A1 vs. Red Scarlet at DVinfo.net

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old April 15th, 2008, 02:39 PM   #1
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A1 vs. Red Scarlet

Hello everyone,

I was interested in your opinions on how the Red Scarlet would compare to the A1. I am a hobbyist who recently took the plunge and bought the A1. I love the camera, the size and feel is very impressive. I think for the price there is nothing on the market that compares. My question is do you think a camera like the RED scarlet will revolutionize the prosumer video market? I love the idea of a 4.8" LCD, I think everybody who has focused manually on the A1 would agree. I like the modular design and of course the milled housings are straight out of a military wet dream. As a mac user I love the way the camera spits out quicktime movies in different qualities (levels of K). I like the idea of tapeless acquisition. However, nothing I shoot needs to be edited for the Fox fair and balanced news within 10 minutes. So I may actually prefer tapes ($10 a pop) to a couple of compact flash cards ($400+?, keep in mind this will be early 2009).

How do you guys think this will effect the market for A1 like cameras? Do you think the A1 will be made obsolete by such a camera? Which camera do you feel is a better value? Do you think the sub $3000 price tag prediction is realistic? Do you see either camera having any huge advantages over the other?

Thank you all!
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Old April 15th, 2008, 04:20 PM   #2
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Great forum.

I also have an A1. I was very excited about Scarlet, that is until I found out that it has a fixed lens. For me there are some main differences to consider:

3K resolution vs 1080p.
CF cards vs tape.
Fixed lens vs interchangeable lenses (neither has).
Single system sound vs double system.

If I didn't have either cameras, I'd buy the Scarlet. From reading the specs I'd probably choose this over most (or all) cameras out there in its price range (and some higher price range). But since I already have an A1, I don't see a huge need to trade in my camera, (read on), unless Red decides to include interchangeable lenses. Aside from the Sound (XLR) issues, Scarlet has an advantage in every other way.

But for me sound is important, especially in a camera at this price point. For me to consider buying it (as an A1 owner), it must have sound and interchangeable lens option. I'd be happy with a fixed lens if it had a larger sensor. The 2/3" sensor is great for this price point and will probably give me something of a 16mm DOF, but I still have to stick a 35mm lens adapter on it to get what I want. Boo! This is an evolutionary camera (albeit a significant evolution), not a revolutionary one. Now RED is doing what the other big camera companies are doing. They don't want to compete with their own product line. Boo! This is what they criticized other companies for.

Anyway, I take all these advantage like this: "Will the new equipment allow me to tell a better story?" "Will the audience watching it going to notice or care?"
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Old April 15th, 2008, 04:23 PM   #3
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You cannot scientifically compare a camera that is available now to a hypothetical camera that might not come out for a long time without guessing.

Just have fun with your A1.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 04:26 PM   #4
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SCARLET has an advantage in every other way as long as it works and you can edit the 3K footage easily.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 04:53 PM   #5
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Wait and see, like most cameras the Scarlet will be good at some things and not so good at others.

You shouldn't just jump at numbers, the 3k Bayer is closer to 2k resolution wise and that's what will be coming out at the end anyway, because you don't project 3k, only 2k or occasionally 4k. TV will be going out at 1080i(p) or 720p.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 05:01 PM   #6
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Very interesting points Insung. A fixed lens is not a big deal for me, however the audio and CF is of much greater concern. My understanding is that the compact flash technology they have designed this thing around isn't guaranteed to be out by 2009. If the cards aren't large enough, fast enough, and affordable enough the sub $3000 price tag is moot.

I also agree with the evolution/revolution comment. I am all for what RED is doing, I commend their work. However, when I get past the specs if this camera was in my hands right now my message would be the same. I don't believe it would change the audience's perspective.

I need to step back and take a look at this issue as someone other than a golfer. The new club wont make me Tiger Woods, or in this case Spielberg.

Thanks for your input everyone
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Old April 15th, 2008, 05:31 PM   #7
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Apparently when the Red One was "announced" it was to have LCD panels, this, that and the other for $17k - when it came out, 2 years later, it didnt have all those bits.

Still a good deal, but who knows where things will be in 2 or 3 years.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 06:08 PM   #8
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If you compare the A1 with the Scarlet, the Canon is the clear winner!
Why? Because you can shoot with the Canon now and the Scarlet is still on the drawing board.
This being said, the Scarlet may prove to be a very interesting product in a year or two, and a very good reason to stick to your Canon A1 for a while.
The negative market impact may well be against the new AVCHD from Panasonic. Why pay $4,500. for this camera (to be release at the end of the year) over the Scarlet? Time will tell.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 07:06 PM   #9
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You have to remember that with the XH-A1 (or Sony V1, etc...) you pull the camera out of the box, charge the battery, pop in the supplied tape and go shooting. With Scarlet you will very, very likely buy add-ons to get the camera to a point where you'll be happy with it; and RED accessories aren't very cheap. I bet the average Scarlet owner will end up with a 5-6K camera. That's by no means a knock against the Scarlet, I'm *very* excited to see what it looks like when it ships.

The 8X zoom sorta kills this for wedding and event videography. I wouldn't be too surprised to see them up that to at least 12X before release, because that could be a show stopper.

Honestly, I feel the XH-A1 and similar camcorders are at the level where they do not in any way hinder a user's ability to create stunning event videos, documentaries or narrative movies. Will the Scarlet have superior video? Almost certainly. But I'm not feeling any desire to ditch my XH-A1 yet. Frankly, its better than I am ;)
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Old April 15th, 2008, 07:14 PM   #10
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3K minus accessories, get ready to pile on the basic price point - and many of you may require system upgrades to process the footy, so that should be a factor under consideration...also, you can get great out-of-the-tape images from an A1. all RAW images require processing.

i have 2 A1s and a RED, and i'm not retiring my A1s...they are different tools and do things very differently. the A1 is a very nice camera. it should be able to challenge you for a very long time. i'm sure that you have not yet scratched the surface of its possibilities, if you just received it.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 07:39 PM   #11
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Just to clarify... by no means am I claiming to be above the A1, that is far, far from the truth. I love that thing and am impressed more each time I shoot with it. I just wanted to see everyone's opinion regarding a "similarly" priced cam.

Good points though about raw footage and possible editing upgrades. As well as the expenses of accessories. It doesn't seem all too fitted to run and gun shooting with the handle setup. I love the 20x zoom on the A1, I can't imagine going to an 8x. Although I wonder with such high resolution you could make up for the lacking optical zoom, magnify the shots in post, and still have greater than HD res. That would be an interesting shootout, A1 at 20x optical vs. Scarlet at 3K 8x optical and 12x digital in post.

Anyhow, all very interesting. We need to also keep in mind early 09 is just the projected release. That could easily become 2010, which makes me feel better about having an A1 now. Great stuff from RED though, they definitely have a cult following. It's always nice to see the underdog do so well.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 07:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insung Hwang View Post

But for me sound is important, especially in a camera at this price point. For me to consider buying it (as an A1 owner), it must have sound and interchangeable lens option.
Just to let you all know it has been confirmed that the Scarlet will have two channels of audio by Jim Jannard. See link below

http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthr...971#post196971


While the Scarlet does look swell and is definatly something I will keep an eye on it in no way invalidates the A1. I saw a Spanish film at the local art house the other week shot on the h1, without 35mm adaptor, and it was stupendous. Was played out on a 2K projector and held up very well. Have seen films that were shot on 35mm film and the projected image looked worse.

In fact I went specifically to see how well it held up but ended up just enjoying the film. Forgot why I was even there.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 10:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Chapman View Post

In fact I went specifically to see how well it held up but ended up just enjoying the film. Forgot why I was even there.
Precisely!

(great news on the audio)
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Old April 15th, 2008, 10:52 PM   #14
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subject to change

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikki Bruce View Post
Apparently when the Red One was "announced" it was to have LCD panels, this, that and the other for $17k - when it came out, 2 years later, it didnt have all those bits.

Still a good deal, but who knows where things will be in 2 or 3 years.
although a lot did change on the RED (mine is #759) between the time it started and when mine actually shipped most of it was for the better. although they did not provide anything else with the body they also gave me $2500 towards the purchase of accessories which paid for all those bits by itself. so in a way they were included but only if I wanted them.

check out what i shot on my RED.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HlyktFTRLs


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Old April 15th, 2008, 11:24 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Chapman View Post
I saw a Spanish film at the local art house the other week shot on the h1, without 35mm adaptor, and it was stupendous. Was played out on a 2K projector and held up very well. Have seen films that were shot on 35mm film and the projected image looked worse.

In fact I went specifically to see how well it held up but ended up just enjoying the film. Forgot why I was even there.
What was the name of that film? I'm interesting in looking it up.
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