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My opinion of the RED One


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#1 Joe Walker

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 07:24 PM

Hi all,

So I recently started working for Leo Ticheli Productions down here in Birmingham, and low and behold, he has a RED One. So after about three weeks of working with this I thought I'd post my thoughts on the camera, the workflow, and reduser.net. So here goes:

The camera:
Its very straightforward, easy to operate, menus easy to navigate, pl mount seems solid, etc. I personally don't like the mini-sized connectors but that's not really a problem for us since we have the element technica adapter. I love the look around feature and judging focus is fairly easy to do, albeit we always use the tape measure. We currently have a Cooke 18-100 zoom and a set of Zeiss Standard Speed lenses. Oddly we haven't noticed any portholing with these, although that being said we have so far never shot farther open than T4. I like the weight and balance, others have argued it sucks, to me it's pretty decent.

The workflow:
I like the concept of taking the "RAW" material into Red Cine and adjusting the curves and what not and then being able to export to any number of codecs or still type image sequences. However, Red Cine has crashed on us a few times and occassionally rendered out incomplete quicktime files. I will say this, once transcoded to 1080 24p, the footage played back on a high def monitor, is incredibly good looking. I mean it is sharp. Just gorgeous. I have noticed that when you bump down to 2K for slow mo shooting the image becomes softer, even when transcoded to 1080. So bear that in mind for those of you needing slow mo footage from this thing. We shot some 120fps stuff of champagne pouring that was just out of this world. It doesn't have near the latitude of film, I will say that with confidence. I have to agree with what most are saying, the real practical latitude can't be much more than 9 or 10 stops. It's pretty, but it ain't film. As of build 15, there are a few occasions where we have noticed a bit of noise in the shadows, but nothing that I would worry about.

The problems:
We have had issues of getting acceptable downconversions of the transcoded hi-def footage. The big issue we're seeing in our software downconverted material is aliasing, and lots of it. Right now our current working version is to send the hi-def footage to our Panasonic HD-150 DVCPRO HD VTR and then route that to a second edit suite and capture it in as uncompressed 10 bit. We've sampled hardware products from several manufacturers but have found the VTR method to be the most effective so far. The only working software method for us has been to render out a DPX sequence from RED Cine and bring that into After Effects and conform as desired. The only problem with that is that you have to do it for literally every shot. Bottom line: If you're like us and just wanting to use the camera for commercial use with the end goal being SD broadcast material, you'll want to test extensively to find the best method for your needs.

Red Cine has crashed on us a few times and spit out some bad renders but overall has been okay for us.

I do have an issue with reduser.net. Maybe its just me, maybe I'm crazy and maybe I'm doing everything wrong, maybe I should learn a new trade or something, but I've never in my life gone to a website where people will ATTACK you if you're having problems with a product. For instance, Leo and I both posted on there looking for help and answers to our problems with downconversion and we got major slammed by some of the users there. We've been accused of being incompetent, attacking RED, being hostile, etc. It's amazing. Of course this is the internet and we take it all in stride, but I mean wow! There are some hostile people in this world.

So in summation, I like the camera, I like the pictures it makes, I like the post workflow...for the most part, no it isn't the "film-killer" as some have described it, I would like to see the software get completely debugged (or as close as they can get it), and like Leo, I would like to see a professional, real names only, real owners/users only forum dedicated to this camera that can cut out the riff raff that prey on people trying to get help on their forum. While I politely choose to disagree with Phil's assertions about the camera and the imagery it produces, I will wholeheartedly agree with him about reduser.net.

That's all, fire away.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 08:19 PM

It's a fair assessment.

The assertions by some RedUser.net folks that any problems must be due to incompetency on the part of the user is not helpful. For one thing, human error has to be taken into account when designing a system because people are flawed. For example, even the best cinematographer in the world makes exposure mistakes now and then, especially when they are rushed. That's why they call it "latitude"... as in, you need some! You just want your errors to not be catastrophic.

As for the resolution debate, so far, my impression is that RED competes well with 35mm without resorting to a lot of edge enhancement. That's all I care about, not the numbers. I may change my mind once I start doing some film-out work, but so far, at least judging things on a large DI theater screen in 2K, it seems to be pretty detailed and sharp, but in a pleasant way.
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#3 Sam Wells

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 08:47 PM

The assertions by some RedUser.net folks that any problems must be due to incompetency on the part of the user is not helpful. For one thing, human error has to be taken into account when designing a system because people are flawed.


Good design = shortest / most optimal path to good results.

-Sam
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#4 Shawn Booth

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 09:02 PM

Joe -

If I could offer any assistance with your workflow, please allow me. I won't attack you.
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#5 Nate Downes

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 08:37 AM

I do have an issue with reduser.net. Maybe its just me, maybe I'm crazy and maybe I'm doing everything wrong, maybe I should learn a new trade or something, but I've never in my life gone to a website where people will ATTACK you if you're having problems with a product. For instance, Leo and I both posted on there looking for help and answers to our problems with downconversion and we got major slammed by some of the users there. We've been accused of being incompetent, attacking RED, being hostile, etc. It's amazing. Of course this is the internet and we take it all in stride, but I mean wow! There are some hostile people in this world.

Hang out on an Amiga Computer forum sometime, you'll be surprised at the similarities there.

In both the REDuser and Amiga's case, the die-hard fans have gone from being fans to zealots. Once zealotry enters in, forget about reasoned arguements and expect flamewars. I worked for one of the neo-Amiga companies a few years back, and was shocked to see the insanity in some of these peoples eyes.
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#6 Stephen Williams

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 03:31 PM

In both the REDuser and Amiga's case, the die-hard fans have gone from being fans to zealots. Once zealotry enters in, forget about reasoned arguements and expect flamewars. I.


Hi,

This forum will become the safe haven for discussions about Red!

Stephen
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#7 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 03:36 PM

Hi,

This forum will become the safe haven for discussions about Red!

Stephen

I think it already has.
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#8 jan von krogh

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 05:16 PM

Hi,

This forum will become the safe haven for discussions about Red!

Stephen

I suppose this prediction is rather wishful thinking.
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#9 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 05:38 PM

I suppose this prediction is rather wishful thinking.

How can you say that? This forum is the only I've seen personally that has a good balance of both sides of the RED coin. It isn't a RED bashing forum since many members here own REDs. It isn't a fanboy site either since there are dissenting viewpoints. Sounds pretty balanced to me.
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#10 Nate Downes

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 07:10 AM

How can you say that? This forum is the only I've seen personally that has a good balance of both sides of the RED coin. It isn't a RED bashing forum since many members here own REDs. It isn't a fanboy site either since there are dissenting viewpoints. Sounds pretty balanced to me.

Thanks to this sites rather fair handling of the RED I went from "Will never use it" to "well, if the projects right for it, then sure." It was the zealots from REDuser that turned me off to the camera, as they reminded me far too much of the Red/Blue trolls from the Amiga days. (referencing the color of the mascot that their particular central GUI toolkit used, then later the color of the logo for the particular OS their systems used)
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#11 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 02:31 PM

It was the zealots from REDuser that turned me off to the camera, as they reminded me far too much of the Red/Blue trolls from the Amiga days.


Zealots for the Amiga? Why not just be fanatic about the Commodore 64 too?
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#12 Nate Downes

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 03:01 PM

Zealots for the Amiga? Why not just be fanatic about the Commodore 64 too?

The C64 is a dead platform, no active development beyond retro systems.

The Amiga actually has been actively (if slowly) developed since Commodores demise. There is now OS version 4.0 out there, altho the lack of hardware to run it on is rather silly. In addition, when Amiga, Inc announced the death of the Amiga's OS after 3.9, another group cloned it, producing MorphOS (now at version 2.0) which them prompted them to reverse their decision.

The Amiga could be a modern system, if they did not sabotage themselves at every turn. As I said then, and say now, the hardware must come first, and it is what both sides have all but ignored development of, going for the cheap solution. It's gotten to the point that someone went out and cloned the system itself, and put it in the GPL, called the MiniMig.
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#13 Joe Walker

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 03:22 PM

Hi,

This forum will become the safe haven for discussions about Red!

Stephen



That's more true than you know!
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#14 Paul Bruening

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 03:27 PM

Excuse me. Are you talking about a computer called an Amiga? As in Commodore Amiga? I had one of those things (Amiga 2000), say, 20 something years ago. It had 8 whole megs of RAM and was the envy of all those 286ers. It had a Video Toaster. I had Sculpt 4D that took about 20 floppies to install. It crashed more than a drunken sorority girl.

So, you're saying that it is still being made? Why bother? What's the forum address? I have to go get a laugh off of this.

I still have my Commodore VIC 20. Now, be careful you don't have anything bad to say about the VIC 20. I'll have to flame you to the limits of your consciousness. I'll fight to the death to defend the honor of the greatest computer ever made... the VIC 20!

Here's the clearest justification of the superiority of the VIC 20 I know-
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#15 Nate Downes

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 08:39 PM

Excuse me. Are you talking about a computer called an Amiga? As in Commodore Amiga? I had one of those things (Amiga 2000), say, 20 something years ago. It had 8 whole megs of RAM and was the envy of all those 286ers. It had a Video Toaster. I had Sculpt 4D that took about 20 floppies to install. It crashed more than a drunken sorority girl.

So, you're saying that it is still being made? Why bother? What's the forum address? I have to go get a laugh off of this.

I still have my Commodore VIC 20. Now, be careful you don't have anything bad to say about the VIC 20. I'll have to flame you to the limits of your consciousness. I'll fight to the death to defend the honor of the greatest computer ever made... the VIC 20!

Here's the clearest justification of the superiority of the VIC 20 I know-

Judge an Amiga by the 2000 only if you judge a PC by Windows 2.0 on a 286.... save I can take a 2000 and upgrade it to 1995-specs while keeping the original components (2GB of RAM, pentium-class CPU, can even install a DEC Alpha into the unit) while no such luck on the 286. Even one model up (the 3000) and you could get PowerPC CPU's and modern video cards in the unit.

The last motherboards made for the Amiga sported PowerPC G4 CPU's and modern chipsets. G5 boards were designed, but the schism in the marketplace all but killed that off almost 5 years ago. New OS's have arrived, but still, the lack of hardware is quite noticeable.

And you can find Amiga forums all over the spot.
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#16 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 09:41 PM

I was doing nonlinear editing, compositing and effects on Amigas before anyone had even heard of nonlinear editing...

Somehow never got around to uninstalling the A4000. It's still in the rack.

P
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#17 Keith Walters

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 04:58 AM

I still have my Commodore VIC 20. Now, be careful you don't have anything bad to say about the VIC 20. I'll have to flame you to the limits of your consciousness. I'll fight to the death to defend the honor of the greatest computer ever made... the VIC 20!

Excuse me, there seems to be some sort of mistake here. It is generally accepted by people who know what they are talking about that the Spectrum 48K represents the pinnacle of domestic cyber-excellence. All others are simply wan imitations, digital nonesuches. Bah! :P
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#18 Glen Alexander

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 01:52 PM

pfff, i was hacking on an old Radio Shack/Tandy TRS-80 making it do things, people only dreamt of...
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#19 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 02:29 PM

Wow, the ego is getting sortof thick in here, don't you think?
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#20 Glen Alexander

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Posted 19 June 2008 - 02:52 PM

Wow, the ego is getting sortof thick in here, don't you think?


if you had a notion of what people are referring to in their posts, you would probably be more impressed with the kind of knowledge and expertise being posted since you don't, you comment on 'egos'.

anyone who can hack on an Amiga, Spectrum 48K, VIC 20 etc is impressive. these are 'old school' people who know how things work on lowest level, rather than programmers today who can't do anything without a GUI. we are posting to take the mickey out of things.
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