September 16, 2014

RED Introduces 7" 1080p Touchscreen, Interchangeable OLPFs, & More

RED Digital Cinema joined a number of other companies in announcing new products over the last few days.

These include a new 7" monitor, interchangeable OLPFs, the beginning of DRAGON sensor upgrades for SCARLET (and a $3,000 price increase on those coming in December), and the ability to shoot video and stills over Gigabit Ethernet tethered to a computer. We also know that the Broadcast Module, Sidewinder, and Switchblade-M control interface announced at NAB are all now shipping. In addition, we've got some third-party wireless control solutions coming out thanks to OFFHOLLYWOOD and the foolcontrol iOS app. 

7" 1080p Touchscreen LCD

First up, is a brand new 7" 1080p touchscreen monitor, which is RED proprietary as the rest of their monitors, and must be powered through the EVF/LCD cable on the camera:

o Resolution: 1920 x 1136 o Pixel Density: 323 pixels per inch o Refresh Rate: 60 Hz o Response Time: 23 ms o Contrast: 1000:1 o Brightness: 350 cd/m2 / NITS o Color Gamut NTSC 70% o Viewing Angle: 85° all axes o Touch: Projected Capacitive (PCAP), multi-touch o Redesigned hinge smaller and stronger with a range of motion: ±180° rotation (near 360°), ±90° tilt o Mounting: 1/4-20 mounting rail o Progressive Scan 4:4:4 8 Bit RGB o Power Consumption: 5.5 W o Size: 185 mm (width) x 13 mm (depth) x 181 mm (height, with hinge) o Weight: 1.22 lbs o Operating Temperature: 0°C to 40°C (32°F to 104°F) o Storage Temperature: –20°C to 50°C (–4°F to 122°F) o Buttons: Up, Down, User 1, User 2 o Flip / Mirror o Availability: October o Price: $2,950

This is the first monitor of this resolution from RED, and though it seems a little costly, it's going to retail for less than their 9" touch, which is a bit large for the size of the RED body. The 5" touch is now looking very behind the times with its 800 x 480 resolution (though I will say, peaking on that monitor works very well). For the first time, a RED monitor will be capable of flipping, which is helpful in lots of situations (but its unclear if this will come to any of their other monitors).

Interchangeable OLPFs

A lot of debate has surrounded RED's DRAGON OLPF situation. The optical low pass filter, which prevents false detail and rainbow patterns in an image, is a tricky part to engineer, and it's part of the reason companies like Blackmagic have avoided them altogether. There is a balance with the design of these glass filters that will result in increases or decreases in apparent sharpness, but with RED's OLPF, they've had to deal with some other issues.

The first version of the OLPF, now referred to as the low-light OLPF or V1 OLPF, was released when DRAGON first arrived, and while it allowed more light into the sensor, it suffered from significant flares when a strong enough light source presented itself in the shot (a lot of these can be seen in the Cinemax show The Knick). RED corrected this with the second version of their OLPF, or V2 OLPF (now called the skintone-highlight OLPF), and while they improved color accuracy and infrared pollution, and distributed highlight/shadows more evenly around middle grey, the shadows became more noisy because less light is reaching the sensor. This brought the low-light performance of the camera back down to the MX (or worse).

With the news of interchangeable OLPFs, RED is trying to give users some options for different lighting situations until they release a DRAGON standard OLPF, which will split the difference between the two OLPFs, and as the name suggests, will come standard in all new cameras when it is released a few months from now. 

RED Skin Tone OLPF

These are the two OLPFs available to buy right now (which are coming at the end of this month):

These are the OLPFs they are currently working on for the interchangeable system besides the two they have already (They will cost $195 each):

  • Underwater : Tuned for underwater shooting 
  • IR Monochrome : Tuned for shooting B&W IR images. 
  • IR Color: Tuned for shooting Color IR images
  • Dragon Standard : In the middle of the "Low Light Optimized" and the "Skin Tone - Highlight" 
  • Monochrome: Standard Monochrome OLPF

If you take shipment of the camera after these start shipping, you won't have to do anything, the cameras will already come to you ready to accept these new OLPFs with a simple screw change. 

If you have already taken shipment of a SCARLET or EPIC DRAGON, or will before these start shipping, you'll have to either send your camera back to RED (you pay shipping there, they pay it back), or you'll have to get a kit to modify the camera yourself. The modification will be free whichever method you choose, but if you get the modification kit sent to you, it will cost $100 upfront, which will be credited back to you once you send back the OLPF that was already in your camera (in the kit you'll receive a new OLPF in the housing already so you won't need the old OLPF anyway).

This interchangeable OLPF system opens up a lot of interesting options for modifying the image, including adding low contrast or other similar kinds of filters in front of the sensor (it is believed the ALEXA uses a slight low contrast filter). It's also possible that ND filters could be developed for behind the lens, but right now RED is exploring third party solutions — so we could see lots of different filters for behind the lens.

The downside to all of this, obviously, is the fact that you're opening the camera up to more contaminants. There is still one piece of glass protecting the sensor, besides the OLPF, but that's the last line of defense before the fragile sensor. You're going to want to be extra careful doing a modification like this, and double and triple check that there is no dust on the sensor glass and on the back of the OLPF, as these will be harder to remove once everything has been installed (and to remove dust you'd have to take off the mount again and then the OLPF). 

SCARLET DRAGON Upgrades & Price Increases

Jarred said in the forum that SCARLET DRAGON upgrades were beginning, and went on to add:

If you are an Epic owner and still waiting for your call you should of already been notified. Contact your rep if you haven't and if need help getting your upgrade sorted as soon as you can, as the price for all Dragon Sensor upgrades is going to go up on December 1st to $12,500. For monochrome, will go up to $15,000.

That's a $3,000 increase from the original $9,500 upgrade, so if you've been on the fence about upgrading, you don't have long to decide before the price is going to go up dramatically. This isn't the first time we've seen RED increase prices for something after it's been available, as they've had their fair share of increases to go along with some dramatic price drops.

Tethered Recording

Using the Gig-E port on the camera, you'll be able to capture still images and record full motion 6K video, though there are some limits to the compression and frame rates. Here's more from Jarred on this setup, which will be recording R3D files straight to the computer:

R3D's Written off camera. Either to your laptop drive or an external drive hooked up through your Thunderbolt/USB 3.0 port on your laptop. No cap on Resolution, as the resolution/frame rates go up the REDCODE needs to as well to compensate. This is an obvious workflow for the stills guys. You can grab 3:2 6K stills with super low compression stills or bursts of stills. For Motion, you can expect to shoot 6K @ 24fps around Redcode 10:1 till the Gig-E pipe gets saturated.

Their intention is that this will be helpful for photographers shooting in a studio with RED so they can immediately see higher resolution files, but there are lots of applications for video as well. If you're really trying to avoid RED media for certain situations, this setup would allow you to do that. This could be especially useful for very long recording sessions where you want one complete file and don't want to heavily compress to fit on one card. 

OFFHOLLYWOOD Hotlink, Hotbox R/S WiFi, HotTap, & foolcontrol iOS App

RED recently opened up their camera control to third parties, which means we are now starting to see other companies take advantage of the open protocol. The first of these includes both hardware and software controllers that work together. From OFFHOLLYWOOD, the Hotlink will run $450 and adds WiFi control to your RED with the foolcontrol iOS app. Hotbox R/S WiFi starts at $1,550, and is a power distribution box that also includes a Hotlink inside it for wireless control. Lastly, the HotTap is a P-Tap (D-Tap) distribution box and starts at $300.

For more info check out the post over at REDuser, and check out the OFFHOLLYWOOD site.

And here is a look at the foolcontrol app ($100 for SCARLET, $200 for EPIC, $420 for unlimited licenses), which is necessary to get wireless control out of the OFFHOLLYWOOD hardware:

NextVR Virtual Reality Camera System with RED DRAGONs

Here's something pretty crazy Jarred showed off in the forum from a company called NextVR, which specializes in "capturing and delivering immersive, high-definition, live and recorded virtual reality experiences":

NextVR is releasing their Virtual Reality Camera System at IBC and you can check out their rig in our booth outfitted with 6 Dragons as well as a very cool VR demo of stuff they have shot. 

RED DRAGON NextVR Rig

Your Comment

21 Comments

I Love the monitor but, why increase Scarlett? always the price it`s increasing :S It's my impossible love.

September 16, 2014 at 2:37AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7486

It's not just SCARLET, the price for all DRAGON sensor upgrades is going up to $12,500.

September 16, 2014 at 2:44AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

Yes it's truth the final price for the scarlett it's more for the new sensor only not for the camera in self.

September 16, 2014 at 8:09AM

19
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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7486

As the rep at IBC told me when I said I wasn't shooting RED because of the high cost: 'Argh, RED's not THAT expensive, right?' :p

September 16, 2014 at 4:27AM

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Jeroen Rommelaars
Animator - Videographer - Motion Tracking
970

yes.... in my job, my executive producer, tell me why buy scarlett for XX.000 dolars/euros if Blackmagic have 4k for 3.000 :S....

And now how do you convinced for buy RED...

September 19, 2014 at 2:58AM

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Ragüel Cremades
Film producer and director
7486

Wow! 6k thru the gig-e port I didn't know that was possible

September 16, 2014 at 7:25AM

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David Sharp
Video Editor, Cinematographer, Teacher
419

It's compressed only (min 3:1), so that's probably why there is enough bandwidth.

September 16, 2014 at 12:23PM

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Ed Jones
288

what about 24K? how many K's do we need? where's the ceiling?

September 17, 2014 at 1:33AM

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PinZ
Director / Writer / Producer
241

"The Dragon: Epic Price Increases!"

Yeah, don't put that on the headlines.

September 16, 2014 at 8:22AM, Edited September 16, 8:22AM

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I'm starting to be annoyed by this company. I bought a scarlet. Their price policy is total non sense. Dragon is still having many issues. And they put a knife under my throat telling me, one day after the announcement of the scarlet upgrade program, that i just have 2 monthes to accept. Or I will have to pay 12500. A new dragon scarlet is 14500.... So where is obsolescence obsolete? It means that my scarlet will be worth 2000$ in their mind. And in the best case, if i accept now, it's 5000. They're making it sound like they are so nice to their customers, with incredible offering. But I don't see anything that I can't obtain by just selling my camera on ebay. I had great expectations regarding dragon. Because once again red was super optimistic. But i read all these comparisons articles where people have to push their footage into unrealistic shooting situations, pushing them by 10 stops to be able to see a tiny difference that you're not even sure to see. Now we have to change the olpf depending on what we shoot ..... and they're trying to market it as an incredible new option. Selling (again) new olpf for underwater etc. Regarding all the new 4k cameras, plus the new comers emerging every 2 monthes, I was expecting a price decrease. Then, larger field of view, a bit more slow mo, a bit more sensitivity, would have been a plus on my scarlet. But now I just want to sell it and buy something from another greedy company that has the guts to not deny it at least. Where is the 12500 difference?

September 16, 2014 at 8:27AM, Edited September 16, 8:27AM

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JoachimV
552

I sold my RED EPIC and purchsed black magic production camera 4K. And I am happy :-)

September 16, 2014 at 10:44AM, Edited September 16, 10:44AM

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How is your storage system holding up? I find the BMC4K, while a cool little camera produces files that are so huge, I can't use it in production.

September 16, 2014 at 2:43PM

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Thomas Koch
Director/DoP
196

If he's switching from an Epic if anything the BMPC4k was easier if not the same as far as file size goes

September 16, 2014 at 3:08PM

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Charles C.
Editor/ Director/ Director of Photography/ Wannabe Thinker
1037

Actually epic files are significantly smaller. With 10:1 compression which I shoot at a lot, 30 minutes fits on a 64gig card. 30 minutes of bmc4k is nearing 500 gigs.

September 17, 2014 at 1:00AM

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Thomas Koch
Director/DoP
196

Does anyone really care about Red anymore (other than all the scary members of the Red community) ? With all the new cameras announced in the past few months by trustworthy companies like Panasonic, Arri and Sony, I think Red's has become "obsolete". And also: will it ever ship ?

September 16, 2014 at 10:49AM, Edited September 16, 10:49AM

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I must admit it's true. On red.com, in the "shot on red" section, there was plenty of movies 2-3 years ago. Now it seems they have some difficulties to update it. I have a red, but if i had the money i would buy an alexa in a heart beat. I hate their agressiveness toward even their customers. I guess if they were acting less like arrogant cowboys, they would have more sympathy from the pros. It was working when they were alone in the market but now the game is totally different. I'm bored to be a red customer that can't open his mouth on their forum to tell that something is wrong without having their representative answer that if you're not happy you can go f*** yourself. Plus the fact that many people want nice organic colors, not 24k.

September 16, 2014 at 11:02AM

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JoachimV
552

I agree with Joachim

I can't remember the last time I worked on a major feature that was shot on anything but an Alexa. Even smaller indies, that used to be RED's domain, are now often shot on Alexa. Commercials and television are all Alexa.

I think the Sony F5/F55 were a serious blow to Red and must have lured away a lot of their customers.

I don't think BM and to a certain extent Canon are cannibalizing RED too badly, because they are generally priced lower than a Scarlett and certainly the Epic.

Red deserves credit for helping to get the digital revolution going, but they sure have fumbled the ball.

September 16, 2014 at 12:44PM

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Ed Jones
288

Red Is stupidly overated... smh. Get A BMCC 4K!

September 16, 2014 at 5:53PM

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Wentworth Kelly
DP/Colorist/Drone Op
2356

To see how "full of it" Red Founder Jim Jannard is, watch the Oakley "Disruptive" promo. The guy thinks he's Thomas Edison or Einstein.

September 17, 2014 at 12:41PM

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Putting all the specs, fan boyism, haterism, and antics from the company aside, only after shooting on dragon do I feel that my work finally looks like it could be out of a real feature film. Theres something about the feel of the camera. I will gladly continue to shoot on it.

September 17, 2014 at 10:00PM

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Indie Guy
1265

I agree w/ Ryan. The exposure results out of Dragon are more akin to working w/ film. Its a complete monster and eats up highlights w/ room for more. No more fighting w/ ND and IR to prevent clipped highs. I pointed the Dragon out the window during a midday sunny after noon and was blown away - I was able to get a fat exposure w/ no clipping at 500ISO at around T2.5!

I'm working w/ a local MX red owner to shoot comparison videos and hope to have something online in a few weeks while also comparing Rokina, Canon and Zeiss Contax lenses while we're at it. We intend to do lowlight, practical setups one may use for narratives, daylight and charts.

Thanks

September 18, 2014 at 2:55PM

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Daniel Reed
Hat Collector
1413