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Red Epic or Red Scarlet for earning with DSMC Technology? (stills & motion capture)

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  • Red Epic or Red Scarlet for earning with DSMC Technology? (stills & motion capture)

    Hello!

    I have been working as a wedding photographer / videographer who will be entering film school this fall. I plan on still shooting the occasional wedding during school, and I also have several lined up this summer.

    With all the RED Epic/Scarlet talk about DSMC (digital still & motion capture) technologies, I was struck that I could augment my earnings by shooting stills and video/motion at the same time during weddings. Has anyone been doing this?

    Will Video Cameras Kill Still Photography? Red Epic Vs Hasselblad | Fstoppers

    Is It Time To Eliminate Stills From Your Shoot?

    So I've been asking around--does anyone here have a RED EPIC or SCARLET? If you were charging around $1,500 for wedding stills and $2,000 for a video package, what do you think you could charge for shooting stills and video yourself?

    I generally shoot with an assistant who shoots video when I'm shooting stills and vice-versa. I may still keep an assistant, but now that I can pull stills from video, I may not need one, and if I do keep one, perhaps they will have a RED EPIC/scarlet too someday.

    Might anyone have been doing this, shooting stills and video at the same time? How much do you charge? How much was your RED setup?

    Ballpark numbers are cool. Thanks!

    Are any of you pulling still for video?

    How are you serving clients who request video? Pretty much every wedding/client I have now asks something about video...

    Anyone have a RED EPIC or SCARLET? Or anything else you use for this?
    Last edited by Kevin Parker; 05-26-2012, 11:42 PM.

  • #2
    Two main issues. The first is pure cost: a basic RED setup can cost $100k. Easily. A similar canon or Nikon-based budget would yield a literal ton of gear.

    The second, and I'd say biggest, issue is usability. No AF, tricksy exposure, max 1/120s shutter speeds, etc. not ideal. This is explained in the second link you posted.

    Yea, it's doable. But it's by no means practical. You'd be much better served with dedicated photo and dedicated HD video gear.
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    • #3
      Or a D4/1D?
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      • #4
        Originally posted by OsmosisStudios View Post
        Two main issues. The first is pure cost: a basic RED setup can cost $100k. Easily. A similar canon or Nikon-based budget would yield a literal ton of gear.

        The second, and I'd say biggest, issue is usability. No AF, tricksy exposure, max 1/120s shutter speeds, etc. not ideal. This is explained in the second link you posted.

        Yea, it's doable. But it's by no means practical. You'd be much better served with dedicated photo and dedicated HD video gear.
        No AF on the REDs? Are you sure about this? Any way around this? Yes this would make life tough.

        There are many 4K cameras in the pipeline too, like the Sony NEX-FS700, which shoots 4K in RAW! Out in July 2012 I believe!

        And Canon has that 4K camera coming out soon. I bet it has AF!

        And I bet Nikon will too, soon!

        More and more clients/weddings are asking for both video and stills. Have you guys seen this too? What are you doing or planning on doing to address this?

        P.S. you write, "Yea, it's doable. But it's by no means practical. You'd be much better served with dedicated photo and dedicated HD video gear." What would you recommend for dedicated photo gear and dedicated video gear? How would you operate both in the field?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Kevin Parker View Post
          More and more clients/weddings are asking for both video and stills. Have you guys seen this too? What are you doing or planning on doing to address this?

          P.S. you write, "Yea, it's doable. But it's by no means practical. You'd be much better served with dedicated photo and dedicated HD video gear." What would you recommend for dedicated photo gear and dedicated video gear? How would you operate both in the field?
          Why am I having flashbacks to this locked thread? http://digital-photography-school.co...hotoshoot.html
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          • #6
            Originally posted by Kevin Parker View Post
            And Canon has that 4K camera coming out soon. I bet it has AF!
            Canon specifically left out AF on the C300, even though it has a full EOS mount. No way they're going to put it on the C500. It's totally unnecessary for cinema.

            The FS700 might work for this (I use a 100), but you're going to have to use an external recorder for 4K raw (the recorders also don't exist yet). Also, there aren't really any good E mount lenses. You can adapt it to most any other system, but the only one that gives you autofocus is the Alpha stuff, and that adapter is glitchy right now.

            Edit: forgot about the mismatched aspect ratios. If you shoot for a 3:2 or 4:5 center cut, you're just wasting space. If you don't shoot with those in mind, your clients won't have standard size prints for their standard size frames. I realize it's mostly digital at this point, but most people want at least a few prints for the house.
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            • #7
              Originally posted by OsmosisStudios View Post
              Two main issues. The first is pure cost: a basic RED setup can cost $100k. Easily. A similar canon or Nikon-based budget would yield a literal ton of gear.

              The second, and I'd say biggest, issue is usability. No AF, tricksy exposure, max 1/120s shutter speeds, etc. not ideal. This is explained in the second link you posted.

              Yea, it's doable. But it's by no means practical. You'd be much better served with dedicated photo and dedicated HD video gear.
              There is a lot of misinformation in the above post.

              Autofocus in enabled in the Epic. For information on performance, look here:

              RED EPIC AUTO FOCUS TEST on Vimeo

              The Epic shoots at 120 frames-per-second - it is not limited to a shutter speed of 1/120 sec. It is a very different thing. You can set the shutter to at least 1/8640. Of course, you need enough light to shoot at that shutter speed, but that's physics.

              In the article mentioned, they set the camera up to optimally shoot video and then tried to pull stills. Needless to say, these weren't the optimal settings for stills. So when he pulled stills from the video, he complained they had motion blur.

              In the article, the author dismisses the sensor as inferior because he set up the camera incorrectly for stills and then compared it to a stills camera set up for stills. If he set up the Canon DSLR to shoot video and pulled frames from that, it wouldn't look very good either.

              The other article does do a fairly decent job of comparing the sensors - though he did use a very old Hasselblad digital back - so hardly apples to apples there.

              If you set up your Epic correctly to shoot stills and correctly to shoot video, it will do a better job at video by a mile and an almost identical job to shooting stills as, say, a 7D.

              If the guys in the article had thought of it, they could have exposed their video as 320 ASA and shot HDRx 2 stops under which would have given them an exposure of about 1/1000 per second - they could bump the ASA on that video stream up to 1000 without any grain.

              But there is a real problem with the Epic shooting stills - you just didn't mention it in your comments.

              No Flash sync - that, in my opinion, is the end of the argument there for the Epic being as good as a DSLR for stills. Granted, not necessary in many situations - sports for one - but a big chunk of the business.

              The Epic cannot compete with a Hasselblad with a current Digital back for studio stills. Period.

              It isn't as good at stills as a Nikon D4 or a 1Ds. But it's pretty damn good for a top-flight digital cinema camera.

              And with the New 6k chip and sync flash - it's going to be tougher to make an argument vis-a-vis the Canon and Nikons.

              The Hasselblad will still take it in a fair fight, though.

              Full disclosure: I own and Epic and a Red MX and a 7D and a bunch of other cameras.
              Last edited by MWDirector; 05-28-2012, 03:03 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MWDirector View Post
                There is a lot of misinformation in the above post.

                Autofocus in enabled in the Epic. For information on performance, look here:

                RED EPIC AUTO FOCUS TEST on Vimeo

                The Epic shoots at 120 frames-per-second - it is not limited to a shutter speed of 1/120 sec. It is a very different thing. You can set the shutter to at least 1/8640. Of course, you need enough light to shoot at that shutter speed, but that's physics.

                In the article mentioned, they set the camera up to optimally shoot video and then tried to pull stills. Needless to say, these weren't the optimal settings for stills. So when he pulled stills from the video, he complained they had motion blur.

                In the article, the author dismisses the sensor as inferior because he set up the camera incorrectly for stills and then compared it to a stills camera set up for stills. If he set up the Canon DSLR to shoot video and pulled frames from that, it wouldn't look very good either.

                The other article does do a fairly decent job of comparing the sensors - though he did use a very old Hasselblad digital back - so hardly apples to apples there.

                If you set up your Epic correctly to shoot stills and correctly to shoot video, it will do a better job at video by a mile and an almost identical job to shooting stills as, say, a 7D.

                But there is a real problem with the Epic shooting stills - you just didn't mention it in your comments.

                No Flash sync - that, in my opinion, is the end of the argument there for the Epic being as good as a DSLR for stills. Granted, not necessary in many situations - sports for one - but a big chunk of the business.

                The Epic cannot compete with a Hasselblad with a current Digital back for studio stills. Period.

                It isn't as good at stills as a Nikon D4 or a 1Ds. But it's pretty damn good for a top-flight digital cinema camera.

                And with the New 6k chip and sync flash - it's going to be tougher to make an argument vis-a-vis the Canon and Nikons.

                The Hasselblad will still take it in a fair fight, though.

                Full disclosure: I own and Epic and a Red MX and a 7D and a bunch of other cameras.
                Thanks! You write, "If you set up your Epic correctly to shoot stills and correctly to shoot video, it will do a better job at video by a mile and an almost identical job to shooting stills as, say, a 7D."

                How do you set up your Epic correctly to shoot both stills and video at the same time? What would those settings be? Or are you talking about setting it twice--two different times--once for stills and once for video? Thanks.

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                • #9
                  Kevin: I would never, as an individual, try to do both photo and video. No single, individual person should; it wouldnt result in anything but crummy work. You can shoot stills, you can shoot video, but doing both is just asking for trouble:

                  MWDirector: Kevin, in his original post, specifically mentions pulling stills from video. The RED is limited to 120FPS for video, which means 1/120 shutter speed if you're pulling stills from the video. The RED's ability to get down to 1/8640 is irrelevant in this instance. Even if you wanted to switch from video to stills to get faster shutter speeds, you're severely complicating things and going to be juggling a lot of things from both a shooting and workflow perspective.

                  Furthermore, the fact that the RED has AF means little: RED has been extremely secretive about the functionality, but I wouldnt expect it to be much good: slow, will hunt, won't follow moving subjects, etc. In NO way comparable to a DSLR for stills. For video, I wouldnt want AF anyway: it's likely to be even slower; a decent focus-pulling rig would be considerably easier.

                  You've also ignored a few other issues, namely cost. Upon further reflection, I'd ask you, a RED user how often you carry the camera and lens around (ie not on a tripod). Those suckers are NOT light and NOT mobile. You'd need a tripod, which simply isn't going to be practical for 99% of events where you'd be hired to do both stills and video.

                  The concept Kevin has put forth is a novel one: getting stills from video is only now something that's possible if you want quality. That said, there are SO MANY caveats that it simply isn't (YET) worth it. Will it be? Maybe, but not yet.
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by OsmosisStudios View Post
                    Kevin: I would never, as an individual, try to do both photo and video. No single, individual person should; it wouldnt result in anything but crummy work. You can shoot stills, you can shoot video, but doing both is just asking for trouble:

                    MWDirector: Kevin, in his original post, specifically mentions pulling stills from video. The RED is limited to 120FPS for video, which means 1/120 shutter speed if you're pulling stills from the video. The RED's ability to get down to 1/8640 is irrelevant in this instance. Even if you wanted to switch from video to stills to get faster shutter speeds, you're severely complicating things and going to be juggling a lot of things from both a shooting and workflow perspective.

                    Furthermore, the fact that the RED has AF means little: RED has been extremely secretive about the functionality, but I wouldnt expect it to be much good: slow, will hunt, won't follow moving subjects, etc. In NO way comparable to a DSLR for stills. For video, I wouldnt want AF anyway: it's likely to be even slower; a decent focus-pulling rig would be considerably easier.

                    You've also ignored a few other issues, namely cost. Upon further reflection, I'd ask you, a RED user how often you carry the camera and lens around (ie not on a tripod). Those suckers are NOT light and NOT mobile. You'd need a tripod, which simply isn't going to be practical for 99% of events where you'd be hired to do both stills and video.

                    The concept Kevin has put forth is a novel one: getting stills from video is only now something that's possible if you want quality. That said, there are SO MANY caveats that it simply isn't (YET) worth it. Will it be? Maybe, but not yet.
                    Thanks Osmosis,

                    This brings up a good point. How much does the RED EPIC weigh when fully fitted with a zoom/focus device/batteries/SD drives/etc. Does the "autofocus" drive some type of follow focus mechanism? Or does it drive the lens? What kinds of lenses are required for autofocusing?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by OsmosisStudios View Post

                      MWDirector: Kevin, in his original post, specifically mentions pulling stills from video. The RED is limited to 120FPS for video, which means 1/120 shutter speed if you're pulling stills from the video. The RED's ability to get down to 1/8640 is irrelevant in this instance. Even if you wanted to switch from video to stills to get faster shutter speeds, you're severely complicating things and going to be juggling a lot of things from both a shooting and workflow perspective.

                      Furthermore, the fact that the RED has AF means little: RED has been extremely secretive about the functionality, but I wouldnt expect it to be much good: slow, will hunt, won't follow moving subjects, etc. In NO way comparable to a DSLR for stills. For video, I wouldnt want AF anyway: it's likely to be even slower; a decent focus-pulling rig would be considerably easier.

                      You've also ignored a few other issues, namely cost. Upon further reflection, I'd ask you, a RED user how often you carry the camera and lens around (ie not on a tripod). Those suckers are NOT light and NOT mobile. You'd need a tripod, which simply isn't going to be practical for 99% of events where you'd be hired to do both stills and video.

                      The concept Kevin has put forth is a novel one: getting stills from video is only now something that's possible if you want quality. That said, there are SO MANY caveats that it simply isn't (YET) worth it. Will it be? Maybe, but not yet.
                      Once again, I'm afraid you're incorrect on quite a bit. First, the Epic can shoot 300 fps albeit with a reduction in resolution.

                      Second, you said there was no AF on Epic - not that it exists but you don't like it. I didn't argue that it was the same as a DSLR, just that it is implemented. Needless to say - the DSLRs are significantly better.

                      Additionally, I'm not arguing that you should do what they attempted - shoot the best video you can and pull stills in hopes that they will be as good as a DSLR could shoot. That's a fools errand.

                      I simply said, that if you set up your epic to shoot stills - if for example you wanted to reduce motion blur - you could reduce the shutter speed to over 1/5000 and that would get you a long way toward a sharp image. If you choose not to do it - fine by me. Just don't say it because the camera can't do it.

                      Furthermore, I didn't argue cost. If you want to make a strong argument in that area - I suggest you not exagerate. An Epic costs nowhere near 100k unless you include a $50000 lens. That said - it is miles more expensive that a DSLR.

                      You don't need a tripod for an Epic - though they are heavier by quite a bit than a DSLR. I'm sure you've handled an Epic with a Canon mount and a side handle. They just aren't that much bigger or heavier than a Hasselblad with a digiback.

                      But please remember - I'm not the guy who said you could or should do it. I just tried to point out that if one were going to try it - setting the camera up correctly would be a good place to start.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MWDirector View Post
                        Once again, I'm afraid you're incorrect on quite a bit. First, the Epic can shoot 300 fps albeit with a reduction in resolution.

                        Second, you said there was no AF on Epic - not that it exists but you don't like it. I didn't argue that it was the same as a DSLR, just that it is implemented. Needless to say - the DSLRs are significantly better.

                        Additionally, I'm not arguing that you should do what they attempted - shoot the best video you can and pull stills in hopes that they will be as good as a DSLR could shoot. That's a fools errand.

                        I simply said, that if you set up your epic to shoot stills - if for example you wanted to reduce motion blur - you could reduce the shutter speed to over 1/5000 and that would get you a long way toward a sharp image. If you choose not to do it - fine by me. Just don't say it because the camera can't do it.

                        Furthermore, I didn't argue cost. If you want to make a strong argument in that area - I suggest you not exagerate. An Epic costs nowhere near 100k unless you include a $50000 lens. That said - it is miles more expensive that a DSLR.

                        You don't need a tripod for an Epic - though they are heavier by quite a bit than a DSLR. I'm sure you've handled an Epic with a Canon mount and a side handle. They just aren't that much bigger or heavier than a Hasselblad with a digiback.

                        But please remember - I'm not the guy who said you could or should do it. I just tried to point out that if one were going to try it - setting the camera up correctly would be a good place to start.
                        you write "if you set your epic to shoot stills." do you mean if you set your epic to shoot stills, it means that you are setting it to not shoot video? that's how it reads.

                        red on their site advertises their DSMC (digital stills motion capture) technology which i thought meant shooting both stills and motion at the same time. but it seems like you have to set the red for one or the other, or end up with lousy stills or lousy video?

                        anywho iaboomer linked to a thread here which lead me to this video for shooting stills and video at the same time:

                        Moonlight Sonata 45SURF Bikini Swimsuit Model: 9shooter Shooting Stills & Video @ the Same Time - YouTube

                        HTML Code:
                        <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/pvh_usbhXII" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
                        seems to offer a way around having to set the red epic so as to optimize the shooting of either videos or stills, as it is physically impossible to set a single camera for optimal stills and video, unless you want motion blur in your stills, which generally i don't. i mean the bride would not be too happy if it was all blurry, nor would she be happy if the exposure was too dark if they turned up the shutter speed in the venu. and a fast shutter speed can render the video unwatchable, or at least not pleasing to the eye.

                        agree?

                        also, what is the weight of an operational red epic?
                        Last edited by Kevin Parker; 05-28-2012, 03:53 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kevin Parker View Post
                          Thanks Osmosis,

                          This brings up a good point. How much does the RED EPIC weigh when fully fitted with a zoom/focus device/batteries/SD drives/etc. Does the "autofocus" drive some type of follow focus mechanism? Or does it drive the lens? What kinds of lenses are required for autofocusing?

                          So you're advocating using technology you know nothing about?

                          Originally posted by MWDirector View Post
                          But please remember - I'm not the guy who said you could or should do it. I just tried to point out that if one were going to try it - setting the camera up correctly would be a good place to start.
                          You're ignoring what Kevin said in his original post in ALL your arguments; mine addressed what he said.
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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by OsmosisStudios View Post
                            So you're advocating using technology you know nothing about?



                            You're ignoring what Kevin said in his original post in ALL your arguments; mine addressed what he said.
                            Thanks Osmosis,

                            No I am not using the RED EPIC nor the RED SCARLET yet. I came here to get some insight and see if anyone was using the red epic or red scarlet for the dsmc (Digital Stills and Motion Capture) that's advertised on RED's site/PR releases. I wanted to see if anyone is actually making money shooting stills and video at the same time with the RED, before investing in one.

                            You're right that MWDirector doesn't want to answer any of my questions: MWDirector, you write "if you set your epic to shoot stills." do you mean if you set your epic to shoot stills, it means that you are setting it to not shoot video? that's how it reads.

                            red on their site advertises their DSMC (digital stills motion capture) technology which i thought meant shooting both stills and motion at the same time. but it seems like you have to set the red for one or the other, or end up with lousy stills or lousy video?

                            as red owner/user, could you please elaborate on this MWDirector? thanks.
                            Last edited by Kevin Parker; 05-28-2012, 04:21 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by OsmosisStudios View Post
                              MWDirector: Kevin, in his original post, specifically mentions pulling stills from video. The RED is limited to 120FPS for video, which means 1/120 shutter speed if you're pulling stills from the video. The RED's ability to get down to 1/8640 is irrelevant in this instance. Even if you wanted to switch from video to stills to get faster shutter speeds, you're severely complicating things and going to be juggling a lot of things from both a shooting and workflow perspective.
                              Shutter and frame rate are different, semi-independent variables.

                              The minimum shutter for 120fps is 1/120. This is what we refer to as "open" or 360-degree shutter.

                              If you're shooting with a standard cinema shutter, you'd be at 180-degrees: 1/240s. It has a lot to do with the mechanics of film transport from back in the day. Just Google 180-degree shutter rule if you really want the nerdy details.

                              Beyond that, if you're shooting for slow motion, you'll often use a faster shutter than the 180-degree rule dictates (for sharper images when you play back at a slower frame rate). However, if you play the images back at the native frame rate, this can give you some weird artifacts and stuttery-looking motion (i.e. opening sequence from Saving Private Ryan).
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