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Old March 5th, 2011, 11:32 PM   #1
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Ready-To-Shoot Red Epic vs F3 Cost

I have been reading about the new Epic-S as a direct competitor to the F3 and the Epic-S body should be around $12,000. But, we all know that MANY accessories are needed to get a Red camera ready to shoot. I have seen many Red fanboys stating the Epic-S is a F35 killer and even saying the 2/3" Scarlet is an Alexa killer - I'm not joking. People are actually saying this.

So, disregarding lenses, what is the cost for a ready-to-shoot Epic-S using gear from Red? To start, I will list what I think is the minimum:

$1450 - Red Power Pack - charger & 2 batteries
$900 - 2 more batteries (140whr ~2hrs each)
$1250 - Base Production Pack - rails and cradle
$1200 - RedPro Mattebox
$1500 - Red 1.8" SSD Module
$3600 - 2 Red 128GB SSD (90 mins total record time)
$250 - Red Station RedMag 1.8" - reads SSD drives and connects to computer
$200 - Red Drive Cable - connects SSD module to camera
$2500 - RedPro 7" LCD

$12850 Total - so at least $25k to be able to start shooting.

For F3:
$1400 - Zacuto Cine Baseplate Kit
$2000 - Aja Ki Mini
$728 - 4 64GB CF cards
$1200 - IDX Kit, 2 98whr batteries & charger
$1100 - Marshall 7" 3G-SDI LCD
$1500 - Mattebox (Arri?)

$7928 Total - so $21228 (without any SxS or SD adapters)

Yes, you can shave off some $$ on the F3 setup but I am trying to make comparable systems.

For bare minimum, $1700 - 2 64GB SxS; $2100 Chrosziel Mattebox with rod support; $550 - 2 Switronix batteries & charger. TOTAL= $4350 But, you really can't compare 35Mb XDCAM EX to Red Raw.

Based on this comparison of cost, the Red Epic-S is looking like a great choice. Factor in a Cinedeck Extreme or SR1 and the Epic-S wins in my book, and I HATE to say that.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 02:36 AM   #2
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Re: Ready-To-Shoot Red Epic vs F3 Cost

I think post production costs should also be factored into things. Certainly if people are planning to rent cameras for a production. It's perhaps less of an issue than it used to be, but it's something that should be part of the equation.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 02:38 AM   #3
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Re: Ready-To-Shoot Red Epic vs F3 Cost

Did I miss something is Epic S out now?
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Old March 6th, 2011, 03:17 AM   #4
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Re: Ready-To-Shoot Red Epic vs F3 Cost

The Epic M is currently the only version available at the moment.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 02:32 PM   #5
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Re: Ready-To-Shoot Red Epic vs F3 Cost

The reason many producers are excited about the F3 is specifically the easier post work flow. Yes you can get a rocket transcode, but 5kREDCODE doesn't transcode itself for free and it takes time that is billed hourly by the post facility. Sure you can transcode on set but you need a DIT, and work station, wich costs around 750-1250 a day.

The way you make money in this business is speed of turn around. Cutting down your time means you can start on thext job sooner, and thus do more work each year.

The F3 gives you a fast post workflow, with either 10bit prores direct to edit, or even sLog 444 cineform that can be onlined at a later point.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 02:36 PM   #6
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Re: Ready-To-Shoot Red Epic vs F3 Cost

Revise your financial projections KiPro Mini requires 600x CF cards-- For Sandisk 64GB card B&H price is $520 per card.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 02:45 PM   #7
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Re: Ready-To-Shoot Red Epic vs F3 Cost

If a fully kitted Epic-S, that's freely available, and cheaper than an F3, ever becomes a reality,.... I agree it would be preferred over an F3.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 02:46 PM   #8
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Re: Ready-To-Shoot Red Epic vs F3 Cost

Why do you have to transcode R3D files? I use Adobe CS5 and R3D files are directly imported.

Like I said before, when you include the S-log upgrade and Cinedeck Extreme, the Red is actually several thousand less.

I am already invested in XDCAM so the F3 is the only choice for me. Only things I need are lenses, mattebox and FF. But there are others defending Red and it just looks like the Epic-S could be a better deal. If Sony wants to compete with the Epic, they must do something else to give the F3 a serious competitive advantage.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 03:29 PM   #9
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Re: Ready-To-Shoot Red Epic vs F3 Cost

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Soltz View Post
Revise your financial projections KiPro Mini requires 600x CF cards-- For Sandisk 64GB card B&H price is $520 per card.
Also Steve you will need to add to AJA plates to attach to either side of the recorder, plus their rails attachment device to attach to one of their plates and a battery plate on the other side and a D-tap to 4 pin XLR cable

75 per plate x 2
275ish for the rails attachment
100 for the battery plate (Anton Bauer)
40 to 75 for the D-tap to XLR cable

That's about $600

If you plan to use the Zacuto as a shoulder rig you can count on the unit probably being north of 2 grand once you throw in all the widgets to make it comfortable, useful and balance correctly.
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Old March 6th, 2011, 10:57 PM   #10
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Re: Ready-To-Shoot Red Epic vs F3 Cost

I've been writing an article for my site on exactly this topic. I think it comes down to the fact that they're two different tools: if you're walking into a situation where you can't control the lighting very much (due to time or budget considerations), and if you don't have a serious post-production setup, I think many shooters will end up with better images on the F3 than the EPIC-S. But time will tell, once the EPIC-S actually, you know, exists.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 02:35 AM   #11
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Re: Ready-To-Shoot Red Epic vs F3 Cost

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
Why do you have to transcode R3D files? I use Adobe CS5 and R3D files are directly imported.

Like I said before, when you include the S-log upgrade and Cinedeck Extreme, the Red is actually several thousand less.

I am already invested in XDCAM so the F3 is the only choice for me. Only things I need are lenses, mattebox and FF. But there are others defending Red and it just looks like the Epic-S could be a better deal. If Sony wants to compete with the Epic, they must do something else to give the F3 a serious competitive advantage.
Steve,

If you're going to buy the F3, seriously consider getting the lenses, IMHO. Also, I would not poo poo XDCAM-EX just yet from this camera. The image looks so clean, that EX may be able to compress very nicely. And tweaking the gammas may get you part of the way to S-Log (of course not all the way).

The real "workflow" issue with the Red isn't transcoding, it's how do use .R3D's of camera that you can't buy?

But I do agree with you that if the Epic S is what we've been led to believe it is in terms of performance and price, it will be a very compelling choice.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 11:43 AM   #12
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Re: Ready-To-Shoot Red Epic vs F3 Cost

I think you should put 3 hours of recordingtime in your calculations, instead of 1,5.

Interesting to see that the numbers are getting pretty close.
The RED Epic wins in terms of resolution, codec and framerate. And it can record HDR.
Downside is that you'll need more diskspace and more rendertime.
Together with a clear view on the total cost one can easily consider which camera is the best deal.
Thanks for the math!
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Old March 7th, 2011, 01:46 PM   #13
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Re: Ready-To-Shoot Red Epic vs F3 Cost

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Koo View Post
I've been writing an article for my site on exactly this topic. I think it comes down to the fact that they're two different tools: if you're walking into a situation where you can't control the lighting very much (due to time or budget considerations), and if you don't have a serious post-production setup, I think many shooters will end up with better images on the F3 than the EPIC-S. But time will tell, once the EPIC-S actually, you know, exists.
I think the extra dynamic range and raw files of the Epic would produce better images where there is little control over lighting.

For me, after doing some vfx and greenscreen work on R3D files, I really really prefer working on R3D images over 'baked' in images such as XDCAM EX, Pro Res and nanoFlash files. Also, I used to be a still photographer and I love images with dynamic range very close to what I can get with good DLSRs, and the Epic is reported to have 13 stops and 17-18 in HDRx. However, HDRx is a pain to work with in post so that is a useless feature to me.

As far as rendering in post and extra time required vs the F3: I have a very fast HP Z800 with 12 cores, 48GB ram, Quadro FX3800 and a 12TB Raid 5 array with 600MB/s read/write. Thus, I don't see an issue in this department.

Back to S-log: does anyone know if I can record to an Aja Kona 3G with the S-log upgrade?
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Old March 7th, 2011, 02:50 PM   #14
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Re: Ready-To-Shoot Red Epic vs F3 Cost

I know this has been said before, but there is really no point in comparing a camera that is shipping to one that is announced. By the time the Epic-S materializes in the flesh, there may well be other cameras out there that will present alternative possibilities. Think how long it took Epic to emerge in any form from the product announcement. And Canon won't likely be pre-announcing a camera they aren't ready to put into production...

If your needs are now, the F3 is the best choice because it is available. The Epic-S may be better, but a year later there will be another camera that is better or cheaper than that.

While it's nice to have the best compression scheme/resolution available, also consider how much great work continues to be done with the comparatively poor specs on the Canon DSLR's. For many people's purposes, "not the best" is good enough. I'm about to shoot my second network TV pilot on them without any qualms.
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Old March 7th, 2011, 03:24 PM   #15
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Re: Ready-To-Shoot Red Epic vs F3 Cost

Seeing as the Epic-M is available and Epic-X will be in a month, the Epic-S should be ready by early summer, which is exactly when I will be buying another camera, most likely the F3 as it will fit in perfectly with my EX3 & EX1 for multi-cam work including the Tricaster, which we will purchase at the same time.

Personally, I absolutely love the flat image from the Red One. It is so easy to massage it in post and get amazing results without having a Resolve (which is something else I want to buy this summer).

Charles, which camera(s) are you using for the pilot? And how is being a DoP going? Your steadicam work has greatly inspired me to want to learn how to use a steadicam; so, I can't wait to see your DoP work. Keep up the great work!
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