What is the True Cost of Owning the RED V-RAPTOR?

RED cameras have been notorious for being much more expensive than the sticker price thanks to having an array of must-buy accessories to just get the camera rolling. That seems to be changing with the latest releases and the DSMC3 line. First in that high-end series is the V-RAPTOR and while it is catching the eye of many there is still that question in the background of how much it will actually cost to own with other aspects of the workflow.

Filmmaker Brandon Washington has been doing some good work on the V-RAPTOR lately and he does take a look at the true cost of the camera system.

This camera certainly isn’t cheap to start and is meant for working professionals or companies. It is still cheaper than these types of cameras have been historically. This is a full-frame cinema camera that does 8K using a Vista Vision sensor. It’s a serious offering for existing RED users. It will require a unique workflow and mindset to make the most of it.

REDCODE RAW is an incredibly versatile format. It’s also heavy. You will need some powerful computers to manage the footage and make sure you aren’t spending more time just processing the footage instead of editing. There is an added cost for better, more powerful computers. Plus, you will need space to hold all this storage. Having a lot of fast storage media is expensive and absolutely necessary. We are talking thousands of dollars for each piece of the editing hardware.

In Brandon’s example he invested a lot into a networked storage setup (~$10,000) that allows multiple users to pull up the footage and start working without bogging down other users or the rest of the system.

Image Credit: RED

Another aspect of why Brandon went for the V-RAPTOR as his A camera is that he already shot with RED cameras. With a KOMODO 6K already in the arsenal this matching of formats and footage just makes a lot of sense.

Having a lot of footage and more elaborate configurations also means that extra hands on set to manage it all might be needed. This is another cost to your production in that you will often be hiring others to help run the camera.

All in, the V-RAPTOR’s added costs aren’t actually going to be in the accessories. Those are fairly fixed and relatively small compared to the other aspects you’ll need to invest in. Newer computers, more storage, more people – those are the expensive pieces. The V-RAPTOR just isn’t designed for everyone and you should keep that in mind.

What do you think about the RED V-RAPTOR?

[source: Brandon Washington]

Order Links:

  • RED V-RAPTOR 8K VV Cinema Camera (B&H)
  • RED KOMODO 6K Cinema Camera (B&H)

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