Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Went to Paris last week to check out the latest Red technology. Yes, it was a marketing event, but hey, I got to hold the Epic, and see live projection of Mysterium-X footage, so it was fun. Pictures and some ramblings after the jump.

Ted, a founding member of the company- and a great salesman- kicked things off by showing us a brief history of Red, starting with a photo of the first one - a plywood box with a Nikon lens on the front, and a large computer cable coming out of the back. He continued to present the development of the camera, leading up to the latest sensor. To show it off, he first screened (in 2k) the MX showreel (available online here ). Looked good - same quality as the original sensor, only with no noticeable noise. Nada. And that's at 2k.

To sell it even further, he then hooked up an MX Red one with a live feed to the cinema projector. With the fairly subtle, red house lights, the operator panned it across the audience. They pushed it to 2000 and I couldn't spot any noise. And I was sitting in the front row. Of course, it can't be pushed as far as a 5 or 7D, but it will allow for noiseless, 5k guerrilla-style shooting. This coupled with a set of SuperSpeeds, should make for some fantastic low-light shooting. Oh, and it should make life easier when shooting at 250fps. On the flip side, I predict a run on grain filters to dirty up all these noiseless images.

So then he unveiled the Epic and Scarlet prototypes. That's what I came for. Following a really boring Scratch demo (even more boring given that it was in French), I got my hands on that Epic. Size and shape wise, just imagine a hefty medium format camera. In its bare state it's not particularly ergonomic- it's lightweight* (much improvement here on the RedOne- seems to be a lighter metal, hopefully just as durable), yes, but boxy. But I think their plan is to keep the 'brains' really simple and allow people to accessorise them however they like. 

So yeah. It will be nice to be able to completely strip down the camera to DSLR size and then run around the streets, shooting to our hearts' content.

I asked Ted if he has any inside info on release dates, but naturally he just gave an optimistic guess- 'we're hoping for June/July'. Unlikely, but me too.

*In fact the RedPrime mounted on the Epic was far heavier than the body - it should be great with stills lenses/compact primes.