Jump to content


Photo

Red vs Alexa with 1:235 aspect ratio


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 Mike BeresfordJones

Mike BeresfordJones

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Sydney

Posted 11 March 2011 - 01:39 AM

Hi, I am about to start prepping for my first feature and the Director has expressed and interest in shooting 1:235 aspect ratio. For budget reasons we are shooting on RedMX or possibly Alexa proRes 4444. I was wondering if anyone could shed any light on the pros and pitfalls of this scenario.As far as I can work out the Alexa route is with Hawk 1.3 anamorphic's which is very costly and so not really an option.
With the Red we could either crop with primes and get the faster lens speed and resulting resolution loss, or shoot 2x anamorphic squeeze with slower lenses and a heavier lighting bill but better resolution. Am I right so far?
The other option would be to shoot 1:185. So here the problem is between Red raw and prores 4444. Anyone got any advice here? Does proRes 4444 give the same sort of latitude as Red raw with a higher ISO rating.
If anyone could share any experiences or advice on these questions I would be very grateful.
  • 0

#2 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 11 March 2011 - 01:50 AM

The main difference is resolution -- Apple ProRes 4444 from the Alexa is 1920 x 1080 and probably resolves 1.6K-ish, whereas the M-X Red One can record up to 4.5K RAW, which would work out to be better than 3.5K-ish in measurable resolution. Cropping either to 2.35 isn't going to change the horizontal resolution.

The Alexa has slightly more latitude and sensitivity, but the Red beats it on resolution, so you have to decide how much that matters to you. ProRes 4444 is fast and easy to post but whether it's easier to color-correct compared to transcoded RAW depends on who is doing the color-correction.

You should do a test for scope projection and see for yourself. If you are shooting 2.35, it sort of implies you want it to be very detailed on the big screen so try to see any tests in a theater.
  • 0

#3 Mike BeresfordJones

Mike BeresfordJones

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Sydney

Posted 11 March 2011 - 02:05 AM

Thanks for the response David. How about cropping vs 2x anamorphic squeeze?
I will be doing tests in week or so but would love to get as much feedback from any ones experiences as I can before then.
  • 0

#4 Ruairi Robinson

Ruairi Robinson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 279 posts
  • Director
  • Los Angeles

Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:23 AM

Thanks for the response David. How about cropping vs 2x anamorphic squeeze?
I will be doing tests in week or so but would love to get as much feedback from any ones experiences as I can before then.



Don't think Alexa has anamorphic support enabled yet.

R.
  • 0

#5 John Sprung

John Sprung
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4635 posts
  • Other

Posted 11 March 2011 - 03:58 AM

Definitely shoot some resolution charts, horizontal, vertical, and diagonal, 30 to maybe 60 or 70 line pairs per mm. Test at the range of f/stops you'll actually be using, and the same lenses you might rent. Especially with anamorphics on the Red, it may be that the lenses are the limiting factor on resolution, the weakest link in the chain.





-- J.S.
  • 0

#6 georg lamshöft

georg lamshöft
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 310 posts
  • Berlin

Posted 11 March 2011 - 04:53 AM

Ask yourself: what's important for the project, where are your priorities?

Resolution


When you can pay for a complete 4k workflow, the RED will give a little bit resolution beyond HD. When modern anamorphic lenses like Hawk (1.3x or 2x) are not affordable, you should rather stick with good spherical designs (like Zeiss UP) - cheap anamorphics are not really sharp off-axis.

Anamorphic look

The only reason to choose cheap anamorphic lenses, IMHO.

Filmic vs. Digital

ALEXA looks very "filmic" - noise, lack of artifacts, dynamic range, colors and transition. If 35mm is impossible but would be the ideal choice, ALEXA might be the best "replacement".
But when you like the RED-look, go with it.

Have you thought about 35mm 2perf? The cheapest way to surpass HD.

Workflow

ALEXA is quick, reliable, sturdy and ergonomic but recording RAW might be more expensive - you propably have to stick with ProRes even if it limits the full potencial of the ARRI.
  • 0

#7 Mike BeresfordJones

Mike BeresfordJones

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Sydney

Posted 11 March 2011 - 05:10 AM

Thanks all. Great info here. Sorry I should have said its a toss up between Cooke S4s and a crop or the Hawk V series anamorphics. Also, I will be shooting a lot of low key "noir" looking scenes.
John I will follow your advice re charts. Thanks.
  • 0

#8 Joseph White

Joseph White
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 143 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 22 March 2011 - 01:04 PM

I just finished two back-to-back movies on the ALEXA - one on SxS cards in Prores 4444 and one on HDCAM SR on a Sony deck, and both were shot 2.35:1 - images came out great, and even though we couldn't shoot anamorphic, the image quality was pretty astounding. Another factor is your locations and conditions - I've shot numerous things on REDs in hot, humid, or extremely cold environments and had problems - we were shooting all over the jungles in Singapore during monsoon season and we were never down. This might not be a huge consideration for you, but the ALEXA overall just seems so much more durable, if that's a concern.
  • 0

#9 Gunleik Groven

Gunleik Groven
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 117 posts
  • Camera Operator

Posted 22 March 2011 - 07:37 PM

I'd suggest you check my test...

Cheers!

G
  • 0


Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

Metropolis Post

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

The Slider

Opal

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

Visual Products

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

CineLab

Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Abel Cine

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

CineTape

Wooden Camera

Opal

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

Glidecam

The Slider