I work for a small production company and we are just mow looking to go HD. I am a big fan of the Canon XLH1 but my boss has been told about how great the RED technology is. Which is true and would be great if we had a studio and could set up all our shots like we would like. The problem is that we do alot of off road racing shoots. I feel that if he wants something that he can take to the races and use in studio that the best thing would be an XLH1 and that the RED is too fragile to take out in the field. What are you alls thoughts?
You are comparing apples to oranges. The Scarlet is a full 3K HD camera while the XLH1 is HDV with half the resolution (1.56 megapixels)and recording to tape.
The XL is a great camera, just not even close to the red for HD quality. The Scarlet was having firmware problems the last I heard. Not sure where they are with that.
For price and knock around durability I'd probably go with a XHA1 over an XLH1 unless interchangeable lenses are a requirement. They both shoot with the same resolution and the smaller camera and smaller price tag are prime considerations when they are going to be used in outdoor environments taping action sports where the camera takes a beating. I would not class them as "studio quality" cameras however.
I'd say additionally one of the biggest differences is also that you have been able to buy an XLH1 for a few years now. No one even knows when you'll be able to buy a Scarlet. RED has been promising it for forever now, and there's still no firm launch date (other than hopefully "before the end of 2010").
RED is having bugs with EPIC, which they claim to be working on before turning their attention to similar bugs with Scarlet. Something tells me that the advent of great (and comparatively dirt cheap) DSLRs has taken away some of their enthusiasm about the Scarlet.
Personally, I use the XLH1 every day, and love it. In fact, it's my favorite camera that I've ever owned in two decades in the biz. I use the H1 with a P+S Technik lens converter and Leitz-Panavision superspeed primes and it has been used to shoot everything from industrial films up to the occasional national commercial (and hundreds of local and regional commercials). Since putting together this rig a couple of years ago our 35mm film cameras have not even been out of their cases (and I used to shoot a lot of 35mm).
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