I'm coming up to my final major project at Uni in Coventry. I have access to a RED camera to use for this piece that I would be loaning from outside of Uni. The cameras the Uni own and provide that most people use are Sony Z1s, and though they are adequate enough for most projects and can still be made to look great, I wanted the option of interchangeable lenses for my project for various reasons. As such, the Avid equiptment the Uni provides wouldn't be able to handle the RED file. I can overcome this by using a few connections to get some time in a professional edit suite.
My main problem is whether I should spend the extra money to get hold of the RED and the suite to both make my work look the best it can and future-proof it, or whether to opt for a more "conventional" camera with the same interchangeable lens feature. I am leaning towards getting the RED, but any advice would be appreciated.
What do you mean future proof? It's a student project so it's not like you're going to be broadcasting it in 20 years or whatever. There's nothing wrong with aiming high and shooting something on the RED. If you can afford the extra rentals and post stuff- go for it. But then again well shot HD is just as nice as well-shot 4K. Or put another way- shoot something interesting and it won't really matter what format it's shot on.
Agreed Noah, the story is priority. You might consider working with the equipment your used to, that way you can focus on the content and not the tech so much, IMHO. I used a Varicam on a student piece once, and to be honest I wish I'd spent the money on better lighting. Have you used a DOF adapter on the z1 yet? Experience on great gear is great to have, but it's even better when it is on someone elses dime. Best of luck!
I can certainly appreciate the desire to use decent lenses. I would forget Red for the time being, the workflow would be a significant headache. If you don't need HD then a DSR450 will work fine. As others have suggested, spend the money on lights.
Depending on how long the project is and how good you are with figuring out workflows. (Despite what others are saying) you can get great but not perfect footage off of a RED and edit pretty quickly with only a step or two. I have a RED and a Z1 and there is no comparison. I can easily tell the difference at SD and at HD they are night and day to my eyes. No fake sharpening only real resolution. The Depth of Field is obviously a great help in storytelling and the Dynamic Latitude makes it much easier to use. You will need more light, but it is well worth it.