Sadly when I was filming last week at IBC I only saw one RED camera and that was a non working EPIC camera. RED seem to have given up as the home screen has a very telling graphic, an advert for “RED RAY” that seemingly will be available during “2009″…this is September 2010 and no one has bothered to change the RED home screen let alone this glaring mistake for over 9 months !
I was one of REDs fans as I liked the thought of a small independent video manufacturer taking on the big boys like Panasonic, Sony and Arri. Jim seems to have employed more graphics designers than camera engineers as most of what came out of RED was 3D look a likes or as some called it vapourware.
I emailed their web designer pointing out this glaring “2009″ mistake over 2 months ago to a avail, IBC was very telling…not one person stopped to look at the sad, motionless EPIC camera, yet the Panasonic stand was buzzing with DPs and press admiring and reporting on the £4,000 AG-AF101 FilmLike camcorder.
Sony are not far behind with their cinematography camcorder but both Japanese cameras share one massive difference between RED ONE, EPIC etc…YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE AN ENGINEERING DEGREE TO USE THE CAMCORDER. That was always REDs achilles heal…you cant just take it out and start using it.
OK all camcorders need some kind of checklist but the RED is way too complicated in my opinion, most DPs that I know are used to setting up a camcorder the day before a shoot and taking the camera out of the bag and filming…not so with RED. That in my opinion has been the downfall of RED as a working tool, you need to get on with the job in hand not worry about all the pre flight tweaks to make RED work and all the expensive mecanno, bomb viewfinder etc etc.
RED was a good idea on paper but Jim in my opinion got too hung up with engineers and less time spent with DPs, delay after delay till finally the Canon 5D Mk11 and the merry band of followers trampled all over Jim’s dreams even worse was to come with the realisation that Panasonic and Sony were being left behind and are now putting on a brave fight back bringing out their own FilmLike camcorders leaving RED dead in their wake.
UPDATE : I have been getting a lot of flack over at RED USER the forum for everything RED over this article, in fact it was mainly to point out the home page error that HAS STILL NOT BEEN CHANGED that I wrote this article at all. That one solitary page error started to make me think as well as little to no RED cameras at IBC, though I am informed that there were a lot more RED cameras than one at IBC.
There is a section on the right hand side of this page called RED DIGITAL CINEMA (11) which has 11 blog entries all praising RED with the exception of this one…why…times have changed as have the announcements of competitors FilmLike camcorders and more importantly their PRICES.
In my opinion RED should have started with Scarlet, if RED had captured the $6K market place instead of going for the $24K plus elite end of the market we would not have seen such an explosion of DSLRs and many of the DSLR guru bloggers would be talking RED and not Canon. That’s it in a nutshell wrong camera, wrong end of the marketplace…in my opinion.
Scarlet does not stand a chance against the Panasonic AG-AF101 priced at $4K which is why in my pinion it will be abandoned or re designed to cope with the Panasonic price bracket.
To give RED their due they replied to my questions both on RED USER and this blog article…
Philip, I think the reason why people are abrasive toward you is because of your blog. You missed a lot of key facts in your mentioning of RED’s web site and presence at IBC. This forum is RED’s real outlet into the world, not their own web site. Strange as it may seem, that’s just the way it is.
As for RED cameras at IBC, there were many. I wasn’t there, but I know of several companies using them at their booths and in their displays and I’ve seen plenty of pictures to confirm that.
Small-mindedness is not what you’re seeing here. You’re coming into RED’s house and asking questions that any self-respecting RED fanboy already knows the answer to. If you are indeed following RED, you would know that they have not lost their enthusiasm, but rather the opposite. It’s true that much of their development has gone silent over the past year or more. But the competition is paying attention now and they can’t be as freely open. They made some judgement errors in announcing future products. As the products evolved, they became something else and longer development times were needed. This is not out of the ordinary for any complicated electronics development, let alone something as complex as the Epic camera. But most development companies keep the product under wraps until it’s closer to release, rather than announcing it once it’s become a cohesive idea on a drawing board.
I think that’s one thing that has attracted many to RED, their openness right from the beginning. But it’s a double-edged sword. People all too often try to make plans around announced products and it can sometimes backfire on them.
And while the delays seem perpetual in nature, you also have to consider that RED has still shipped nearly 8000 RED One cameras, most of which are out there working every day. These cameras are being used to shoot everything from no-budget music videos and short films to Hollywood blockbusters. To ship that many cameras in 3 years is truly an achievement for a cinema-camera system. That is something Arri, Aaton, Silicon Imaging, etc.. have not accomplished. Arri Alexa is selling like crazy, but still not at a pace that will rival the RED One in the same amount of time.
Epic is getting closer every day. It will be worth the wait. Then we’ll see how Scarlet shapes up, which should follow very soon after.” Jeff Kilgroe RED USER Moderator
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