Thread: NEW TO RED? A few things to think about

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  1. #1 NEW TO RED? A few things to think about 
    Moderator David Battistella's Avatar
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    First, welcome to REDUSER!I just thought I would create this post to let people know a few things to understand if you are brand new to RED or using RED cameras to capture images for the first time. There are some technical things and there are some things to understand about the RED culture, the company and the attitude.

    Now, I am just a customer. I was in the first 1000 with number 758 way back with the first original RED camera the RED ONE with the M Sensor. I’m just sharing a bit about what I have observed and experienced over the years and I hope many other REDusers with a lot of experience can help you out as well.

    RAW
    The RED CAMERA captures a RAW stream to a format called R3D. It also now captures Quicktime prores and AVID dnxHD files as well.

    RAW MEANS RAW
    With RAW R3D files none of the following is burned into the file with QT files these things ARE burned into the Prores or AVID dnxHD files.

    - ISO
    - WHITE BALANCE
    -LUT or LOOK file

    This means that you can shoot at 500ISO and process your files at 2000ISO, or you vice versa. In terms of white balance, if you forgot to white balance, no problem, you can always white balance after the fact with no penalty. What do I mean by that, well, if you shot something Tungsten on another camera and really wanted Daylight, you have to move the whole color matrix of colors in a burned in file. With RED you can select the white balance as the last phase of post if you like.

    FRAME RATE - TIME BASE and SHUTTER ANGLE and EXPOSURE TIME are burned in to the R3D
    These parameters are always a part of the file, so don’t hink you can just shoot 48FPS and make it 24FPS without artifacts or shutter issues, you can’t.

    TRUE SLOW MOTION
    The camera is capable of capturing slow motion video. It captures progressive frames and no interpolation is needed to playback slow motion
    SEE THIS THREAD ABOUT SLOW MOTION WITH RED

    LOTS OF LENS OPTIONS
    The Camera is capable of using Canon, Nikon, PL and Leica M lenses with their mounts and it is important to note that you can put just about any type of glass in front of a RED camera.

    RED DOCUMENTATION
    THE DSMC camera guide is your friend. Use it, read it, it covers everything!
    DOWNLOAD DSMC GUIDE

    SHARPENING
    RED does no in camera sharpening and lets the sharpening be done as a post process. This can freak people out a bit at first, but its much better to sharpen shot per shot.

    NOISE REDUCTION
    There is no in camera noise reduction with RED, so when you move to Higher ISO's etc, the camera does not compensate in any way to remove this noise. It's part of the RAW philosophy and letting the user decide things like ISO, WB, sharpening and noise according to the images they want to create. Bottom line, when getting into the higher ISO's and depending on your taste, plan to do some noise reduction in post.

    FLEXIBILITY & CHOICES
    Each DP has a lot of leeway to create the images they want because of this attitude of Flexibility and choice. FOr example, you can interchange many different OLPF's with lens combinations to get the look you want to create. It's all about choice when it comes to building up your rig, it can be basic or complicated according to your shooting style or to any particular shoot.

    FRAME SIZES
    Just a word about framesize/frame rates. When you select a framesize SMALLER that the maximum frame size then it means you are actually cropping the sensor. In other words, you are not scalling the larger image to the smaller image but you are literally cutting it out of the whole Sensor. So 6K is 6K 4K is 4K cut out of that 6K not scaled from 6K to 4K, 3K, 2K ETCThis means your field of view changes as you drop down in resolution. Handy, because it lets you shoot higher frame rates, but be aware that croping does occur and just like if you crop a file in Photoshop, the resolution can take a hit.

    RAW VIEW AND HISTOGRAM ARE YOUR FRIEND
    To me, the second most important thing after looking at your monitor for exposure and composition are the:

    HISTOGRAM
    RAW VIEW
    GOALPOST
    STOPLIGHT TOOLS

    These three tools used together will take you a long long way toward excellent exposure:
    HISTOGRAM - Learn how to read one based on your scene,
    RAW VIEW - Understand that with RED this represents whiat the sensor sees at ISO 800 with a DragonColor 2 and REDlogfilm look profile. Swithcing between this and your settings will tell you a lot. Know where the RAW VIEW key is mapped and use it often
    GOAL POSTS above a certain noise. The one on the right tells you how many pixels are clipping
    STOPLIGHTS - This tell you when an R G OR B CHANNEL IS CLIPPING



    Memorize this page of the DSMC manual first.

    BLACK SHADING CALIBRATION
    It is important to understand what black shading calibration is. If you ever upgrade your firmware, one of the instructions is that you MUST blackshade the camera after a Firmware upgrade. Black shading optimizes the sensor for best performance at a specific temperatures and exposure times. The DSMC2 system does this automatically now, but it's still important to understand it and how to understand when you are filming in a no optimal way.
    READ THIS THREAD





    THE RED DOT PATTERN

    If you shoot with the lens stopped down past F11, like F16, F22 etc, and you capture the sun in your frame, at certain angles you will see a red dot pattern in your footage. READ THIS THREAD ABOUT THE RED DOT PATTERN

    THE RED DIGITAL CINEMA COMPANY
    As a company, RED are privately owned and they engage in a direct relationship with their customers through this website and through their excellent customer service with their bomb squad reps. You would expect to see the president of RED, the founder of RED, some key engineering people and general anyone from the RED team interacting with people here on the forum.

    REDuser is filled with industry professionals who will answer questions and interact and even help in emergencies.
    The discussions here can get heated, check out this thread as a general understanding of what constitutes being a good member of this community.
    SEE THIS THREAD

    REDUSER is a great community where a lot of great knowledge is shared and has been shared over the years.
    With Raven, I look forward to the next phase of RED's exciting future.

    David
    Last edited by David Battistella; 05-17-2016 at 01:23 AM.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    This is awesome. Thanks David!
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Matthew Quinn's Avatar
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  4. #4  
    To that I would add: RED cameras are great tools for doing the job, but no tools do the job for you. Lots of resolution and lots of dynamic range doesn't mean one can ignore the fundamentals of cinematography. There are many, many people who have been disappointed to buy a camera 4x-10x more expensive than what they'd ever spent before, only to find that they still need to light their scenes. And yet more who mistakenly believed that because ISO could be changed so easily in post that initial exposure is therefore not of great importance.

    The good news is that the DSMC2 platform is more tolerant of exposure errors and illumination errors than its previous platforms. But without a basic understanding of highlight and shadow exposure values, contrast ratios, hard and soft sources, CRI, etc., one can easily pull defeat from the jaws of visual victory. With such an understanding, however, then even adverse conditions pose little challenge to the incredible capabilities of these amazing cameras.
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  5. #5  
    Moderator David Battistella's Avatar
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    +1 Michael,

    i look at the iso and WB as emergency measures rather that big problem solvers (although they can be)

    david

    thanks guys. I just remebered to add the bit about sharpening.
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Scot Yount's Avatar
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    I wish this would have been up when I bought my first RED a year and a half ago! Great work.....
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  7. #7  
    Also, RED cameras have no in-camera noise reduction as well (same philosophy to no sharpening, as mentioned). If you raise ISO to 5000, it may look a bit noisy, compared to say, a Sony A7s, but the A7s has a load of built in noise reduction going on.

    Need noise reduction in a single shot of footage? Run a 3rd party Noise reduction software in post, such as Neat Image.


    (I like this thread. Making it a "tips" thread now :)
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  8. #8  
    Moderator David Battistella's Avatar
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    OK.

    Adding this as well Adam

    David
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  9. #9  
    Great idea David, thumbs up for this one. Especially because there are a lot of unexperienced soon-to-be Red Camera users coming to this forum.

    Also something to add to this thread:

    Native-/ Base ISO with different OLPFs... LLOLPF for example has to be shot on ISO800 while the skin-tone has to be shot at 320. This also depends on DSMC and DSMC2.

    Black shading is also something which should be mentioned in this thread.
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  10. #10  
    Moderator David Battistella's Avatar
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    Great points will add those as well.

    David
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