RED Scarlet, Canon C300, Sony F3 side by side.

I was contacted by the local Canon EOS C300 dealer and asked to bring my Scarlet X down to their store to have an informal viewing of what these cameras look like side by side.

The setup: RED Scarlet X PL mount with a RED 18-50mm PL mount zoom lens, Canon EOS C300 Canon mount with a Canon 24-105mm IS L lens and a Sony F3 with the Sony 50mm prime PL mount lens. All three going into a professional 1080P production monitor (don't know the exact model) via HD-SDI.

Now, some of you who know about the wonders of RED Raw @4k will say, "Hey! That's not fair! 1080 is not 4k!" You are right. This really turned out to be more of a test of what you would get from an external recorder. BUT! I did get footage from both the Scarlet and the C300 (didn't have an SXS card for the Sony) that I will be posting somewhere (huge files BTW) so that you can compare the RED Raw files to the Canon codec files. I think we were all in agreement that post was where the RED really gets it's power.

We shot a few charts, looked at shadows, watched the waveforms and finally had someone sit in front of the cameras (I will post the original files here sometime in the near future when I can get a break from editing). Not very scientific, more subjective actually. But it gave a good idea of strengths and weaknesses associated with these cameras.

My take, for 1080p work, any of these cameras are very good and shoot well. If you want or need to tweak colors, crop, stabilize or just generally manipulate your footage in post, you really can't beat RAW files. Yes, they are big and yes you need either a Red Rocket card or lots of time to process them, but sometimes you just need that extra bit of stretchiness that only Redcode can give you. Do I want a C300 or F3? For the Sony F3, yes, I would probably be interested in owning a used one. Especially since Sony announced the drastic price cut on the S-Log upgrade today. The C300? It just seems like an intermediate step towards something better that should come out very soon. Maybe for a lower price, yes. But for me, and that's a big but there (I am an audio guy professionally, getting to be more of a video guy!) for the price, I would buy another Scarlet X (and a Red Rocket card).

Look for the actual files to be posted here soon!




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