February 12, 2018

RED and Foxconn Rumored to Partner on Affordable 8K Cameras

RED Digital Cinema and chip-maker Foxconn (a famous maker of iPhones) are rumored to be teaming up to launch an 8K prosumer camera.

Nikkei Asian Review has broken the news that Foxconn, the manufacturer of many popular items including the iPhone, is teaming up with RED Digital Cinema to produce a mass volume prosumer-focused 8K digital cinema camera. Having noticed a slowdown in the smartphone market, Foxconn is looking to expand into other revenues streams, with digital cinema cameras appearing like a smart, higher margin area to target.  "We will make cameras that will shoot professional-quality films in 8K resolution but at only a third of current prices and a third of current camera sizes," said Terry Gou, Foxconn Chairman. RED has yet to acknowledge the talks or confirm a partnership.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

If true, this pairing shouldn't come as a surprise to cinema fans. RED has already shown their desire to get in on the consumer market with the Hydrogen phone, which was a play to move into volume and perhaps build a platform out of the holographic technology. In addition, RED had already teamed up with longtime Foxconn customer Apple to place the RED RAVEN in the Apple Store, attempting to bring awareness outside the industry to the camera package. For their cameras to keep growing, the company clearly wants consumer volume.

The best aspect for filmmakers will be the use of RED's proprietary .r3d codec into a consumer form factor. The biggest technological innovation of RED has always been the codec: the ability to create 4K (and then 5K, and now 8K) files that are compact, usable, and look amazing is the secret sauce. If you've worked on a 2.5K Alexa job lately and were shocked by how long the files took to download vs. .r3d, that's why. Bringing .r3d to a prosumer camera is truly exciting.

Credit: RED

On top of that, RED is unafraid of innovation. The company will happily design a prosumer camera from scratch with no need to fit into any previously existing product line or workflow. It's probably going to be MFT mount (that's a wild guess), but seriously, who knows? This is RED we're talking about, and the company remains a wild card. Combining RED wavelet encoding and experience in design with Foxconn manufacturing experience seems like a camera that could be innovative and actually ship on time.

Check out Nikkei Asian Review for more info.      

Your Comment

8 Comments

Hurting for sales...

February 12, 2018 at 3:08PM

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guest
187

Does innovation and expansion generally mean you’re hurting for sales?..

February 13, 2018 at 4:17PM

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Define "Affordable"...

February 16, 2018 at 12:30PM

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Marc W
110

I suppose it's going to land somewhere in the area of a C200, EVA-1 and URSA mini. At least that's what I would define as an affordable pro-sumer cinema camera.

February 16, 2018 at 1:38PM

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Tim Wiesner
Student
75

We'll see if this actually happens. Once upon a time, RED promised "3K for $3K," and we all know how that worked out. So I'll believe it when I see it.

February 16, 2018 at 12:32PM

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Christopher Kou
Production Manager
117

8K with a Four-Thirds mount? That would be asinine.

February 16, 2018 at 12:52PM

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David Gurney
DP
1217

Yeah, that's what I thought. 8k in S35 is already pretty dense.

February 16, 2018 at 5:16PM

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Joel
1

That could get pretty interesting... I hope it is not going to MFT though, imagine the low-light capabilities of an MFT sensor with so many pixels that it can shoot 8K. The pixels would be insanely small, which would make low-light situations a nightmare, not to mention that low-light has never been a strong aspect of RED cameras.

February 16, 2018 at 1:36PM

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Tim Wiesner
Student
75

Because there's such an immense need for 8K cameras.

February 16, 2018 at 3:57PM

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Chris Santucci
Cinematographer
257