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RED ONE MX Out of Stock, CEO Jim Jannard Says He's Not Retiring Soon, and He's a 48FPS Convert

11.16.12 @ 7:54AM Tags : , , , ,

That didn’t take long. Two weeks is as long as the stock lasted on the Battle-Tested RED ONE MX cameras. It’s likely going to be the end of the road for new sales of MX cameras, though I guess with RED, never say never. Certainly if you were looking to get in on a real cinema camera with RAW output, it was a fantastic deal even if, as I’ve heard at least a hundred times, that you can’t actually put together a working camera for $4,ooo. Also, since we decided to cover it in the first place, turns out Mr. Jannard wasn’t being quite as forthcoming with the timeline on retirement as we originally thought.

Here is what Jim said about his previous comments:

I guess my post was a bit tongue in cheek. The caveat in the post was getting out Dragon and “the New Technology”. The “New Technology” will take a bit of time… so apparently that means I won’t be retiring tomorrow.

Sorry if my playful nature was taken wrong. There is still a lot to do.

What is true is Jarred’s ever increasing role at RED. He now does more than I do. God love him. :-)

I think this means we can expect to get more interesting late night posts for some time. It’s not clear what this “New Technology” is, but it will be interesting to see if RED really tries to push the boundaries as far as the way movies have traditionally been shot. He’s talked about RED working on a moving version of the tech used in the Lytro camera, but what RED might be working on is anyone’s guess. It’s probably not the 3D camera they were showing as a prototype a while ago, as interest seems to be waning for that format in many circles, and they have heavily invested in making EPICs work inside 3D rigs.

Jim also has said some interesting things about the new Hobbit film shot in 48fps:

When I 1st heard that PJ would shoot the Hobbit at 48fps… I was skeptical. To me, 24fps was “sometime”. 48fps was “this morning”.

I have to say that I am now a convert. The way this was shot (thank Andrew Lesnie), the VFX and Gollum… 48fps is “other worldly”. In a good way. A way you have never experienced before.

Peter is much smarter than I thought. And I always thought he was pretty smart.

48fps on this movie is like nothing you have ever seen… magnificent.

Wipe your mind of preconceived notions. Forget “the will of the mass mind”. This is just plain better.

There are so many reasons why to watch this movie…

The initial response was somewhat lukewarm from many who had seen a preview of 10 minutes of Hobbit footage in 48fps, and while it’s looking like it will get a significant release in that format — around 450 screens so far — the majority of showings will be in the traditional 24fps. The big deal about 48fps is that it can make for a better 3D experience, but whether it can make for a better 2D experience, I personally am not yet convinced, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. The Hobbit will only be shown in 48fps in 3D, though, and the other screenings will be derived from that master converted to 24fps.

As for the RED ONE MXs, if you got in on the deal, we’ll have more coverage about what you might need to get started relatively soon. If you haven’t already read it, I’ve also joined the RED ecosystem as well with a RED SCARLET, so while we won’t be covering RED exclusively, we are definitely aware that there are many more RED users in our community than there were even six months ago.

If you are a RED user, it would be great if you could comment if you never have on this site before — as we’re looking to get some real feedback from our audience about the cameras and about what people want to know about.

As for 48fps, what do you guys think? Are you going to go see The Hobbit in that format?



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  • Great, another 48fps proponent. Of course in Jannard case it’s a marketing decision.

    • Clayton Arnall on 11.16.12 @ 11:32AM

      Ha, yes exactly what I was thinking

    • people were saying similar things about color back in the late 1920s. High frame rate 3-D is just another step towards replicating human perception. Criticisms like this will die down just like they have with 24p stereo.

      • Daniel Mimura on 11.22.12 @ 8:18AM

        Rght…and that sort of thinking is probably why Michael Mann’s been shooting with a greater than 180º shutter.

        Yes, 24fps and a 180º is a convention…but it looks good and a wider shutter looks stupid unless you’re doing an LSD trip scene.

        And criticism of 24p 3D has only died down b/c people’ve more or less chosen 2D over it for most recent releases.

    • Hey look at grandpa, he’s so funny

  • I have noticed about the freaky disscount for Red One mx, reading the mail from your magazine. Thanks to share. I was quite nervous since the first dissscount announcement. When Red CEO talked about the limitations of the disscounts, i was honestly desesperate. So, i want to say thanks to you people, to make me and a friend, a RedOne’s owners. Excuse my poor ingles, haha.

  • I’m very interested to see what The Hobbit will look like at 48fps. The original frame rate to shoot and watch film was 48. The only reason 24fps is the standard is because back at the dawn of filmmaking 24fps was a way to save money on film but not too low a frame rate that sound would be distorted.

  • Interesting comments from Jim on 48fps, I’m definitely seeing The Hobbit at 24 frames the first time, but the second? I think the “otherworldly” comment has me a little less dismissive of it.

    • That’s my plan as well, to see it for the first time in 24fps and 2D, so I’m not distracted by a new format, and can have the cinema experience I’m used to, and enjoy the story. And then, go back later to try the 48fps 3D with an open mind, and see what I think.

      Like Joe M., I’m suspicious of 48fps in 2D.

  • 48 fps to my knowledge has never been 48, it was orginially 12, then with the intro of sound it moved up to 24

    • Daniel Mimura on 11.22.12 @ 8:22AM

      SIlent was typically 16-18fps, not 12, although there were a lot of things that’ve been tried.

      Douglas Trumball’s Showscan format was originally 60fps (I think his New Coke digital showscan is 48fps).

  • I went out and shot some 48fps after reading this “otherworldly” post, and I must say, after initially dismissing the format for narrative acquisition, 48fps with a 270 degree shutter does have a nice look. certainly nice to have options.

    • Yay! Freedom and progress. And 450 screens to show off on.

    • Same here. I went out and did some tests and it’s not that weird. Does not look like the smooth motion setting on HDTVs at all (like some are comparing it too). It’s closer to the look of 30p than it is to 60p. That’s just my own perception though, other people might see it differently.

      • it didn’t feel like 30 or 60 to my eye, was quite sharp and motion seemed similar to 24 but with less motion blur. did another test with 48 @ 270 degree vs 24 @ 90 and 45 and there is a distinct difference, 48fps doesnt feel like a skinny shutter @24. very hard to describe.

  • I find when looking at anything over 24fps on a tv/projected it looks wrong to me. When I see the real world movement seems to fall in my mind within 24fps, probably due to the way the eye constantly shifts/moves and breaks up the movement or the brain processes data.

  • Whoa, everyone’s converting to the Faster FPS!

  • ruben huizenga on 11.16.12 @ 11:06AM

    It seems to me that when less information is presented,
    ie 24 fps, real effects, (not super panoramic cgi ) maybe even..God forbid..less resolution,
    then more is left to the imagination.
    Things like motion blur, Chewbacca suits, good pacing and framing all help us suspend our disbelief, and
    pull us into the story.
    How many have been captivated by single photograph?
    How can we “escape” into the dreamy world of “the Hobbit” when it looks like a hyper realistic sportscast?

    • How does a viewer escape in the theatre? Would you rub vaseline in your eyes until your imagination started working?

      • It’s an interesting question, and certainly more resolution (temporal or spatial) is not always better. My own web series The West Side, for example, would not have worked as well if it had been in HD, I believe. However, that was partially because there was no budget for production design and in SD we didn’t have to worry as much about background details that would give away NYC as, well, modern-day NYC — and kill suspension of disbelief.

        • Ryan- I am in love with The West Side. Photography, lighting, sound design, score and overall “feel” of that universe is extraordinary, not to mention that the VFX is so appropriate and subtle. What did you shoot it on?

        • And I just realized that it was that which put you on the map, for a lack of a better term. The topic is probably long past relevant discussion as everyone on here except me, probably already knew about it. Nonetheless, super impressive, echoed by popular sentiment obviously.

        • I wouldn’t ever argue that an image with more resolution or information is inherently better than one with less, I’m well aware that every project demands its own unique treatment. But Ruben’s comment seems to suggest that “realistic” images and narrative engagement are mutually exclusive. If there is an engaging story to be had in a movie then I can’t imagine either a very degraded or very refined image will be noticeable for very long.

      • ruben huizenga on 11.16.12 @ 2:47PM

        well, maybe.. at least figuratively.
        the frame guides the eye, as does focus and detail..

        • The combination of faster frames and fantasy films are opposed.
          Faster frames can work in video games.
          But video games are not stories..people want hyper realtiy
          there because they live in them.

          In narrative we are not participants…
          …but viewers and makebelievers.
          What is 24 fps..optical diffusion…
          and yes even closeups…???….they all involve tossing out info.
          and hypnotizing you to believe the illusion is real.

          • I don’t really agree with that.

            I would LOVE to see a fantasy film that was really inmersive, that really felt like looking through a window. The problem is that everything needs to be 100% realistic as well, from the lighting to every single minuscule prop.

            The people who got to watch the first chunk of 48 fps Hobbit said that CGI and real aerial stuff was amazing. They were the sets that felt cheap.

  • All these people buying reds, and I’m just sitting here, mast- I mean with my T2i.

  • People keep talking about the fact that 24fps is the default because it was established a long time ago, but what no-one mentions is that we’ve stuck with it for so long because it works. Not just because it was easier. B&W was easier than colour. Silent was easier than sound. We changed those things because they made the films better. We did it because the audience wanted it. We did it because there was a demand.

    48fps and 4K (and more) aren’t being driven by demand, they’re being driven by supply and that is the cart before the horse in anyone’s book.

    So I love that we can shoot high frame rates and I love we can have increased resolution but in most cases we wont use them, because we don’t need them. We need what we’ve always needed.

    Good stories told by good storytellers.

    • So true, I think that it is the first time I see someone show this example. Yes 24p survive until now, while black and white and Silent died because their was a true need. All this 4k thing is driven by marketing. On one side it is the camera and projectors makers that want to sell their gear. On the other side it will be the film industry to try and sell higher ticket price. But in the end, I never was bothered by 2k projection even trying to look for it (pixel). What bother me more is motion rendition and DR. If one or the other is not right, it makes me jump right out of the film.

    • Amen brother. You could throw 3d in there too… I think there is something magical about 24fps.

    • But then, weren’t the first audiences of colour films and likewise “talkies” heavily marketed to in order to persuade them to enjoy a new experience? I’m pretty sure there was no worldwide vote that films should be in colour before somebody invented it and it was thrown at audiences.

      • It’s annoying when people argue that the change from B&W to color and silent to “talkies” is somehow the same as 2D to 3D or 2k to 4k or 24fps to 48fps. 3D, 4k, and 48fps do not help tell a better story. Color and sound are huge story telling tools and entire languages in themselves.

  • Yep, I’m a recent convert to the RED Scarlet, and I do frequent this site often, but this is my first comment here. I own a production company in the Chicago area and it made sense to jump on board while the jumping is good, and while the ecosystem involved is more costly than the traditional DSLR productions, it is definitely a better bet for future proof acquisition as 4K Ultra-High-Definition TVs hit the market. I also think it is a great tool, but the real telling will be in actual productions with it. It is an investment like anything else.

  • i was on the fence for 2 weeks about buying a red one until it was too late.
    Not sure how I feel about it, not that it matters, i guess my next option is the bmcc.
    I like the idea of a camera with a screen just in case you have to go ultra guerilla style.
    looking forward to its delayed release.
    a lot of bad ass tools out there.

  • I was considering the Red One for 2 weeks since the announcement. Do I want a $4K RED that shoots amazing pictures? Of course. But what is the life expectancy? The R1 is before the “Obsolescence Obsolete” revolution; if the R1 was upgradeable it would be a no-brainer. But since it isn’t, it’s girlfriend, not a wife.

    My pennies will be saved for an Epic. The best thing about that is that you maximum options in every direction. The problem with the R1 is that you have none; just a great 4.5K image.

    • Daniel Mimura on 11.22.12 @ 9:02AM

      Yes, R1 is no longer being developed. It’s an “end of life” camera, to use Red’s own terminology.

      But I disagree about life expectancy. Since they shoot 4k (even debayered 4.5k is 3.7k, which is pretty damned good, considering we’re using so much less resolution for most 4k prints)…I expect the life to last a good long while.

      Even looking at Redcolor3 and Redgamma3 compared to what went before…old footage had new life based on color science.

      And older cameras have the quirks ironed out. The BMCC…with the ports in your face on the “smart” side (irony—cuz it’s pretty dumb), with the weird sound implementation, the fact that the RAW is uncompressed, the small sensor, the dim screen…all these are quirks that you don’t get in an end of life product.

      I see 4k as a plateau…maybe someday some other format will prevail, but this is the first camera since my 16mm camera that has the potential to have value longer than 2 years. Digital cameras have the same problems as computers now…Moore’s law… Every 18 months, there will be something faster, or more resolution…etc…

      But when you get a camera that outdoes every video standard (except that totally crazy BBC/NHK 8K prototype) as well as the still under 50% converted to 4k theatrical standard, there is no way it’s going to age badly. Even processing the footage…as computers get faster, red rocket cards become less important. 2 or 3 more years and it might not be necessary at all. And only by then would your computer even be likely (possibly) to have 4k by then to view it.

      I saw the Social Network on a 4k screen (even though that was a prototype of the MX, and they didn’t have the 4.5k mode yet, meaning it was 4k before debayering, not 3.7k after)…if that was good enough for a big hollywood film and it looked flawless…it’s good enough for anything I could conceivably need…in anything I shoot unless I’m gonna shoot a feature in 70mm or something.

      After all, 35mm has been the “standard” (despite there being vistavision and 70mm, vertical or horizontal)…and if this camera meets the requirements of this standard, it doesn’t really need to beat that…it makes the mark.

      The difference is, if a few years ago I even could’ve gotten a 35mm camera (for as cheaply as I got a BTR1MX), it would’ve meant I had the canvas and the brushes, but still no way to afford the paint. Film was expensive, and now, even though the R1 does take some bandwidth over smaller digital formats, it’s not even the same ballpark having to pay for hard drives as buying film. The threshold has been reached, the plateau is there, tech-wise…and the prices are finally dropping for last year’s technology. This camera is only 2 years old…several months younger than my 7D…but the price has dropped to less than a 20% of the initial cost…it made my decision to buy a used R1 really easy.

  • I haven’t commented much here before, I’m a Scarlet owner. I pulled the trigger just before midnight on the last day the introductory pricing was available (back when they were first released.) It was a huge decision for me, as I had only rented cameras previously.

    Over the years I came close to buying many cameras (HVX200, EX3, 5D) but always got hung up on something about them I didn’t like. With Scarlet I finally felt like I was making almost no sacrifices (except the empty bank account afterwards.) Its more camera than I really need for what I do, but I’m looking forward to growing into it.

    I’d love to see stories on this site about how to spend as little as possible on accessories, and still get good results. Getting the base camera package wiped me out, so most RED accessories are out of reach for me for now.

    • +1 to that.

      I just picked up one of the Red One MXs. It seems like there is such a huge gulf between the price points of accessories for DSLR and Red One. Would love to see articles about rigs, sliders, and other accessories that can support the weight of the Red One but at lower price points than Red or Zacuto gear.

      Thanks Ryan, amazing website.

  • My BT Scarlet just came in the mail today. Would love to see stuff on workflow and post production hardware. Without a good solution for post shoot RED becomes very difficult. Also a lot of people butcher RED footage because of poor workflow practices.

  • Hello, my name is Justin and I’m a RED owner. Now that we got that out of the way, I’m also a Canon, Sony and hopefully soon BMCC owner as well. I’ve always been a fan of faster frame rates for the post options. I think it will take a few years for 48fps to catch on because the motion blending TV’s of several years ago have left a bitter taste but the current generation of high frame rate video game fanatics that will help push it to the masses…

    • Daniel Mimura on 11.22.12 @ 9:24AM

      If anything, I worry that those tv’s will make more people accepting of weird motion.

  • Silent speed was 18 FPS, this is why the Keystone Kops look the way it did on early TV, with 24 FPS playback. The quick Keystone Kop look was never seen when they first ran in theaters back in the silent days

    I find nothing magical about 24 FPS, it was just an artifical standard chosen because it was the minimum speed for optical sound. It wouldn’t bother me to see either 48 FPS 2D or 60 FPS 2D.

    • Not quite true, both filming and playback were variable framerate and was faster/slower for creative reasons. Different projectionists would play different parts of a movie at the speed they personally thought worked best.

      • Daniel Mimura on 11.22.12 @ 9:29AM

        Yeah, and the Keystone cops in particular were undercranked, whereas something like a Douglas Fairbanks picture (i.e. not a slapstick comedy) would be cranked around 18fps. That was the “normal” speed, and that’s been sped up on modern screenings, but not as much as the Keystone Cops.

  • Managed to get in an order for a REDONE.
    I always liked the look of the camera. And the price was very right for me to get one personally.
    Having worked on productions using R1, Epic, alexa, 5d, 7d, and a bunch of ENG cameras, I’ve found that post workflow is always different. Easier with alexa prores, but not really that different in the end result if the filmed content is well litt and interesting. Story is king :)

    But people like different things, and I like the RED :)

    Now I am just scrounging around to get it nice and shootable, borrowing stuff.
    What I’d like to se more of on this site is cinematography, lens choosing on shoots and lighting.

    Where to get RED compattible gear is also interesting, but this site should continue to cater to everyone like it does now :)

    Can’t wait to see the Hobbit in 48. I don’t know if I will like it, but attleast I haven’t made up my mind yet like the rest of the internet…

  • soon there will be Epic “battle tested” for a half price… just wait….

  • I send a couple of emails, but I don’t think they are going to show the Hobbit in The Netherlands nor Belgium :( sucks for us!

  • My bet the new tech is Lightfield Monstro. Bigger 70mm-ish sensor (hell, maybe even like 15-perf IMAX 70mm), 10K flat raw video, 3 or 4K selective focus “Lytro” video and things like that. Now THAT is revolutionary.

  • I’ll be watching The Hobbit at 48fps 3D, purely because that’s how the filmmaker intended it to be seen. Also, who am I to say I know that the movie will look better in 2D? I can only image PJ and the team have done their homework before spending 100s of millions of dollars, and I think that we should respect their decisions as filmmakers. Aren’t we all in this to experience something extraordinary, something we’ve never seen or felt before? Perhaps 48fps will be part of that new experience. Either way you’ll never know if you don’t try. Heck if you hate the look, go again in 2D, but at least you’ll know you pushed your horizons and didn’t rest on your preconceived ideas.. I won’t use the analogy of sound being introduced in the 20s…