Thread: Why do you choose to shoot and own RED?

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  1. #1 Why do you choose to shoot and own RED? 
    Hey, Y'all!

    I asked a similar question on Reddit 2 weeks back "Why do you love the image from the camera you shoot with"
    I got some good responses but also quite a few just quoting Steve Yedlins Display prep how technically any camera can look like any camera and camera doesn't matter, and the story is what matters, it's just a tool bla bla..

    I really wanted to ask this question here with the RED community because I'm looking to go RED this Year because I love the Image of the Komodo, but I don't really understand why I do... And RED's are widely owned cameras so I want to ask why you shoot RED.

    I've been shooting with Sony, FS7, A7SII & now FX9 for 3-5 years and it's such an impressive image in so many ways but after seeing the Komodo I've fallen in love with RED's image again and It feels like such a nicer image, much more organic more Dynamic range, better colors... I'm tired of treating Sony images in Post to get an Image I find more Pleasing.
    But as you talk about Dynamic range Specs especially usable Dynamic range I find everything falls into the same numbers, 13 Stops, or 14 Stops... I mean Alexa has 14 1/2 Stops.
    The Komodo currently tested at least by Brian Nguyen to have 13 Stops of what he considers usable Stops and with the A7SIII also having 13 stops of usable range by Gerald Undone... It makes me a question... why the heck do I still like the Komodo over all the A7SIII footage I've seen.

    Why do you Shoot RED? Why do you own RED? Why is RED more pleasing to some over an A7SIII or even FX9.

    Cheers Everyone
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Wil Wong's Avatar
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    May 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    For me, without getting technical, let's start with this...

    Red versus other Cameras:
    - R3d codec (great compression of raw files - keeps the size low)
    - RAW and Redcine-X - lots of options to change the look and feel of footage especially when you have to push it to the edge
    - I like the menus GUI system. Very simple and straight forward. I also like not having physical buttons everywhere.
    - Like a computer, I can custom any physical buttons to be any setting.

    OWNER versus Rental:
    - Less chance of Equipment failure (since you might not know something is broken until on set)
    - You can buy gear that works for you (smallrig top handle versus tilta top handle)
    - Renting means losing time for camera prep or travel for pickup
    - Cost you less in the long run if you have many gigs using the gear

    Overall, it's pleasing colour and picture quality, quality raw tools for editing, and the modular form factor to only buy what I want/need.
    Last edited by Wil Wong; 09-07-2020 at 03:03 PM.
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Stephen Franchek's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    Great image and flexibility. I’m still shooting on my OG Epic Dragon and haven’t felt any urge to upgrade or switch (although that could change if DSMC3 shows up with lower prices, a more flexible mount system, internal NDs, dual native ISO and global shutter)
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  4. #4  
    I made my decision many years ago when RED was the only high-res game in town. The upgrades they offered kept me on the platform.

    Honestly speaking, if a genie said "here's ALL your money back" for the 3 cameras I bought, I don't know what decision I'd make today (and how much I'd reallocate to other things). But the fact is the money was spent long ago and the camera's still work: a Monstro and two Helium 8k s35s (upgraded from DRAGON, SCARLET, and a VV DRAGON that never shipped).
    Michael Tiemann, Chapel Hill NC

    "Dream so big you can share!"
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Christoffer Glans's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Tiemann View Post
    I made my decision many years ago when RED was the only high-res game in town. The upgrades they offered kept me on the platform.

    Honestly speaking, if a genie said "here's ALL your money back" for the 3 cameras I bought, I don't know what decision I'd make today
    I think I've used my camera and upgrades even less than you have over the years but I wouldn't trade away the time with them because the level of knowledge you get from owning the gear is priceless. When cinematographers work with me it's like all of those usual communication errors that normal director to cinematographers have if things get technical, are gone.
    "Using any digital cinema camera today is like sending your 35mm rolls to a standard lab. -Using a Red is like owning a dark room."
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Patrick Tresch's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Switzerland, Lausanne
    It's been a long ride with RED for me since april 2008. I had the RED One 336 in town and since Epic the camera is virtually 100% with me, I was the main renter. Even more so with Weapon MG that I co-own, and finally the Weapon Monstro. I've been upgrading and fine tuning the camera from model to model and shoot to shoot. Buying custom accesories and testing it out to master the tool. I don't think this ease of use would have been possible renting. I've also shot a lot of plates and nature shots that cound'nt have been made if I had to plan it.

    It's perhaps overkill to have a Monstro sleeping 70% of the time at home though...
    Renting just got me the ROI but not more, as you rent your tool in a lower price that the real market price to avoid the use of a cheaper camera by the production or even to make the project possible.

    Monstro is not the tool for every project, so you have to stay free to choose a Sony Fs5 over your beloved Monstro (or Komodo).

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  7. #7  
    Senior Member Blair S. Paulsen's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    San Diego, CA
    The clincher for me has always been the digital darkroom. I got on the RED train to dodge the cost of an SR tape based workflow. Then I fell in love with the power of RAW development tools to craft exactly the look I wanted.

    Cheers - #19
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  8. #8  
    I think some are missing the simplicity of using it - it's like shooting film. Just get your exposure right for the sensor. No faffing with ISO on set and it has a range that it large enough to hold a typical interior daylight scene. Shooting is simple, concentrate on what you are shooting - not how.

    Most other cameras prior to this are about how to maximise the range, minimise the noise and so on. Too many options really, all compromises.

    And the image is organically soft, not sharpened digital.

    That's the beauty of Red.

    But of course you can make most cameras look like each other so long as they have similar range.

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  9. #9  
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    Reliability. Performance. No compromise design. Modularity before it was even a thing. Flexibiity. If i cant do a thing with my Red, its not because of the gear but because of me and my own creative or technical limitations. With the performance Red camera provides, the r3d workflow, the dynamic range and color science, the multiple lens mounts and modularity, the variable frame rates, the excellent sensibility, there simply are no camera related excuses for not getting the image one wants. Owning a Red means simply you get the best performance for the price, and wont look to something else except for specialized shots. This frees your mind, opens up creative possibilities and trully helps one to develop one's craft.
    Sérgio Perez

    Weapon Monstro #03294 "Amochai" in Macau

    Video Director/Creative/Producer
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Timur Civan's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
    LA - NYC
    Two Reasons.

    I shoot table top. The basic needs of my niche are color accuracy, resolution, and flexibility in framing and post. Often my projects are slated for 1:1, 4:5, 9:16 and 16:9 (16:9 not as often as you would think). I build custom frame guides, that have a full height 1:1, 4:5 & 9:16, so about 4K tall, and then i make a "5-6K" 16:9 frame guide, that floats in the middle of the full 8K sensor. This way when framed for 1:1 or 9:16, the 16:9 framing is not compromised too badly. You do wind up throwing away a significant portion of the sensor, two "[ ]" shaped Areas. This is only possible with an 8K sensor.

    I wish i could say R3D was more important, but honestly, we light so carefully, and the looks are approved on set, so there is really no need for much color work. Just some matching. Build a lut based on Log3G10/RWG in legacy mode and we go.

    The "icing on the cake" is the framerate flexibility. We usually have a mandate for a minumum 4K for all 24P material or 2K for high speed material. RED is one of the few Cameras that can do 120fps in 4K, and 240FPS in 2.5K. (though more can do it as of this year) I shoot on the helium with STHL OLPF for the least artifacts. Also, the S35 Sensor is very important to me as i need as much DOF as possible to keep the products in focus. Occasionally, for very demanding clients that want the ultimate in sharpness, i crop down to 4K and use the DOF advantage of being able to still shoot a 4K image, in a S16 sized sensor area. I can still stay in spec, and cheat the laws of physics as much as possible.

    The helium is kind of the perfect camera for what I do. Do i want a monstro? YES. Will it actually be useful to me? Hell no. I would be fighting the DOF all day and night.

    Thats why i shoot red.
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