimbals are getting better and cheaper. Everyone talks about how forgiving Dragon is compared to MX. I would go for it. You said your clients don't care what camera you use. Well they also probably don't care what stabilizer you use either as long as the image looks amazing. I'd jump all over the upgrade before the price increase.

Your clients may not be able to tell MX from Dragon but you will. And you will be happier in post. I mean they're already happy with your lens choices, right?

Now you're up to $0.04.

Do it.

Arthur Woo
11-13-2014, 02:41 PM
I agree with Troy. Gimbals are getting better and cheaper. Everyone talks about how forgiving Dragon is compared to MX. I would go for it. You said your clients don't care what camera you use. Well they also probably don't care what stabilizer you use either as long as the image looks amazing. I'd jump all over the upgrade before the price increase.

Your clients may not be able to tell MX from Dragon but you will. And you will be happier in post. I mean they're already happy with your lens choices, right?

Now you're up to $0.04.

Do it.

:lol: Good points, thank you! The gimbal investment is more of a convenience factor for me when I have a small crew or if it's even just me. Having a bag that's 1/4 the size to carry it around is nice. But to Troy's point perhaps it's prudent to wait until they improve and get cheaper.

Arthur Woo
11-13-2014, 02:44 PM
To be frank what else is out there around the price range of the upgrade? Sony F7? Cion ? For more money F5/55 or C300/500.

When you look at all the others just getting into 4k with a whole lot of gotchas IMO. the only other camera for consideration has an Arri on the side and it costs a lot more than the upgrade price.

Good points. I would have to enter an entirely new ecosystem. I think I'm just commitment phobic :lol:

Gavin Greenwalt
11-13-2014, 06:50 PM
Gimbal market is already oversaturated. Get Dragon. The extra 3 stops is invaluable.

Arthur Woo
11-13-2014, 08:05 PM
Gimbal market is already oversaturated. Get Dragon. The extra 3 stops is invaluable.

Thanks Gavin. I think with all the feedback I am going to pull the trigger in the next week or so. Any thoughts (anyone) regarding which OLFP? I shoot as much in the day as I do in the dark.

Troy Bakewell
11-13-2014, 09:30 PM
Hey Arthur.

So here's the deal with Dragon.

Yeah it rocks. But MX is awefully damn good too. So I can understand your dilema. But the thing about Dragon is that it kinda finally fixes all of the shortcomings of Digital. It's kinda a quantume leap forward in the sense that it's the first digital camera where I don't really feel the inherent need to look for something better anymore.

I used to be a stills shooter with a fairly large wedding business. Dragon to me is very similar to the old Canon 1D mk II. The Canon 1d MkII was the first DSLR that really outpaced film way back when. All of the DSLR's prior to that camera had limitations that basically rendered film the superior choice, if costs were not an issue. Namely the previous 1D was 4MP and had a serious limitation with respect to TTL Flash metering. Most of the DSLR's of that time period also had a huge deficentcy of buffer capability. Prior to the 1D MK II digiatl could really screw you (vs film) in terms of being able to even get the shot. Also the 1D MKII doubled the MP count to 8mp (which to this day I would argue is all that is needed to emulate 35mm film.

My point is this, even today you could offer professional results with that camera vs all the newevr offerings. The 1d MKII was a huge achievment vs everything since then. It simply allowed you to shoot and shoot, it offered adequate resolution to surpass film, and it offered the new flash ETTL system that finally worked, vs everything before that.

It was a ground breaking camera IMO.

To me Dragon is a ground breaking camera as well.

The resoluion is more than you will ever need. The color is finally awesome. The dynamic range is equal to film if not better. With the new swappable OLPF option you can have your cake and eat it too with respect to having great low-light capabilities and film-like highlights.

IMO 10 years from now we will look back and consider Dragon to be the first camera to finally fix all of the limitations of digital. Sure there will be further improvements, (both from RED and others) but I suspect that future improvements will be relatively incrimental compared to Dragon. The step up from MX to Dragon is huge IMO.

I sold my wedding biz aproximentaly ten years ago and I believe that my buddy, to whom I sold it, it still shooting on the venerable Canon 1d MKII. Sure there are better cameras available today. But none of them are dramatically better. Plus there isn't a single bride out there that can tell the differance between the MKII and the latest Canon DLSR IMO.

I honestly think that ten years from now, Dragon will still be a killer camera. Sure there will be better cameras by then, but IMO the Dragon camera that we have today will only be superseeded my marginally better sensors. The same won't be said for the MX sensor, or the C300, or the F3, etc.

IMO, bite the bullet now. In my view, Dragon may very well be the last camera You'll need to buy for a very long time.

But who the hell knows. I'll admit, I'm a bit drunk tonight. LOL

Go ahead and put that in your pipe and smoke it!

:)

Just my $0.02

Brigham Edgar
11-14-2014, 03:03 AM
Well...I just bought an F5 for everything my Epic Dragon isn't...and have my Epic Dragon for everything the F5 isn't.

Arthur Woo
11-14-2014, 12:39 PM
Hey Arthur.

So here's the deal with Dragon.

Yeah it rocks. But MX is awefully damn good too. So I can understand your dilema. But the thing about Dragon is that it kinda finally fixes all of the shortcomings of Digital. It's kinda a quantume leap forward in the sense that it's the first digital camera where I don't really feel the inherent need to look for something better anymore.

I used to be a stills shooter with a fairly large wedding business. Dragon to me is very similar to the old Canon 1D mk II. The Canon 1d MkII was the first DSLR that really outpaced film way back when. All of the DSLR's prior to that camera had limitations that basically rendered film the superior choice, if costs were not an issue. Namely the previous 1D was 4MP and had a serious limitation with respect to TTL Flash metering. Most of the DSLR's of that time period also had a huge deficentcy of buffer capability. Prior to the 1D MK II digiatl could really screw you (vs film) in terms of being able to even get the shot. Also the 1D MKII doubled the MP count to 8mp (which to this day I would argue is all that is needed to emulate 35mm film.

My point is this, even today you could offer professional results with that camera vs all the newevr offerings. The 1d MKII was a huge achievment vs everything since then. It simply allowed you to shoot and shoot, it offered adequate resolution to surpass film, and it offered the new flash ETTL system that finally worked, vs everything before that.

It was a ground breaking camera IMO.

To me Dragon is a ground breaking camera as well.

The resoluion is more than you will ever need. The color is finally awesome. The dynamic range is equal to film if not better. With the new swappable OLPF option you can have your cake and eat it too with respect to having great low-light capabilities and film-like highlights.

IMO 10 years from now we will look back and consider Dragon to be the first camera to finally fix all of the limitations of digital. Sure there will be further improvements, (both from RED and others) but I suspect that future improvements will be relatively incrimental compared to Dragon. The step up from MX to Dragon is huge IMO.

I sold my wedding biz aproximentaly ten years ago and I believe that my buddy, to whom I sold it, it still shooting on the venerable Canon 1d MKII. Sure there are better cameras available today. But none of them are dramatically better. Plus there isn't a single bride out there that can tell the differance between the MKII and the latest Canon DLSR IMO.

I honestly think that ten years from now, Dragon will still be a killer camera. Sure there will be better cameras by then, but IMO the Dragon camera that we have today will only be superseeded my marginally better sensors. The same won't be said for the MX sensor, or the C300, or the F3, etc.

IMO, bite the bullet now. In my view, Dragon may very well be the last camera You'll need to buy for a very long time.

But who the hell knows. I'll admit, I'm a bit drunk tonight. LOL

Go ahead and put that in your pipe and smoke it!

:)

Just my $0.02

Wow thanks for the drunken diatribe Troy! :thumbup:

But in all seriousness this is the type of answer I was looking for. Getting closer to putting the order in...

Arthur Woo
11-14-2014, 12:40 PM
Well...I just bought an F5 for everything my Epic Dragon isn't...and have my Epic Dragon for everything the F5 isn't.

What are your wishlist things for your Epic? I think the only thing for me would be the ability to directly record ProRes to the RedMags.

sergio arguello
11-14-2014, 12:49 PM
i Have to agree 100% gimbals lenses are all well and good but the image starts with the sensor technology and Dragon far outshines MX and now with oplf interchangeability its become a bit like having stocks to choose from...well like cinematography!

Ulf Krentz
11-14-2014, 02:53 PM
What Troy said. I´d second dragon is the first camera that has an analog feel/behavior fused with digital comfort. We´ve got the best of both worlds now. It´s far more than a subtle change, we´re talking about the color, the highlight roll-off, the physical sensor size and the higher resolution. I haven´t tried the low light OLPF yet, may be it´s different but from my experience with the highlight / skin tone just rate the exposure like MX. Only downside now is the amount of data created and additional computer power needed, anythings else? Go for it.

Cheers

Ulf

Troy Bakewell
11-15-2014, 12:59 AM
Drunken Diatribes seem to be my specialty lately. lol

Cheers everyone!