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Red Dragon? Anyone?


Dave Maze

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2 hours ago, Kino said:

I saw some examples of RED Raven footage posted above, but I think this video is a much better demonstration of the camera's potential:

For $5-10K, it doesn't get much better than this in terms of image quality. If you are shooting events or docs, however, I'm sure a Canon or Sony would be a better choice.

They got the model right, but this video looks like shit from an aesthetic and technical perspective.

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also for every movie shot on the red, 99 were shot on the alexa. It's almost endless how many movies are being shot on the Alexa.

I know a lot of DPs who own a mini and have already paid it off.  They just don't brag about it. Reduser regulars except for my friend Nick are their own brand of "interesting" folks. Nearly

I'm so stoked to use the Alexa Mini this fall for a project. Plan on doing some A/B testing with the UM4.6K as well.

3 hours ago, AaronChicago said:

From what I understand it all depends on which OLPF you're using regarding skin tones. Does the Raven have multiple OLPF options?

The Raven has only the fixed Standard OLPF. There are no other options. I don't have too much of a problem with the skin tones in the above video as it fits the aesthetics of advertising. No doubt, the Raven sensor is capable of more natural skin tones:

What did impress me with the Allure video as opposed to the Raven footage that was posted previously was how clean the footage was in comparison. There is no noise and the ISO is kept well within the Dragon's range.

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3 hours ago, Kino said:

The Raven has only the fixed Standard OLPF. There are no other options. I don't have too much of a problem with the skin tones in the above video as it fits the aesthetics of advertising. No doubt, the Raven sensor is capable of more natural skin tones:

What did impress me with the Allure video as opposed to the Raven footage that was posted previously was how clean the footage was in comparison. There is no noise and the ISO is kept well within the Dragon's range.

That has a bit of the Red "look" still but looks great. Much better than the other piece.

While I stand by my opinion that the fashion piece looks like hot garbage, there are some basic things that are done/emulated well, the clean image among them. Absolutely the Dragon looks best rated at 200-400 ISO. The best looking Dragon footage is shot at a low ISO with tons of fill light to avoid clipping and then aggressively graded. The resultant look is usually very clean with remarkable shadow detail and not so much highlight detail, a bit more saturation in the midtones than the Alexa but still none of the chroma clipping that plagues the Sonys. "Digital" without looking like miniDV. The Alexa, by contrast, has more "film like" color, as well as a definitively more film like over/under and grain distribution and saturation vs luma distribution (emulating color negative very accurately by clamping situation at 30 IRE, something emulated by Canon in SLOG 2 and Sony in their Kodak F5/5 LUTs). I think if you grew up on "film" you automatically like the Alexa more because it is in every way a film emulation camera, but if you like lots of shadow detail and a smooth tonality with more accurate, less rich colors, the Red looks fine and the weird workflow appeals to people who are less lazy than me.

On the flip side, the Alexa behaves like 50 speed Vision 3 that's actually 800+ ISO. As clean as 50 speed but four stops faster. So there's this tendency to throw on an anamorphic lens and not light anything and while it looks good and even "film like" the overlit Red look can be a nice change of pace. Some of the very high end music videos shot on Red have their own look to them, they look great, and with enough patience (and fill light) you can try to emulate that at home with a cheaper Red camera.

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I do find it quite fun to read opinions on a forum that for the most part is littered with hobbyists, about things they dont really have any authority on.

Red Dragon is amazing. It is a proper camera which needs to be controlled by a professional. The images, when shot correctly are awesome and anyone who thinks its dead is kidding themselves. All you need to do is look up what blockbuster films and Netflix shows are being shot with Red to realise that, that particular sensor is waaaaaay ahead of the others in many areas. Sure, Alexa is also amazing but they havent quite got to the resolution levels that people like Netflix and David Fincher and many others consider future proof. Maybe the projector and bandwidth technology hasnt quite hit the mainstream as fast as some of these people would hope, and all that extra info is somewhat wasted and 2k is more than 'enough' for what we are delivering but who wants good 'enough'? Oh right...Hobbyists.

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1 hour ago, Lee Kelly said:

I do find it quite fun to read opinions on a forum that for the most part is littered with hobbyists, about things they dont really have any authority on.

Red Dragon is amazing. It is a proper camera which needs to be controlled by a professional. The images, when shot correctly are awesome and anyone who thinks its dead is kidding themselves. All you need to do is look up what blockbuster films and Netflix shows are being shot with Red to realise that, that particular sensor is waaaaaay ahead of the others in many areas. Sure, Alexa is also amazing but they havent quite got to the resolution levels that people like Netflix and David Fincher and many others consider future proof. Maybe the projector and bandwidth technology hasnt quite hit the mainstream as fast as some of these people would hope, and all that extra info is somewhat wasted and 2k is more than 'enough' for what we are delivering but who wants good 'enough'? Oh right...Hobbyists.

Just out of curiosity, are you a Red owner?

i think you'd be surprised by how many pro filmmakers are here. I am a filmmaker for a living, but I've only used Red once, just recently. It was MX. Skin tones are very plasticy and now that I've worked with it, I see it more in other productions. I've heard better and worse about Dragon. Some of the above has that same plastic look. Even the ones that don't, still have a Red look. It's not bad. Just looks like Red. It's almost like Red footage commands attention. Whereas Alexa footage gets out of ten way. 

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3 hours ago, Flynn said:

There are a number of vids of Riger Deakins talking about his love for Arri and the Alexa. He ain't no hobbyist.

 

 

5 hours ago, Lee Kelly said:

I do find it quite fun to read opinions on a forum that for the most part is littered with hobbyists, about things they dont really have any authority on.

Red Dragon is amazing. It is a proper camera which needs to be controlled by a professional. The images, when shot correctly are awesome and anyone who thinks its dead is kidding themselves. All you need to do is look up what blockbuster films and Netflix shows are being shot with Red to realise that, that particular sensor is waaaaaay ahead of the others in many areas. Sure, Alexa is also amazing but they havent quite got to the resolution levels that people like Netflix and David Fincher and many others consider future proof. Maybe the projector and bandwidth technology hasnt quite hit the mainstream as fast as some of these people would hope, and all that extra info is somewhat wasted and 2k is more than 'enough' for what we are delivering but who wants good 'enough'? Oh right...Hobbyists.

As a shooter, I mostly am. I've shot a few promos for NCB affiliates and some corporate stuff and videography and second unit on a lot of stuff for web and cable, but it's a small portion of what I do. Since I couldn't pay the bills on that alone, I'll agree I'm a hobbyist. l In post, not so much. And my clients (CBS–for which I've worked on major network series not web promos or something, ABC/Disney, Time Warner, most NBC Affiliates, etc. for broadcast as well as ads for Fortune 500 companies including major national campaigns... plus all the jobs where I didn't get hired but interviewed such as at other major networks on major primetime shows) aren't. And 99% of that content is Alexa-derived.

Most blockbusters still have the majority of their vfx finished at 2k so the 4k thing in the same sentence as "blockbusters" is a straw man if I ever saw one. What are your credits that supersede the vast plurality of blockbusters and of Oscar-nominees, mostly shot on Alexa. What are your credits that supersede the relatively low end stuff I work on (major network series, all shot on Alexa). You do realize that "Netflix" isn't a person and that David Fincher is working with Red due to an established relationship he has with its CEO (who custom built him stripped down carbon fiber MX frames in three days so he could shoot the rowing scene in Social Network, and fwiw I think it's awesome that Red did that).

I looked your name up on IMDb and couldn't find anything. Almost all the top DPs are shooting Alexa and almost all tv is finishing on it, Netflix and Fincher are exceptions that prove the rule. Are you seriously claiming that 80% of the industry are "hobbyists" or are you just gloating that you got your first paying gig on the Red your mom bought you?

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5 hours ago, Lee Kelly said:

I do find it quite fun to read opinions on a forum that for the most part is littered with hobbyists, about things they dont really have any authority on.

Red Dragon is amazing. It is a proper camera which needs to be controlled by a professional. The images, when shot correctly are awesome and anyone who thinks its dead is kidding themselves. All you need to do is look up what blockbuster films and Netflix shows are being shot with Red to realise that, that particular sensor is waaaaaay ahead of the others in many areas. Sure, Alexa is also amazing but they havent quite got to the resolution levels that people like Netflix and David Fincher and many others consider future proof. Maybe the projector and bandwidth technology hasnt quite hit the mainstream as fast as some of these people would hope, and all that extra info is somewhat wasted and 2k is more than 'enough' for what we are delivering but who wants good 'enough'? Oh right...Hobbyists.

I've shot with Red and edited the footage. I like the wavelet-based codec- never any block artifacts, ever (compression can only soften the overall image). Red is a technical camera, and loved by technologists and tweakers (hardware ;)). Endless software options and menus, highly configurable hardware and OLPF options etc. Red Dragon skintones can indeed look really nice, the framerate options are excellent, as are the resolution options. Editing the footage is also easy with a modern CPU (multicore) and GPU.

The reason ARRI (digital) is the top pro camera is it's not a technical camera! It has a very simple hardware and software interface, limited GUI options (relative to other cameras), and isn't focused on resolution (Alexa, Amira. ARRI 65 is high res (6560 x 3102)). I'd be wiling to wager a few drinks that the average person cannot see the difference between ARRI "4K" (3.x upscaled)  and Red "4K" (softish 5-6K scaled down) when displayed on the latest HDR 4K TV (showing normal as well as HDR content) or even better, on a 4K projector in a theater. Final real-world resolution is so close it's irrelevant. Where ARRI wins is usable dynamic range, highlight behavior (ARRI is still closest to film: the best), and color rendition, especially skin tones. In a studio environment with very controlled lighting, all the top cameras can do pretty well with a bit of post work. However ARRI's strength is that in the real world with imperfect lighting, skintones and overall color require much less work in post. Production costs are far more than camera rental (or purchase cost for a longer production or owner/operator), so it makes sense that ARRI is #1 in the top tiers of filmmaking. Lucy and Oblivion looked amazing- the F65 is still an interesting option at the very high end (Reds were used for some shots in Lucy (driving etc.)).

For smaller operations, the C300 II with very similar color and quality to ARRI (can use Alexa LUTs), far lower power requirements, and now most importantly, highly useful auto- and assisted-manual focus, makes a lot of sense when a focus puller isn't available or would not be possible (run & gun, gimbal w/o wireless FF, etc.). The 1DX II also does very well for single operator run & gun (also doesn't appear to alias as with the C300 II and fine fabrics). We considered the Alexa Mini, however the lack of autofocus pointed us to the two Canons. Red was not considered due to an overly complex design (the opposite of ARRI and Canon, more like Sony). We just want the simplest camera possible, reliably capturing accurate color and highlights with modest file sizes and a fast post workflow.

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42 minutes ago, jcs said:

I've shot with Red and edited the footage. I like the wavelet-based codec- never any block artifacts, ever (compression can only soften the overall image). Red is a technical camera, and loved by technologists and tweakers (hardware ;)). Endless software options and menus, highly configurable hardware and OLPF options etc. Red Dragon skintones can indeed look really nice, the framerate options are excellent, as are the resolution options. Editing the footage is also easy with a modern CPU (multicore) and GPU.

The reason ARRI (digital) is the top pro camera is it's not a technical camera! It has a very simple hardware and software interface, limited GUI options (relative to other cameras), and isn't focused on resolution (Alexa, Amira. ARRI 65 is high res (6560 x 3102)). I'd be wiling to wager a few drinks that the average person cannot see the difference between ARRI "4K" (3.x upscaled)  and Red "4K" (softish 5-6K scaled down) when displayed on the latest HDR 4K TV (showing normal as well as HDR content) or even better, on a 4K projector in a theater. Final real-world resolution is so close it's irrelevant. Where ARRI wins is usable dynamic range, highlight behavior (ARRI is still closest to film: the best), and color rendition, especially skin tones. In a studio environment with very controlled lighting, all the top cameras can do pretty well with a bit of post work. However ARRI's strength is that in the real world with imperfect lighting, skintones and overall color require much less work in post. Production costs are far more than camera rental (or purchase cost for a longer production or owner/operator), so it makes sense that ARRI is #1 in the top tiers of filmmaking. Lucy and Oblivion looked amazing- the F65 is still an interesting option at the very high end (Reds were used for some shots in Lucy (driving etc.)).

For smaller operations, the C300 II with very similar color and quality to ARRI (can use Alexa LUTs), far lower power requirements, and now most importantly, highly useful auto- and assisted-manual focus, makes a lot of sense when a focus puller isn't available or would not be possible (run & gun, gimbal w/o wireless FF, etc.). The 1DX II also does very well for single operator run & gun (also doesn't appear to alias as with the C300 II and fine fabrics). We considered the Alexa Mini, however the lack of autofocus pointed us to the two Canons. Red was not considered due to an overly complex design (the opposite of ARRI and Canon, more like Sony). We just want the simplest camera possible, reliably capturing accurate color and highlights with modest file sizes and a fast post workflow.

Thank you JCS for that great breakdown. Within the next year I foresee myself buying a higher end camera and it is bewildering all the considerations for such a significant purchase. I have only shot with a Red just the once, and I am not a big fan of the colors or look of MX. Good to hear that Dragon is better. 

I've never really been a big fan of Canon colors (I know that's heresy around here, but just my opinion). C300 ii at its new price is more attractive, but I just haven't seen anything from it that really catches my eye. 

I luv me some Blackmagic. I am absolutely in love with the image from the 4.6K. It's my favorite image below Alexa. It would be a done deal for me if it wasn't for the form factor and quirks. Blackmagic also offers UHD prores an easy peasy codec, something that Red doesn't provide.

The FS5/7 cameras are great too. But loading them up with external recorders to get the image you want negates some of their charm.

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10 hours ago, Policar said:

 

 

 

Most blockbusters still have the majority of their vfx finished at 2k so the 4k thing in the same sentence as "blockbusters" is a straw man if I ever saw one. What are your credits that supersede the vast plurality of blockbusters and of Oscar-nominees, mostly shot on Alexa. What are your credits that supersede the relatively low end stuff I work on (major network series, all shot on Alexa). You do realize that "Netflix" isn't a person and that David Fincher is working with Red due to an established relationship he has with its CEO (who custom built him stripped down carbon fiber MX frames in three days so he could shoot the rowing scene in Social Network, and fwiw I think it's awesome that Red did that).

I looked your name up on IMDb and couldn't find anything. Almost all the top DPs are shooting Alexa and almost all tv is finishing on it, Netflix and Fincher are exceptions that prove the rule. Are you seriously claiming that 80% of the industry are "hobbyists" or are you just gloating that you got your first paying gig on the Red your mom bought you?

woW

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Interesting. I didnt realise IMDb was the be all and end all and I guess I really should have updated every single thing I have ever worked on with the camera my mother bought me ha ha

I dont need to bother having a pissing contest my friend. Lets just say, I do know what I am talking about and if you want to use your GH4 and some hacked together lens attachment and call yourself a professional then all the best.

My main point was in reply to people who consider Red to be over hyped or a dead-end as far as camera tech goes. Its a little naive to suggest such a thing. In my opinion and experience, the worst thing Red did, was come in hot before they were ready and before post houses were ready. That first 6-12 month period did a lot of damage to their reputation with producers as the workflow was very confusing, expensive and time consuming. Not to mention some of the first gen Red One cameras were a little buggy.

Fast forward to today, and no proper post house should have any issues working with Red files. Shit, I can cut footage on CS6 on my lappy without any problems.

90% of the shoots I work on, 'A' camera is Alexa of some kind and these days its Mini more than XT or Amira or Plus. The system is simple and works. My work as an underwater camera operator has allowed me to exclusively use Red and just recently I dropped $30k usd on a new underwater housing for the Mini as I know its the smart thing to do.

Of course Fincher was one example of someone pushing his filmmaking using Red and I am glad you saw the article on nofilmschool or wherever you subscribe, about his new camera. Regardless of his relationship with whoever, do you think if the camera system was inferior his studio backing would support it? Of course Netflix is not a person but they have set a standard in accepting a particular finished product and Red is there. Many others listed in this thread are sadly not. 

It might very well come down to brand recognition but it is a two horse race at the top and its Arri and Red with VERY few top end shoots using Canon or Sony at the moment even though those systems are great they just dont have the cinema brand recognition to get them up there.

The guy who asked the question about Dragon was asking for advice from people who know. All of a sudden Red was being bashed by people who in the very next sentence were saying they dont have much experience with it. Does that make sense? My advice is hire an Arri and a Red and the lenses you like, study the workflow, shoot some real world tests and see what works best for you.

Now I just need my mother to buy me an Alexa Mini to go with my new housing.

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15 minutes ago, Lee Kelly said:

Interesting. I didnt realise IMDb was the be all and end all and I guess I really should have updated every single thing I have ever worked on with the camera my mother bought me ha ha

I dont need to bother having a pissing contest my friend. Lets just say, I do know what I am talking about and if you want to use your GH4 and some hacked together lens attachment and call yourself a professional then all the best.

My main point was in reply to people who consider Red to be over hyped or a dead-end as far as camera tech goes. Its a little naive to suggest such a thing. In my opinion and experience, the worst thing Red did, was come in hot before they were ready and before post houses were ready. That first 6-12 month period did a lot of damage to their reputation with producers as the workflow was very confusing, expensive and time consuming. Not to mention some of the first gen Red One cameras were a little buggy.

Fast forward to today, and no proper post house should have any issues working with Red files. Shit, I can cut footage on CS6 on my lappy without any problems.

90% of the shoots I work on, 'A' camera is Alexa of some kind and these days its Mini more than XT or Amira or Plus. The system is simple and works. My work as an underwater camera operator has allowed me to exclusively use Red and just recently I dropped $30k usd on a new underwater housing for the Mini as I know its the smart thing to do.

Of course Fincher was one example of someone pushing his filmmaking using Red and I am glad you saw the article on nofilmschool or wherever you subscribe, about his new camera. Regardless of his relationship with whoever, do you think if the camera system was inferior his studio backing would support it? Of course Netflix is not a person but they have set a standard in accepting a particular finished product and Red is there. Many others listed in this thread are sadly not. 

It might very well come down to brand recognition but it is a two horse race at the top and its Arri and Red with VERY few top end shoots using Canon or Sony at the moment even though those systems are great they just dont have the cinema brand recognition to get them up there.

The guy who asked the question about Dragon was asking for advice from people who know. All of a sudden Red was being bashed by people who in the very next sentence were saying they dont have much experience with it. Does that make sense? My advice is hire an Arri and a Red and the lenses you like, study the workflow, shoot some real world tests and see what works best for you.

Now I just need my mother to buy me an Alexa Mini to go with my new housing.

I could shoot on a GH4 and the image would be fine, but why would I when I get paid to shoot on the Alexa?

I didn't see that article. I was told by my friends who were G&E on Social Network. But if you have a link to it I'm sure it's interesting.

The Dragon is fine, though, nothing wrong with it for those of us whose mom can't afford the Mini. 

I agree, rent both for a shoot each. Buy whatever makes you more money without driving you nuts. It's a business after all, but there's a reason the Alexa costs more and rents more despite it–because it saves money in other areas. Oh, and the image is better.

The Dragon is fine, though. Up until the Mini ate into its market, it was even good enough to be a popular Alexa b camera!

Back on topic, though, I'm sure the Raven is fine and delivers a good image for the money. 

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@Policar

It was interesting that you brought IMDb into the conversation as a way to try and belittle me. I was just thinking the other day that I should chase all that up. I guess I have been lucky not to even have a showreel or IMDb presence and still work with the top commercial DPs and directors here in Sydney. Its kind of tricky with my role as camera operator, in the water, on a tvc shoot, where my shot(s) are one or two seconds here and there. The DP gets the credit as they should but I would rarely be listed and not arrogant enough to email IMDb or whatever it is youre meant to do to get a listing. Maybe I should follow it up so that I have that justification. Or maybe ill just keep working each week for another 20yrs. To me, its a little like why I dont have social media. I dont care what I ate for breakfast this morning so I sure as hell dont feel like I need to show the world to get a thumbs up.

Right?

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35 minutes ago, Lee Kelly said:

@Policar

It was interesting that you brought IMDb into the conversation as a way to try and belittle me. I was just thinking the other day that I should chase all that up. I guess I have been lucky not to even have a showreel or IMDb presence and still work with the top commercial DPs and directors here in Sydney. Its kind of tricky with my role as camera operator, in the water, on a tvc shoot, where my shot(s) are one or two seconds here and there. The DP gets the credit as they should but I would rarely be listed and not arrogant enough to email IMDb or whatever it is youre meant to do to get a listing. Maybe I should follow it up so that I have that justification. Or maybe ill just keep working each week for another 20yrs. To me, its a little like why I dont have social media. I dont care what I ate for breakfast this morning so I sure as hell dont feel like I need to show the world to get a thumbs up.

Right?

I can actually relate. If you're working and making money that's what counts, I think.

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19 hours ago, Jonesy Jones said:

Thank you JCS for that great breakdown. Within the next year I foresee myself buying a higher end camera and it is bewildering all the considerations for such a significant purchase. I have only shot with a Red just the once, and I am not a big fan of the colors or look of MX. Good to hear that Dragon is better. 

I've never really been a big fan of Canon colors (I know that's heresy around here, but just my opinion). C300 ii at its new price is more attractive, but I just haven't seen anything from it that really catches my eye. 

I luv me some Blackmagic. I am absolutely in love with the image from the 4.6K. It's my favorite image below Alexa. It would be a done deal for me if it wasn't for the form factor and quirks. Blackmagic also offers UHD prores an easy peasy codec, something that Red doesn't provide.

The FS5/7 cameras are great too. But loading them up with external recorders to get the image you want negates some of their charm.

With good DPs, ARRI and Red can cut together no problem. When someone goofs somewhere or weather changes rapidly (it happens ;)), ARRI tends to recover better in post. Their totally custom Alev III sensor is still peerless, as is their IP for digital film emulation (from their years of building film scanners). They may hold the lead until there's another breakthrough in sensor design (and probably film emulation too).

I like what Black Magic is doing and some of the footage looks really, really good. For personal or hobby hobby work, it makes sense. For paid work, I'd spend more for something bulletproof in production (they're still going through growing pains, just like Red did (they are now pretty reliable)). Sony is headed in the right direction for skintones and color- I would expect their next camera releases to be closer to Canon (F65 can already produce amazing color- up there with the best, even ARRI; not clear how much work in post that requires though (very few examples showing this kind of color quality (Lucy, Oblivion)).

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On August 13, 2016 at 9:53 AM, Lee Kelly said:

I do find it quite fun to read opinions on a forum that for the most part is littered with hobbyists, about things they dont really have any authority on.

Red Dragon is amazing. It is a proper camera which needs to be controlled by a professional. The images, when shot correctly are awesome and anyone who thinks its dead is kidding themselves. All you need to do is look up what blockbuster films and Netflix shows are being shot with Red to realise that, that particular sensor is waaaaaay ahead of the others in many areas. Sure, Alexa is also amazing but they havent quite got to the resolution levels that people like Netflix and David Fincher and many others consider future proof. Maybe the projector and bandwidth technology hasnt quite hit the mainstream as fast as some of these people would hope, and all that extra info is somewhat wasted and 2k is more than 'enough' for what we are delivering but who wants good 'enough'? Oh right...Hobbyists.

I disagree 100%...... Alexa Mini (less resolution) looks much better than Red Dragon 6k, honestly no working professional I know or worked with would say otherwise.

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I literally just got home from set after working a day on a local feature film. 3 cameras, all Dragon. This was not the DPs choice but instead the director, who loves Red for whatever reason.

I could post several very high profile jobs I have shot where we mixed Alexa with Red and if you told me the shots where it was one or the other I would be very surprised. You might say you prefer the look of Alexa over Red but again, i would be very surprised if you could tell the difference in the edit. I will admit that Red often has a contrasty look applied to it on a lot of things i have seen, whereas sometimes (very popular here) Alexa is left with a more low-con 'ungraded' look for some reason. I have been fortunate that my personal camera has never missed a beat but I hear stories.

 

I think at the end of the day, there is no point hating on Red. It is actually an awesome system when you know how to use it and plenty of the big shows and films are using them for a good reason. Alexa is the more popular system and much easier for ACs and itll be interesting to see if they feel pressure from a big player like Netflix to bring out a 4k+ sensor or keep doing a lower resolution properly while they can still get away with it. I am not sure Alexa 65 will be a viable everyday camera kit anytime soon. New Red is tiny and will be 8k before we know it and one of these days just like we do now with 3chip mini dv, we will look back and wonder how we ever considered 4k to be acceptable. 

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30 minutes ago, Lee Kelly said:

I think at the end of the day, there is no point hating on Red. It is actually an awesome system when you know how to use it and plenty of the big shows and films are using them for a good reason. Alexa is the more popular system and much easier for ACs and itll be interesting to see if they feel pressure from a big player like Netflix to bring out a 4k+ sensor or keep doing a lower resolution properly while they can still get away with it. I am not sure Alexa 65 will be a viable everyday camera kit anytime soon. New Red is tiny and will be 8k before we know it and one of these days just like we do now with 3chip mini dv, we will look back and wonder how we ever considered 4k to be acceptable. 

I also think there's no point over-glamourising a camera or camera system. Being able to take a step back and critique the pros and cons of a camera system is exactly what we do in camera tests for new projects, and is the reason there are so many cameras on the market these days. Back in the day, if you wanted to shoot outdoor really cleanly, you'd shoot 50D, and if you wanted to shoot indoor you'd probably shoot 500T (and probably rate it at 320). Sure you had differences in Fuji vs Kodak, or Vision vs Vision2 for example. 

These days there are options galore, and to suggest that there are no differences in the look between RED and Alexa is IMO sorta disingenuous. Sure, the layman may not be able to tell - but let's be real, the layman can't pick the 5D shots in Captain America. Does that mean we should shoot all blockbusters on a 5D?

With a skilful colourist, the two cameras certainly can be intercut very seamlessly, however there certainly are differences in the looks, and certainly differences in the ease with which you can get to the look you want. Some find it easier with a RED. Others an Alexa. Depends on the look you're going for.

Not to mention the major differences in the way the camera systems work. But we pick cameras based on what we like and how we like to work, not whether or not the layman can pick the difference. 

Both cameras and systems are perfectly viable. Each have their quirks, their pros and cons. I do think this forum can sometimes be quick to bash cameras they don't necessarily understand (particularly Sony!).

At the end of the day, pick the camera you like and use it. I've seen utter garbage out of REDs and noisy crap out of Alexas. I've seen beautiful images out of GH4s. I've seen amazing stuff on Alexa and RED, as well as F55, Varicam etc. I've shot stuff on Alexa and RED that doesn't look noisy or like utter garbage. And also on the F55, F5, F3, Blackmagic, A7s etc. etc. 

Personally, I generally prefer Arri cameras to REDs, but overall it depends on the project. I've deliberately requested REDs on projects for certain looks in the past. Just as I've deliberately requested particular lenses to attain certain looks. 

There's no doubt the RED is a very capable camera. I've not used the Raven, so prefer not to comment on it. But there are many reasons I may not pick it for a project. I still find it kinda interesting that the Alexa Mini is the best parts of the Alexa in a RED-style body. I also wouldn't be surprised if the whispers I hear about a 4k Alexa being not far away are true, considering the push towards 4k. I do find it amazing that given the relative age of the ALEV-III sensor, it can still produce the kinds of images it does. Will be interesting to see if Arri can/do better it.

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What I was trying to say may have been mis-understood slightly. I wasnt saying there isnt a difference in looks but in reply to people saying they think Red looks bad and Alexa looks better, I have many examples where both were used in a 30second commercial space and its not like one jumps out as this or that. They cut quite well. That was my point. You can use that same point to discuss any of the cameras we talk about too. They can all be great and we can use them all in the same edit and you might not be able to tell the difference. On another recent shoot I was on that just went to air, we shot Alexa as the main body, my Red in the water and the new URSA or whatever its calls as the DP had won it or something and wanted to try it out. Oh and we had 35mm and 16mm film. All looked great and I cant really pick one from the other and I was there on set! Ok, maybe the film shots I can tell.

Brand recognition is massive. Even if one of these other less popular systems like Black magic or similar killed it in all your bench tests, you might still find it hard to get it over the line on a professional shoot. Maybe with a few other projects on file to draw apon as examples of what you have done with it, however as soon as there is a holdup or a delay in post it will always be compared to Arri and how easy it is. As it is, I am surprised Red gets on as many jobs as it does, considering almost every AC I work with hates it, post houses try to milk money by 'transcoding' pffft whatever which makes producers freak out.

Yes, I have a pretty safe source who suggests the mini form factor will stay and sensor upgrades will be in the pipeline. I have my eye on it and is why I am investing in the new waterhousing, assuming body wont change and when the newer sensor pops up, if its affordable (like Red) I will jump on one. With my line of work, rental houses will not insure their gear to go in the drink. Got to have one myself to really make sense. Like my Red, it will also be dry hired between my own shoots with it.

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