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looks like new announcements from Red 1 NOV 2009


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#1 Jean Dodge

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 09:43 AM

I am no RED expert, nor do I possess any inside information. Just passing this along to this forum.

Some software ships today; some actual photos of an EPIC brain in various configs and a lot of new news (ie. vague but hopeful announcements) and as usual it may take a bit of time to decipher exactly what is happening here. But from a quick glance it seems that there is a real super-35mm sized sensor in a prototype brain out there in the world now and it can take Nikon F, canon EOS and PL mounts. And... Jim J. has the only one. But they have hopes for a beta testing program that puts EPIC modular camera systems in the hands of some pioneering users by the end of the year, which to me signals that they must be pretty close to finishing with only a few more problems, software based mostly, to be ironed out.

Then there are various announcements regarding prices and the schedule of trade-ins vs upgrades etc, which is a very hopeful sign that they really must be close to a shipping date for the beta models - they know what it costs to build the hardware, at the very least.

I'm glad for RED, they seem to really be working to adjust amidst the changing economy and competition, manly from Canon in the form of the pro-sumer 5D and 7D cameras and also the GL-1 from panasonic. The announcement cites problems with some of their suppliers going under in this bad economy, as well as veiled but tacit admissions that Canon and Panasonic and Nikon are kicking their asses when it comes to selling SOMETHING to a large sector of the market where they had hoped to create inroads - the consumer/prosumer buyers.

RED seems to really be responding to the changing market - and they are going to do it by attempting to serve the professionals first, which makes sense. They are an innovative company with a niche market in mind. And they probably can't sell a consumer/prosumer camera just yet and make a profit doing so, which is perfectly understandable. Instead they are relying on creativity, sensitivity ( by that I mean listening to cinematographers) and innovation to challenge their competitors. I think they have consistently strived to put out a product that will do what no other cameras can do; and the bar is getting higher to clear but they seem to have a good track record at doing so.

One of the innovations they seem to be close to being able to achieve is going to be a touch screen focus feature that will control autofocus canon and nikon lenses within a motion picture shot, and their own line of autofocus lenses in the future.... which is somewhat revolutionary, assuming it will work. And can be made quiet enough for motion picture sync sound work....

Another proposed innovation concerns a way for a camera to record metadata that makes a record of what moves were employed in a shot; so that it will work with CGI post production better. This may be a serious selling point for FX feature and commercial production. Kudos to the people at RED for soldiering on. They do seem to be on the brink of a new era for the company, and we all stand to benefit from their hard work.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 11:47 AM

I can't wait for EPIC and the improvements to the image. The RED ONE is an amazing bargain, a camera that competes with cameras that cost five times as much, but it could be better in a number of ways, which is one reason why it's just one of many digital choices for a DP, it's not clearly superior to a Genesis, F35, D21, etc. It has some advantages over them (cost being a major one) and some disadvantages. Despite all the improvements with the latest builds, the honest truth is that if you need the fastest low-light camera for tungsten-balanced lighting, you're still better off with a Genesis or F35. And that's a major factor in deciding which camera to rent to shoot a TV series, etc.

But I think with EPIC, we'll see such an improvement in image quality that the only real competition (ignoring the price issues) will possibly be these future ARRI cameras, at which point I think people will only be choosing the Genesis / F35 for when they want a traditional HDCAM-SR workflow with an onboard HDCAM-SR recorder, plus I'm sure the Genesis / F35 will then end up cheaper to rent than the new ARRI cameras, which apparently will have an internal HD recording option. EPIC will still be a RAW camera, and that's a whole workflow that many TV productions are still on the fence about. Maybe not by the time it gets released.

But considering all the delays in these future cameras, I don't see us meeting Tom's prediction about the majority of studio features being shot digitally by -- what was it Tom, the end of 2010? The middle of 2011?
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#3 Tom Lowe

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 12:12 PM

Yeah, my prediction was that 51% or more of major American features would be in the process of shooting on digital rather than film by Jan 1st, 2011. The delays at Red are not helping my case, but I won't use that as an excuse if I turn out to be wrong.

I think the new Arri cams look amazing. I think they will be very popular. I'm also incredibly excited about the Epic X. Being able to shoot 100fps at 5K on a 30mm-wide sensor, RAW, is extremely appealing to me.

I think a lot of "disappointment" about this recent announcement is coming from people who were hoping for a sub-$5K Scarlet 2/3" 3K camera they could afford now, and I completely understand that.

I saw Rodney Charters speculating on Twitter that Red was pushing out Epic X first in order to head off Arri.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 12:40 PM

I saw Rodney Charters speculating on Twitter that Red was pushing out Epic X first in order to head off Arri.



Either that or RED realizes that a big seller like the fixed-lensed Scarlet has to be bulletproof otherwise they are going to overrun with non-tech-oriented customers needing help in some manner.
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#5 Tom Lowe

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 02:11 PM

Yeah. Probably a combination of several of these factors.

I kind of figured that the fixed-lens 2/3" Scarlet would be a loss-leader for Red anyway. Basically just a chance to get lots of cameras -- and especially the REDRAW workflow -- out there into a lot of hands. That's just total speculation on my part, though. Jim has hinted that the fixed 2/3 lens alone is costing him a fortune.
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#6 John Sprung

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 03:25 PM

It has some advantages over them (cost being a major one) and some disadvantages.


Dynamic range and color gamut are the things to look at as soon as we get a chance to test one....





-- J.S.
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#7 Tom Lowe

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 03:47 PM

I think this will be the last generation from Arri at 2K/1080p resolution. From now on, the bar will be raised, I think, to essentially 6K RAW or 4K RGB. 5K Epic X being the bare minimum needed to create pristine 4K finishes.

With thousands -- or tens of thousands -- of 4K projectors going into theaters, it makes little sense to keep designing 1080p cameras.

Epic will have a huge resolution leap on Arri. Yes, Arri's cameras will have better DR, most likely, but the days of 1080p are coming to an end.
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#8 Thomas James

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 06:58 PM

1080p or 2K will not die just yet because it is a better choice for 3D movies because you can project each of the 2 stereoscopic images at 24 frames per second for a total of 48 frames per second. With 4K you are limited to a total of 24 frames per second which means each stereoscopic image gets projected at a rate of only 12 frames per second. Next year is supposed to be a big boom for 3D televisions.
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#9 Tom Lowe

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 07:54 PM

1080p or 2K will not die just yet because it is a better choice for 3D movies because you can project each of the 2 stereoscopic images at 24 frames per second for a total of 48 frames per second. With 4K you are limited to a total of 24 frames per second which means each stereoscopic image gets projected at a rate of only 12 frames per second. Next year is supposed to be a big boom for 3D televisions.


If this is true, couldn't they just change the specs on the 4K projectors, or use two of them for 3D? Where there's a will, there's a way.
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#10 Thomas James

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 08:45 PM

One might assume that there are 4k projectors that are multiformat and can play all three formats which are 2K24, 2K48 and 4K24. But one would definitely want to confirm this fact before investing a lot of money.
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#11 Thomas James

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 09:02 PM

Also as an example the H.264 video codec maxes out a 120 frames per second for 1080p and maxes out at 30 frames per second for 4k.
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#12 Tom Lowe

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Posted 02 November 2009 - 10:30 PM

Again, though. Where there is a will, there is a way. If theaters and studios want to put out 4K 3D, they will figure it out.

As you say, though, for a while they will probably just use 2K projectors for 3D. There will be plenty of 2Ks around.

Edited by Tom Lowe, 02 November 2009 - 10:30 PM.

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#13 Michael Most

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 10:23 PM

Epic will have a huge resolution leap on Arri. Yes, Arri's cameras will have better DR, most likely, but the days of 1080p are coming to an end.


Not if you work in television.
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