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RED Releases New Camera Firmware and Color Science, EPICs No Longer on Backorder

03.6.12 @ 3:05AM Tags : , , , , , , ,

As noted previously, RED has a new color science and gamma curve for their RAW-shooting cameras: REDgamma3 and REDcolor3. The new color science comes with a new camera firmware — version 3.0.0, which is a release build (not beta) for both EPIC and SCARLET — and there’s a new version of REDCINE-X as well. RED’s Jim Jannard explained the color science updates with the following — note that if you’re doing a full grade, your gamma setting will still be REDlogfilm, but you should expect to employ the new color science alongside that gamma curve:

My preferred workflow is now RG3/RC3 and Alchemy set to 0.350 (default) and post saturation set to 1.10 (optional). DI will typically still start with REDlogFilm and REDcolor3. Shooting RAW (REDCODE RAW in this case) is the way to go. Getting locked down recording an RGB codec is very limiting. RC3 and RG3 is proof.

Also of interest from the release thread:

Peter Dmitriyev
wow this is interesting…I’m finally seeing some microtonal separation on skin tones with red color 3…going over old footage of closeups on faces and doing side by sides against red color 1/2/3 and 3 is showing stronger microtone separation exactly that one thing i was hoping for which alexa does better than Red.. just preliminary results at first but I’m liking what I’m seeing

Jarred Land
It’s all in the color science. Graeme does a small tweak here and a big tweak there and turns 1000 knobs until everything lines up just right and suddenly the difference between Alexa and RED in terms of skin tones disappears. Just remember you can’t artificially create Resolution… ;)

Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to do any testing myself — I’m headed off to a log cabin (with no cell phone service, just what I need for focusing!) for the next ten days to focus on the next draft of Man Child. But you can bet when I get back that I’ll take a look at some of the SCARLET footage on my drives — not just our test short, “Pull Back,” but also some other unreleased stuff I have sitting around.

The update also brings with it a new Final Cut Studio 3 installer.

In other news: RED has released a RED Station Mini ($195), a smaller, non daisy-chainable version of their current REDMAG reader. More importantly, their flagship camera, EPIC, is finally out of backorder and is shipping immediately. This is a big step for the made-in-the-USA camera, as one of the chief complaints about RED has been their availability (or lack thereof). Finally, they released “the mother of all backorder updates,” which updates the shipping schedules for the rest of their camera accessories. Unfortunately I still haven’t received my DSMC Side Handle, though I should note that I didn’t order it until at least a month after the SCARLET brain (had I ordered it immediately, it would’ve been here quite some time ago). Still, it’s nice to see the California-based startup making progress with their supply chain.

Because all RED cameras shoot REDCODE RAW, it should be easy to take old footage and apply the new color science. If you find any such tests, please share them in the comments! I’m very curious to see REDcolor3 in action, but don’t have any of my own SCARLET footage handy on this laptop.

Link: RCX PRO Build 11 Beta and Epic/ Scarlet Camera build 3.0 (release) – REDUSER


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  • “I’m headed off to a log cabin (with no cell phone service, just what I need for focusing!) for the next ten days to focus on the next draft of Man Child.” – Are you serious? Haha… this sounds like something out of a movie. Wish I could do this, would increase my screenplay productivity 10 fold.

  • Yeah, I heard disappearing from society helps you focus more. Now I forgot which screenwriting book tells you to go to a log cabin for 10 days but it should be fun. Wish you luck Koo! I’ve been going to starbucks for 9 hours everyday for over a month to finish my next draft, I wish I had a cabin

  • Kyle — very serious! just finished packing, heading out now.

    Julian — 9 hours is a nice chunk! I find I can rarely do more than a 6-hour block in the coffee shop.

    • Koo, actually I can’t focus after awhile so I end up travelling to panera, then if I get tired I go to Barnes and noble. Bookstores are nice because it can help you with writer’s block by just strolling around. Best place to write if weather permits is the beach. Sadly, I’m afraid of getting my macbook sandy now that I’m in script stage.

      • I really don’t get how people can write at all in a coffee shop. I just find it too distracting, there’s way to much happening. Absolute silence, maybe some music, in a dark closed room with the internet OFF results in better productivity for me.

  • “Just remember you can’t artificially create Resolution…”

    So true, RED is sharp and great looking! But…resolution isn’t the only thing that matters. Would be great if RED pulled back from the resolution bandwagon a bit and sent some engineers from the SHARP-AS-HELL department to the DYNAMIC RANGE department. You can’t add resolution…but you can certainly add apparent resolution when contrast is added to a higher dynamic range image. If the REDs would provide Alexa or F3-like DR…. what a (more of a) powerhouse camera it would be!

    So I guess the question is…do any of these improvements increase dynamic range?

    • Kevin Marshall on 03.7.12 @ 12:21AM

      Well, all Red cameras record RAW, so the DR is the same – it’s just a matter of exposing and processing correctly. Using RedLogFilm shows you pretty much the same DR you’d get from Log-C on an Alexa, or S-Log on an F3 (give or take). Shooting on MX/Epic/Scarlet, I’ve never really found myself wanting for DR.

      Beyond that, there’s always the HDR mode – just with the penalty of double the data.

      • It absolutely does not have DR equal to Alexa, or even the F3 with slog. You are confusing raw with dynamic range…they are NOT related.

        • The Red has about 12 stops DR. The F3: 13.5ish…. Alexa: 14.5ish…. The REDLogFilm in RCX and in camera just spreads the 12 stops to the middle range of the camera. Its based on Pana-log from the Genesis.

    • One word – HDRx. Up to 18 stops. I don’t even know what the heck you’re talking about. I’m sure Dragon will improve in terms of the native DR either.

      • Hdrx is a post process, and it’s also not useful for heavy motion. I’m talking real dynamic range within the camera like Alexa’s dual gain architecture. Geez, didn’t mean to piss off the red fanboys here…DR would be a great improvement guys…relax, lol

      • HDRX is AWESOME for static scenes. however once anything moves its game over, you get double exposures in each frame.

        I just tested the HDRX function, and this 17stops of DR:

        it looks weird the magic number is about 14 stops. once you get there, you can do just about anything.

  • I’m in the process of minimizing all the excess stuff in my office so I can get to work on our next short script. Maybe cutting off Facebook will allow for the added time to do research and compile my story…. hmm….

    Good Luck Koo with the next draft.