Thread: alexa mini > red monstro ???

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  1. #1 alexa mini > red monstro ??? 
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    I do not know if it is the right place for my post, but it may be the closest.

    I had the first RED camera in 2013, a Red Epic. After that, until 2017 I had several Epic's or Dragon's . In 2017 I switched to Arri Alexa and I was extremely pleased with the image quality and reliability.

    Right now, if I sell my mini with almost 4000 hours, I can buy a relatively new RED Monstro camera with the same money.

    I think that testing a camera cannot be done if I rent it one day, there are so many ways a camera shows best or bad's over many days of shootings...

    So, is it worth it to "switch" my alexa mini for a red monster?


    thanks.

    ps. I saw Phil's test. But still... I need some more inputs if somebody else used both ...
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  2. #2  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Well you know my thoughts really, but I'll bring some reality to the equation.

    Much of this will depend on your market and professional needs. If you're renting your camera out and Arri has the brand name foothold on your market, that can likely influence your decision.

    Leaning the other way, getting in on Monstro today especially at current prices will actually bode well for whenever DSMC3 comes around as you'll have a reasonable upgrade path, though we know nothing about any of that and likely not for a while.

    Another market consideration and related to your work and what you need to deliver, frankly I can't see owning a camera that can't deliver 4K in 2020 as a viable option where I work.

    It's a tough call. Out here Mini LFs are shipping and taking over much of the Mini market, but it's all about what you need, want, and can use.

    Personally a few of RED's sensors have captivated me and I very much am a large format sort of fellow mainly (though I'm working on 4K Monstro footage this morning) and Monstro provides the widest format size in a professional digital cinema camera as well as being able to capture and deliver 8K, those are big things for what I do.

    One other consideration. Arri has indeed put on hold for 1 calendar year their 4K/4K+ S35 camera, which if that launched in 2020 would have likely torched the Mini market. With the Mini LF and potentially that sort of quick release of another new body and sensor, grumbles were already happening from the owner/ops out there.

    What is good for Arri is their rental house presence and brand name recognition is strong, so the big through small houses have to gobble up the gear because most who want to use Arri cams can't afford to own them or aren't exactly owner types.

    Back to a pro for the Monstro, there is literally nothing out there like it. Hell I had a hard time trading in my Dragon 8K VV and Helium 8K for my body upgrades, but Monstro was too seductive with it's color and DR to resist.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member luigivaltulini's Avatar
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    Phil got some good points.
    I try to give you my point of view.
    I think it is difficult as a choice. Maybe personally I would still stay on ALexa Mini waiting for the new DMSC3 camera body.
    Or if you like Arri wait 1-2 years for the new 4k s35 to start.
    Keep in mind that however with ALexa you should make more money with the rental right now.
    Monstro I love it and as far as I'm concerned it is for now the best sensor you can have even on the Mini Lf.
    But it is also true that it is difficult to rent to productions, there is still a fear related to the resolution. Talking about 8k is very scary to the post, unless you do everything personally and even if REd is making gigantic efforts to bring playback via the latest GPu many places are not updated.
    If it can help you the only thing I don't like about Monstro is extremely slow when you want to zoom in and out, and also playback. If you are used to ALexa or gemini or Dragon where it was almost instantaneous here it sometimes seems to be went freeze.
    Ventilation noise is slightly higher due to the size of the sensor.

    If you have no money and post production management problems, Monstro or alexa mini Lf. Otherwise stay where you are still some time.
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  4. #4  
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    When DSMC3 drops, the Arri will still have a great market value... I know that’s only one piece of the puzzle...
    Are you in need of the full frame sensor aesthetic, small package and R3D workflow?
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  5. #5  
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    Thank you very much. Phil, professional as usual.
    I like Alexa, but I also liked RED very much, I must admit.

    @Luigi, yeah that noise/heat was an issue for me also at some productions and the black-shading stuff. I always had to stay to tell them to BS when changing temperature conditions...

    I live with the impression that the mini is on the last "boom" (maybe I'm wrong), before the prices drops later this year. I think now is the time to sell the mini and get something else (miniLF or monstro). Indeed, with the new S35 sensor, I think the price at the old mini will drop significantly.

    Maybe I better make a loan to the bank, and take a NEW Monster because of the super good price, and in a few months I can see what camera I sell and what I keep

    Personally I like Anamorphic, and on the monster using 2x cooke for example 8k 6:5, you can get a 5K resolution of true Anamorphic which is impossible even on MiniLF.

    @Mestizo , yes, FF is nice to have, small package is also nice, I remember the days using RED, very good for my back. :)
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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Holland View Post
    One other consideration. Arri has indeed put on hold for 1 calendar year their 4K/4K+ S35 camera, which if that launched in 2020 would have likely torched the Mini market. With the Mini LF and potentially that sort of quick release of another new body and sensor, grumbles were already happening from the owner/ops out there.
    Did ARRI say they're delaying their new 4K S35 sensor to 2021? I hadn't read that anywhere, thought it is coming out in 2020
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  7. #7  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Peterson View Post
    Did ARRI say they're delaying their new 4K S35 sensor to 2021? I hadn't read that anywhere, thought it is coming out in 2020
    From the horses mouth, several of the horses mouths in this case. I wouldn't be shocked if they show whatever it ends up being sometime later this year, but don't expect anything to ship until 2021 and I do strongly think it won't "merely be 4K". Not for a premium digital cinema camera released in 2020/2021/2022. The larger question will be does it have higher than 4.5K resolution, and well, yeah. You catch my drift.

    I've had some light conversations as to why that delay has occured, but I can make some pretty educated guesses in this case.

    The Mini LF is selling very well for them which is transforming much of the Arri market at the moment in a sea sub-4K Alexas out there.


    On a side note it is an interesting thing to observe when it comes to market strategy and how many cameras and sensors each company supports at the various tiers. RED went hard with sensors in the DSMC2 era providing S35 through VV formats focused mainly at 5K, 6K, and 8K.

    Personal takes here since I'm on the line.

    Red world stuff.

    I don't think there's anybody here who doesn't know my deep love for Dragon, which I still feel was likely the most important sensor RED made to propel themselves deeper into the motion picture industry. I know just on my small level of introducing that tech via workshops and tests that it captivated the industry in a big way. Mysterium-X is a good sensor, but Dragon is better in pretty much every way. And in the most important categories like color and dynamic range.

    Helium is still a science fiction sensor when it comes to that resolution in that format size with that level of image quality. Something even Canon has been trying to nail for years with their 8K S35 option, but don't worry I would expect them to come to that part real soon properly.

    Gemini is an interesting one because I think what was a custom sensor likely not destined for market, the market responded and really wanted it. In many ways it's the defacto S35 alternative with it's crazy aspect ratio sensor that's a bit more ideal for anamorphic and of course very good in low light.

    Monstro 8K VV is the evolution of Dragon from my perspective and being one of the very few Dragon 8K VV owners with Monstro sharing the same pixel pitch and actually improving on color, linearity, low light performance, etc. It's also in the sort of science fiction arena as when it was released in 2017 it still is in my mind the best sensor in digital cinema cameras as of 2020.

    Komodo is a new day and in a new body form factor. I'll reserve my thoughts until I can dive in really deep on it, but we already know it's a S35+ global shutter sensor. So it's paving some new roads.

    I have hardcore wants and desires from future RED cameras and sensor technology as it's been my primary medium for the last decade. All I can do is nag Jarred at 2am about that stuff really. So far though RED has come through very much on being a digital film alternative, and in my case, a digital film replacement.


    Other companies.

    Sony's Venice hit the market and received fairly well. The market itself is mainly dominated by Arri and RED still when it comes down to it, but I would expect Sony to expand on their premiere camera relatively soon. FX9 has happened and I imagine the FX6 is around the corner. The sensor in the Venice isn't even what that camera was supposed to launch with, I would suspect something notable from Sony is coming soon-ish. They used to be pretty open about their product roadmap, these days it's harder to do that.

    Canon is the sleeping giant in my mind, though they don't get a lot of love in the theatrical and episodic world, they improvements they slammed into the C500 MK II are insane. If that was anything close to what they released in 2011 it would very literally be a different world right now. We know they have the S35 8K cam, but really where the big punches are landing is in the C500 MK II form factor and the smaller cameras like the 1DX MKIII and the upcoming two mirrorless bodies.

    Panasonic gets lost in the hay these days and it's unclear what exactly is going on now, but they landed a decent jab in the industry with their lineup. Things have changed a lot in the last 6 months however and I'm curious if their 8K camera is still on the roadmap.

    Back to Arri. ALEV III or die really and you have to react to the market wants/desires. Sort of a similar concept to RED providing all the Dragon sensor sizes and formats if you think about it, but Arri has kept that general sensor design with moderate improvements for a long time. There was a time in 2011 when they were also going to launch a 4K camera, but they scratched that in favor of keeping on the ALEV III path of consistency and profit. They have since come out with their 4K solution in the form of the LF and MLF, so it's a welcome to the party moment in many ways. From here in the face of innovation from many other companies and probably a few I can't even think of, it will be interesting to see how they progress.


    From a professional perspective, and though I don't represent the entire industry, pretty much everything around me in 2020 is being shot in 4K+ resolution or the rare unicorn production on film.
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    Data Sheets and Notes:
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    Red Dragon
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member David J. Buchanan's Avatar
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    Whether or not ARRI giving a shit about resolution is really a non-starter. Imagine coming out with a new sensor worse than the ALEV III... They're probably doing QC because of the resolution - recognizing it doesn't look as good... That's my thought. But of course, I don't know anything. It would also seem silly to release a 4K S35 right after the MiniLF.

    Apart of me isn't on the edge of my seat for the new ARRI sensor... That ALEV III is so damn good. It just is. Even with ProRes. To outshine themselves in that arena would surely kill the game, except it comes at a steep ARRI price.
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Aaron Lochert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David J. Buchanan View Post
    It would also seem silly to release a 4K S35 right after the MiniLF.
    Arri knew that, which is why they let people know that a S35 4K camera was in the works prior to releasing the LF mini so they could make an educated decision which way to move forward.

    Not exactly the "best" marketing move to potentially hinder LF Mini sales, but was a display of good faith so people didn't feel burned if they only bought LF Mini for the 4K thing and not so much for the large format thing.
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Holland View Post
    From the horses mouth, several of the horses mouths in this case. I wouldn't be shocked if they show whatever it ends up being sometime later this year, but don't expect anything to ship until 2021 and I do strongly think it won't "merely be 4K". Not for a premium digital cinema camera released in 2020/2021/2022. The larger question will be does it have higher than 4.5K resolution, and well, yeah. You catch my drift.
    ARRI has for so very long lived with their "2K cameras" (or the upscaled 4K in the AMIRA / Mini ), I could totally see ARRI going for another decade with "only (true) 4K" cameras. (or very slightly more, such as 4.5K)
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