Whatever your opinion of the company might be, RED makes some absolutely fantastic products. From their line of ever-improving camera systems (which have become fairly ubiquitous in the industry), to the plethora of unique accessories that have been made specifically to augment and enhance their cameras, the folks at RED are never satisfied with the status quo. On Friday, RED introduced a new piece of equipment that is sure to find its way into the hands of many professional filmmakers. Introducing the RED 3-Axis Lens Control System, perhaps one of the most versatile wireless lens controllers ever created. Check out the details below:
We've talked about wireless follow focus units before, both the professional and DIY variety. The units that we've covered haven't been particularly high-end in terms of their features. Most of the more affordable systems are only single channel/single motor - meaning that they can only be used to control one aspect of the lens (either focus, zoom, or iris) at a time. However, there are several systems available that allow you to use a single device to control 3 individual separate channels. That's the category that the RED 3-Axis Control System fits into.
Here's the description of the system from AbelCine:
The RED 3-AXIS LENS CONTROL SYSTEM is a turn-key wireless lens control kit for driving focus, iris and zoom. This system includes the RED T.H.C. (TACTICAL HAND CONTROLLER), RED W.M.D. (WIRELESS MOTOR DRIVER), and 3x RED LENS CONTROL MOTORS that can fit both 19mm and 15mm rail systems. For ultra-quiet, high-torque lens control, the RED 3-AXIS LENS CONTROL SYSTEM delivers a complete solution that features rotating a drive cable connector, interchangeable mounting brackets, and swappable drive gears (0.8mm gears included). With its modular design and tool-less installation, the RED 3-AXIS LENS CONTROL SYSTEM delivers precise lens control capability for any setup or configuration.
Here are some snazzy product photos of the 3-Axis system:
Also, be sure to head over to this here Vimeo page to check out the quick-start video, which shows just how easy to use this system is (it couldn't be embedded here).
There are several unique features about the RED 3-Axis Lens Control System. Beyond the incredibly powerful motors and the fact that you adapt the lens control motors to either 15mm or 19mm rods, there's one feature that sets this system apart from all of the competing products on the market. The system injects lens metadata straight into your R3D files. Here's Jarred from RED:
Apart from the obvious features, one of the biggest advantages of using the RED system is that the WMD can inject metadata directly into the R3D files including Lens make, model, and focal length, frame by frame focus zoom and iris readings ( even on lenses without LDS or i Data ).
As expected, the 3-Axis system is definitely not an inexpensive item. For the entire package, which includes everything in the above photograph and a nifty hard case, you're looking at $14,500 MSRP, which pretty much makes this a rental-only item for most people.
Head on over to AbelCine's site to learn more about the RED 3-Axis Lens Control System.
What do you guys think? Have you used 3-axis controllers before? How do you think the RED stacks up against the competition? Let us know in the comments!