Thread: New to Red - looking for guidance between new/used

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  1. #1 New to Red - looking for guidance between new/used 
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    Hello RED users,
    I've lurked on the forum for a while. I'd love to get into the RED ecosystem, and work with a client who wants to go into it with me to get a RED for client and personal work. We've been debating whether to go with an older DSMC1 system, a used Raven/Scarlet-W kit, or go all-in for the new Dragon-X kit.

    Each option seems to have benefits and disadvantages. Strictly cost-wise a DSMC1 camera system may be best, but we've had concerns with longevity and maintenance given that they haven't been produced in quite some time. The image quality would still be fantastic. The Raven looks like an affordable middle ground, since currently neither of us use PL lenses and the camera's capabilities are fine for what we'd like to do. We're coming from Blackmagic (Pocket/Ursa Mini 4k for myself) and Sony (A7R for my client), so essentially any RED would be a large step up. Any guidance would be appreciated!
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  2. #2  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Maintenance and upgrade possibility are often big factors in moving into the RED ecosystem. At this point, I'd personally recommend getting into a Dragon-X kit as you have a body that can be serviced if chaos occurs and also has the potential to move forward in the upgrade path. The upgrade thing is not just if you intend on doing that yourselves, but it also effects resale value even.

    Cost-wise, yep, DSMC1 will of course be the cheapest option. Support and upgrade however, DSMC2 is current. Plus you get the benefit of things like the new IPP2 color and ProRes/DNxHR in camera.
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  3. #3  
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    Thank you for the reply, Phil. The Dragon-X kit really caught my interest, considering the sheer amount of accessories that come with it and the cost savings versus buying parts individually. My client and I were originally set on a Raven kit, but once the Dragon-X kit became available that changed our thinking. Having ProRes/DNxHR in-camera is a benefit to me, since I currently work with both formats with my existing cameras.

    I wouldn't necessarily mind a DSMC1 system for personal use, but again, maintenance and upgrades are big considerations. All things equal we'll go with the Dragon-X. I think it's just a matter of securing capital for it and any remaining rigging gear required.
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  4. #4  
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    I would personally avoid getting into a raven system. Its a one and done camera, no future upgrades, and the smallest sensor of the red line up. If you can find a used Scarlet-W at least you'll have an upgrade path to a Dragon-X or a Gemini. Just my 2 cents :)
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Zack Birlew's Avatar
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    I've been shocked how quickly the support for the DSMC1 cameras depleted. I know when we bought our RED One MX that support was just about done but it was inexpensive enough to make up the difference. Since then, I've been looking at a DSMC1 camera since we have all the 1.8" SSDs and accessories to match but the support keeps dropping out, first the Scarlet MX, then the Epic MX, and then RED phased out the Raven and Scarlet-W DSMC2 cameras so I don't know if the DSMC1 Dragon cameras will last much longer. If I were buying a RED camera today, I would definitely be looking at a used Scarlet-W along with a used Epic Dragon just for support's sake if nothing else. Now, having said that, I don't know if a used Epic Dragon will keep commanding the same price that it has on the used market now that Dragon-X DSMC2 is in the picture as it's just about as much to buy the newer model, so it depends on what your priorities are. I've been very happy with my RED One MX and I look forward to using it again on my next feature along with a Blackmagic Pocket 4K or two for B-roll and tight space filming. If you can wait, NAB is just around the corner but I love the RED workflow and judging from when we used one for the first time in film school years ago, it's only gotten better over time.
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  6. #6  
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    After some more deliberation my client decided that he'd rather go with a Blackmagic, so I'm on my own now! That puts the Scarlet-W/Dragon-X out of reach. The DSMC1 cameras and the Raven look like a viable option now. I know that support is limited and the Raven is a one-and-done deal, but unfortunately the Scarlet-W and Dragon-X are way out of my price range unless I can find a -really- good deal on a Scarlet-W kit.
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  7. #7  
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    I've been doing some more research - what's a reasonable price for a lightly-used Scarlet-W brain?
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  8. #8  
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    Most seem around the $9500-$10000, mine is for sale for €7777, brain only (plus import tax)
    Upgrade to Dragon-x is $4950, I guess you have to add the ownership transfer but you can upgrade later and see if you go Dragon-X or Gemini.
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  9. #9  
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    Scarlet MX is still a solid image and holds up. Upgraded to Gemini so I'm selling my Scarlet. $4500. PM if interested
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joshua Miner View Post
    After some more deliberation my client decided that he'd rather go with a Blackmagic, so I'm on my own now! That puts the Scarlet-W/Dragon-X out of reach. The DSMC1 cameras and the Raven look like a viable option now. I know that support is limited and the Raven is a one-and-done deal, but unfortunately the Scarlet-W and Dragon-X are way out of my price range unless I can find a -really- good deal on a Scarlet-W kit.
    Why not join him and get an URSA Mini Pro G2 as well? Then you'll both have matching cameras, and your existing URSA Mini 4K / BMPCC4K will make for great B & C cameras.
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