There are exceptions and crossover, but IMO these definitions will help you understand EFP and ENG:
ENG (electronic news gathering)
Mobile production of news content, non-hardlined (although occasionally and temporarily hardlined to a van or truck), using B4 2/3” SD and HD camcorders (HDTV news), essentially a run ‘n gun environment. Manual focus, servo-powered zooming, and either manual or auto-iris as called for. This is quick turnaround production, where time is of the essence. IMO RED One is of limited use for this market because of the time turnarounds, dependence on legacy investment in tape/disc systems, and the need for some automated functions on the camera (iris). RED One can be a good B-roll camera for this type of production. Stringing creative B-roll for TV stations, especially the ones that are broadcasting HDTV news, is a viable revenue stream for RED One owners. The key thing is to find a medium to deliver the footage to the station/network on that is acceptable to them. IMO “ENG style” production is using the same or typical equipment configurations of ENG, and many of the similar camera techniques, and yet the particlular production is not specifically news gathering. This crosses over into the configurations and shooting styles of non-hardlined EFP (see below). Cine lenses and accessories (follow focus, matte box, rods, etc.) are very rarely used in ENG work.
EFP (electronic field production)
IMO there are two divisions of EFP: hardlined and non-hardlined.
Hardlined EFP is typical of remote productions using production trucks (tractor/trailor) like sports production, some remote news, and studio hardlined programs (talk shows, contest programs, soaps, etc.). Cameras are mostly big and stationary, although mobile hardlined or microwaved cameras are used for hand held and jib cameras. Directors and technical directors can see what each camera is framing and shooting, thus it is a “live call” directing environment. Some POV, in-water, and mounted camera use is hardlined EFP. With the ability to use B4 2/3” HD EFP/ENG zoom lenses, EVF availability, monitoring options, and having 12-volt auxiliary power for zoom servos, genlock , dual HD-SDI, and RS 232, RED is very capable of being used in hardlined EFP production. Being a manual camera though, many of the camera functions won’t be controllable from a control room or truck. There will definitely be workarounds needed in using RED One for hardlined EFP. Cine lenses and accessories are not used in hardlined EFP work.
Non-hardlined EFP would be typical of genres of production like action sports, adventure travel, nature, music, reality, documentaries, some types of stock footage, and many others. Cameras are mobile, small to mid-sized, not hardlined, and can be either part manual, or fully manual in operation. Unless cameras are microwaved or RF’d to the director, the framing and values of the footage are not verified until it is reviewed after the shooting session. Directors must know their shooters can perform, brief them closely on what is needed, and communicate with them via wireless radios – but the director can’t generally see what each camera is shooting while it is being shot. With small productions, the director is often the shooter, so that’s not a problem. Specialty sub-genres may include in-water shooting, POV camera use, and some mounted use. IMO RED One is particularly useful in non-hardlined EFP production – statistically the most common form of professional production in the entire motion media production industry. The form factor, scalability, 12-volt auxiliary power for zoom servo motors, EVF & LCD availability, formats (3k acquisition for a 2k or 1080p finish, 2k, and 1080p, 720p, and SD extractable via software), and lens use (B4 2/3” HD EFP/ENG zooms, 35mm stills zooms, and S16mm zooms), makes RED One very well suited for this type of production. This kind of production is done either with or without the use of cine-style accessories (follow focus, matte box, rods, etc.) depending on production genre and choice of lens. Some compact S35mm and 35mm still lenses (using RED Nikon adaptor, IMS adaptor, Birger Canon adaptor, SuperGrip, etc.) may be used for certain genres of non-hardlined EFP production and b-roll acquisition. IMO The best non-hardlined EFP shooters are good at using EFP, cine, and 35mm stills lenses, set-ups and accessories, and regularly use all three lens types.
How I arrived at these definitions
As a producer, director, editor, DP, and cameraman I’ve contributed to around 800 national and international television programs that aired on 18 different broadcast and cable networks. About 650 of those programs were non-hardlined EFP, 100 hardlined EFP, and 50 ENG. I’ve also done hundreds of business videos, infomercials, commercials, stock footage shoots, and PSAs - almost all of which were non-hardlined EFP in technique and equipment used. I’ve also worked extensively in the film industry and the still photography industries, but those are different stories and workflows, except for DSLR work, which shares a common tech/workflow heritage with RED One. By choice, I concentrate most of my work now in the industries of non-hardlined EFP (mostly television), some digital cinema work, and DSLR stills.
None of these definitions will come as a surprise to longtime EFP/ENG industry veterans. But I hope these definitions will help those who are not familiar with EFP and ENG to understand those portions of the motion media industry better – and give them some more ideas of how to use their RED One cameras.