the battle lines seem to be drawn between the Red Owners and the people anxious to see and use Arri's Alexa. The issues range from "quoted" prices, each cameras capabilities, to the quality of the outputs, even comments here on the Cow about how expensive these tools are.
Simply it gets down to a old axiom, " horses for courses" meaning that there are different needs for every task. Even on a alternate day of the week the needs can change and it has been my task is to evaluate all of those variables. So to answer the 80 some- people that emailed me offline to ask (or blast) me about the RED vs Alexa debate.
There is not one in my mind. I like shooting with RED in spite of the forever in beta camera and conversion software, often times random complexities, the whole fanboy thing (I am going to hear it for that line). Someone once told me that RED was made for 'credit card" productions, you know the ones that are financed by the skin of your teeth. It is an interesting concept and not wholly untrue. The best RED production workflows are with people that throw time and / or money at the problem, and that is very true. I have seen entire production days lost in the early days of the 4K revolution when an owner/operator blew his camera only camera up on set, some thing that could have been prevented by proper prep and a backup plan. (who in their right mind goes into 2 day, talent + 85person shoot without backup?)
Alexa sets a new standard, but why does that have to replace the existing one? I see a place in the world for lots of cameras, as I have said before I like to be acquisition agnostic. I just stopped buying cameras a long time ago, since the costs and needs are constantly changing why try to keep up.
That being said, for a large amount of the production work that I do the RED required more work. Like so many others, I have clients that just do not understand RAW formats and while they want to play buzz word camera ordering
but do not want to pay for the additional time or tools needed. So that's why there are any number of tools and technologies built up and around simplifying RED workflow, I know I have made good money designing and supporting those systems along with training people on how to use them.
For my future, I expect to see a lot more of Arri's Alexa, as it was designed specifically for MY production needs directly. So whatever your client wants; ProRes, great. Shoot Raw, edit with ProRes Proxy, no- problem. If your production needs HDSR tape, Log files, ProRes, DnxHD or DPX's, Alexa can deliver all of these onset, in real time, without transcoding.
That does not mean that I am going to give up on RED, in fact I am staging a 3Ds shoot with RED's for the last week of this month because it is the right camera for the client I am working with.
Horses for Courses