I was just reading the Philip Bloom blog about “To buy a Scarlet or not to buy, that is the question…”. http://philipbloom.net/2011/11/20/scarlet/
He has some great points especially that it will cost you more than you think but also there are some alarming misinformation in there. For example he reports that it takes 90 minutes to offload a 128GB SSD card. I did it on a old HP Pavillion laptop through eSATA to some 2TB WD Caviar Green drives and it took 28 minutes. These are the slower intellipower (5400RPM) drives that I would not recommend. The producer bought them in advance and we had to roll with it. FireWire 800 takes around the same time. This was on set of a short movie we are filming called “Deadly Flower” so I have lots of people to verify that. I can also show anyone that is interested. Offloading to a RAID this time could be knocked down to 8 minutes.
Also he reports that it took 3.5 days to convert four 128Gb cards to Apple ProRes. Philip no doubt was trying to do this at full resolution debayer. At full resolution debayer one hours worth of footage can take 24 hours to convert. With half resolution debayer there is hardly any noticeable difference in quality when converting for HD. This is a debayer test we did on reduser and many people could not tell the difference: http://reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?55559-debayer-test
Full resolution debayer is a must for 4K output but not for HD output, especially when you just need offline proxy files to edit with. In any case he is partially right, you will need a workstation class computer. If using a laptop then get the latest model preferable quad core i7 or i5. Working with a RED is not working with video, it’s working with RAW and debayering takes lots of processing power. The workflow is very similar to film (albeit not as expensive) and one that is very technical.
In my opinion you can get by with two 128GB SSD cards and that is the minimum that I would recomend. You will need someone offloading the footage for you and knowing what they are doing. Attend some workshops or ask around on reduser what settings others are using. This workflow requires education and research… it’s not a video camera. There are some professional DIT’s on reduser that can give you great information.
His opinion on 4k future proofing is also limited to only his work… for example he says it’s good for movies. In my opinion it’s also great for documentaries and music videos. Well anything really that you would like to see in the future on higher resolution displays. Heck even home movies would be good for 4k or higher. Every camera and soon TV will have it in the near future, so why not have it now if you can afford it and make some money back? So in my opinion this is like saying all we need is a 2 megapixel still camera. Soon there will be no difference between stills and motion devices in regards to resolution.
In my opinion Philip Bloom is a good shooter for the type of work that he does. This does not mean that he’s a technical expert in post production. His experiences should tell you something though… if you are less technical that he is and don’t have the time to be researching on reduser… chances are you will have the same problems. Also everyone uses a camera in different ways… his opinions and experiences are his. We are all human beings coming from different perspectives with different wants and needs. In my case we mostly do music videos, shorts and feature film investment trailers and pursue a workflow in that regard. His experiences does not speak for mine. I’ve never had any reliability issues with my Epic, I think 4K is a good equivalent to film resolution and has the same future proofing aspect as film.
The only issues that I have with RED right now is that they are swamped from the Scarlet orders and some products are seriously back ordered. I hope they fix the back order situation soon and get their customer service back to where it should be.