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November 7, 2012

Time Running out to Buy a $4,000 RED ONE MX, and RED Founder Jim Jannard May Call It Quits Soon

If you somehow missed the price drop announcement a few days ago, RED's workhorse camera, the RED ONE MX, is now selling for $4,000. Forget 3K for $3K, the RED ONE is capable of an astounding 4.5K for $4K. While it will cost a little bit more to get one shooting, there's no question it's a sign of how far technology has come that a camera used on seriously high-end feature films like Contagion and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is now available for such a low price. If you've been on the fence about getting one, you'll have to move quickly as these are going fast -- the CF module version has already sold out. We've also got word that the man who started it all, RED's CEO Jim Jannard, may be stepping down once the new Dragon sensor and a "new technology" are both released.

First, here's what Brent said Monday on the REDUser forum about the number of RED ONE MXs still left:

I know I posted in the Attitude Adjustment thread, but since people keep asking "How many RED ONEs are there as battle-tested?", I figured would post here as well. We are already sold out of RED ONE [BT] with the CF module. We still have a limited number of RED ONE [BT] with the SSD module. While we never give out numbers, safe to say if you are interested in one, you should make your decision in the coming days, not the coming weeks. There is a finite number - and when they are gone, they are gone.

As of right now the RED ONE MX (in the SSD version) is still available in the RED store, but if it does sell out, there are still great deals if you've been in the market for a digital cinema camera -- with the RED SCARLET brain down to $7,950 and the RED EPIC brain coming in at $19,000. Even with Sony's announcement of the F5/F55 cameras and Canon's new 4K-capable C500 now shipping, the prices of RED's products fit right in line with the competition.

In other interesting news, the often outspoken founder of RED Digital Cinema has somewhat unceremoniously declared that he will most likely be retiring soon, probably after Dragon and a so-called "new technology" are released. Here are his exact words (in response to other comments):

Thanks for your thoughts. I will actually retire soon. Jarred has made that possible.

As soon as Dragon and our "new technology" has been released, I won't be just taking a little time off. I will have done my job.

That seems like a clear declaration that he's more or less done running the company, and will likely hand the reigns over to Jarred Land after his departure (assuming Jarred stays on as well). Jim is, after all, 63 years old (which I still can't believe -- time has been kind to him), and if there's one thing you can't deny about him, it's that he works tirelessly. Whether it's been helpful for the company's image or not, he spends countless hours on the REDUser forums talking with users (or future users) about current issues and where the company is headed, as well as late night posts that vary from the quality of RED products all the way to talking about Aspartame and Sodastream carbonated drink makers (yes, that thread really happened).

Even if you disagree with the way he's gone about running his company, this industry has changed drastically from a little over 6 years ago when RED announced their first camera. While the Dalsa Origin was the original 4K camera (released in 2006), it was a $3,000 rental-only, and available to just the highest-end productions. At that time it was normal for a company like Sony or Panavision to create a $250,000 camera that rented for thousands of dollars per day -- and the cameras from those companies were only capable of 1080p at best. You can say whatever you'd like about RED cameras and their reliability (which has improved tremendously over the last few years), but we would not have affordable digital cinema quality cameras under $10,000 if it weren't for their insistence on pushing the industry forward.

On to a bit of speculation, it's certainly not clear what this "new technology" will be, but there's no doubt Jim and Co. are dreaming big. Even though Dragon may be almost a year out before it gets into the hands of most current RED users, I'm sure they have already begun working on whatever will succeed it. I would not be surprised if it was something no one was expecting, and there had even been mention before that RED was working on a motion version of the light field technology used in the Lytro camera -- which is capable of capturing all points of light and then adjusting the focus of the image in post. That kind of powerful technology does mean that the rest of the image quality suffers (and megapixel counts are extremely low at this point), but a motion version of a light field camera would be a serious breakthrough in motion pictures, and would certainly cement RED's legacy as a leader in the field. Only time will tell.

In the next few days we'll be doing a post about what to expect if you're a new RED owner, and how you can get in on the action for the lowest price possible. It can be a little daunting to get started in the RED world, so it's definitely important that you aren't purchasing something you may not need, and are getting the best bang for your buck -- so stay tuned for that.

If you're in the market for a camera like the RED ONE MX and you still haven't decided, what might be keeping you on the fence? As for Jim's announcement, what do you guys think? Will RED continue to be a force in the world of cameras after Jim retires, or do you think it won't survive a major transition like that? (If you think the latter, consider that Oakley is still in business long after it was sold by Mr. Jannard.) How about RED's "new technology" -- what do you guys think it is? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Links:

[via Wide Open Camera]

Your Comment

65 Comments

Don't understand why are they creating a panic for their 4.5K for $4K option, it should be always available for a purchase at any time since they've decided to break rules and continue the lead.... not just for a limited time, like they have got 20 cameras left, so please hurry up or thee will be none left... LOL

November 7, 2012

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Peter

Dont speak before you know, they arent manufacturing new RED Ones these are used cameras they got from owners trading in to buy epics in the stages programs, thus limited quantity.

November 7, 2012

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carlos

I think they will announce a new camera with the new dragon sensor soon. So they want to get rid of the old red mx as long as they still can get some money for it.

November 7, 2012

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gerald

"In the next few days we’ll be doing a post about what to expect if you’re a new RED owner, and how you can get in on the action for the lowest price possible. It can be a little daunting to get started in the RED world, so it’s definitely important that you aren’t purchasing something you may not need, and are getting the best bang for your buck — so stay tuned for that."

Come on, next few days the RED One MX in stock will also be gone!! Please provide this sooner than later. This is one of the reason I got hooked with Nofilmschool.com in the first place...I got to know this website when it was highly recommending to go for Hackintosh with step-by-step guide on it....which Khoo is promising to provide for the latest version right? Or was it already been posted here?

November 7, 2012

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The Hackintosh guide has been updated:

http://nofilmschool.com/build-a-hackintosh/

November 7, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director
168

i am really disappointed by the announcement of Jim jinard retiring from red, i would not consider to buy red at this time , for me its unstable state for red.

November 7, 2012

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auri

Jarred will do just fine

November 7, 2012

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Natt

I think the "new technology" will be on the software side. Maybe a RED-based NLE?

November 7, 2012

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Wouldn't it be the 4k projector?

November 7, 2012

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Edge

The 4K projector has been announced. by saying "New Technology" it strongly implies that it is unannounced.

November 8, 2012

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David J. Fulde

i'm sure it'd do very well indeed if they bought the rights to Final Cut Studio before it was raped-down to FC-IMOVIE-PX

November 8, 2012

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jay

I think after they run out of Red Ones, its price should go up again in the informal market ( used from owners), it's just too cheap for the camera it is. Also old price owners are not prepared to sell for their babies for so cheap.

November 7, 2012

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Marcus

Whole Redmx packages have been selling for $9000 to $10000 for a while. The $4000 price for the camera is to clear out the old technology and put a thorn towards the competition. New RED products coming. Technology has changed. New competition coming. Prices will go down as time progressess.

November 7, 2012

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Ron

Yes, what Im saying is, the price cut was too fast, after there's no more Red MX to sell at Red store, the informal market will set the price, and my guess it will be more than $4000,00, old owners won't sell their machines for 3000 and new owners will see an opportunity to make some from their U$4000 investment. And yes, eventually it will go lower but not so fast. Red one is a hell of a machine.

November 7, 2012

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Marcus

4K for $4k is amazing, but let's be real it's 4K for $8k-10k. Which is still a great deal if you have the components to run a huge rig, if not then it's 4K for more like $12k. When nofilmschool made the Red One announcement I purchased it. And sadly yesterday I canceled my order after finding out what it will actually take to run this thing. Coming from a 5DMKII I had high hopes to own a RED, but paying $125 for a metal doo dad here and $250 for a card reader there and $600 to get Jim Jannard to slap me in the face is a little excessive. Mind you I know this camera was 25k. Congratz to all of you who bought one ... now I will hope to downgrade a little to a cheaper BMCC setup ... when the heck are those things gonna ship!

November 7, 2012

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Ian

Another request for the "lowest price RED guide" article to be ASAP! It's a great idea and would definitely be useful to me and many others I'm sure. Keep up the good work!

November 7, 2012

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Luke

+1. The rich may call us cheap but I call it smart! I'm tired of the shitty H.264 codec be the standard for consumer and prosumer acquisition and the Black Magic Cinema Camera is nice but it looks like a Digital Image Tech made it and the lack of a Super 35 sensor means my wide angle lenses are now telephoto lenses....*sigh*...

November 8, 2012

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Nate O

I bought a used Red One MX and a red rocket and I am really enjoying the camera very much. There is a certain robutness to the image and RedColor3 is quite amazing.

Agreed - once you have everything you are looking closer to 8k to 12k with a usable camera. And about 16k once you get the red rocket.

I've done 5 shoots with the Red One MX that I got used and no problems with any of them. Using the red drive.

I really highly recommend considering a battle-tested Red Rocket and a thunderbolt connector for the files or you are spending days. Like serious days - just transcoding. And that's not fun to have your computer tied up for days.

I still love my Sony F3s and will buy either 2 Sony F5s or one F55 when it comes out.

The Red One MX is an outdated chip - its doesn't have the dynamic range and skintones still I haven't found as pleasant as with the Sony F3 in s log mode with matrix off. Far too much red in people's faces.

With that said, the image fidelity out of the Red One MX is really strong and really feels like the sharpness of some 35mm film.

Nothing is perfect. But it's definitely a camera to look into.

The BMCC - I am having second thoughts about it. The crop factor is pretty killer. That may turn off a lot of users and shooting pure raw could be a nightmare in processing and in disk space.

I am completely and utterly blown away by how well RedCode works. It's a very smart compression.

And finally, the Red One MX appears to be superior to the Scarlet in that you don't get as much of a crop to do overcranking and you can record to red ram drives saving thousands of dollars and record to 4.5k and 4k 16:9 mode with a wider field of view.

The only downside is that it takes a minute to boot up.

But hey man, nothing is perfect.

Well, maybe the Sony F55 will be perfect :)

November 7, 2012

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I'm curious to know is the red rocket necessary? If you're using an NLE like Premiere? Thanks for the info.

November 7, 2012

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Ian

I've been editing in Premiere and I don't have a RED ROCKET. It works great. If I were working on a longform project (which I haven't yet) I think you would really want one. But if you're spending hundreds of hours -- or more -- in the edit, then the cost of one will probably pay for itself in time saved.

That said, if you're spending $4k on a One, I don't think it makes sense to spend $5k on a ROCKET (or $3k used). The Rocket is one item that will hopefully come down in price, or at least they'll release a new version (they're coming out with a 6K chip... they should have a hardware card that supports that, right?).

November 7, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Thanks Koo!

November 7, 2012

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ian

Remember, the BMCC shoots in ProRes, too. A nice option to have. Crop factor is tricky, but honestly that's mostly because everyone is spoiled by full-frame DSLRs and whatnot.

Overall, I think for video intended for the web or for broadcast, the BMCC is overall a better package than a RED ONE - assuming that you don't already have RED system gear.

November 7, 2012

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Swested

Agree with you about sensor size...I started with the DVX, so *all* of these cameras are "large sensor" to me!

November 7, 2012

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Gabe

Excellent piece. I still prefer the look of the F3 to a lot of cameras - certainly the Scarlet. I also find the RED colormetry strange sometimes, but having said that, I'm looking to probably buy our own EPIC finally, after renting them consistently over the last year. I love the Alexa look, but for our work the EPIC is the right combination of features.
As for the BMDCC, the crop factor is a real killer, no high frame rates is a killer, although with the SLR anamorphics coming that could be a great package for some projects.
Finally RED ROCKET absolutely worth it. 50% of our work is long form. Makes it feasible. Not needed under say 15 mins IMHO.

November 7, 2012

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Marklondon

Here's an informal lowest price RED guide:

- onboard monitor:
Some people like 3rd party ones, but a used RED 5.6in one is good and you can get them used. You will want some sort of noga/israeli arm to mount the monitor to your camera or rig, too. See rail crap, below.

- recording media:
If you're doing SSDs, they'll cost you, but they seem really reliable. Get at least 2 x whatever size you want, preferably three when you can get the third.

- batteries:
Skip the RED bricks if you fly with your camera. Switronix has FAA-certified v-mount batteries that work great. You need at least two. You'll need a v-mount charger, too. The RED one's nice.

- a lens:
Nikon-mount, probably. The Nikon 17-35mm zoom is killer as a first lens, and we use it on a lot of shoots.

- rail crap you will need:
There's 3rd party 15mm rod adapters out there, look around. We have one that bolts to the front of the RED and lets us use the 15mm accessories (matte box, follow focus) we already used with DSLRs. Don't go 19mm/RED.
EXCEPT you will want some sort of a top-mount handle/way to mount your monitor. Again, 3rd parties are cheaper than RED's, there's cheese plate handles with holes drilled in, etc.

November 7, 2012

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sorry, couple more things:

monitor cable

battery plate and cable

I think that's it.

November 7, 2012

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And a $2k plus tripod to support a 30+lbs rig.

November 7, 2012

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ian

What, you're not gonna do all your work handheld? Wimp!!!

November 7, 2012

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I probably should ... build these guns up! :P

November 7, 2012

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ian

Have you seen what the Crank guys did on Ghostrider 2? Handheld Red One on rollerblades while holding onto a motorcycle, and launching themselves off cliffs on wires, ect...those guys are serious, haha.

November 7, 2012

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Gabe

that was already done in Gamer

November 8, 2012

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jay

get the o'connor 50, its around 1100 bucks and holds 50lbs (hence the name). badass vintage tripod.

November 7, 2012

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john jeffreys

John that's just for the head you needs decent sticks too.

November 7, 2012

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ian

Get the Libec RS 450

November 8, 2012

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Lliam

I'm heavily leaning towards getting the Red, just got to figure out if I'll be able to put it to work enough to justify it.

For me, the investment is short term. buy this camera to last me for 12 - 24 months for my own films/music vids/spec tvcs/etc, and when that's all done, i'll either look to invest into whatever Red has on offer at that time, and hopefully all my media/peripherals will transfer with it. if i choose NOT to go with Red, then i should still, hopefully, be able to recoup some of the cost of my media and peripherals by selling them second hand. i guess that is the one advantage of Red extras - what works with Red One works with Scarlet and Epic too.

what has me most nervous is whether or not i'll have the grunt to handle the post workflow.

November 7, 2012

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That's not entirely true on the accessories- the monitor, if you go with RED's, no. Maybe if you go 3rd party, Small HD, etc. The SSDs- yes. If you stay 15mm rods and crap, yes. The batteries, with a new cable adapter, yes.

Grunt on post: some people claim that an 8 core MacPro is more than enough all by itself if you're doing the CS6/Premiere thing and keeping it raw until final. We use a RED Rocket in addition to a maxed core MacPro and a few NVIDIA cards for the CUDA fun. But I've also seen people do some simple stuff using RED native in CS6 on a laptop, too. Depends what you're doing- if you're doing more the short pieces, you'll need that Rocket, I think.

November 7, 2012

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I wonder if the first people to order the $4,000 red one's got the left over brand new ones.

November 7, 2012

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Re Jim. Yep, time to go big boy.

November 7, 2012

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Marklondon

I think saying 4.5k for $4k is being disingenuous. Its clearly not the case.

November 7, 2012

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Peter Kelly

I think it's safe to say that Jim won't be retiring any time soon.
"As soon as our “new technology” has been released."
That most likely will be years down the line. Jim has made statements like that on many occasions before. He has too much passion and ambition for the company to pack it in. He's said himself, "we're just getting started."

November 7, 2012

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Stevie P

Also, "retirement" means different things to different people...

November 7, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Just ordered an MX body... It's just too good to be true! lol

I've seen again the zacuto series 2011 TGS. It's really amazing how good it stands compared to Alexa.

Cancelled my BMCC pre-order. I will probably buy it next year, but after its been really tested. I really don't need it for my upcoming projects with a RED MX and 5Ds as my B cameras...

November 7, 2012

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Alex Mand

Blackmagic's very fine camera if you are into S16 kinda look, I know I am.

November 7, 2012

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Natt

Me too... It's just... well...

If you place your order today on an EF BMCC, I don't think you will receive it before march I guess... there so few cameras coming... one here, one there...

People that ordered one on NAB are still waiting...

November 7, 2012

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Alex Mand

Is it justified for me to hate anyone who can just magically whip out $4k wherein I struggle to even get the first 1000 dollars and end up with no red in the end?

November 7, 2012

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is0flop

Oh yes, and I do love eating cheap instant noodles every day...

November 7, 2012

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is0flop

no not anyone unless you think you're the most resourceful resilient ambitious ramen noodle eater out there.

November 7, 2012

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ryan

theres 550+ calories in one pack of noodles. check the pack. strange but true.

November 8, 2012

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jay

I think if some people around here hoping Jim will stop posting on Reduser once he officially retired... boy they have no clue bwahaha. If anything, Jim would post even more.

November 7, 2012

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Natt

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