August 2, 2017

Take a First Look at RED Hydrogen One

Hydrogen One
RED’s new Hydrogen smartphone is now more than just an announcement. But where’s the footage?

Although we're quick to take jabs at RED for its active hype machine, admittedly we fall for the company’s ubiquitous PR tactics, too. Just today, we covered the RED RAVEN’s availability in Apple stores, and last month, we bit when the company teased and then announced its forthcoming Hydrogen One, a full holographic smartphone that allows you to view 2D and 3D VR and AR.

Today, the first public look at the Hydrogen has been released as a video by YouTuber Marques Brownlee (who goes by “MKBHD”), who got his lucky hands on a prototype. True to form, the video doesn’t give us what we really want—footage shot by the reportedly “revolutionary” phone camera—but it does give a good sense of the phone body’s exterior and materials.

The rugged body appears to have some features that will be convenient for filmmakers, like a dedicated video record button and pins at the back for snap-on modifications that add to the phone’s functionality, such as the sensor and lens mount displayed in the video.

MKBHD extolls the virtues of the unit as a potential pocket cinema camera, with a Helium-based system that “should outperform other mirrorless cameras and small DSLRs in an even smaller package.”

Still, until we see some footage and perform real camera tests, we really have no way of knowing whether the roughly $1,500 Hydrogen will be a worthwhile alternative to either much less expensive smartphones or much more expensive cameras.

What would RED need to show you to convince you to add a Hydrogen to your kit? Let us know in the comments.      

Featured image by Marques Brownlee

Your Comment

19 Comments

1)Sensor and lens. 2)Codec.

1)Current smartphones have sensors that are not suitable for cinema. They have lots of distortion in their lenses. (My Samsung S6 Edge+ for instance). And they have jello effect. It should have global shutter and a proper lens.

2) I personally want a non GOP h.264 based codec. Almost all mirrorless cameras and DSLRs (Sony, Panasonic, Canon) use h.264 based codecs and they are not fit not the cinema and color grading and include lots of compression artifacts. At that price range, give us at least 10 bit ProPres 4:2:2 or bust. If technical limitations arise, then I could live with 1080p restriction, add ProRes option but make it 1080 only. No need to mention a histogram, false color (marshall), clipping meters, focus peaks etc...

August 2, 2017 at 5:39PM, Edited August 2, 5:39PM

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Çağan
81

> Current smartphones have sensors that are not suitable for cinema. (...) Almost all mirrorless cameras and DSLRs (Sony, Panasonic, Canon) use h.264 based codecs and they are not fit not the cinema

That's just as well, as neither of those product categories are created to be used for cinema, nor is there any chance (besides the occasional novelty indie film) that anybody will actually use them for actual films...

August 2, 2017 at 6:59PM

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there is no way in hell that Red will put out a camera that is less than 4k resolution. That has been their slogan since day 1. At one point they were going to offer a 3k camera and then decided against it. One of RED's biggest IPs is its redcode raw codec, if this phone doesn't have a module for compressed raw in it at 4K I would be shocked. The only area I see red compromising on is sensor size and frame rates (maybe we would get 2k at 120 but highly doubtful).
I really dont know who this will be marketed too, but it sounds like it will be for casual users who maybe do blogging or travel videos who need a pocket sized camera.

August 3, 2017 at 9:30AM

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Can we expect AV1 codec support?

August 2, 2017 at 6:13PM

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It will be a fun novelty I guess. $1500 for a toy is kinda eh but whatever.

August 2, 2017 at 7:23PM

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Joshua Bowen
Editor
410

Will Hydrogen be the first smartphone to run iOS? (not designed by apple) and RAVEN being sold in Apple Stores is part of the negotiation? 0_0

August 2, 2017 at 7:40PM, Edited August 2, 7:40PM

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Rafa Ga
Digital Film-Video Editor / Colorist / Motion Graphics
86

Huh? Hydrogen is running Android.

August 2, 2017 at 8:53PM

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i didn't saw info regarding os...

August 2, 2017 at 9:35PM

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Rafa Ga
Digital Film-Video Editor / Colorist / Motion Graphics
86

It's running Android.

"This morning, RED founder Jim Jannard announced HYDROGEN ONE, the company's new 5.7" Android smartphone that sets out to rethink what a smartphone can be."

August 4, 2017 at 12:00PM

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The main advantage of using Android, in this case, is the ability to open it up to 3rd party devs.

August 4, 2017 at 12:27PM

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Emil
Content
254

An expensive bauble for the film crowd - now we can all be a Kardashian! What's next? Why not a custom case by Louis Vuitton!

August 3, 2017 at 1:11AM, Edited August 3, 1:11AM

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Ed Wright
Director, DP, Writer
389

Apple will see your Louis Vuitton and raise you an Armani. :)

August 3, 2017 at 1:43PM

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Glenn Bossik
Videographer
540

Is the tech in the display really any different than what a Nintendo 3DS does or what the HTC EVO 3D did several years ago?

August 3, 2017 at 5:41PM

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Michael Markham
Actor/Filmmaker
751

its confirmed on RED website this will be running on Android

August 4, 2017 at 10:41AM

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john leigh
director
1

Why anyone would have assumed different is beyond me. Also it was confirmed on this site upon first announcement.

August 4, 2017 at 12:01PM

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I suppose a good strategy would be to buy two. One to use as a camera and one to use as a phone :-p

August 4, 2017 at 12:38PM

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Chris Santucci
Cinematographer
259

If Jannard posts this on the Reduser forum, I'm betting the sheeps who already gave a deposit for one will order a second !

August 5, 2017 at 10:04AM

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Firstly... and I don't know why I'm bothering to even comment on this, but why are most of the comments here concerned about codecs of resolution etc.

The big picture here is WHO THE HELL WOULD WANT TO SHOOT WITH A F$#%ING PHONE no matter what wanky logo is on it (clenched fists held toward the sky).

Secondly how long will apple allow red's raven to be sold in their stores when red start offering android phones? You think apple are not going to eventually realise that promoting reds brand awareness by having a camera on display in their store wont make people curious and want to look at the red website and in the process see an alternative to an iPhone? They wouldn't loose many iPhone sales but I bet they loose more than what they would have made in whatever they get out of Raven sales.

August 4, 2017 at 7:44PM

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Red is getting lost in it's dated design esthetics: this is one ugly device !

But, hey: it's perfect for viewing 3D content, even if 3D is pretty much gone. Except, maybe, for summer blockbusters. Is that what this device is aimed at ?

Sorry Jannard: this overpriced ugly phone will only appeal to the loyal members of your sect. All 500 of them.

August 5, 2017 at 10:02AM

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