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A DP's Perspective of Red


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#1 Daniel Gourley

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 06:22 PM

You Wanted to hear of a user's perspective who has qualifications:

Paul E. McCarthy IMDB LINK & IMDB DP LINK

We hosed it down with a couple of REDs this weekend. At Dusk Saturday Mark, Aldey and Pliny of Offhollywoodstudios arrived at my apt in Brooklyn Heights with camera's 0006 and 0007 and it was on.
First thing we did was throw one of them on steadicam(which was no problem) and shoot some magic hour on the promenade. It was the perfect test. The sun coming down the barrel as it set behind the back lit buildings. Rich Contrast everywhere in everything. We took a couple of passes around a sculpture and shot an impromptu iphone commercial with Mike Curtis' (HDforIndies)and his iphone while he was blogging on it. That guy is a crazy blogger. The camera floated around beautifully on the rig (Alec Jarnigin operating) The images were startling. RED held the sky and clouds like slide film.
Next we humped the cameras to my roofdeck where we shot New York Harbor at sunset. Pliny with beer in hand was dumping cards like he has been doing it his entire life. Mark was popping cards and I was operating. The images were startling. What I saw on REDalert looked like a perfectly exposed super thick negative that you know you can take anywhere you want in timing. I felt like I was about to start a 35mm telecine session. Tons of resolution, latitude, nothing clipping, nothing muddy. It looked nothing like video.
The Camera is built beautifully. This thing is tough. If you dropped it on your foot I would worry about your foot before I would worry about the camera. Its like the love child of an Audi S4 and a M16. There is no cheesy ENG plastic on this thing. The Cage is genius. Steel with plenty of places to to rig to and to grab... and I was grabbing the thing.
Day 2. Offhollywood, and my team rolled out to the jersey shore to Driver's East Stunt Driving School where I shot from Owen Holland's (owner of Action Camera Car)camera car and crane an amazing team of Stunt Car drivers hucking there cars into skids, 180s, slaloms, drifts you name it. These guys make Jason Bourne look like he drives like your grandma. I was spinning on the crane operating the camera with cage a lot it was great to have those points to hold onto as Owen and I chased these mad men (Roy Farful and Mike Burke) around.
The cameras worked flawlessly in the hot sun. Batteries performed great, 8g cards provide plenty of shooting time and the turn around is 8mins max. I didn't wait for a thing all day. Mark, Aldey and Pliny really delivered. They know this camera and its workflow inside and out.
It was a great opportunity for me. Thanks to Offhollywoodstudios, Action Camera Car and Driver's East for everything I look forward to the next one and the one after that.
Paul E. McCarthy DP


Edited by Daniel Gourley, 05 September 2007 - 06:24 PM.

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#2 Adamo P Cultraro

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 07:28 PM

Yeah! great report!!!!!
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#3 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 08:13 PM

I'd like to know how the sent the image to the Steadicam. Via downconverter or direct to an HD monitor.

I also want to know specifically about the storage card shooting time and turnaround time.
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#4 Häakon

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 10:49 PM

I'd like to know how the sent the image to the Steadicam. Via downconverter or direct to an HD monitor.

I also want to know specifically about the storage card shooting time and turnaround time.

It was an AJA downconverter:

http://picasaweb.goo...970437594795634

The 8GB compact flash card they used holds about 4 mins of 4K REDCODE RAW, and copies to a computer via a standard CF card reader. The time this takes depends on the speed of your reader and the interface it uses.

Camera startup time is a whopping 90 seconds at the moment. They hope to "severely reduce this" by firmware updates in the future.
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#5 Dan Goulder

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 11:21 PM

Camera startup time is a whopping 90 seconds at the moment.

When exactly was this figure made public?
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#6 Häakon

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 12:21 AM

When exactly was this figure made public?

Exactly on September 4th, 2007 at 10:51pm PST.

http://www.reduser.n...78513#post78513

Edited by Häakon, 06 September 2007 - 12:23 AM.

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#7 Rainer Fritz

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 07:20 AM

Is there some footage online?? would be great to see it !!!

thx
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#8 John Sprung

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 04:38 PM

Camera startup time is a whopping 90 seconds at the moment. They hope to "severely reduce this" by firmware updates in the future.

Probably more of a concern for the amateur market than pros. After all, how long does it take to build a Panaflex? Or to re-load?



-- J.S.
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#9 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 06:48 PM

Or to re-load?
-- J.S.


I've seen it done in 9 seconds. :)
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#10 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 08:34 PM

I've seen it done in 9 seconds. :)

To be fair, you're talking about putting the mag on the camera and threading it, not taking a mag off, trading it for a fresh mag, and then threading it. It would take a superhero to do all that in 9 seconds. It is still faster than 90 seconds though.
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#11 Häakon

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 08:42 PM

Probably more of a concern for the amateur market than pros. After all, how long does it take to build a Panaflex? Or to re-load?
-- J.S.

Let's please curb the elitist attitude a bit and remember that just because someone is not shooting film it doesn't make them an "amateur." Scads of dramatic television shows (and let's be honest, even enough feature films now to warrant a mention) are being shot digitally. RED is a digital camera, not a film camera. How long does it take to replace the tape in an F-900 and resume shooting? I don't think you will last too long if it takes you 90 seconds.
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#12 Max Jacoby

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 08:59 PM

Let's please curb the elitist attitude a bit and remember that just because someone is not shooting film it doesn't make them an "amateur."

I think you're being a bit too touchy there.

I am sure John merely used the film camera as an example of professional gear and did certainly not mean to suggest that digital cameras are not professional.
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#13 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 11:45 PM

Let's please curb the elitist attitude a bit and remember that just because someone is not shooting film it doesn't make them an "amateur." Scads of dramatic television shows (and let's be honest, even enough feature films now to warrant a mention) are being shot digitally. RED is a digital camera, not a film camera. How long does it take to replace the tape in an F-900 and resume shooting? I don't think you will last too long if it takes you 90 seconds.


More than that, my 10/hr HD rate shooting non-narrative is higher than any of the film ACs get (usually) working a normal 14 hour day. Maybe one day I'll get to go "pro." :) ... not that I'd mind at all raking in the $8 grand or more a week that some DPs make shooting episodics and features.

Back to the sub-topic, stopping tape, hitting eject, pulling the tape, putting a new one in, closing the door, resetting TC and rolling 30 seconds of bars and tone probably takes close to 90 seconds. Over 60 anyway. Just for fun, I'll time it the next time I shoot. :)

Edited by Brian Dzyak, 07 September 2007 - 11:49 PM.

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#14 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 07 September 2007 - 11:48 PM

To be fair, you're talking about putting the mag on the camera and threading it, not taking a mag off, trading it for a fresh mag, and then threading it. It would take a superhero to do all that in 9 seconds. It is still faster than 90 seconds though.


True. :)

But on a regular basis, ACs who are experienced can do all of that in well under 30 seconds. When I was pulling focus, I wasn't that great at it and I could still do a complete mag change and rethread in under 30.

Maybe Local 600 could stage a Reload-off at the next union picnic. :)
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#15 Häakon

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 03:40 PM

I am sure John merely used the film camera as an example of professional gear and did certainly not mean to suggest that digital cameras are not professional.

Except that digital cameras don't take 90 seconds to "reload." The point is that RED is slow to start up for a digital camera, and since there are plenty of pros who shoot digitally, this is a concern for more than just the "amateur market."
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#16 Stephen Williams

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 04:12 PM

Except that digital cameras don't take 90 seconds to "reload." The point is that RED is slow to start up for a digital camera, and since there are plenty of pros who shoot digitally, this is a concern for more than just the "amateur market."


Hi Häakon,

I don't see a big issue with 90 seconds start up. I would have thought most pro's take more than 90 seconds to light the shot. For run & gun starting the camera before unpacking the kit should do the trick.

Just my 2c YMMV.

Stephen
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#17 Max Jacoby

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 04:22 PM

I'm with Stephen on this one.

Once the camera is on sticks, dolly, crane, whatever, you usually leave it on, because otherwise there is no image, expecially in this case where you have an electronic viewfinder.

The only time you have to switch it off in that situation is if you have to swap batteries. The question is of course how much power the camera needs and how long the batteries last. It's the job of a good camera assistant to be aware of long the batteries last and when is the best time to swap them (i.e between setups, you don't want to do it just befoe the take when the light is going...)
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#18 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 05:24 PM

It's the job of a good camera assistant ...



It's the job of anyone calling themselves a Cameraman, DP, Videographer, Cinematographer, and Assistant. If you're in the camera department, you should know everything there is to know about the "Brownie" that is being used for the job. ACs aren't hired for every job out there.

:)
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#19 Max Jacoby

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 06:00 PM

It's the job of anyone calling themselves a Cameraman, DP, Videographer, Cinematographer, and Assistant. If you're in the camera department, you should know everything there is to know about the "Brownie" that is being used for the job. ACs aren't hired for every job out there.

I don't quite agree with that. I have worked with Dops who were not even able to lace a camera. That did not prevent them from creating great lighting, which is what they were hired for. Since they don't do low end stuff, they always have ACs (and operators) anyway.
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#20 Stephen Williams

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Posted 08 September 2007 - 06:34 PM

I don't quite agree with that. I have worked with Dops who were not even able to lace a camera. That did not prevent them from creating great lighting, which is what they were hired for. Since they don't do low end stuff, they always have ACs (and operators) anyway.


Hi Max,

I am fairly sure that David M has mentioned he does not know how to lace a Panavision.

Stephen
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