Thread: Defending RED, Camera (Brand) Wars, Shot On What?!

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  1. #91  
    Senior Member Josh Becker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blair S. Paulsen View Post
    NOTE: In the "StephenFollows" chart, there's a drop in the RED percentage around 2016 that appears to be offset by the PV DXL rise.

    IAC, ARRI has been making reliable professional cameras for a long time and earned their brand loyalty. Many of the DPs hired for the most compelling projects have little reason to shoot anything else. Now, what if RED was the established vendor and ARRI the upstart? Assuming the same core technology portfolios; ARRI on ALEVE sensors with dual gain, less resolution and less compression - OR - RED on custom sensors with more resolution and more compression... Just askin'

    Cheers - #19
    I could be wrong, but my assumption on the RED dip post-2016 was less to do with the DXL release and more to do with RED offering so many sensors in the span of about two years: original Dragon (and different cameras with different sized cuts), the VV Dragon, Helium, Monstro, and Gemini. For people paying close attention to RED's offerings, this can be perceived as them making different sensors to suit different needs and it's just more options for the filmmaker (so it's a good thing!)... but to a lot of folks that aren't tracking each incremental change, it looks an awful lot like RED is jumping all over the place while Arri is still standing strong on their one sensor. And that's a lot of time/energy they may not feel the need to expend when they might like/prefer the Arri image and they know exactly what they are getting. It feels like from 2016-2018, the more cameras RED threw out there, the less people wanted to use them.

    EDIT: also, the steady slow rise from 2012-2016 was almost exclusively RED Epic Dragon, right? Four years with the same sensor, I think there is a lot to be said about people having the time to learn and trust something. There have been so many sensors the last two years that people don't really feel like they learn the ins/outs until a new one is out.

    A little example... I know that RED is now recommending that Helium sensor be calibrated using Manual mode instead of Auto. This was definitely not documented or communicated at the camera's release (I have a copy of the manual) and it sort of slowly trickled into newer field manuals and the new video RED put out. Why was this not tested/discovered during the development of the camera? I mean, it's a baseline fundamental part of the process and I certainly don't have the tools, expertise, and time to test between the two. Hell, I'm amazed there is a quality difference between Auto and Manual, isn't that something that should be dialed in so the performance is good in both? Or just limit the mode to the "best" one for that camera's sensor or something.
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  2. #92  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    There have been updates to the Arri ecosystem, and if my memory serves me right, they are up to 10 different Alexa models, with subtle minutiae of bodies out there with different licenses and all that. Not of course counting anything prior to the Alexa as it's rare air finding anybody who's shot with the D20 and D21, D21 being moderately a relevant comparison that is. But the Alexa is where they found success.

    I certainly agree on the RED front, there was a moment where there were a variety of bodies, body types, and sensors. I like the way it is now with DSMC2 Unified, that makes decent sense. I do strongly thank RED for making different format sizes, resolutions, and sensor technologies. I think this is a trend worth exploring as we had format options with motion pictures film, it's truly nice having digital cinema camera options. Format size is very real to some who understand all that it means towards their work, whether that's a larger or more common S35 image plane.
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  3. #93  
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Holland View Post
    I do strongly thank RED for making different format sizes, resolutions, and sensor technologies. I think this is a trend worth exploring as we had format options with motion pictures film, it's truly nice having digital cinema camera options.
    It's 2019, cars aren't flying yet, hoverboard has wheels and proper S16 utilization is still missing. : )
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  4. #94  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Holland View Post
    I do strongly thank RED for making different format sizes, resolutions, and sensor technologies. I think this is a trend worth exploring as we had format options with motion pictures film, it's truly nice having digital cinema camera options.
    I couldn't agree more. This discussion has been strongly biased towards the High-End gear.
    However, when I was looking for a camera around the price of my Scarlet-W in 2017, I had the very pleasant surprise that I could get in to "Cine" and the RED ecosystem at a price-point comparable
    to Canon/Sony/BMD/Panasonic "Docu" & DSLR rigs.

    I don't really see the "low end" to "high end" compatibility from the above manufacturers. Strong similarities, but not complete component interchangeability.
    So even though I am not shooting features or TV episodes yet, as a newer owner/operator, I have something upscalable that I can continue to cut my teeth on.
    Newbs don't stay newbs forever and for me and others on the journey, RED's line, branding, and upgrade path is pure GOLD.
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  5. #95  
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew R Lewis View Post
    You forgot:

    e) Preference/Taste
    As long as it is based on awareness and understanding of:

    a) exponential property of light,
    b) basic principles of digital quantization,
    c) post production requirements,
    d) specific properties of the chosen creative tool,
    and ultimately
    e) full price of that route paid by quality of final results.

    In many cases it is not, and boils down to simply tolerance of noise, with a false sense of security coming from overly optimistic interpretation of raw workflow. With compressed raw this is especially important.
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  6. #96  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Josh Becker View Post
    I could be wrong, but my assumption on the RED dip post-2016 was less to do with the DXL release and more to do with RED offering so many sensors in the span of about two years: original Dragon (and different cameras with different sized cuts), the VV Dragon, Helium, Monstro, and Gemini. For people paying close attention to RED's offerings, this can be perceived as them making different sensors to suit different needs and it's just more options for the filmmaker (so it's a good thing!)... but to a lot of folks that aren't tracking each incremental change, it looks an awful lot like RED is jumping all over the place while Arri is still standing strong on their one sensor. And that's a lot of time/energy they may not feel the need to expend when they might like/prefer the Arri image and they know exactly what they are getting. It feels like from 2016-2018, the more cameras RED threw out there, the less people wanted to use them.

    EDIT: also, the steady slow rise from 2012-2016 was almost exclusively RED Epic Dragon, right? Four years with the same sensor, I think there is a lot to be said about people having the time to learn and trust something. There have been so many sensors the last two years that people don't really feel like they learn the ins/outs until a new one is out.

    A little example... I know that RED is now recommending that Helium sensor be calibrated using Manual mode instead of Auto. This was definitely not documented or communicated at the camera's release (I have a copy of the manual) and it sort of slowly trickled into newer field manuals and the new video RED put out. Why was this not tested/discovered during the development of the camera? I mean, it's a baseline fundamental part of the process and I certainly don't have the tools, expertise, and time to test between the two. Hell, I'm amazed there is a quality difference between Auto and Manual, isn't that something that should be dialed in so the performance is good in both? Or just limit the mode to the "best" one for that camera's sensor or something.
    I am a little amazed and perplexed by this as well. It would seem that auto would include that manual setting but maybe since there is only one "calibration file" in auto it is an average of a much wider range than typically used and not optimal for the usual ranges used. In any event, I have switched to manual at this new recommendation for Helium, but not sure that I see a difference, at least looking for noise and white balancing off the same set of lights, but maybe it is subtle. Or maybe it just saves time since manual is all you really need. But it would be nice to have some further explanation of the change.
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  7. #97  
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    I think RED should stick to just one sensor, Monstro for all of its cameras. Put the best sensor forward and nothing else in between. Eliminate any and all confusion.
    Then put all the resources (i.e. research Development of color science, modules, partnerships with accessories companies, etc.) into just that one sensor. That's what can bring RED's competitiveness in the major productions.
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