Red Scarlet, Canon C300, and the Paradox of Choice

prolost by Stu Maschwitz

It’s an exciting time to be a filmmaker. Amazing tools, amazing prices. There’s a funny thing about having many wonderful options though—it can lead to unhappiness. Studies show that, when presented with unlimited options, people become paralyzed in their decision making. Unlimited options create the expectation of 100% satisfaction, which inevitably leads to disappointment. This is why you’ll happily watch the last three-quarters of Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever on HBO because it’s “better than what’s on Cinemax,” but you’ll leave a well-stocked video store empty-handed and depressed that there’s “nothing to watch.”

Maybe this helps explain the mixed reactions to Canon and Red’s November 3rd announcements. Both companies have, it seems, had plenty of time to assess what we wanted and just fricking make it. Both have done so, but in the process have left some of their devoted fans behind. We now have so many cameras from which to choose that it feels like there should be a perfect choice among them, but what we actually have is a more complex array of compromises to wade through than ever before.

We fell in love with the sultry, cinematic images from our HDSLRs, and then begged Canon and/or Red to fix what we didn’t like about them. They did—in spades—but in the process, they built professional cameras that are priced accordingly. You might respond with a pavlovian Click To Buy that leaves your wallet smoking like no SLR could. Or you might take a deep breath and realize that a bargain-basement DSLR is still the best filmmaking tool for your needs. read more...

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