Thread: Weapon 8K Vs Epic-W: Differences?

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  1. #1 Weapon 8K Vs Epic-W: Differences? 
    Am I missing something? Besides frame rates, minute data rate differences and body build materials, are there really no huge differences between the Weapon 8K and the Epic-W except price and the availability of an upgrade path (which I'm sure will change by NAB or sometime next year)? I know that back in the day, RED stated that the Scarlet was using the same MX sensor that was in the Epic but I felt that I could see significant differences in image quality between the two cameras. I am just wondering if the same goes for the Epic-W and the Weapon 8K using the same Helium sensor. Has anyone shot a side-by-side and noticed a difference? So far everything I've been seeing with the Epic-W looks pretty phenomenal.


    Just asking before I go in debt for the next few years to try affording a Weapon 8K when I could just be getting an Epic-W. Thanks in advance for any advice or insight!
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    To me the additional slowmo at 8K and 7K is a huge difference, but that's just me.
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  3. #3  
    Same. And about 90% of my clients want at least 48fps. However I feel that I can still deliver a decent 6k 48fps image with the Epic-W mainly because the Helium seems to be much cleaner than the Dragon. Unless people have noticed a huge difference when cropping in. I always did going from 6k to 4k on my Dragon if lighting conditions weren't ideal.
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    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Evan Ziss View Post
    Same. And about 90% of my clients want at least 48fps. However I feel that I can still deliver a decent 6k 48fps image with the Epic-W mainly because the Helium seems to be much cleaner than the Dragon. Unless people have noticed a huge difference when cropping in. I always did going from 6k to 4k on my Dragon if lighting conditions weren't ideal.
    YES. But Helium 6k has same crop factor as Dragon 4K, so it's a smaller sensor than Dragon 6K.

    Worth keeping in mind.

    We shoot on 2 Epic Dragons, and have ALWAYS shot projects at 6K or 5K, and always need 48fps - so we've been asking the same questions you are.
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    Senior Member Alex Sandman's Avatar
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    I'm in the same boat. I bought the Epic-W and love it but 75% of what I shoot is b-roll at 48-60fps. The image quality from the Epic-W at 7k and 8k is a considerable jump from Dragon, in my opinion. For me it's more about the image texture and color than it is about the resolution. I have found that having to crop in to 6k for high frame rates still yields a really nice image, but it loses some of the magic that you get at full sensor readout. So I'm debating whether or not to sell the EW and get the Weapon Helium. The extra $20k seems like a steep price to pay for basically getting higher frame rates at 7k and 8k, but I'm also keeping in mind that I'm buying into one of the premium upgrade paths and the camera should hold it's value really well for a quite a while. At that price though I keep wondering if I should jump ship and get an Alexa Mini because in my humble opinion the Alexa image is still the best. Decisions decisions...
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    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Two main considerations when talking Weapon 8K S35 and Epic-W is maximum data rate and maximum frame rates. Some people truly will need 8K at 60fps for instance (myself included!).

    It's always good to look at everything to see the various differences between models. As usual I have a chart for such things:

    http://phfx.com/tools/REDDSMC2Camera...et2016_big.png


    Side note and on topic-ish thing. Epic Dragon and Weapon 6K S35 Dragon. Many have been working 5K-6K. 8K is indeed the new concept many are exploring. Helium sensor tech results in 7K being around Super 35mm in width, so I think for those shooting 5K say on Dragon, you may find your comfort zone around 7K Helium. Unless you're target delivery is 8K, then for sure shoot 8K.

    There are notable differences between the two sensor technologies on a per format basis. Some come down to resolution and format, some come down say image texture.
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  8. #8  
    This is exactly what I fear if I move to Epic-W from Dragon. I'd say 70% of the music videos and commercial spots I shoot require overcranking. And, if clients request Red from this point on they're going to want the Weapon Helium, hands down. Right now, my Dragon keeps chugging along and clients are happy with it, especially since 6k R3D files can be cut very easily now without hardware acceleration. I don't even transcode anymore. I just edit the 6k source files and everything works great.

    I kind of wish Red hadn't fragmented their line to this degree and pushed their top end camera into the $50k realm. If Weapon Helium sat a little closer to where Epic-W sat, they'd have my money in a heart beat. It feels like they wanted to position Weapon as close as possible to the Arri Mini in price. But I wish they'd stuck to that rebellious Red spirit and undercut them severely with their flagship camera. Most of my friends in LA sold their Dragons to purchase Arri Mini's. And those cameras do get rented out a ton. But had they been able to save $20k going to a Weapon Helium, I bet they would've done it. However, I'll be the first to admit that I am candidly spouting all this stuff out, with no real knowledge as to how much Red is spending on their backend in R & D and manufacturing. So it's probably easier said then done for Red to have just magically made the Weapon more affordable. The Weapon's current price point might be required to keep the company moving forward.

    The Epic-W is clearly the result of there being such a huge gap between Red's flagship camera and the Scarlet. There are a ton of customers like me that own Dragons, would love to upgrade but just can't justify owning the Weapon. The Epic-W fills that gap. Unfortunately, it is a camera that reduces some of the functionality that we as Dragon owners have all become accustomed to. This is Red's fault for making the Dragon such a bad ass camera at such a great price! I don't want to give up those frame rates! I've even searched around for other cameras on the market and there is just no competition when it comes to frame rates and image quality. Sure the Epic-W gives you a lot more in image quality, but frame rates are a really big deal for the work I do, and they may be the one thing that keeps a Dragon in my hands right now. Perhaps I'll just keep on saving for a Helium and by the time I've got enough Red will have announced a new body with ND's.
    Last edited by Derek Doublin; 11-06-2016 at 05:12 PM.
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  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Doublin View Post
    This is exactly what I fear if I move to Epic-W from Dragon. I'd say 70% of the music videos and commercial spots I shoot require overcranking. And, if clients request Red from this point on they're going to want the Weapon Helium, hands down. Right now, my Dragon keeps chugging along and clients are happy with it, especially since 6k R3D files can be cut very easily now without hardware acceleration. I don't even transcode anymore. I just edit the 6k source files and everything works great.

    I kind of wish Red hadn't fragmented their line to this degree and pushed their top end camera into the $50k realm. If Weapon Helium sat a little closer to where Epic-W sat, they'd have my money in a heart beat. It feels like they wanted to position Weapon as close as possible to the Arri Mini in price. But I wish they'd stuck to that rebellious Red spirit and undercut them severely with their flagship camera. Most of my friends in LA sold their Dragons to purchase Arri Mini's. And those cameras do get rented out a ton. But had they been able to save $20k going to a Weapon Helium, I bet they would've done it. However, I'll be the first to admit that I am candidly spouting all this stuff out, with no real knowledge as to how much Red is spending on their backend in R & D and manufacturing. So it's probably easier said then done for Red to have just magically made the Weapon more affordable. The Weapon's current price point might be required to keep the company moving forward.

    The Epic-W is clearly the result of there being such a huge gap between Red's flagship camera and the Scarlet. There are a ton of customers like me that own Dragons, would love to upgrade but just can't justify owning the Weapon. The Epic-W fills that gap. Unfortunately, it is a camera that reduces some of the functionality that we as Dragon owners have all become accustomed to. This is Red's fault for making the Dragon such a bad ass camera at such a great price! I don't want to give up those frame rates! I've even searched around for other cameras on the market and there is just no competition when it comes to frame rates and image quality. Sure the Epic-W gives you a lot more in image quality, but frame rates are a really big deal for the work I do, and they may be the one thing that keeps a Dragon in my hands right now. Perhaps I'll just keep on saving for a Helium and by the time I've got enough Red will have announced a new body with ND's.
    ¨

    Then again how many frames can alexa mini do raw? 48?

    Another thing to think about... I currently working on a alexa mini raw / cooke ana production and when image is squeezed to it´s 2880x1080 (full frame arri with ana) the image is covering a little bit more then the upper left corner on my consumer TV set.... For me to buy such camera today is nuts.

    I think this image says a lot. https://scontent-arn2-1.xx.fbcdn.net...3c&oe=588D6E6C

    A cinema camera that does not have enough resolution to fill out a regular home tv... I don't know what to say about that.

    I mix 6k weapon footage with the above and on a 4k screen it´s quite easy to see how great a 6k to UHD downscale looks compared to a 2880 upscale. But sure people like the alexa, personally I find it difficult to compare.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Chris Kennedy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Doublin View Post
    This is exactly what I fear if I move to Epic-W from Dragon. I'd say 70% of the music videos and commercial spots I shoot require overcranking. And, if clients request Red from this point on they're going to want the Weapon Helium, hands down. Right now, my Dragon keeps chugging along and clients are happy with it, especially since 6k R3D files can be cut very easily now without hardware acceleration. I don't even transcode anymore. I just edit the 6k source files and everything works great.

    I kind of wish Red hadn't fragmented their line to this degree and pushed their top end camera into the $50k realm. If Weapon Helium sat a little closer to where Epic-W sat, they'd have my money in a heart beat. It feels like they wanted to position Weapon as close as possible to the Arri Mini in price. But I wish they'd stuck to that rebellious Red spirit and undercut them severely with their flagship camera. Most of my friends in LA sold their Dragons to purchase Arri Mini's. And those cameras do get rented out a ton. But had they been able to save $20k going to a Weapon Helium, I bet they would've done it. However, I'll be the first to admit that I am candidly spouting all this stuff out, with no real knowledge as to how much Red is spending on their backend in R & D and manufacturing. So it's probably easier said then done for Red to have just magically made the Weapon more affordable. The Weapon's current price point might be required to keep the company moving forward.

    The Epic-W is clearly the result of there being such a huge gap between Red's flagship camera and the Scarlet. There are a ton of customers like me that own Dragons, would love to upgrade but just can't justify owning the Weapon. The Epic-W fills that gap. Unfortunately, it is a camera that reduces some of the functionality that we as Dragon owners have all become accustomed to. This is Red's fault for making the Dragon such a bad ass camera at such a great price! I don't want to give up those frame rates! I've even searched around for other cameras on the market and there is just no competition when it comes to frame rates and image quality. Sure the Epic-W gives you a lot more in image quality, but frame rates are a really big deal for the work I do, and they may be the one thing that keeps a Dragon in my hands right now. Perhaps I'll just keep on saving for a Helium and by the time I've got enough Red will have announced a new body with ND's.
    Well at 6k and under the Epic-W framerates are the same as the Weapon Helium, sure your cropping the sensor to a bit smaller then s35.
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