November 4, 2011

Q: How Do the 'Ready to Shoot' Prices of the Canon EOS C300 and RED SCARLET-X Compare?

A: They're basically the same.

First of all, you need to add all this stuff to the RED SCARLET-X to be ready to shoot:

Second of all, the list price of the Canon EOS C300 is $20,000. Once it hits retailers like B&H Photo, that will come down. Let's take its closest competitor, the Sony F3, as an example: the camera's list price is $16,800, but B&H is selling it for $13,960 ($13,160 after a rebate). So let's take 20% as the estimated street discount, which brings the $20k camera down to $16k (which has also been a reported selling price of the C300 -- probably due to confusion between MSRP and street).

The RED SCARLET-X lists for $9,750 and that is direct from RED: no discounts. However, that is a "brain only" price (though it comes with a SSD recording module, Canon lens mount, and AC adapter). After December 31st, in fact, the RED's prices will go up. But if you include the prices of the things you'll need to shoot in each cameras' most basic configuration, many all of these things are included with the Canon but not with the RED. (A couple of them are not included with the Canon either, where noted).

  • Camera Body
  • Lens Mount
  • Side Handle (RED +$950)
  • Viewfinder/Screen (RED's 5" LCD is $1,600, though it's probably nicer than the Canon's EVF)
  • Media Module
  • Media for 1 hour of footage (a cheap $100 CF card for the Canon, but two $950 SSDs for the RED)
  • Media Reader (a cheap $50 CF reader for the Canon, but a $250 REDMAG for the RED)
  • Battery Charger (an extra $150 for the RED, though I'm not clear on whether the included AC adapter can also charge batteries)
  • Batteries for a few hours of shooting (an extra $150 battery for the Canon, three $195 REDVOLTS for the RED)

This brings the RED up to an even $15k. As you get into more realistic battery and media numbers -- I included the absolute minimum above -- the SCARLET-X becomes more expensive than the C300. Which is to say nothing of the fact that the C300's 1080P MPEG-2 files require much less computer power to edit and process in post than do the 4K R3D files (thus more expense on the back-end for the RED). Plus, I'm betting the Canon will be better in low light situations, which makes your necessary lighting budget lower (though just because you can shoot without lights does not mean you should).

Finally, while some pointed out during yesterday's brouhaha that "the RED will be available sooner," that remains to be seen -- RED's November 17th (for the PL mount version) and December 1st (for the Canon mount) dates are for when the SCARLET-X starts shipping. RED's history is not one of shipping on time (not in any real quantity, at least), and on top of that some of the required accessories are backordered, so by the time you're able to get your hands on a full SCARLET-X kit, I'm betting the C300 will be shipping in volume.

Certainly by the time RED has all of the SCARLET-X features enabled -- including a basic ability like playing back the footage in-camera (yes, this is not currently possible with the $28,000 EPIC) -- you can bet the C300 will be out in the wild. I'm not second-guessing my decision to order a SCARLET-X, but let's not pretend that the RED will be ready to shoot for $10k on December 1st. For all intents and purposes, both of these cameras are $16k (without lenses), and both of them are shipping in 2012.

But only one of them's being used to shoot The Hobbit in 3D!

UPDATE: some of the comments here and elsewhere have caused me to write Why I'm Ordering a RED SCARLET-X, and How it Relates to My Feature 'Man-child.' Hopefully that clarifies things.

Your Comment

97 Comments

Where is this $28K EPIC constantly spoken of? It's $39,500 for the brain.

November 4, 2011

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JS

EPIC-M is the hand-machined version ($39K). The production EPIC-X has to date only been available for RED ONE owners and is $28K. It should be available to order for non RED ONE folks in the days to come, however.

November 4, 2011

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

You also need a lens for both, but maybe that goes without saying.

November 4, 2011

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jc

Mentioned in the post.

November 4, 2011

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Do you mean "lens mount"? I guess that was too technical for me :)

November 4, 2011

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jc

"both of these cameras are $16k (without lenses)"

November 4, 2011

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Again, the scarlet is NOT 16k with The "must have" components. You're lookin at around 23k to be ready to actually shoot something with the tools needed to be functional on a set. I'm so confused on why nobody is talking about the REAL cost of the scarlet. Especially the cost to those who own zero products from Red and are starting from scratch. Get real people.

November 4, 2011

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James

What's the difference from the AI Canon mount and the TI Canon Mount?

November 4, 2011

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Julian

i'm assuming aluminum vs titanium.

November 4, 2011

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Chris Hubbard

"aluminium" heh heh

November 4, 2011

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with all that been said do you regret placing an order.. honestly bro? am worried because i shoot weddings on DSLR's and need whats between 2-6 hours worth of footage wich will cost $$$ the reason am saying this because am hoping that there will be some cf card adapter or a cheap external device like the ninja and its big brother for the red scarlet, don't you think so? =) thanks in advance

November 4, 2011

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I wouldn't shoot weddings on a RED. RED requires a lot of post time and is really designed for feature filmmaking. The Sony and Canon solutions give you a datarate and aesthetic that requires less tweaking in post, so I'd go with the FS100 or F3 probably...

November 4, 2011

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Red doesn't need to have a lot of post time. Just load your looks into the camera before hand, then drag and drop into Premiere CS5.5

Or you can use Redcine X to convert everything to pro res overnight.

There are options out there. Though if you need quick turnaround times, a rocket is nice but not required.

November 4, 2011

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Still, it would be pointless to shoot a wedding home video with a 4K cinema camera.

November 4, 2011

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Travis

Yeah considering the near 50% failure rate of marriages!

November 4, 2011

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HowardG

A ki pro mini or pix 240 will give you a faster workflow than your 5d

November 4, 2011

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Ryan Emanuel

Koo,

Did you factor the cost for doing "post"? The edit bay required needs to be a monster to handle 4k. The Red Rocket card is almost $5,000.

Thoughts?

Thanks, Chris

November 4, 2011

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It does have to be a monster. I'm looking at this as a (very) long-term investment, for projects beyond "Man-child," and not just for my own projects. And I'll start off as cheaply as possible, adding on as I can (and for something like MC, it'll hopefully be posted at a better facility than whatever I can afford to own). Even if the cost of their entry-level brain has come down a lot, all of the other prices of the RED ecosystem are still the same!

November 4, 2011

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

There are options around that. I plan to use my scarlet x on web productions and I'm gonna use a pix 240 to get 10 bit proress 422 and audio, that will be able to be edited instantly. A scarlet plus a pix240 is in the same price range as a f3 with slog, and with the scarlet if you wanna go higher end, it can do 4k, log, raw, same price range

November 4, 2011

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Ryan Emanuel

Yes absolutely!

November 4, 2011

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

November 4, 2011

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RebelPhoton

That's great to see, thanks!

November 5, 2011

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Koo Red says in their faqs that the scarlet has playback out of the box

November 4, 2011

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George

True. But it's not working on the EPIC yet so until then...

November 4, 2011

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

But wait a second - Both cameras are just tools, guys..... WHAMMY! #Okaynownoonecansaythat

November 4, 2011

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RevBenjamin

Ha! We should start a campaign of spamming this everywhere so people stop feeling the need to say it...

November 4, 2011

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Luke

Yeah, why do people keep saying that? I mean it's not like you can *rent* equipment or anything, right?

November 4, 2011

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Jacques E. Bouchard

What's that got to do with people endlessly reminding everyone that it's just a tool?

November 4, 2011

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Luke

IMO the important thing here is that yes, in reality the prices are going to be similar, but in three years, which camera are you going to still be using, upgrading, pushing the envelope with? Cos it sure as hell isn't going to be the Canon. You can upgrade to an external recorder to get round the 8bit codec, but past that... it's already maxed out. It'll work great out of the box, but it's so painfully limited from what I can see. Much better to spend the same, or slightly more, on something which gives you room to maneuver. As someone else said somewhere else (can't remember who or where), the Canon smacks of planned obsolescence.

November 4, 2011

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Luke

As far a usability goes, I don't think the C300 will be completely obsolete. 1080 will be a consumer delivery standard for at least 4-5 more years. All consumer televisions are no higher than 1080 & consumer dvd players are no higher than 1080. There is no rush from manufactures to go higher than that any time soon. They're all focused on 3D & refresh rates. Any other upgrades to the camera functionality may simply come by way of software/firmware upgrades to change data manipulation like codecs, & FPS

November 4, 2011

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They will sell so few of these C300s it will be more of a museum piece than obsolete. I doubt I'll ever see one in the flesh.

Who would buy this camera? Who could fail to be at least a little influenced by the plethora of criticisms on the web? Nobody wants to buy a camera that everybody thinks is a rip off for complete suckers, for $16K. Nobody!

November 4, 2011

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Lucas Adamson

One area I agree with you on is the price. Even if it's 16k, it seems overpriced for what it does(or what it doesn't do). This cam should be no more than 10k. Although I think it will still sell, the Scarlet will definitely affect how much it sells depending on Red's ability to keep up with demand. I was just reading the C300 specs and there is nothing that really stood out to me spec wise although I do appreciate the ability to use cheap media. I'll still hold final judgment until the test results are out between the Scarlet & C300.

November 5, 2011

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I am so wondering on the EOSHD post. Why would he feel entitled to say things like that? I am... We all are on a spiritual path really, What does it take really to make a movie? We all are conflicted to what is a " movie" in our head and some people don't understand that we need to take decisions according to our belief. We discuss hardware because we filmmakers, are anticipating what we have in our head.

Would he be upset if I have told him that I see my movies being shot with a flip cam and a bunch of kodak playsport? He might have just thought that I am not taking myself seriously! (and I am using flip cams...)

But here is the reality, he called on his blog on you spending money on a red: He is not taking Koo seriously.

The legitimacy of eoshd is seriously compromised, why can't he see your commitment to deliver a "movie", regardless of how you "see" your movie? I cannot understand. His post has such a foul smell in the end, the beginning was great, but the end: here:

http://www.eoshd.com/content/5166/what-expensive-camera-obsessions-are-d...

How can a human being be so narrow. I really don't know. But here is the thing, if koo had delivered a sub par "movie" I would have been reading his post with no emotions at all, but to be be entitled to an opinion at this stage is to really be a very interesting guy...

In the end, it really just feels that eoshd is a high quality mental masturbation on everything between a lens and the filmmaker but not really in the path it takes to make a movie. He did not wait for the result, jump to conclusion, I feel cheated somehow by eoshd. Good thing that I did not even bother login on his website, he is not even worth my 2 cents.

From a guy on a mission.

November 4, 2011

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Franklin

I liked what he was saying there, minus the veiled criticism of Koo for buying RED. I don't think he meant it as a real criticism of Koo, and I think he genuinely wishes him luck. He probably shouldn't have mentioned it though.

Personally I can FULLY understand why Koo is buying a RED, and if I was about to make my first feature and had the money, I would do nothing less. It's for the rest of us, the ones still making shorts in order to try to get in a position where we might one day make a feature, that Andrew Reid's remarks are very very true. The GH2 is plenty good enough for any wannabe filmmaker to prove him/her self. Hell, the DVX100b probably is fine too!

November 4, 2011

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Lucas Adamson

Mind you, it's rich for EOSHD.com to start saying that the "camera is only a tool" just when Canon release a bunch of overpriced crap, and are utterly humiliated by the upstarts, RED. Of course the camera is only a tool - goes without saying! So, we should buy the C300, cause, who cares about quality?

November 4, 2011

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Lucas Adamson

Ordered a Scarlet package immediately. Total no-brainer.
But keeping the EX1 and EX3 for quick and dirty shoots.
The Canon camera is a joke. 1080p, seriously? 60fps in 720p?
You need to compare much more than just the simply stuff imho. Your comparison lacks all the detail that makes the Scarlet stand out by miles.

November 4, 2011

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Jakob, I'm pretty sure that this post was at least partly motivated by a desire to be strictly impartial. There are those who see any disagreement with themselves as being "bias", and some of the comments on the previous article show that. More than that, comments on the EOSHD article... Point being, the previous article makes it pretty clear that Koo agrees with you, and while I don't feel it was in any sense biased or even un-objective, it makes sense for him to play it safe with this article!

November 4, 2011

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Luke

With an external recorder like the pix240 or atmos ninja, don't you lose the ability to record in resolutions higher than 1080?

Is it a viable alternative to RED SSD's? Because that would save not only money on media, but time in post as well.

November 4, 2011

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Michael Soomon

I wouldn't say its an alternative, the optimal situation is using them in unison for offline and online files. But if you have a internet output it would be a viable replacement recording format

November 4, 2011

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Ryan Emanuel

The more I think about his post, the more I see the picture of a man that understand the principle of filmmaking but don't follow it in his personal life. He is not mad at you (koo) to buy a camcorder, he is mad at himself to not have the passion (the balls really) to create a kickstarter project ask 120k$ and spend his personal money on a red to make a movie. This is the illustration of commitment, dedication, and perseverance regardless of Man Child narrative quality.

Which means two things, his post "What expensive camera obsessions are doing for filmmaking" might hold a figment of truth in the first part, the second is just a tangent on his perception of other filmmakers. So low. So low eoshd.

November 4, 2011

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Franklin

Hey Franklin,

I don't know if you've follow EOSHD's blog for a while but he's always been pretty strong worded about stuff her doesn't agree with and very anti-anything more expensive than prosumer. That said, he does back up the talk by focusing heavily on cost-effective solutions (better coverage and tests of GH2 hack and NEX 5n than anybody.) He might be infuriating from time to time but I definitely think the DSLR filmmaking community is better with a hothead that focuses on creative cheap hacks than it would be without one.

And honestly, I could give a shit what these guys think about each other. I'm happy to read their content, learn what I can and decide what's best for my projects on my own.

November 4, 2011

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Carlos

+1

November 4, 2011

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Just to be sure, the Scarlet specs are way bette,r right ?
resolution, data rates, frame rates, dynamic range... Is it correct ?

November 4, 2011

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Stephane

in the end, for me, it all comes down to the image produced by the camera. i will sacrifice functionality, features, and even resolution to be able to achieve the look i am striving for.
based on the things that i have seen shot on red and the things that i have seen shot on alexa, i find that i prefer the alexa. alot of that has to do with the dynamic range and color reproduction.
the canon appears to sacrifice resolution for the sake color. it's very possible that the c300 could wind-up rendering a more pleasing image then the red.
all i've seen of the c300 so far is Vincent Laforet's film, but it is very promising. and based on his write-up where he mentions the low-light capability and the organic film-like grain of the c300, i am not counting it out.
the red footage i see often still looks too plastic and digital for my taste. the c300 may end up rendering more organic and natural images, even if the resolution makes them more 16mm than 35mm, that's ok with me.

November 4, 2011

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guy

I don't know where you guys are sitting, but in my world, budgets are getting tighter and tighter all the time. For me, it comes down to basic math: I would not be able to recoup my investment in a $20k camera before it needed to be replaced.

I recently went through the same issue with my studio space. It was cool and all, but it cost me $15k per year for rent and utilities, and I only had maybe $3,000 work of work that required it. It just didn't make economic sense.

The same goes for these cameras: As Koo said, they are for feature filmmaking. If 99% of your clients can't tell the difference between footage shot on a RED and footage shot on an AF100 or 5D Mk II, there's no reason to go into debt for the camera that's 10x the cost.

November 4, 2011

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great post koo!

November 4, 2011

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Koo! This is my first comment on your site. Sweeet~

Hate to say it, but after waking up and checking my Epic footage (some of it at 2K, 3K, most at 5K)--

This Scarlet release isn't as impressive as it was ten hours ago. I'm in a different boat: I shoot EPIC already, don't have to own a camera, so can be a bit more objective about it.

Scarlet's only advantage, as far as image goes, is being able to shoot 4K @ 30P. The data-rate of 50mb/s should see RED MX footage. That's all well and good.

However, below 4K is going to look unsettling unpleasant, coupled with the sensor crop and further lens anomalies that show up when doing so makes it a bit of a curious thing.

Face Value: Hey we can shoot 4K @ 30P, and we have the option to go to 120@1K

Real World: This camera is basically a 2K @ 30P competitor because of the capped data rate, sensor crop, etc.

I will say this, though-- The marketings gonna make those who don't own a Scarlet wish they had next year. Until the smoke and mirrors vanish and people see that it doesn't really hold up to the real deal (EPIC-X) or adjacent offerings (C300 Dynamic Range and Lowlight cleanliness).

What a great and fun day for cam announcements that was.

November 4, 2011

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I think the main selling point of the SCARLET is 4K @24FPS. That's going to be most of what I plan on shooting. It also does 1080p at 60FPS (which is also better than the Canon or Sony). And if you have a shoot where you need higher framerates... you can always rent an EPIC and use the SCARLET as a perfectly-matched B cam.

November 5, 2011

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Thanks Koo. I find your posts to be informative and unbiased. As a backer of Man Child, I look forward to seeing the few frames I financed shot with the Scarlet-X. I haven't been a fan of RED in general due to the "forever beta" nature of their products, but I think you bought the right tool for the job here. There is no "One Camera to Rule Them All", but as filmmakers we have to keep track of which hammer is best suited to drive our nails.

November 4, 2011

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To me RED now completely jumped shipped into the Pro realm. Scarlet fixed 2/3 was going to be the killer solution for Indies, for people starting out, for run & gun. Granted, like Khli points out, if you are renting, well you are renting. But as other posters point out owning killer cameras is now becoming a reality. But the systems RED offers totally outshine the competition. I'm sad to see the Fixed 2/3 Scarlet go - it would have been a killer investment - not enough to break your budget - cheap enough to afford a full kit at around 10k, familiarize with the red system and rent the bigger kits when you need to. And a camera for now, not the future. So Scarlet 2/3 was a dream for the small fry. S-X is for pros.

November 4, 2011

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Matt

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