Well, yesterday actually did feel a little like Christmas between Avid, Canon and Red’s announcements. I mentioned Avid already but I can’t resist (like most everyone else) talking about the cameras we don’t have yet. The Canon 300C (or is that the Chrysler? Ah well, we won’t remember next week anyway) and the phantom, infamous Red Scarlet- which seems like half of my 1300 or so Twitter followers went and put their deposits on last night.
We can all probably agree that Scarlet pretty much made Canon a non-contender. And I’m far from being a Red lover. In fact, I’m hesitant to ever get one out of fear that I’ll be associated with the likes of those found on RedUser. Anyway, I’ll take a look at a couple of things regarding Red. Or rather, I’ll give my opinions.
I’m a doc guy. Most of what I do is in third world countries, spending time bouncing around in vans, filming in weird and not ideal locations for projects destined for the projection screen at a conference or the web. I want a small footprint, to use available light and come away with some nice looking stuff at the highest captured quality I can get (within reason). But I don’t need anything more than 1080. I said *need* not *want* Regardless of resolution, Scarlet fits that bill. I wrote this post in 2009! And for the most part, save for the funny “if only” moments, it still rings true. I think the Scarlet will make an awesome doc cam.
Things that concern me are namely storage space and reliability. Can you shoot 1080 in something other than RAW? if not, how much space is required at what cost? How does it hold up in humidity, heat and dirty? The cost of the medium and performance in undesirable conditions is yet to be proven. I don’t know of anyone yet who’s used an Epic in a run ‘n gun format in the desert or jungle or arctic.
However, once those things are proven, I think it could be a great cam for doc work. I’m going to keep my current rig for a while though. I can trust it and rely on it. I’ve used it when my EX1 and Cinedeck sweated more than me and I’ve seen the results of capturing directly to 10bit 422. Even at 1080 from a 1/2″ sensor the results just make me giggle. So it meets 99.9% of my needs and I certainly don’t feel anything is lacking with a 1/2″ sensor over a 35. Both pieces of gear are large though which is my only and rather small complaint. I can still pack everything in my Cinebags backpack with two batteries and charges for each piece of gear.
Prudence tells me to wait and see how this thing fares in the wild. If there are issues, will they be resolved quickly? I’ve heard a fare number of horror stories from the Epic and the Red One never really was out of beta. And the greatest question of all? Will it actually ship?