Shooting Music Videos On RED Cameras

Overview

Over the last 1.5 years I've owned 4 RED cameras and have shot 50+ music videos on them. In the last few years "RED Camera" has been a buzz word in the hip hop music video community and rightfully so. Depending on which model you get you can be shooting up to 8K resolution in standard to high frame rates. No other company is even coming close to the specs of the RED cameras. Does this mean they are the best camera? No, not at all. These cameras are just tools for the job and it all depends what job you are doing.

Why I chose RED

I bought my first RED camera in December of 2015. My reason for getting is pretty lame but I just wanted to own a RED *laughs*. It was a long term goal and I saw the perfect deal on ebay and snagged it.

 

Since that day I've never thought about going to a different camera company. The RED community is so tight knit and the RED store is also 5 minutes away from my office so that makes it even better. It's great to have a hard working team behind your gear but you also need a great image, and RED delivers that.

The Image

Before owning a RED I owned every camera you can think of. T2i,T4i,60D,7D,5D MK2,6D,FS100,GH4 and A7S. Obviously the price of the RED is GIANT compared to these other cameras, but they are all great cameras (if you know how to use them).

If you check out BTS on some larger shoots you may wonder how some call this a "run and gun" camera but that's why I love RED. The entire camera is modular, you can beef it up with every bell and whistle or just have a lens and monitor attached. Both are great applications and will get you shooting high quality content out the gate. 

Here is a typical "run and gun" setup I use:

The Good and The Bad

Of course, no camera is perfect. This definitely has flaws but the pros outweigh the cons

Pros:

- Shoots uncompressed RAW

- It's modular and can adapt to most any lenses

- Built like a tank and looks "professional" on set

- Shoots in camera slow motion and LOG

- Touch screen monitor

- Great resale value

Cons:

- Memory cards are expensive, $600+

- Eats a lot of battery life

- Heavy and not the most low key camera

Why This Is The Best Camera For Music Videos

This camera has everything you need to get a high production value and since it can be nimble and lightweight or beefed up just in a matter of minutes it makes the perfect camera to have on set. You can do anything with this.

Below are some screenshots from videos I shot in 2016 on the RED Scarlet (Before a huge wave came and swallowed it in Malibu)

All of these shots are with the RED Scarlet, Sigma 18-35 and Handheld.

Conclusion

In the end, these are just cameras. They aren't gonna do everything for you but they will get you in the direction you need to be in. If you are looking for an upgrade check ebay and see what the RED One or RED Scarlet is going for. They are great cameras and learn and build with. If you can't afford it, you aren't missing out. There are plenty of other high end cameras on the market for you. But if you get a chance to rent it, don't miss out :)