If you don't need SoundForge PRO or Production Assistant or the 100 soundtracks, why not just buy the HitFilm 2 Ultimate for that 400?
From hitfilm.com HitFilm 2 Ultimate has full integration with Vegas™ Pro 12 from Sony Creative Software.
I have Boris RED 4.3 and have a number of problems with it. For starters, it doesn't work correctly from within Vegas. It doesn't write AVI files larger than 2G correctly - have to break up the renders into 10 sec. pieces for HD 1920x1080. I can't get it to render more than 1 or 2 items in the queue with out failing - as near as I can tell it has a memory leak.
OK, I haven't used much of RED.
I bought it a number of years ago (V4) for the stabilize - which usually doesn't work. Also the pin doesn't always work.
I have created an opening and ending title sequence with some effects.
I talked with Boris himself at NAB after purchase. He said things would be fixed. In the years after that, they haven't.
I got V5 as a trial (more than one update as time has gone by) and it has many of the same problems along with some new ones. The worst new one is that importing an old (V4.3) project comes in at 24f instead of 29.f. Changing it causes all the key frames to be in the wrong place - that project is very specifically timed, so that matters a lot. Also, the last time I checked, it still won't write a larger than 2G AVI file correctly. However, it does now play the entire 2 min. project with out crashing.
I gave up on RED some time ago, so there may be a newer update with fixes.
I got a HitFilm 2 Ultimate trial because of comments on this forum and saw that it had a lot of capability and it worked. I watched a lot of their tutorials. I asked some questions and got very fast response.
I bought it. While I haven't used anywhere near all it's capability and likely won't, I have mainly been working with the particle system (I used that a bit in RED) and it appears to have much more capability than RED. For me the interface is much easer to use than RED, even the new one for V5 - which isn't much different than V4.
Unlike RED who stopped replying to my problem reports, HitFilm has been very responsive to questions and problems.
I am very happy with HitFilm and spending $399 for it instead of $299 to upgrade from RED 4 to 5 was, IMHO, well worth it.
My $2 worth (.02 adjusted for inflation).
(Sorry for the rant but I have had nothing but grief with RED and from Boris. I think a product that costs $1000 should work better and provide better support.
Sony support is terrible - Boris support is worse.)
Red 5 Rocks! You are missing out. Red is the industry standard & has a long solid history. My work with their support teams has been wonderful & quick. Use the forums on Creative Cow. The people there are great. The stabilizer in Red is not the best. Prodad is much better.
IMO, Hitfilm hit the scene suddenly and now it is a right menu choice in vegas when it it more of an fx. How do I remove it from Vegas? I don't want it there if I don't have it. Why is this software being forced on me by sony?
The demo of hitfilm doesn't even work with vegas, so giving it a real try is impossible. Brilliantly lame.
However, I do appreciate your opinion & thank you for sharing it. I will keep an eye on hitfilm looking for a sale price & real demo that works inside of vegas.