October 30, 2012

What Will the Sony F5/F55 Digital Cinema Cameras and 4K RAW Recorder Cost You?

Sony announced a few new cameras mere hours ago, but they've been rather vague on the details regarding pricing. The F5 will record 2K/1080p maximum internally and 4K RAW externally, while the F55 will record 4K compressed maximum internally, and 4K RAW externally with higher frame rates than the F5 -- as well as feature a global shutter to completely eliminate rolling shutter artifacts. Click through for some pure speculation on where Sony might be headed with their pricing.

Here are the rumors I believe are closest to the final pricing (first two courtesy of Philip Bloom):

  • Sony F5 (2K compressed internally): $18,000
  • Sony F55 (4K compressed internally): $50,000
  • AXS-R5 4K RAW Recorder: $10,000

Sony has announced an actual price for this module that allows other modules (like the 4K recorder), to attach to the FS700:

  • HXR-IFR5 Module for FS700: $2,000

We should keep in mind that these prices are speculation and/or rumors, and there's a good chance that they may be higher or lower depending on the final package. Many have talked about the price being much lower for both, but Sony has very clearly stated that they will still sell the F3 alongside the other cameras, which makes me think that at least as far as the F5 is concerned, the price won't vary too far from what we're speculating about here.

Sony has not decided on much of anything yet (except the major hardware designs), so we're going to still be in the dark for some time, likely until at least the end of November where Sony has another announcement planned. Wait...what? Yes, Sony is announcing that they will be having another announcement about the announcement we had this morning. Confused yet?

Either way, what will this mean for your options if the prices hold true? Both the F5 and the F55 record internally to compressed formats, but only the F55 can do 4K. Neither of them can do RAW until you add on the AXS-R5 recorder. Once you do add the recorder, though, you won't be shooting in uncompressed RAW like the Canon C500, but instead will get about a 3.6:1 ratio similar to the F65.

So to get a 4K (or 2K) RAW shooting package, where does that leave you?

If those prices hold true, it means the FS700 will likely stay a 1080p camera for most users. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but I just don't see too many people shelling out more than the price they already paid for the camera just to have the ability to shoot 4K RAW. For most people, the F5 might actually make a lot more sense even without RAW, because it's a far more versatile camera. While it's quite a jump in price, the internal codec options are exceptional, and really the only thing you're missing are extremely high frame rates, and of course 4K internally.

We always talk about price and about what people can afford, but what about renting? If Sony can hit those prices on the F55 (or even lower), it's going to fly off the shelves. The F65 has been in low demand for many reasons, but a camera with all of the compressed options (and internal compressed 4K) like the F55 makes a lot of sense to folks who are shooting TV or other types of projects that don't need or want RAW. I don't know if it will replace the Alexa as camera of choice (highly doubtful), but the specs are incredible, and if the images are pleasing, the cost to own might not even be a consideration for many, as they will be renting anyway.

The real question will be, if these prices are slightly lower, where will you pull the trigger? If, for example, the recorder was only $5,000, that would put a 4K RAW FS700 around $15,000, right in RED SCARLET territory (before a possible price drop on Thursday of course). I think that makes it an entirely new consideration for those who are considering the SCARLET as a camera purchase but are looking in the $10K to $20K range. Another consideration could be if Sony actually was able to get the price of the F5 down to around $16,000 or $17,000. If the recorder was only about $5K, a pretty ridiculous camera package could be had for around $20K.

Again, complete speculation, but I think Sony is really trying to hit Canon and RED where it hurts, and the real battle is going to take place in the $25-$35K range. What will be RED's response to Sony's announcements? We've already talked about what they might do in another day when they announce price cuts, but we won't know the full extent until that actually happens.

What do you guys think? At which prices would you pull the trigger for which camera? Have you heard drastically different price numbers, if so, feel free to share them below.

Links:

[via FDTimes]

Your Comment

119 Comments

Sadly, I think Philip is off. Based on my experience with Sony pricing...the F5 will be closer to $25K. The recorder is overpriced at 10K, I'm thinking more like $8K. $7995...lol. The 4K module for the FS700 will be more like $2995 or $3495 I think. Love to be pleasantly surprised though.

What is with the delay in annoucing prices though? Are they waiting to see what RED announces? If so, that's a huge hat tip to RED from Sony. Didn't think I'd see that...

October 30, 2012

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sean

The adapter module is actually the only thing they've announced a price on, and that will be $2,000 - of course subject to change, but I feel like it wouldn't make much sense to cost more.

All three cameras will use the same recorder to do 4K.

October 30, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

ah! didn't see that...

My tip of the hat comment was in reference to Sony's move as being a public display that they take RED serious. Which is uncharacteristic of Sony. When they decided to take on Canon and Nikon, they were quite dismissive of those behemoth companies.

Sony has been a top player in the high end video world for a while...longer than RED. This is the first time I've seen them "react" to something RED is doing. That's all.

October 30, 2012

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sean

Are you kidding? I think either people have forgotten or were never aware of how much a CineAlta camera from Sony cost before RED came along. You couldn't get one for less than $150K. It only made sense for rental houses to buy them because they were prohibitively expensive. The notion of OWNING a high end digital cinema camera, let alone one that was 4K and shot RAW, is RED's doing. Like them or not, everyone owes them for that.

The only reason Sony has a 4K+ camera now and not 1080p still is a reaction to RED. The F65 coming in at a base $65K and not $265K is because of RED (and Alexa, which also has Epic influenced pricing). The only reason there's a "modular" FS100 with a S35 sized sensor (meant to best the 2/3" sensor in Scarlet, which would've been a fraction of the cost of the F23) is a reaction to the initial Scarlet announcement. Yes, Scarlet ended up being different and costing more, but that's not the point. Canon, Panasonic and Sony all reacted to what the presence of Scarlet would mean for their marketshare. It was so highly anticipated that the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camera can still capitalize on a similar offering today.

I don't understand why people want to see RED fail so badly. They were instrumental in getting Sony to make something like the F5, which rivals their once flagship F35, for anywhere near $20K. As long as RED, or any other company, keeps making high performance, low cost cinema cameras, every camera maker will as well. They'll have to. Even if you hate RED products, you should be cheering them on because they allow you to buy similar or better cameras from the manufacturers of your choice at more affordable prices.

Before you cry RED fanboy, the same would be true if Panasonic, Canon or Blackmagic Design did what RED did. But, that's not how it happened. End sermon.

October 30, 2012

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Brian

I don't like RED way of doing business but you're right about their positive influence on the democratization of high end cameras.

October 30, 2012

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That DID feel really fanboy-ish Brian! I never said anything bad about RED, so I don't know why you're taking such offense. You're at 11 and we need you down around a 7! ;)

The original nature of my post was that Sony's corporate culture (in the past) was one of NOT recognizing their competition, because that in turn provides exposure and credibility to your competitor. It was not a slight against RED at all. So if indeed, they are delaying their pricing to see what RED does, it's a very public display of recognition that Sony considers RED their main competition. Not Arri, not Canon, etc.

I'm surprised at the public display, not the fact.

However, you are totally putting RED on a huge pedestal! RED certainly wasn't first to the 4K market, plus they were delayed and had several technical issues at launch.

Technology will always be advancing, 4K was coming and would become accessible (cheaper) overtime. Period. That's just how the world works. RED was definitely one of the catalysts that moved that ball forward at an early point, but the argument could also be made that they set the "digital" industry back with their problems.

Don't you remember the hollywood folks snickering about how their shit didn't work? "No thanks, I'll stick to film..." Those negative opinions were formed because of the way RED did business and their very public falling on their face. That was then (2007), this is now and RED seem to have solved all those early issues and make great technology today. However, to say that having a $20,000 F3 was only made possible because of RED, is rather (IMO) inaccurate.

However, that's your opinion and your welcome to it.

Bottom line is competition is good. Prices will continue to drop. Technology will continue to become more accessible. I have no doubt we'll all have 4K camera in our iPhone 7s xD

October 31, 2012

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sean

Sean, what do you mean you didn't say anything about RED? This is your quote: "This is the first time I’ve seen them “react” to something RED is doing." You do realize we can see your posts, right?

My response was not a defense of RED so much as it was intended to refute that statement. It's inaccurate. Sony has publicly acknowledged RED's influence by its actions - the products it subsequently released and their pricing. Saying they're only now acknowledging it ignores the fact that the significantly improved flagship F65 is 1/3 the price of the camera it replaced, the F35. They succumbed to market pressure. How else do you explain such a drastic price drop in one generation?

I never said RED was first with 4K. What I said was they were first with an AFFORDABLE 4K digital cinema camera, which drove everyone's price down. That's important to the very nature of this new announcement from Sony. So, yes, the affordable trend in new high performance cinema cameras can be traced back to RED. Otherwise, the F5 could cost 4x as much. More importantly, it might not have even been invented yet if Sony weren't pushed along and the notion of OWNING a camera that capable hadn't been introduced.

Now, $20K for the F5 is partly due to RED, partly to Canon, partly to Arri and whoever else throws their hat into the ring. But, it's a relatively affordable ring. 4K may have always been on the horizon but the distinction now is that it's not something that only rental houses and big productions would be concerned with and could afford.

That is RED's crowning achievement, despite their many missteps. We ALL won the day they released that very flawed camera. It's simply giving credit where credit is due.

October 31, 2012

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Brian

Sean, the third paragraph of my original post was not aimed at you or your comments. I can see how you may have thought they were and I could've made it clear they were not. It was just a good place to make a general statement aimed at anyone who felt like Sony had to crush RED, or any other smaller company, for that matter. Doing so would be bad for everyone involved.

I still think you're wrong about the Sony comment, however.

October 31, 2012

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Brian

The recorder will not cost $10000, cut that in half.

Andy

October 31, 2012

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Joe Marine: do you have link to this quote????

November 1, 2012

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Jordan

How do you figure that Sony holding off on announcing their prices is a tip of the hat to Red? The way I see it, it's more of a short-term ploy from Sony to see how they can best compete with Red in the future.

October 30, 2012

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Robert

I think you just answered you own question?...

October 30, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Hows The Movie coming along Koo

October 31, 2012

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Tj

I wonder if they'll throw us a bone with the F3.. Under 10k? Maybe drop the price on the FS 100?
The FS 100 is still a killer camera for low light despite it's low bitrate codec... It does it so well though that the
Clean hdmi out is nearly indistinguishable.. The F3 with S-Log has been praised by a lot of people as being about as close to an Alexa image as there is.. (Albeit, that was a while ago).. I'm perfectly cool with 1080p. You can still make a good movie in HD. There may be a market out there for high end cinema cameras with 16bit, raw, 4k, 783 stops of latitude, etc.. But it's a hell of a lot smaller than the one that can't afford it. I'd actually like to see Red do something simple like a 2k camera.. Doesn't need to be a transformer and break down into a hundred modular pieces. Just a badass little camera with some killer specs that's ready to make a movie out of the box. I hate to say BMC because i know everybody is tired of hearing it.... But damn. It is kind of the elephant in the room.. It's ready to go with an SSD and a lens. With a switronix external battery, 512gb ssd, it's still under $4000. The sensor's small though, so there's a market opportunity open for somebody..

October 31, 2012

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Jeremy

Koo took the money and is now living off it. He will not make the movie.

October 31, 2012

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Bob

Let me go check that bank account... hmmm, money still seems to be there. Actually there IS a bit less now as I had to pay taxes, but that's a post for another day (which I'm writing). Now let me go check your shame account... hmmm, strange. It seems you feel none?

October 31, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Obvious joke was not obvious lolll love you koo

October 31, 2012

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Bob

Hah, well plenty of people say stuff like that without kidding... there is no "tone" in the comments section after all!

October 31, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

It will be alot of determining unanswered factors to consider if this is a worthy price wise camera. First one would need to see how decent the internal 2k compression holds up on Big screen and with heavy post work. 2ND it still waits to be seen if one could use a third party external recorder setup or if its completely proprietary like REDS media. Red Raw is actually compressed contrary to what people believe it is not completely raw , so if the compressed 2k holds up well, then it may be worth of the 15-18k price tag, because it still is an amazing HD camera, but just a lil out of budget for most. The Compressed 2k results and price of media for internal 2k will be the "make or break" determining factors.

October 30, 2012

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Jay slocum

The Pro + SxS cards should not cost much more than existing SxS Pro cards. XAVC is an extremely good compression, beating out ProRes 422 HQ for sure.

Andy

October 31, 2012

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Beating out Proress ? The codec is a H.264 based codec no?

November 1, 2012

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Jordan

There's nothing wrong with H264, it's DCT compression like most other codecs out there. And It's actually a more efficient codec than most others, even ProRes and DNxHD. But we're used to almost exclusively low bitrate 8-bit 4:2:0 H264, which is pretty crappy looking in comparison. Sony's XAVC flavor of H264 is intraframe 100mbs 10-bit 4:2:2, so it should look pretty good (it sounds very similar to Panasonic's AVC-I which is also H264 intraframe 100mbs 10-bit 4:2:2).

November 1, 2012

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Gabe

Red better get use to being the price/performance leader kinda like amd is to intel.

October 30, 2012

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Who's the Intel then, Sony? Or Arri? Hahahahaha.

October 31, 2012

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Natt

Glad to see other companies catching up, some real competition. Really looking forward to REDs response, but they still seems the way to go for me, even as current prices stand. And prices are about to come down, plus an upgrade path.

October 30, 2012

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carlos

well, with those Sony prices, the black magic cinema camera (BMCC) has only become better positioned in the market for mid-priced systems. (BMCC camera being just 3000 USD).

Perhaps Black Magic can do a 4K camera next year, for say 6000 USD?

October 30, 2012

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Erwin (Netherlands)

Erwin. Right on. BMC is probably developing the 4K model or full sensor model right now. They know how to play the game. BM has their foot in the door and it will get wider for them. Cheers.

October 30, 2012

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Ron

skip the 4k and just make a bigger sensor camera. 2.5k is just fine. im sure many people would shell out 5 or 6k easily for a bigger sensor camera, with removable battery, xlr audio, and better firmware.

The more i think about it, seriously doubt that RED drops the price more than a thousand for scarlett, there is no reason to other than to once and for all shut arri and BMC but im sure price drop will be just for epics and not scarletts.

October 30, 2012

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Jay slocum

they know how to play the marketing game!

October 30, 2012

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gerald

I remember reading that BMD said the reason they didn't opt for larger, hi-res sensors was that it drove the price up significantly.

I have a feeling that with these price announcements, they may just see that they can make a big brother to the BMCC, and otherwise superior model to these two Sony cameras, and bring it in under the cost of the F5 with a recorder.

Competing with Scarlet prices will be the challenge, though.

October 30, 2012

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People are making major productions and have been with Red's and Arri's for a while.
If film is the defacto, the Epic & the Alexa are the golden eggs i guess for digital.. The edge on image
Preference, usually goes to the Alexa everytime though from what i've seen. It's not shooting 4k.. In fact, Skyfall was uprez'd to 4k.. I know it's personal preference, but i respect the guys that have 20-30 years on me doing cinematography.. If it's good enough for Martin Scorcese, Roger Deakins, and wins an Oscar at 1080p, i'm sure we'd get by without 4k..

October 31, 2012

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Jeremy

I'm with you, Jeremy. If those guys can make a movie with a 1080P camera, then so can we.

I think there is still a large hole in the camera landscape that will probably never be filled... a 1080P super 35 sensor, good dynamic range, good internal recording with a lens mount to accommodate most lenses priced for the budget filmmaker.
I suppose it would be nice to actually do, say 2.5K for a little wiggle room in post but, with this push to 4K, that in reality, very few of us need, I doubt that camera will ever be made. I've never worked with it but, from what I hear, 4K is a considerably heavier workload and requiring much more in hardware and storage.

If Roger Deakins is happy with 1080P, I really don't think I could bitch that it's not good enough for me.

October 31, 2012

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dixter

http://www.creativev...ony-pmw-f5.html ($19500)

http://www.creativev...ny-pmw-f55.html ($24500,00)

Still too high.

Prices cheaper in the US. Sony is the big boy yet playing follow the leader with the pricing?

October 30, 2012

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Ron

Sony is probably watching the reaction on various forums. BMC camera, digital Bolex and others can offer the quality sought. Sure the Sony camera is awesome but at what price? Technology changes quickly and a camera investment is a depreciating asset.

October 30, 2012

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Ron

@Ron you hit it on the head buddy, im sure sony is sitting back watiing for the reactions, now how big will it effect the final price is another question, but trust they are indeed listening.

October 30, 2012

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Jay slocum

All makes pretty good sense.
Sony's 4K tree: (categories not watertight)

F65 - features
F55 - features/major TV drama
F5 - smaller features/TV
F700 - features/general shooting, mainly at 1080.

F3 as legacy, still available.

I'm surprised at the RED rhetoric above - that list doesn't read like a company responding directly to any one company. However ARRIs one camera killed off the F35 and the S900 and DPs/ACs prefer it to the F65.
The global shutter will get the F55 work, but the pictures had better look a lot better than what we've seen from the F65. Also, as I've posted here before, Arri aren't sitting on their hands.

October 30, 2012

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marklondon

Alot better than the f65? Have you used the camera yet. It takes astounding pictures. Its flesh tones thanks to 16 bit are unparalleled. The reason it hasn't caught are: insanely large amounts of data; need to transcode as native codec isn't supported and requires a maxed out turbo system to offline; and its size. It's a pig.

But if it's pristine imaging you want, I think it has no equal in the digital world. I shoot with Alexa's all the time and start work on a series for Comedy Central this work. The decision to go with Alexa has as much to do with image as convenience, reliability, ease of use and workflow. Alexa has effectively crushed Red in both features and broadcast to the point where I use the Epic one day for every ten days on Alexa. The reason: convenience, reliability, ease of use and workflow. That all translates into money.

Recently did two back to back commercial campaigns: one on Alexa and other on Epic. Aside from the usual 15 minutes downtime for the Epic's black balance, transcoding, glitches and re-boots costs us much more than the difference in body rentals. The bigger the production, the less tolerant they are of anything gear related that eats into the most valuable commodity on set - time. Imagine you spend 100k by lunch. Your Epic cost you an extra half hour at the end of the day. What price would you put on that delay? 5000.00? The difference in camera body price is 400 or so. When the stakes are not as high, if it's 3d or requires alot of high speed, that's when you see Epics otherwise it's an Arri world, for now.

Sony's 16bit, global shutter, 4k/proxy recording and built in ND's could very well be a paradigm shift.

November 26, 2012

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I'm starting to hate bmc guys more and more, you guys are like prius drivers!

October 30, 2012

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Ryan

Ryan, u r so silly for that comment, but I admit I haven't laughed that hard since the hurricane began!

I about to make shirts and stickers saying just that "bmc fans are like prius drivers"

October 30, 2012

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tkal

October 31, 2012

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marklondon

Who needs the BMCC that badly that they would pay double?

October 31, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

I don't know but the good news is that some people are getting their BMCC orders! :)

October 31, 2012

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Yeah way a dick move

October 31, 2012

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Steve

Probably the most vocal (and fanboyish) userbase for any camera, ever made. It's pretty much the GH2 cult but all grown up, slightly.

October 31, 2012

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john jeffreys

It's funny how they make you believe that you need 4K, the only reason I shoot 4k with Red is because there's no option to shoot 2k without having the huge crop. "Future proof" is just a gimmick they use to make you spend more for something it's a hassle to use, yes yes you can re-frame and stuff but honestly. I have few reasons to believe 4K is still far way as a output standard.
- we still have crappy compressions from internet video provider services and cable tvs, horrible images in HD.
- Visual effects are already very expensive in 2k output, in 4k it would put a lot of vfx studios out of service or the already expensive film production to be even more expensive. Please keep in mind most of the money film studios make is from vfx heavy movies.
- They are starting to make 4k TVs, but you mostly will be seeing upscaled stuff since no broadcaster is prepared for 4k output, maybe in few years? some of them are not even prepared for HD.

You want to buy a camera? look for a nice image that please you, if you UNDERSTAND about post production, color correction, etc get something with a good dynamic range, so you can get a lot more from the already nice image,you should be just fine with 2k for the next 5 years.

October 30, 2012

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Marcus

Sorry, have to disagree. I love editing 4k RAW. I prefer it to any other format, regardless that I'm usually outputting to 1920x1080.... For me, it's not about future-proofing at all, it's about the freedom of more resolution for framing, and more latitude for grading.

October 31, 2012

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Alexa has a 4k sensor and outputs 2K, so you still have the latitude, yes it's good to have more effective pixels in a camera's sensor, also I can understand people re framing footage in post, theres some benefits, I appreciate that, but having someone telling me I should be shooting 4K just because it's the future, I don't swallow. If I could, I'd buy an Alexa over any camera currently in the market. Soon or later Arri will have to jump to 4k as well so they stop selling units because of this premature resolution war.

October 31, 2012

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Marcus

The Alexa only has effective 2.8K pixels in ArriRAW. The sensor is somewhere around 3K-ish I believe, but it's definitely under 4K (not that this matters much as the Alexa outputs a beautiful image).

October 31, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Beautiful and soft like baby butt.

October 31, 2012

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Natt

Having only quickly flicked through the specs of the F55, I can't understand why someone wouldn't spend less money on an Epic, which looks to offer better specs across the board (or did I miss something?).

If the F5 comes in at that price, it's setting itself up next to the c500 once both are RAW equipped with outboard recorders (although still coming in cheaper).

RED is easily offering, pound for pound, the best value for money already - and they haven't even dropped their prices yet. Whilst I have a feeling that these Sony cameras might come in a bit cheaper than listed here because of that, I'm also aware that Sony has a very significant place within the broadcast industry as it is. A lot of production houses will prefer to work with Sony simply because of its name and the fact that every camera they've had before their next one has most likely been a Sony.

October 30, 2012

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Global shutter, reliability and 14 stops DR are all in favor of the F55 vs the Epic.

October 31, 2012

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I am not sure about this but it seems the F55 can do a lot out of the box that you need the meizler module to do the same on the Epic? and it can record raw externally and two different formats internally at the same time! I think that is a pretty big deal....

October 31, 2012

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Yeah they have different specs. Some better some worse than each other. Looks like low light, more internal options and no windowing vs 5k raw internal, out now and slightly more configurable ergonomically

October 31, 2012

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Steve

Don't forget these cameras can actually record in something other than Raw, which despite all the press is still a pain for some 90% of production. Having a 2K or 4K video recording in S-log2 at 14 stops, and with high speed options opens up a huge amount of options. The F55 also outputs a 4K video signal, go figure a 4K camera allowing you to monitor in 4K. Not to mention that it's not shaped like a weird DSLR. Sony it hitting a lot of check marks with this camera.

October 31, 2012

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Ben, I own an Epic and before you do a price comparison, you have to add up all the Red specific accessories (SSD Cards, Module, EVF, Battery plate, Batteries, Red Rocket, etc). When you buy a camera package you quickly find out that the camera body is not the most expensive part. Our package minus lenses is valued at about 120k. After you get all the Red accessories, you'lll need MB's, FF's, Support, Cases, Monitors, Etc.

In short, if you're buying either of these cameras, the difference of say, 10k isn't so huge in the big scheme of things. You also have to ask which camera's going to get more work. In hindsight, I wish I had bought an Alexa over Epic. I was scared of the extra price. But guess what, Alexa's rent about ten times more on bigger and better jobs. That price difference gets erased in a couple months or less.

Many people bought Red Pro Primes at 25k, thinking it was the deal of the century. Nobody but strapped indies use them. A set of Arri Ultra Primes at 75k still fly off the shelves at 800-900 / day on all the big shows. What's the better deal?

November 26, 2012

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I posted this in other thread, but I will put it here too, important stuff:

"I just heard from my buddy Den Lennie who’s attending the London Sony event that it WILL indeed be possible to use third party 4K recorders to extract a 4K signal from HD-SDI, so the F5 will indeed be a direct competitor to the C500, being able to handle less expensive external recorders as well! Thanks Den! "

Read suorce here: http://ninofilm.net/blog/2012/10/30/sony-f5-f55/

AND do watch this:

http://www.sony.nl/pro/lang/en/nl/article/broadcast-professional-camcord...

GREAT video.

October 30, 2012

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juhan-i

I would love to see a Black Magic 4K Recorder to use with the FS-700 - maybe a 4K Shuttle - that would make the upgrade enticing.

October 31, 2012

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I'm thinking the same. FS700 + Firmware update 2000$ + 3000$ third party external recorder (AJA, Atomos, BM) its no so expensive for 4k Super35!

October 31, 2012

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Hey Ryan/Joe,

Sorry to go OT, but given that it's now been close to a year since the Scarlet and C300 were released, any chance you guys could do a quick write up on what's been accomplished with both? Any significant film/TV/TVC productions shot entirely on one or the other?

cheers

October 30, 2012

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Second that. That would be a really fun post, might need a lottle bit of research to find things mostly shot on those as opposed to use as a b-cam

October 31, 2012

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But Epic owners have a low cost upgrade to Dragon. New Epic buyers will get the upgrade for free. Dragon offers 6k output, 15+ stops of dynamic range and super fast readout times - ie rolling shutter, but read time is so fast you won't know it wasn't global. Epic beats F55 in my eyes.

October 31, 2012

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TiCa

Its all speculation at this point until we get hands on footage samples from both cameras which wont be until the new year.

October 31, 2012

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Paul

They said we'll see some footage by the end of November when they will possible announce pricing information.

October 31, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Good to know. I kinda meant more F55 vs Dragon footage but anything new from Sony to look at and possibly play with for now will be great.

October 31, 2012

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Paul

Am I missing something? So the HXR-IFR5 for the FS-700 is NOT a recorder, but simply an adapter for the AXS-R5? I initially thought the HXR-IFR5 was THE 4k/RAW recorder for the FS-700, so for a total of $9k you're rollin. Will $2000 for the HXR do anything by itself? Seems like the option for 4k now isn't that practical for the 700... dang.

October 31, 2012

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Correct, you'll need the module adapter to use Sony's 4K RAW recorder, but it's unclear if the FS700 with just the firmware upgrade will be able to output RAW on its own.

October 31, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

So to clear something up for myself, has this HXR-IFR5 module replaced what was once thought to be a paid firmware upgrade for the FS700? You don't have to pay for an external recorder, adapter module and a firmware upgrade, do you?

October 31, 2012

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They haven't said if you'll need to pay for the firmware upgrade yet, but you'll definitely need to pay for both the module adapter and the RAW recorder if you want 4K RAW with the FS700.

October 31, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

My question from the RED haters !!!!????

why do you hate the RED company while they provide us with advance cameras high end tecnology from few years a go. such as shoot in 2k, 3k, 4k, 5k internal Raw recorder, have filmlook view, accepted by a lot of known filmmakers, possibility to work in documentary, indie feature, high budget feature, music video and comercial, more affordable price comper to their competitors with half of benefitfes and even more expensives, you can upgrade to 6k and they are at less one step further than the other companies, high speed fram rate. You can upgrade your camera any time without sell the body and brain, flexible with any kind of lenses from cheapest one to the most professionals . It's made in USA and you know US products are known for what! . it's not plastic camera and if you only touch this camera one time, you can feel all the diffrences even in body and engineering. their technology is more advance than any other cameras. Most of the people who have experience working with red scarlet and epic know uniqueness of this cameras and they loved the result. Why would you want to buy another camera that even can not do the same job and also you want to pay more!??!
I hope you guys think logically and support right companies. As a constumer we should motivation them to improve their products. When people buy a camera because they hate such a brand or company these type of companies will not take care of their costumers.

I personaly After more than 15 years expriance in filmmaking in Middle East, Asia, Europe and USA, I never hated any cameras and I love all of my cameras , when I worked with super 8mm FILM canon I loved it, my 16mm was amazing and super 35mm panavision was a dream. work with Beta Cam was great expriannce and it was something diffrent, I appreciate Sony to introduce me for the first time Sony DV 150 and it was the first affordable Camera for me after Beta Cam and I could have my own Camera , I had amazing time with this camera and I loved it like my baby. Jvc gave me the great expriance in FHD generation and it was my Goodbye to tapes. canon dslr was the most undeniable evaluation in my filmmaking and now I'm happy with my scarlet and I look forward for upcoming opportunity to follow my journey.

October 31, 2012

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I own a Red 1 MX and an Epic. I've been a working DP for over 15 years. My Red's have paid themselves off andI've shot great footage with them. They've helped my career. But I neither love or hate them. But I am ready to get rid of them. Are some people justified in their hate. I believe so. Red 1 and Epic's are notoriously unreliable, unexpectedly glitching, bricking, crashing, freezing, you name it. Every show I've had to re-boot for one reason or another. Which may be acceptable for the low budget indie or personal project, but not for higher budget work, especially commercial work where every second is a lot of money.

You mention it's the most advanced camera in the world. It's not. It's color space is severely compromised. Try this: put an Brown. Black and White guy in the same from with the same blue shirt. Grade the shirt to the truest blue you can. Guaranteed one of the three actor's skin tones will be way off. In the quest for marketing pixels Red sacrificed rich colors. This reason alone, is the primary reason, the large majority of major network TV shows and digital features are leaving Red in droves to shoot on Alexa, pixel's be damned. Red's hype over 4k (which it truly isn't) came at a cost to something people value much more - true flesh tones.

My company has since retired our Red/Epic's and have put them up for sale. Namely because all the work we do now is on Alexa's. They're more expensive, but the image just looks better in color and lattitude. No one cares about the difference in pixels, except Red fanboys, definitely not clients. What's more, they easier to work with and much more reliable. They were designed with input by real cameramen. One of the main reasons, many pros hate Red, is that many things from layout, GUI, ergonomics and balance seemed to not have been designed by people who actually make a living on set.

While I know you love all you cameras, if you must make a living from them, you love others more. A builder may love his hammer but ultimately will use a nail gun because it does a better job. The resentment for Red comes from the hype that it does the best job and comes up short. Ask any major rental house in the US these days about how much their Epics rent and if they'd tell you, I think you would be shocked at how much they catch dust.

November 1, 2012

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NYC DP

What we need is fairly simple: a means of comparing the REAL PRICE of a complete, practical filming system.

Let's draw a boundary and not include the price of lenses and supports like tripods, shoulder rigs, etc. But because some of these cameras have odd mounts, let's include the cost of adapting to one of the de facto industry standard mounts: PL, EF, or MFT. And I would hope, adapting with full functionality.

To include the cost of media and batteries (something Sony and RED are trying to hide from you underpricing their razors and profiting on blades) let's say the system price has to be able to shoot for 5 hours on a given 10 hour day without access to AC power or a computer for dumping data to. 5 Hours of recording time and battery time at 24fps and both the maximum resolution of the camera (e.g. 4K RAW) and a standard 1080p at a broadcast bitrate or as close to it as the camera offers.

And let's include the cost of working with that media in Premiere Pro on a Mac Pro (the most common semi?pro editing setup) so we see if they are trying to make money off the post side of the equation with special cards or decoders.

Doing this sort of total cost of ownership analysis will give serious pause to those insisting that Canon is overpriced for instance. Canon is selling razors at a competitive price and letting the free market supply blades. BMD is going even further (to its credit) giving you the best razor it can make (which sadly still isn't so great, at least, yet) and letting you choose commodity blades (media, batteries, etc) on your own.. Sony and RED otoh are yelling about how cheap their razors are while salivating off the money they may make off proprietary, single-vendor blades. Ignoring this fact is irresponsible and potentially financially disastrous.

So I have a gold star in advance for the first review site to assemble a normalized TCO comparison and really go the extra mile to inform their readers just how the various companies are planning to part them and their money.

October 31, 2012

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Peter

How much does it cost to get 10-bit 1080p 24fps on a Canon camera with a Super 35mm sized sensor?

October 31, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

BOOYA!!! ;-)

October 31, 2012

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Paul

That's what you've got against Canon...only the C500 offers video more than 8 bits deep. But you have to compare IQ betw. Canon's 8 bits at its various gammas after post correction, and other vendors' 10, 12, 14 etc. bits before you can make sweeping statements about the value of bits.

All the cameras will have tradeoffs, which should be noted in the comparison. But even so, how much does each quality level cost? It's not that the quality will be identical...some of that will be subjective and 8 bits done well can be subjectively superior to 12 bits done poorly. We can compare the IQ at the quoted settings as well. But the unanswered question in so many of these reviews is what will it really cost to configure a workable system that can actually produce the results the reviewer is gushing over. Those numbers should be made plain.

October 31, 2012

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Peter

I'm with you about wanting to see a good, across the board comparison broken down into a simple grunt/dollar value, but when you get into the land of subjective opinions of "this 8-bit looks better than that 10-bit", you really start to muddy the waters. Keep it pure specs, and maybe have one factoring value for subjective data/opinions, based off of feedback from Zacuto polls and whatnot.

October 31, 2012

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How about 1080p at 120fps...or even 1080p at 60fps...with canon not only are you crippled at 8bits your shit out of luck being able to deliver any decent overcrank other than 720p. The C300 was barely competitive with the F3...the F5 if it lands anywhere near sub $18k simply blows it out of the water.

Hopefully Canon goes away and comes back with an ACTUAL amazing camera instead of a Hollywood show and dance launch with big names being paid to SAY how great it is.

October 31, 2012

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Paul

We're talking about the C500, not the C300. And yes, the C500 does 1080p60.

October 31, 2012

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TehRandax

I don't know about the C300 being disapointing. I've been working alot of reality tv lately and they have been constantly popping up since their release.

Also i just worked on a pharmcuedical spot that Dan Mindel lensed (Domino, Star Trek, MI3, Spy Game), and day 1 was the TV spot shot on an Alexa, but day2 was internet stuff and we did it all on the C300. I am sure he had the option to shoot whatever medium range video cam he wanted, he choose the c300 over any of the other options avail.

October 31, 2012

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Peter, you mean a post like, I don't know, this?

http://nofilmschool.com/2011/11/ready-shoot-prices-canon-eos-c300-red/

Anyone who is looking to spend $10K plus on a camera system should be informed about these things, and if they're not they'll learn pretty fast when spec-ing out a system. If they can't figure it out for themselves there are plenty of Value-Added Resellers who will be happy to talk you through it (that's why they have phone numbers and qualified people paid to give advice).

I agree that the media price is a big part of it. But we've also written that it's more important to know the cost of media per minute, not per gigabyte:

http://nofilmschool.com/2012/10/red-scarlet-redmag-lower-price/

Shooting 7:1 at 4K on a RED SCARLET should get you twice the runtime as 3.6:1 at 4K RAW on Sony's recorder... so that also affects the storage space/$ quotient. And if you have any quality complaints with 7:1 then that will pretty well negate any argument in favor of the 8-bit alternative.

However, to be able to shoot "5 hours on a given 10 hour day" on RED, at least in terms of battery power, is quite cheap assuming you get V-mount or AB batteries -- it costs about the same as any other professional camcorder in terms of power draw. I have $300 V-mount batteries that last 3 hours each. That's better than the AB batteries we used to buy for our Sony shoulder cams -- and those were standard-def 60i cameras.

If you're planning on shooting 5 hours of footage with no opportunity to offload, however, then I would go shoot on a Canon in most situations -- absolutely. We never say there's One Camera to Rule Them All -- it is always Best Tool for the Job.

October 31, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Yes I liked that article and I think it may even have been the first one I read on this site a year ago, which made me like this site for its basis in practical facts.

I'm wondering why you're telling people to figure it out for themselves as it's a terrific thing for a site like this to do for its readership. You can also compare rent vs. buy decisions. Making it easier for us to understand our plans and decisions is why I come here at least, it's quicker than chatting with salespeople, and what's more we have the comments section providing us with lower cost alternative ideas that the salespeople will hope we're unaware of.

Anyway Gold Star for that article a year ago and I hope for more like it.

October 31, 2012

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Peter

Sony has another camera announcement on November..probably an FS100 replacement? Carrying same sensor in a plastic body at 3K USD? Hopefully they carry over at least the 2K XAVC 10 bit 100 mbps 4:2:2 120fps codec..and its a great slo motion B cam to the BMCC for us poor people. Hey they need to fly people off to 2K to 4K resolution for them to be able to sell more TVs.

October 31, 2012

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quobetah

Is that just personal speculation or have you read anything that would imply an FS100 upgrade?

October 31, 2012

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Normally, I'd say that those prices are definitely RED killers, if the footage looks as good as it sounds.

However, RED has come out and said that they have found a way to "significantly lower prices on the EPIC, or make an obscene amount of profit, and we're ready to lower prices on EPIC." While he hasn't come up with a specific price, it wouldn't be big enough to announce it if it was only $3-4,000.

If RED can get the EPIC-M COLLECTION (normally $59,000) at or below $45,000, then I'm pretty sure that Sony loses.

October 31, 2012

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TehRandax

Either way though, we win. :)

October 31, 2012

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Gabe

http://www.scribd.com/doc/111576660/Sony-Announces-New-Software-Versions...

This seems to be slipping by everyone in the announcements. 6k by 3k or 8k x 2k demosaic options from the SDK for the F65.

October 31, 2012

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Charles

Scarlet and Epic basically cost the same to manufacture? Thinks folks...

http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?70447-Differences-between-Sc...

Jannard says, "We have learned how to make EPICs in quantity, lowered our assembly costs, found better suppliers and paid off our NRE. That means we can continue to charge the same for an EPIC (and now make an obscene amount of profit) or lower the price...We could easily pretend and invent a new model to justify a lower price with higher performance. You are too smart for that. So are we. Instead... we will just lower the price of EPIC."

October 31, 2012

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Ron

He's learned their sales have gone down and that Alexa's have beaten them to a pulp on TV, Commercial and Feature Production. So all that's left is to saturate the indy, low end and enthusiast market, which in the light of the C300 and Sony will not pay 50G plus for a camera package. In short, you have to lower prices because your product cannot compete at the high end, even if they only shoot 2k.

I don't buy the "we've learned to make them cheaper" line coming from the guy who said, "we make obsolescence obsolete." That saying has gone as fast as the traffic on Red Loser.

October 31, 2012

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T Nails

OK GUYS. I got someone to spill the beans.

SONY F55-------------- USD, 25,000

SONY F5-----------------USD, 19,000

PS. THIS IS VERY RELIABLE INFO. no price on the r5 raw recorder though. still not priced.

October 31, 2012

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Sisay

I don't believe you

October 31, 2012

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ryan

Me either. I've been told by a Sony dealer in Burbank that, most likely, the F55 will list around 50K and the F5 around 25K. The projections for street prices Joe has mentioned are probably fairly accurate so, Sisay, you might be close with your info for the F5. I doubt it for the F55. If you are right, I will buy one.

October 31, 2012

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dixter

Hah. Why would anyone buy the F5 then? Imagine if the Scarlet were only 25% cheaper than the Epic... does not compute.

October 31, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

In manufacturering costs, what truly is the difference in price between the Epic and Scarlet? Virtually Zero? Propoganda pushes the consumer to pay a premium. This is 2012, and technology has changed. Startup and new camera companies are giving filmmakers better specs at very affordable prices - BMC, Digital Bolex, Hero 3 (for action) and so on. Just because we are so indoctrinated from past dealings due to limited competition does not mean we have to accept huge price differences. A few years back, what were top end cinema cameras being priced at? $250K.

October 31, 2012

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Ron

Top end cinema cameras are no longer priced at $250k PRIMARILY because of RED. So I find "propaganda pushes the consumer to pay a premium" ironic... RED was and still is a "startup and new camera company," and is arguably the one that pushed prices to drop as far as they have.

October 31, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Exactly, Red knocked the price down. Then they found their pricing niche. Their hand is now being forced due to competition. All camera companies are in it to make money. Business is business. Camera companies do not want to knock prices too far down as it leaves money on the table. They may try to appear to be the consumer friend but in reality they are after the all mighty dollar. When "outside" companies show up with alternative products with better pricing and specs, this leads to change.

October 31, 2012

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Ron

Starting to sound dangerously like a fanboy Koo.... :)

October 31, 2012

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Peter Kelly

Ron all you are doing is building up the growing stereotype that BMC guys are dummies. Give it a rest.

October 31, 2012

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ryan

Your valued opinion means alot. Did you pay too much for a camera due to being caught in past hype? Holding a depreciating asset will remind you of your intelligence.

October 31, 2012

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Ron

Depreciation is only a concern for people who do not use the cameras for what they were made for.

October 31, 2012

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ryan

It is a concern. Your business sense is shining brightly.

October 31, 2012

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Ron

If you have received a return multiple times larger than initial retail value of a camera why would you be concerned about the depreciation?

October 31, 2012

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ryan

Your intelligence is becoming clearer by each post. "If" is forward thinking and is not a guarantee. Limit risk in business whenever you can.

October 31, 2012

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Ron

You're very tangential, makes it difficult discuss, buck stops here.

October 31, 2012

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Ryan

The discussion actually sloped to quadrant four when you insulted yourself by calling BMC guys dummies.

October 31, 2012

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Ron

Let's say out of a batch of chips, only 25% can run at Epic speed and 50% can run at Scarlet speed. The other 25% has to be thrown away. As you can see, the best return would be to sell twice as many Scarlets as Epics, because that minimizes waste the most. The manufacturing cost of Scarlet is dependent on the number of Epics that can be sold compared to the number of Scarlet's that can be sold.

This is probably integral to the other cameras, and directly comparable to computer CPUs where manufacturers deal with the same yield issues.

October 31, 2012

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Gabe

Who does their manufacturing if such a low success rate? Ya think they'd have higher success? Don't believe everything you're told to believe.
http://www.npd-solutions.com/proccap.html
https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:xpcqvbkFsp4J:citeseerx.ist.ps...

October 31, 2012

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Ron

@Ron, please explain how a cutting edge processor can have a high yield. That has never happened. Ever. By anyone.

October 31, 2012

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Gabe

Exactly -- see: Intel's processors. Is the high-end chip any different "in manufacturing costs" from the next one below it? No... but yield, scarcity, etc. all effect pricing...

October 31, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

hey pal, let's leave the intelligent analysis at the door...ain't nobody got time for that!

:)

October 31, 2012

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Ryan

Koo, The Scarlet will likely be an Epic by tomorrow for an affordable upgrade fee. Not 25% more but close enough and under 20k.

October 31, 2012

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16 bit color depth is why.

October 31, 2012

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T Nails

I want Sony to succeed for several reasons. But as a Red Epic owner, the main one is I've always liked the way Sony does business much more so than Red. They don't use their first wave of buyers as beta testers. They don't have a base of rabid fanboys that drag the camera's reputation down with them. They don't ban people from their site or from buying from them who bring up valid criticisms of their designs.

On the technical end I see many advantages of the f55 over my Epic. First and foremost, 16bit color depth. Red's color space is seriously compromised. They spread the butter way too thin, so to speak. Global shutter means I won't have to shoot at 144 degrees to minimize motion artifacts. 240 FPS - woo hoo! Ability to shoot both SxS and to 4k Raw makes instant proxies. No more transcoding. And having proper outs already built into the camera, on the right side facing back, like a real camera. Better ergonomics so we don't have to buy Franken rigs to go handheld. Internal NDs - what took so long?

This camera looks to be an Epic killer. So be it.

October 31, 2012

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T Nails

Maybe RED could announce a complete Camera Package with 3K for $3K... And call it... oh... I don't know... something similair to the color "red". Market it to soccer-moms and give it a 120fps 2/3" chip... or... I don't know... I'm just brainstorming here... -.-

November 1, 2012

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As an FS700 owner, I'm pretty happy with it. BUT since the 4K is looking like a bust, I think Sony needs to address some other issues with the camera. Most importantly, the internal codec is kind of weak. The FS700 will be dated really fast unless they introduce a broadcast friendly codec at least 8bit 4:2:2 50mbps.

Much cheaper cameras like the GH3, 5D3, Nikon D800 all have the same 4:2:0 8 bit codec, so the FS700 since it costs so much more, needs a better internal codec to stay competitive.

Also, they need to fully enable the SDI port so it can output a 1080p 60fps signal for monitoring and recording. Right now, it can only do 1080i for slow motion. This is a very basic need, and super lame that Sony has disabled 1080p 60fps on the SDI.

To me, it seems like the F3 is just done, especially if the F5 is only going to cost $18K. Seems like it makes more sense for the FS700 to sit under the F3, but in order to do that, the internal codec should be better.

November 1, 2012

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Gene Sung

While they haven't officially announced prices, this vendor is taking deposits and has the price listed on their site. Looks like 20 grand for the F5 and 25 grand for the F55 http://www.creativeventures.be/search/f5/

November 1, 2012

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Isn't it just soooo much cheaper to shoot with the 3,000.00 BLACK MAGIC 2 k; set of primes; light it for what you want emotionally? And then adjust your image perfection in post. WTF? is another 20 grand-40 grand camera going to do for any indie moviemaker? That's a whole budget for true, indie movie making.

Not 1 or 5 million. SONY could easily price their set up for under 10 grand. And they keep playing this mother friggin' game. I'll go BLACK MAGIC and do it my own way. Starting off as a writer first and foremost throughout film school and selling a few low, low budget specs while crewing on indies...BLACK MAGIC and set of primes is the camera for me and my small cast and crew projects we'll budget at for under 200 grand.

November 2, 2012

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MARK11

Sony F55 can shoot 16-bit RAW. Information is not accurate on this site. Just check Sony's site.

November 2, 2012

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Mark P

SONY F55 ------------------ USD 35,000

SONY F5--------------------- USD 20,000

AXS R5 RAW RECORDER USD 5,800

LINK: http://www.sony.co.jp/SonyInfo/News/Press/201211/12-165/
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

November 14, 2012

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Sisay

Here in Paris at my production company we've just calculated that a functionally F5 will cost us around 31 000 € (40 000$ at today's change) and a F55 will cost us around 44 000 € (58 000$ at today's change).

First, I love the image coming from the Red Scarlet and the Red Epic. Mind blowing, not doubt, only if you use it well, there are just tools of course.

But.. We are in France and for us, the Red Scarlet is ready to shoot at 28 000 $ (not 16 000 $ or less like everyone thinks..) and to bring that camera to France, we have to deal with Red Europe in London, the price there is the same number but in pounds (because of the shipping and european taxes..) so it's around 28 000 £ wich gives us a 35 000 € camera (45 000 $, yes you read well, an European buyer of a 28 000 $ dollar Scarlet will have to pay 45 000$ because of the shipping and taxes)..For the Red Epic, in US, for us it's fine to shoot at 51 500$ wich for us french will be around 51 500£ wich is 64 000€ wich is at the end almost 84 000$ just because of import taxes !.

So, in the end, what does that mean? It means that we will rather go with a Sony F55, why?

1) Because of the versatility of this camera, it can shoot HD,2K,4K, in RAW or in compressed codec.
That's a thing a RED without the meizer module can't do (if we've had it, the price would be higher)
It means that we can now shoot different projects with one camera and adapt it to the specific needs of the project (There is no reason for us to shoot a corporate video on 4K RAW for example, HD is fine and we can shoot a documentary on XAVC 4K and a feature film on 4K RAW)

2) The Slow Motion...The planned upgrade for the 240 FPS is FREE so this make the F55 in the Red Epic and Phantom territory at a much better price and we NEED slow motion for many our projects, it's a creative decision. And the ND's (important to have them, it's a no brainer)

3) The Reliability, remember I L-O-V-E the images coming from the Red Epic but, I've been on many sets here with a Red Epic and mostly every 30 minutes (no jokes) there was a BUG...I'm not a Red Fan-boy , I'm not a Red Hater neither, I respect the work they do, I respect their products but I can't invest in a product that risk to give us several problems on a set, I can't go on a shoot with a camera I don't trust even though I love the images coming from it. Red Cameras have bugs, that's a fact...sadly.

And what's more even sad, is that when you discuss of those issues on Red User, some Red Fan Boys (whom I suspect to not own a Red Cam by the way..) they will tell you that the Red have issues but it's normal, all cameras have issues...I've never had an issue with an F3, never with an C300 or an Alexa...never...I've had one issue on a 5D Mark II because we had to use a 4 GB card and at the end of the card, the DSLR freezed and we had to remove the battery and we lost the clip, but that was because a 4GB is not enough to be write well, that issue did not appear with a normal video card like a 16GB or a 32GB CF. And we were forced to use the 4GB because we didn't have a laptop to empty the cards..Human error, it happens, "adapt to it, improvise, adapt to the environment, Darwin, shit happens, I Ching" (Collateral)

4) If I have an issue with the Sony, I know I can get it fixed here in France, with Red I will have to sent it to London then they will it to California...(imagine if we had to sent a Sony to Japan...)

5) The images coming from the Sony are very good for what we saw, we will wait to see what some better DP like Philip Bloom or others could do (It's the man behind that make the image not the camera, I've seen horrible Red Footage shot by people that did not know how to use a Red Camera..)

6) Of course, the post-production process, we do not know for now how the RAW workflow will be compared to the Red, but we know that we will be able to handle the compressed format from HD to 4K XAVC in a fine way.

7) Why we don't go with the black magic camera like Mark11 suggested? Well, first, where's the camera? Will it be on market one day? It should have been available in August 2012, we are in January 2013..

Second, there are bugs reported by the lucky ones who have it with some EF lenses and some others with the SSD drives...There is also the rolling shutter wich is more important than on 5D Mark II..

Third, there's no point shooting RAW with a BMCC, the RAW files of that 2,5K camera are heavier than those from a RED EPIC (5K...) because they are totally uncompressed, we could shoot on the lovely ProRes 422 though yes we could, but we need a nice compressed RAW and we need slow motion and that's not negociable, you could say, well rent another cam when you need slow mo....and if we want to make a video clip entirely in slow motion and only have 1000 € budget for it? That's the reality of the market...

But then you will ask me, "Man, you're investing almost 45 000€ on a camera just to make 1 000 € video clips?" Of course not, most of the money we earn is coming from corporate video, and documentary. That allows us to keep the business running, fund the gear, be able to give our clients the best of our creativity and if we love slow motion, they also do, so when an musician wants a video clip, he can have a slowmotion clip for 1000€, if we didn't own the gear, we won't be able to do that..But then you will say "And what about the FS700?" Well, I like that camera, very nice, but not enough cinematic to my opinion and the upgrade to 4K won't take high frame rate at that resolution,so, no FS700...

Own the gear also allows us to present short films to the CNC, the institution who finances the cinema here in France, with a reduced budget need, so that they are more willing to finance the film (It's not because it is public funds that you will get those funds)

For example, for a short film we need a 55 000 € budget, just to pay the people and the build the set, if we had to pay for the rental, it would have go up to 75 000€. We don't need rental, we own everything from camera to light and sound. We will invest 5 000 € in it and the CNC will give us 50 000€ (generally for a short movie they give 70 000€). And we go, let's shoot.

I don't like going on a shoot and not give people the money they deserve for the work they are doing with their heart, and the reality is that for a 15 day shooting with a 15 people technical crew, the pay is 36 000€.
So, having a black magic is fine, but will be enough ? No. And I won't risk the funds of my entreprise only on pay, buying a camera is an investissement, paying people is an expend. I don't say that in a bad way, but here we are lucky to have public funds to help us, and having all the gear makes the short film cost cheaper because the gear is made profitable thanks to corporate and documentary.

So, with all the bugs of the BMCC and the same reliability problems than the Red, and the fact that it does not a fine RAW recording and no slowmotion, I can't see myself using it. But it's a nice cinema camera with real cinematic feeling when you're using it to the full amount of its capacities like any other tool. Do I trust it? No....Sorry but I won't give my trust to a company that has some serious several delays and gives a camera with several bugs in it and a unusable RAW feature (Files are more heavier than a 3:1 5K Red File !!!!!!)
So it's a 1080p camera...fine no prob with that but for feature and tv docs I need a 4K, not just because it's 4K, but because I know I will be able to sell the movie for the 20 and 30 years to come...(No, the 8 and 16K is not for tomorrow, some TV channels are not even on HD.and the theaters had made some important investissement in 2K and 4K projectors, they won't upgrade tomorrow, and prod company don't have the horse power for better rez for now..)

Another example,

Before creating my company, I've worked with small companies that made documentaries for french TV.
Their budget for it was around 80 000€ and they were using DSLR (Canon 5D Mark II)
They were investing on their own 10 000€ the rest of the money came from channels (they are obligated by law here to invest in cinema and tv production) , from the CNC and from the Media Program wich is an European help fund for cinema and tv. The worst thing?
They were losing money on their project....
Why?
Because they don't understand the new economic model for the documentary (and only documentary not feature or short films I'll explain these later)
We are 2 in my company and we are able to make a better documentary than them for only 5 000 €. Why? Because I'm the owner of the company, so legally the Executive Producer, sometimes the director, the DP, the Editor, the Color Grader of it. And I don't get pay for all I'm doing, I eat with the money I made with corporate work wich is what give us the real money. And then, if the doc makes money, I will have my taste of the cake on it. But it gives us more freedom, we are not related by contracts with channels, they are not here to tell when we must deliver our film and the channels are interested in that because they don't have to invest anymore at the beginning, they're making a broadcasting contract with us that doesn't cost them anything, they share the money with us and everyone is happier this way. All we have to pay is the mixing, the voice over, the music and what to eat on a set, that's 5 000 €.( 800€ for the mixer with 60% salary taxes, 800€ for the voice over talent with 60% salary taxes , 1000€ for the music composer with 1% author taxe, 1000€ for several HDCAM outputs and 1000€ to eat and transport and 400€ for shit happens)

Feature film, short one I should say because that's my experience, are different. We're saving money from the rental of the gear wich is a lot, but what cost the most are and always will be the people, this time we can't run on a 2 people crew like we do on docs, we need more people, that's a fact. Period. But we're saving money on the gear, it's always that and it's fine !

And the final argument, I've a long story with Sony, my first little camera was a DCR-PC2E camera, a mini DV cam, guess what, almost 15 years after, she's stills working perfectly, never had a single bug with it...then I used a PMWEX1R with an adaptor to put EOS lenses on it, did she had bugs? No..
Sony products are reliable, I trust them, they let me make what my imagination sees...I think that in the end it's all we, filmmakers, simply ask...

So, these are all the reason why our company decided to run with the Sony F55...

Cheers from France

January 10, 2013

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