View Full Version : RED EPIC vs 35mm

12-22-2008, 07:46 PM
I am understanding that this camera will blow away 35mm in term of overall look?


And why doesn't every major studio use this?

12-22-2008, 07:49 PM
Oh dear.

Film still has a number of advantages, not the least of which is a lot more latitude and a better established work flow. The change over to digital is going to be a very, very slow process.

Sound Chaser
12-24-2008, 09:20 PM
Oh dear.

Film still has a number of advantages, not the least of which is a lot more latitude and a better established work flow.
How does film establish a better work flow?

12-24-2008, 09:31 PM
Is this a translation issue? Film has a better established workflow. Meaning there is a huge industry worldwide that knows how to get film from the camera to the big screen. The RED is not there yet and won't be for a long time. Does that help?

Drew Ott
12-24-2008, 10:43 PM
I am understanding that this camera will blow away 35mm in term of overall look?


And why doesn't every major studio use this?

It doesn't exist. Wait until it comes out to judge its picture quality.

12-24-2008, 10:59 PM
I am understanding that this camera will blow away 35mm in term of overall look?


And why doesn't every major studio use this?

Film has at least one clear advantage: It exists. Epic doesn't.

Any way, Red is no longer the new girlfriend. The Purple is the one we're all waiting for. It's totally cool and will change everything. It's a revolution.

Nik Manning
12-25-2008, 11:03 PM
yes epic does not exist yet but I have to admit 2010 will be red or epic I guess. One of themajor reasons that studios don't use the existing 1080p expensive cams has a lot to do with availability. They need atleast 3 on the set. So if they sell over 1000 epics there will be a lot of movies shot with it. Red is great but it isn't what the epic will be. Every year more movies are shot digitally. The dam. Ex3 uncompressed is good enough to shoot most movies but with studios it is really about guarantees. Don't experiment or try anything new on a big budget movie.

12-26-2008, 07:25 AM
If Epic exists, where can I buy one :huh:. Also, the workflow is not a long waays alway as Perrone suggested. In fact, it has improved significantly since its inception and Red One's are becoming a lot more common in productions, which will help in the evolution of the workflow. Even Scorcese is using them in his new doc.

12-26-2008, 08:51 AM
One of themajor reasons that studios don't use the existing 1080p expensive cams has a lot to do with availability. They need atleast 3 on the set. So if they sell over 1000 epics there will be a lot of movies shot with it. Red is great but it isn't what the epic will be.

:huh: Somehow I don't think this is anywhere close to the top of the list as to why film is still king on studio features.

Nik Manning
12-26-2008, 10:48 PM
:huh: Somehow I don't think this is anywhere close to the top of the list as to why film is still king on studio features.

What do you think is top 3 reasons? Lets hear them. Share some wisdom with the community.

12-27-2008, 12:24 AM
:huh: Somehow I don't think this is anywhere close to the top of the list as to why film is still king on studio features.

I've heard an ASC guy say exactly the same thing. There are way more 35mm rigs out there in rental houses than HD rigs. Sometimes it's as simple as what's on the shelf.

12-27-2008, 12:34 AM
I understand the Epic hasn't been released. But, if what it offers is true, then I don't see why it won't dominate its medium. Its extremely difficult to argue about future prospects.

However, even for the RED, I don't see why more major studios don't use it. I only say this due to my ignorance on the topic, but, I still find it interesting.

12-27-2008, 12:51 AM
I havent seen footage yet. But if its similar to RED, then i just feel 35mm looks better. its a better place to start.

I dont know how many of you have seen 1st generation Dailies of 35mm but its absolutly breath taking when shot well. So is RED, but red, like all HD just isnt Chemicals reacting to light. you dont get the 100% organic analog "uncompressed" reaction to the scene.

12-27-2008, 03:11 AM
I thought this subject had been beaten to death, but it comes up again and again. I recently heard a film critic/historian/theorist on NPR saying that Hollywood was very conservative when it came to new technology and that's why it was reluctant to adopt digital cameras such as the RED. ~~CRINGE~~

Critters don't know nothing about production. I've shot with the RED build 15 and 16 for commercials and while the image quality was very good, the camera crashed quite a few times with codec errors using redcode 36. What should have been a 12 hour day turned into a 18 hour day. Imagine putting a crew threw that! Now the RED is getting better in the later builds. Also the workflow - it's not that bad as people make it out to be. You just need terabytes at this moment, though both Avid and FC Pro 3 are looking to help the situation with native RD3 editing.

With Hollywood movies usually being in the range over $20 million and up up up, the cost of camera rental and film/processing is a very small part of the budget. So saving on that, which is part of what the EPIC may afford, isn't part of the equation for them. If I was producing or DP'ing a big budget movie in 2009/2010, I would much rather have a couple of Arri 435/535b's on set rather than a RED or EPIC camera for reliability alone.

Now, never mind the fact that film is beautiful. For get the fact that the RED currently has a far more limited latitude than even the Sony F23. One day years from now the EPIC 645 with 9K resolution will be a mature product line that won't crash and will give you Vistavision or IMAX 65mm quality with truly 11-13 stops of latitude. But wouldn't it be really awful if you called up Claremont Camera or Panavision and you could no longer rent a film camera? The same way you can no longer find 3 tube video cameras to get that BBC look.:(

It's almost like people want film to GO AWAY. As image makers, it's great to be living in an age where we have so many image making tools and formats at our disposal. Celebrate in your choices. It's what you see in your head that will decide what format to shoot on.

Myself, I own a few Arri 16mm/35mm cameras. They don't change as much as video and they're really cool tools. But most of my jobs are on HD.

12-27-2008, 05:07 AM
Film looks cool but it's expensive, complicated and bad for the environment.

Evolution, Morpheus, evolution... like the dinosaur.

Hunter Hampton
12-27-2008, 11:02 AM
Film is HUGELY misunderstood from people with video backgrounds (like me!)

As someone who came from a broadcast video environment to now being in a film production environment (and currently only owns film cameras), Here is what I have learned.

In short:

Film isnt as expensive as you think, in fact for nearly every budget I have worked with, we could have shot film for nearly the same price or cheaper than HD (and we could have had a faster workflow!)- No I'm not kidding.

Film workflows are faster than you think, you can shoot film today and have back anything you want tomorrow morning. (from a print to a 2K-DCP to ProRes HQ- or even SD)

Film still has a technically better image, but forgetting about technical things, you can fully understand this by taking your favorite digital camera and then take a super 16mm camera loaded with kodak 7201, go outside on a pretty sunny day and shoot some pretty people- The digital image will look really GOOD- but the film image will look GREAT.

Film cameras work, and you can see and hear them working- if something is wrong- you will notice. They are amazing works of engineering but they are also amazingly simple and predictable to use for the operator.

Film works WITH YOU, what I mean is that you just get great images, you can make huge exposure mistakes with film and still get a nice image- try over exposing digital by 3 or 4 stops. Its a tool that is very forgiving- and thats a good thing when your working fast on a budget. (and imperfect like myself!)

These are two totally different tools, for different applications- but recently digital cameras have been trying really hard to be film cameras- It doenst take a dummy to realize that some people will pay out the butt to get an image that has the "film-look". 35mm adapters, 24p, variable frame-rates, cinema style gamma curves, film look plugins, film camera style set-ups... But you can shoot real film!- and save your self the headache of trying to make digital look like film (it may come close- but it wont be on par)

There is a saying that goes, "Respect the position, even if you dont respect the Man". Film has been around for a long long time and has had a huge investment from all over the world with people from all different backgrounds... (Thomas Edison even invented a type of motion picture camera in 1891!) Dont throw around anti-film comments because people who know better will just think your stupid for doing it. Film isnt anywhere near dead and new cameras, regardless of resolution, are not going to replace film anytime soon.

With that said, Digital has just as many advantages as film- they are just different. From live viewing of your near-final image to near-instant editing. But all of this talk is totally meaningless, you need to try out the different tools, pick one and use it. Don't sit on a web forum making absolute comments about stuff you don't know about or understand- try it out and see.

I say this from working with tons of video equipment from Beta, D-9, and DV to Varicams, F-900's, and Red Cameras;

If you strive for a film-like image, look into film, you will shocked at what you find (in a good way!)

The reason why many studios, producers, directors, production companies, clients, audiences and other cinematographers still prefer film is simply because it currently makes for the prettiest image. Its just that simple.

12-27-2008, 01:08 PM
Spot on Hunter!

Nik Manning
12-27-2008, 04:27 PM
Yes spot on Hunter. I was going to say the exact same thing. :)

12-27-2008, 04:38 PM
Yea, it always struck me as funny, people paying more to get a film look, than they could go out and buy a film camera for!

I shot still film for many years. I'd really like to shoot 16mm. How different can it be? Emulsion, develop, stop, wash, examine! They've been doing it over 100 years.

I priced an Arri 416 this week in fact, but after doing that, I see the appeal of RED! LOL!

Hunter mentioned how great film looked. I remember my first time out with Fuji Reala. Holy SMOKES! And my first roll of professional E6. I doubt many young people today even know what E6 film is, or how good Ektachrome and kodachrome could look when properly shot. I get my images back from the EX1 and it's not even in the same league. Not close. RED is closer. Maybe Epic will get it done.

If you REALLY want to see something, find someone who's got some medium format slide film. Like some 6x7. I used my buddies 6x7 and was just FLOORED when I saw the images. And I'd been shooting 10 years at that point. Friggin' stunning!

12-27-2008, 11:24 PM
What I've noticed from using the two is that film sees much more like my eye sees, and the latitude is very forgiving. You can get away with A LOT with the sensitivity of today's stocks. You can't push digital in the same way when shooting, you're always choosing to protect your highs or shadow detail. And blowouts in film just look beautiful.

12-28-2008, 06:18 PM
Oh dear.

Film still has a number of advantages, not the least of which is a lot more latitude and a better established work flow. The change over to digital is going to be a very, very slow process.

Horses had a "better established work flow" 100 years ago too, but that doesn't mean that once gas stations were built horses went extinct.

As to the speed of the change to digital, well just ask the people over at Polaroid where to buy film made in 2009.

12-28-2008, 09:15 PM
The Red doesn't offer 4:4:4 color resolution. Its recording format does, but in 4K mode it's not a fully resolved 4:4:4, it's more around 4:2:2-ish. Bayer can never deliver 4:4:4 at full frame size.

01-09-2009, 01:42 PM
I am understanding that this camera will blow away 35mm in term of overall look?


And why doesn't every major studio use this?

Personally, I don't agree at all about the others claiming it's a workflow issue. Don't listen to them. Film has a higher dynamic range, depending on the film stock, range can be anywhere from 23+stops of non crushed whites and blacks, whereas the RED products only have 15-16 stops of dynamic range.

Slumdog Millionaire was filmed (60%+) on the SI-2K by Silicon Imaging. That goes to show that even Danny Boyle uses nothing more than a 2k sensor. Anything more than 2k is non-sense. :) IMO

01-09-2009, 03:18 PM
Yep drewmaw im with you there! If Danny can live with 2k then why a pretentious indy has to go on about 'needing' 4k is beyond me.

01-09-2009, 10:02 PM
I don't know where people are pulling these claims of dynamic range. Yes film has greater latitude than any electronic chip media, but 23+ stops and 15-16 stops for RED?? I've shot with vision3, vision2, red and even worked with the SI-2K on a music video. I never believe what Sony RED Kodak or silicon imaging claim or publish in terms of dynamic range. Not to knock people or these companies, they all can great image quality, but real world shooting is the only way to separate the hype from the reality.

01-09-2009, 11:28 PM
"red epic vs. 35mm"


i just found it funny.

01-27-2009, 06:58 PM
Just offering my two cents on the topic.

Image quality is so subjective.

Here we have the, Jon Farhat, visual effects supervisor of WANTED and who is currently working on the Book Of Eli who stated that he and his team can't tell the difference between 35mm and RED.

"Before we left Prague, we took the footage shot so far and filmed them out. We scanned the film at 4k, and for every shot would follow with a 4k from the RED. Both were color corrected in the Baselight to match. I screened the results for Mitch and his team. They couldn't tell the difference. Seriously. And Mitch and Andy have sharp, sharp eyes."

Mitch..who he is referring to is the DP of Wanted..who also DP'd Michael Bay's Transformers.

Again.. very subjective so everyone is right when it comes to what looks better or worse.

To also respond to "However, even for the RED, I don't see why more major studios don't use it."

The Book Of Eli - is a 75 million dollar picture featuring Denzl Washington shooting all 100% RED. You also have a few other big features.. like Nicolas Cage "Knowing." Michael Douglas "Beyond a Resonable Doubt." Gerard Butler (guy from 300) in "GAME"

I think the list will continue to grow. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (13 academy award nominations!) shot on Viper really goes to show you don't need to shoot 35mm to get amazing images.

02-04-2009, 01:12 PM
I personally think "the look" of a film is over-rated. Not that i don't love the way film looks,but As long as the story and characters keep the audience entertained, no one cares what it was shot with, be it DV, HD or film. The only people that care are the Pro's which is of course understandable. More and more movies are becoming successful being shot on HD. Though, i believe the RED will influence the way camera's are created ( being extremly updatable / configurable ) i don't believe the RED will ever be a Mainstream camera and will always stay in the Indie/Commercial realm.

10-08-2011, 10:02 PM
So.....Before I get bashed for my opinion, I am an aspiring filmmaker that grew up on the images that we all know and love. Digital is very tempting.... Yes. I look at a Red image and think, "That's good enough." Then I watch a film and I can clearly tell it's been shot on film. literally the scene I am referring to is from "Sweet Home Alabama" with Reese Witherspoon... (laugh all you want... lol); where she is at a carnival. It has such a look to it that I know will be unmatched by digital. Maybe it's the resolution wars... I don't know. But in simplicity I know what I see and there's definitely a "look" that can't be matched by digital, at least yet. I don't care about resolution. But I can tell you a very iconic scene that sticks out to me that I know digital couldn't match is in Ridley Scott's "Thelma & Louise." It's towards the end when Gena Davis's character tells Susan Sarandon's that "something's crossed over and, I can't go back...I just couldn't live." This is the film look to me. It's Classic. Digital would look too clean to me in that scene and though appreciated, it still wouldn't work as well I think. It has no digital element in it what so ever to me.... I know Ridley's currently using Epics to shoot "Prometheus." Dariuz Wolski is an amazing DP so who the hell am I to question the judgment of these two. But in my personal opinion, and I don't think I'm alone here, watch the scene in Thelma & Louise I'm talking about and tell me it would carry the same emotion in digital as it does film.... Resolution aside. the Film look, is an instrument. I'm primarily a musician.... We made the switch to digital a long time ago. Nothing still to this day, will replace a real acoustic guitar with some age on it in front of a great mic with a great pre and a great performance. Sure a good sample won't hurt..... But it doesn't carry the weight a real performance does. I see a similarity in film vs digital and I think that's why a lot of guys still prefer film. yes, it might be a closing format...... but damnit we grew up on it and we know the difference. It has a certain "look" to it. it does.... If it were 480p it would still have the "look" we know and respect.

That said, I can't afford it and by God I wish I could.... but a Red Epic is 58,000 dollars without a lens period.... you're still looking at roughly 80 to 90 thousand dollars and that's with the "Red" lenses..... Personally, I'd love to use Primo's just because I've seen what they do. but come on.... most of us are on shoestring budgets and wind up with 5d mark 2's or GH2 hacks with decent lenses. It's a shame. The Red Scarlet drops in November with 3k that will resolve more or less a true 1080p image with no b.s.... maybe or maybe not with a 2/3 sensor. I don't care about that. I want to tell a great story. Red may open doors with the Scarlet..... But I'll always watch that scene in T & L and think, "damn..... that's a classic look." Analog is massive money. Music and Movies... I can emulate a Tube Tech CL1B compressor with a plug in.... but i've heard the outboard unit in action A/B'd and it still won't do. Tubes vs digital.... I pick tubes. Most respected engineers do too and most tube gear runs an arm and a leg still to this day because the manufacturers know it holds up so much better than binary numbers.

Do I think you can shoot a major motion picture on Red, Sony, Phantom, Zeiss, Alexa, Etc. and get a masterpiece....absolutely! Fincher, Scott, Soderberg, Lucas, jackson, Cameron, you name em! We're all on Vimeo, Youtube daily typing comparisons in the search box to see....

This is a matter of opinion. I have an old school eye for a classic look. My favorite movie is Die Hard for crying out loud and the DP on that was Jan De Bont. But it is a classic look.... Technology makes that seem out dated and focuses on that very thing. When you draw attention to something others feel is amazing and approach it in a negative manner, it rubs off on some.... Personally, if a T2i gave me that look I was looking for, I could save thousands. It is really personal taste. ]

It boils down to money in the end. period. If we could afford to use film, I bet most of us would not decline.... but that all depends on whether or not we thought the material we were shooting was better represented on film than a Red, Alexa, or whatever.... Roger Deakins says the Alexa is the "closest to film" digital image he's seen out of the medium.... But that camera runs nearly 80 grand with all the trimmings, and according to Red, with all of their resolution to film preachings, is still behind the curve in terms of true film comparisons. So we're still close to film I would think.

All of this technical jargon aside, I've seen beautiful images from the Epic.... they are without a doubt "epic." but even Soderberg wanted to tame the resolution back a notch to maintain the film look in "Che" from the Red One. 4k is cool....yes... Sony just released the F65 8k camera with a true 4k resolution. This probably confuses everybody!!!! But hell, that camera probably runs over a hundred grand easy, anyway.... So just get a damn panaflex and call it a day.

Red works on so many levels because it's damn close.... You can "own" a Red and shoot to your hearts content on a digital medium as long as you want. I think personally you're paying for the convenience. I can't see a spontaneous moment arriving and having to set up an Arri 435 to get it. I bet I could with an Epic though and be proud of it. I've seen movies shot on 5d's which have the largest sensor on the market currently and they look great! I however, hate how sharp, and over saturated they look even in flat mode. But that's an H264 compression rate and they still hold up on a 40 footer.

Being a musician can parallel to film in this sense: Most people aren't musicians in the audience and won't know you screwed up until you let them know. If the song is great, they will listen and be gratified. If a story is great, they will watch and be gratified whether it was a Flip or a Red.

10-08-2011, 10:10 PM
Oh dear.....The change over to digital is going to be a very, very slow process.Just today I read that no one will make a movie film camera anymore. You can't buy a new movie film camera. Soon there will be no film projectors in theatres. In five years or less film will be virtually extinct.

Noel Evans
10-08-2011, 11:27 PM
Cameras these days are only getting better and better - I think theres value in treating cameras like film stock, see what each of them do and then choose what will serve you to create the look you want. Weather that be an EPIC, or film itself, an F3 or an Alexa etc.

EDIT TO ADD: I dont think being all RED, or all Sony or all Arri OR NOTHING ELSE has any value. Be open minded to get the best result.

Lliam Worthington
10-09-2011, 07:45 AM
This thread, is, FUNNY.

10-09-2011, 08:25 AM
The opinion that RED iis the end all be all, I think comes from people who never shot film.

I worked on a feature on 35mm once. Just once. I went to duArt, watched dailies and literally fell in love. I've shot MX, M, Epic, F3, F23, and about 100 differnt kinds of digital, and i'd leave em all dying in the gutter to shoot film again. The difference being this. With digital, you watch footage and say, WOW that's so sharp, and so clean, and look how great the lighting looks!

On film, you say..... quietly to yourself, "Oh my god... that's how how I remeber it happening...." it looks lke memory because the chemicals are living and react to the temrature, humidity, and ambient light you're in, like your mind does.

EpicIII can shoot 20k at 2,000 fps, with 35stos of HDRX, but it will never, ever, ever ever make me Feel like S35 did that one month 7 july's ago.

10-09-2011, 08:45 AM
We live in video, but we dream in film.

Jason Ramsey
10-09-2011, 08:56 AM
talk about reviving an old thread...

Gary Huff
10-09-2011, 09:05 AM
I liken it to the "CD vs. Vinyl" debate, or more technically: digital vs. analog. Each has strengths and weakness and ultimately depends on what the creator of the work itself is wanting to express and which medium he/she feels best expresses it.

10-13-2011, 11:37 PM
Red is noisier than a 100 asa kodak vision 2 film, and forget using the hdr because it generates ghosting.No serious director or cinematographer is ever going to accept ghosting in his feature movie.This means that film latitude isn't beated yet. Last but not least red needs massive color correction just to make it pleasant. Film is gorgeous out of the box.So it's not a "cd vs vinyl" debate. It's all about specs.No digital camera is up to film yet.

10-19-2011, 06:04 AM
No digital camera is up to film yet.
True, but film cameras are dead: http://www.salon.com/2011/10/13/r_i_p_the_movie_camera_1888_2011/singleton/=/

Well not dead yet, but dying, fast. 10 years from now you can only see film cameras on museums.