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Engineering delay...


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#1 Jim Jannard

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 08:00 PM

One of my worst nightmares is an engineering delay after we came so far so quick in one year and a couple of months. But that is the reality we are in. I have to tell you that the last 5% has turned into being the toughest. We are experiencing a maddening electronics nightmare on one part of the board development. Every member of our team is on it. I am not sleeping.

There are over 10 major movies waiting to begin shooting with RED. We have customers that believed in us for a long time. And I personally don't want to let anyone down. But we have one obstacle that is giving us fits. If our delay has made anyone nervous, we are prepared to refund deposits, with interest. We hope for everyone's patience but accept the fact that some will not.

This is our 1st camera. That is no excuse for a delay from our originally posted schedule. Disappointment is a valid reaction to our current state of development. That is what I am feeling right now. The only good news is that the RED camera is a revolution. It is just a matter of when we can deliver that revolution.

More on June 15th.

Jim
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#2 Richard Boddington

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 09:06 PM

Oh well Jim, I'm sure this is par for the course for you considering the number of products you've brought to market.

I'm four months behind schedule on my feature, stuff happens that can not be foreseen.

So long as you have a great product in the end, that's the main thing.

R,
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 10:10 PM

History is not going to care which particular month in 2007 that you actually delivered the RED ONE if the camera does what it is supposed to do; I know it's frustrating, but an innovative product is hard to bring to market on an exact predetermined day. The way I see it, even if you were six months late, you'd still be two years ahead of the competition. I'm just glad to hear that quality is such high priority at your company.
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#4 Werner Klipsch

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 10:30 PM

One of my worst nightmares is an engineering delay after we came so far so quick in one year and a couple of months. But that is the reality we are in. I have to tell you that the last 5% has turned into being the toughest. We are experiencing a maddening electronics nightmare on one part of the board development. Every member of our team is on it. I am not sleeping.

There are over 10 major movies waiting to begin shooting with RED. We have customers that believed in us for a long time. And I personally don't want to let anyone down. But we have one obstacle that is giving us fits. If our delay has made anyone nervous, we are prepared to refund deposits, with interest. We hope for everyone's patience but accept the fact that some will not.

This is our 1st camera. That is no excuse for a delay from our originally posted schedule. Disappointment is a valid reaction to our current state of development. That is what I am feeling right now. The only good news is that the RED camera is a revolution. It is just a matter of when we can deliver that revolution.

More on June 15th.

Jim


I know you won't want to hear this but the problem is far from unusual.
What IS unusual is your project lets you produce a mostly working prototype and recording evidence (footage) to show off, BEFORE turning around and biting you on the testicles :rolleyes:
Usually, tough projects never get this far. Either the prototype works from some overlooked quirk which nobody can repeat, or, its just a boondoggle, where the engineers know its probably never going to work properly (or at all :lol: ) but they'll keep fiddling away forever until the boss stops signing the paychecks!

Why not tell us what the problem is. Believe it no, there are people reading this forum who might be helpful. Not switching noise picked up by the sensor chip?
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#5 Natalie Saito

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 10:37 PM

i heard that because of the incredible amount of hard drive space/memory it requires (gigs/per sec)...they have to create whole new systems to be able to capture and edit the footage. I heard apple is looking into it. I know so little about this camera but when I heard it was a "4K camera" it was so exciting. some people believe once the RED is released, it will replace 35mm film entirely. what do you all think?

Edited by NSaito, 09 June 2007 - 10:40 PM.

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#6 Richard Boddington

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 11:03 PM

some people believe once the RED is released, it will replace 35mm film entirely. what do you all think?


Yeah we should discuss that, it's never been discussed here before :D

R,
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 11:15 PM

RED has developed a wavelet compression scheme called REDCODE to make 4K recording more manageable, feasible.

No, I don't think when the RED camera is released this year, 35mm will go away suddenly, except maybe for the people who are buying and using the RED cameras obviously. Even as much as digital still cameras have taken over the still market world, film did not go away there either.
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#8 Jim Jannard

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 11:25 PM

The problem is one specific board for the production unit. REDCODE compression is fine. The sensor is fine. I can't believe we are experiencing the problems we are having. They could be solved next week or in three months depending on how the next board spin goes. We have always been open in our development process. Up until now that has been is our favor. We accomplished so much in such a short period of time that we never thought we would get "bit in the ass" with such an issue. But here we are. This past couple of weeks has been humbling. Maybe a good thing in the long run. We will continue to be open in our progress. For better or for worse.

Jim
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#9 Daniel Gourley

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 01:27 AM

The problem is one specific board for the production unit. REDCODE compression is fine. The sensor is fine. I can't believe we are experiencing the problems we are having. They could be solved next week or in three months depending on how the next board spin goes. We have always been open in our development process. Up until now that has been is our favor. We accomplished so much in such a short period of time that we never thought we would get "bit in the ass" with such an issue. But here we are. This past couple of weeks has been humbling. Maybe a good thing in the long run. We will continue to be open in our progress. For better or for worse.

Jim


Jim,

Thanks for the update. I will gladly keep my deposits with you waiting on a great camera.

Keep at it!
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#10 Mark Bonnington

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 01:34 AM

The problem is one specific board for the production unit. REDCODE compression is fine. The sensor is fine. I can't believe we are experiencing the problems we are having. They could be solved next week or in three months depending on how the next board spin goes. We have always been open in our development process. Up until now that has been is our favor. We accomplished so much in such a short period of time that we never thought we would get "bit in the ass" with such an issue. But here we are. This past couple of weeks has been humbling. Maybe a good thing in the long run. We will continue to be open in our progress. For better or for worse.

Jim

Well I just started teaching myself electronics a few months ago, and was surprised to find that electronic components are fairly loose on matching their documented specifications. So if you haven't already done it a billion times, grab the ol' oscilloscope and double check to see that each component has the correct voltage going across it. Hopefully you've designed the boards to use balanced pairs of components so that weird environmental stuff is less likely to effect the board behavior. Oh, and if you were using protoboards, they have a tendency to act as small capacitors because of the sizable metal plate that connects the holes... apparently the different capacitance can cause unforeseen problems when migrating the circuit design to regular etched boards.
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#11 Carl Brighton

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 06:25 AM

i heard that because of the incredible amount of hard drive space/memory it requires (gigs/per sec)...they have to create whole new systems to be able to capture and edit the footage. I heard apple is looking into it. I know so little about this camera but when I heard it was a "4K camera" it was so exciting. some people believe once the RED is released, it will replace 35mm film entirely. what do you all think?

Well since Jannard himself has stated that it was never intended to replace 35mm film, I'd say some people's imaginations have run away with them! 11.5 stops exposure range is not film, period.

And it's not really a 4K camera, it's more like a 2K camera which, using their proprietary software, can produce an output supposedly indistinguishable from real "4K". (Although that seems to have a somewhat elastic definition).

Don't get me wrong, the RED is still an amazing camera, and whether it's 2K or 4K, the bottom line is, 2K is still plenty good enough to make movies with.

There is also the question of how long it takes before competitors appear.
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#12 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 06:45 AM

Alright, so what exactly -is- the issue?

Phil
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#13 Chuck Toeti

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 11:24 AM

The way I see it, even if you were six months late, you'd still be two years ahead of the competition.


I have been working with few chip (CMOS) / camera manufacturers? one of them has a chip that has similar specs as RED?s chip. Apparently a ?Japanese? company has excusive on it till Q1 / Q2 2008 on that chip. I guess they will be launching their camera some time in 2008? RED has less that one year to get as many cameras to the market before some big (Sony, Panasonic, JVC? ) company starts to compete with similar product.
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#14 Hal Smith

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 02:17 PM

The problem is one specific board for the production unit.............
Jim

I know of one product that had to be migrated to expensive microwave circuit board stock when the prototype couldn't be reproduced in a production unit. Intra via impedance can kill you.
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#15 Gary McClurg

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 03:00 PM

I have been working with few chip (CMOS) / camera manufacturers? one of them has a chip that has similar specs as RED?s chip. Apparently a ?Japanese? company has excusive on it till Q1 / Q2 2008 on that chip.


I can't remember where I heard it but I believe that Japanese companies can only retain their copyright for 18 months and then anyone can use it...
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#16 Chuck Toeti

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 03:17 PM

I can't remember where I heard it but I believe that Japanese companies can only retain their copyright for 18 months and then anyone can use it...

It?s not a copyright issue? the CMOS chip manufacturer (US company) gave them an exclusive right to use the sensor in entertainment vertical till Q1 2008. Also typically companies get patents on technology (they hold good for more than 18months).
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#17 Nick Mulder

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 03:59 PM

Well I just started teaching myself electronics a few months ago, and was surprised to find that electronic components are fairly loose on matching their documented specifications. So if you haven't already done it a billion times, grab the ol' oscilloscope and double check to see that each component has the correct voltage going across it.


hmmm, yes possible - but also maybe someone wired a resistor in the wrong direction !

:rolleyes:

...or in other words: I'm sure Jims team have a few months of self taught electronics up thier sleeves themselves.
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#18 Mark Bonnington

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 06:16 PM

hmmm, yes possible - but also maybe someone wired a resistor in the wrong direction !

:rolleyes:

...or in other words: I'm sure Jims team have a few months of self taught electronics up thier sleeves themselves.

I think you mean diode instead of resister. Or maybe they used NPN transistors instead of PNP!
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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 06:40 PM

I have been working with few chip (CMOS) / camera manufacturers… one of them has a chip that has similar specs as RED’s chip. Apparently a “Japanese” company has excusive on it till Q1 / Q2 2008 on that chip. I guess they will be launching their camera some time in 2008… RED has less that one year to get as many cameras to the market before some big (Sony, Panasonic, JVC… ) company starts to compete with similar product.


Doesn't seem likely though that any similar (future) Sony or Panasonic 4K camera would sell at the same price as RED, otherwise they'd be killing their high-end (and expensive) product lines. Of course, they may have no choice... but there's a lot more to a camera than the sensor and the RED innovations are more than just the sensor aspect. Anyone could take a 12MP sensor from a digital still camera, but not anyone can make a decent digital cinema camera product out of it.

I don't think we'll see a 4K camera from Sony, Panasonic, Panavision, or even Arri for two years, and I doubt they'll sell it for $17,500 when they do...
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#20 Richard Boddington

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 07:13 PM

I don't think we'll see a 4K camera from Sony, Panasonic, Panavision, or even Arri for two years, and I doubt they'll sell it for $17,500 when they do...


Ahhh, but who knows what those guys are developing right now, and what price point they plan to sell it for?

JVC might have their own version of "red" in the works, but they and the others are tight lipped about it.

R,
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