Jump to content


Photo

Which option to choose: FS700 vs. Red One


  • Please log in to reply
27 replies to this topic

#1 Andre Hansen

Andre Hansen

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 13 May 2014 - 08:54 AM

Hi

 

In July I am filming my first feature-length film as DoP. I am a bit conflicted at the moment because I have two camera-solutions available. I think we will be filming in RAW no matter what.

 

Options:

 

1. Red One

+ We can borrow it for free

+ Films in RAW + good prores options for compressed recording

+ Free Schneider-optics with primarily F/ 2.8

- Heavy and rather problematic to use for handheld

 

2. FS700

+ The 1st camera assistant is the one renting us the camera so he is good with it

+ Comes with the Odyssey7Q-recorder which grants us the possibility to film in RAW and output in prores instead of AVCHD

+ Comes with a speedboster that adds an extra stop of light

+/- Comes with cheaper (but well-reviewed) Samyang-lenses with a T/ 1.5 + 1.8 (28mm + 85 mm)

+ Easy to use for handheld shots

- Is expensive to rent for the production to rent

 

Problems:

1. We have a steady-rig available for a cheap rent but it only works with the FS700 as the RED One is too heavy

2. The Schneider-lenses are way sharper (right?)

3. We need to be very mobile on set and don't have a lot of time to rebuild the camera (which I fear with the RED One)

4. We are filming mostly exterior and have a lot of night-shots (half of the film) so the FS700 with low T-stop + speedboster is very smart under those conditions!

 

 

Is it worth renting the FS700 when we have a free RED One available? Is the RED One as problematic to work with as people say? Can I use it handheld all day?

 

We have a professional colorist and professional editing suits for post-production. We have about 20 TB of storage room during the production.

 


  • 0

#2 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11941 posts
  • Other

Posted 13 May 2014 - 09:15 AM

The biggest problem with Red is the attitude of the company, and I would hesitate to hang a big production on their products simply because I'd be worried about support. I have managed to avoid having to shoot anything very serious on Red but their reputation from a reliability point of view is no secret. I would have vastly more confidence in the FS700 as a camera and Sony as a supplier.

 

Also, of course, if you're renting, if it breaks, the rental place will send you another one.

 

An FS700 with the RX5 recorder on the back and a better EVF, mattebox, rods, follow focus etc. is likely to approach the rigging complexity of the Red, although I suspect - and obviously this is very dependent on how you rig it - FS700 will be somewhat lighter. Unless you must have raw, or you need the slow motion, consider just putting a ProRes recorder on an FS700. I have done this a lot and the results can be very good.

 

Check that the proposed kit actually includes everything you need in both cases. You cannot, in all seriousness, really operate off the monitor on the back of an FS700 - both cameras will need good EVFs.

 

The only other thing about the FS700 is to make damn sure the assignable buttons on the right side of the body are either programmed in a way you fully understand, or programmed to harmless functions that don't affect the recorded image, as they're too numerous and too easy to hit.

 

From what I've seen the problem with Samyang is not so much sharpness as consistency of look.

 

Will update with any further streams of consciousness as they appear.

 

P


  • 1

#3 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 13 May 2014 - 11:33 AM

Honestly, in your case, I would think about the RED if only because you can take the savings on the rental and put it into important things like good crew, and lighting.

I love the Sonys though the one isn't that bad now a days--- though can be a bit annoying.

 

This isn't to say the FS isn't a great camera, I think that it is, and I'm just looking at things pragmatically.


  • 0

#4 Michael LaVoie

Michael LaVoie
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 719 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 13 May 2014 - 04:10 PM

Supposing the 1st A.C. is no longer available, quits or gets fired, you've lost your camera package. If you're renting.  Go for an F55.  4K RAW  to AXS with no hiccups or issues.  Even 4K XAVC onboard  looks stunning.  I just DP'd a 4 day shoot with it.  Was really impressed with the camera.  FS700 is nice but the F55 is definitely a better choice.


  • 0

#5 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11941 posts
  • Other

Posted 13 May 2014 - 05:47 PM

Yes, in much the same way that a Ferrari Enzo is a better choice than, say, a Nissan Micra.

 

There must be some other factor at play here - can't think for a second what it is.

 

P


  • 2

#6 Michael LaVoie

Michael LaVoie
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 719 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 13 May 2014 - 06:03 PM

Yes, in much the same way that a Ferrari Enzo is a better choice than, say, a Nissan Micra.

 

There must be some other factor at play here - can't think for a second what it is.

 

P

The F55 is the same price as the Epic.  At least in NY.  No idea where this choice is being made.  I'd never bet on a free camera cause it's a feature length project and there's got to be a string there.  Who'd donate a Red for a month straight?  That couldn't possibly come with all the necessary media, lenses, accessories, etc.  

 

By the time you rent the stuff the owner doesn't include, you've already paid for a camera package cause the fair market value of renting the lenses and accessories is much higher without a camera and it drops considerably when you rent the actual camera.  It just makes much more sense.  Unless the person donating the Red or FS700 actually owns everything needed.  That's typically never the case.  They rarely have even the bare essentials to make the package workable for a film.


Edited by Michael LaVoie, 13 May 2014 - 06:07 PM.

  • 0

#7 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11941 posts
  • Other

Posted 13 May 2014 - 07:05 PM

I tend to agree, but if the choice is a rented FS700 or a red, an F55 is hardly going to be in the realms of financial reality.

 

P


  • 2

#8 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 13 May 2014 - 07:17 PM

I agree with Phil here. If I ask someone whether I should shoot R16 or Blackmagic pocket, it seems unproductive to say "Shoot Super 35" or "get an Alexa with Optimo zoom."

 

Me, personally, I would go with the FS700 if it were me. But the reasons for me not shooting RED are personal with the company as well as technical.


  • 1

#9 Michael LaVoie

Michael LaVoie
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 719 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 13 May 2014 - 07:57 PM

Never hurts to get a quote.  Rental houses want to do business.  The F55 gets no love despite being a fantastic camera.  Explain your project and see what they can do.  If the quote comes in competitively you can make a good case to the production department.  It was really nice to handhold and pan quickly over a banister with no jello effect.   If the Cion were out right now, I'd say go with that.  But we still got a few months. 


Edited by Michael LaVoie, 13 May 2014 - 08:00 PM.

  • 0

#10 Andre Hansen

Andre Hansen

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 14 May 2014 - 02:29 AM

Thanks for the answers!

 

The F55 is unfortunately not an option and we are shooting in Denmark.

 

It basically comes down to whether the the low-light performance, high FPS, steady-rig opportunities minus good lenses and a high price with the FS700 is preferable over a free RED One that's heavy, not suitable for steady-rig, but which is still a great camera with good Schneider lenses. 

 

The director really likes the thought of a steady-rig so right now I'm mostly considering the FS700 option. 

 

Whether the 1st assistant cameraman jumps off the project or not we will still have a signed contract on the camera of course. 

 

Could one say that the Schneider lenses are enough reason image-wise to choose the RED One over the FS700 and its Samyang-lenses?


Edited by Andre Hansen, 14 May 2014 - 02:30 AM.

  • 0

#11 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 14 May 2014 - 02:48 AM

Optically the Schneiders will be better and more consistient than the samyangs, but also you'll be able to use them like proper cine lenses with witness marks which should line up--- with the samyangs, even taking out of the picture the adapter's own construction, they ain't exactly pro quality so you'll be forced to have an AC work off of a monitor a lot. Also they don't perform well WFO, so you'll need to light to a deeper stop, and/or up the iso. There is no such thing as a free lunch.

Also also once rigged up the FS will approach the weight of a red I would bet, and despite being a beast, I see no reason why you can't fly a R1, other's have, with the proper steadycam. With an improper or el-cheapo steadycam and an inexperienced op on it, I don't really see the point.

 

But this is kind of what you have to evaluate and make a determination on based on the necessities of your own shoot. We're not the DoP and we don't have the intimate knowledge of the script, schedule, people involved, style, and expectations to make anything other than broad suggestions and give you things to consider.

 

Also contracts don't mean a thing unless you have the time and money to enforce them, and I bet you don't and everyone will know that including the 1AC-- not saying they would pull the camera, but they certainly could.

 

Also you make no mention of what and how you plan to post any of this. are you going to deal with redcode or S-log? who is going to color correct it, on what? to what format? for what purpose. The total list of considerations is quite exhaustive--- though there is always the other option, go with your gut, then stand by your choice, and augment things as they need to be augmented. neither camera, no camera is without "gotchas," and no shoot without the needs to re-evaluate things (though I wouldn't want to try pulling on a Samyang on a steadycam with a wireless FF, that's for sure).


  • 0

#12 Andre Hansen

Andre Hansen

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 8 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 14 May 2014 - 03:35 AM

Thank you for the reply, Adrian!

 

This a very low-budget film with 20 shooting days. We are aware of all the risks it includes. We have 15k dollars budget and when the 85 % of the film has been shot we can apply for a 20K dollars support for post-production (including editing + grading). Furthermore we have been offered to different editing suites that have file-servers that can handle big-production material. We also have free access to all lighting, grip and other equipment needed. 

 

But what I mean to say with this is that we cannot just rent another steadicam rig that suits the Red One. The one we were offered very cheap is something like the iStabYou 3-axis rig, but it only works with the FS700. Something rather easy to handle compared to classic steadicam. Though I will have the possibility to use Red One handheld with a shoulder-rig. But I mean - is that too tough working with for 20 days? There will be a lot of handheld shots. The FS700 with a rig like the iStabYou (this setup:  ) would spare us from changing from shoulder to dolly in situations where shoulder is jumping too much.

 

But as you are saying the FS700 might get as heavy as the RED One when rigged up.

 

I don't know yet what the different suites have to offer us in relation to grading and editing. I am awaiting answer from the producer. We have just been offered two different suites so we don't know exactly what it includes yet. 

 

Self-said this could play a role in the decision of camera. But all the things you have mentioned goes into the consideration at the moment.

 

As we have available grading-solutions I would like to shoot in RAW with probably either S-log or REDCODE. It will be premiered on a big filmfestival in Denmark on a big screen. I thought that shooting in 2K RAW with either Sony or RED would be fine if we want to preserve the possibility to be shown in the Danish cinemas (that might be reality). But what format would you recommend? I only know for sure that we will do the film in 16:9. Any suggestions to the format?


Edited by Andre Hansen, 14 May 2014 - 03:38 AM.

  • 0

#13 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 14 May 2014 - 10:59 AM

Also contracts don't mean a thing unless you have the time and money to enforce them, and I bet you don't and everyone will know that including the 1AC-- not saying they would pull the camera, but they certainly could.

 

Both you and Michael have made this point and I don't understand it. There is always a chance of someone even more important flaking out and that is your star! Then you are truly screwed because they actually appear in your film.But it is a possibility we have to live with. And actors are far more flighty and odd than cameramen.


  • 0

#14 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 14 May 2014 - 11:07 AM

You'd think that Matt, but it's not true. If anything a good 1AC with a good package like is more likely to get a better offer for more money, and people in general are awful.

Of course why a AC owns a camera also means the AC may not really be an AC, but a DP, which means they might wind up having to be let go if they try to take over too much and so on and so on. The point is you're dealing with a person and not a company. also a person who probably only has the one camera -v- a rental house with many and people in and of themselves are generally unreliable. 

 

 

I'll get back to you in a bit Andre, I am still finishing up my coffee.


  • 0

#15 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 14 May 2014 - 11:17 AM

Although i do certainly believe you that ACs (and people in general) are awful, don't think it isn't common with actors as well. There are the weirdest and most frustrating lot of people I have ever seen. I hate them but must work with them. I have to sort out a hundred of them this week for the audition for the feature. I'm scared because the last thing needed right now is to pick someone who bails after shooting half the film with their face on celluloid.


  • 0

#16 Michael LaVoie

Michael LaVoie
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 719 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 15 May 2014 - 11:16 AM

I'm not saying that A.C.'s are bound to do this.  I'm saying that it's a risk that can happen on any set where crew are bringing gear.  Especially an ultra low budget 20 day affair. However if grip & lighting gear is entirely free, I cannot fathom how production wouldn't spring for a solid camera package.  I mean, that's just not computing at all.  The one thing you need above anything else to make a movie is the camera.  It all starts there.  Not having that as a line item in the budget is pretty odd.


  • 0

#17 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 15 May 2014 - 12:01 PM

The one thing you need above anything else to make a movie is the camera.  It all starts there.  Not having that as a line item in the budget is pretty odd.

+1. Totally agree but would like to add that sound is also on equal footing with the camera. Sport for both or go home.


  • 0

#18 Gregg MacPherson

Gregg MacPherson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1883 posts
  • Other
  • New Zealand

Posted 15 May 2014 - 05:29 PM

...., I cannot fathom how production wouldn't spring for a solid camera package.  I mean, that's just not computing at all.  The one thing you need above anything else to make a movie is the camera.  It all starts there.  Not having that as a line item in the budget is pretty odd.

 

You missed the memo on the $15000 production budget?  How much do you think they can afford to spend on the camera rental? 


  • 0

#19 Stuart Brereton

Stuart Brereton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3070 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 15 May 2014 - 07:06 PM

 I will have the possibility to use Red One handheld with a shoulder-rig. But I mean - is that too tough working with for 20 days? There will be a lot of handheld shot

 

Honestly, choose the best camera for the job. Don't worry about the handheld shots. if you are physically weak, go to the gym to prepare. 

 

There is another thread on this forum talking about HH work. Read it. Plenty of good advice.


  • 0

#20 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11941 posts
  • Other

Posted 15 May 2014 - 07:08 PM

You mean...

 

...cardiovascular exercise?

 

Eurgh! That's for actors!


  • 0


Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

The Slider

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

CineTape

CineLab

FJS International, LLC

Opal

Ritter Battery

Paralinx LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

Glidecam

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

Technodolly

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

CineLab

Visual Products

Glidecam

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Paralinx LLC

The Slider

Metropolis Post

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Technodolly

FJS International, LLC

Opal