February 20, 2015

RED Has Announced a New Camera Upgrade for DRAGON Sensors Called WEAPON

RED DRAGON Weapon Upgrade
Jarred Land of RED has been teasing what some thought was a camera accessory, but has now been unveiled as a camera body upgrade for all DRAGON sensors.

The new WEAPON camera is going to be a paid upgrade announced at NAB, and will only be compatible for those who've upgraded to DRAGON. Jarred mentioned that both EPIC DRAGON and SCARLET DRAGON will be able to benefit from the upgrade, but it's unclear how much of a price difference there will be between the two options.

[Update 4]: Jarred has spoken, and it looks like WEAPON will stay the official name of the new camera (this is after a lengthy discussion on REDUser). For those concerned about the branding for security reasons, or maybe you just don't like seeing the word WEAPON on the camera, RED is going to offer a stealth version without the branding:

Appreciate the candid discussion and all the feedback. 
The name is here to stay. 
There are some of you with genuine security concerns and for those that would prefer we will be offering a "stealth" Weapon without the Weapon branding engraved on it... simple check box at the time of order.

[Update 3]: The SCARLET DRAGON and EPIC DRAGON camera will stay in RED's line for quite some time, even after the release of WEAPON. Even though MX upgrades will end in the summer, they will still be selling new DRAGON cameras alongside the new WEAPON cameras. There will also be more than one WEAPON camera body, and an upgrade option for SCARLET DRAGON owners to go to the best WEAPON camera if they choose:

There is more than one Weapon and there is a path for Scarlet (dragon) owners to go to Weapon. 

Of course we are... Epic Dragon and Scarlet Dragon will remain in the line for quite some time.

Giovanni Ribisi Holding RED WEAPON Camera

[Update 2]: Looks like the WEAPON brain itself will be about the same length as the current EPIC brain, but can actually be shorter depending on the modules attached. That means there will be no ENG-style clone of ALEXA/F55 coming from RED. There will be different I/O modules that give various configurations of HD-SDI/HDMI, etc. The picture below was recently posted (I brightened it slightly), and it shows what Jarred called the Legacy I/O module, which has HDMI, HD-SDI, and what looks like Mini-XLR. It also looks like the side of the camera has controls and an LCD, possibly for controlling the camera without needing a touchscreen (though we do know the camera will have WiFi).

RED WEAPON DRAGON Upgrade I/O XL Battery Module

The current monitoring solutions will work on the new camera with an adapter:

There will be an adapter to make current LEMO monitoring/touchscreen options work with Weapon.

Here's Jarred in the forum (a number of modules will probably not work on the new camera):

Weapon brain is actually almost half an inch shorter than the Epic brain, and when you add the modules there is no adapter needed and things get much more compact ( the base IO for example only adds 3/8" of an inch to the body ) For super compact setups, where you may not even need the base IO, just the battery module, you can skip the IO module completely.

Some modules like the plus one module become redundant, since there are now 2 LCD/EVF connections on the Weapon brain itself.

REDVOLT XL batteries work fine... the existing REDVOLT XL module does not. Foundational change to how that all works which is why we could delete that adapter module. We also built alot of the old modules into the brain itself, things like the additional LCD/EVF connection, wireless control, etc. etc.

The Weapon Redvolt XL module has 2 x 2 pin AUX power outputs now ( 1 more than the current XL battery module ) . So will the AB and V-lock options. Certain other modules will have additional AUX. power outputs depending on their use.

[Update]: Jarred has clarified that EPIC MX owners will be able to upgrade to DRAGON after NAB, but that the option to upgrade to DRAGON will be going away sometime this summer as those lines switch over to DRAGON to WEAPON upgrade lines:

You do not need to upgrade to Dragon before NAB to be eligible for Weapon. 

You do need to upgrade to dragon before NAB to get the extra credit, the NAB price and to be able to make a Weapon reservation at NAB. Thats what i meant by " upgrade before NAB it will be worth it " . 

You can upgrade to Dragon anytime before the the upgrade line transfers over in the summer, and then go to Weapon after that whenever you can until the weapon line eventually closes ... it just will cost you a lot more money and your spot in line might be way far out. 

This heads up is to save you money.. not to force your hand at anything or some weird blackmail attempt that we have been planning for a year :)

Here is one of the shots he teased earlier, with a few more throughout this post (Jarred has said the fact that it's called WEAPON shouldn't be a problem with TSA or other officials, but that's not necessarily the case for everyone in all parts of the world):

RED DRAGON WEAPON Tease 1

[Update]: Shane Hurlbut got an early look at WEAPON and posted this photo online (this looks like a new REDVOLT XL module):

#ShanesInnerCircle gives you the first exclusive look at the Weapon. Bleeding edge exploration starts now!

Shane Hurlbut Dragon Weapon

This is a little bit of what Jarred Land has been saying:

For everyone with a Dragon... NAB is gonna be awesome. For everyone that hasn't upgraded yet.... you are best to get that done before the show. It will be worth it. 

About paying for the MX to DRAGON upgrade but not having done the physical upgrade yet (taken from a number of different posts in the thread and chopped a bit):

Its ok.. as long as you paid you will be included in the chaos even if you havn't actually upgraded yet. Just make sure you keep your bombsquad rep in the loop on your timing as the Dragon upgrade lines will be shutting down and switching over to Weapon mid summer.

Come summer our MX to Dragon upgrade line changes over so the old process logistically needs to end. 

If you upgraded or upgrade your Epic M/X to Dragon before NAB you are eligible. Carbon Dragons get pole position just like last time.

And more about money as it relates to the new camera:

Yes... you need to own a Dragon to upgrade to Weapon. As long as you are a Dragon owner before NAB, you will get a nice chunk of change back to continue along the journey.

The reason I am telling you now instead of @ NAB is that it not only gives you more time to get your ducks in a row if you want to partake.. but also because if you have a Dragon before NAB you will be paying less for the upgrade to Weapon than if you get a Dragon after the first day of NAB and upgrade to Weapon. Its a bit of a double credit... You get a nice credit for having Dragon and going to Weapon, and you get an extra credit if you have already gone to Dragon before NAB. 

So what he is saying above is that this upgrade, just like some of the others, will cost less for those who have already upgraded to DRAGON, but if you buy a DRAGON after NAB, the WEAPON upgrade will cost more. Again we don't know specifics yet, but since this isn't a sensor upgrade, I have to imagine it will be slightly less expensive than the previous MX to DRAGON upgrade (but who knows). It's clear there is going to be an order of preference just like last time, which will probably be Carbon DRAGON owners, then EPIC M, EPIC X, and SCARLET (which is how the last upgrade went).

RED DRAGON WEAPON Tease 2

What's Coming in the New Upgrade?

We know very few details so far, but we do know that the body is changing. Some aspects of the modular system will likely still remain, but this is a departure from the original body. We don't know if it's getting bigger, staying the same, or getting smaller, but it's possible that the technology advances since the start of DRAGON upgrades have meant that they can get more tech in a body the same size or smaller. There is no more giant front fan, so I have to think that this thing will be quieter right out of the box (this also means they must have figured out a better way to cool it). We also know that MiniMAGs will be the only option going forward for WEAPON:

Make sure to get the MiniMag option. You will need those going forward.

And: 

Your current mount will work on Weapon when you are using S35 and full frame lenses.

As for how this upgrade will make the DRAGON sensor better, this is the only tidbit we have so far:

Don't worry... we found a few things. A few big things.

I've heard some crazy rumors about super dynamic range being possible with this new body, but we don't know any details yet. What it could also mean is that the camera will be better in low light because it can see into the shadows more (thanks to better DR). The current DRAGON sensor is limited by the electronics they can fit into such a small body (something that was stated by RED a long time ago), so besides engineers finding new power within the sensor, I'm sure changing the body type in some way and upgrading the electronics will have a pretty good effect on the performance we can get out of it. 

I personally think it's time for RED to take some inspiration from the competition by making their body more physically balanced and including more features right on the body from the start. I would hope they have included a way to control the camera from the actual body itself without need any accessories, as you could with the RED ONE. Not holding my breath on that one, but it's about the only camera out there that requires you to purchase another accessory just to operate it (and while there will probably be built-in WiFi, that's not really what I mean).

I would also like to see them build in more features like ProRes/DNx from 4K all the way down to 1080p, and built-in ND filters which are perfectly matched to the sensor. All of these things would make WEAPON more versatile from the start, rather than having to worry about modules or accessories that may never come. We don't know what they will do as far as the OLPFs are concerned, but that modular system may or may not find its way into the new WEAPON camera. They should also have more outputs right on the body, including 4K HDMI and a number of 3G-SDIs for 4K output. 

Future Upgrades

This upgrade could finally be the one that makes the brain concept what they wanted from the start. It's possible that the sensor could be modular just as it is with Blackmagic URSA, and you would only be upgrading the sensor and not the brain as you have had to do since the first upgrades. I'm not sure how that will work out, but if people keep having to send in their cameras to upgrade, there will always be big bottlenecks and delays just as we have seen in the past. 

RED DRAGON WEAPON Tease 3

It will be interesting to see how long RED keeps the original body for people who want a tiny camera for specific purposes like drones or gimbals. It would make sense to keep the original body around for a long time because there is really nothing else quite like it on the market for size/performance. 

We'll just have to wait and see what else happens at NAB (or if new details are revealed before).

Your Comment

70 Comments

Wasn't RED trying to be the affordable sub$10K camera? You can't get a usable Scarlet without spending close to $20K. It's no wonder a local rental house without hesitation recommended going with Sony.

February 20, 2015 at 1:01PM

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Armin Kraemer
Director / Videographer
133

That's...simply not true. You can get into a used Scarlet for about $9,000. Also, there will be a trickle down effect. Like with the RED One, the Scarlet/Epic MX will probably drop in price fairly soon.

February 20, 2015 at 2:23PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2717

You can get a Scarlet body that works and all, but what I think Armin means is that you still have to rent or buy a lens mount, Red storage cards, a monitor, batteries, and other things to make the camera anywhere near useable in a practical setting. $10K isn't even going to get close to cutting it, even if you picked up a cheaper old Red One.

February 20, 2015 at 5:31PM

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Jacob Floyd
Writer / Videographer
1334

He is saying a usable Scarlet. You can buy a Scarlet for less than $10,000, but with all the accessories you need to get it working day to day, it is NOT a sub-$10k camera.

February 20, 2015 at 5:45PM

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Joshua Bowen
Editor
716

Again...not true. You can find used Scarlet MX bodies on ebay for about $6500. Buy used accessories and you can easily get under $10,000.

Trust me, I've done it :)

February 21, 2015 at 3:17AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2717

...did you even read the OP`s statement? He talked about "RED" having proclaimed that the Scarlet is a 10K camera, not that some second hand stuff from Ebay may eventually come under 10K. Your statement is as useful as telling someone: "Hey, you can buy a Series7 BMW for 100 bucks, there are a couple of them on the scrap yard down the road!"

February 21, 2015 at 3:37AM

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Gerard M.
1272

This is for the 6 of you that think I'm wrong.

Scarlet MX Brain - $5600 - http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?112364-Scarlet-Brain-Only&hi...

Canon AL Mount - $575 - http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?88532-For-Sale-Canon-AL-Moun...

48GB SSD - $315 - http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?118757-For-Sale-(4x)-48GB-1-8-quot-REDMAGs-Near-Mint&highlight=48GB+sale

1.8" Side SSD - $800 - http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?124475-Mags-Side-SSD-Side-Ha...

DSMC Side Handle - $680 - http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?112420-DSMC-Side-Handle-for-...

Card Reader - $195
Third Party monitor - $300
Third Party V Mount Battery set up - $800

That's $9,265 for a perfectly fine shooting kit and that's WITH a few new accessories. That's $700+ to spare for another V Mount battery and/or 64GB media.

Boom.

February 21, 2015 at 3:34AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2717

Yeah. For a used camera. No thanks. Red's new slogan should be "O̶b̶s̶o̶l̶e̶s̶c̶e̶n̶c̶e̶ Obsolete".

February 23, 2015 at 5:28PM

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The biggest winner of all this - the Red One MX. It's like a Red Dragon but doesn't have fan issues, have a native ISO of 800 ISO vs 320, doesn't look grainy at 640 or higher - has LINE and MIC inputs - has a low fan - and is balanced very well. It's their best camera. The 2nd biggest winner is KineMAX 6K by Kinefinity and the Arri Amira and Sony F55 and FS7 - the other guys. I don't know how Red went from the Red One MX which changed the entire industry to the Red Weapon - but it's definitely got to be a great story - I would easily pay to see that movie :)

February 22, 2015 at 12:26PM

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Ed David
Director of Photography
1704

That hit it on the head. I'm buying an Alexa mini soon, but I love my RED One and don't plan on selling it. I prefer flying it on steadicam (lighter than the alexa, but long enough and heavy enough to have a good amount of mass. The length makes it pan really well on steadicam without adding ballast. The 90 second boot time sucks, but the alexa is no better.

March 16, 2015 at 8:50PM

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Daniel Mimura
DP, cam op, steadicam op
2120

I meant to say inertia, not mass.

March 16, 2015 at 8:53PM

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Daniel Mimura
DP, cam op, steadicam op
2120

While I think the Dragon has a great image, I feel sorry for many of the people who own one because they have to constantly shell out big bucks to keep up. My friend just paid $10K for his Dragon update in December and now he will probably have to pay even more substantial cash. Also, his old Red Mags (lots of cash) will soon be outdated.

I think it's OK if you are a DP or production company pulling in good cash, but for the run of the mill owner / op it's probably a bit of a struggle to keep up with the Jones. The bad thing about Red, is once a new sensor / update comes out, the old cameras are quickly excommunicated and no longer desirable so it's a constant money pit.

My friend likens his Red to an expensive European sports car - great performance, but you have to constantly sink money into it.

February 20, 2015 at 1:25PM

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Gene Sung
DP / Director
746

you can get a red one/mx for 5k - under 10k and it still outperforms a blackmagic. similar price and performance.

February 20, 2015 at 2:07PM

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Roraigh Price
Runner, Reasercher, Asistant Editor
154

Well, you're wrong in one major area.

You don't HAVE to do any of it. LOL...the Epic MX (and even Scarlet) are still awesome cameras that have held their value for quite a while now.

I would argue that the cool thing about RED is that once you are "in" the upgrades don't cost as much if you really do want to be on the bleeding edge.

Being on the bleeding edge of any tech costs...a LOT, and often. Try being on the bleeding edge of TVs, or phones, or computers. Same story but more frequent updates.

The only difference here is that there is a loyalty program and a discounted upgrade path. You can be "glass half empty" about it but in the end, it doesn't diminish what your current camera is capable of, it's not a required upgrade, and you have the option of a major discount simply for being a customer.

I, for one, am pretty "glass half full" about it. I don't know if I will want the upgrade right away but I don't want that to stop them from innovating! My Dragon will be just as useful as it always was. When I want to be on the bleeding edge and do said update, I will get a discount.

Per the media:

512GB mini - $2,450 ($4.78 per GB)

240GB 1.8" - $1,450 ($6.04 per GB)

At that rate, a 240GB mini would cost around $1,150. $300 off a new 1.8".

That's enough wiggle room to sell your used 1.8" media and go right into the corresponding Mini card without losing a dime.

February 20, 2015 at 2:09PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2717

This kind of sentiment: "You can be "glass half empty" about it but in the end, it doesn't diminish what your current camera is capable of" is completely missing the heart of what frustrates owners.

It’s not that their camera has suddenly got a terrible image, it’s that their camera has just dropped in perceived value in the eyes of the producers and DPs that are looking to hire them, so ‘what the camera is capable’ of has absolutely diminished in terms of generating income. They can spend $10k because Jim has given them an ultimatum or accept they need to lower their rates. It’s nothing to do with image quality or ‘discounts’. It’s to do with the bottom falling out of your investment and acknowledging that is not “glass half empty”; it’s just not being mindlessly optimistic. When it comes to offering a service perceived value is everything and the fact your image quality is just as good as it was a month ago matters very little when the op standing next to you has paid for the upgrade and you haven’t.

February 21, 2015 at 12:22AM

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IMHO I hate this need to have upgrade mentality. Trying to keep up with the jones vs get jobs & make money as a DoP is counter-intuitive.

In any case, as proven, one can make money and be recognized as DoP without ever being an owner operator (personally I think many believe owning camera will magically make them more of a DoP instead of investing in a portfolio). And a new upgrade won't make any one a better DoP.

A smart business owner makes the smart decision of holding onto an exisiting camera (ie. Epic MX) without upgrading it etc. and ignoring the hype (speaking from hype buying experience).

February 24, 2015 at 7:23PM

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I'm not going anywhere near Dragon and that whole upgrade circus. Epic is still more than fine for most work.

March 5, 2015 at 2:47PM

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Chris Santucci
Cinematographer
259

Let's say Panasonic comes out with a GH4.5 that has improved DR, Log profile, 60fps in 4K, 96fps in UHD, and 240 in 1080p and it's listed at $5,000.

Then they say GH4 owners can send in their camera and get the GH4.5 for $3,500 but it can't use traditional SD cards. You don't HAVE to get the 4.5. Your GH4 is still fine. What you do have is the option of being on the bleeding edge at a discount. That is no reason to ridicule Panasonic, is it? It's a pretty good option to have as an owner IMO.

February 20, 2015 at 2:45PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2717

The only major difference here is the apparent time limit. Red is suddenly saying the equivalent of "you now have a little over a month left before you won't be able to upgrade anymore". I mean, the concept of camera upgrades is great and I'm glad they're doing them at all, but it must kind of suck for anyone who was budgeting for the upgrade program touted as being a part of Red's business model and who now has to choose to either spend for an upgrade immediately or wait and pay way more. It's not that any company should be expected to support hardware upgrades indefinitely, but two years (coupled with only one month's notice) seems somewhat short to me.

Anyway, other than that deadline, yeah, this is a cool announcement, and I'm looking forward to hearing more about what the new body might bring.

February 21, 2015 at 12:41AM

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You will be able to upgrade, from my understanding, but this is the Pre NAB discount. After NAB the discount will be gone.

February 24, 2015 at 7:25PM, Edited February 24, 7:25PM

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No one is saying an upgrade path is bad. This issue owners take is the constant money pit just to maintain your market position of offering an up-to date Red camera.

Arguing that your picture is just as good as it always was is only relevant when the client doesn’t care what you're shooting with, which is fine for small one-man-band businesses (nothing wrong with that), but it's not how things work at the level of the industry where Red cameras are used.

Gene nailed it: The bad thing about Red, is once a new sensor / update comes out, the old cameras are quickly excommunicated and no longer desirable.

February 21, 2015 at 10:22AM

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Red= Apple marketing with PC reliability.

February 20, 2015 at 2:52PM

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Emre Tufekci
Director
284

In 2015, it's hard to tell whether this a compliment or a jab.

February 20, 2015 at 2:56PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2717

Good point, let me clarify:

Todays forecast for RED cameras, 50% chance of working.

February 20, 2015 at 4:12PM, Edited February 20, 4:12PM

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Emre Tufekci
Director
284

Well, I'm just going off of personal experience, but from a usability/reliability standpoint RED is batting 100 with me.

There will always be horror stories and bugs with new tech, especially tech that is at the front of the push. Canon has it down but they don't take risks.

So there's a give and take obviously.

February 20, 2015 at 4:34PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2717

I share your thought process where as individual experience is the best gauge for determining reliability. It's quite obvious in my dark humor that I am no fan of RED through my bad experience(s). I find it hard to forgive any brand after bad encounters where I rely on their tools for my income. I share the same reliability you have had for RED through ARRI's products and I admit, because of that I am a fanboy for their gear. The engineering, reliability, responsiveness to customer input is simply amazing. I just wish their cameras didn't burn as big a hole through my pocket, at that point I could use some RED pricing. Cheers.

February 20, 2015 at 5:25PM

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Emre Tufekci
Director
284

Cheers and agree completely!!

February 20, 2015 at 7:27PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2717

LOL...2 down votes.

This site. (Long sigh).

February 20, 2015 at 11:03PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2717

Somewhat immature all your post get negs lol

February 24, 2015 at 7:03PM

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They've always performed well for me.

February 20, 2015 at 5:09PM

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Wow. How does this company continue to get away with this? They are basically telling their customer base that they should drop countless thousands of dollars to upgrade their cameras if they have not done so yet so as to be prepared for a mysterious upgrade that won't even be officially announced until a few months from now?

I get the appeal of mystique in marketing, but honestly this is borderline criminal. "For anyone who hasn't upgraded yet, you best do that before the show, it'll be worth it"...? If I was a RED owner I would be so pissed off right now. What is the point of all the mystery and secrecy besides to whet the appetites of a rabid fanbase and prime them for some good old fashioned spending, without actually giving them any information or telling them what exactly they are going to be spending money on?

Even the name pisses me off. Weapon? Really? As if this company's reputation as a magnet for douchebags hadn't already reached fever pitch. And the logo is a skull? RED is slowly becoming the Hot Topic of camera companies.

This post is probably not going to be very popular, but honestly I don't even care anymore. Is it so much to ask for a camera company to just focus on making good cameras? The Dragon sensor has some really great things going for it, it's just a shame that RED spends so much of their operating budget on this type of over-the-top marketing and image cultivation instead of just focusing on the gear. Sigh.

February 20, 2015 at 3:52PM

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Oren Soffer
Director of Photography
2132

I don't think they spent much time or money posting a pic on their forum...

Seriously though, I mean...I get it. I used to HATE RED. I made a series of spoof videos called "GREEN Digital Cinema" that had a crazy CEO pitching a $100,000 64K camera to wedding videographers.

I'm a supporter NOW because of the camera...nothing else. I don't care about the marketing or how they go about it. That's 100% irrelevant once you start actually shooting with it. Simply having an upgrade path is a pretty sweet option as a consumer. Also, staying on the bleeding edge does pay off at times. It doesn't matter for narrative stuff but there are a TON of commercial opportunities when you are ahead of the curve. So, as a user, it might be worth it and you could actually benefit quite a bit from the upgrade.

What I'm trying to say is, I used to hate them, then I actually bought from them and owned one of the cameras and have done a 360. I don't work for them, I'm not a fan boy, I have like 300 posts on Reduser.

I changed my mind due to the tech and the tech alone. They are awesome cameras and you will hear that sentiment echoed from MOST people that actually own one. I could care less what it's called, how they market it, and if they tease it prior to release or not.

If it does what I need it to do and it's cheaper than the competition I will be a happy customer...again.

February 20, 2015 at 4:01PM, Edited February 20, 4:01PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2717

Ha ha!

**Done a 180

Freudian.

:)

February 20, 2015 at 4:03PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2717

Fair enough :) I don't think the tech is perfect but I am the last person who will say that they put out inferior products. However, I can't help but have a problem with the company itself when they seemingly place more of an emphasis on the mystique and their image as a company than on the tech itself.

It just does not sit well with me, nor does the way they choose to roll out products. You say that you don't think they spent much time or money posting a pic on their forum, but to me it feels like just another part of an extremely carefully cultivated marketing strategy. Other companies like Canon and Arri don't have products named Weapon, Dragon, or Bomb - because instead they focus all of their efforts on R&D and perfecting their products before releasing them.

Anyway, if you are a satisfied customer, I salute you and wish you all the best - hard to argue with that! As an outsider, though, I can't help but take issue with their approach!

February 20, 2015 at 5:36PM

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Oren Soffer
Director of Photography
2132

Like I said, totally understand and I was the exact same way UNTIL I owned one...then pretty much did a ***180***.

:)

February 20, 2015 at 7:28PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2717

I agree...many of my rental clients complain that RED has gone too long with their mystique ethic at the cost of actually making a camera people want to shoot with. It definitely helped sell cameras but I'm losing interest and so are my clients...in fact, I have clients asking if they can park their Dragons with me to rent out...because they aren't using it anymore. They want the Amira or an Alexa.

February 20, 2015 at 8:42PM

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I agree...I don't feel RED even likes filmmakers.

February 20, 2015 at 8:55PM

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Many Red owners don't like Red's marketing and their spotty teenager skull liking image.But until now it was affordable for indies so they didn't care much. I think that it's getting a bit out of hand now. All these expensive upgrades for a camera with a high depreciation rate at the end. Indies will get ejected from the game. Red's dream is to fight and beat Arri but I'm afraid it's too late. Most high end projects don't give a s*** about that testosterone Red marketing or hate it and just want a reassuring camera. They let indies down and try to recruit on Arri's ground but so many people buy Red because they can't afford an Alexa. Many Red users would go Alexa if price was equal and they had the money. Now an indie who bought a Scarlet MX last summer had to upgrade on december because the price went up after that, and now will have to upgrade at NAB because the price will go up after that. In less than one year he spent the money that could have gotten him an Amira at least.

February 21, 2015 at 3:55AM

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Jim Jeune
227

Great point.

February 24, 2015 at 6:33PM

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Torrey Rogers
Filmmaker
164

My thoughts echo yours exactly! I was blown away when the RED one appeared and have been keeping n eye in RED all along, even more so because in the coming year I will be dropping some serious cash into a new kit, but as much as I admire their tools and would love to jump aboard I have a really hard time feeling good about their marketing and politics. I get how a subtle teaser can get people excited about something but this 'weapon' crap just takes the top!!! At least give us a hint on what it does before marking deadlines for the upgrade path! Also while their cameras where once truly affordable the accessories prices are usually completely blown out of proportion, makes me wonder if they don't charge a bit too much for their design - something I didn't even want to mention but common, a skull? Seriously? I'd beg camera developers to stop attaching an image to their products, they are tools for crying out loud!!! It feels hard to take someone seriously for any job when he looks like from the Hells Angels, why style the tools that way (and not only that, I am also looking at gold plated Nikons, matching red rock micro rigs, the 'hipster' fashion that goes with digital bolex, etc. etc.) it is what the camera sees and not how it looks like! It may have worked for sunglasses though... but I have ranted enough today!

February 21, 2015 at 11:07AM, Edited February 21, 11:07AM

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agreed. Has any company ever pulled this kind of BS? You must upgrade now before we can tell you what's coming next? Really? F*CK OFF! When I picked up my EpicX from their OC offices I was completely turned off by their paramilitary motif. What started as a homage to "guerrilla filmmaking" shows overtones of neo fascist iconography. Even the lobby desk looks like something out of Riefenstahl's Triumph of the Will...If I'm not mistaken, their break room is labelled "Crowd Control". Lame.

February 23, 2015 at 10:02PM

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S.Idris
81

Weapon is a super douche-y name.
I hate upgrades, but I hate having to flip cameras just as much so I don't lose money on them (Canon, Sony).

February 24, 2015 at 7:02PM

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I've got my fingers crossed for a taller sensor, like the Alexa 4:3.

February 20, 2015 at 3:54PM

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Peter Phillips
Filmmaker
626

I'll be this is a high speed upgrade. All the talk of mag updates and mag module updates means more throughput. Only reason to do that is high speed shooting. That would be a brilliant update for anyone whose been renting phantom cams.

February 20, 2015 at 4:38PM

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Here, here! Phantom is awesome but quite a pain to use...

February 20, 2015 at 7:29PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2717

The next upgrade will be called the RED NUKE and have an actual trigger, as if this wont be hard enough to get through customs with.

February 20, 2015 at 6:18PM

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a camera that doesn't require switching OLPHs and doesn't have fan noises or camera port issues - and can record to pro res - it's like the arri alexa but with a red logo. But in all seriousness "Better Call Saul" shot on the red epic looks really amazing.

February 20, 2015 at 7:21PM

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Ed David
Director of Photography
1704

Dragon literally JUST came out, then they raised the prices for Scarlet MX > Dragon upgrades, now they're saying it's end of line if you don't upgrade for real? What happened to the whole notion of "Obsolescence Obsolete".. Honestly this really ticks me off.

February 20, 2015 at 8:09PM

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Vladimir Druts
Founder & Director at Intangible.co
385

I have two RED Dragons and one Amira at my camera rental company. I was not happy with the Amira price but having been around both cameras for awhile now I have to admit the Amira is real winner. I hope the Weapon is not just another way to get us to upgrade...it's really expensive keeping up with RED. I'm hoping it's ergonomically correct (the DSMC thing is stupid - making a still/motion camera makes filmmakers miserable...and honestly I've not met one photographer who uses the RED). Why doesn't RED just make a film camera? Will it have correct balance? XLR? Menu buttons on the body? Codecs that are post friendly? Or will it be 8K with a 65mm sensor that nobody wants? Look at this year and last years Oscar nominated films for best cinematography...none of my high end DPs want the RED. They always want an ARRI. But competition is good..if not great for all of us...so I'm keeping my fingers crossed RED doesn't once again lose focus on filmmakers to make a modular camera that nobody wants except for the picture quality.

February 20, 2015 at 8:34PM

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Do you think the bigger body is a move to cure the complaints about fan noise and overheating? Apparently the thermal / noise issues have been a real deal breaker for a lot of people.

February 21, 2015 at 12:04PM

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RED is way too modular. To the point of ridiculousness. Would be nice if they had a basic RED with Sony/Canon usability and Industrial design.

February 24, 2015 at 7:37PM

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If anyone wants to sell me there used Epic or Scarlet MX let me know!

February 20, 2015 at 11:29PM, Edited February 20, 11:29PM

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If I wanted to shoot people with a weapon, I would use my gun. Red is getting a little too macho for my taste. It's camera for god's sake. Does it come with a tape measure?

February 20, 2015 at 11:45PM

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Mark Hinchey
Shooter
166

It blows me away that people here are complaining about a company that offers a upgrade path for their cameras!

Let's look at the alternative. Buy an Alexa for $50k. Arri comes out with a new 4k Alexa... spend another $50k+.... Now you've spent 50+50=$100k.

OR Red:

Buy a fully equipped Red Dragon for $50k. Red offers a new sensor or body or whatever costing $10k to upgrade. 50+10=$60k. I just saved $40k and still have the latest camera technology.

The only advantage of not being able to upgrade old cameras is that you get to keep them when you buy a completely new one. Which is... ok. But usually people want to use their best camera, not the older model.

February 21, 2015 at 12:41AM

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Michael Gyori
Editor, Camera Op
175

But see... Arri don't operate that way. They are not like Sony or RED, releasing new cameras or upgrades every other week that render the entire previous legacy of cameras they had completely obsolete or at least significantly diminishes their value. Arri have been playing the Alexa game since 2009 and it does not look like they are going to stop any time soon. All subsequent cameras they release are just upgrades of the same basic Alexa, and they will continue to do so.

People who bought an Alexa Classic way back when have seen very little depreciation of the value of that camera, since at the end of the day it's STILL AN ALEXA. And as we saw with the Alexa 65, if and when Arri do release a 4K camera (which I don't see why they would any time soon, what with the latest firmware update to the Alexa line unlocking 3.2K ProRes plus the already existing 3.4K Open Gate mode on the XT models), it will most likely come in the form of a new sensor that can be easily replaced on already existing models, for a small price, of course.

I don't see how this would be any different from what RED does, except for the fact that Arri would not hide their intentions in intentionally vague/mysterious marketing to build up hype, nor are they going to call their upgrade something ridiculous like "Weapon", because they are a company run by adults. :)

February 21, 2015 at 3:16AM

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Oren Soffer
Director of Photography
2132

That's not true.
Buy an Alexa. Sell your Alexa. Buy a new Alexa. There is little depreciation.
You just have to add a bit. And at the end you will sell the new Alexa a good price if you want.
If you want to sell your Dragon at the end you will get a lot less money as the depreciation is a lot higher.

February 21, 2015 at 3:30AM

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Jim Jeune
227

The depreciation is compounded by the fact that there are 10 thousand Epics in the wild (many of which are unemployed). "Dad what's that thing in the closet?" "Nothing son, that's just my Epic Fail..."

February 23, 2015 at 10:27PM, Edited February 23, 10:27PM

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S.Idris
81

lol

February 24, 2015 at 7:07PM

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RED - DRAGON - WEAPON - OMEGA...

Little by little Red's cameras are transforming in to a monster worthy of FInal Fantasy TIttles.

February 21, 2015 at 3:20AM

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Edgar More
All
1185

'Weapon'? Seriously? With a skull logo?

Whom are they catering to? Professionals or frat boys with a testosterone disorder?

Pass.

February 21, 2015 at 3:33AM

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My point exactly! If I was to project their marketing image to, lets say cars Arri would be a bit like Mercedes and Red more like some sort of Hot Rod, it might be faster and look cooler, and it sure would be fun to have a ride in it on Sundays but if I needed to drive it every day I'd stick to the Mercedes!

February 21, 2015 at 2:31PM

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Aside from the marketing aspect how are you supposed to travel internationally with a camera that has the words 'WEAPON' and warning stripes plastered all over it? They even sell NATO / Picaddilly rails for their cameras. The same rails that the borderguards who are inspecting your gear have on their riffles. Not to bention the 'Bomb' EVF and 'mags'. Do you really want to explain all of this to some security officer in Pakistan or similar destination?

Time to grow up, RED.

February 21, 2015 at 4:59PM

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Red was clever on that upgrade though. They announced the dragon 2 years ago with crazy DR, crazy lowlight. The final product was less crazy than that. They launched their rubber patch, the interchangeable OLPFs claiming that it was a revolution and a gift instead of apologizing for the fact that people will have to pay and use 2 OLPF to get the DR and less grain. Now they will launch this new upgrade that will probably fix this OLPF issue, presenting it as a revolution, with the 2 years ago announced DR and lowlight. 2 upgrades paid for the same announced product.

February 21, 2015 at 4:12AM

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Jim Jeune
227

And why should apologize?

The system OLPF interchangeably be a good tool.
- OLPF with IR (like old films)
http://kippertie.com/?product=full-spectrum-zero-lowpass-filter-for-dragon
- OLPF water (better colors)
- OLPF for low light (for indie cinema)
- OLPF to highlight (ripsota like the film in high lights)

and more new olpf cooming..

However, I struggled to sell my XT to buy DRAGON, I was unsure after many comments.
Definitely a lot more versatile than ARRI camera with the same qualities now, perhaps Weapon will be even better!

but it all depends on what you do and what is your market.

February 21, 2015 at 12:39PM

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Alexx
255

I'm actually really excited to see what "Weapon" is all about. The name alone is awesome and intriguing. If they incorporate some type of ProRes recording I might be on board, and I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one. Not quite sure why everyone is complaining though? Did you actually think RED wouldn't keep evolving? Weapon, from the sounds of it, sounds like a whole new camera so of course it's gonna be pricey. If you're already a RED owner why would you even care, you still own a f***ing RED!!

February 21, 2015 at 3:24PM

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Kaster Troy
Director, DP, Editor
1127

Red is very good with "intriguing" names. Arri and Sony should hire them just for that.

February 23, 2015 at 5:31PM, Edited February 23, 5:31PM

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Red "makes obsolescence obsolete."
This is getting to be a very expensive process. It seems like RED cameras hold their value worse than any other camera out there, and yet you're still expected to keep up on upgrades or get left behind.

February 23, 2015 at 3:27AM

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Jon Kline
Director of Photography
235

ARRI just released ALL their specs for their Alexa Mini. RED should do the same or stop talking about making customers upgrade for an unspecified camera. Otherwise, their customers will go with the mini in a heartbeat knowing that any client will accept an Alexa sensor for 90 percent of jobs.

February 23, 2015 at 12:35PM

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I'm sure this upgrade will change the "no movies shot with Red" vibe that this year's Oscar nominated films had.

February 23, 2015 at 5:29PM, Edited February 23, 5:29PM

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There are some pissed off people for sure. I personally think it's a great camera. I did the Dragon upgrade last November and couldn't be happier. But dang another upgrade already lol. Oh well I'm good if I decide to upgrade.

March 10, 2015 at 11:26AM

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