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    FS7/FX9/EOS vs Red for Business reasons?
    #1
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    So I have a question to anyone out there with experience shooting on high end Canon (C300, C500, C700) and Sony (FS7) systems as compared to owning a Red system.
    I've owned a C100, currently have a FS5 as my A-Cam, and probably going to be upgrading to something "bigger" within the next 6 months or so.

    So i'm not asking this based on technical reasons, but as a business. Do you ever get calls from people saying I need you to come shoot if you have THIS camera, specifically, "I need a Red".
    My question is, looking at the C500 Mark II or FX9, it's very easy to get up into the $20k range with cards, batteries, etc, which is "close" to Red territory. More so the C500, but you get the point.
    I'd rather have a C500 or FX9 style camera than a Red, it's just easier to use, checks all the boxes, and I don't have to deal with Red.

    No one that has ever hired me as specifically asked for a camera, but am I losing potential business because i'm not advertising myself as a Red shooter?

    Thanks,

    - Paul


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    #2
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    My clients don't know. It can be a plus or a negative, since some of my clients are other shooters, upstage them too much, they don't want you. The usual reaction from corporate clients is surprise that you can get amazing footage from a GH5, has them asking why they don't have their own departments shoot the event. If you are shooting for an ad agency or Revlon, it could matter, but other things matter more like your reputation. I see shooters all the time on the road to nowhere because of a mistaken belief that a camera is going to win you a contract. When the particular camera is the chief consideration, I've seen more guys get hired because it was cheaper to hire them than to rent the equipment, not a place you want to be. Don't get caught up in it.


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    #3
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    In my circles, we used to hear "I want to shoot on RED" more often a few years ago. Now, perhaps, "We want to shoot on an Arri" is more common. But sometimes it's FS7 or C300mkII. But whateves. This in more high-end corporate. But many DPs I work with don't own a camera, or own one or two. And we'll/they'll rent a particular camera if the project (or the client) requires it. We have a couple great rental houses here (SF Bay Area) and a few more OK ones.

    And the online places (Borrow Lenses, Lens Pro To Go, etc) have a growing array of cameras, so even if you don't have a good rental house near you, you can get the cameras you need. Sure, you lose the profit center, but you can still pass along the rental cost (and a hassle fee) to the client. But if the client wants RED and wants to pay $800/day all in, that's just not a client worth working with, imo.

    My hunch is that the C500mkII and FX9 will be able to cover lots of needs for lots of clients. If a client "needs" a RED or Arri (or Venice or Varicam or...) camera, then rent it.
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    Jim Feeley
    POV Media


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    #4
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    Its totally dependent on your market.. for corporate /doc,s / events.. I would say the fs7 clearly has a huge chunk of the market .. nearly every email I get for work is fs7 or similar .. I have an f5.. similar would include the c300II I would presume.. but fs7 is requested probably 99% .. if you want a bit of future proof the fx9 or C500II would be the choice .. FF is, for good or bad, definitely going to be the next "thing" that all productions will latch onto .. its coming very obviously .. and the camera makers get to shift more product .. RED has always been a niche market .. if your in that group, have a flannel skirt and thats your market get one.. if not I think its a bit risky compared to the fx9 and c500II..by far more well known work flows.. fx9 on the surface looks to be a killer camera at a much lower price than the C500II.. I think alot of f5/55 fs7 owners will be making the change to FF Fx9..


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    #5
    Senior Member JPNola's Avatar
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    I've never had a client request a RED camera.

    I've had clients request a C300, clients request an Fs7, and clients request an ARRI. The breakdown there is roughly 50% fs7, 40% C300, 10% ARRI. The C300 requests dwindled once the Fs7 came out. Since the Fs7 came out the requests have been roughly 70% Fs7, 20% C300, 10% ARRI.

    On only about 5% of my jobs does a client request a specific camera. It happens when the client is wanting to match footage shot in another market. And it happens when a client is coming into town with their DP who is bringing a camera and the client is looking to hire me to serve as B-camera.
    Big sources matter.


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    #6
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    Second the others. For my corporate work around my town, im the only one with a proper camera. All my competitors shoot on photography equipment. Clients never ask up front about my camera, but are surely impressed when i come with a proper cam on a proper tripod.

    After wanting a RED for years for nature filming, im now looking at the C500 II because it looks to be the perfect match between FS7 operability, and RED raw internal footage. And cheaper at that. Lacking some features from both camps, but thats the tradeoff. The dual AF and raw will fit perfectly into my nature tv-series we are trying to sell now.

    For the TV-jobs ive been getting, it has been asked about FS7 and delight when i could confirm. Never been asked about any other camera by clients.

    Edit: Have your clients asked for a RED up until now? If not, perhaps you wont get your investment back, at all. The Canon i assume is most likely about color, raw, and AF. If you need those, go for it. Otherwise, im still happy as heck with my FS7. Gonna wait for the next FS9 tbh. Unless something happens to my current cam.


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    I will say that personally, I do in fact get hired because I'm an FS7 owner. This is for TV/doc/corporate work. I also hire other local shooters that are FS7 owner/operators with regularity.

    A lot of times, a series DP will fly into town, and I'll get picked up as B-Cam. A lot of these old hat DP's are shooting the F5 or F55, so they know an FS7 cuts with it nicely. I have also had the FS7 requested by the big name TV networks for multi-day shoots. Everybody seems to know the FS7 is a reliable camera that produces good results. It just works. C300 as well, but to a lesser extent.

    As far as RED...I think the issue is that their lineup is fragmented. How many people really know the difference between a Dragon and a Gemini? It's confusing, and not all of the RED cameras have been great products. RED would make sense if you do a lot of commercial or narrative work, but at that level, personally, I'd rather be using an ARRI.

    I'd love to shoot on Canon, as I've always loved their lenses and overall I prefer working with their camera systems, but Sony makes me money.

    I think the FX9 will be a massive success, and it may jump up the food chain a little bit, and you'll see DP's moving from F5's, F55's, and FS7's to the FX9. It will be a great investment, and you certainly won't lose a job in the next 5+ years because you own an FX9.


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    #8
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    It just depends on what you do. I hear when shooting music videos Red cameras are asked for by the chic people but money is in corporate videos as you do a lot of them and pay is usually very good and then FS7 is king. For commercial work it's Arri or Red. And it's divided mostly between Red owners and Arri hired cameras.

    So it comes down to what kind of work one do and which camera can be the right choice. But thankfully the cameras these days are so good it comes down to personal preference rather than image quality.


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    Senior Member bill totolo's Avatar
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    I worked a booth at NAB this year and met about 300 cinematographers. I asked everyone what camera system they used.

    By and large everyone across the board said they use a Sony FS7 primarily, followed by the Canon C300MKII, then the ARRI Alexa mini, finally the classic Canon C300MKI.
    After that it went into DSLR territory (mostly dominated by Panasonic GH cameras), and finally Red cameras.

    By no means am I speaking about the quality, usability or reliability of a camera system. Just reporting my anecdotal experience.
    Bill Totolo
    L.A.

    www.billtotolo.com


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    #10
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    Anyone in this business who does corporate ought to know who Crews Control is, right? They hire crews for hundreds of shoots every month around the world. Here are their statistics for August. The FS7 mark I and mark 2 account for 4x as many shoots as the next closest camera. The most surprising thing to me is that the FS5 accounts for less than 2%.

    Screen Shot 2019-10-25 at 4.01.33 PM.jpg


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