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View Full Version : I doubt Scarlet is a DSLR killer



Julio Quintana
11-17-2008, 10:46 AM
Hey guys. I was just rereading Jim's earlier post about DSMC being a DSLR killer, and I have a few thoughts on the subject:

It seems to me that to get a still camera that can compete with a high end Nikon or Canon, you have to buy the S35 Scarlet at least. At $7000, this is more than double the cost of the Nikon D700. And unlike the Nikon which only needs a lens to start shooting, the Scarlet SLR will require at least an LCD or EVF, a media recording module, the DSLR handles with the batteries in it, etc. So now we're looking at somewhere in the realm of $10,000 MINIMUM to take stills with this system, while I can go pick up a Nikon D90 at Best Buy today for $1000.

"But the Scarlet records badass video!". I hear you. And to all of us here on REDUSER, that's a critical difference. But let's face it, everybody here is excited about a mind-blowing video camera at a cheap price, with the bonus that it also shoots great stills. But the average still photographer has ZERO use for 5K video, and I doubt they would be willing to pay ten times more to have that capability. Not to mention the computer investment they would have to make just to mess around with the footage. Even seasoned professionals have had a learning curve to mess with Red footage. What makes you think the guy who takes portraits in the mall would want to deal with that? It's like telling me that for $10,000 more I can upgrade my Honda Civic to a 700 horsepower engine that gets 3 miles/gallon. Cool, but no thanks.

So in conclusion, SCARLET/EPIC is an incredible achievement and I plan on picking one up as soon as possible, but I don't think it is as revolutionary for the still market as the RED ONE was to the video world. The RED ONE offered videographers a camera with more/better features for much less money. The DSMC offers still photographers a camera with more features for much MORE money. I predict the release of Scarlet next year will completely eliminate future purchases of the HVX200, the Sony EX1, the Varicam, and let's be honest, the RED ONE.

Tom Lowe
11-17-2008, 11:11 AM
Is it a DSLR killer? No.

Maybe the larger format cams might compete with still cameras. I dunno.

Julio Quintana
11-17-2008, 11:23 AM
Yeah, I'm not sure either. If we compare the Epics to DSLR's now we're talking a LOT more money and ridiculously unnecessary video resolution.

Lee Jay
11-17-2008, 11:33 AM
Yep. It seems like it would be a shame to buy a Scarlet or Epic and never once see video moving through what must be massive DSPs and FPGAs in the brains. As for the "spray and pray" approach of shooting stills by shooting video and picking frames, well, that's a lot of data to store and process, and are these cameras even capable of doing that with the frames losslessly-compressed like the raw modes are on dSLRs? Will there be an sraw-style mode for either stills or video, especially on the cams with WAY too many pixels?

Carlos Echenique
11-17-2008, 11:36 AM
The real kicker here lies in the quality of the images. I use a D300 for some landscape work (because that is what I have at the moment) and to get some really good images sometimes requires pulling HDR tricks out of the hat to compensate for the relatively limited dynamic range of the sensor. The Scarlet/Epic specs (variable as they are according to Jim) calls for 13+ steps of dynamic range@16-bits/channel. That by itself exceeds the DR of Medium Format Digital backs which average 12 stops of DR with 16-bits/channel. Add to that the low frame rates of of DMF (usually measured in seconds per shot, not the other way around) and the DSMC is starting to look pretty attractive.

At PhotoPlus 2008, Mamiya made a big deal about a new system bundle priced at $14,999 which included a Mamiya 645AFD-III, Sekor 80mm 2.8D lens and a Leaf Aptus-II 6 28Mpx digital back. Hasselblad announced that it's H3D-II 31 starter kit (H3D-II camera body + 80mm HC f/2.8 lens + Hasselblad H-31 31Mpx back) would be permanently lowered to $17,995.

The Sony α900 24Mpx DSLR starts at $3000 and the Zeiss lenses for it start around $800 and go up. Plus, it can only shoot 5 fps max with the battery grip. The Scarlet 35FF can hit 30fps.

Julio Quintana
11-17-2008, 11:48 AM
Carlos, I see your point, but the D300 is still a $1700 camera, available today, not a year from now. So are you saying that Scarlet could be a replacement to DSLR's in the $10,000-$15,000 range?

Carlos Echenique
11-17-2008, 12:13 PM
Carlos, I see your point, but the D300 is still a $1700 camera, available today, not a year from now. So are you saying that Scarlet could be a replacement to DSLR's in the $10,000-$15,000 range?

Yes, exactly that. The companies who need to watch out are Mamiya, Phase One, Leaf, Hasselblad, Sinar, and Leica (with their recently announced S2 MF system). RED is going to trump the hell out of them. Another factor is the rumored Medium Format system from Nikon, but this may only turn out to be a 24Mpx version of the D3/D700.

One of my many questions for RED is in regards to the actual operation of the DSMC. Is this going to be a motion picture camera with really amazing stills or will this camera have to two discrete modes: still image and motion picture capture? Although the basic technology of the two cameras types is the same, image capture optimizations vary greatly from one to the other.

Julio Quintana
11-17-2008, 12:21 PM
Good points.

Tom Lowe
11-17-2008, 03:14 PM
I would take all DR specs with a grain of salt.

Michele Gavazzeni
11-17-2008, 03:54 PM
Mamiya, Phase One, Leaf, Hasselblad, Sinar, and Leica

Wait..... this are all MF cameras! So should not be compared with SCARLETT but with the EPIC MF and at its pricepoint... maybe its not a killer... its not even intimidating.

SCARLETT FF35 can be compared with NIKON or CANON cameras

RED SCARLET and EPIC are Movie cameras that eventually can take single frame images.

Michele Gavazzeni
11-17-2008, 04:12 PM
The killer producs are the two 2/3" SCARLETs...

it kills a lot of PANASONIC and SONY cameras.

Carlos Echenique
11-17-2008, 04:14 PM
Wait..... this are all MF cameras! So should not be compared with SCARLETT but with the EPIC MF and at its pricepoint... maybe its not a killer... its not even intimidating.

SCARLETT FF35 can be compared with NIKON or CANON cameras

RED SCARLET and EPIC are Movie cameras that eventually can take single frame images.

No, because Canons and Nikons cannot achieve the stated level of DR (theoretical till proven) without resorting to HDR tricks. DMF cameras average 12 stops of DR and that is one of the features that set them apart from Canon and Nikon. Megapixels are not the reason fro going to DMF, dynamic range is.

E.J. Sadler
11-24-2008, 11:41 AM
As the market currently exists it might not be a DSLR killer, but as more advertising and event coverage moves to online/on-demand/electronic delivery there will be a convergence of skill sets and people looking for the right camera to do the job. Since REDs raw workflow already destroys anything else in the HD market, all RED has to do on the still end is just not suck. If they are able to bring innovation in areas the others are slow to move in, or unable to move in due to hardware legacy issues, the RED could easily become the only camera to own.

We're already planning on it being that way.

Nova Invicta
11-26-2008, 03:30 AM
Both Epic and Scarlett are currently "paper cameras" i.e. no one has actually tested them and proven there specification. The Canon 5D II is an actual product you can purchase today and footage from it has already appeared on the internet.
Once again people are suggesting mass defections from Sony or Panasonic when Scarlett arrives forgeting that the biggest purchasers of their products already have huge investments not only in the cameras but in accessories and lenses so they are hardly likely to abandon either. New customers potentially are the biggest group of customers which is exactly what has happened with Red One.

Canon and Nikon are NOT chained to past video technology and can quickly adapt to compete against Red with one huge advantage the distribution & service network they already have not to mention their intact reputations.

Red has not had direct competition thus far but by squaring up to Canon & Nikon it will certainly get some now.

Jay K
11-29-2008, 04:41 AM
I think DSLR killer is the wrong term. DSLRs largely are consumer and professionals that don't require extremely high resolution and formats that commercial/enterprise/advertising photographers/media artists do.

Most DSLRS are under 10 000 $

This Red system strikes me (in the long run), from what I've read about it .. very ambigious reading too, I wish people would be more open in what the potential for these cameras *really* is.. as a kick in the arse for P1, Hasselblad, leaf MF systems.

I need to do more reading, maybe it is a change maybe it's not. Film is still around, and was never replaced by digital. Digital just provided easier, more efficent and cleaner workflow. On the other hand, look at how much money you need to dump into digital (35 mm) systems compared to what you did with film. Film is still used, too, and in some ways is still considered superior in terms of ruggedness and compatability, to most digital systems.

A friend of mine who works with NG (National Geographic) prefers to take a canon AE-1 rather than a 1D mark III on trips to places far out in the jungle, or the desert, or in any area where you can't recharge you batteries or rely on safely operating a laptop :D

old fashioned, but in some fields they still work.

I encourage and am behind new technology developments, I just wish they wouldn't use the term "killer" or "replacement" because it sounds so competitive, when really, it's all a tool battle. Not everyone can be a videographer, nor a photographer, theres technology to master and then concepts to work with. Let's not forget what these tools record - light, and without our ability to master that then no matter if you use a nikon coolpix or a 671 monstrium DSMC, your shooting is going to reflect.

P Andersson
11-29-2008, 11:05 AM
I always loved how the Pentax 67 lenses behave for portraiture - a lot of studio guys use the Mamiya RZ - so to me the most interesting for stills is the 617 for the simple reason of the size of the sensor - if they make the lens attachments flexible enough to use whatever lens one wants

Radoslav Karapetkov
11-29-2008, 11:28 AM
I see the 35mm Scarlet cams as DSLR killers in the case of people who need to use two cameras for their projects. For example - a Canon XHA1 video cam and a Canon DSLR cam. Or Nikon DSLR.

With the DSMC Scarlet, only one camera will be enough for such people. That will bite some of the DSLR sales. :devil:

But, for people who focus mainly on stills photography - probably not.

Brian J.M. Rytel
11-29-2008, 12:11 PM
For anyone who has taken back-ground mats and spent a lot of time adding the proper gain and color/image adjustments to match the camera response will appreciate the ability to take both with the same camera and glass. Plus both can have the same processing applied in RedCine/RedAlert so they will match until the leave REDcode.

oldphart
11-29-2008, 02:18 PM
... Film is still around, and was never replaced by digital. Digital just provided easier, more efficent and cleaner workflow. On the other hand, look at how much money you need to dump into digital (35 mm) systems compared to what you did with film.
...


Eh - dump money into? That would be film, in my experience. The cost of my Super Chromega alone was a lot more in current money value than any computer system and printer. Digital cameras are dirt cheap compared to the Leicas Ms or Nikons Fs of yesteryear, once you compute the present value. When new, my first SLR, an Exacta II with the 20mm Zeiss Flektogon, cost about the same as a Mercedes Benz.

The amazing thing with RED is that their cameras are so incredibly cheap! That goes for every price range they have models in.

David Rasberry
11-29-2008, 03:40 PM
Eh - dump money into? That would be film, in my experience. The cost of my Super Chromega alone was a lot more in current money value than any computer system and printer. Digital cameras are dirt cheap compared to the Leicas Ms or Nikons Fs of yesteryear, once you compute the present value. When new, my first SLR, an Exacta II with the 20mm Zeiss Flektogon, cost about the same as a Mercedes Benz.

The amazing thing with RED is that their cameras are so incredibly cheap! That goes for every price range they have models in.

I second that opinion. These are digital motion picture cameras and there has always been a significant cost delta between still and movie cameras. Scarlet/Epic will also be the first comprehensive line of professional digital cameras that can handle both roles seamlessly with equal image quality for motion or stills.

Mark K.
11-29-2008, 05:38 PM
Are people going to consider the DSMCs over DSLRs when looking for a stills camera? No, obviously not.

However, if the autofocus, flash-control, IQ and ergonomics of a DSMC are comparable to those of pro-level Nikon/Canon DSLRs, then they may well hold a lot of appeal for those of us who shoot both stills and motion photography (as I do). Because they'd allow you to get by with just the one set of cameras. Which is a fairly significant financial incentive when you consider the cost of pro-DSLRs these days.

Michael Thornton
11-30-2008, 12:36 AM
December 3rd?


New announcement on Dec. 3rd. Everything has changed... just as we promised. :-)

Jim (http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?t=22754)

Hummm...

Let's see what happen.

Tek

Jason Sinclair
12-04-2008, 05:37 AM
scenario: two guys go for a job shooting lets say people... No lets say a news story...No, lets say some wildlife... Ok how about a wedding... or a studio shoot for someone's child.
Photographer A takes his trusty canon and fires away frames as he tries to make the child laugh with a pathetic little teddy bear and captures a few hundred shots as he moves around his fixed tripod in his false environment making comments that he says everyday to get a response that in turn is to find the natural element of the child...

OK

Photographer B He gets out his scarlet and hits burst mode. Maybe he has an is lens and birger mount (Im sure that will be available then...) He says nothing shooting 2 hundred shots every few seconds... He moves around the subject, feels where the moments are. The child gets use to the camera starts playing naturally. The photographer isn't asking them to be anything. The photographer sees some light shining in the back ground the child turns. Something looked nice...he continues...

He goes back to his edit suite and finds the frame. A one shot that just had the perfect elements at the right time...

He puts it in his portfolio...

Another mother is looking for a photographer and checks out photographer A's website and then photographer B's...

Think about this scenario in..

weddings
news
nature
i hate to say it.. paparazzi's
fashion...

In fact every proffesional arena..

Is it a dslr killer?

Well that choice is yours but i'm glad there's a lot of people who think not.

Fran Kuhn
12-04-2008, 07:48 AM
scenario: two guys go for a job shooting lets say people... No lets say a news story...No, lets say some wildlife... Ok how about a wedding... or a studio shoot for someone's child.
Photographer A takes his trusty canon and fires away frames as he tries to make the child laugh with a pathetic little teddy bear and captures a few hundred shots as he moves around his fixed tripod in his false environment making comments that he says everyday to get a response that in turn is to find the natural element of the child...

OK

Photographer B He gets out his scarlet and hits burst mode. Maybe he has an is lens and birger mount (Im sure that will be available then...) He says nothing shooting 2 hundred shots every few seconds... He moves around the subject, feels where the moments are. The child gets use to the camera starts playing naturally. The photographer isn't asking them to be anything. The photographer sees some light shining in the back ground the child turns. Something looked nice...he continues...

He goes back to his edit suite and finds the frame. A one shot that just had the perfect elements at the right time...

He puts it in his portfolio...

Another mother is looking for a photographer and checks out photographer A's website and then photographer B's...

Think about this scenario in..

weddings
news
nature
i hate to say it.. paparazzi's
fashion...

In fact every proffesional arena..

Is it a dslr killer?

Well that choice is yours but i'm glad there's a lot of people who think not.


Hi Jason,

So the key to great photography is a high speed motor drive? Just wondering.

Thanks,

-Fran

http://www.frankuhn.com

Jason Sinclair
12-04-2008, 04:21 PM
"great photography" is too a subjective word to use... Great photography extends past the tools one uses... I know many a people who have great tools but take not great photographs... I think if you go down that road in understanding you will run into limitations in understanding..

A pro of the same capabilities and understanding etc... if we we were to clone him or her and each had two different tools... What i am saying then is, the one who owns the DSMC will have great advantage... Not because of resolution but because he or she will have more opportunities to capture "moments"

I can tell you from experience that since using red my shots have improved over 100% from the same skill level (which is not high) and helps me achieve the outcome i want better.. Depends exactly on what you want achieve. You have to know what to look for, or have a clear idea of what you want to achieve but say for example you need a photograph for a specific purpose, then, this tool greatly aids you.

One case in example; I was recently shooting three children together and photographing them. All three were doing what they want as children do. Rather than coerce them to look at the camera and get a fake shot, I just conversed with them. Something funny was said or something that engaged them and they all in a split moment had this look... Its hard to explain but its like all the photos were crap except this one, 1/25th of a second frame grab. The frames either side were crap. I achieved that shot in five minutes and because of the situation i didn't have long. It is one of the best shots I have taken of children. It was also the first day i shot with a red camera.
My objective was video but i got a great frame grab also... The video is moving so its a different world. The sequence was cool but as a photograph only that split 1/25th of a second could get this amazing shot.

So i provided videos but also a great still that would have only been a complete fluke by a pro.

Now say you are a news cameraman in these circumstances? Imagine you are a wedding video person... There is no need to hire a photographer unless the light is so bad on site you need a flash and you can't use continuous lights. Even then you could synch a flash but you would loose the burst advantage...

With great skill on focusing and high speed lenses in available light and with the help of IS lenses or steadicam you will be getting shots that are so natural and beautiful that only the most vainest of clients wont see the appeal.

Thats my opinion.

Fran Kuhn
12-04-2008, 07:23 PM
. . .Its hard to explain but its like all the photos were crap except this one, 1/25th of a second frame grab.

Hi Jason,

You mean 1/50th second, right? (25 fps?).

I would not recommend doing any paying job including weddings, sports or kids at 25fps, 1/50th unless you're prepared to do a re-shoot. At that speed, you're playing Russian Roulette with motion blur.

Just my opinion.

-Fran

http://www.frankuhn.com

Mark K.
12-04-2008, 11:28 PM
Still and motion photography are similar but distinct disciplines. If there's a future in merging the two together, it'll be in being able to switch between them with the press of a button, not in trying to pull an approximation of one out of the other.

Jason Sinclair
12-05-2008, 04:29 AM
Hi Jason,

You mean 1/50th second, right? (25 fps?).

I would not recommend doing any paying job including weddings, sports or kids at 25fps, 1/50th unless you're prepared to do a re-shoot. At that speed, you're playing Russian Roulette with motion blur.

Just my opinion.

-Fran

http://www.frankuhn.com

Maybe i was just lucky on those cases but obviously i see your point... with motion blur the option to IS or red stabilized lenses or with the small size factor, lower model steadicam, . Now what is a good frame rate do you reckon? 125th sec? 5k mode in epic? or 150th in 4 k mode? or Depends on the light? the subject movement?
I see these paths merging personally... Its a matter of time and everyday it gets closer for this path... but scarlet, yes maybe its no dslr killer....

Fran Kuhn
12-05-2008, 08:32 AM
Maybe i was just lucky on those cases but obviously i see your point... with motion blur the option to IS or red stabilized lenses or with the small size factor, lower model steadicam, . Now what is a good frame rate do you reckon? 125th sec? 5k mode in epic? or 150th in 4 k mode? or Depends on the light? the subject movement?
I see these paths merging personally... Its a matter of time and everyday it gets closer for this path... but scarlet, yes maybe its no dslr killer....

Hi Jason,

I know that many newspapers have been using HD video cameras for the past few years to gather content (including frame grabs), but they have not thrown away their still cameras, either.

I'm not quite sure why, but I've noticed (along with all the sports photography guys I know) that digital doesn't freeze action at the same shutter speeds as film. I don't know exactly why this is, but I've found that subjects I can freeze easily at 1/500th sec with film need to be shot at closer to 1/1000 with digital to get the same degree of sharpness.

I just shot my six year-old daughter's birthday party and did most of that at 1/250th with 35mm and 120mm film. Kids move fast, as I'm sure you know!:)

I realize there's always a chance that you'll be able to pull a good frame from a motion film or video shoot, it's just that you generally need some degree of blurring to make for convincing moton. The first animators discovered this--characters drawn without blur looked too robotic. But for most stills, you don't want your subject motion blurred. That's partly why there have been on-set still photographers as long as there have been major motion pictures. Those productions certainly have no shortage of frame grabs, but they've found that good stills require different camera settings.


-Fran

http://www.frankuhn.com

Yannick Hagman
12-05-2008, 08:46 AM
weddings
news
nature
i hate to say it.. paparazzi's
fashion...


Paparazzi and newsgathering, yes. But I wonder if the result could be called professional then.
As for nature or fashion: Not on the slightest.

Somehow I got the feeling you underestimate still photography in itself quite a bit.

Jason Sinclair
12-07-2008, 02:33 PM
There's only one thing to ad here from my perspective and that is I believe photography is largely defined by its technical advancement. The photographer has to determine a number of factors in order to get what he or she wants, aperture, shutter speeds, composition etc..

To get what you want there are compromises but what is it that the photographer is capturing?

What makes a great photograph?

What is more important, subject matter or technical quality?

I would say that it is the subject that reigns king... Without the subject there is no essence or soul to the photograph. The subject is what captures an audience (wether motion or stills)

The subject is more than an image, it is an emotional experience. A reflection. We desire to see images because we identify with its "essence" depending on our subjective or objective viewpoint.

So in balancing for that eternal quest for visual perfection i think the world is ready for a balance towards more subject orientated subjects with an emphasis on realism.

One of the reasons i think is that in these days every man and his dog has at least a canon rebel and scrolling through flicker you will see millions of photos of the same kinds of things in terms of subject matter. It's hard to identify with. Nothing stands out. They are clones of the masters of the 1960's and 70's. The opening of digital and auto everything has made photography so accessible and everyone an instant pro to a certain respect, that i think what will stand out in the future will be a new kind of emphasis on subject and the initial tests show that DSMC's will have potential if conceived in the right way. Maybe like some of you suggest it may be a quick flip of a switch that produces a burst mode and then back to video, still making the experience relatively single user operated and increased ease of use, giving the user more adaptability and giving the subject more latitude in terms of producing an emotion outcome.

It all depends on what exactly you want to achieve. For me i feel very positive towards these advancements...