As a film shooter who abhors all things digital photo-wise, I was researching some information on Red cameras after hearing about them on some photo forums. I was intrigued that moreso than looking at increasing pixels or whatever passes for progress in the digital world, that they took a different approach. They decided that 35mm was the gold standard and that any digital movie camera was going to have to replicate the resolution of 35mm film. Considering HD a bust they decided to completely innovate a new technology to acheive this and worked with Peter Jackson and other big name directors to get input. Thus, the Red camera is gaining real traction in the movie industry and many hollywood directors are starting to use them. In my research I found that the people at the X-Art site were using these cameras to shoot their movies.
X-art is a porn web site with the emphasis on classy, realistic action that would appeal to a broader audience than say, those that watch the Cum Fart Cocktails series. They have utterly gorgeous models and use some nice techniques to create arty videos. Intrigued I decided to take the monthly tour option and see what they had to offer.
X-art has a ton of gorgeous models, some you've seen before on those classy sites (Met, MPL, Hegre etc etc) and a few stars that you know and some upcomers shooting here for the first time. They do a mix of single girl, girl/girl and girl/boy hardcore.
The good stuff is that they have great aesthetics, using light and filters etc to create nice atmospherics, the clarity of the work overall is very good. The action is more focused on a naturalistic approach to sex, missionary position etc. Which is good, it's sexy in a more romantic way. There's a video of "Leila" (whom I know by other names) on the beach that is hot, hot, hot. If it weren't for all the sand on her pussy it would be awesome. Still, it's probably the best video on the site. The Tiffany videos are great and there's plenty of others, again, the strength's here are the amazing hotties and the high res cameras (you can tell the earlier ones which weren't shot with the same cameras as they do later). They also use a lot of music that many users like. I can't stand it for the most part and find it sappy and unpleasant. However, from the comments on their site I would say the majority like it so I'm going to include it in the good. I do understand that they're trying to project a romantic interlude and I applaud them for their work on that.
The bad: they tend to spend more time on close-up in/out then I think is necessary, often to the detriment of viewing the woman's body. It's frustrating to have this utterly gorgeous woman stretch her legs up and immediately cut to a thrusting penis. They do some good close-ups of face and body stuff but there's a lot of women's feet and legs being cut-off by the frame. I would prefer for the effect they're trying to go for that they put more effort into letting me view the whole of the action. They could definitely use some editing/framing improvement. There's a scene in Tatiana Voyeur pt 2, wheres she's on her back and legs cocked up and they cut off her feet but what they're showing us is basically more bed sheets at the bottom of the frame. Since this ain't a Macy's ad that's pretty weak. There is a TON of this sort of stuff in their content. In Elle's Red Hot Summer she lifts her beautiful legs and feet in the air and what do they do? Zoom in on her pussy. It's a crime I tells ya! It is a very hot vid though....
Some of the action is pretty hot, some of it pretty amateur, girls that look like they're so new that they're still in that stage of laughing and or not really in touch with their erotic selves, faking bit lips, intense stares etc. Still, they're often so attractive that it's still pretty hot. The videos are short, under 10 minutes for the most part which I like as opposed to the typical porn shoot where you get an unedited 30 minutes of a mechanical going through the position shot list. Some of the x-art videos end with no cum shot while others end with a variety of the tropes available. From the comments section it's clear that they have a mixed bag audience, some wanting cum shots, others wanting to maintain the realism of romance without it. They have one DP and a couple anal videos which again, have mixed reviews. There's a ton of solo masturbation and girl/girl stuff though, likely made for what they perceive as their target audience.
The still photograph sets are pretty lame overall, often a 60 image set is basically second by second shots of what must be a short session. I don't need to see a woman lifting her hand to her hair in slow motion for 10 shots. The new, and likely exclusive at that time, women have some of the lamest sets. The more experienced models come off better because they have experience controlling the modelling situation. I imagine that some of this is the X-art photographers not being able to control the newbies. But the sets for the most part are pretty weak and repetitive, they have Francesca in garters and fishnets and we don't get one complete shot of her legs. That's pretty ridiculous. Often the 15 freebies that you get on the TGP sites are generally the best of the sets. I was pretty disappointed thinking that I was going to get lots more hot shots and instead get 20 more of the model lifting her leg or slight variations on spreading her pussy etc. Katy has had some great sets on Met but here she looks great but the set is too focused on body parts and not overall body.
Wrap-up: I think there's enough good content to give X-Art a try for the montly trial and see what you think. I don't feel bad about what I spent but at this point I wouldn't go back for more. I would tell them that what makes them special is the quality of their models and the excellent camera images/techniques. I think philosophically their audience is more interested in the beauty of a woman's body and that most of us have seen a jillion cocks plunging into vaginas. I like to see that to add the real to the flavor of the action but the overall focus should be on the bodies of the participants, the way they interlock and the passion that can be expressed. Also they should realize that women's legs and feet are expressive of that passion and that as details in the overall scheme they should be paid more attention to in framing. There is a fair amount of content but it's still in the building stage. I will definitely be checking it out again down the road to see how they're doing.
Red cameras are a game changer in the realm of digital shooting and I think that X-Art's committment to that sort of technology (it ain't cheap, they're probably renting that thing) shows that they're serious about the sort of experience they are working to provide to their audience. They've gotten better as they go along and I imagine will only continue to improve and I like a lot of what they do and think it's worth checking out.