Soon, for one-tenth the price of a RED One, $1700, you can get a 24p DSLR camera — a traditional digital photo camera that also shoots HD video — from Canon. RED’s announced competitor to the DSLR encroachment is the Scarlet, expected to retail around $3k.
Well, guess what, Canon’s 7D is almost here. Where is the Scarlet?
I find the 7D very tempting, although Stu’s reality check has given me pause:
What’s missing from the 7D?
* Focus-assist while recording, in the form of an edge-detection display overlay.
* Gentle compression (although it seems the 7D’s video bitrate might be a little higher than the 5D’s).
* Funky frame rates. Even Jackie Chan shoots his fight scenes at 22 fps. After a big lunch, he might call for 21 or even 20fps.
* Decoupling shooting frame rate from playback. I’ll probably shoot a ton of stuff at 60p for slow-mo, adding more fun to the workflow puzzle posed by these cameras that crash the video party without a SMPTE invite.
* Video ergonomics. The 7D lacks a flip-out LCD. They call it that because if the 7D had included one, I would have seriously flipped out. I’d like to lose the double chin.
* Quality. The 7D still skips lines to make its HD images, resulting in aliasing and color artifacts. And it still has rolling shutter issues.
* Recordable HD HDMI output.
So it’s no god-camera. But lack of 24p and price were the two main things putting me off Canon’s 5DMkII and Panasonic’s DMC-GH1. The 7D specs go a long way to addressing that. I could make some very nice images with that body and lenses I already use on my EOS Digital Rebel. Unfortunately, I’ll be saving that $1700 to shell out for sound equipment rental on my no-budget #2wkfilm — so no 7D for me, at the moment. But when it comes to the next film, RED better have an answer?