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Bill Davis
Red Silent Camera?
on Sep 3, 2007 at 12:30:49 am

Wow, I'm pretty shocked at how "in progress" the released Red camera appears to be. I just read that as shipped, there's NO audio recording capability. None!

I completely understand the paradigm shifting resolution thing - and the amazing long term potential for the technology.

But, I think in the early hype, people were expecting more of a super-high rez camcorder - and not so much a "specialist" device.

I hope in chasing the movie-making crowd - the Red team hasn't totally left out the standard production community that hasn't much time for re-inventing their workflow.

The movie guys are in understandable bliss.

For the corporate production guys like me, I'm REALLY glad I held off on making a RED investment. Until the audio stuff gets settled, this is a pretty unusuable rig in my regular corporate video practice.

Wow.



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Scott Anderson
Re: Red Silent Camera?
on Sep 3, 2007 at 1:56:27 am

Yes, having audio not enabled at the launch was a bit of a surprise, even for those of us who have been following Red's development closely.

Also not having RedCode fully enabled, but instead a kind of quick, placeholder application called Red Alert. Sure, it's enough to shoot with, get fantastic footage, and develop a temporary workflow, but it's still a bit of a beta test situation.

That being said, it's here and it's real. I have no doubt that software updates will be coming very shortly (think weeks instead of months), and all the promised features will be fully enabled. The hardware is set in stone - it's not changing. It's just the software that will get fleshed out as we go along.

If I was a Red 1-25 reservation holder, I'd rather have my camera in hand than wait for the software to be fully finished. Ask Matt DeJesus if he's happy having his Red One now, instead of weeks or months from now. I saw the picture - he picked up his Red in person.

The one thing that is a nice surprise is how big a role that compact flash has now taken with Red. Other than those that need or prefer the long-form recording of an external drive, it looks like CF in Red will serve the same purpose as P2 does for Panasonic, except, of course, at a much lower price point.

Paradigm shifting, indeed. I wouldn't worry about it, Bill - what with the number of reservations Red has you won't be able to get one until well into 2008, anyway. I'm certain there'll be a full and compelling feature set by then...


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Bill Davis
Re: Red Silent Camera?
on Sep 3, 2007 at 5:19:25 am

Well, OK.

But I have to tell you that if I was one of the dozens of guys who've posted that they were holding projects (and their breath) for the arrival of Red One - and if it had showed up with something as PRIMARY as audio recording unimplemented, I'd be really disappointed.

That plus the price creep - 17k for a base - but with a real functional system (lens, rails, cage, power, storage, etc. etc. adding a minimum of 10k and up to 25k MORE, I'd be a little miffed that I couldn't take it out and shoot sync sound like we'd expect from ANY Sony or Canon cam.

Again, I'm not negating what it IS. Just expressing disappointment that it appears targeted (at least in it's first iteration) at the full blown double system MOVIE producer set and not AT ALL at the regular produciton crowd, who I don't think will find an easy way to make it pay off in the short run if they're saddled with having to shoot EVERYTHING double-system.

Again, just my opinion - but after all the waiting and hype, the lack of basic audio was a HUGE surprise for me.



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Steve Wargo
They will be available soon - used
on Sep 3, 2007 at 6:48:57 am

If you had "read" (no pun intended) the posts that came flying into the HD High End forum after NAB '06, you would have seen that the posts came from mostly beginners who will be completely baffled by the camera that gets delivered. A seasoned pro like DeJesus will do well with it, but I think that 50% will realize that they bit off more than they can chew with the process it will take to just to capture and then store the footage. A surprising number of them didn't realize that there was no tape recorder attached.

And the audio thing is only the beginning.
And, how many people that plunked down their $1000 gave up and got their money back?
Answer: More than you would possibly believe. I had several people contact me asking if I wanted to buy their place in line.

Don't get me wrong, please, I think the Red camera will be legendary, but it's not for the newbie crowd and that was over 1/2 of the Red investors.

When the Sony 950 was released, someone right here in town rented one to shoot a high end commercial. He called me in a panic because everyone was on set, tha camera had arrived and he did not realize that there was no recording device, that the 950 is only a head, like the Viper. He ended up renting a HDW-F500 deck from AVR which did not record HDCAM SR which is what he had sold the client.

Education and experience. It's a wonderful thing.

When we need to record uncompressed HD, for intensive compositing work, we take a feed off of the F-900's HD-SDI out into a multibridge and then HD-SDI into our Intel FCP. The sound runs through a field mixer and then into the same multibridge and then on to the FCP box. And yes, it is a royal pain. We compared the footage with footage taken from HDCAM tape and there is a noticable difference at the pixel level but not with the human eye.


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

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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Steve Wargo
Re: They will be available soon - used
on Sep 4, 2007 at 3:56:52 am

So, the first 25 were shipped and Jim Jennard took delivery of 5 of them. What the...??? This was posted on the High End HD forum. It seems like most of the first 25 (make that 20) were delivered to major players and some have NDAs and can't talk about it.

Are they going to have demo units available? Or do you have to try one out at a rental house? Maybe I'll just run over to DeJesus' house and get a demo. I'll bet his phone is ringing off the hook.

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

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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Mitch Ives
Re: Red Silent Camera?
on Sep 4, 2007 at 1:45:05 pm

[Scott Anderson] "The one thing that is a nice surprise is how big a role that compact flash has now taken with Red. Other than those that need or prefer the long-form recording of an external drive, it looks like CF in Red will serve the same purpose as P2 does for Panasonic, except, of course, at a much lower price point."

I think you need to re-think this. CF is about as comparable to P2 as a Yugo is to a Mercedes. The crowd that thinks a plastic body on a Camaro is the same as a real Ferrari are probably the only ones that will buy into this notion. CF is too small and lacks the necessary speed to do anything except "Mega" compressed video...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.
mitch@insightproductions.com

Apple Certified Trainer: Final Cut Pro


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Scott Anderson
Re: Red Silent Camera?
on Sep 4, 2007 at 10:51:13 pm

"CF is too small and lacks the necessary speed to do anything except "Mega" compressed video"

Do you mean 4K Redcode Raw @27MB/sec.? That's a "mega compressed" I can live with.

You're right in thinking that most CF cards do not have the speed to reliably record that stream. It's only the latest 300x cards that work, and not even all types and brands of 300x.

That being said, let's look at a worst case scenario: something akin to an 8GB SanDisk Extreme Ducati Edition CompactFlash 8 GB. Price: $315 (45MB/sec sequential read/write speeds on paper, probably hot enough to handle 4K Redcode Raw in real-world)

Compare that to an 16GB P2 card: $900 last I checked, and that's after significant Panny price drops this past year. I honestly don't know what Red is charging for their "certified" 8GB CF cards, but I would bet it's at least 20% less than P2 prices.

I appreciate what Panasonic did with P2 - I really do. They had to raid the 4 SD cards together to get the bulletproof reliability and throughput they needed to introduce a line of solid-state DVCProHD cameras. But that was at least 3 or 4 years ago when they started developing those cards. Things have changed.

P2 cards only work in a handful of Panasonic cameras. CF cards, even high-speed monsters like the SanDisk Ducati, are commodity items, used in a staggering array of DSLR cameras and other consumer items. Which technology do you think will drop quicker in price?

If I had to place a long-term bet on solid-state storage, I'd go with the most widely adopted, "open source" standard.

Mitch, you blasted Sony recently for making yet another proprietary flash format (SxS) on the as-yet unreleased XDCAM EX. I would submit that Panasonic did basically the same thing with P2. Sure, P2 is "based on" SD memory, but you don't see a bunch of alternative vendors jumping out there with cheaper P2 cards (I won't count on the Hoodman P2 until I see a shipping card).

You also lauded Panasonic for using an innovative new codec (AVCHD) on a camcorder (HDC-SD1) using off the shelf cards (SD). I would say that Red is simply adopting a similar strategy, only at 4K resolutions. What's not to like?


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Scott Anderson
Re: Red Silent Camera?
on Sep 4, 2007 at 11:10:09 pm

Let's also not forget the other (in mind, better) option: The Red-Drive. 320GB (106GB raided x2). That's over 2 1/2 hours of 4K footage for $900.

The closest comparison is the 100GB Firestore FS-100. That's $2000 retail, and that's just for DVCProHD.

Actually, the closest comparison is 13 1/2 1000-foot 35mm film magazines. But I shudder to think what that would cost.


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Steve Wargo
Re: Red Silent Camera?
on Sep 5, 2007 at 12:08:58 am

Whatever. What in the world do you hand a client or is RED strictly for doing in-house video? I have worked jobs with P-2 and can't stand it. They started dumping the morning's footage before lunch and we couldn't go back to work until 45 minutes after lunch. That's 45 minutes for an 11 man crew. There's some cost savings for you. We shot the main material with our F-900. You know that routine: When a tape ends, slap in another and continue. If you don't have to reset TC, it takes under 5 seconds. Resetting TC takes 5 seconds too, so there goes the afternoon, I guess. Ten seconds shot to hell.

The Red will definitly have it's place, for sure, but it's not nearly as practical as many think. It's a "crew" camera. It takes a crew to operate it, feed audio to a record device somehow, manage the recorded material, and then deliver something to somebody. 90% of what we shoot goes somewhere else to be editied, like LA or New York or ??? It's a 3 or 4 man camera whether anybody wants to admit it or not.


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Mitch Ives
Re: Red Silent Camera?
on Sep 5, 2007 at 12:19:20 am

[Scott Anderson] "Do you mean 4K Redcode Raw @27MB/sec.? That's a "mega compressed" I can live with."

Jeez, 27mb/sec. is the data rate for Standard definition (720x486) at 10 bit. A 4K image running at the same lowly data rate constitutes considerable compression...


[Scott Anderson] "That being said, let's look at a worst case scenario: something akin to an 8GB SanDisk Extreme Ducati Edition CompactFlash 8 GB. Price: $315 (45MB/sec sequential read/write speeds on paper, probably hot enough to handle 4K Redcode Raw in real-world)"

I'd like to see someone demonstrate that data rate... in the real world... and do it all the time... on a video camera, not a still camera. Of course, at your compressed data rate you still get so little video recorded onto that card that I suppose you could get away with it. How many minutes fit on an 8GB card?



[Scott Anderson] "I appreciate what Panasonic did with P2 - I really do. They had to raid the 4 SD cards together to get the bulletproof reliability and throughput they needed to introduce a line of solid-state DVCProHD cameras. But that was at least 3 or 4 years ago when they started developing those cards. Things have changed."

Scott, unless I'm mistaken, you haven't worked much with any of these cards. I have. I don't share your faith in things changing. I think P2 is a long way from being threatened by CF cards...


[Scott Anderson] "P2 cards only work in a handful of Panasonic cameras. CF cards, even high-speed monsters like the SanDisk Ducati, are commodity items, used in a staggering array of DSLR cameras and other consumer items. Which technology do you think will drop quicker in price?"

The demands of a still camera are nothing by comparision. That's like bragging you can do uncompressed audio. Hell, anyone can do that... it's uncompressed video that separates the men from the boys. Since I have a lot of experience with these various cards, I think you'll find you're back in the early "hell" of DVD media... where some brands work and others don't. That hardly foster the standard you seem so proud og. P2 works... like Macs. Proprietary isn't always bad.


[Scott Anderson] "You also lauded Panasonic for using an innovative new codec (AVCHD) on a camcorder (HDC-SD1) using off the shelf cards (SD). I would say that Red is simply adopting a similar strategy, only at 4K resolutions. What's not to like?"

First of all, they're SDHC cards, not SD cards. Second, some brands work, while others are questionable.

Second, you talk like all of this is out there and working. Koolaid drinking aside, Red is still an unproven product. let's see how they do over time. Of course, getting audio on the camera would be a nice first step. At least Red will now replace Apple as the brand that can sell anything to the "religious faithful" even when it isn't working yet...



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Scott Anderson
Re: Red Silent Camera?
on Sep 5, 2007 at 1:35:26 am

Mitch, you also chided me for drinking the Kool-Aid before the Sony Z-1 came out. And the JVC HD250. And the HVX-200. Turns out on the 200, you became a customer yourself.

The main difference between us, I think, is that you treat every new thing with a healthy dose of skepticism that borders on surly. You demand to be shown, by practical field experience, a product's worthiness and ruggedness before you'll give it it's due. You're not an early adopter. Fair enough.

That's okay, though. Because my fault is to veer more towards wild optimism. I have no need at all for 4K (who does?), or plans to have a Red anytime soon, so I can afford to dream. Don't cost me nuttin'.

But I have to tell you honestly and practically, if I WAS in the $30,000 camcorder market right now, I would have to be a damn fool not to at least give Red a long, hard look.

Without chugging all the Kool-Aid, I also appreciate a product that comes from outside the mainstream. Red's development has been unique, at least to my eyes. That's going to mean some bumps in the road, no doubt. But the story and the road ahead is so cool, I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Maybe it'll be the pocket Red that hits my price range. Maybe it'll be the trickle-down development in the rest of the industry. Maybe the brisk resale market of all those camcorder kiddies with more money than sense. Maybe I'll only ever get to rent one, a few years down the road.

I don't care. I'm glad Red's in the game, and I think a few years from now, we'll all be glad they were. They're changing things. Pushing things forward. If that makes me one of the religious faithful, so be it.


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Steve Wargo
In case you've missed it...
on Sep 5, 2007 at 5:10:40 am

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/242/3



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

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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JerryW
Re: In case you've missed it...
on Sep 6, 2007 at 5:10:42 am

16 X 9 would be nice but Red doesn't seem to do that yet either. My interest in Red fell way off at 2006 NAB where the show was a tent and a sign "in progress." At the same show SI showed their 2k camera, a complete workflow and now have a couple of movies under their belt. And by the time Red has all the features, what will Sony and Panasonic have on the market?


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The Heat
Re: Red Silent Camera?
on Sep 6, 2007 at 6:07:30 pm

I have to admit that like Scott I too am optimistic about new formats and equipment. I have followed the progress of Red and believe that it will soon find it's place in the world of video. I am a happy owner of the HVX-200 and find it's workflow a challenge at times. But like all changes in the industry I learn to accommodate. If it was easy, everybody could do it...oh, that's right they already are. This thread started with a good honest dose of realism but ended up being a sounding board for very negative remarks. Like yourselves, 20-30+ years of video has taken it's toll but I still love to read about individuals success and not failures or just petty attitudes. I hope you keep the faith Scott. I look forward to the next FCP meeting:}


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Scott Anderson
Re: Red Silent Camera?
on Sep 6, 2007 at 7:36:36 pm

I'm concerned that this thread has gotten out of hand, a bit. Originally, this thread was started in the Arizona Final Cut Pro User Group Forum. It was part of an ongoing conversation that Bill Davis, Steve Wargo, Mitch Ives and I have been having about Red since even before NAB 2006.

We're all friends and colleagues with each other, and openly share our views even when we conflict or disagree. I'm afraid that being a more locally-based forum, we sometimes take a more casual tone, more as if we're having a face-to face conversation instead of posting for all the world to see.

This thread was moved/duplicated into the new, main Red Forum (congrats to the Cow for starting a Red Forum, BTW), so now that the whole wide world is looking at these, posts:

I don't want anyone to get the impression that Mitch and I have any ill will at all towards each other, or towards Bill or Steve. Mitch & I just got off the phone, and I think it's important to clear this up.

In fact, Mitch posted this response which sums up our points nicely, and shows that we are, in fact, coming from similar viewpoints (it didn't make it into the Red Forum, so I am reposting it here):

[Scott Anderson] "Mitch, you also chided me for drinking the Kool-Aid before the Sony Z-1 came out. And the JVC HD250. And the HVX-200. Turns out on the 200, you became a customer yourself."

Actually I was one of the first to have the HVX-200, so I'm not sure who was giving you a hard time on that camera, but it wasn't me. I have never even discussed the 250 with you. Perhaps we should some time?


[Scott Anderson] "The main difference between us, I think, is that you treat every new thing with a healthy dose of skepticism that borders on surly. You demand to be shown, by practical field experience, a product's worthiness and ruggedness before you'll give it it's due. You're not an early adopter. Fair enough."

I'm sure that ones getting some chuckles. I'd say that I'm the quintessential early adopter, except I go past "early adopter" and fall into the pioneer category. Started with video when the rigs were in two pieces. Did computer based editing on a Mac Plus. Had an NLE when there were only two on the market (using a 1987 Mac II). Had the very first Sony Camcorder. Pioneered internal disk arrays, Had the DVX 100 very early, and the first group of P2 based 200's, etc.

As for a healthy dose of skepticism, it's rooted in experience. Remember, I've done countless (exhaustive) product reviews and I'm in on private meetings with manufacturers. I also make my living based on my purchase decisions. A single mistake with the right dollar figure has taken people out of this business permanently. The VX-1000 let us all see the consequences of recording something you couldn't edit. After 15 years, my company is still in this business... do you know how few people can say that? I can count on one hand the names of people who were here when I started and are still here now. Perhaps my approach isn't as flawed as you think?


[Scott Anderson] "That's okay, though. Because my fault is to veer more towards wild optimism. I have no need at all for 4K (who does?), or plans to have a Red anytime soon, so I can afford to dream. Don't cost me nuttin'."

Yes, but you're a respected member of this forum, and people will read your posts with some authority. I think we need to be cautious in our optimism, when it comes to posts that others read. Now, on a bar stool... wild optimism has it's place.


[Scott Anderson] "But I have to tell you honestly and practically, if I WAS in the $30,000 camcorder market right now, I would have to be a damn fool not to at least give Red a long, hard look."

I think we are all giving it a long hard look. I think at some point it'll be more than looking. The Red camera is having it's day now, but I fear there are some rocky roads ahead before it will be become mainstream.


[Scott Anderson] "Without chugging all the Kool-Aid, I also appreciate a product that comes from outside the mainstream. "

As I've said before, I think it will be the catalyst for permanent change in our industry...


[Scott Anderson] "Maybe it'll be the pocket Red that hits my price range. Maybe it'll be the trickle-down development in the rest of the industry. Maybe the brisk resale market of all those camcorder kiddies with more money than sense. Maybe I'll only ever get to rent one, a few years down the road."

I think you'll be in a huge crowd looking at that one. I actually see it as more interesting in the short term...


[Scott Anderson] "I don't care. I'm glad Red's in the game, and I think a few years from now, we'll all be glad they were. They're changing things. Pushing things forward. If that makes me one of the religious faithful, so be it."

You're making my point. Year's from now, yes. My concern is that the enthusiasm is running ahead of the reality, and that this could be bad for Red. If the camera fails to deliver on all the hype, people may lose interest and it's reputation could be damaged. Wargo's right, this is a crew camera. The problem is, the lines around the Red booth weren't crew people, they were students and wannabe film-makers. Like the 200, I predict a lot of bashing from people who were ill-qualified and bought this camera.

In a few years, Red will be on their fourth model and you'll see them everywhere. The Japanese are going to have to re-think their approach to this business, just like we have had to on a regular basis.

I don't think our positions are as opposed as you think... I just don't engage in dreaming when it's my money I'm spending... and I'm cogniscent that other people may make purchase decisions on things I post.

Scott here again...Sorry to threadjack, but I felt this was important to clear up.


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Steve Wargo
Re: Red Silent Camera?
on Sep 7, 2007 at 2:21:41 am

Thanks Scott

Yeah, we're all Arizona guys and know each other probably more than we should. Mitch is very knowledgable on technical issues, I'm more of a shooter / producer and Scott works for the department of corrections so he's used to being around bad people, on both sides of the bars.



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

Sony HDCAM F-900 & HDW-2000/1 deck
5 Final Cut Pro systems
Sony HVR-M25 HDV deck


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Barend Onneweer
Re: Red Silent Camera?
on Sep 11, 2007 at 8:01:46 am

[Mitch Ives] "Jeez, 27mb/sec. is the data rate for Standard definition (720x486) at 10 bit. A 4K image running at the same lowly data rate constitutes considerable compression..."

Mitch, I agree with most of what you've stated in the post above, but have you SEEN the images? Look pretty good to me.

First of all, that's MB/s - as in MegaBytes.

I'm no compression expert, but apparently compressing RAW is a completely different ballgame than compressing RGB - and the efficiency of the CODEC improves at higher resolutions (due to the the 'lack of microdetail'). Graeme explains it better than I do, but one of the things I don't complain about is the image quality at 27MB/s.

Bar3nd

Raamw3rk - digital storytelling and visual effects


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Mitch Ives
Re: Red Silent Camera?
on Sep 11, 2007 at 11:19:39 am

[Barend Onneweer] "Mitch, I agree with most of what you've stated in the post above, but have you SEEN the images? Look pretty good to me.

First of all, that's MB/s - as in MegaBytes.

I'm no compression expert, but apparently compressing RAW is a completely different ballgame than compressing RGB - and the efficiency of the CODEC improves at higher resolutions (due to the the 'lack of microdetail'). Graeme explains it better than I do, but one of the things I don't complain about is the image quality at 27MB/s. "


Yes, they are amazing. While what you say is true, like many people I need to see it in the workflow process... editing, etc. There are many codecs that look okay until they go through the post process... HDV was a perfect example. I alos like ProRes, but se some small things that I don't see in DVCpro HD. Still, the more you start with, the more you end up with, and in this deopartment, the Red excels...



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