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Jim Jannard and RED Give Hat Tip to Sony, 1080p/2K Still a 'Scam,' Price Reductions Coming Tonight

11.1.12 @ 2:35PM Tags : , , , , , , ,

Jim Jannard, the man with the plan for RED, has said a lot of interesting things on the RED forum over the last few years, mostly about how 4K is the only format we should be aspiring to, and 1080p and 2K is not enough — even stated by Arri’s own material on film scanning to 4K. It’s not very often that he gives credit to another product, but that’s exactly what he does here. Why does this matter? RED didn’t have any competition as far as price was concerned until now, and with a little pressure, we could see some drastic reductions in price. Read on for what Mr. Jannard had to say about Sony.

Here is what he said on REDUser, again putting it all here just in case it ever gets deleted.

I am going to give a tip of the hat to Sony tonight. These two camera announcements are significant.

While I do not see them as a threat to EPIC or Scarlet… I do see them as a threat to the conventional and outdated thinking of the industry that tried so hard to cling to “1080P and 2K are good enough”.

We began to champion 4K as the respectful replacement for film in the digital motion world back in 2006. We were embraced. We were ignored. We were revolutionary and we were a scam.

Others in the industry incredibly (and successfully in some circles) attempted to convince the industry that 1080P and 2K was good enough. On one page of Arri’s website they extolled the virtues and increased detail of a 4K film scan and then on another sold the Alexa as a feature worthy camera that “had more resolution than other so called 4K cameras”. (rolls eyes)

Every single camera manufacturer now has a 4K and/or 5K sensor program in the works. Why? Because 1080P and 2K acquisition was the biggest scam in the history of the film industry.

Sony has come to the party. God love them. The F65 is a true 4K camera (although not 8K as it is advertised). The F5 and F55 are 4K cameras soon to be released.

There are 4K display panels being released. 4K projectors. The world is finally coming to its senses. We predicted this 6 years ago. Now it is here.

What does this mean?

There is a new standard from Japan (not exactly sure why they get to call the shots) for consumer 4K . It dictates that you can’t up-rez to 4K.

It means that features and TV shows shot on 1080P or 2K are destined to be left out of a second bite of the apple for a 4K delivery opportunity.

It means that we were right after all. Not that we want to gloat. We are just sad we didn’t do a better job of clearly explaining our position to more people over the past 6 years.

In the end… Sony has validated what we have believed in all along. 1080P is not a respectful film replacement and 4K (or more) is. Actually we believe in 5K+ bayer to a 4K finish. But I don’t want to nit-pick Sony’s announcements.

The image needs to get better over time. There was a moment in history when it got worse. It was called 1080P and 2K acquisition. Mercifully that time has passed. Thanks to Sony for acknowledging this truth.

Did I mention that 4K is 5 times the resolution of 1080P?

As far as the new standard goes, I hadn’t remembered reading anywhere about not being able to up-res anything into 4K. There is so much 1080p and 720p (not to mention 480) material out there, I don’t see that as a realistic possibility for U.S. broadcasters. There are plenty of standards that are not adhered to in the U.S., and that’s probably going to be one of them if, in fact, that is the case and part of the standard is not interpolating anything to 4K.

With that out of the way, this is the first time that Mr. Jannard has admittedly publicly that he’s been impressed with a camera system. This is the first time anyone has really come up with a competitive camera against RED not only in price, but in specs, in design, and in functionality. It’s clear Sony knows the direction is 4K, but they’ve also designed a system that takes into account the fact that most people won’t be using 4K for a long time for many projects. The thing is, RED has been very specific on not offering other options for recording to any other format, that is, until now with the Meizler Module. People still need 1080p and 2K, regardless of how much of a “scam” they actually are — and let’s not get into how many feature films have been distributed in 4K, because you can count the number on one hand.

So why talk about all of this? It means a lot for the future of the camera industry. RED dropped the RED One MX like a bomb on the rest of the film industry, and it brought real filmmaking quality to a level that many people could actually afford to buy. It also made renting a 4K RAW (and RAW in general) camera realistic for many productons, and it was offering a quality unmatched in the space. RED also introduced an entire workflow with REDCODE RAW that is slowly maturing into a really complete system. We don’t know what Sony is going to do about their workflow options, but it’s clear they are working on compatibility with manufacturers, but how easily the Sony RAW format will work into people’s current workflows is unclear at this point. Certainly everyone doesn’t need 4K RAW, but 2K RAW is also an option on these Sony cameras, something RED will likely never enable on their models. 4K is the next frontier, but it’s clear that a hybrid approach might make the most sense for a modular camera like those from Sony, especially since those cameras can simultaneously record RAW as well as different formats internally.

The real reason this is important, however, is because RED hasn’t felt the heat until now. The Arri Alexa is the go-to camera for mid to high level productions. No one is really using the F65. That means at the mid to low level budgets, you’ve got some decisions to make. Besides everything that’s already out there, you’ve now got at least the F5 as a possible camera many can afford, with the F55 being a more expensive option that will mostly be a rental. There is one important place RED can theoretically beat the competition, and that’s in price. No one is offering a 5K camera that can do 96fps — or at least at the moment anywhere near where people could actually afford or consider using. I think 5K and high frame rates are going to get a lot more affordable tonight.

RED sees the competition, and with Sony withholding pricing information, they’ve got a decision to make. Sony basically gave a hat tip to RED by waiting to announce a price until RED does. The people at Sony could have very easily released an MSRP just like they’ve always done for most announcements and then announced a real price later on. That’s standard practice for Sony and Canon and many others. That’s not what happened here. There is nothing else going to be released in the near future besides what RED might do, and what they’re considering price-wise. That’s a clear indication that they are listening in Japan and they know who their real competition is.

RED will be announcing price reductions tonight at 8pm Eastern, 5pm Pacific, and there are a few things that could happen as we’ve already speculated about. With Sony announcing a serious competitor for a serious price, we will surely see a sub-$30,000 EPIC. We also could see a sub-$10,000 SCARLET, and unless you got in on the recent RED deal or you ordered before 2012, that’s a serious consideration, especially since SCARLET will have an upgrade path to EPIC. We don’t know what that will be yet, but I wouldn’t put it past RED to do something really crazy, especially since a camera equipped with the new Dragon sensor will have to cost more. A sub-$20,000 EPIC and $5,000 SCARLET would turn the industry on its head completely. I don’t know if anything near those prices will happen, but it’s clear the guys in California are now seriously considering what the guys in Japan are doing.

What do you guys think? Is 1080p/2K the “biggest scam in the history of the film industry”? What do you think RED will do with the price reductions tonight? At what price would you jump at SCARLET or EPIC? How about Dragon? Will you be considering the Sony options instead? Let us know in the comments.

Link: Sony F5 and F55.. — REDUser


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Description image 129 COMMENTS

  • Austin Mace on 11.1.12 @ 2:41PM

    If there were a 5k Scarlet I’d go nuts. Absolutely nuts.

    • A $5K Scarlet with a $500 adapter that allowed the use of a broad variety of commodity SSDs to record the full internal resolution would establish them as the volume leader instead of just the tech leader. Of course, keeping RED a bit exclusive means that less crappy footage is made with them, keeping the brand shiny. It also gives bragging rights to the faithful.

      Sony may have a better picture though, I felt their F65 destroyed the Epic in the Zacuto shootout. And another thing I don’t like about the Epic is how loud the fan is.

      • Jay slocum on 11.1.12 @ 4:01PM

        @Peter agree completely, everybody is going head over heels over price reduction of epic alone. Little do they forget that you still will have to spend an additional 4-5k at least to make it even a production camera and thats just for proprietary media capture.

        One would think that spending an extra $3k for module that allows 2k 1k and 422 lower resolution would be the answer, but many red users state that shooting in anything lower than 3 or 4k is useless because the footage is widowed and gives unusable noise in footage. A 5,000 camera would make things interesting for a few but realistically unless you are shooting music videos only that price drop does not mean much if you plan on shooting even a small feature film

        • I hate this propriety shit, weather its Sony, canon Panasonic, or any other company, why cant they make a camera which can be adapted with third party recording modules and mounts, like Sony stated here for fs700 , f5 and f55 that you are able to record 4k but only with Sony sr recorder, this is bulls***. every company is trying to make allot of sales but considering the times that every 3-4 months any one is releasing the new camera with new technology, i am afraid we would see any impressive sales for any company.

          They are shooting in the foot, lets see what happens today at red.

  • I hate speculation.

    If RED is going to do something as big as turn the industry on it’s head with lower prices, the least I can do is wait till 5PM to see what they come out with.

    As far as 2K… every day I get older. My eyes are having more and more difficulty parsing out the pixels on a screen. Sure, I can differentiate a 4k image from a 2k image, but only for so long.

    • Austin Mace on 11.1.12 @ 2:46PM

      Valid points. Also just checked out your site- never had heard of it, loving it already, especially the Paid/Unpaid article, this has been on my mind all day today before finding your article!

  • Shawn Hermsen on 11.1.12 @ 2:49PM

    With how much the industry has changed in just the last four years, it doesn’t surprise me with this statement. I have always been content with 2K, but to speculate a 5K Scarlet, or even under 10K would be incredible. There have been so many chances for others to step up and turn the industry with a possible release of a camera like that, but yes, a Scarlet under 7K would be insane.

  • john jeffreys on 11.1.12 @ 2:51PM

    Most internet connections can barely handle 720p content. But it’s great that we are moving forward. I’d love a 4k projector at my house.

  • I disagree with him saying that 1080p/2k was a scam, because then that’s to say any digital video technology was a scam before RED came along (remember when you could shoot to SD cards at 4:3 and a max of 480, then 720?).

    The world really needs to be slowly ushered towards things with a hint of what’s to come (exactly as Jim said: RED did it six years ago). Remember that many people probably can’t afford the newest tech, and so wait for those prices to come down while accepting what’s there at the time (especially if you got rid of the idea of “credit cards” since you really don’t have that money anyways…).

    I wonder if there will be a time in the future where someone will claim RED’s 4k/5k approach was the biggest scam in the history of the world, and 8k or 12k is where it’s at?

    • I think you misunderstand his point. he refers to 1080/2k as a scam because previously the industry had been shooting and projecting 35m, which is 4/5k equivalent. So in effect, the industry has tried to sell technology with well under half the resolution, as good enough. That is his point. He is not saying that 2k is scam because its not as high resolution as 4k on its own. He is saying its a scam because it is less than what had been the standard for a hundred years.

      • Oh I see – thanks for the clarification!

        Maybe in a couple decades kids will be shooting 1080p to get that “old-timey look” hah!

  • I know of a whole bunch of great looking movies shot on XL1′s and whole bunch of crappy movies shot on RED.

    We’re currently in production on a project shot on hacked GH2s and Leica glass and it looks good enough. It doesn’t look that much worse than our last project shot on Epic.

    And as a producer, I had the flexibilty to grab one of the cameras, hop on a JetBlue to Chicago and shoot some nice little things we never could have afforded otherwise.

    The future is mostly not going to be about the high end. The low end already looks good enough to project at a megaplex. The future is going to be about reducing crew size and increasing flexibility.

    Maybe 20 movies and a few dozen shows a year will be shot on RED and Alexa in the future; but hundreds of movies will be shot on DSLRs. That’s the real revolution.

    • “I know of a whole bunch of great looking movies shot on XL1′s and whole bunch of crappy movies shot on RED.”

      I know of a whole bunch of great looking paintings made with cheap spraycans on free brick walls and a whole bunch of crappy paintings made with the finest oil paints and canvases. So?

    • ¿’A whole bunch of great looking movies shot on XL1′s’? ¿Really?

    • You’re a little behind the curve man. Hundreds of films are being shot on the Alexa alone, the DSLR revolution has ended. The reason we are talking about red, is if they drop the price of the scarlet, they could bring 4k to within the price range of the original 1D. The revolution will be 4k for under 10k. I don’t mean to insult you, but that mindset you espouse as a “producer” is the mindset that is killing film and damaging the industry. When you put this only in terms of money, and disregard undisputed higher quality formats out of a price concern, you sully the craft.

      • marklondon on 11.1.12 @ 4:42PM

        Have to disagree. What matters is how much things cost to make. End of story. That’s what propels this industry (and many others). Beauty has a market too – but if you can reach your market for less, then do it. Anything else is vanity. All these cameras are tools. A hole dug with a gold-plated shovel is still a hole.
        Every camera decision on any show is based on delivering the right pictures to make the most money. Its called ‘production value’. The second word being the more important.

        Finally, I don’t know too many films on XLH1s, but three I love were shot on EX3s, and absolutely delivered. Does this mean you can shoot ‘Cloud Atlas’ with two GH1s and a Kino? No.

        • Totally agree

        • if you’re really comparing cameras to shovels then you lost me and no disrespect to you but you’re argument sucks like the quality of old dv footage shot on XL1s. really? you seriously think the XL1 footage looks good enough on a cinema screen. I for one would never ever pay $10 to $12 dollars to watch something shot on an XL1 at a movie theater. I can barely stand watching it on my 40 inch LED tv.

    • I totally get the spirit of your comment Dan, even though others didn’t.

  • Antonio Pantoja on 11.1.12 @ 2:52PM

    This is AWESOME (for the consumers)!!

    I agree with Austin. I would buy a Scarlet tomorrow if it dropped to $5k

  • I think 1080p is still wonderful for projection.

    When getting into resolution arguments I always like to cite that 28 Days later was done on a very dirty 480p format and looked fine on the big screen.

    Just get a camera and shoot, right?

    • 28 days later is the classic argument, but its really a straw man. SD worked in 28DL because it was a horror film. Plenty of shitty horror movies, (not calling 28DL shitty) have used shitty cameras to scary effect, that’s the nature of the genre, if you try to shoot drama or something serious in SD, you wouldn’t get it in theaters to begin with. Also, as we all know, in higher level camera you’re not only gaining resolution, but also, dynamic range, color depth etc.

    • Just a minor correction: it’s a UK movie, and SD in PAL means 576 lines, not 480. SD resolution in PAL is 20% greater than NTSC, at the cost of temporal resolution that you don’t need for cinema anyway.

    • Daniel Mimura on 11.10.12 @ 9:07PM

      That “film” is a perfect example! It looks awful. I can’t stand the motion—it’s so ugly and distracting. I’ve only seen that movie once, and the sequel two or three times… The movie really shouldn’t have used DV…it’s a better movie than the sequel, but I just can’t connect well when I’m distracted. Yes, there are great movies and shows shot on crappy formats (Hoop Dreams, 28 Days Later, All in the Family) and bad movies shot in good formats (Far and Away in 65mm)…but it just makes it more tragic with the good ones because they’re going to look like crap *forever*…

      At 1st, I thought JJ (Jim Jannard, not John Jefferies, another inflammatory “JJ”) was kind of going overboard saying “scam”…but looking to the future, he’s right. Big budget stuff should never shoot 1080/2k… I think he’s 100% right… As someone just commented about TVland…yeah, anything on film can be rescanned to 4K…and they will live forever. I think that’s what JJ probably meant. These are big studios who are looking at their archives. Think about it—I’ve bought Casablanca on VHS, laserdisc, DVD, HD-DVD, and now bluray (in fact, when I got bluray, I used that movie—a black and white, mono sound, academy aspect ratio film as my example of the beauties of higher def TeeVee…not Baraka or Blade Runner or Girl w/ a Dragon Tattoo…etc…). That movie is “forever”…(and forever associated with the Warner Bros. studio)…this wouldn’t be the case if they shot on something that dates really quickly, especially in the future when everything is 4k or more. The future needs to keep to the 35mm standard and 2k does not meet that.

      I remember reading in AC about Seinfeld…by about midway through its run, they started shooting in 16:9 cuz they knew they needed to look ahead…now all these years later, we still don’t have it in HD in any aspect ratio…but it’s there and you know it will come eventually (probably in time for the next Festivus season)…but all the giant budgeted popcorn movies are not going to look so good in the future if they used 1080 or 2k. As far as those saying 1080 is good enough…yeah, I agree, plenty of people are gonna be happy and fine with SD…but to say greater than 1080 isn’t already here–even partially at home…just look at how small 1080 looks are native resolution on a 27″ iMac. As far as the quality—just download the Timescapes trailer in 1080 and the 2.5k (or whatever—there is one version that is the same exact resolution as the 27″ iMac screen)…you can’t tell me the 1080 version is that good compared to 2.5k.

  • The global shutter thing on the Sonys is much more exciting. I hope it will trickle down to affordable cameras. Concerning 4k, doesn’t the Alexa offer it as an option? If not, they’re sure to have one ready whenever everyone thinks they need it.

    George –

  • I give props to Red as well as to Sony. I think that all of the competition is in the best interest for every consumer and pro to have the right tools for the right job. But when you can begin to factor in the Right price. Things are quickly becoming interesting.

    Having done some major DIT work both commercial and cinema. The majority of people don’t even know how to properly utilize the cameras to their fullest capabilities. And light most things so poorly that they are left to devices of camera. Cameras have their benefits and limitations. So many people these days need to return to the fundamentals of proper cinematography, lighting, and general storytelling. Great content will always be king.

    Congrats to both Sony and Red. But in reality congrats to the end line buyers of both.

  • If the Scarlet drops to $5000….Black Magic is screwed!

    • Jay slocum on 11.1.12 @ 3:48PM

      fingres crossed but doubt it, Red has what you call ” green integrity” to keep, dropping the price that low would in their eyes make it a consumer camera and they want to keep it a right balance not to high , not too low, the only reason for price drop is because of competition IMO, but hey who knows , we shall shall see

  • Once the lights go out and the movie comes on it doesn’t make any difference. I’ve seen a bunch of 1080P short films on the screen in a large movie theater. Looks great. The public couldn’t tell the different between 1080P and 4K. One can only sees the difference when they are side by side on the same screen.

    More resolution does not necessarily make a better end product to the paying public.

    • There’s also frame rate, compression, dynamic range, color depth, and build quality. This isn’t a one issue discussion, it is not only resolution that increases with quality and price.

  • The fact that these new cameras from Sony can do 2k, 4k, raw and other various codecs at different bit rates makes these cameras a sure winner. This is something i always wished RED could do. I know that you cant have one camera that can do everything, but i think this is the closest thing to it.
    One question, Does it window in like Red when you drop from 4k to 2k?

    • Joe Marine on 11.1.12 @ 3:15PM

      There is no window, it’s the full area, so they are combining pixels to get 2k RAW.

  • Pretty exciting stuff!

    In the cinema world I’d say that 1080p is crap, but in the internet/home theater world I’d say its about right.

    I think 2k, or 2.5k in BMCC’s case is an exceptional resolution to low-budget cinema work. But in mid-big budget productions, yeah make it for real, do it in 4k.

  • Jay slocum on 11.1.12 @ 3:09PM

    Could care less about price drop for the EPIC, because im not Christopher Nolan . Realistically , anything over 15k will be rentals for us everyday “Common” folks, so priced drop or not will not really matter. What im waiting for is price drop for epic if there is even a price drop.

    As far as 1080p and 2k being a scam , this is the equivalent of saying that the Petroleum industry biggest scam was allowing 87 regular gas versus Premium HIGHER GRADE FUEL, sure premium fuel is better for fuel injectors and a lil extra performance, but this does not mean that regular fuel is irrelevant. I can still get a fuel cleaner every 2k miles just like a film maker can “fine tune” and correct in post.

    The lowest i see the scarlett being is maybe 7k, Jim has stated from day one that they make prosumer products (money$$$$) this is the reason they didnt come out with a $3k fixed lens camera, because they know the aftermarket and hacker community would find a way to allow interchangeble lens. What Jim is saying is not wrong , but it aint completely right either.

  • 4K is the next frontier…but we are not there yet. Not even close. None of the outlets for media (TV screens or movie screens) are there yet. They will definitely get there, but were are at least 5 years from it being mainstream…so 2K content has LOTS of life left in it.

    In 5 years, will there be bigger and better cameras? Absolutely! Which is why, in my opinion, unless you’re shooting a feature on the cutting edge, investing in a 4K system today is overkill.

    It does make me wonder….what will RED do once everyone’s at the 4K party? Start on 8K? There is a maximum limit to “resolution”…I think 4K is pretty much as far as they need to go…so are they going to focus on DR? FPS? It’s like DSLRs that were in a megapixel race for 5 years…then they switched to HIGH ISO / low noise…then video.

    What other “magic” do you guys think they will focus on next?

    • Probably a camera that can pull focus on the footage in post, now imagine that :-)

      • john jeffreys on 11.1.12 @ 3:57PM

        they already have that, its called a Lytro and they are working on video applications of it (its a still camera at this point)

    • Jay slocum on 11.1.12 @ 3:44PM

      @SEAN agree true 4k is enough, h3ll 2k is fine with post work and a lens other than canon L seriesoverated crap that will hold up on the big screen. AVATAR IMAX a 108o film was one of the sharpest films i ever saw on imax, again they had millions to throw at it with post “fine tuning” but none the less it was 1080 hd.

      I think the sony f65 was the best digital film that got it right on paper as far as an equivalent to film. If red had a clearance today and dropped the price of 8,000 red one today, trust me no one but hollywood would buy epics or scarletts, which is the reason why the one x has and will not drop. still interested to see scarlett price will be and Sony will be has it’s ear to the streets.

  • I wish RED would accept 2k as a totally appropriate format. Honestly how may RED productions actually see theatrical release? Not to mention actually get 4k projection / delivery? 1%?? 0.5%?? 0.1%??

    Come on RED, internet distribution is far and away the BIGGEST distribution channel in the world today. If you want mass market appeal, forget about 4k projectors and 8k upgrade pipelines… and get to work on retina displays and youtube server bandwidth. THAT is the infrastructure that needs more power!

    Seriously, a 2k scarlet would be sensational if it existed like RIGHT NOW! But – correct me if I’m wrong – Scarlet is totally useless at anything less than 4k, as it crops the sensor to hell.

    RED is cool, but they overshot the market. Black Magic is now filling in the gap that they skipped right over.

    We’re close to the money shot camera. BMCC just needs a larger chip (and a camera that you can actually, you know… buy) and we’re there.

    • why do you need Red`s approval to shoot 2K? who the heck is Red to award itself such a role? I hear their constant 4K blabla for years now – none of the productions I was personally involved in delivered more than 2K, regardless if it was Red One, Epic, Alexa, 35mm or Super16, regardless if it was a tv series or theatrical movie

      • No one needs their approval. I merely WANT their innovation and good business practices in a market that is more useful to more people.

  • Red can offer and do whatever they want – the alleged price of Sony`s cameras and the fact that it is SONY alone who offers them makes it a clear decision for me towards Sony – until someone else with such a long track record like Panasonic or maybe even Arri comes out with an even better product.

  • Not really a tip of the hat to Sony – at least not a genuine one. More an excuse for Jim to boast (again). How’s the view from up there on your high horse?

    If 99% of the general public were pixel-peeping geeks then there might be something to his argument re: 1080p/2K but the world doesn’t work that way. It’s called progress and progress can only be effective with a stepped development. Before putting a man on the Moon, NASA had to put a man in orbit first.

    Jannard’s hyperbole makes him the PT Barnum of our age. Smoke and mirrors aimed at luring folks into the Cult of RED so they can get your $$$ through their upgrade paths. Sadly plenty of other corporations are following the same lead (I’m looking at you Adobe). This camera Koolaid isn’t tasting so good any more.

  • The studio I mostly freelance at works on a daily basis with clients like Disney, ABC, Nat Geo and a number of other cable channels.

    Believe me, NONE of the clients or anyone in the studio wants a 4K work flow and nobody thinks that there will be a 4K broadcast signal within 10 years, if even that. For movies, 4K will come faster, but TV moves at a glacial pace compared to film, so HD is here for a long time.

    I started working in TV about 10 years ago and when I started was the beginning of the SD to HD transition. Only in the last 4 years, have the jobs become almost entirely HD (we still get SD jobs here and there). The transition from SD to HD was pretty brutal in terms of work flow and computer processing power took a while to catch up.

    With HD only being fully here for maybe 4 to 5 years, nobody in broadcast is in a huge rush to move forward to 4K. That is going to take years and years before the 4K broadcast transition, because nobody really wants to do it since it’s insanely expensive to do and time consuming.

    4K is great for film (maybe), great for VFX and post cropping; but HD is not going anywhere, at least with broadcast.

    • marklondon on 11.1.12 @ 4:47PM

      Finally a sensible comment. I too have jobs that are still in SD, and have delivered exactly ONE job in 4K (that was immediately downrezzed for broadcast). Its a big, slow world folks. People at home VERY happy with their HD if they have it.

  • Raphael Wood on 11.1.12 @ 3:22PM

    I get the feeling we are probably looking at a 7K or 8K price for the Scarlet and 25K to 30K for the Epic.
    gotta hand it to RED, they got the balls to do what’s necessary in the right moment.

  • Much of the world still isn’t ready for even 1080p. Most of the commercials that I edited this year were shot on Alexa (and a few on RED). Almost all of them were ultimately delivered in SD. I suppose that a lot depends on what types of projects we’re talking about. I think some of us take for granted that we have nice gear that will play high-res video, but a lot of “normal” people still don’t have 1080p televisions or fast internet. I think Jim Jannard is living in a fantasy world created by his own marketing hype. 5k res for a feature? Sure… but otherwise, come on.

    • Dave Kendricken on 11.1.12 @ 3:38PM

      I think there’s some confusion on what Jim is actually arguing here — I don’t think he’s saying 4K or 5K must be the final delivery format, or even that it’s necessary for all projects now — he’s saying he and his company have consistently been trying to bring us the best-possible quality acquisition we could get — first and foremost in terms of spatial res (and regardless of how long it takes the rest of the world’s displays to catch up). That, and the option of future-proofing, and the ability to get a better 1080P, 2K, or what-have-you master via downscaling a 4K/5K image, which again, is simply about trying to give us the best possible quality they can.

      • No, I get that and I think you are right. However, it’s often not easy explaining that to a client who thinks just because 4k is available then that’s what we must go with to shoot/edit/deliver. Unfortunately, I spend a lot of time trying to explain this issue to the people I work with. They read something Jim says and they take away, “We have to do everything in 4k.” But I realize now that’s probably a separate issue.

      • That’s absolutely true.

        Right now I’m doing a 4K DCP for a short film I shot back in june 2008. That’s what Jim means with future proofing.

        Here’s a frame grab:

        • marklondon on 11.1.12 @ 4:53PM

          You know who cares about future-proofing? Short films and cultural blockbusters. The other 99% of film and broadcast DOES NOT CARE. On some shows (dramas included), they would struggle to find the raw footage from an episode that screened last year! I’ve sat in serious archive meetings at large broadcasters – if anything is needed, it can be found and up-rezzed enough, otherwise you just move on. Justifying a much (much!) more expensive workflow on the basis of archive? You’d be laughed out of the meeting. Even the Natural History departments don’t care anymore – they would prefer to take the latest tech and reshoot it.

          • Agreed than a lot of contents does not need future proofing.

            On the workflow side I have my doubts. I’m working on a 2.000€ PC here. Add a CS6 cloud license and hard drives for backuping each show and you’re good to go.

  • Both Drive and Hugo looked incredible on the big screen and those were shot on Alexa at 1080p off HDCam SR source material. I personally think the Alexa looks better than the Red (something more filmic about it). I love Red’s prices but their dynamic range claims do not seem to hold up in independent tests. I would take better latitude at 2k over 4k with less dynamic range any day of the week. Watch Skyfall in Imax and see how well it holds up in the blow up.

  • chris larsen on 11.1.12 @ 3:39PM

    I looks as if Jim is making Sony pay a price to compete with the established 4k/5k system. Global Shutter is cool, hope to see it in competitors cameras as well. I’ve shot several projects on RED and have never shown in 4k. What is written above about the broadcast industry moving as slow as a glacier is completely true. We will be stuck with HD for some time. With computer screen resolutions getting more saturated pixels per inch and camera resolutions increasing, I am confident in saying that DP’s and Gaffers will be more important than ever. With all of the new formats of RAW becoming available, Colorists will also be very important to the final look of whatever we’re watching. I don’t like the idea of companies marketing ideas so far in advance, as it creates a drive to put the product out before it’s ready. Epic, Scarlet, Blackmagic Cinema Camera are all examples of this. I wish it would be a polished product before they release it for use.

  • So, I guess Roger Deakins and Martin Scorsese are scam artists.

    “Because 1080P and 2K acquisition was the biggest scam in the history of the film industry.”
    I am happy Red is around but, that statement is total horseshit.

    Thanks Gene for your comments. That’s real world, not Red world.

  • While 4K is not necessary at the moment, it sure will come in handy to have in a few years. So I can see why investing in 4K is a good idea. Not to mention that if your final product is going out in 1080p/2K, you’ll have some room to stabilize/reframe (although you shouldn’t get the mentality that you can “fix it in post”).

    I am very interested in seeing exactly what kind of bomb RED is going to drop tonight. I don’t think they are going to kill Blackmagic (unless they are absolutely insane enough to drop SCARLET to $3K), even if they drop SCARLET to $5K. No matter what you say, $5K is still $2K more than $3K, so the BMCC will still have a market.

  • Reducing the price of the scarlet will definitely impact f5 sales, not because of the low scarlet retail price, but because the resale value on the scarlet will be so low that the switching to a more expensive camera will be harder. Many will be stuck with the scarlets for a while, most won’t mind that though.

  • Jay slocum on 11.1.12 @ 4:04PM

    I do know one thing, Until Red / Sony release new prices and until Black Magic Actually starts shipping cameras, the digital camera world of cameras 3.5k and up will be at a stand still.

    • I guess thats not good for canon, c500 is available for pre-order. I highly doubt canon is going to hit their numbers with that cam

    • marklondon on 11.1.12 @ 4:55PM

      BMDCCs shipping now. Already been 2 up on LA Craigslist.

  • How many people can differentiate between 4k and 1080p in a real-world comparison, maybe 5%? Of those, how many would be able to tell you why it’s different without being told it’s a different resolution, maybe 5% of that? Is 1080p equal to 35mm? No. But for the majority of all audiences, yes, it is in fact good enough.

  • I see people saying that the average punter can’t tell if something is 4K or 2K, I have to completely disagree, I’m constantly told by friends who watch footage shot on RED that it looks amazing, whether from the web or even broadcast on TV in SD. The images are way sharper, but there is also a look/feel that is clearly different. If prices drop to sub $7K range for scarlet tonight, consider this the democratisation of cinema quality video. It’s by no means the best camera in the world, but it sure would give a lot of people a new tool to complete with the best

  • The revolution will be televised. Exciting times indeed.

  • “Future proofing” is the second thing Red likes to proclaim all too gladly – this may be important for productions able to afford to store and transfer the master until that day comes these films get a 4K distribution of any kind which 90% doesn`t need anyway and downrez to 2K/HD, wrangling excess data around where time is precious and robustness is a prime factor: the shooting and dailies period.

  • Carl Weston on 11.1.12 @ 5:12PM

    I’m so very tired of Jim’s 4k jihad. 2k and 1k a scam, lol!

    • …..1K is HALF the resolution of 1080p.

      • In that case I like 720p to, I’ve shoot with the Hvx200, hpx2000, hpx2700, 720p is more that good enough.

        • 720p… interesting you say that. Scott Billups’ book from a few years back said the same thing for theatrical projection, that 720p was enough given the shitty quality of most projectors, etc.

          Of course, now we have HDTV and HD web stuff, and most theaters are starting to at least think about investing in better quality projection.

      • What’s up with the comment about 4K being 5 times the rez of 1080p, it’s not.

        • It’s 4.3 times the resolution.

          1920×1080 = 2,073,600 pixels
          4096×2160 = 8,847,360 pixels

          • And what resolution is that? Static resolution chart resolution. Is that what we put on films? If you put a filter on a 4K shot production you will see that there is very little over 2K resolution, very few shots, specific frames. You can’t get 4K in motion, or even 2K. Who can pull focus with such precision and how much will be in focus anyway? There is focus error, lens quality, blur from camera and subject motion, and so on. If MTF is high enough even in 720p and there is no compression, it will be sharp enough and project fine in film and 2k. Companies will only step higher than 4K for more profit by enforcing upgrades. Low compression 2K is already more than enough and viewers will get no benefit.

  • Interesting. So since all these other resolutions have been a “scam”, what will happen with all the new media being produced in 1080p currently? For the moment being films can be transferred to 1080p since they’re technically higher resolution, but will1080p have to upscaled later on ? Is it safe to assume that upscaling isn’t favorable towards the image quality either?

    Ultimately, what will happen with this non-”future proof” media output once higher resolutions start to slowly roll out?

    • P.S. I know some projects are shot in higher resolutions, and they can go back to the original footage to pick from. I’m talking about low-budget filmmakers that shoot their projects at 1080p, and they can only picture lock at 1080p.

      • Go watch something shot in 1080p on a 4k display. Can you tell that it is lesser quailty? Maybe I don’t know. But for most people 1080 is good enough (the average home viewer). And when is the market of homes going to have a 4k display? 20 years? I’m not talking movie theaters (even though I think that’s 10 years away) I’m talking livingrooms in America. When is this 4k on every screen revolution going to happen. It will happen when consumers see a definite benefit to upgrading and that requires content available for them to view. I just don’t see this happening anytime soon on a mass scale, which means in America 1080 p is the home viewing standard. It’s taken a decade just to get this kind of saturation for HDTV’s. And that is with a very easy to see benefit to upgrading, and even with that 50% of the homes I go into have the thing hooked up incorrectly so they are not getting an HD picture.

        When the masses say we want 4k people will begin to make 4k content, then people will buy more 4k displays. But I just don’t see that happening in the next decade.

        • Good points, good points indeed. As a matter a fact, a good chunk of people are still transitioning to HD televisions, players, etc. as we type all this.

        • its coming faster than you think, people forget that in the age of highspeed broadband, we no longer need to rely on the broadcasters to deliver content, i mean even youtube supports 4k, and the new i pad, i macs and mackbooks have screens twice the resolution of 1080p, give it 2 years when and i’d be willing to put money on all the apple stuff having 4k displays. as for it being 10 years till cinemas adopt the technology, well i guess i’m living in the future, as my local cinema has sony 4k projectors installed on all 10 screens…

          • No Apple machine is 4K or twice 1920p. No computer or home cinema on the market is 4K. Try buying a 4K display or projector and see how much it costs and what you have to go through to get it. Consumers are trying to save $100 when buying a TV set. 93% of desktops and laptops sold today and low end or mid level systems. 89% of TVs are value models, not top of the range models. There is no market for 4K until it hits very low cost. Think 2% (two percent) the cost it has today. That doesn’t happen in a year or even 10 years.

  • The thing that most excites me about all of this is the price decreasing. This is one thing that the free market and competition are good for. By the cost going down on these, it will likely drive the cost down on many other segments of the market, or sony/canon/red/arri/etc will begin to offer more and better options on their lower cost products. This is good for filmmakers. Particularly the ones at the lower end of the budgets. It gives you more options. It allows you to make a movie that looks more expensive than it is, and that’s a way to build a name for your self and get more work. The cheaper these tools are, the more options I have on my next project. Or the more I can invest in other aspects of the production. It’s a win for us.

    Personally I’m tired of all the strutting about with their tech specs. The same resolution numbers can be produced from a variet of different ways, some clearly better than others. The same with frame rate/shutter. But at the end of the day does the picture serve the story. Soon, if not already, dirctors and DP’s will select a camera cause they like the picture it’s sensor produces, in the same way they used to choose various kodak or fujifilm stocks for the quality of image they produced. I personally would love to shoot on an Alexa, not for any specification or number stat, but because I love the picture it produces. I don’t care for the majority of pictures from RED. That’s my preference. But I can’t curretly afford either of them. But these prices coming down means that my options are opening up. Yay.

    I am excited about what’s happening in this market. Let’s go make movies.

  • I’m starting to think there is more to the story about that truckload of discount Scarlets they sold off a week or two ago. It seemed to good to be true at the time. It may have been a trial run.

  • all this mumbo jumbo about “ks”, seriously, only industry or hobby people understand it, if you ask the generic audience, they still won’t be able to tell the difference between SD and HD, nor would they care for that matter. just because we could shoot in bigger res doesnt mean we should, the world isn’t even ready for 1080p, what the hell is jim talking about

    • It isn’t ready for 1080p? How so?

    • So if the general audience doesn’t know what dynamic range is, then that doesn’t matter either? Hell, why was anyone ever shooting on film once DV cameras came out since no one can tell the difference? And what of all those chumps shooting 70mm, what idiots…obviously it was overkill because most people don’t notice the difference. And hell, people watch mediocre movies by the truck load, so clearly it’s not worth spending more time on the script either since most people won’t care. Let’s just make mediocre garbage for people to consume, why should anyone strive for something better? Let’s just aim for lowest common denominator!

    • this may be an unpopular opinion (but remember, it’s an *opinion*, not a fact!) but i agree with ukle; the world probably isn’t even ready for 1080p, at least in television/web markets. When he wants to watch the next Lakers game, my dad would turn the tv to the standard definition TNT channel, when he could just as easily go to HD. I usually poke fun at him and change it to HD for him, but he has a good point; if he can see the game, he can see the game. Who knows, perhaps he uses his imagination to fill in the gaps that we perceive in standard def?

      Perhaps movie theaters could use 4k as a standard, seeing as how massive and impressive they are. But I believe, at least for the time being, that TV and even web content need not progress past 2k, because at the distance you sit away from the screens, the average person can’t tell/won’t care what resolution it is. Heh, most wireless internet connections (at least in the US) could barely handle 1080p! Imagine internet with 4k content…

      • Thats exactly the point. These thoughts that you described are not new…allot of people on here are getting too excited about 4K…if your 1080p buffers too long just watch some of the few 4K content on Youtube…it chokes…also the 1080i and 720p content on Satelight and cable is struggling so hard…Direct TV 1080i is often 1280x1080i or 1440x1080i heavily compressed and we are now just seeing H.264 being used instead of MPEG-2 for TV…TV always lags behind web. Let 1080p become more full and less watered down like it already is so 4K doesn’t come out the gates half cocked. I love 4K I really do, I have worked with it in NLE’s and it gives me allot to work with and with REDCODE RAW (the few times Ive used it!) lots of color correcting…but I downsample to 1080p and keep my 4K or 2.5K master archived…most of the time I only need 2.5K for projects (even though I only get 1080 *sigh*). We need to build the infrastructure for 4K first…internet speeds are getting faster but not fast enough.

        • I will take lower compression 1080P over 4K. It’s a much better use of bandwidth and I will see less artifacts and an effectively better image quality. Increasing data rate by even 50% massively improves the motion quality.

          If I’m paying for the content, I know 1080p streaming will cost 3x less than 4K streaming at about 3x the data rate. 1080p with lower compression will cost half the 4K bandwidth and look better in any situation. Would I pay more for something I can’t see on most displays and viewing situation? Would a company think about providing such a thing when consumers can’t use it and take all the extra cost?

    • That is so true. The general population doesn’t understand and wouldn’t care if they did. In fact they have already spoken. In general, people prefer convenience and low cost over more dots or better sound. CD was better than MP3 but try and find a Tower Records. Blu Ray is better than streaming but one is growing really fast and the other represents a shrinking space in Best Buy.. At a normal viewing distance, with movie content, it is hard to see the additional resolution of a 4k set over a high end 1080p one. Turn frame smoothing off, and they look fairly ordinary. It makes a little more sense on a 30 foot wide theater screen where they have access to 4k content. Right now, trying to sell us expensive 4k tv’s and projectors without any way of buying new content is an insult to our intelligence. Until there is a way of streaming 4k movies, it will remain the real fraud. 1080p is not a fraud because we all have 1080p screens and can buy movies at that resolution. Surely the fraud is the one where they take 1080p Blu Rays and write “mastered in 4k” on the box to make people who don’t know better think that there is really 4k content for the over priced tv they are trying to sell them. That sounds more like fraud to me!

  • shakezoolah on 11.1.12 @ 6:06PM

    anything above 480p is HD to me

  • 1080p is a scam when it comes to feature films but 2k isn’t. We have been watching films in 2k on movie theatre screens for decades. Jim is just up selling 4k and Its smart marketing. And its working. It is such great marketing that Technicolor just finish restoring Sunset Blvd. and the re-releasing is in 4k. It will be showing at the Chinese Theatre in LA next week.

    On RED price reduction the only way I would buy another RED camera is if the Scarlet was in $6k or less, or if the epic-m (not the epic-x) was under $30k

    • I’ve seen some great films on large screens shoot on uncompressed 1920x1080p…Not a scam!

    • Billy_Dee_Williams on 11.1.12 @ 7:38PM

      I honestly don’t see much of a difference between 2048×1536 and 1920x1080p, and the general public probably won’t see any.

    • The Avengers was finished in post at 1080p, no one will deny that it looked great.
      99.9% of all feature film footage is finished at 2k, the remainder being the occasional IMAX sequence (parts of the Dark Knight, Transformers etc.)

      I’ve worked with 5k Epic footage in post, and its not a significant improvement on the 2k down-res footage that is the norm for RED footage vfx workflow.

      On a cinema screen, I don’t think many people in the world could differentiate between a sharp 2k plate and a 4k plate

  • Has anyone here heard of TV Land?

    They show programming from 50 years ago. Those shows still generate considerable money after five decades. You can watch All in the Family on a 1080p television and it’s tolerable, but it doesn’t look great. The same thing goes for I Love Lucy. The difference is, when TV goes to 4K, whenever it happens (remember, we’re talking about a 50 year shelf life), All in the Family will be pretty much done. I Love Lucy, on the other hand, will look great because it was shot on film. All they have to do is go back to the film vault and remaster for the higher resolution.

    THAT’s what Jim is talking about when he talks about future proofing. Many people aren’t looking far enough ahead. Will studios and production companies go back and remaster shows shot at 4K or higher but were finished at 2K or 1080p, including redoing all of the effects. If it means decades more of syndication money, the answer is probably a resounding yes. As I recall, remastering and rereleasing worked out pretty well for George Lucas.

    Any successful producer will tell you it’s all about the back catalog.

  • Can someone explain this?

    He says 2k and 1080p are a scam…but then says:

    “I am proud to announce that the Meizler Module now supports recording to ProRes to REDMAG Mini cards. You will be able to record 720p, 1080p and 2k in ProRes 422 LT and HQ flavors.”

    I am confused!

    • Translation: “You know how we feel about it but, for those of you who insist on the lower resolutions and other formats, we’ve got you covered.”

    • JH Holloway on 11.1.12 @ 7:27PM

      He has said he doesn’t want to do it but has been beaten over the head for demands for it…
      Who can blame them? At least they are listening.
      I still have to work in Sony HD Cam tape 1440×1080 3,1,1 bullshit….and that’s for a major network…
      Just because post wont roll with the times.

  • “A sub-$20,000 EPIC and $5,000 SCARLET would turn the industry on its head completely”

    It’s crazy, but Reds are the mad men.

  • I REALLY don’t get this obsession over resolution. Just a few years ago 99.9% of us would be more than happy just to have a Canon T2i available for shooting and now we’re talking 4K?!? Sure it is better than 2k just as a Mercedes is better than a Hyundai but that doesn’t mean the Hyundai isn’t good enough for driving around. I think Jim Jannard is losing it (or he’s just a sore loser!). Having personally used both the EPIC and the ALEXA I have to say the ALEXA is so much better in so many ways that make you forget about resolution. Before digital there was super8mm, 16mm, 35mm and 70mm and even though 35mm was “the standard” it didn’t meant that 16mm was a scam… it was just… different! I really feel privileged to be living in these times because there are so many good/cheap cameras for us to make films with that I just can’t be bothered with all that tech talk… PEACE!

  • One thing that won’t change about RED? Their huge ego. On the press and in person.

    • JJ did snub me slightly when i went to shake his hand at a conference. but then i’m not George Lukas.

  • Brian Lucas on 11.1.12 @ 9:44PM

    When I see all these technical mambo-jumbos, I ask myself, what about the story? Great movies and other not so great, but big blockbusters were shot 1080p and even SD 480. Audience won’t notice technical things if you engage them with an interesting story. Said this, I have to admit that anyway we have to care about the quality of the image… But good story first, then technical thing… A good movie starts with a great screenplay, not with people talking about what resolution they are going to have. And yes, people at RED have a huge EGO…

    • Yes I agree! There is allot you can do with 1080p. Act of Valor was 1080p for 90% of it and it shows sometimes, but Shane Hurlburt did a fantastic job ON SET making sure he got the best image possible out of those poor 5D Mk.II’s that often paid the highest price in the name of cinematic patriotism! Jim Jannard, I respect the man but he can be arrogant in a way that is just unprofessional sometimes, I’m not “talking behind his back either” if I sat down had a drink with him Id say it to his face politely because he called allot of cameras “pathetic” and criticized people for there choices…I get it EPIC RED EPIC ITS SO EPIC EPIC!! But not everyone wants, or can use an Epic…I love allot of there ideas and products because they just work and just make sense but Jim has said some things in the past that left a bad taste in peoples mouths…that said I have an account on RedUser and lurk allot and find allot of useful information still even though I only own a t2i I’m an editor and photographer with allot of knowledge.

  • Red makes me laugh out loud!!!
    Jannard brings grist to his mill

  • This is awesome news, I am going spend some money in updating my editing hardware. All these new 4k shooters are going to need some editing power to handle their footage, that’s where I come in.

  • I’m so sick of hearing about 4K. You don’t need it unless you plan to crop in the picture. Dynamic Range, Light Sensitivity, and Color Rendition are FARRR more important.

    Marketers seem to have so much trouble understanding image rendering of sensors, so all they can talk about is resolution.

    Avatar was shot and projected in 1080p and won best cinematography. Enough said.

    • If you’re going to call yourself a DP then act like one. Shoot like you mean it.
      Couldn’t agree more with Trent.

      Light for your camera and frame your shots so they don’t need to be cropped.

      The craft of photography is being eroded by technological innovation.

      • Agreed. RAW shouldn’t be a crutch rather a tool. RAW is really a digital negative but I feel like some people will use it as a crutch…one thing I love about having a DSLR: I gotta work HARD to make that damn image look good! haha

  • Ile Kalivas on 12.8.12 @ 8:55AM

    Red has no doubt made an impact on cinematography but the facts should be separated from the marketing bravado.

  • I love RED, own it and champion the brand.

    But honestly, movies shot on Alexa just look better to me.

    • ikchyadhari on 10.1.13 @ 6:36AM

      i will better buy a canon t4i and few 50 dollar vintage lenses and make a good movie with the money i will save from not buying 4k red camera.

  • Simon Shephard on 01.27.13 @ 5:57AM

    I’m an audio guy and I wonder if the 4K push is the same as the 192k (Hz) push that happened in audio a few years ago? Converters improved rapidly and became capable of recording at the higher rate. After everyone went out and bought these converters, bigger machines/HD’s to handle the bandwidth and upgraded their software, the industry settled back down to 44.1 (music) 48 (film) with the occasional 96kHz – for specific needs such as those recording top end symphonic work without compression. In particular, when the quality of the anti-aliasing filters improved (so that the area above 48/2 Nyquist was not needed to make up for the damage caused by lower quality filters) the perceived need for the higher resolutions receded.
    Now, as I said, I’m from the audio world and don’t have the experience to take a stand on the resolution issue when it comes to moving images but I do wonder. Also, audio is typically recorded at 24 bits and dithered down to 16 for distribution. The move to 24 bits DID make a lot of sense. Perhaps this is the equivalent of dynamic range (in fact, it’s the same thing in the audio world) whereas 192kHz recording was producing files that contained bugger all above around 35-40k and even above 20k (accepted limit of human hearing), little was recordable by most microphones or playable by most monitors.

  • Simon Shephard on 01.27.13 @ 6:06AM

    Of course, there were, and are, those who said there was some (as yet unmeasured) magic occurring above the limit of human hearing and as it was as yet unmeasured, I for one did not discount it. Most of this ‘magic’ turned out to be a lack of the distortions produced by less than ideal brick-wall anti-aliasing filters forced to cut the signal off so sharply, but DSP coding and processing improvements seem to deal with most of this. Another thing, the whole film/digital thing is a mirror of the analog/digital argument in audio. This is still going, but the majority of people use digital for convenience and more importantly, price. Also, and this won’t come as a shock, plugins to give the ‘analog’ feel became pretty good – generally considered as getting 90-95% of the way there, except for a small hard-core of the top mix engineers and the typical rash of audio school students. And, of course, the technological improvements have narrowed the gap. Analog doesn’t sound objectively better than digital any more, it is different and just does certain things to the signal we tend to like. Sound familiar?

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  • ikchyadhari on 10.1.13 @ 6:37AM

    i will better buy a canon t4i and few 50 dollar vintage lenses and make a good movie with the money i will save from not buying 4k red camera.