Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

Two days ago RED’s Founder Jim Jannard made the following statements…

“I fully expect the DSLR mfgs to get it right at some point. Make a non-line-skipping 4K camera. At that point, the difference will be RAW 5K and 6K vs. whatever they make. Until then, a line-skipping 1080P camera is just not in the running for a pro camera. Can you make OK images with a line-skipping 1080P camera? Sure. Should you be embarrassed? Yes. We are not in that business.

I saw the Canon commercial about shooting “motion stills”. They should be ashamed. Just try to take a still from their motion 1080P capture…

The only difference between us and the rest of the industry is that we are talking along the way. If we kept silent about the process and our targets, we would be just like the others. I now can understand why they do it like they do. But I still prefer to keep an open dialog.

As I understand it, Red will never go “head to head” with the DSLR market. It will be cutting it’s own path a few hundred miles up the road. Comparing a Red camera to a currently available Nikon or Canon is just plain… well… ludicrous.

Again… we have no intention to be the biggest camera company in the world… only the best”….Jim Jannard

HDW : Although I will never own a RED camera I am a big fan of RED because it’s the first camera manufacturer to keep everyone informed as to the development of it’s products, no other manufacturer has been this open with ongoing development of any products EVER…!

Only at NAB this year did the worst offenders open their tightly shut lids to reveal two film like camcorders in development, Panasonic and Sony. This was a first for both Japanese companies revealing products in advance of the statutory preliminary data sheet. Panasonic have revealed further details only last week and a proper picture of the up and coming AF100 camcorder.

Panasonic are coming round to the fact that the more snippets they show people the bigger the hype becomes and by sale time everyone wants an AF100 at £5000 (My price not Panasonic’s).

This is getting away from my original blog…I was never under any allusion that any DSLR could touch the quality the RED camera produces therefore the argument is a non starter, I do however think that RED should be targeting their anxieties at Panasonic and Sony who are about to enter the FilmLike marketplace with camcorders that are built for purpose unlike the DSLR.

Tools for the job…If you can’t afford any more than £2000 and want a Shallow Depth of Field (SDoF) then you have no option to go down the DSLR route. If you need a more professional camera but don’t have an endless pocket you are looking at the Panasonic or the Sony (late 2010). If on the other hand money is no object you have many choices including the RED cameras.

SDoF is a look…but you pay dearly with critical focusing and probably a lot more retakes than you would using a video camera. I think we are going to enter a new phase come December 2010 when Panasonic brings out the AF100, the main decider will be price, remember you will be buying a body only so that takes a good £1000 off the price but in my opinion Panasonic need to get the price below £5000 taking into account the large following and uptake of the DSLR at £1500 average prices.

Personally I believe the uptake of the DSLR is mainly due to two key points…Price and lenses. Price because everyone from media students upwards can afford them and if you were a keen photographer like me you already own the lenses. The majority of us have only seen DSLR footage on the net and lets be honest £300 cameras with 720P movie mode look good on the net.

The debate will rumble on DSLR v ?  Once we see more SDoF camcorders on the market place at keen price points the DSLR debate will diminish to the point that Canon will drop the “Movie” mode altogether and that will cause another internet rumpus…mark my words.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

3 thoughts on “RED v DSLR “Are RED focusing on the wrong cameras”

  1. Scarlet has a very, very tough sale against the DSLR’s I think they have left it too late and it may never see the light of day.

  2. Scarlet in my opinion will have a tough time against Panasonic/Sony SDoF camcorders when they appear I don’t think Scarlet at £4000 is competing against DSLRs. Another problem RED have is availability, they don’t have the same manufacturing lines to compete with Panasonic or Sony.

  3. I really hope you would have looked in to the subject before spitting out comments like you have in your text. Boy are you wrong about so many things.

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