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I feel burned.


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#1 Joe Taylor

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 01:26 PM

People told me I'd feel better after awhile, but I still feel like George Lucas and Steve Speilberg pulled an Indiana Jones on me.

Maybe it's because I wired RED my $21,000 the day before they announced the release of all these new cameras. I was dismayed and posted what I thought of that crap over at reduser.com. The fanboys-- they jumped all over me. (What is it with the legions that type "you probably need some rest, Jim." or "you can have me, Jim." Do they think Jim Jannard is going to die and leave them something? When ever he types something, they probably look like a water balloon just exploded in their pants.

Anyhow, I've spent thousands and still need to spend several thousand more before I can really put the RED ONE to work. I simply won't have no $10,000 + to upgrade.

"Rendering obsolescence obsolete."
RED DIGITAL CINEMA

This sounded great and I jumped onboard. And man, do I feel burned.

The reason I feel burned:

A year ago RED made their ONE sound like end of Obsolescence for digital motion picture cameras. They made it clear that we could expect to purchase upgrades to keep this camera at the top. Fine. But no matter how many upgrades we make to our RED ONES, they'll always be on page 8 of RED's catalog, probably in B&W. In 9 mos. they'll be discontinued. RED did not tell us this would be the deal when they first started or I probably would not have put my deposit down last May. And if I would have know that the entry level Scarlett would surpass ONE in EVERY measure, shape, & form pre Nov. 13, I would gladly change my name to SUCKER.

December 3 (or 2nd) only made Indy's ass burn more.
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#2 Paul Bruening

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 01:43 PM

The only consolation I can offer is that many of us are 1) not RED fan boys, 2) have our personal money risked on production equipment just as you have, 3) are struggling under conditions most politely termed as "unfair". So, we sympathize. Sympathize deeply.
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#3 Richard Boddington

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 02:05 PM

Yes indeed I sympathize.

I made my first serious look in the last few days at Red, not as a purchase, but for potential use on a one off project. The DP and I actually considered buying one for the shoot for a brief time.

All I can say, and I am not at trying to rub salt in wounds that many are obviously feeling right now, is that when this concept of Red first appeared on these boards one of the main critiques from many was that because the gear is "electronic" in nature that it would go obsolete pretty quickly. Of course we where told that this would not happen with Red.

This was contrasted with film cameras that have a very long shelf life. I have used the BL3 and the BL4 on shoots with great success, and who knows how old they are exactly??

Again, I'm not trying to flame Red etc, just pointing out past history and current fact as it stands now.

On the bright side, and there is a bright side, let's say you bought a house and one month later the value dropped for some reason. If you are happy with the house, and have no plans to move, then really the change in the market is irrelevant to you. You bought what you wanted at a price you could afford and that didn't change.

Same with the Red, if you where happy with the picture and price when you bought it, that hasn't changed. It's only if you plan to sell it that it might be an issue.

I do feel sorry for the rental houses in Toronto that bought a truck load of Reds. Now they will have to listen to, "but I want to shoot on Scarlet......"


R,
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#4 Gunleik Groven

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 03:42 PM

Ouch.

So I am all of a sudden the Red Defender... :)

I see lot of issues with RED, BUT

Epic/Scalet was announced @ NAB, no surprises there
AFAIK they've been on the frontpage of RED ever since
Nov 13th, RED announced their new cams
Mysterium-X sensor this summer
Monstro in August

There IS an upgrade path for R1 for these sensors.

So... If you didn't notice any of these announcements in the meantime... well. Dunno what to say.

If that is of any comfort, I had the ROI after 1 month of use (after 1 month of testing...)

R1 is here now. Scarlet is here in a conservative year.
Do you need a cam now or in a year.

I bet you, in a year, there will be even more cams with even more amazing specs. In all price ranges.

When "all" cams are 16-bit/+8k, the signal chain will become the most important thing.

Untill then: Expect radical changes on a rather frequent basis.

In the meantime: Use your R1 or cancel your order. I'm sure RED will be helpfull if you choose to do that.

G
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#5 Joe Taylor

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 04:18 PM

Scarlett was announced as a 3k answer to the handycam market. I was not interested. Epic was a $50,000 5k system. Sounded great but way out of my league. On November 13 that all changed. Suddenly Scarlett went above and beyond the RED ONE and did it for thousands less. Yesterday's new announcements for Scarlett line and the Epic X nailed a big RED NAIL right through through their ONE. They killed the goose, so to speak.
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#6 Gunleik Groven

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 04:37 PM

Epic X nailed a big RED NAIL right through through their ONE. They killed the goose, so to speak.


Hm... You'll need a R1 even to buy an Epic-X, so I cannot really see how that killed the goose. Rather the oposite I would think. But that's just me...
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#7 Richard Boddington

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 04:41 PM

Untill then: Expect radical changes on a rather frequent basis.


You are making a very strong argument in favour of me sticking with film.

R,
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#8 Tom Lowe

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 04:49 PM

You've GOT to be kidding me. Anyone who had done 2 minutes worth of research on Red would have known months out that they were announcing new cameras on the 13th of Nov.

If you don't like your Red, sell it for a tiny loss or trade it in for $17.5K toward an Epic. Or kick in $5K and get the sensor upgraded next year.
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#9 Gunleik Groven

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 05:11 PM

You are making a very strong argument in favour of me sticking with film.

R,


A valid point.
Film has many advantages. I just happen to think ease of use and price aren't among them :)

Quality...
For many uses the R1 is "as good or better", BUT you're stuck with one "stock" and on a bandwagon with very rapid developments.
Does that make R1 bad?

In my eyes: Nope...

In yours: Dunno

The cost of the cam is lower, so the ROI should be expected quicker.
There are few mechanical parts to wear out.

I sorta like it.
It gives me freedom, compared to film.

For others, it may very well be the other way around.
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#10 Matthew Buick

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 05:25 PM

Hi Mr Taylor.

When I bought my HV30 a few months back I noticed it for sale few days later for $125 less. I know it's not on the same level, but if you're happy with what you paid back when you bought it why shouldn't you be now? It won't be any less of a great camera.

Edited by Matthew Buick, 03 December 2008 - 05:27 PM.

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#11 Matthew Rogers

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 05:40 PM

Here's the thing, in the correct hands, a R1 can make stunning images. Just because the Epic will come out the end of next summer (which will probably be closer to next winter) doesn't mean the R1 won't still make amazing images. Yes, you won't be able to charge as much for it, but it also might put it in the slightly smaller budget realm that there seem to be more and more jobs for. Even then, an extra $10,500 in a year from now isn't that bad. If you can't make good money off of a RED now, then you probably would not be able to make enough money to justify an Epic in a year. Plus, who has beta cameras that are still making them money? I've had at least three jobs this year that requested beta! That's a 15+ year old technology that's still being used.

Matthew
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#12 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 05:52 PM

I remember the cost of buying a brand new Digibeta camera reducing in price by 50% in the UK.

The only thing that can be said is that the RED ONE will still be able to function and the cost of computing is always dropping. It may not be obsolescent, in that will be capable of producing images suitable for professional use, but it won't be the latest toy once the new models come out. I guess that applies to all computers, however, most can still run for years in offices around the world but perhaps not play the latest computer games.
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#13 Edgar Dubrovskiy

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 05:57 PM

Will Scarlett make us better cinematographers?
I know this is a pathetic argument, but it just seems so strange how a lot of cinematographers are slowly becoming camera techincians.

Just IMHO.
Love, peace, etc.
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#14 Richard Boddington

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 07:58 PM

Here's the thing, in the correct hands, a R1 can make stunning images. Just because the Epic will come out the end of next summer (which will probably be closer to next winter) doesn't mean the R1 won't still make amazing images. Yes, you won't be able to charge as much for it, but it also might put it in the slightly smaller budget realm that there seem to be more and more jobs for. Even then, an extra $10,500 in a year from now isn't that bad. If you can't make good money off of a RED now, then you probably would not be able to make enough money to justify an Epic in a year. Plus, who has beta cameras that are still making them money? I've had at least three jobs this year that requested beta! That's a 15+ year old technology that's still being used.

Matthew


And a year after the Epic comes out what will it be worth when it's replaced by the latest and greatest, and so on and so on.....

It's Russian Roulette with video cameras and your wallet. You might win as you squeeze in enough projects with your new gear to pay for it before the video camera is once again proclaimed "yesterday's" technology.

Or you might not ;)

Problem is that the video camera makers, all of them, don't make much money if you hang onto your gear for five years. They want you to buy new stuff every two months!!

R,
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#15 John Sprung

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Posted 03 December 2008 - 09:02 PM

It's Russian Roulette with video cameras and your wallet. You might win as you squeeze in enough projects with your new gear to pay for it before the video camera is once again proclaimed "yesterday's" technology.

That's an important part of the value that rental companies bring to the table. They take the risks on obsolescence, and eat the depreciation.




-- J.S.
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#16 Keith Walters

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Posted 04 December 2008 - 06:14 AM

The bottom line is that if you're another Steven Seagull who makes movies/programs to a strict formula, and they have a predictable and reliable market, and you've set yourself up with the proper post-produciton equipment, well yes, you could probably keep churning out profitable movies for decades with your Red Ones.

But most people do not have that luxury; they have to attract highly intermittent "passing trade" who possibly due to experience, possibly due to ignorance, tend to want to rent the latest model video camera. If you want to stay in business, (unless you have an incredibly loyal customer base), you have no choice but to upgrade. And compared to the cost of even the most basic RED Post solution, for people on a more sound financial footing the cost difference between a RED one and an EPIC is going to be small change, because for what it is, the (proposed!) Epic is still a damned cheap camera! But not cheap enough for a lot of the RED One punters who clearly thought entry to the road to riches cost only $17,500.

In the early 1990s you couldn't give tube Betacams away, even though they were still perfectly capable cameras and only a couple of years old, everybody went to the companies who had SP/CCD Betacams. But before too long they were losing rentals to the new "all-in-one" Betacams. And so on and so on.

With a film camera, everybody gets the same upgrades for free, via Fuji/Kodak.

Edited by Keith Walters, 04 December 2008 - 06:16 AM.

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#17 Chris Kenny

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 06:16 AM

All I can say, and I am not at trying to rub salt in wounds that many are obviously feeling right now, is that when this concept of Red first appeared on these boards one of the main critiques from many was that because the gear is "electronic" in nature that it would go obsolete pretty quickly. Of course we where told that this would not happen with Red.

This was contrasted with film cameras that have a very long shelf life. I have used the BL3 and the BL4 on shoots with great success, and who knows how old they are exactly??


First let's look at this from a rental house perspective. Why do rental houses even bother to carry digital stuff if they have to replace it all the time? Well, precisely because it gets replaced more often, digital equipment can be (and is) rented out for a higher percentage of its purchase price. Let's assume a rental house buys a film camera and a digital camera, both for $20K. The film camera goes our for a 1% daily rate (generally considered an industry standard for long-lived equipment), while the digital camera goes out for a 4.5% daily rate (which is about what a Red One camera body goes out for at present from an established rental house -- the rate is even a little higher for a package with the EVF, Red Drives, etc. because it's higher on many of the accessories than on the camera itself). Now, let's assume each camera goes out for one rental day a week. That's $900/week, or $46.8K in revenue a year for the digital camera, and $200/week, or $10.4K a year for the film camera.

This means even if the film camera lasts forever, the digital camera has to be replaced every single year, and the latest super-hot ultra-hyped digital camera only rents with the same frequency as the 30 year-old film camera, the rental house still makes over twice as much money every year from digital rentals.

OK, now let's look at this from the perspective of an organization that produces in-house projects. Let's say all the costs associated with shooting, processing and scanning 35mm film for a feature (ending up with 2K or 4K DPX files) come to $50K (which is, obviously, really low). This means if you can buy, outright, a new Red camera package (minus lenses and other reusable accessories, obviously) for every single film you shoot and still save money over shooting on 35mm. If this organization happens to produce, say, four films a year, and replaces $40K worth of digital equipment every 18 months, the per-project cost comes out to around $7K.

So... I'm unclear who exactly Red's aggressive upgrading is hurting. People who bought the camera and haven't been able to effectively generate income with it? That sounds more like a problem with some specific businesses than anything Red is causing or could possibly prevent.
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#18 Matthew Parnell

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 07:56 AM

Lets look at this from a business perspective.

Red's business model is to sell cameras at a significantly lower margin than other manufacturers(ie Sony, Aaton, Arri). Which means to make a significant profit they need to sell in high quantities. Not only that, but to sustain that profit, in what is a fairly small market they have to sell in high quantities continuously.

Because of Reds price point, they are continuously approaching market saturation. Cameras are a single sale item, you buy it once, then you have it until it breaks down, or you decide to upgrade. Meaning that to sell continuously in high quantities they need to continuously release new products, product upgrades, etc.

Its just business. And ultimately it COULD be very good for development of motion picture technology.

However, at present, with what appears to be the growing trend with manufacturers like Red is a lack of: stability, continuity of standards, compatibility and flexibility that we have now in the choice of film cameras. On film you can shoot the same scene on a Panaflex Millenium, an Arri 435, and a Moviecam camera with the same stock and have very few worries about it matching in post. With digital to achieve a matched look without any worries you're locked into one brand, one sensor, one codec, which might not be the best thing for the job.

In terms of look, sensitivity, and image, the new filmstock is inevitably going to be the codec and sensor.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if one day there is a standardized body consisting of a standardized sensor mount and standardized hardware, that is compatable with all manufacturers? Only then we will have the flexibility of choice, and reliability(driven by competition) that a film camera and filmstock affords us AND the advantages that this kind of technological development brings.

Technological development is good, but without standardization it can also compromise the ability of the DOP to deliver the best results for the story they are telling. Which is really what we are all in it for.
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#19 Stephen Williams

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 08:43 AM

That's $900/week, or $46.8K in revenue a year for the digital camera, and $200/week, or $10.4K a year for the film camera.


Hi Chris,

I suspect that with the no of RED One cameras sold, the no of people who will need to rent will fall to zero fairly quickly, so whilst it may have been historically possible, future rental returns will be less.
If your shooting a feature I don's see any advantage in using a RED One or Epic over a Scarlet S35 costing $7000 or in many cases over a 2/3 Scarlet costing rather less.

Stephen
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#20 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 06 December 2008 - 09:15 AM

Hi Chris,

I suspect that with the no of RED One cameras sold, the no of people who will need to rent will fall to zero fairly quickly, so whilst it may have been historically possible, future rental returns will be less.
If your shooting a feature I don's see any advantage in using a RED One or Epic over a Scarlet S35 costing $7000 or in many cases over a 2/3 Scarlet costing rather less.

Stephen


It could be that the market will be for renting the lenses, which are going to cost a lot more than the camera "brain"

Although the Birger mount, software controlled stills lens approach will be of interest to those shooting on lower budgets and believe that they couldn't afford the more expensive cine lens even on a rental. Not forgetting the culture that some people have to own everything rather than rent.
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