I love new video gear. There is something refreshing and inspiring about using a new piece of equipment to change the way we work on projects. Our new RED Scarlet-W has completely changed our work flow and results in a higher-end final product. As a videographer and an editor, the RED Scarlet-W gives you so much more freedom with what you can do.
RED cameras can shoot in a format called “Raw”. Recording in Raw is very different than recording in formats such as Log, because Raw isn’t recording anything that can be viewed without converting it to video. When you record something in raw you are using the camera sensor to capture the data and color is produced by filtering each pixel to produce either red, green, or blue values. All of this essentially means that when the video is being edited we have more control over the final image.
Let’s look at a practical example of why Raw is so nice. If we were filming the same scene with our Sony FS7 in Log mode and our RED Scarlet-W in Raw there would be multiple advantages that you would only get with the RED camera. One of my favorite ones is having the ability to set the white balance to any value without a loss in quality. With our FS7 we can add colors to change the white balance, but you lose quality with the more tweaks you make. Making sure your camera knows what in the image is true white impacts how the other colors look and is always the first thing I make sure that I have correct when editing footage. With the RED Scarlet-W I can set the white balance to my footage quickly and without any loss in quality.
Another great advantage with shooting in Raw is that you can select the camera ISO in post. The ISO is how sensitive the sensor is to light. The higher your ISO, the brighter the overall image is, but you also increase the amount of grain in the image. If we had a video clip from our FS7 and we needed to brighten the image, we could easily do that in our editing software, but depending on how many tweaks we have made to colors and how big of an exposure change we are making, the amount of grain in the image would be very apparent. With our RED camera, we can drastically change the ISO without any noticeable grain.
As 4K becomes more of a popular trend in video, we are constantly getting asked more about 4K and even 5K videos. Even though 1080p is still the standard, having a final video in 4K gives the video a longer self-life and results in a higher-quality video. Our FS7 can record 4K but it requires our team to attach another piece of gear to our camera and the videographer loses the ability to properly monitor the colors of the image. With our RED Scarlet-W, we can record up to 5K by pressing 3 buttons on our camera. With having so many run-and-gun shoots, having the ability to make changes without needing to stop for an extended period is crucial.
The RED Scarlet-W is easily my new favorite piece of gear that we have. It makes our videos look better and makes it easier for us to get the final image quality that we want. The RED Scarlet-W is a complete game changer for our company and for what we can achieve as artists.