By Dan Chung
I had a quick play with the new Red Epic-M digital cinema camera at the NAB show earlier this year, and ever since I’ve been waiting to get my hands on one properly. I wanted to see whether it really is practical to use as a high end documentary run-and-gun camera.
Today I managed it. This one belongs to my friends at Redgate Rentals in Beijing and they are very proud to have the first in China.
Ben from Redgate has built up a lovely ‘stealth’ package with the Epic that has top mounted rails and a battery that can sit on your shoulder. It is still a lot heavier than something like a Canon 5DmkII but I could see myself being able to handhold it for a while. The Epic-M I played had a PL mount fitted so had to use heavier Cine lenses – I’m hoping the Canon EF mount comes out soon as using EF glass will really help to get the weight down.
Sadly I couldn’t shoot anything outside today as we had torrential rain, but hopefully I will soon. We did shoot camera tests with a whole range of exotic Cine lenses though.
Here’s a picture of the camera alongside a 5DmkII and a Panasonic GH2 so you can compare the size.
If by chance you are in Bejing tomorrow then Redgate are having an open day for the Epic. Local DPs and pro shooters are invited to come see the camera in the flesh. Regular Red One MX cameras, 5DmkII kits and a full range of lenses will also be on hand along with free food and drink.
I’ll be at the event if you want to chat about Epic or any DSLR stuff. I’ll also have the new Zacuto Z-EVF and the Teradek Cube with me. Contact me on Twitter @dslrinformer if you are interested.
Here’s an interview I did with Ted from Red about using Epic for News and documentary at NAB 2011.