While PDN (Photo District News) is an excellent source of photography related information, they have only just begun dabbling in high-end digital cinema. They just recently finished off their list of 'Photo Gear of the Year,' and on that list happens to be the RED SCARLET -- which was actually introduced in November 2011 but didn't start finding its way into the hands of users until December 2011 and well into 2012. It's an interesting choice, for sure, but I'm sure part of it has to do with cost (it's still half the price of EPIC), and the other part is that you can pull great still images from the video.
Here is the reasoning behind the choice:
While calling the 4K-shooting Red Scarlet-X a mere "video camera," is like calling a Lamborghini just a "car," this digital cinema machine presented one of the best options for photographers interested in crossing over into serious filmmaking. Capable of producing mind-blowing 4K video that will put that 1080p you shot with your HD-DSLR to shame, the Red Scarlet-X offers the imaging power to make the leap from shooting HD clips to creating gorgeous feature films. Meanwhile, the free Redcine Pro software lets you easily pull high-resolution stills from the video, if you find you still need those. But believe us, after shooting video that's four times the resolution of HD with this rad-looking, small and rugged camera, you just may put still photography in the rearview mirror.
I don't think anyone is going to be putting photography in the rearview mirror anytime soon, but I'm inclined to think it will start happening sooner or later based on some thoughts from a recent Canon 1D C post. Of course, their reasoning doesn't factor in usability, which is certainly a consideration, but in terms of sheer image quality flexibility, there wasn't anything in this price range coming out in 2012 that could really match it. Yes you can argue 4K RAW has its downsides, like file sizes, but these R3D files are extremely versatile. This is also a good excuse to share a recent SCARLET video that caught my eye, produced with help from Vid-Atlantic:
This next year could be another interesting one for cameras. We've got the F5 and the F55 coming out, but it's also very possible we could see something brand new from a company that's never made a camera before. Many have talked about GoPro possibly producing a large sensor camera, and they've certainly got part of the camera building process in place already. I think the biggest thing for most people will be whether any of the camera companies besides Blackmagic start producing real video cameras in the $1,500-$3,000 range. Sony has started doing this, but their offerings haven't been any better than DSLR quality -- so the only reason to move up would be a form factor consideration. I think DSLR filmmaking will begin to slowly be replaced by large sensor video cameras at many levels, but they will still probably hang around for years to come, especially when cameras like the GH2 and GH3 are so cheap and still produce fantastic results. That type of value is hard to beat, and the next highest quality camera in the price range besides the BMCC is the FS100, which may see a replacement or a price drop in 2013.
Could be another interesting year -- but what do you think will happen in 2013? Do you think the new Dragon sensor, if released earlier in 2013, will become the high-end camera of choice, or do you think Arri will continue it's dominance? How about at the low-end -- what do you think will happen there? Do you think Blackmagic will secure much of the low-end digital cinema or might another company come along -- whether they currently make a large sensor camera or not -- and steal some of the thunder?