It is easy for this subject to spin a bit off topic into discussion of digital cinema cameras.
Coolscan and I discussed cameras a bit over in this thread. http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...highlight=sexy
Coolscan is very knowledgable and I respect his opinions on the RED, although our perspectives are considerably different. I don't know what shapes his perspective, but mine on the subject of digital cinema cameras and production in general is one who actually has to work with them and make decisions about them. I don't say that to discredit his comments, but to bring to everyone's attention the fact that a much broader scope of variables come into play in decisions about this or that camera system.
Coolscan makes many points on the RED using strictly technical or engineering facts. I can tell you that those are far from being the only factors. Huge amongst other factors are utility, ergonomics, efficiency of operation on the day, and a factor that is overlooked and extremely important...which is the subjective impression of the image as seen by the DP...and directors with a DP's eye (not all do
Despite the competition and debate, a lot of experienced DPs do really like the images that Alexa makes. Resolution is not the end-all qualifier by any means. The Alexa gained a good bit of following from DPs in episodic TV and TV commercial production where you don't need more than 2K. Those have given it a leg up and a lot of exposure of Alexa to a lot of DPs. A lot of very experienced DPs will tell you that in their experience they feel that Alexa makes very sexy pictures that they favor. Mass hysteria is not at play here. DPs see nuances that others don't even look for.
Another reason that a lot of camera folks (DP, camera operators, and camera assitants) like the Alexa is the same reason why they came to respect Arri (and Panavision) film camera systems. The companies came to these working professionals and intensely involved them in development of the camera from a holistic, organic approach to daily operations. They wanted to know what features will help them do their job better and more efficiently every day. The RED group is catching up on this, but they kind of started from square one, and have been racing to improve this. Fortunately for RED, this improves rapidly once the ball gets rolling with support from more working professionals. We are seeing that now.
That is not an endorsement of the Alexa or RED; just the facts. As a working professional DP, I am totally neutral on the subject. I don't care who delivers what I want and need. Who delivers it, whether its RED, Alexa, a Sony, or a Panavision camera system, is not important in the least. Certainly there are many DPs who are in each camp for legitimate reasons, and their opinions should command respect. But I really
don't like the implication that they should be discredited as ignorant or short-sighted by anyone who regards one camera system superior to another. Let the DPs and directors who must create with these tools make these decisions and have these debates...because they are the ones who are uniquely qualified to decide what defines "high-fidelity imagery;" not engineers, marketing types, manufacturers or anyone else...IMHO
Some of you who are interested in the advances in performance of the different cameras may enjoy this shootout that can be viewed in HD here http://www.zacuto.com/the-great-came...11/episode-one
Anyway, you may enjoy reading more detail we went into on the subject of digital cinema cameras at the first link.