Red Scarlet vs. Canon 5D mark III RAW

July 8th, 2013
Red Scarlet vs. Canon 5D mark III RAW

After the 4K Blackmagic Camera was announced this year and majorly shocked filmmakers looking for low cost high quality tools, along came the 5D mark III RAW functionality in the form of Magic Lanterns recent firmware hacking achievements and provides a valid affordable RAW alternative.

Here’s filmmaker Ryan Lightbourn‘s comparison between the 5D mark III and a professionally established RAW camera, the RED Scarlet-X.
If you haven’t done so already please watch this short, beautiful piece of professional camera work, give this man some likes and download the source footage here.

This is what he says:
… the power lines aren’t aliasing in the 5D3 footage as some have noted…they are painted with black & white stripes: LINK
Shot back & forth between the two cameras on the same day.
Minor grading done in ACR & RCX to match contrast. No sharpness added. Scarlet footage shot in 4k, downscaled 50% to 1080p.
Lenses used: Tokina 11-16mm & Zeiss 25mm 2.8 (both with Formatt 1.2 ND)
My thoughts browsing through the raw footage: Scarlet has slightly more of a filmic/pro look (maybe due to having more dynamic range overall?) and a slight edge in sharpness. 5D3 raw has less noise, and holds more detail in the shadows. Download 1080p version for a better comparison.
Song: Hans Zimmer – Time
ryanlightbourn.com
twitter.com/ryanlightbourn

The price difference between these cameras is currently as follows:
The Canon EOS 5D Mark III with kit lens, a required SD card and a fast CF card is around $4300.
The basic RED Scarlet-X package offers less storage, less battery life, lacks the lens and is still $10,000 more than the Canon package.

The Scarlet certainly has advantages like the capability to record in 4K and a more secure and professional end result, but has some other important downsides towards the 5D mark III.

If you haven’t seen it you can also check out our 5D mark III RAW vs blackmagic cinema camera RAW video.

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James
James
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December 4th, 2014

I’m testing a comment on this article.

dio
dio
Guest
November 4th, 2013

the 5d mark iii for smaller jobs is great…
for most jobs though I’m using my arri lt with kodak film…super great image and hardly any post

dre
dre
Guest
July 10th, 2013

The question is, how does this hold up in a movie theatre? It may look fine on a 30 inch monitor…as my 5D work does.

pulp
pulp
Guest
July 10th, 2013

Red’s dead baby.. Red’s dead..

Hawaj
Hawaj
Guest
July 11th, 2013
Reply to  pulp

Yep from now you can make fabulous 4K movies with 5D3 ;o)

Guest
July 10th, 2013

Nice shots!
I can give some thoughts. We have 2 Canon 5D Mark 3 and 1 Red Epic.

If I only look at image quality what I see is that
+ Raw makes 5D Much more useful. I really didn’t like the soft look and the compression artifacts that 5D has together with the H.264 codec. With Raw I would consider the 5d as a pretty good B or C camera, however I expect it to eat storage space so lots of fairly expensive memory cards.
– The Scarlet/Epic is still a lot sharper. You can also sharpen the details much more with the Red cameras since there is simply more information.
– from what I have seen the 5D raw has some problems with moire and aliasing but it is maybe not super serious.
– The image just looks better on the Red, it looks more real to me. Could be a combination of dynamic range with other factors.

When comparing cameras like 5D and Red its important to remember that pure image quality is only one component. There are benefits with the 5D being so small and light, but some benefits with Red:
– slow motion (probably the biggest one to be able to shoot in 300fps opens so many possibilities)
– all measurement tools like focus assist exposure mode, touch screen etc really make a difference for getting the shot
– integrates better with professional focus systems, tripods, matteboxes simply because of the physical format. On the other hand you can get much cheaper systems for the 5D since its lighter.
– HDRx
– the red codec is VERY good, much smaller than RAW is but still very good looking.
– Red are good with workflow, RedcineX is great for example, also the playback in camera is very cool since you can playback in different speeds (great for timelapse), you can really customize the camera so much, you can do color grading in camera to test previews, really program every button to do multiple functions etc
– Red raw is supported by the manufacturer. Hacks are great but are usually less stable and tested by nature.
– built in hdr timelapse mode. I love it.
– access to cinema lenses. Focusing with PL lenses is simply a different world and yes so is the price sadly.

When comparing cameras I would recommend looking at the complete solution. How does the camera work with the complete rig that you plan on using? How well will you be able to see the image/exposure and focus. How will you deal with the data in post (canon Raw is BIG for example).

Exciting times!

Guest
July 10th, 2013

How long of RAW continuous shooting can you do with the 5d mark iii?

filmari nunti
Guest
July 14th, 2013
Reply to  Pmk

As long as you have space on the card ;)

THomas Koch
Guest
July 9th, 2013

How much 1080p Raw can I hold on a 64gig SD card?

Sean JAckson
Sean JAckson
Guest
July 9th, 2013
Reply to  THomas Koch

12 minutes just about. Been testing them on my Sandisk Extreme Pro CF cards. So far no problems.

Victor Martins
Victor Martins
Guest
September 16th, 2013
Reply to  THomas Koch

You’ll not be able to shoot 1080p 24fps RAW continuously on a SD card. You’ll need fast CF cards. And I’ll tell you that not all the 1000x will make it. I tested with the LEXAR and Transcend. The LEXAR does the job, whilst the Transcend keeps skipping frames.

Cam Held
Cam Held
Guest
November 11th, 2013
Reply to  Victor Martins

I’ve shot with a mix of Lexar and Transcend 1000x- for the newest 5D iii build the Transcend will work flawlessly. For the older builds, and builds on any slower camera (the 7D for example) the Transcend will start skipping ~30 seconds into a shot. Just saying though- a Transcend will work well with the newest 5D iii hack…

Sebastian Wöber
Sebastian Wöber
Guest
November 11th, 2013
Reply to  Cam Held

Thanks for the info

Satva
Guest
July 8th, 2013

For DP’s I think it is quite amazing. I am tempted to buy a 5DIII now.

But as a busy editor editing a ton of projects shot on the RED and editing in FCPX the workflow is really nice now that FCPX supports RED. The workflow of prepping files with 5DIII raw seems a bit complicated but I guess that’s the sacrifice you make with the cost savings. Once the software and plugins for the 5D raw catch up and the workflow is a bit more streamlined I think it will cause more people to jump on the 5D raw.

Just wanted to point out the perspective of an editor versus DP on 5DIII raw versus RED.

Silton Buendia
Member
July 8th, 2013

Some people make some terrible comparison videos and this is one. With the subject matter it’s so hard to see differences in the footage. Because of the wide shot and the angle lighting and dynamic range is really hard to judge in this shot. Let also not forget that the 5d has the power of Lightroom and or adobe raw to back it up this makes a significant difference in the level of dynamic range that can be perceived.

Silton Buendia
Member
July 8th, 2013
Reply to  Silton Buendia

And the red software sucks by the way I’ve worked with it a bunch and I haven’t Really been that impressed with it to be honest

Ryan Lightbourn
Guest
July 9th, 2013
Reply to  Silton Buendia

No it doesn’t

joe mo
joe mo
Guest
November 2nd, 2013
Reply to  Silton Buendia

“It’s so hard to see differences in the footage” Exactly.

Justin
Guest
July 8th, 2013

It’s good to see hans zimmer is nice enough to score camera test videos

Marcoletto76
Guest
July 8th, 2013

Canon has been able to do something really revolutionary and affordable for everyone, even if at first it seemed imbrido something out of the ordinary, today it has become a status symbol and thanks to Magic Lantern an indispensable tool for us filmmakers. Nice really nice!

Ryan Lightbourn
Guest
July 9th, 2013
Reply to  Marcoletto76

On day 3 of shooting, the “Enter” button jammed on my Scarlet and I wasn’t using a touchscreen. I’ve never been less upset to think, “well at least I have my DSLR”. Raw opens up the previously unattainable look that DSLR users have been craving for years.

jerimy123
jerimy123
Guest
July 8th, 2013

If you want to make peoples heads spontaneous explode over at Reduser, this is how you do it! xD

Great looking footage.

Sebastian Wöber
Sebastian Wöber
Guest
July 8th, 2013
Reply to  jerimy123

There’s certainly a tendency towards overestimation of the RED cameras in some places of the web. But I think this couldn’t be trivialized to include all the users on reduser.

Hawaj
Hawaj
Guest
July 11th, 2013
Reply to  jerimy123

Excellent noob post.

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