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  1. #11  
    3 years after MYSTERIUM-X, RED DRAGON busts open the high-resolution, high-dynamic range game with 40% more resolution and a claim of 14dB more dynamic range.

    4 years after DRAGON, Helium offers 82% more pixels with technically no more dynamic range. But clearly more clean dynamic range after it gets settled into DSMC2 (post Weapon) skins. A long year after that (Dragon VV never made it to commercial scale), Monstro offers no increase in pixel count, but clearly an improvement in pixel quality. In-camera proxies further demonstrate the power of ever-advancing silicon technology. It is, five years after DRAGON, a true and worthy successor that reset the bar in RED's space.

    Now, 3-4 years later (depending on how you count), what is really new? Not more pixels, not higher dynamic range, and not higher frame rates. We *still* can't focus an 8K image in 4K. And don't get me started on the cost of media.

    Komodo offers a new camera, but one aimed at an entirely different market than the "A" camera market. For those of us who were eagerly following the mantra "obsolete obsolescence", there's not much to write home about in the "A" camera space. As good as Monstro is today (and it is good), it is 3 year old technology in an industry that simply does not stand still. Komodo will re-set the price-performance equation, but it's a disruption more to the RED ecosystem than the rest of the world, which now has 8K cellphones and smaller RAW-recording cameras. It's very much a jump-ball.

    Meanwhile, Monstro continues to be a great camera, as measured by a 2017 yardstick. It's good that RED can sell battle-tested Monstros for $35K off the website, but whether priced as new or as used, the market is behaving the way the market does when it sees a flagship motoring along on autopilot. It's looking for who has the juice leading into 2021. RED has delivered before, which is why we are still watching this space. But the longer it takes for that next delivery, the more eyes will be captured by others who have sexier things to sell in the mean time.
    Michael Tiemann, Chapel Hill NC

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  2. #12  
    Senior Member Lauri Kettunen's Avatar
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    As the article is about opinions, there's not much point to argue about them. Although I shot a lot of wildlife stuff alone with Red One and carried the camera, accessories, tripod, mics etc. in a rucksack for miles to get to the scenes, never felt it was a difficult camera to use. Sure, Red One was bit heavy, but definitely it was a manageable camera in cold, rain, and dirt. Ironically, in fact it was the best camera I've ever had in extreme cold; even it was -35C (i.e., -31F), did not need gloves to operate the camera.

    What comes to the future, there is a point that cameras are developing along the same path as what sound equipment have done in the past. The difference between high end and low end equipment is getting narrower, and in this respect, camera markets are in a significant change. Especially, when it becomes possible to shoot (compressed) raw motion images with low end cameras possibly supported with in-camera AI processing –say, for example, to fake with resolution and dynamics– this will reshape the markets.
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  3. #13  
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    Thanks for the perspective, Phil-- your synthesis of these discrete moments into a timeline really fills in a lot that the Premium Beat guys missed.

    Question about this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Holland View Post
    Keypoint I - The Rise of the Owner/Op. That term did not exist before RED. That career path honestly didn't really exist except for very few individuals before the RED One hit the market.
    I think of RED as maybe the first instance where the person who makes commercials for the auto dealership in Phoenix might own the same camera as the person making music videos in L.A., which is the same camera used for LORD OF THE RINGS. But back in the day, the first maybe owned the DVX100 or similar, the second maybe owned a 16mm camera (or more likely borrowed it from the college where she was the equipment room manager), and the production probably rented a package in the traditional manner. So there were owner/ops, they just were more limited in what market they served with their equipment?

    Also would be curious to hear your perspective on some of the early low-budget digital video efforts-- remember InDigEnt, movies like PIECES OF APRIL and TADPOLE?

    Anyway, for me the most irritating thing about that article was that the writers don't seem to recognize where their point of view is coming from. This history fills in a piece of it-- but I also have to wonder what it is that they're shooting, with what kind of crews? I'd agree that Sony and Blackmagic and Canon can all make great images-- and I've owned cameras from all three--, but there are reasons I spend the money to rent RED that have more to do with enabling a certain mode of professional production. In my world, I've never heard a complaint about having the attach an external monitor!
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  4. #14  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M Harvey View Post
    Also would be curious to hear your perspective on some of the early low-budget digital video efforts-- remember InDigEnt, movies like PIECES OF APRIL and TADPOLE?
    It was an interesting ecosystem early on. My career started in the 90s mainly on the film side, though the first film I shot was actually *gasp* VHS, but what was digital video and how it encroached into cinema was a developing trend. Specifically in the late 90s and early 2000s. And that was also where those renegade low budget films spawned from. I'm talking productions in the $50,000-$300,000 range.

    Larger budget-wise, I turned down working on Star Wars Episode II (which was an extremely hard career decision at the time). Panavision's Sony HDWF900 (F900F) really put digital in the forefront as a consideration for larger budget VFX films. No matter your thoughts on the film itself, it was a very bold decision to go that route for the project. That was filming in 2000 before the 2002 release, a lot of post work obviously and a lot of real bleeding edge stuff going on.

    I worked on a B-Horror film with a budget of about $315,000 called Devil Girl in 2006 (DVX-100). The same year I worked on the first Night at the Museum Film ($60m) and Even Almighty ($200m). Had a wild. It was common for me to work on big stuff throwout the year and then dip off for some lower budget productions once or twice a year in the 2000s, but it certainly gave me some perspective. In 2005 I worked on another horror film the year prior called Sam Hell (DVX-100) that was well under $100,000 the same year I was working on Superman Returns ($220m) shot on the Panavision Genesis, the first real big project shot with that cam. That film was riddled with post workflow challenges early on, but once we were in stride it was smoother sailing. After I worked on Superman Returns in particular I knew big films and studios would be exploring digital much more frequently. In this era there were only a few decent digital cinema options around, but at that point the industry had the taste in it's mouth to want to explore digital for another bite. More or less laying the groundwork for companies like RED and Arri in particular to focus on their cameras.

    Side note, I did indeed work at the studio with the OG 4K film scanner and we were initially in a 4K for 2K workflow or 4K pure pushing out to either Solitaire CRT based recorders or our two LUX 4K Laser Recorders. We eventually went to the 4K Arrilaser and switched over to the 6K Northlight Scanner. Interestingly we often upscaled and sharpned through a nice kernel to our recorders 2K going to 4K, but the 4K workflow pure looked very good and that occurred a few times. Some of the initial 6K shows also were 2K deliveries, but there were times where we worked in 6K. From there we did lots of experiments with film scanning, specifically larger format. Imagica had the 8K S35 scanner at the time, which I wasn't personally in love with because the Northlight was far sexier to work with. But through custom scanners we explored at various other places scanning at very high resolution, above 18K, but really that wasn't needed. These days 70mm 15-perf is mostly an 11K workflow scan-wise. The potential for 70mm to hold a lot of resolution is there, but due to how much the film wiggles and the cameras vibrate it starts encroaching on potential resolution a smidge. Depends on the stock of course. The numbers on my site are accurate to the potential resolution film can have when shot well and brought through a feature film level post workflow because, well that's what it was/is.

    Back to early digital success. The ones that really hit home for me we things like Fincher's Zodiac which was shot on the Viper between 2005-2006 with about a $65m budget. I was truly impressed with what they were able to get look-wise. The Viper was somewhere between a cursed camera and blessing in my world. One of the harder films I worked on with that camera on set was eventually called Chasing Happiness (I wasn't the DP) and though released in 2012, we worked on it in 2007 and that Viper camera was not inspiring a lot of love.

    But I think most relevant to our current "situation" is indeed 28 Days Later. That was a less than $10m budget and shot on the Canon XL1 if I recall correctly in 2001 when we were working on Sum of All Fears (shot on film). The look Boyle and Mantle created to revive the zombie horror genre was really fitting as it felt somewhere between a film, a documentary, and news. It just had a nice touch to it's look. Interestingly the success of that film really got I Am Legend off the ground. That script with various versions was sitting on the shelf for a decade and Hollywood really didn't have any interest in zombie films at the time. 28 Days Later not only changed that, but created a pool of potential and interest for even comics like The Walking Dead to eventually find their way into production as a series. Shaun of the Dead also played a small role, but it was certainly after the 28 Days Later revival.

    To the point your referencing though, that span of time in the 2000s was a wild time for productions to get explored at a whole lot of different budget levels. I can't tell you the dynamic insanity of being shipped across the globe to work on a $200+m film who's built alien worlds inside of sound stages and then within the same year camping in Amboy trying to get get shots in an abandoned church for a $100K-$300K production. One thing is for sure, it has become much more difficult to film a film cost-wise in the following decade. You can still make a feature for super low budget, but it's very hard to do so in our modern ecosystem. Permits and Location Fees have skyrocketed in comparison to those days even with the scale of inflation taken into account.

    We've seen films made for $5,000-$100,000 throughout last decade (2010s), but truthfully I have never found a way to shoot a $5,000 feature and have it make sense for everybody involved. The smallest budget feature length production I ever shot was on the HVX200 of all things and came in at about $30K. It basically took place in a home, an alleyway, and a car. I literally did everything myself, gaffed, gripped, DP'd, even Steadicam and dolly operated. Hell I still use that dolly I built back then occasionally. Mind boggling that we wrapped on time everyday. It was a director I enjoyed working with, but his next film never really got off the ground (action/suspense film) and never made sense to shoot, though we did a series of tests on a few cameras ranging from the 5D MKII to the RED One. Actually come to think of it, if that project did get greenlit, 95% sure that would have been my first film shot on the RED One. Instead my familiarity with it came through Peter Collister, ASC during one of the Alvin and the Chipmunks films and a few other productions who were either using it to explore what it could do, or testing it out for a potential film. When I was at Rhythm and Hues Studios during that time I was one of the very, very few people who had a dedicated system in their office to ingest and process RED footage specifically generating 16-bit TIFs, EXR, or DPX. We put them into our Studio's proprietary 32-bit float format known as an RLL which we used no matter what the image acquisition source was.

    Interestingly I saw a few productions early on really not go with RED or even the Alexa in the era of Film, saw the Genesis have difficulty too. It was an uphill climb until workflow became slightly easier. Then once it passed that sweet spot and was really only showing signs of improving in image quality and workflow as well as various levels of cost and time savings, well here we are. Also, I think it should be mentioned the general education on a digital workflow increased a lot during that time. Early on for most experienced DPs digital was mysterious void because so few had hands on or in depth usage of any of the systems. There were a handful of peeps, but largely it was an unknown world to filmmakers in paritcular. That lasted pretty much until about 2013-2015 when the momentum was pretty obvious and accessibility was much easier. Now there's just a lot more high end cameras out there on the market due to the growth of the industry itself.
    Phil Holland - Cinematographer - Los Angeles
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  5. #15  
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    I havenít updated my Vimeo, YouTube or Flickr accounts for years but I will soon. I think people are so misinformed on the difference of red cameras and the others that I really feel itís time to showcase what they can do. I donít have big budgets for my work, but people just donít understand what the extra resolution, color bit depth, dynamic range, R3D workflow can do for a production, and how much it actually saves money.

    Having said this, Iím very much more interested in DSMC3 than the Komodo. I want Phase detect autofocus, Weather sealing, even lighter weight, better battery management, 4k monitoring, next generation connectivity built in, and obviously, the versatility of changing mounts, pl, Ef, RF, M . I want in body camera stabilization, ND filters. You know what I donít need? A new sensor. I would love to put my monstro sensor in that body. Yeah, that sounds a bit strange, but the monstro sensor is just absolutely stunning and groundbreaking. If it could dial ina bit less compression and a few more frame rates that would also be great- I know this requires faster media and computing but the Red Team can pull those off!
    Sťrgio Perez

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  6. #16  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sergio Perez View Post
    Ibut the monstro sensor is just absolutely stunning and groundbreaking. If it could dial ina bit less compression and a few more frame rates that would also be great- I know this requires faster media and computing but the Red Team can pull those off!
    It will never be truly talked about because it will set the world on fire, but in aggressive testing, for digital cinema Monstro has "the most color" in a variety of directions. Comes from the DR, sensor tech, and some other stuff for sure. Whatever RED does I hope they build on that. We all want better color, DR, etc. I'm certainly all for less compression. I sort of wish I could shoot 8K 3:1 like I did on my moco shoots last year (shots were sped up in post).

    I do personally feel we'll see some of Komodo's impact on DSMC3 for sure. Whatever that means. Maybe a smaller camera. Maybe something more like Ranger, yet smaller? Hoping for some sort of fan chute or similar sound diffusion. With 3D printing a lot is possible now. Whatever the case if we have an all inclusive body or module based system, we will 100% need XLR Phantom Power Audio at launch in some form, it was pretty much one of the early jaw punches at launch with DSMC2 and scared a few people away. That got worked out with the various XLR Modules eventually, but in camera or external audio should have some focus. Perahps even wireless timecode support internally (maybe GPS based?). Though I pissed off the sound community a fair deal by working with 32-bit audio early on (I own Zaxcom gear too, but they were/are the most upset), I personally would love to see RED to support this new sound format. It's supported now in major NLEs. It's already being used on productions too. Hoping SoundDevices goes further with it on their professional recorders too.

    There's so many filmmakers that need that support for audio. RED knows my wish list when it comes to "the future".

    I also need to twist their arm to redesign or remake their quick release plates. I absolutely really love having a plate that lives on a camera that doesn't need the full rod support and all that at all times, then just pops onto your rod or kit build out. I have some ideas on that front if they don't make something, but that would be a tough one for little old me to actually manufacture. Maybe easier in a year though.
    Phil Holland - Cinematographer - Los Angeles
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    2X RED Monstro 8K VV Bodies and a lot of things to use with them.

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    Red Weapon/DSMC2
    Red Dragon
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  7. #17  
    Member Lewis McGregor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Sherrick View Post
    Read article here


    Lewis is the one I probably have the biggest issue with. To me this one just smells of sour grapes for a failed business plan. Buying expensive cinema cameras requires a reasonably well thought out business plan that takes into account ROI, and it just seems like his purchase was haphazard and now he is using that to diss RED. Just seems like a cheap shot.
    .

    Hey Steve

    My quotes in that article were taken from a 2016-piece .

    The pulled quotes, by themselves, don’t really reflect the full nature of my original 2016 article, which was me coming from the 5D world into the cinema camera world was not well thought out and buying a cinema camera is not like buying a DSLR. As stated in my piece, it was ‘To avoid making the same mistakes that I once made, let us look at three principles you need to take into account when acquiring a camera like this.’ Likewise, in the 2016 piece I also state that "I must also say this is in no way a jab at the RED ONE or RED itself. I very much loved the camera and the company."
    Last edited by Lewis McGregor; 03-22-2020 at 07:56 AM.
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  8. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Holland View Post
    that would be a tough one for little old me to actually manufacture. Maybe easier in a year though.
    What can we look forward to from Philville 2021? Hopefully investing in infrastructure?
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  9. #19  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis McGregor View Post
    Hey Steve

    My quotes in that article were taken from a 2016-piece . They arenít my current thoughts nor did I contribute to this article.

    The pulled quotes, by themselves, donít really reflect the full nature of my original 2016 article, which was me coming from the 5D world into the cinema camera world was not well thought out and buying a cinema camera is not like buying a DSLR; learn from my mistake. Likewise, in the 2016 piece I also state that "I must also say this is in no way a jab at the RED ONE or RED itself. I very much loved the camera and the company."
    Sorry to hear about this. Opinions change over time and the entire article seems pretty irresponsible. Id contact them directly and share your thoughts.
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  10. #20  
    Senior Member Jens Jakob Thorsen's Avatar
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    RED surely lost the battle to ARRi here in the developed world.
    Jens Jakob Thorsen DFF
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