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RED 4k or Cinealta F900


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#1 Bogomil Roussev

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 04:02 PM

Hello,
I am actually a new member. We have production house and we start shooting a series. The main producer wants to buy new camera and i am making a small research.
I compared red 4k to Cinealta and i can not understand why Sony /HD/ is more expensive than Red /4k!/?
I think you will ask what is the final product? And the answer is: HDTV
So can you help me what to choose for our production?
Thanks in advance ;)
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#2 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 05:25 PM

There seems to be a number of factors as to why the RED is cheaper. The RED uses IT technology, which so doesn't have the costs of a high performance VTR and you buy directly from RED, so that there aren't any dealers and the distribution costs of a large organisation like Sony.

The RED uses a 35mm sized sensor that outputs RAW, while the f900 uses 3 x 2/3" chips recorded as HD video. In a PAL country you've also got the option of the cheaper Sony HDVW750 or 790. If you require immediate delivery, the Sony is the camera to go for, there's a delay of delivery on REDs of a few months. Remember also the $17,500 often mentioned is only part of the cost, $30,000 appears to be closer, plus the lenses.

Other cameras to consider would be the SI-2K, the new Sony XDCAM HD 4:2:2 camera, plus the Panasonic offerings.

I think you should also decide on the type of post workflow you need, because these cameras are different. The RED is currently still a work in progress with upgrades happening all the time.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 May 2008 - 06:20 PM

Well, RED sort of broke the traditional pricing structure for digital cine cameras, so the real question is why is the RED so cheap more than why is the Sony so expensive. The Sony F900 pricing was in line with their professional 50i/60i Digital Betacam and 50i/60i HDCAM products of the late 1990's, early 2000 -- a bump up in price from those products, being a more advanced multi-format pro 1080P HD camera. Sony's sales of the F900 is part of a huge line-up of products scaled for different markets, so the price is not necessarily an indication of the cost of manufacturing.

But even so, the fact that the F900 has a built-in pro HD tape VTR is part of the price difference -- the RED is a data camera, not a videotape camera.

First question is really what do you need the camera for, a one-time shoot of limited duration or a long-term shoot or multiple shoots over a long duration? If all you need is a camera over the weekend for rental, then the price of ownership is less of an issue compared to the deal you can make for renting the item.

And then the next question is what are your deliverables and how fast do you need them? Is this a commercial spot where you are expected to turn over a tape at the end of the day? A short film to be posted over a couple of months? How do you plan on doing the post production?

You say "HDTV" but what does that mean specifically? What HDTV market is this for? Either camera makes HDTV pictures if you need that, but the RED footage requires a conversion step in post.
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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 12 May 2008 - 04:35 PM

Since you're in Bulgaria and your final product is HDTV, also look at the Sony F-750. It's similar to the 900's, but set up exclusively for the PAL/SECAM 50 Hz market. The Sony cameras have been in the field for a while, so you might also consider a used one. Red is quite new, so there won't be as many used ones available as Sonys. Post infrastructure and tech support also weigh in favor of Sony for use in Bulgaria.




-- J.S.
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