Can You Really Shoot Print-Quality Portraits With a Red Epic Video Camera?

There are murmurings in the tech word that eventually still cameras will be replaced with video cameras, and photographers will simply pore through thousands of frames to find the perfect shot. And curious if that day had already come, Fstoppers pitted a Red Epic against a Hasselblad H3D-22.

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The results were surprising. Both cameras were given to famed headshot photographer Peter Hurley, who was already a fan of the 22 megapixel 48-bit Hasselblad. But he was surprised to find that when photos from both the 14 megapixel 24-bit Red Epic and the Hasselblad were printed and compared, Hurley could barely tell which came from which camera. There were subtle differences in depth of field and color fidelity that let his trained eye eventually tell them apart, but for professional use there was no discernible compromise in quality when shooting with the $80,000 Red Epic. Just a serious hole in the budget afterwards.

Illustration for article titled Can You Really Shoot Print-Quality Portraits With a Red Epic Video Camera?
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[Fstoppers via Coudal]

Images by Peter Hurley courtesy Fstoppers

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DISCUSSION

Ok...lets be real. The H3d-22 uses a sensor that's about 8 years old, and the H3d-22 camera was entry level when it was introduced 5(?) years ago. Hasselblad's current offerings at 31, 40, 50 and 60mp are vastly superior in resolution, color and noise to the 22mp sensor compared here.

On the other hand, the Red Epic with ability to output a raw 14mp image 96 times a second is wonder to behold. A better comparison would be with a Canon or Nikon DSLR. As the speed, resolutions and image qualities are similar to the RED (think magazines, medium size prints (up to 20x), web etc).

Hasselblad's (and Phase, Leaf, Mamiya's) strengths are in their pristine image quality under controlled situations and used at extremely high magnification: Magazines, yes...but also large format (30x and up) prints, and graphics etc.