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Questions from the video world

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Charles Lorch
Questions from the video world
on Apr 11, 2008 at 1:08:15 pm

We're on the fence right now about jumping into RED for our spot work but....

Red certainly seems like a logical jump for guys coming from the film side, but what about video only background guys like myself and my company? Can I get use to the depth of field, and film style glass and accessories?

What is the realistic availability in the next six months or so? And what accessories are really out now and timelines from RED?

We'll be at NAB. Are they taking deposits on the floor, and would that allow us some more time to be able to get hands on and better info?

We're realistic about it's applications and workflow but also would love to take the best pics possible.

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Leo Ticheli
Re: Questions from the video world
on Apr 12, 2008 at 2:23:43 am

A few thoughts...

Red does not cost 17 - 18K; although it can be configured for 25 to 35K, it's more likely to cost 75K or more for a really versatile package.

Shooting 4K, Red is much more like shooting a 35MM film camera than a 2/3" High Definition camera in every way except loading and processing film. Red is big, heavy, expensive (don't be fooled by the low price of the body), and requires crew to pull focus and change filters. Those not experienced with 35MM film may be in for some unexpected surprises.

By the time you buy a follow focus, matte box, decent zoom and a set of primes, you'll invested some serious money. Add a crew member or two on the shoots and slow down the pace of production and Red becomes more costly for your clients. You've got to ask yourself if they are eager to pay more for the stunning images; they'll pay more for the package rental, crew, production pace, and more than likely, the post process.

At 4K, Red costs more than 2/3" HD. Period.

There is a way to overcome many of these liabilities; shoot 2K. At 2K you can use 16MM film camera lenses, much lighter and far less expensive than monster 35MM zooms and almost impossible to find prime sets. You'll also have about the same deep depth of field as 2/3" video cameras, so pulling focus is far less critical. You'll still have to add filters to a matte box, so the Red is not nearly as convenient as a modern HD camera such as the VariCam.

The 2K files render much more quickly than 4K in RedCine and you can use the proxies directly in Final Cut (same goes for 4K).

Of course the whole idea of Red is the beautiful subject isolating shallow depth of field of 35MM and brilliant 4K images, so shooting 2K is not without limitations.

The real danger of the Red camera is that once you see the images from it, you just don't want to shoot anything else again. I'm not being flippant; the Red will ruin you for any 2/3" HD camera.

I hope this helps.

Good shooting and best regards,


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Tim Maloney
More Questions from the video world
on Apr 12, 2008 at 2:50:55 am

Good Points Leo,

I want to up the frame speed of some sport we have been shooting with our Varicam.

The Varicam is stii being used I need a B camera

I understand that in 2k the red can shoot at 120fps??

I can put a 42 x TV zoom on with an adaptor. The Rentals House does have a B/W viewfinder but does it have peaking - the videographers focus friend!!!


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Leo Ticheli
Re: More Questions from the video world
on Apr 12, 2008 at 11:01:39 am

Red does sell a B4 to PL adapter, so you should be able to mount a video lens. I don't know if the adapter is shipping; it's listed for $3500.00.

Indeed the camera does shoot to 120 fps at 2K to the Red Drive; the CF card, which writes a bit slower, shoots to 117 fps. I just tested the 120 fps with the "Lemon Squeeze" shot, a still of which I've posted on

Even at 2K the image quality is wonderful; unfortunately, you're back to the much longer depth of field. Not good for drama, but an advantage for your sports work.

Good shooting and best regards,


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Barry Dycus
Re: Questions from the video world
on Apr 12, 2008 at 1:42:32 pm

Hi Charles
We just did a day of shooting with Red and B4 adapter @2k-120fps. Lens used was Canon 5.5mm-44mm cine zoom. I now have a Varicam and HDX900 ready to go on the shelf with 4 betacams.
We also shot 3k @50fps and 4k @24p using a set of super speed primes rented from a CPT here in Atlanta. WOW!
I hope to post link sometime soon and I will send you link.
Good Luck

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Gunleik Groven
Re: Questions from the video world
on Apr 21, 2008 at 10:46:29 pm

RED is quick & easy to use as a videocam and can (if you want it to be) be a real beast as a 35mm cam including the workflow @ 4k. The thing is: It's your choice...


It's gonna be a Red Hot Year

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