Friday, September 25, 2015

RED Announces Raven - takes on URSA Mini 4.6K, Sony FS7

Seven years after the "3K for $3K" Scarlet debacle, RED is delivering 4K for $6K with the EF mount $5950 (brain only) RED RAVEN.

Ready to shoot, with a V-Lock battery mount, touch screen LCD, 120GB RED MAG and handle, RAVEN will be less than $10,000.  Not quite #4K4ALL, but a lot closer than we've seen from RED to date.

Nice beauty shots in the intro video:

Sadly, there is no footage from the camera yet, but we have seen enough from RED sensors and color science to be fairly confident in Raven's ability to produce theatrical quality images.

With a brain-only weight of 3.5 lbs, 4K/120p and 2K/240p recorded internally to REDCODE RAW and an advertised 16.5(!) stops of latitude - this is going to be a powerful tool for filmmakers. RED says it's versatile enough for "documentaries, online and television" - but indies will almost certainly choose this camera for feature films on a budget.

But it's still relatively expensive.  Ready to shoot, it will cost about the same as a C300 Mark II - but that's not saying much. For shooters upgrading from DSLRs or entry level Super 35 cameras, Raven is going to be a very hard sell  - especially when you add the price of a viewfinder, ND filter and rigging.

A similarly equipped URSA Mini 4.6K EF will be $4995 plus the cost of a 128GB CFast 2.0 card (currently $249) while the Sony FS7 (with LCD, viewfinder and built-in NDs)  is $7999 and a 128GB XQD card is $685.

Here's our usual side-by-side specs comparison with cameras in the same price class (excluding 8-bit cameras such as the Sony FS5, Panasonic DVX200, Canon C100 and JVC LS300):

Mini 4.6K EF RED RAVENSony PXW-FS7 Canon C300 II
Body Only Price $4995 $5950 $7999 $15999
OEM Viewfinder $1495 option $3200 option Yes Yes
Sensor Size 25.34x14.25mm 20.48x10.88mm 25.5x15.6mm 24.4x13.5mm
Lens Mount EF (add $500 for PL) EF Sony E EF or PL
Max Resolution 4608x2592 4096x2160 4096x2160 4096x2160
Sensor S/N (advertised) NA 80dB 57dB NA
Dynamic Range (advertised) 15 16.5+ NA NA
Max HD Frame Rate 120fps 120fps (240fps at 2K) 240fps 120fps
Codec ProRes 422 or CDNG RAW RED RAW, ProRes 422 (2K only) XAVC 4:2:2 (ext. RAW) XF-AVC 4:2:2 (4:4:4 HD)
Shutter Selectable Global/Rolling Rolling Rolling Rolling
Mic Input(s) 2xXLR w phantom None 2xXLR w phantom 2xXLR w phantom
Headphone Output(s) Yes No Yes Yes
SDI Out(s) Yes No Yes Yes
Storage 2xCFast 2.0 MINI MAG 2xXQD 2xCFast 2.0/1xSD
In Body Stabilization No No No No
ND Filter No No Yes Yes
Native Power Zoom NA NA $548 $31K
Weight 5 lbs. 3.5 lbs. 4.4 lbs. 7.4 lbs.

Again, specs aren't everything - and neither is price - but, in my view, it is useful to know what you're getting for your money.

RED RAVEN is a significant camera. With an advertised March 2016 ship date, we should see it on the show floor alongside URSA Mini at NAB next spring.  I can't wait.

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  1. the weight of the ursa mini is 5 lbs body only, not 6.6 lbs as reported above.

    1. Thanks, Diego - you're absolutely right. I'll fix it!

  2. The Red Raven is not Super 35 mm! It's slightly bigger than APS-C and less than Micro 4/3 ! Kindly correct it as that was its main downside for me...

    1. Thanks, Rawad. For clarity, I have changed "Super 35" to the manufacturers' advertised sensor sizes. Hope you find this to be more helpful.