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New Member, In the market for a top end HD cam, also... Critique My Reel!


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#1 Nick Harris

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Posted 13 August 2007 - 10:18 PM

Hi all,

I've been working as a DP from prosumer DV to Low end HD for 4 years now. I'm finally to the point where my company is getting ready to leap into high end HD, and will soon have the money to back a purchase of one of the bigger HD cameras. I'm looking at the Sony F23 right now, but can't find any dealers or prices! I'm guessing the cam is in the $200,000 range with the Recording drive attached.

Does anybody know any high end Sony dealers, or do I haev to directly purchase form Sony... and if so, HOW?!

Secondly, I just updated the old DP reel, I'd love to hear some criticisms from you guys! Here's the link:

http://harrisfilms.c...s/dpreel_sm.mov


Take it easy,
Nick Harris
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 09:05 AM

Hi,

So, uh, where are you?

Phil
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#3 Nick Harris

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 01:35 PM

I'm in Los Angeles

Hi,

So, uh, where are you?

Phil


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#4 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 03:08 PM

I'm in Los Angeles


Bandpro are the people for the F23.
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#5 Matthew Buick

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Posted 14 August 2007 - 04:23 PM

Hi,

So, uh, where are you?

Phil


Sour Grapes, Phil?
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#6 jan von krogh

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 09:33 PM

I'm finally to the point where my company is getting ready to leap into high end HD, and will soon have the money to back a purchase of one of the bigger HD cameras. I'm looking at the Sony F23 right now, but can't find any dealers or prices! I'm guessing the cam is in the $200,000 range with the Recording drive attached.


Hi Nick,

i would recommend to have a look at the camera from red before investing $200K in the F23.
I aquired our HDCAM camera four~five years ago, was also priced over 200k with all the extras and it was an excellent decision back then.
We bought from Sony, directly.

However in 2006, we decided against upgrading our 750 to F23 (or viper or an future digital arri who one could buy) and went to red.
The camera has simply to many advantages to ignore, even for an traditional 35mm & cinealta/hdcam house as us.
100P framerate, S35 sensor, 4K resolution, light&compact, ArriPL lensmount, RAW image data, 10/12 bit colordepth, 500ASA in Progressive - the F23 has none of those creative features and technologies.
Furthermore, the red has a price in the ballpark of 20-30k$.
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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 10:02 PM

No, it just changes the best advice...

P
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#8 jan von krogh

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 06:27 PM

Hi Nick,

finally found some time to look at your reel.
I did like it - Good images, and the quality is pretty for an webstream.

With that level of jobs, let me underline this, it is really worth to have a look at the red camera if you are thinking about a F23.

However, if you need to buy now, then you could have a problem if you decide for the red camera: they are sold out until early 2008.

Other options in the market you should look at are:
Silicon Imaging 2K.
Thomson Grass Valley Viper.
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#9 Adamo P Cultraro

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 10:08 PM

To spend 200K on a Sony when RED is around the corner seems like lunacy. I'd love to know why someone would do it - serious question.
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#10 Mitch Gross

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Posted 22 August 2007 - 11:24 PM

To spend 200K on a Sony when RED is around the corner seems like lunacy. I'd love to know why someone would do it - serious question.

Um, because the Sony is a known quantity and RED isn't? How about that the vast majority of buyers for the F23 will be rental houses (at least at first) and their clients don't care how much a camera costs, just what it does for them?

That's the thing so many RED-enthusiasts don't understand: there is a vast portion of the productio market that does not care at all about the cost of any given piece of equipment. They are renters, or better yet, they are users of tools and they make their production companies pay for the equipment. All they want is the equipment they want. Period.

It's the same problem when people don't understand why many production companies choose to rent rather than own. Forgetting about support, forgetting about the next job wanting a different tool, forgetting about amortization; the fact is that most production entities are limited liability companies or partnerships (at least in the US) and for tax reasons do not want to own anything at the end of the job when they dissolve the entity. It is a liability and they want no assets--they sell the created work off to another entity and there is nothing left, which means nothing to be taxed and nothing to be sued.

There are other examples, but it gets down to the answer to "why would anybody be so dumb as to..." is generally because they know a lot of things you don't.
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#11 jan von krogh

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 12:11 PM

To spend 200K on a Sony when RED is around the corner seems like lunacy.

For Nick Harris type of work, i would agree. Anything on the showreel would benefit more of the red characteristics than from a F23.
However, it depends on the job.

Two examples: for live application with multicamera, i would probably choose hdcam over red. hdcam has intercom, intergrated wireless audio, remote etc....
Or take Battlestar Galactica: Steve McNutt uses the HDCAM Camera to colorcorrect on the set, while shooting, and a HDCAM can do this in realtime and has a human interface which can be remoted for this purpose.
Reds workflow aims more at the higher end workfow, and would introduce another step - so for him, the more expensive Sony might be the better choice. (He is using the Sony 900s btw)

I'd love to know why someone would do it - serious question.

To many reasons to list.
1) Many people, who are unqualified/emotional/underinformed in artistic and technological aspects, are indeed in leading positions of our industry - as finance can be more important than content. they often make dangerous and wrong decisions regarding tools / art, however if their program/show/movie succeeds they will happily continue that way, as the overall outcome was good and thats the only (or main) interest they have.

2) Many underinformed/pessimistic people think that red is a hoax/scam/marketing scum.

3) In fact, for larger rental houses, integrating red in their portfolio is pretty complicated and dangerous. My company, as example had had a hard time finding a pricing for red. Our hdcams are much more expensive, on the other hand, the red is the camera of the higher quality and its cheaper - so do we price it above or below hdcam? For us as lean´n´mean, small´n´smart operation, this is manageable. But now imagine you would run a larger rental house, with a stockpile of over 50 hdcams. If you would introduce 50 additional red, you would have to double your business in order to keep the hdcams running.

4) Snobs. The industry has many of them. We have customers who prefer HDCAM SR over uncompressed decklink, as they have heard that uncompressed decklink is cheap. You don´t argue with such customers. They want less quality for more money, so its ok.

5) Standards. The larger part of the business, as sad as it is, isn´t glorious full-feature aimed at cinematic release, but indeed broadcast. Especialy with very small stations (who often only have ~5 vtrs) and hige international stations (who have decided to have THE ONE STANDARD) it can be pretty difficult to deliver something they don´t know. I will never forget how one of our first digital betacam masters was refused by a geman public broadcaster - as they wanted Betacam SP and claimed that "the betacam tape is defect".

6) Good enough mentality. HDCAM has a proven trackrecord in delivering Blockbusters. From Superman to Star Wars, from Sin City to Apolcalypto. Therefore, many producers, especially the anxious ones, -know- that hdcam is good enough.

7) Education & Intelligence. Believe it or not - its not trivial to understand the benefits a red camera offers. I have come across many highly talented and experienced DoPs, who really didn´t know -anything- about D.I. and high-end colorcorrection.
Now, if you introduce them to "the waveletbased rawdata is processed via EDL by redcine, originated in FCS2 with the proxy Quicktime, and from there on we deliver log-spaced cineon dpx with Lut-files to the arrilaser" style workflows, and look deeply into their eyes, you night read four letters: "TILT".
And then there are the ones unwilling to learn and get better, defending their lifelong mediocre, but guaranteed job - and i even can understand them. for them making TV or movies isn´t emotionally important, rather simply a job. I don´t think that is intelligent, however, it is easier and less stressfull.

8) Distribution. Do not underestimate how many highly talented salesagents and resellers are working for the japanese behemonths and the european top-specialist. They know the customers, and they can be pretty convincing. I have bought several products of sony as "throw-in" deal. They knew i would need a class 1 monitor, and they knew i was thinking about buying a non-sony microphone. Now, they simply throw in the microphone. Deals like that are common in the industry, and yes even with F23s in a large scale. Think about equipping an OB-VAN, or 3, for the next Olympic Games. Panasonic and Sony will give -ultratough- competition.

These are only some points of many more.

However, back to the topic, i agree. For Nick Harris i would also recommend red. If he needs to deliver HDCAM SR, then red and a HDCAM SR VTR.
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#12 Adamo P Cultraro

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 05:22 PM

Well Mitch,

I don't rent from rental houses. I'm all done with that BS. I own all of my own stuff now.

I know it's not about the price - that's kind of irrelevant in a megabudget feature. It's about the best tool for the job at any price. And I feel that RED is a better tool (at least on paper) than what's out there - cost exempt. The price is just the icing on the cake.

I'm buying one because I can conceivably own a better cam than anyone at Fox, Paramount or Sony. It kinda levels the playing field on the equipment side, anyways.

Now when Joe poop the Ragman who does shorts and commercials writes in and had a quarter mil to drop on a camera, and he isn't Fox, Paramount, or Sony, it really begs the question "if you could get a great camera for a fraction of the price, why wouldn't you?"
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#13 Mitch Gross

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 08:46 PM

If FOR YOU it is a better camera and is cheaper, then certainly yes it is the better choice. But that isn't always the case. As for Jan's comments, he seems to believe that the only reasons that anyone would choose an F23 over a RED is politics, ignorance or stupidity. I have high hopes for RED, but this is just not true. There are merits for the different systems.
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#14 Adamo P Cultraro

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 09:03 PM

Agreed.

RED discussions need to stay as apolitical as possible.
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#15 jan von krogh

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Posted 23 August 2007 - 10:32 PM

As for Jan's comments, he seems to believe that the only reasons that anyone would choose an F23 over a RED is politics, ignorance or stupidity. I have high hopes for RED, but this is just not true. There are merits for the different systems.


Mitch, is it that hard to read?

i wrote:


However, it depends on the job.
Two examples: for live application with multicamera, i would probably choose hdcam over red. hdcam has intercom, intergrated wireless audio, remote etc....
Or take Battlestar Galactica: Steve McNutt uses the HDCAM Camera to colorcorrect on the set, while shooting, and a HDCAM can do this in realtime and has a human interface which can be remoted for this purpose.
Reds workflow aims more at the higher end workfow, and would introduce another step - so for him, the more expensive Sony might be the better choice. (He is using the Sony 900s btw)


is that to complicated to understand?
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