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My first Red shoot


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#1 Serge Teulon

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 10:39 AM

This weekend I shot my first job with the red.

It was a low budget promo in a studio and they couldn't afford a red tech.

My impression was that the EVF is rubbish, the camera overheated too much on long takes (which led to it switching itself off, re-boot took 60 secs each time), it didn't like handheld action, so much so that it would react by swiching itself off.
I thought about using cards for the handheld but we were shooting 4k.
Also my AC noticed that the camera said that it had dropped some files but once checked everything was ok. Strange.....

On the positive side I like the images and completely understand why so many productions have taken to this camera.


As much as I've read about workflows and about the camera itself, it still felt very alien to me. A bit confusing to start off but with the help of my great 1st AC and also previous red posts in this forum my 'rumbling around in the dark' wasn't detrimental.

I put the rushes into redalert and really liked the fact of being able to manipulate them there and then.
From reading advice from other posts I protected the highlights which has left me with a good room to manipulate the 'touching up' to assert my look.
What I didn't know or read about in here was the RSX files.
I now understand that readalert automatically creates an RSX file, which is essentially a 'look' file, as soon as you open a r3d file into it.

I'm now in the process of creating my one light half res QT's in redrushes. It's taking a long time....overall we have around about 150-160gb of footage.


Although it feels like a camera that has been rushed out of the factory, personally I would use it again. I wouldn't pick it over film but then that's not the point, as far as I'm concerned.
It is what it is and I'll use it. But looking forward to when its creases have been ironed out.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 10:46 AM

You can shoot 4K and record to the CF cards, there are just a few restrictions/limitations (I think you have to use REDCODE 28 instead of 36, don't know about 2:1 versus 16:9, etc.) Yes, the hard drives don't handle a lot of movement.

Your AC may have had the wrong fan setting -- I haven't had the overheating problems that some people have mentioned, even when shooting the RED outdoors in July & August last year in Los Angeles. But I have heard from some rental houses that some RED camera bodies are worse for this than others.

I'm not a fan of the EVF either, the picture gets weird-looking when you are pointing the camera into a lot of light, like a bright sky. I like the new larger RED LCD though, very sharp.
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#3 Serge Teulon

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 11:06 AM

I haven't had a chance to test.
In your experience is there a big difference in quality between REDCODE 28 and 36?

There was another thing which was quite weird.
When we booted the camera up, the display at the back said the the build was 13 but on the LCD it said that it was build 17?? We were completely baffled by that.....

As for overheating, I forgot to mention that there was also a kiss light involved.
Interesting though, I didn't know that you could alter the fan setting on the camera......is it via the menus?
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#4 David Rakoczy

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 12:10 PM

Glad to hear people are working. Hope your job went well Serge!
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#5 Serge Teulon

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 02:20 PM

Thanks David, I've had a fairly boring year so far, so its definitely good to be working....

The job was ultra low budget and therefore worked under those restrictions. It was quite a frantic day and the whole booting up issues did push us a bit behind schedule in certain parts of the day.
But we had some good ppl in the crew which made it fun and worthwhile.

Hope all is well with you.
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#6 Dominic Cochran

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 02:41 PM

You can shoot 4K RC36 on the CF cards, but only in 2:1, not 16:9

Also, on booting, the first screen that comes up shows the boot software build(guessing it's kind of like BIOS? I don't really know), not the actual camera firmware build. That will come up on the next screen, right before initialization is complete.

And yes, the fan settings are accessible in the menus(under system:setup:maintenance), there a few different ones to choose from depending on conditions. All of this information is in the operations manual, which is basically required reading if you've never done a RED job before. Especially if you don't have a RED tech on set, at the very least your AC could have read it and avoided all this bafflement.

Glad to hear you plowed through the day somehow! :-)



-edited to correct menu path for fan settings-

Edited by Dominic Cochran, 18 May 2009 - 02:45 PM.

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#7 John Sprung

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 04:32 PM

You can shoot 4K RC36 on the CF cards, but only in 2:1, not 16:9


Good to know -- How about the 3840 x 2160 Quad-HD "4K-HD" mode? Can that be done in RC36, or only in RC28?




Thanks --





-- J.S.
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#8 Thomas Dobbie

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 06:06 PM

Hi Serge,

my first post to the forum,although I read regularly.
Glad your first Red shoot went well,the camera can be a complete nightmare the first time.
I personally haven't had any overheating problems and my camera is on for 8/10 hours in a very small very hot studio,so it probably was the fan settings.
Although I have a drive,I personally prefer to use cards,an 8gb card is roughly the same as a 400ft mag,so it's a kind of familiar territory.I'm not sure if you can shoot quad HD on the card but I'll check tomorrow.
I have a copy of the Build 17 menu layout which somebody produced,which is invaluable,even when you know the camera well.I normally have it printed and sitting on a music stand next to me when I'm operating.
I don't have a link to the download,but if you, or anybody else wants it,PM me with your email and I'll send it.

Tom.
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#9 Serge Teulon

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 05:38 AM

Hey Dominic,

We were shooting 16:9 which meant that we couldn't shoot with the cards at 4k. With the raid drives not liking alot of movement it makes it debilitating to use the camera as required. There has been quite a few builds, so surely its a problem that could've been addressed by now?!

I had a brief run through with the camera and its menus at the rental house prior to shooting. It's annoying that they didn't mention about fan settings. Specially as they knew that we were in a studio and had a kiss light in the equip list.

Thomas - Thanks, I've pm'd you.

Cheers
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#10 Thomas Dobbie

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 07:09 AM

Hi Serge,

I checked on my camera today,and you can shoot 16.9 and 4K HD on the 8gb cards,BUT only at RC28.
I believe that you can shoot both of these formats on the 16gb cards at RC36,but I can't personally confirm this.
You're absolutely correct,the drive has a real problem dropping frames with any vibration,a shock mount
should be included as standard kit with any rental.
I personally use the Element Technica one,although there are others available,even did some stuff from a helicopter recently
without a single dropped frame.

Tom.
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#11 Petros Nousias

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 08:16 AM

The camera was probably switching off because the battery plate hasnt been upgraded. In the old ones the contact pins would bend after some use and not sit inside the battery holes properly resulting in the camera switching off whenever there was a bit of vibration or the battery touched.
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#12 Serge Teulon

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 09:23 AM

Hey Tom and Petros,

That's interesting.
In your experience, what are the major differences in quality from shooting RC28 and 36?
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#13 Thomas Dobbie

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 12:46 PM

Hi Serge,

I'm ashamed to say that I've never actually shot with RC28,always RC36,so I've never tested the difference.
I'm prepping just now for a Red shoot next week,so I'll add it to my list and post any conclusions.

Tom.
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#14 Matthew Rogers

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Posted 19 May 2009 - 10:02 PM

Not a huge difference in quality, but it really depends on what you are shooting. I've been shooting a ton of RC28 16:9 and the client has always been thrilled with the end footage.

I think that different RED drives must have different tolerances on handling. I shot a country music concert handheld with the drive in the cradle for 90 mins without a single dropped frame (with a drunk/high director who grabbed the camera off my shoulders!) Did you have any loud noises in the studio? I know that gunshots and other loud noises like that can trigger that.

What exactly is a "kiss" light? I've never had any problems with mine getting hot either indoors or outdoors. Of course, outdoors I always keep a flag over it to keep the camera and myself cool. Even 60+ min at a time takes the camera won't freak out. The fans will come on pretty hard when I stop rolling, but that's it. The rental house you got it from should have set the fans on auto as the camera will control itself the best.

The battery issue has to do with bad battery plates. They seem to finally get some good ones in now that won't break after putting a battery on 20 times.

BTW, why do you think the EVF is rubbish? Where you having issues with it getting lighter/dark as you paned the camera around? If so, in the viewfinder menu "dark detail" needs to be turned off. Also, turn on open gate or you will see a really exaggerated 24p effect. If I don't have open gate on I will actually get a headache in about 3 mins of using the viewfinder.

Matthew
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#15 Serge Teulon

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 12:25 PM

Hey Matthew,

There weren't any loud noises and the handheld work wasn't pioneering either....

A kiss light is an led ring light, which sits around them lens. They get very hot after a little while.
David said that he also had no problems with heat whilst shooting in high temperatures. It could be that the camera was faulty or just a simple case of my lack of knowledge on being able to alter the fanning system in it. Not sure what the rental house set it at...

I don't really know how to explain what the EVF was doing. But the closest thing I can relate it to is....imagine setting the peaking on max and then times that by 50. Completely unviewable (if there is such a word).
Plus the fact that it's held by a mini magic arm......


Thomas - Looking forward to reading your results.
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#16 Matthew Rogers

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 10:12 PM

Hey Matthew,

There weren't any loud noises and the handheld work wasn't pioneering either....


I'm guessing that some hard drives are just more fragile than others. I wonder if it's how you had it mounted. What position was the drive mounted in? I normally have the cradle stacked up on top rails closer to a horizontal position than a vertical position. Did you have the drive vertical?

A kiss light is an led ring light, which sits around them lens. They get very hot after a little while.
David said that he also had no problems with heat whilst shooting in high temperatures. It could be that the camera was faulty or just a simple case of my lack of knowledge on being able to alter the fanning system in it. Not sure what the rental house set it at...


Oh, a ring light. Not sure if it was a fan setting or maybe just some bodies heat up quicker. I shot an interview outside today with my RED in the sun for 2 hours straight without much problems. The camera gave me the triangle symbol with "temp" under it, but it keep shooting. When I had a two min break because of clouds, the camera ran it's fans at high and it went back to normal temp.

I don't really know how to explain what the EVF was doing. But the closest thing I can relate it to is....imagine setting the peaking on max and then times that by 50. Completely unviewable (if there is such a word).
Plus the fact that it's held by a mini magic arm......


Was the image fine on the RED LCD or on the HD-SDI output? It sounds like maybe the edge mode got turned on. I would say that False Color got turned on, but normally the description of it makes it fairly clear. I do suggest you find someone with a normal EVF as mine has a very nice, smooth image. I was even amiring today on how nice the image is in it and how I would hate to go back to using Varicam's B&W VF.

Yeah, the Israeli arm does not work correctly for the EVF. It just weighs to blasted much to support that correctly. The Element Technica EVF arm is wonderful, and for a smaller budget, the Zacuto arm is pretty nice-especially for the price!

Matthew
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#17 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 01:36 AM

Good to know -- How about the 3840 x 2160 Quad-HD "4K-HD" mode? Can that be done in RC36, or only in RC28?

On the 8GB cards, you can only shoot 4K 2:1 RC36 (as of Build 17).

I'm pretty sure the 16GB cards can do at least 4K HD RC36, not sure about 4K 16:9.

RC28 definitely is noisier than RC36, but it's not too bad. I would rather sacrifice a little resolution and shoot 2:1 in RC36 than shoot 16:9 in RC28 though.
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#18 Serge Teulon

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 06:25 AM

Hey Matthew,

The drive wasn't in a perfectly horizontal position but very close.

I was trying to include a still on here but I can't seem to just drop it in or copy-paste it......do you know how I can do it?

I think with any technology you are always going to find one that will work perfectly but the another that just won't....luck of the draw I think. But then when I shoot film I always get my camera equipment from pana and to date have never had anything wrong with it....

The image was absolutely fine on the lcd and on the hd monitor, the evf would just freak out sporadically in a middle of a take. And when handheld you can just imagine how distracting that was.

I'll check out those 2 evf arms....sounds like they could be the answer to the feeble default evf support that you get with red.


Hey Sat - Even if it is, as you say, definitely noisier? I'm not sure that is a compromise that I would be prepared to take.....noisier and resolution loss

Edited by Serge Teulon, 22 May 2009 - 06:27 AM.

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#19 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 03:15 PM

Hey Sat - Even if it is, as you say, definitely noisier? I'm not sure that is a compromise that I would be prepared to take.....noisier and resolution loss

I would prefer less noise and less resolution over more noise and more resolution. That's why I always try to shoot RC36 and will switch from 4K 16:9 to 2:1 when swapping from drive to cards. I avoid RC28 as much as possible. I'm usually downscaling to 1080P anyway, so loosing that extra little bit of resolution hardly makes any difference. But I've worked for DPs who insist RC28 is perfectly fine and that they can't see the difference.

+1 on the Element Technica arm, which is great.

As for EVF freakout, I hope you didn't accidentally bump the user buttons on the side of the EVF, which is ridiculously easy to do. I've seen HD-SDI freakout, with the image turning green/yellow on playback. I switched the output to 720P and the problem went away.

As for the hard drive, I would suspect a battery issue before the drive if the camera is powering itself off. I've seen that happen with two cameras on a regular basis and both packages were privately owned which means they may not have the newest hardware mods. One definitely had separate battery issues as well. Also check that you're not nudging the drive or power cable in your handheld configuration. It happens a lot.
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#20 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 22 May 2009 - 06:21 PM

every red camera is different. Seems you had some issues that even I haven't come across.

and yes, definitely protect the highlights as much as possible.
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