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

11.7.12 @ 3:55AM Tags : , , , ,

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.


[via Wide Open Camera]


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Description image 66 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

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • “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 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?

  • 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.

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

    • Wouldn’t it be the 4k projector?

      • David J. Fulde on 11.8.12 @ 1:05PM

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

    • 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

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

    • +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*…

  • 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 :)

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

      • 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?).

    • 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.

      • Agree with you about sensor size…I started with the DVX, so *all* of these cameras are “large sensor” to me!

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • sorry, couple more things:

    monitor cable

    battery plate and cable

    I think that’s it.

  • 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.

    • 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.

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

  • Marklondon on 11.7.12 @ 1:03PM

    Re Jim. Yep, time to go big boy.

  • Peter Kelly on 11.7.12 @ 1:11PM

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

  • 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.”

  • 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…

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

      • 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…

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • Weathereden on 11.7.12 @ 5:48PM

    The red one is one of the most poorly designed cameras I have ever taken apart. Who uses surface mount scsi like connectors? If any motherboard manufacturer today used surface mount PCie connectors, their boards would surely have the highest fail rates. If the red one endures even slight mechanical impact, one of those connectors would surly fail, leading to utter ruin. Not to mention their horrible implementation of wedgelocks. Why the hell did they design the thing like an 80′s IBM PC? They seriously have hired a bunch of cut rate mechanical engineers to produce the thing. I would NOT want a red one even if they paid me to take them off their hands.

  • Boy, I bet that RED company is going to wish they called you first. Let’s see how long they can even stay in business!

  • How much would it cost to get a RED ONE MX running with bare minimum ?

  • I don’t know guys, but after my jaw dropping over and over again everytime I see the SKIN TNES and CLARITY and just “ALEXA LOOK” of the ready to shoot $3,000 Blacmagic Cinema Camera…its just hard to look away. i mean look at those mothafuckin skin tones! Especially the girl on the phone!! Download the 1080p files, watch it on a ful HD screen, pause it at one of the close up and the eyelashes pop with sharpness! And did I mention skin tones and COLOR! And this was all shot in Prores! The BMCC’s colorimetry sensor/software is just amazing for its price point.

  • The BMCC definitely looks really nice. Good point about it. I also just live in the now and there is the Red One with a very simple workflow. Once I have the BMCC in my hands I’ll reevaluate.

    Also Red Rocket is an absolute must for most of the editors I work with who are all still using Final Cut Pro 7 or Avid.

  • Maybe Kodak should step in and buy them. Would give them a running start into the high end digital cinema market.

  • Does redone accept any ssd drives, like Crucial 256 GB or any others?

    • Nope! You MUST use their proprietary SSD’s which yeah are built like tanks but are still over priced as the average SSD in general is pretty solid. Way too expensive…then again they ARE built for Hollywood omg-cannot-loose-this-footage standard where the DP and Director are being held by the balls with a knife by the Producer / money man. That said it would be nice if they didn’t abadone the CF card module…Ill record 18:1 or whatever bit rate is needed for CF cards especially since I’m finishing to 2K and even if I were to finish to 4K/35mm it would probably look much better than the H.264 crap I deal with.

  • If you know you’ll have the cash sooner than later buy now! I mean I could let a RED One MX sit with nothing to run it for a couple of weeks knowing that Id be able to buy more shiznaz for it in the coming weeks…seams worth it. Its an established camera even if your limited to PL mount and Nikon and Canon through dangerous paths….

  • Just this whole talk about ‘days’ of transcoding. yes it can take that long without a rocket, but it also doesn’t have to. On a newer computer it can be reasonably fast, and you don’t need to do a full debayer when you’re not finishing in 4K. 1/2 good is fine. To 422 not 4444, much quicker.

    And with the release of FCPX 10.0.6 you can edit the raw files immediately, edit the RMD within FCPX, and be viewing it in real time at 1/4 res without a red rocket! You’ll need a decent hard drive and mac to do it, (I built my own) but it’s definitely doable. You’d want to have a decent computer to edit video on any way, right? Cost me about $2500.

    FCPX can do everything FCP7 could do, if you take the time to learn it (which I too, didn’t bother until the 10.0.6 update). And better. For instance, I had to go back to FCP7 to change an old project, and I found how annoying it was when I pasted attributes and then couldn’t easily disable them again, I had to one by one go thru and just delete the one I just pasted (I had gone too far ahead and only had undo level set to 20). In FCPX you can not only paste attributes, you can paste SPECIFIC attributes (say only one filter, rather than all of them) and then easily select all and disable just that one in the inspector.

    Not to mention Premiere can do Red editing too, for a while now (if you’re into that).

    Once you’re done editing the raw files in FCPX, it will do the transcode for you (or you can set it to transcode proxy or optimized media IN THE BACKGROUND while you edit!) and it’s actually faster than redcine-x as it uses all your cores to the max (I can’t get redcine-x to use all the CPU cores/threads) as well as your GPU (I have a GTX 680 to help it along). Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need a rocket to work with red files, it’s just not true.

    If you have lenses already, all you really need to get started is a couple of SSD’s (I only have a 64 and a 256, I do fine with that for all day long shoots), the side SSD module (obviously), and a canon mount, with a couple of batteries (again, I only have 2). I have the Epic but this would work on the Scarlet and be pretty cheap. Yes some of the metal thing-a-my’s are expensive – I bought the quick release plate, top handle and whatever, but I’m doing just fine with my canon lenses and it doesn’t need to cost as much as what people claim. I also just make sure I always have power, so on my last shoot I just had crew who always made sure extension cords were run for the camera then I didn’t have to stress about not having enough batteries. When I needed to go mobile I could, as my 2 batteries kept us going for the small time I needed to be mobile, even tho we were shooting outside the whole day.

    Just do it! The workflow is EASY as (nothing like what people claim, again). I just exported XML from FCPX straight into Resolve – worked flawlessly, ready to grade my ORIGINAL raw files! Like that was IT. Import into FCPX, edit, export XML, import into Resolve, grade in Resolve. Resolve can then do a roundtrip straight back to FCPX and you can finish off with any effects, transitions etc. And all the time I can fiddle with the raw metadata in redcine-x, FCPX or Resolve, and it updates the original files (I’ve also backed up my RMD to a separate folder before going back to RedLogFilm for my grade). So nothing is baked in until you are really ready for it to be. This is important for me because sometimes I don’t always know what I’m doing, and I hate transcoding to Prores at the start because I then have to bake something in. Of course I can re-transcode later when it’s time for grade, but that’s time wasted and now not necessary that we can edit the raw files directly.

    SSD’s are NOT overpriced – they are high spec for the data rates. It’s to ensure you don’t get dropped frames and errors (like when people used crappy cheap CF cards in the old days). They’ve actually dropped in price since I bought mine. So I feel RED try to keep things as cheap as they can, ongoing. Hence the recent price drop.

  • Daniel Mimura on 11.16.12 @ 6:05AM

    Gone. I know this is a week and a half old or 2, but the red site lists the R1-MX as “no longer available”.

  • Yep, the RED One M-X cameras are GONE. Really kinda bums me out because I’d just got the finances put into place to purchase one (should have purchased the body before waiting on the coin to do a whole package! Dang it!). After tons of research, I decided that the RED One M-X was going to be suited to my needs for the next few years, at least, so now where do I turn? Buy one from someone at Purchase a Scarlet (would have done so anyway had the frame rate selection been just a tad better) and hope some better frame rates come available with a Dragon upgrade? Look at the Sony F5? Kinda talking aloud here, I know. But jeez, the finances are in order for that price level, so what to do? Wait on the upgrade specs and price for the Scarlet Dragon, wait and see what shakes out at NAB…. what??

  • I am selling Red One Camera and bundle currently asking for $13,500 included all accessories that were purchased for the camera plus some extras added in to make a fully workable camera package. If you are interested please call me at 647 829 9777or email

    The RED one mysterium camera (non mx body), is included in the bundle
    Here is the rest of the list:

    RED Battery Charger w/ (3) Batteries
    RED Drive 640GB
    Petroff 4×4 and 4×5 Mattebox
    Red Dovetail
    Nikon Mount
    PL Mount
    (2)Pelican Cases w/ foam
    1 HDTV MONITOR FOR Viewing

    (1) Red LCD Cable
    (2) red drive cables

    Nikon Lenses
    2 x 80-200mm nikor lenses
    1 x 20-35mm tokina zoom lens
    1 x 55mm nikon prime lense

    Base Production Package:
    The Base Production Pack includes:
    (2) Universal Mount
    (2) RED handle (Right & Left)
    (1) RED Bottom Plate
    (1) Cheese Plate
    (1) Shoulder Dovetail
    (1) Top Mount
    (1) Top Handle
    (1) RED Cradle (including Battery Plate)
    (2) 18” Aluminum Rods
    (2) 12″ Steel Rods
    (2) 8″ steel rods for top mount
    (1) Drive clip-on holder for 19mm rods

    Bonus Included
    (2) Soft box daylight balanced / tungsten lights + monfrotto case
    (1) FlyCam 5000 Vest and Steadycam (not meant for red but included in package – good for most DSLR (1) Cineroid EVF for monitoring and viewing
    (1) Official guide to red cam book

  • I predict a bad ending for Jannard unless he makes amends to all of the companies he’s ruined with lawsuits and to all of the ruined reputations. He knows who they are. What goes around comes around.