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Grip's impression of the Red one.


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#1 robert duke

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 11:54 PM

So I had my first shoot using the Red Cam. I was really kind of taken aback.
I knew it was bigger than a HVX, but D@#$%N! That thing is HUGE with all the bells and whistles on it. The Dp had Ordered a New Oconnor head but was still using his older Satchler head and it was more than the Head could really handle. I am not sure all of the Digerati out there were really expecting this camera to be so big and HEAVY. I was worried that when this thing came out all my full size camera gear would be mothballed, but No not anymore. I am actually worried that my ballhead may not be big enough( not really). But really most people expecting to be able to use a Bogen head will be in for a serious upheaval in that it wont work. All the lightweight DV heads will not cover this thing. We had to strip off the mattebox and some of the rail system to use the satchler head the DP had been using since beta SP's were the poop.

As for the camera I was impressed the image and managablity of the controls. I liked that the look settings ( white balance etc) were more or less metadata not applied to the recorded image, leave that for those pesky editors and CC guys. ( more like film work flow). I was impressed at the range when dealing with F-stops. We shot in a school hallway using a single Diva, the overhead practical Fluoros, and some windows. we looked straight at the windows and had an image beyond that was legible and still could see details in the shadowed faces. Pretty Darned good!

I can't wait to see this thing run through the paces in a much more studio style narrative setting.

Overall the camera was great, we had a couple small glitches, the camera would kind of stall if you pushed the record button and another button too fast. It would give a POSTING message and stutter between a couple frames. we discovered that if a little patience was given it operated just fine.

I think that this tool is a Professional Device, The price, size and workflow requirements really do push this above the DV range. The Dp was stunned at the sheer data Volume that was being recorded and had to be dealt with in Post. More than your standard NLE and CPU, so more than a person who has a FCP system. I think that we will see a lot of new owners having to shell out more money for heavier duty sticks and heavier duty computers ( another Hidden cost to the $17000 camera).

There is some room for improvement. The cage for the harddrive (reddrive) was lacking in some areas. It didnt seem to fit the drive securely. I would worry about the drive on a feature shoot falling out. The v-lock battery had some play, and didnt feel secure either.

I was impressed at the LCD screen and its functions. although it had a really narrow field of view. That made it hard for the client to see the screen. It seemed like going back in time before Video assist, which is odd for a new technology. It was awkward having the client watch over my shoulder while I did dolly moves. I am so used to the client having their own monitor far far from the set.

I think once all the bugs, software upgrades and some of the long term usage hardware (mostly the periphials) problems are sorted out this will be a great tool for shooting.

I have a Warning to all the DV guys who ran out and bought one. If you think hauling a HVX around all day was tiring just shoulder this thing all day. No more Glidecam shots using those cheap steadycam systems, no more cheap Jib arms, no more suction cup car mounts. It is time to use the professional stuff.

hope to use the camera again soon,

A grip.
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#2 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 01:48 AM

Hi Robert,

How does fully built package compare weight-wise to a fully loaded Sony F900R with on-board monitor, rods, mattebox, on-board battery, etc.?
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#3 Daren Findling

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 02:21 AM

Hi Robert,

How does fully built package compare weight-wise to a fully loaded Sony F900R with on-board monitor, rods, mattebox, on-board battery, etc.?



Think ARRI 235 kind of weight. Or if you are not that familiar with a 235 as it is fairly new think just slightly lighter then a 435 set up. All in all it is actually quite light as far as profesional cine cameras go.

Edited by Daren Findling, 31 January 2008 - 02:23 AM.

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#4 John Brawley

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 06:13 AM

Think ARRI 235 kind of weight. Or if you are not that familiar with a 235 as it is fairly new think just slightly lighter then a 435 set up. All in all it is actually quite light as far as profesional cine cameras go.



Yep smaller than a fully loaded F900. That thing's as long as the QE II. It's more awkward too. They have all these bolts that can only be undone by allen key...

Want to shorten your rails while the cage is attcahed ? You're looking at undoing 4 bolts with an allen key, then the baseplate, then the FF, blah blah...

Yes, it is surprisingly heavy for it's small size...body only that is....

The 235 is a good comparison.

jb
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#5 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:15 AM

Hi Robert,

How does fully built package compare weight-wise to a fully loaded Sony F900R with on-board monitor, rods, mattebox, on-board battery, etc.?



I had the chance to compare the F900 side by side with the RED a while back, so my memory might be a little wishy washy. But as I recall, the camera bodies were fairly similar in weight. The RED was a touch wider than the F900 but a little shorter. Just about the same length I think. The "denseness" really surprised me too when I lifted it. In photos, it looks like it's going to be a smaller and lighter thing to run around with, but it they managed to cram a lot of heavy stuff inside that body. This is definitely not a high quality MiniDV level camera in terms of use. And yes, just to get up and running on the EFP 2K level, you're likely to spend at least $35 grand just for the basics.
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#6 robert duke

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 11:04 AM

I think fully loaded you are somewhere is the 45lb range. We had the reddrive on the back, with batteries mounted as if it were a Mag. The top and bottom rails, matte box LCD, 18-50 lens, ff nobs.

It was pretty close to a f900 fully loaded.

I think this thing might be more dense than the 235. It has been over a year since I worked with the 235 but the naked body is comparable to a Panavision platinum naked.

I think the dp said the bodie was 28lbs of love. We didnt put a handheld rig on the camera so...

I think If I were to buy one ( as if I wouldnt try to use it as a hammer... grip joke...) I would have gotten Carbon fiber rails.

I might look into them as a gift. Are the rails 18mm or 15mm?
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#7 Marque DeWinter

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 06:20 PM

I think fully loaded you are somewhere is the 45lb range. We had the reddrive on the back, with batteries mounted as if it were a Mag. The top and bottom rails, matte box LCD, 18-50 lens, ff nobs.

It was pretty close to a f900 fully loaded.

I think this thing might be more dense than the 235. It has been over a year since I worked with the 235 but the naked body is comparable to a Panavision platinum naked.

I think the dp said the bodie was 28lbs of love. We didnt put a handheld rig on the camera so...

I think If I were to buy one ( as if I wouldnt try to use it as a hammer... grip joke...) I would have gotten Carbon fiber rails.

I might look into them as a gift. Are the rails 18mm or 15mm?


The standard rails are 19mm but you can use 15mm rails with the camera (depends on which baseplate you get).
The camera isn't even close to being as heavy as the CineAlta. My red with the ET arri style baseplate, two top mounts, top handle, battery, CF module, red cradle, 18" steel rails on bottom, and 6" CF rails on top weighs just over 16lbs (I just put it on the scale)...Mind you that doesn't include the FF4, the MB20 or the glass (the glass make a huge difference).

As a general note I have an OConnor 1030HD which handles it no problem. BUT on my Cartoni Focus with a Cooke 18-100mm zoom its at the top end of the range for the head (the sticks are the T622/2C which candle close to 100lbs.).

~Marque
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 06:38 PM

I played briefly with one of these at Videoforum yesterday. It rendered the pinkish overhead discharge lights as bright, screaming yellow, no matter how carefully we balanced it.

Horrible.
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#9 Max Jacoby

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 07:09 PM

And the camera didn't explode in your face? ;)
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#10 John Sprung

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 08:11 PM

It rendered the pinkish overhead discharge lights as bright, screaming yellow, no matter how carefully we balanced it.


Was this the sodium vapor line pair, 589.0 and 589.6 nanometers? The human eye-brain combination handles these things quite differenly than silicon and silver halides do.

Red takes a different approach to color than traditional video cameras. They don't try to do it all in the field, as is necessary with tape recording. Their idea is to just compress and store what comes from the sensor, and correct color in post.




-- J.S.
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#11 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 10:53 PM

I'm pretty sure it was high pressure sodium, a salmon-pink light.

And let's not make excuses for the thing. If it has a white balance function it ought to get it a lot more right than it did. Bright yellow sodium light, resulting in greenish skintones shading to pink-magenta where tinged by tungsten light. I have never seen anything else get it that wrong.

I could go into how clippy and unpleasant the picture was, but that could have been the monitoring (though every Red picture I've seen has had the problem).

P
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#12 Ruairi Robinson

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Posted 01 February 2008 - 11:44 PM

I'm pretty sure it was high pressure sodium, a salmon-pink light.

And let's not make excuses for the thing. If it has a white balance function it ought to get it a lot more right than it did. Bright yellow sodium light, resulting in greenish skintones shading to pink-magenta where tinged by tungsten light. I have never seen anything else get it that wrong.

I could go into how clippy and unpleasant the picture was, but that could have been the monitoring (though every Red picture I've seen has had the problem).

P



User error :P
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#13 Jaron Berman

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Posted 02 February 2008 - 01:06 AM

Well, thus far one of the major user complaints has been about the monitoring output. As it stands, the output does not accurately reflect whats being recorded in terms of exposure or color. I would imagine that fixes are on the way, but I too was horrified by some of what I saw on the SDI output, only to find that the files themselves turned out nicely.

Back to the subject at hand, physically there are some obstacles to be overcome, and after a visit to Element Technica today, I'm confident that very smart people are working on clever solutions. Currently, RED's accessories are pretty quirky,,, the equivalent of "outsider art." Interesting ideas on how to shake things up, but they require a leap of faith from established methods of camera rigging and building...i.e. some reinvent the wheels that work. Element Technica comes from a film background, and they seem to understand that the best and quickest way for RED to become established in the industry is to offer methods to integrate it into what we find comfortable and efficient. Right now there are a few nits to pick usability-wise, but having now seen many of the immediately upcoming 3rd party accessories, I can say honestly that I'm finally relieved and looking forward to shooting a project with the RED. Obviously "help is on the way" is not terribly comforting to those who need these items yesterday, but in the bigger picture companies like Element are helping all of us so that when we show up on set and find RED instead of whatever camera we expected, there won't be any panic, it'll handle just like it should.
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#14 Jim Jannard

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 01:37 AM

I played briefly with one of these at Videoforum yesterday. It rendered the pinkish overhead discharge lights as bright, screaming yellow, no matter how carefully we balanced it.

Horrible.


Come on Phil... you can do better than this. Less than 2K resolution, scam, something!

Jim
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#15 John Sprung

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 01:28 PM

Well, thus far one of the major user complaints has been about the monitoring output. As it stands, the output does not accurately reflect whats being recorded in terms of exposure or color.

Exactly the same could be said of the video tap output from any Arriflex or Panavision film camera. What we have here is a clash between the video and film mindsets regarding the nature and purpose of monitoring.




-- J.S.
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#16 Jason Wert

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 01:56 PM

Can I mount the camera on a Fisher 20 etc.?
Thanks
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#17 John Brawley

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 04:25 PM

Can I mount the camera on a Fisher 20 etc.?
Thanks


?

Maybe you mean a fisher 10 ?

Yes.....It's work great...

jb
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#18 John Brawley

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 04:26 PM

Exactly the same could be said of the video tap output from any Arriflex or Panavision film camera. What we have here is a clash between the video and film mindsets regarding the nature and purpose of monitoring.




-- J.S.



Maybe it's because of those old fashioned optical viewfinders and 100+ years of knowledge of how film exposes.....

jb
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#19 Stephen Williams

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 04:28 PM

Come on Phil... you can do better than this. Less than 2K resolution, scam, something!

Jim


Hi Jim,

Pleased to see your contributing here!

Stephen
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#20 Jaron Berman

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 04:57 PM

And that's the problem - it's not really video and its not film. It's something either in between or something else entirely. There is no optical viewfinder, so you must rely on some kind of electronic finder. Right now people are still trying to figure out how to expose this camera - again, it's not film and it's not video. You can't use a waveform off the SDI output because it would be completely wrong, and you can't use a light meter the same way you would film, because the camera responds differently. So the fact remains, the camera has the capability to show a more accurate picture on it's monitoring outputs, and possibly custom LUTs. Right now, sure you could just consider it a video tap, but we don't have to settle for that kind of quality. I'm just saying - I can and do work off of taps for steadicam, but if I were given the option of a picture that actually reflects the final image, I can't see a reason not to take it, or at least have it as an option.

And as for mounting, in the most simple sense it can already be mounted to just about anything - dolly, crane, steadicam, sticks, cable rigs, etc... Not necessarily the fastest integration into those uses right this second, but it can certainly be done securely. In its most elemental form, RED is basically a video box camera with a bunch of threaded holes all over it. But again - third parties are coming up with more traditional pieces to make it quicker and more comfortable. It CAN be done today, but it will all be getting easier as time goes on.

Edited by Jaron Berman, 04 February 2008 - 04:58 PM.

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