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Red weapon dragon or arri alexa?

Arri Alexa Red Weapon Dragon

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#1 Mahmoud Attalla

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Posted 18 June 2015 - 10:05 PM

Hey guys i need to take a decision on this issue. I'll be renting it most of the time. I'm not sure which one is more demanded.
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#2 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 12:36 AM

Alexa all of the way! It is a better camera with a better workflow and has a much more organic image. The Red is a cheaper camera with an outstanding marketing effort behind it but is in no way as effective or user friendly as the Alexa. Let's face it... Arriflex has been around for over 60 years with experience backing them up while Red is a newer, prosumer camera system that is flawed. That is my professional opinion and let the debate begin...

G
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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 03:10 AM

Hey guys i need to take a decision on this issue. I'll be renting it most of the time. I'm not sure which one is more demanded.


General clarification:
- Are you asking as a rental house looking to rent out the camera to production companies, or as a DP looking to rent a camera from a rental house? Or as an owner/operator making a business investment?

Expected return on investment:
- What kind of projects (features, commercials, music videos, corporate, low-budget, student films) do you expect to use this new camera on?
- What is the budget level of these projects?
- What market do you work in?

Peripheral costs:
- How much support gear (lenses, tripod, matte box, follow focus, filters, base plates, rods, batteries, monitors, handheld rigs, wireless video, wireless follow focus) do you already own or have access to?
- Do you already have an insurance policy for this expensive camera package?
- What is your total budget?

Camera specific requirements:
- Do you need more resolution (Dragon) or more low-light sensitivity and dynamic range (Alexa)?
- Do you need a smaller, lightweight camera that can work on gimbals and drones (Dragon), or a simple to use and bullet-proof studio-style camera that sits well on the shoulder (Alexa?)
- Do you need on-board Raw recording (Dragon) or is Prores 4x4 enough (Alexa)?
- If you require Raw, can you handle the post workflow of uncompressed Arriraw on Codex (Alexa) or do you need compressed Raw that you can transcode yourself with consumer-level computing power (Dragon)?
- Would you consider an Alexa Mini?

It's very hard to answer your question without factoring in these variables. Otherwise all we can give you is our own personal preferences.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 19 June 2015 - 07:07 AM

The question of what market you work in is really the important thing. What camera is popular in city x may not be in such high demand in city y, and this doesn't even get into saturation effects. For example, in LA, you can get a red so dirt cheap I have no idea how anyone makes much money on them-- they are literally everywhere. The Alexa, on the other hand, isn't nearly as market saturated (mostly due to cost) and as such can still command a respectable rate.

 

Also have you considered something like the Amira yet?


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#5 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 22 June 2015 - 11:20 AM

Hey guys i need to take a decision on this issue. I'll be renting it most of the time. I'm not sure which one is more demanded.

 

Best bet is to visit your local rental houses and ask them which cameras go out most frequently. It's a small investment of time, but could make a big difference to the effectiveness of what will be a hefty investment.


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#6 JD Hartman

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Posted 22 June 2015 - 11:38 AM

DoP (NYC) I just worked with is considering dumping his Red Dragon.  Not enough rentals to justify keeping it.


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#7 Kemalettin Sert

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Posted 22 June 2015 - 03:54 PM

Alexa all of the way! It is a better camera with a better workflow and has a much more organic image. The Red is a cheaper camera with an outstanding marketing effort behind it but is in no way as effective or user friendly as the Alexa. Let's face it... Arriflex has been around for over 60 years with experience backing them up while Red is a newer, prosumer camera system that is flawed. That is my professional opinion and let the debate begin...

G

You saying Red should stop making cameras and left that one to Arri which is in the market more than 70 years ?


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#8 Neal Norton

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Posted 22 June 2015 - 05:48 PM

I would consider very carefully before buying either camera.

 

Answer these questions:

 

What is the demand for each camera in your market?

Who would be your customer(s) and what type of work are they doing?

Who is your competition?  What do they charge?

Why would your camera be more desireable than the camera offered by your competition? Cheaper? Better service?

What would you be able to charge for a days rental? Weeks rental? Months rental?

How many rental days could you reasonably expect per year from each of the cameras?

What would the camera be worth after 12 months? 24 months? 36 months?

How much will you be spending on insurance, maintenance and marketing?

If the camera fails where will you be sending the camera for repairs? Local/overseas?

 

Best of luck,

 

Neal Norton

Gulf Camera, LLC


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#9 Kemalettin Sert

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Posted 22 June 2015 - 07:01 PM

In my country market is saturated with Alexas.Red Epic Dragons are few and daily rentals is about 2000 TRY in a day while Alexa 4:3 Studio goes from 1500 a day.


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#10 aapo lettinen

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 02:28 AM

I'm DIT:ing a feature at the moment and it is mainly shot with Alexa XT:s using 3.2K Prores. We use Epic Dragon and Epic X for drones and cable cam because of the form factor and weight but the Alexa Prores workflow is so much simpler and easier (easier to verify the files, quicker offline rendering, you can watch the files even with Finder preview, more robust filesystem, no segmented files, etc.) that I can't imagine doing the whole film with Epics, especially because we need 2 cameras almost half the time. 

Yes, the workflow matters that much, it's not simply the look of the camera or techical specs like resolution and frame rates.

It can cost the production even tens of K:s more if you are using a difficult codec for the show and thus need more post production budget and time for preparing the material for editing and other post. That's why everything is not shot with F65 16bit RAW, it just costs too much to backup and post process the material, even if you get the camera body for free...

 

One thing to consider is the Alexa Mini, I think it will replace quite a bunch of Epics as a drone cam just because the workflow is easier and it matches with the alexas most people use for rest of the film anyway


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#11 aapo lettinen

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Posted 01 July 2015 - 02:29 AM

in my country market is saturated with Epics and Scarlets but most of the features are shot with Alexas. I think the main reason is indeed that it is much cheaper to post process Alexa material, Alexas are only slightly more expensive to rent than Epics. Epic is something a drone operator or a smaller production company or owner-operator would own here, especially if they are shooting commercials.


Edited by aapo lettinen, 01 July 2015 - 02:41 AM.

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#12 Larry DeGala

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 12:05 PM

For "A" and "B" cameras, definitely Alexas. For Second Unit work, Reds would suffice. If you have budget available, definitely ARRI first.
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#13 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 02:10 PM

You saying Red should stop making cameras and left that one to Arri which is in the market more than 70 years ?

No, I'm saying that when comparing the two, Arri is superior.  I'm in the Hollywood feature film market and I can count on one hand the DPs and directors that actually like Red.  They are a huge minority. Red is just not that popular among the crews and creatives here. Red is not user friendly and most don't like how the image looks when compared to the Alexa sensor.  I also believe once the Arri Mini is truly up and running, it will take a serious chunk out of Red's market share.  The only time we use Red Dragons is when we must use a smaller, lighter camera.  The Mini will certainly replace those requirements when it eventually offers ARRI RAW.  

 

G


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#14 Zsigmond James

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 03:20 PM

The sony F65 is also a camera that is superior in every possible way, except for "size" to anything Red has put out, unfortunetely, you couldn't pay people to rent it.... A Sony rep told me that they've recently discontinued production of the camera...

Hopefully, Sony get's the marketing right on the F65 successor...

 

All in all, unless the work and or rental clients are lined up, and these contacts have been secured, the purchasing of a camera system can otherwise prove to be a very poor investment choice...


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#15 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 04:34 PM

You saying Red should stop making cameras and left that one to Arri which is in the market more than 70 years ?

 

I suspect there would be few tears shed.

 

P


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#16 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 05:25 PM

 

 

All in all, unless the work and or rental clients are lined up, and these contacts have been secured, the purchasing of a camera system can otherwise prove to be a very poor investment choice...

I completely agree... The market and technology changes way too fast to keep up.

 

G


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#17 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 05:44 PM

DoP (NYC) I just worked with is considering dumping his Red Dragon.  Not enough rentals to justify keeping it.

 

A friend of mine purchased the Red One when it first came out and then upgraded to the Scarlet.  Even with that, he's told me that he just hasn't gotten as many projects as he expected to make the purchase worthwhile. 

 

The Red & Alexa camera packages are very expensive.  I would test both and plan on renting, regardless of what you are going to be using them for.


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#18 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 05:53 PM

There should be a sticky for this:

 

1) If you're an ultra-low-budget indie filmmaker who lives very far from anywhere you can rent anything, buy something two years old, cheaply.

 

2) If you're working with nonzero budget but not completely sure of breaking even on any particular camera within six to nine months, rent, or see option 1.

 

3) Anyone else will know what they can make an income with and therefore what they should buy.

 

Speculative purchases of high value cameras are currently a very very bad idea.

 

 

P


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#19 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 06:54 PM

I own a camera rental company.  It is a never ending investment cycle to keep up with what clients want.  If you don't have the capitol and/or enough equipment to fund these investments and to cover the gear that is becoming outdated, there is no chance for survival in a highly competitive and highly discounted pricing market. Usually, crew-owned equipment must meet or beat the primary vendor's pricing and discount.   My company's existing inventory in volume is what props up all of the new purchases and keeps my company in the profit column.  It's tough out there!!!

 

G


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#20 Gregory Irwin

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Posted 02 August 2015 - 07:02 PM

One more consideration:  Think about the liability factor if your camera fails with technical issues.  Who will be liable for all of the lost time and production costs? You could be as the owner/vendor!!!  I wouldn't want that heavy burden on my shoulders if I were renting as an individual.  You need to carry a good liability insurance policy for that. Yet another cost.  Just a thought...

 

G


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