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investment in s16 with HD s such as RED announced


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#1 thomas-english

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 07:46 AM

I have posted this in the 16mm forum for good reason. I really only want people that shoot regularly on s16 to respond including many of my dop friends from london and stateside that understand the s16 / HDcam bussiness market.

I am seriously considering upgrading my sr2 kit to an aaton xtr prod (possibly and xtera) . I am having serious dificulties charging more than £150 /day for an sr2 kit (inc. grip / lenses) mostly because it s a well known student camera and there are people out there with them "knocking about" willing to let them out for that. With a modern looking xtr prod I reckon I can hop that up to a reasonable £450 /day.

All of my dop work is on lower budget music videos. I am not that interested in competing on big jobs because many of the dop s I would be competing with are very good clients of mine as a steadicam op. I am however enjoying a kick back to s16 on low low budget jobs. If you shoot a crap promo with rubbish art department on s16 it looks great, do that on HD and it looks crap.

So with the advent of the RED coming out, are any of you guys still investing in s16? would you spend £10 grand on new kit right now?

MovieTech in london are buying more s16 kit. Arri have bought out a 416 (but they don t really have a choice but to bring out a new camera considering their massive RnD infrastructure, it would be foolish to base industry projections on their optimism) . Axis films have buying more HD cameras and have no plans on investing in s16. ICE films have just bought a load of sony HD s.

BBC are reneging on their not shooting on s16 rule.

Does anyone have any more insider news about what companies such as panavision UK are doing or take2 ?

Please only people that shoot regularly on s16 respond to this post. I really don t want this to turn into a film versus video debate. i just want to do a survey on how people in the s16 market will be spending their money in the next 2 years.
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#2 Mark Williams

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 09:18 AM

I have posted this in the 16mm forum for good reason. I really only want people that shoot regularly on s16 to respond including many of my dop friends from london and stateside that understand the s16 / HDcam bussiness market.

I am seriously considering upgrading my sr2 kit to an aaton xtr prod (possibly and xtera) . I am having serious dificulties charging more than £150 /day for an sr2 kit (inc. grip / lenses) mostly because it s a well known student camera and there are people out there with them "knocking about" willing to let them out for that. With a modern looking xtr prod I reckon I can hop that up to a reasonable £450 /day.

All of my dop work is on lower budget music videos. I am not that interested in competing on big jobs because many of the dop s I would be competing with are very good clients of mine as a steadicam op. I am however enjoying a kick back to s16 on low low budget jobs. If you shoot a crap promo with rubbish art department on s16 it looks great, do that on HD and it looks crap.

So with the advent of the RED coming out, are any of you guys still investing in s16? would you spend £10 grand on new kit right now?

MovieTech in london are buying more s16 kit. Arri have bought out a 416 (but they don t really have a choice but to bring out a new camera considering their massive RnD infrastructure, it would be foolish to base industry projections on their optimism) . Axis films have buying more HD cameras and have no plans on investing in s16. ICE films have just bought a load of sony HD s.

BBC are reneging on their not shooting on s16 rule.

Does anyone have any more insider news about what companies such as panavision UK are doing or take2 ?

Please only people that shoot regularly on s16 respond to this post. I really don t want this to turn into a film versus video debate. i just want to do a survey on how people in the s16 market will be spending their money in the next 2 years.

Its to early to say what the red can do as its not out yet. The demo film showed it had a limited latitude and there may be other issues.

Its one of those things where you need to wait and see.
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#3 Mitch Gross

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 12:54 PM

I think there is good life left yet for Super-16. The drop in cost of DI posting has led to an upsurge in S-16 shooting, and many productions rely on the format for HD deliverable. It is a question of business model, but I don't think you'd be buying a boat anchor, at least not for a good few years.
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#4 Dan Goulder

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Posted 06 July 2007 - 01:04 PM

New, upgraded video cameras are constantly being introduced. "Revolutionary" is more of a marketing term than anything else. Both video and film have coexisted for decades, and will continue to do so for quite some time. If you want film look, I'd recommend a film camera.
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#5 Adam Thompson

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 02:19 AM

Super16 will be around for a long time. The RED cam, for example, still has many hoops to go through. It's actually a large camera outfit and is more bulky and weighs more when kitted up than an Aaton, believe it or not. I was actually kinda shocked when I picked it up. I know it will vary but it's not a compact cam. I had the same feeling when I picked up the new Canon HD (whatever it's called that's replacing the XL's). That thing is huge and heavy and costs $9000... for HDV? Weird for a format that will be dead in a couple years. (yet another dead video format)

The RED's post workflow has even more hoops to tackle. It will take a few years at least for editors and post houses to accept or work with it regularly. It's also not the answer to everything by any stretch. The look of the promo I saw in Vegas is very synthetic and overly clean to me. Surely good for many shows, and surely not for many as well. I bet 2K will be the norm on it for a long time.

After the hype settles down, a lot of producers will likely want film again just like they have done with the HD trend. Sure video will take over in many ways, but in others it won't. Many indie directors will surely want film if they can afford the (not that much) extra it will cost to use film. Look at TV now in the US. HD pretty much screams cheap and lots of them are still shot on film because of that, and that's for a TV screen.
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#6 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 12:29 PM

> would you spend £10 grand on new kit right now?

Hell no.

I have a personal philosophy against owning camera kit. Kit does not buy you work and it devalues like nothing on earth.

Furthermore, arguments about their relative merits aside, I would not invest in film when the writing is so clearly on the wall, especially for things like music videos.

And finally, will this XTR really give you any better ability than the SR2? No. So what's the point?

Phil
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#7 thomas-english

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 01:05 PM

No extra image improvements but extra ability?....

adjustable shutter.

variable framerate without having to attach a massive heavy unit that wobbles to it

better video tap

lighterweight for use in things like the mk-v AR

a body that does not look like it was sitting on the front of a german tank 50 years ago. We all know how important image is in this industry.

I agree with not owning kit in the video industry but I think film camera s and grip it s more than fine. i don t want to "buy" work but I do want to do little freebies and my own little bits without having to be constantly on the blag.

The aaton xtr prod is beautiful .....

Edited by thomas-english, 11 July 2007 - 01:10 PM.

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#8 Martin Yernazian

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Posted 11 July 2007 - 08:56 PM

Dude I just spend 5 grand on a new S 16 cam, an eclair NPR
http://flickr.com/photos/18373832@N00/
and let me telll I just book 5 new jobs that will allow me to buy even more gear,


my advise, trsut your gut



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#9 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 05:03 PM

I'm about to drop around 30G on an SR2 with a set of Primes. It's not, for me, about buying work or anything else, but rather about owning a camera which is totally mine for my use whenever I want. I don't think film will ever really "die," and, if anything it will form, perhaps, an "elite" look which many productions will strive for. The trust your gut advice is the best I've ever heard. But, also, look at it this way; can you afford to throw that money away without any reservations? If you can, then do so. For me, I just got lucky enough to get as big check via bad circumstances (death in family,) and as my dad worked in the industry for many years, I figured the best way to spend that money would be on something which will allow me to at least do my own work for many years.
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#10 Logan Schneider

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 05:46 PM

Firstly, I believe that the safest investment right now is glass. I know that RED is coming out with lenses, but to get fast lenses with a good range, there are certain supply costs that cannot be avoided in terms of quality glass. Also, with all these people about to have PL mount cameras, they will be in short supply (they already are) and thus retain most if not all of their value.

Secondly, I understand the desire for a newer, sexier camera. I have an SR3, and it gets much more respect than an SR2 or an XTR+. The video tap is better (great for clients), the variable shutter adds an whole different paintbrush to my arsenal. When it comes to Super16, that makes a difference. Also, having the speed control built in is a big plus. The only SR2 that I would want to use is the high speed or the P+S technic "SR 2.9". As for the Prod, it's a great camera and the xTerra upgrade is relatively affordable if you decide you need it.

I think that if you think that it will push your work and reputation further then do it, but make sure that it is financially feasible. Make sure that you have good glass in the package though. In the end, all the camera features in the world won't help if your glass isn't good.

Owning a camera has been very good for me, and though I understand the reservations stated here and in other posts, I wish you the best of luck if you decide to take the plunge.

PS: Make sure you consider increased maintenance and insurance costs.
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#11 Martin Yernazian

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 07:41 PM

Logan you are completely right, That is the next thing that I will be getting

What you think of a nice set of Optar Illumina ?
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#12 Logan Schneider

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Posted 12 July 2007 - 11:33 PM

I haven't used the Illuminas, but I have heard good things. One thing to keep in mind is who you will be renting to. If the camera will be coming with you most of the time, it doesn't matter so much what you are shooting as long as it looks good to you. If you will be renting to other DPs it might be better to go with a set of Ziess Mark II superspeeds because of the name recognition and the fact that DPs know them and are comfortable with them. However, I do understand the price difference and the Illuminas have a lot to offer for their price.
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#13 Martin Yernazian

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 04:24 AM

I won't rent my cam man, I buy the gear for my own projects or those that I produce, but everything is for my productions
I know people will think this is not good, but I'm building myself on my own way, my own projects

But thanks for the advice


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#14 jan von krogh

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 07:05 PM

i would recommend to wait some months, if possible.

one important reason is that the introduction of red might change the 16mm camera pricing.
the prices on 16mm will not raise to much. however, if red starts delivering ~700 cameras a month you might be able to find a better deal for 16mm gear.
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#15 Nate Downes

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 10:43 PM

Yes I would, and I'll tell you why:

Because I can buy a 1920's B&H Filmo and get it into shape for modern motion picture production.

I can't do that with the Red, or any video camera.

Purchasing a film camera effectively future-proofs me. My Filmo produces better results today than it did when it was made, because of the leaps in lens technology and the leaps in film technology. While you can get better lenses for the Red in the future in theory, the camera will be unable to take advantage of them as the system remains the same. No magically more dense pixel array. No better color fidelity. It comes from the factory as good as it will ever be. With a film camera, the future is wide open. New filmstocks give you new options for the same old camera that might occupy a back shelf of your closet.
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#16 jan von krogh

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 11:08 PM

Purchasing a film camera effectively future-proofs me. My Filmo produces better results today than it did when it was made, because of the leaps in lens technology and the leaps in film technology. While you can get better lenses for the Red in the future in theory, the camera will be unable to take advantage of them as the system remains the same. No magically more dense pixel array. No better color fidelity. It comes from the factory as good as it will ever be. With a film camera, the future is wide open. New filmstocks give you new options for the same old camera that might occupy a back shelf of your closet.


Surely you missed that the Red One camera (just as example) is modular and upgradeable. That includes the sensor, which, without any doubt isn´t a 16mm, but a 35mm challenger at least.

Just have a look at red at iso8000, no mistyping, 8000, not 800:
http://www.reduser.n...read.php?t=3215

Regarding the bright future and evolution of filmnegatives and stock:
"Soon, I'm not going to be answering questions about film because I won't know. It will be too small for me to get involved."
Antonio Perez, CEO Kodak.

Bottomline is: If you are interested in a brandnew 16 or a upgraded 16mm - wait.
If Red is such a sucess as some expect, 16mm cameras will quite a bit drop in price, and a red kit might be wort considering.
If red fails, 16mm prices won´t change too much.
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#17 Logan Schneider

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 12:03 AM

I don't think that the prices for top notch Super 16mm gear will drop significantly even if RED is a success right out of the gate. Maybe you'll be able to find SR1 and 2 and LTRs for cheaper, but if you have work coming, then the work should make up any difference that waiting for a price drop will provide. Because you are buying a camera PACKAGE, most of it won't lose value because you can keep using everything but the body when you decide to move on from film.

I have all of the components that my camera needs that are specific to that camera. Except for maintenance, I probably will buy no more SR3 pieces. But when I do buy a RED or BLUE or BIEGE or whatever the next camera they come up with is called that I decide I would rather shoot with, I'll still have my Lenses, Matteboxes, follow focus, sticks, head, filters, etc.

Film is future proof. Film cameras are not. Accessories are forever, like diamonds, except made of plastic in Germany.

PS: Martin, if you are the only one using your camera, go for the Illuminas and best of luck. Probably no one will know the difference in the final product, and you'll be able to use them for years.
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#18 Martin Yernazian

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 01:13 AM

Thanks Man
I want to get a kit of lenses that could much any proffessional work out there, are they as sharp as people say?
I have never seen footage with them and I really want to check them out?

Any movies that they have used them ?

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#19 Nate Downes

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 10:23 AM

You know, this is pointless. These guys have already decided that "Red rulz S16 droolz" despite any arguements to the contrary. They came here to troll and to behave poorly, and in poor taste. Sure, the RED is an interesting camera, and it gives a look that would be handy for some projects.... but it's limited to those projects. There are situations where the Red is ill-suited, too heavy, or just does not give the cost advantage, but don't bother mentioning that to these guys. To them, the Red is the end-all be-all of cameras. Me, I'll use it when I can have it integrate with my system, which looks to be years off if ever due to the lack of hard information coming out of the RED guys. Come on guys, REDCODE needs to be open, or nobody profits.
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#20 Robert Hughes

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 11:26 AM

I think the question about the future of s16 versus RED is similar to the question of sailboats versus powerboats. Certainly the latest Evinrude 600HP monster can make a vessel go faster than a sail will; so what? They are different formats for different purposes.

s16 won't fail anytime soon; as Nate said, you can convert a $100 Filmo into an s16 camera and shoot in places you'd never dare take a $17,000 toy like RED. Or you can buy a new Aaton or Arri s16 camera, or rent it, or shoot 35, or Super8, or HDCAM, or VHS, or any of a dozen other formats. The market is too mature; no one product can demolish all that has existed before it.

How many times does this bear repeating; RED has amazing hype, but no substance. When it finally gets out of the lab, RED won't fail; it'll be fine. And 2 months later, JVC will offer a similar package for 1/8 the price; that's what I'll be waiting for.

As for the CEO of Kodak not having time for film, that may help explain why Kodak is in the organizational mess it is. It's like having the CEO of Pepsi Cola running Apple Computer; we all remember how well that worked out.
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