I’ve thought long and hard about my next move, camera-wise. My Red Scarlet MX was eligible for upgrading to an Epic for 9000US$, or upgrading to a Scarlet Dragon for 9500US$. I paid a small fortune for my Scarlet and adding another 9 grand meant that i could’ve better bought an Epic in the first place. IMHO, not much of a deal or “gesture” to Scarlet owners.
I decided eventually to sell the Scarlet now it’s still worth a few bucks. Emphasizing on “a few”.
I had to let it go a few weeks ago for 7200 euros including a cage, Redmote, two 64gb SSDs, 5″ LCD, sideSSD, etc.; the complete scarlet package plus tophandle and cage. That amount of money is peanuts, but hey, you know that it devaluates starting day one.
I decided to “downgrade” to a 3000US$ Blackmagic production camera, for having a camera around the place and have something to play with during the fall and winter. Bought myself a great Sigma 18-35 1.8 zoom and a cage with handles plus three 500GB SSDs. Still had enough money left to buy some extra audio gear, Vmount batteries and pay a few months of mortgage for the house! ;-)
I thought i’d bought Martin’s next plaything and considered it to be a downgrade just to please my desire to own a camera.
I was almost shocked to learn that the 3000$ silly looking package produced way sharper and detailed images that my Red scarlet ever did! It has roughly the same dynamic range and s/n ratio, but seems to reveal much more micro-detail instead of bags of noise when blowing images up to 200%. VERY VERY IMPRESSIVE!
I shoot 24p exclusively in 4K on any camera – i rent highspeed cameras when i need them. So the Blackmagic production camera is a gift from heaven to indie filmmakers. For the price of renting a Red (don’t you ever think of buying one!) you can buy two or three BMPCs !!! And, just to make this clear, i am not paid of sponsored by BM to tell you this! ;-)
I’ll definitely shoot my next feature on multiple BMPCs, i swear!
- It needs bags of light (so buy a speedbooster or <=1.8 lens)
- 400 ASA natively: use a ND filter and don’t switch to 200ASA (limiting DR)
- 800 ASA is too noisy, just stick with the 400 ASA and crank the exposure up in post; it’ll look great!
- No white balance. Just a range of Kelvins to choose from. Shoot a color card or WB card and adjust in post.
- Internal battery wears down just below one hour. Buy one medium sized Vmount battery and you’re good for hours.
- The BM CINEMADNG Raw codec is HUGE and will slurp your precious SSD gigabytes before you know it.
BM HAS to device a way to adjust the compression level of the codec or come-up with something new, because this data-rate is outrageous. Recording just 12 minutes on a 500GB ssd is something i can NOT live with. Imagine shooting a feature film with this… My storage and backup costs would go through the roof! The Red Scarlet recorded 34 minutes of full 4K with low compression (1:6) on a 64GB ssd !
- Lightweight form factor, though very well build metal design – feels solid
- Record prores and raw (Cinema DNG)
- Super 35mm large sensor, great filmic shallow DOF with the right lenses
- Comes with a fully licensed version of DaVinci Resolve (including dongle)!
- Very nice skin color representation and silky smooth light transitions (just a personal / subjective opinion)
- Low (audible) noise
- full Canon EF lens communication and LANC (BeBop lanc controller will even control focus)
- 4K SDI out
- 12-35 volt input, so hookup any juice that doesn’t kill you ;-)
- Easy operation, easy menu’s
My next project… Taking a scene shot with my Scarlet, and repeating it with the same lens on the same location and under the same lighting conditions and show you the difference!