When you walk into the legendary ASC Club House, you’re immediately surrounded by the most important cameras in cinema history. Among legendary cameras like the Lumière Cinématographe and the Mitchell BNC Camera used to shoot Citizen Kane, is the RED One.
RED is the camera company of choice for top filmmakers like Steven Soderbergh and David Fincher and is particularly popular among the KitSplit community. With the latest cameras and sensors, and awesome new upgrade opportunities, we want to arm you with the essential info on RED cameras that all filmmakers need to know.
The Latest from RED: The DSMC2 Brain for All
Since it was founded in 1999, RED has released a spread of cameras that offer a range of resolutions from 4K to 8K and sensor sizes from 27.3mm to 46.31mm. From the DSMC era of RED cameras the systems have been modular allowing for owners to combine the “brain” of the camera with different sensors, power and connection modules to accommodate their own workflows best. The modular build-a-bear approach means that you can get exactly the camera you need.
RED has done a recent upgrade sweep of its cameras. They are simplifying the various camera lines and vastly improving on their performance. Central to these updates is the DSMC2 brain, RED’s latest update to the core of their modular camera system. With reduced size and weight over the DSMC brain as well as options for cable-less connections and the addition of Apple ProRES and Avid DNx recording the DSMC2 has been quite an upgrade from its predecessor.
The DSMC2 brain can be paired with RED’s offering of Super35 sensors including the Dragon-X 5K, the Gemini 5K, or the Helium 8K. RED’s Super35 sensors offer 16.5+ stops of dynamic range, resolutions from 2K up to 8K, and up to 75 frames per second at 8K or 300 at 2K. The DSMC2 can also be paired with the Monstro 8K VV sensor to capture up to 8K resolution with 17 stops of dynamic range on RED’s largest sensor. For more about the offerings from RED we put together a post on the RED camera that is right for you.
Now, let’s get into three things all filmmakers need to know about RED Digital Cinema since these upgrades were released.
1. Resolution: Freedom to Reframe
RED Cameras offer impressive resolution across their entire line of cameras. Whether you want to shoot in 4K or capture an 8K image you can leverage the high resolution of RED Camera sensors to get the most out of your production.
With the high resolution capture available from RED Cameras you can get much more out of a single shot. KitSplitters with a RED already have an understanding of how versatile their footage can be, but still some methods for leveraging the power of RED may be surprising.
While you may not be shooting to display your content on 8K televisions in every home, the impressive resolution available provides considerable flexibility for content creators. Simply shooting your close-ups at the highest resolution available, supersampling, provides greater detail, image clarity, superior color depth, and a lower noise floor especially when downscaling your footage to 4K or HD resolutions. Shooting at the highest resolution also affords filmmakers the creative freedom to reframe, even pulling multiple angles–like a wide and two mediums–from a two shot, without compromising quality. Similarly the superior resolution brought by the power of RED brings more flexibility when stabilizing video, pulling stills from motion, and giving you amazing image quality to start from when creating visual effects. Finally, high resolution capture helps future proof your footage so it will still look amazing on whatever display technology comes next.
2. RECODE: Improving Your Post Production Workflow
Plenty of experienced filmmakers may be briefly taken aback by 8K resolution. Surely, file-size and playback are going to be a problem at that resolution. A 4.5K three-minute long scene shot on Alexa LF can take up 90GB of disk space. It’s reasonable to expect that a file with four times the resolution would take up almost four times the disk space. That’s where RED’s RECODE comes in.
RECODE is RED’s wavelet based compression which can provide an 8K RAW file of a shot at a third of the size of the same in 4.5K on the aforementioned Alexa LF. RECODE allows for filmmakers to spend less time concerned about taking up drive space and more focused on capturing the highest quality image. It even allows for simultaneous recording of Apple Pro Res or Avid DNX files.
RED’s NVIDIA CUDA-accelerated R3D SDK and accompanying REDCINE-X PRO software is available now, with support from major NLEs and other SDK integrators expected soon.
3. Reliability: Take Your Camera on an Adventure
KitSplitter shoot in all kinds of amazing locales and the most intense environments. So do RED Cameras. RED has been to the depth of the ocean in the Mariana Trench, to the incredible heights of the Himalayas, and even beyond into outer space. RED has been tested in the most extreme conditions and have been trusted by top content-producers.
Learn more about the Power of RED and how you can leverage it for uncompromised visual quality and ease of workflow.
Get the Best: Upgrade to the Latest RED Model
If you’re already a RED owner, as so many KitSplitters are, check out your options for upgrading your current RED and unleash the incredible Power of RED for your next production.
Upgrading your RED won’t just upgrade your filmmaking–you’ll have the opportunity to make more money on KitSplit as well! Gear owners on KitSplit that take advantage of this exclusive upgrade deal, can also raise the day rate of their RED rentals!
How much more can I make?
RED offers the Sensor Upgrade options described in the table below. To learn more about an upgrade option or to request the upgrade, click the corresponding link in the Sensor Upgrade Type column.
As you can see below, an upgrade can enable you to double or even triple your rental day rate. That means you’ll be seeing return on investment in no time.
|Camera Type||Rental Day Rate||Sensor Upgrade Type||Rental Day Rate After Upgrade|
|SCARLET-W 5K||$250.00||DSMC2 DRAGON-X 5K S35 Upgrade||$400.00|
|DSMC2 DRAGON-X 5K S35||$400.00||DSMC2 MONSTRO 8K VV Sensor Upgrade||$1,200.00|
|DSMC2 DRAGON-X 5K S35||$400.00||DSMC2 HELIUM 8K S35 Sensor Upgrade||$600.00|
|WEAPON RED DRAGON 6K (Forged CF, Woven CF)||$500.00||DSMC2 MONSTRO 8K VV Sensor Upgrade||$1,200.00|
|WEAPON RED DRAGON 8K VV ANA (White LE, Forged CF, Woven CF)||$350.00||DSMC2 MONSTRO 8K VV Sensor Upgrade||$1,200.00|
|WEAPON RED DRAGON 6K (Forged CF, Woven CF)||$500.00||HELIUM 8K S35 Sensor Upgrade for WEAPON Woven CF 6K BRAIN||$950.00|
|WEAPON HELIUM 8K S35 (White LE, Forged CF, Woven CF)||$500.00||DSMC2 MONSTRO 8K VV Sensor Upgrade||$1,200.00|
|DSMC2 HELIUM 8K S35||$600.00||DSMC2 MONSTRO 8K VV Sensor Upgrade||$1,200.00|
|DSMC2 GEMINI 5K S35||$475.00||DSMC2 MONSTRO 8K VV Sensor Upgrade||$1,200.00|
|DSMC2 GEMINI 5K S35||$475.00||DSMC2 HELIUM 8K S35 Sensor Upgrade||$600.00|
|RED RAVEN||$250||RED RANGER||$1500.00|