November 9, 2014 at 12:12PM

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Doubts on getting a RED epic : Experts please help?

I have 10k to buy a new camera. I am quite positive I want a RED. Does anyone have experience with this? Which RED should I get? Where can I buy it?

This information would be really useful right now guys. Thanks in advance.

13 Comments

It's a good that you're asking these questions, but you're asking for people with a lot of knowledge and experience to take the time and provide you with insight for your purchase; it first requires some input from you in order to know what is relevant to you.

It would be very helpful to know what you intend to film with it? (Features, docs, corporate?)

What your previous experience shooting has been?

Do you intend to edit or only shoot? (You need to have the processing power and storage capability if you want to edit all those beautiful pieces of footage.)

Where are you located (generally)? If you're in Europe there are going to be different options than if you're in the US or Australia.

Hope this helps get you some responses to help you in your purchase decision.

November 10, 2014 at 5:46PM

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Einar Johnson
DP / Editor / Creative Director
178

The issue with RED (and most cameras now, really) is that the camera may seem affordable, but you'll end up spending 2-3x for the kit/accessories/etc. 10k isn't going to get you a RED kit. Explain more of what you plan to shoot (and what kind of editing hardware you have) and we can help you out with something you can afford!

November 11, 2014 at 1:45PM, Edited November 11, 1:45PM

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Daniel Keywan Hollister
Video Game High School
271

For $10k you're going to get a box with a lens mount and card slot. You won't be able to shoot on it without spending upwards of around $15k. What sort of work do you want to be doing?

November 11, 2014 at 6:48PM

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J
Director of Photography
142

Im trying to shoot commercials, short films, documentaries, etc.

November 15, 2014 at 1:02PM

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Tommy Plesky
Director / D.P / Editor
1934

Yeah, I agree with the above comments - if you get a Red Scarlet - for 10K, you would only be able to afford a body with SSD side mount and a lens mount - you would need atleast 14K to have a functional camera.(assuming your buying new, you could get better deals in the used market)
TBH you may not even need a camera - I feel having a camera seems good starting out(and is almost a requirement with mandy gigs and super low budget features), but when you get more gigs and form relationships with producers and directors and the budgets increase, they will hire you because of your talent, and can afford to rent a camera - and likely one better than any you could likely afford now.

I would look into the Cion camera or a black magic - so you atleast have something if you feel you need a camera- because you would need atleast 25-40K to get a halfway decent scarlet package.
The Cion seems super solid, and could do Doc's as well as shorts and commercials and has a lovely image.
and what do you expect to get lens wise - or would you rent? because those would run atleast 10K minimum for PL glass.

November 15, 2014 at 11:38PM

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Have a good look at the fs7. Most versatile camera in the price range that I have seen epically if you need to do documentary stuff and you need to go run and gun. Try that with an ursa.

November 23, 2014 at 11:27AM

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Will Youngman
Sound Mixer
231

If your asking the question in that manner you probably are not rdy for a RED experience wise...First 10k won't get you a shoot able RED, just the brain which might as well be a paper weight...you need batteries, cards , lenses,etc...and that's not counting camera support like tripods, shoulder rig, etc....plus you need a state of the art computer with tons of drives...like at least 6TB...when you are rdy to buy a RED you would have gathered the needed info from experience and wouldn't have to ask Those questions , (which sound like you don't know the first thing about it )...If you don't have the client base for a RED it's a not a good move buying one ..you will just be overwhelmed(unless your made of money) ...and RED cameras because they are valuable and expensive are not the kind of camera you Can just grab and take with you places to shoot ...I've seen beginners who buy a RED cause they jus want it and end up with a camera that is not easy to shoot with, and deters them from having fun with it( (read. Nfs article ; "why I sold my RED for a cannon c100)...lastly they are now tons of camera options that give you results ver similar for a fraction of the price....BM, Fs7, Cion, etc...get yourself one of those which make way more sense..it will give you a great image close to RED, and is way more efficient...and cheap cameras are great cause you use them for a few years then upgrade, there low cost will put you I'm a position wher e you can have a great image but still be able to gauge the market til something better comes around....I know union Dps who don't "own" REDs , they own a middle tier camera which gives them great versatility ( REDs are not versatile) to shoot a wide range of things and if they need the 16biit raw the rent it...I've always thought that was the best approach, don't own any gear that's long term because the market is changing so fast you don't want to be pigeon holes into one platform...soon they will be 2,000$ cameras beating out REDs ...

November 23, 2014 at 2:07PM

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A little hard on me, but great answer. thank you.

Tommy Plesky

November 24, 2014 at 6:20PM

If your asking the question in that manner you probably are not rdy for a RED experience wise...First 10k won't get you a shoot able RED, just the brain which might as well be a paper weight...you need batteries, cards , lenses,etc...and that's not counting camera support like tripods, shoulder rig, etc....plus you need a state of the art computer with tons of drives...like at least 6TB...when you are rdy to buy a RED you would have gathered the needed info from experience and wouldn't have to ask Those questions , (which sound like you don't know the first thing about it )...If you don't have the client base for a RED it's a not a good move buying one ..you will just be overwhelmed(unless your made of money) ...and RED cameras because they are valuable and expensive are not the kind of camera you Can just grab and take with you places to shoot ...I've seen beginners who buy a RED cause they jus want it and end up with a camera that is not easy to shoot with, and deters them from having fun with it( (read. Nfs article ; "why I sold my RED for a cannon c100)...lastly they are now tons of camera options that give you results ver similar for a fraction of the price....BM, Fs7, Cion, etc...get yourself one of those which make way more sense..it will give you a great image close to RED, and is way more efficient...and cheap cameras are great cause you use them for a few years then upgrade, there low cost will put you I'm a position wher e you can have a great image but still be able to gauge the market til something better comes around....I know union Dps who don't "own" REDs , they own a middle tier camera which gives them great versatility ( REDs are not versatile) to shoot a wide range of things and if they need the 16biit raw the rent it...I've always thought that was the best approach, don't own any gear that's long term because the market is changing so fast you don't want to be pigeon holes into one platform...soon they will be 2,000$ cameras beating out REDs ...

November 23, 2014 at 2:07PM

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Hey, they are upping prices on dragon upgrades on December 1. So standby. There's rumours the mx prices may drop, if not then hopefully soon after. I shoot on a Red Scarlet run n gun, music vidz, TVC, doco and some short film stuff. Great camera. Low Light not very good. I own an A7s for that. I haven't used the Sony FS7 yet but it looks really nice. 4k 10bit 422. Good in low light. Would be a much better doco camera. The raw compression on RED is superb though as well as the post flexibility for color grading.

I'd really encourage you to hire one out for a weekend or at least a day and night just to play with and see if you feel it could work for you. It does for me 80 - 90% of the time for what I do. Love the image (providing there's enough light!).

I'm hoping the MX upgrade to EPIC will drop and am pondering jumping up. Not interested in dragon yet.

November 24, 2014 at 9:35AM

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Dean Butler
Writer Director Shooter Editor
626

Like others have said, the only camera you could get would be a Scarlet MX or a RED One and even with the Scarlet you will come closer to $12k for a working kit.

IF you have the funds I would suggest the following:

Purchase everything used except the brain. Save as much as you can on all of the extras and then use it for as many projects as you can. Once you're done...sell it.

RED is spendy and maybe even bordering on overpriced these days but the used market is great (GREAT). We have done this 4-5 times now with everything from the Scarlet to the Dragon. We purchase it for 4-6 months when we have a bunch of projects lined up and then we sell it on Reduser when we're done. Each time we only lose about 7-10% which, when split up over 6 months of shooting is an insane deal.

Technically you could do this with any camera, I just don't know what the used markets are like. Ebay is always a great bet.

I guess at this point we don't see the point in having ANY amount of money tied up into one camera. Technology is moving so fast that the value of these things are going down faster and faster.

A lot of people buy, a lot of people rent, I think it makes the most financial sense to buy and then sell when done :)

November 25, 2014 at 5:00PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2798

For instance, this last time we bought the Dragon brain new and waited to find great deals on accessories. Media for 40% off, LCD for 35% off etc.

Then when you sell the package you compensate a bit by selling those accessories at, say, 25% off. This covers what you ultimately lose by purchasing a new brain.

This year we used a Dragon for 6 months for about $1,200.

Luke Neumann

November 25, 2014 at 5:03PM

If I had 10k, I'd buy the C100mkii. Once you pay taxes and buy batteries and cards, you will have just enough left over for another accessory (lens, light, external recorder, slider, etc).

Depending on how much equipment you already have, 10k may not even get you a shoot-ready FS7.

November 28, 2014 at 10:09AM

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Tom Abray
Indy Videomaker
290

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