The BMPCC 4K has created some serious turmoil in the filmmaking scene. Delivering amazing picture quality with a plethora of enticing pro features and on top of all being so cheap, it has been a no-brainer for all indie filmmakers who need to make every dime spent count.
Most of these folks have been dreaming of owning a RED camera in the past years, some may have even invested in the entry-level RED Raven. The latter is, in fact, the cheapest option to get into otherwise high-priced RED’s ecosystem. But how about now? Is there any sense in trying to get an entry-level RED camera in 2019? That’s what Brandon Washington’s comparison is trying to make clear.
Needless to say, the allure of a brand like RED is not quantifiable. Over the years it has become an industry standard and many of recent years blockbusters have been shot on RED digital cameras.
The Pocket 4K, on the other hand, offers unrivaled price-performance ratio, arguably the best on the cinema camera market right now. In fact, these two rivals are obviously not even close to each other in that regard as the RED will set you back more or less ten times the amount of money you’d spend to get a Pocket 4K.
On the ergonomics side, the Raven is beautiful to work with as it simply feels “right” in your hands. Being a highly customizable modular camera system by design it offers the flexibility required for almost any shooting situation.
Nevertheless, if you take both cameras out of the box, the Pocket 4K will be ready to shoot with only a lens mounted on the front whereas you will need to invest a decent amount of extra cash in essential accessories such as an external monitor, power solution, and I/O module just to get started with the RED Raven.
Regarding the actual image quality, though, the gap between the two cameras closes up quickly. These two are both capable of producing superb images regardless of the recording option you opt for.
The RED has a little bit of extra dynamic range, allowing to recover more highlights when shooting in extreme lighting conditions, whereas the Pocket 4K gets the upper hand when it comes to shooting in low light with its impressive Dual ISO. All in all, both cameras deliver amazing cinematic quality and you simply can’t go wrong either way.
That being said, let’s go back to the main question. Is it worth to invest your money in a RED Raven in 2019? As the gap between consumer and pro equipment gets more and more narrow, we have to consider the importance of the creative process itself alongside the skillset and experience you have as a filmmaker, rather than the actual gear you tend to use.
Indeed, there are a lot of pluses in owning a RED, and that’s not just the pro look you show to clients, but now more than ever before, it’s the hand holding the camera that is much more valuable than the brand itself.