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Long term Red report

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Leo Ticheli
Long term Red report
on Mar 18, 2009 at 5:02:25 pm

My pal Steve Wargo phoned me this morning reminding me that I promised to report on my experiences with our Red camera.

Here goes.

What the Red is not:

Red is not cheap. It's not $17,500.00. Fully tricked out with the necessary accessories and lenses, it can easily bump against six figures. If you go for the very best lenses, it can cost more than the median American home price. Yes, you can build it for less by using 35MM stills lenses; they make good images but they come with compromises - insufficient turns of focus, breathing, etc.

Red has some excellent prime lenses in the pipeline that will go far toward lowering the total package cost, but it's still not cheap.

This is no run & gun camera; there is no built-in ND filter wheel. Changing filters is time consuming, especially if they are large. I can't think of a worse camera for news shooting.

Although a Red camera can be built lighter, in it's typical configuration it's a heavy beast; my Red with Cooke 18-100 Zoom & Motor, Arri Follow Focus & Matte Box, LCD Monitor & EVF weighs in at a substantial 50 pounds.

There's a lot of disingenuous talk about difficulty in posting Red footage. Post is actually straight-forward and easy, but it does require color grading! Depending on the number and length of shots, Red can approach the speed of post of other formats, but as a general rule it takes longer.

This is not a direct replacement for shooters used to smaller chip cameras. The shallow depth of field may be an unpleasant surprise to those not experienced shooting 35MM. If your camera and/or subject are moving, you'll definitely need a good AC to pull focus.

The time required to change prime lenses can affect shooting schedules. I can definitely get more shots in a day with a VariCam.

What the Red is:

This is a 35MM motion picture film camera in every way except there is no chemical emulsion and you have all the advantages of HD monitoring and immediate play back in the field. Of course there's no wait for lab processing and the cost savings are substantial. In fact, they are very substantial.

Red image quality is breath-taking. No regular HD camera comes even close. I've blown up individual still frames to 24"x36" that rival those from my Nikon. You really have to see it to believe it. Apologies to stills shooters everywhere, but many of my clients are now dropping them from our shoots and using the Red footage for print.

Does it look like Kodak's best 35MM efforts? I would say the look is different, but very subtilely so. I don't believe viewers can tell the difference and I've frequently cut my Red footage into 35MM film footage with complete transparency.

The bottom line:

I never want to shoot with any other camera again, at least not until we trade our Red One in for the Red Epic.

Yes, it really is that good.

Good shooting and best regards,

Leo


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Russell Lasson
Re: Long term Red report
on Mar 18, 2009 at 6:22:00 pm

Leo,

That is a great statement on really what people should expect from the RED ONE. Nice job.

-Russ

Russell Lasson
Universal Post
Ridgeline Digital Cinema Mastering
Salt Lake City, UT


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Uli Plank
Re: Long term Red report
on Mar 18, 2009 at 10:04:23 pm

I can fully confirm this after nearly one year with our RED One.

Regards,

Uli

Director of the Institute of Media Research (IMF) at Braunschweig University of Arts


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Steve Wargo
Thanks Leo
on Mar 20, 2009 at 6:41:43 am

Maybe I should call you more often.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Mark Tyson
Re: Thanks Leo
on Mar 20, 2009 at 7:13:47 pm

I just exported a still from RED for a billboard. The artist was blown away, and the agency now has another reason to sell the RED.

Mark Tyson

Mark Tyson


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Noah Kadner
Re: Awards- Anybody know?
on Mar 21, 2009 at 6:17:39 pm

Yeah we just shot an industrial for a client on our REDs and they almost immediately started asking where we could submit it for industry awards because they were just totally blown away by how good it looked. So, anybody know of any org that offers awards for industrials/corporate communication? :)

-Noah

Check out My My FCP Blog and my new RED Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color.
Now featuring the Sony EX1 Guidebook,
DVD Studio Pro and How to Light Interviews.
http://www.callboxlive.com


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Steve Wargo
Re: Awards- Anybody know?
on Mar 23, 2009 at 5:06:23 am

"Telly" and "The Communicator" are the top awards in Non-Broadcast, which is the Emmy world.

The Telly is a statuette and The Communicator is a thick glass.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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gary adcock
Re: Awards- Anybody know?
on Mar 23, 2009 at 11:50:14 am

[Steve Wargo] ""Telly" and "The Communicator" are the top awards in Non-Broadcast,"

don't forget the"Cindy" award for industrials

gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows

Inside look at the IoHD
http://library.creativecow.net/articles/adcock_gary/AJAIOHD.php




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Steve Wargo
Re: Awards- Anybody know?
on Mar 27, 2009 at 6:43:19 am

[gary adcock] "don't forget the"Cindy" award for industrials"

It looks like I did forget the "Cindy" Award.

Steve Wargo
Tempe, Arizona
It's a dry heat!

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut (not quite PRO) systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck
2-Sony EX-1 HD .


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Scott Roberts
Re: Long term Red report
on Mar 23, 2009 at 5:34:27 am

Leo,

Great write-up!

What is your workflow in post?

Scott


Color Grading presets for After Effects, Premiere, etc., plus free presets and more.

LITTLE BLACK BIRD - PROFESSIONAL VISUAL EFFECTS

http://www.littleblackbird.com

http://www.myr3d.com


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Leo Ticheli
Re: Long term Red report
on Mar 23, 2009 at 10:50:02 pm

We copy the R3d files to our SAN, make two LTO3 tapes as back up, then import from the SAN into Final Cut using Log and Transfer.

Edit as you would with any material, color grade in Color.

Done.

Best regards,

Leo



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Sam Roberts
Re: Long term Red report
on Mar 29, 2009 at 4:13:08 pm

Hi Leo, are you transcoding to Prores in Log and Transfer or using the "native" setting? Could you explain a bit about your reasons for whichever method you use- advantages, diadvantages etc.? Are you using REDAlert at all?

Thanks
Sam



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Steve Sherrick
Re: Long term Red report
on Apr 4, 2009 at 3:26:20 am

Not to jump in on the question to Leo, but the advantage of ProRes is that it takes less space, is more efficient to work with, maintains timecode, and can be used effectively to move into Color where you can then work with R3D for color correction. The Native workflow requires a powerful system to work with these files smoothly. But the advantage is that it wraps the files quickly, much faster than the ProRes import.

To work with Red Alert in conjunction with the Log and Transfer method, you save presets in RA and then those show up in Log and Transfer. But you don't get everything. Still some limitations.




Steve Sherrick




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