Jump to content


Photo

Red feature wrapped; thoughts.


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 Mike Simpson

Mike Simpson
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 113 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Austin

Posted 17 July 2008 - 01:48 PM

So Ill try to keep this as neutral as possible. This definitely isnt to bash the camera, but just some things to keep in mind if heading somewhere remote, or just far from other reds. I was the 1st AC and shot a little bit of 2nd unit.

Overall Id say the footage was great, and I was very impressed. However, we had alot of technical problems. Heres a quick overview of the shoot.

We were shooting in pretty remote places in Macedonia, sometimes many hours of driving up a mountain to get to the location, where there was little or no electricty, plenty of heat, and tough terrain.

Our first day the camera overheated to the point of the board melting (the camera always said TEMP: OK). We had to send it back to red and scramble for a new camera. The second camera (rented from somewhere in Romania) had some issues as well, but mostly worked fine and the rental house and person they sent were both great. Our third camera came from slovenia, and worked well. Eventually we got our original camera back from red and it worked the rest of the shoot.

Overall I feel like the red is not ready for situations where you are far from other reds and red HQ. Shipping the camera back to the US was a pain, and having to scramble for a new camera (red did not want to send us a loaner while ours was being repaired) was also a pain. At the very least a backup camera seems pretty essential.

Heres a little list of the problems I personally had:

The batteries had serious issues. By the end of the shoot the contacts were so bad that if someone bumped the battery the camera would shut off. The charger also stopped worked. We had to rent a Vmount charger and some generic batteries.

The dove tail is really loose. We mostly used the cheeseplate for tripod work, but it would have been nice to be able to just keep the dovetail on as switching between cheeseplate (tripod) to dovetail (it has padding for the shoulder) took about 10 minutes.

The red handle for handheld doesnt completely lock onto the rods. It wiggles and is basically unusuable. We had some metal workers in a village build us something out of bike handle bars that worked much better.

We had wierd scan lines when shooting at 60 frames. I was pretty sure it was just a monitor issue (since there are tons of monitor issues, ill get to those), but when we checked the footage there were these wierd scan lines. We never really figured out why. It was the romanian camera though so it didnt effect too much. We also shot something that when we imported it, it only had the red channel of color (which is kinda funny in retrospect).

The monitor has a few issues. First it would freeze the camera if it was plugged in while booting. it also has the wierd strobing effect, which can be fixed easily by toggling the zoom, but only when not recording.

Playback is totally bugged. About 30% of the time when playing back a clip the camera would get an error, freeze, or just decide to reboot itself. And this is when you slowly press the buttons and wait, if you try to press two buttons in a row your chance of freezing etc. triples.

Heat was our biggest issue. Macedonia is hot and there was very little air condition inside. And we were especially paranoid after frying our camera the first day (the heat warning never came on that day, and I think I only saw it once the entire shoot so I didnt really find that too reliable).. The camera seemed to get very hot very fast. I guess its a thick black box with poor ventilation. When it was even a little bit hot we had a fan near the camera that, when we werent rolling, was always running. When it was hotter, or when we had alot of long takes, we attached ice packs to the camera to keep it cool. It felt pretty silly but seemed to be the best solution.

Overall, though, the red was pretty impressive. The footage looked great, and it was probably worth the trouble. However if I was going to take the red to another fairly extreme or remote location I would take a backup camera, and probably backups everything (cables, monitor, etc). Also I would avoid most if not all of the red accessories (batteries, charger, dovetail, hand grips for sure).
Macedonia__325_of_61_.jpg And heres me with a kalashnikov and the red for good measure (No prop guns in macedonia)

Theres also a few photos from the shoot at www.flickr.com/photos/mike-simpson
  • 0

#2 Felipe Perez-Burchard

Felipe Perez-Burchard
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 130 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles, CA USA / Mexico D.F., Mexico

Posted 17 July 2008 - 10:54 PM

There are definately issues with the cameras, no doubt, but I recently was operating on a shoot all outdoors in the Baja California Norte desert (it reached up to 45ºC / 110 ºF on the hottest day).
We had three bodies: two working and one backup. The A camera was a more recent model and never overheated (but did produce the heat warning at some point) The B camera was an early model and on two occasions it did overheat "critical shutdown" it says, we swapped it for the Backup body which was also an early model and that also overheated, but by the time it did, I was able to go back to B camera and continue working.

I must say, I've also used the Genesis at around 120ºF and it performed very well.

The key I think with these electronic cameras is to have umbrellas to keep the cameras in the shade [and its nice on the crew too :-D ], and when possible have the ability to blow air on them (just keep it moving, not necessarily have to have it be cold air).

I hope my 2 cents are useful in some way...

Best,

-felipe.
  • 0

#3 John Sprung

John Sprung
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4635 posts
  • Other

Posted 18 July 2008 - 01:16 PM

The key I think with these electronic cameras is to have umbrellas to keep the cameras in the shade [and its nice on the crew too :-D ], and when possible have the ability to blow air on them (just keep it moving, not necessarily have to have it be cold air).

Yes, absolutely right. The problem with all electronic cameras is that they turn electrical energy into heat inside them. They have to transfer that heat to the external environment. Shade is good because it eliminates the sun as a source of still more heat. Moving air is good because it carries the heat away.



-- J.S.
  • 0

#4 John Holland

John Holland
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2248 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London England

Posted 18 July 2008 - 01:24 PM

Doesnt hurt to keep a film camera out of the sun either more so now as they are now full of electronics .
  • 0

#5 Glen Alexander

Glen Alexander
  • Guests

Posted 18 July 2008 - 04:12 PM

Ah, last year I took an old Arri 2C to Mojave, 132F, ran like a champ...
  • 0

#6 Gary McClurg

Gary McClurg
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 304 posts
  • Producer

Posted 18 July 2008 - 05:37 PM

Ah, last year I took an old Arri 2C to Mojave, 132F, ran like a champ...


A brave soul to take the heat... :lol:
  • 0

#7 John Sprung

John Sprung
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4635 posts
  • Other

Posted 18 July 2008 - 07:48 PM

Ah, last year I took an old Arri 2C to Mojave, 132F, ran like a champ...

The emulsion rather than the machine is the weak link in this case. You do need to keep your raw stock and exposed neg in a cooler, preferably with those blue plastic freezer things.



-- J.S.
  • 0

#8 Matthew W. Phillips

Matthew W. Phillips
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1792 posts
  • Other

Posted 18 July 2008 - 07:50 PM

...preferably with those blue plastic freezer things.


That was beautifully eloquent, John. :lol:
  • 0

#9 Jamie Metzger

Jamie Metzger
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 773 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco

Posted 12 August 2008 - 05:35 AM

Seems like a bad idea to bring any digital camera to those kind of conditions...should have used a bolex!!! hahahah.
  • 0

#10 Annie Wengenroth

Annie Wengenroth
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 653 posts
  • Sound Department
  • Brooklyn, NY

Posted 12 August 2008 - 08:50 AM

SCAD is apparently getting 2 of these cameras. Savannah, GA reaches obscenely high humidity levels in summer and they've been known to have temperature above 100 degrees (global warming...aaah...). I was asked my honest opinion of this purchase. I said, "We're f*cked."
  • 0

#11 John Sprung

John Sprung
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4635 posts
  • Other

Posted 12 August 2008 - 01:03 PM

It's probably not that bad. The humidity shouldn't bother the Red camera significantly. It's a bigger problem for film and people. Our cooling system depends on evaporation, and high humidity basically just means that the air is full of water and doesn't have room for more from us.

The only time you have to be concerned about humidity is if the camera is cold and you take it out into warmer humid air. You need to get it up near the ambient temperature without getting condensation on it. Keeping the air moving is the key. That's how frost free fridges work, they just have a little fan that circulates the air so the humidity doesn't condense out and freeze. If the temperature difference is really big, say 60 inside to 100 outside, you might do well to wrap the camera in plastic while it comes up to temperature and you set up the shade and fans.



-- J.S.
  • 0


Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

Glidecam

Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

The Slider

CineLab

Abel Cine

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

Willys Widgets

Visual Products

Technodolly

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

Glidecam

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab

Rig Wheels Passport

The Slider

Opal

FJS International, LLC

Visual Products

Willys Widgets

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

Tai Audio