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Why is the RED SCARLET Four Times the Cost of a Canon 5D Mark III?

We already know what the Canon 5D Mark III can do, and there’s a good bet you’ve seen plenty of RED SCARLET videos online, but why such a cost difference between the two? Obviously one only shoots 1080p in H.264 but can be pushed quite a bit in lower light, and one can go all the way up to 4K at 24fps in RAW, but its ISO can’t be pushed quite as far. What if the stuff you’re shooting is just going to the web, do you really need all that extra resolution and detail? Will it make a difference in the end? Check out a test below from Robureau comparing the two cameras visually.

Both of these were color corrected to match, and the Mark III was kept near the same ISO as the SCARLET:

Check out some screenshots of the video straight from the web:

Certainly it’s not really all that fair to compare the Mark III to a RAW 4K camera that costs at least 4 times as much, probably more after you really get it rigged up. It’s very often said that you can’t tell much from web video, or that the kind of camera you use is pointless because it’s all getting compressed down to nothing and people watch it in a small window anyway. Well, the screenshots above were taken from one of those small windows, and it’s clear to me which camera is which — and I would assume it would be pretty obvious to any of you without the identifying overlays.

I think the really interesting tests are going to come with the BMCC vs. the RED SCARLET, and how well those two will compare on the web. The Mark III may not be the best to compare against the SCARLET, but that’s exactly what Blackmagic is trying to do with their Cinema Camera: go up against the big boys and come out relatively unscathed.

What do you think? Are the results surprising at all even in a compressed window?

Link: 5D Mark III vs Red Scarlet-X — Vimeo

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