May 22, 2018

RED's Big Price Cut and Simplified Product Line Make Your Camera Choices Easier

The RED DSMC2 will come in three simple flavors.

It all started out so simple.  There was just the RED ONE, a 4K digital cinema camera (back when nobody really knew what the term meant). It would make obsolescence obsolete. But the company soon released the Mysterium-X sensor, meaning that, every time you rented a RED, you had to ask if it had gotten the MX upgrade yet. Then came the Epic, the Weapon, the Scarlett, the Raven, the Dragon, the Helium, and the Monstro. Oh, and don't forget the Gemini. Some of those terms are sensors, while some are bodies, but some users didn't distinguish between the two. It got a little bit overwhelming to constantly keep track of which features, which color science, and which firmware worked on each. So RED has decided to keep it beautifully simple.

RED will now be offering three options for the DSMC2 body: the 8K Monstro VV, the 8K Helium Super 35mm, and the 5K Gemini Super 35mm. That's it.  

Credit: RED

There will still be some customization options. The bodies by default are aluminum, but at least the Monstro can be upgraded to a Carbon Fiber body to save a little bit on the weight. The Helium will be available as Monochrome, as an option.  While the Gemini has no options, it's the least expensive and has the highest ISO, so it's appealing in its own special way.

Credit: RED

The line also gets major price cuts throughout. With nearly $25,000 coming off the price of a Monstro, it would be enough to add a full Helium to your package. RED has always been generous with current owners, offering a variety of upgrade paths; take a look at its camera page to see a wide variety of ways to upgrade in the current gear. Most impressively, if you are already an Epic-W Gemini owner, you can now upgrade to the DSMC2 Gemini for exactly $0.00.

DSMC2 MONSTRO: $54,500

40.96 x 21.60mm (46.31 mm Ø)
60 fps at 8K Full Format (8192 × 4320)

DSMC2 HELIUM: $24,500

29.90 x 15.77mm (33.80mm Ø)
60 fps at 8K Full Format (8192 × 4320) 

DSMC2 GEMINI: $19,500

30.72 x 18 mm (35.61mm Ø),
75 fps at 5K Full Height 1.7:1 (5120 × 3000), 96 fps at 5K Full Format (5120 × 2700), 120 fps at 5K 2.4:1 (5120 × 2160)
18mm sensor height ideal for Anamorphic
Dual native ISO     

Your Comment

22 Comments

How much would it cost to get the cheapest model up and running? $35k?

May 22, 2018 at 11:46AM

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Walter Wallace
YouTuber
1232

Except for "high frame rate", how in the word I would justify purchasing a +$20K Red camera having the Canon C200 shooting raw internal with build in ND and Autofocus....you know... just in case ...
I can purchase 2 Canon C200 + a lot of accessories/cards for the same price.

May 22, 2018 at 12:51PM

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agree u know what you can do with 20 grand ,it just doesnt make any sense

May 22, 2018 at 6:01PM

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...but how many "movies" have been shot with canon "cinema" cameras?

I'm a canon fan, but they don't seem to be taken seriously by hollywood. Red and Arri still dominate, so $50k isn't a factor for major studios.

May 22, 2018 at 7:19PM

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Blue is the Warmest Color shot on C300s, some of Her, and Rush. A bunch of other movies and shows. Some of Jason Bourne, Need for Speed, The Big Short, The Man from Uncle, Avengers 2, Get on Up, Mr. Turner, The Wolf of Wall Street, was on C500. Funny enough, the c200 and c700s are better performers. Crazy to think the c200 performs better than the c500 and it's only 7,500. I think RED is slowly fading out of the picture with Panasonic, Sony, and now Alexa LF coming into the picture. Especially with the Netflix space. You will be surprised on how not serious hollywood cameramen and crews take RED. Especially with their customer support and frat culture that still exists.

May 22, 2018 at 10:26PM

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Blue Ruin shot on a Canon C300 and it looked great. I'm hoping to shoot a feature with a low-to-mid 6-figure budget next year and the C200 is definitely high on the list of cameras I'm considering. For me it just makes the most sense to own a reasonably priced camera.

May 23, 2018 at 12:48AM

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David West
Filmmaker
1076

The only Canon cameras approved for Netflix are Canon C300ii (when recording RAW with recorder), Canon C500 (when recording RAW with recorder), & C700 (Recording RAW).
All of the Marvel Netflix shows were shot on RED.
If you have the budget for the crew, then RED or Arri makes sense, for performance & quality.
I recently shot a web series, where we could hv used any camera, but with limited crew & the fast-paced environment, C300ii was really the best option.

May 28, 2018 at 3:57PM

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s
171

True. Most of the professionals use Arri. They prefer it's built in quality and mechanic shutter to RED image size. And it's proved that Alexa's latitude responds better than RED's one which often burns bright lights easily. And by the way, even if I like RED image quality&feel, I had a RED EPIC-X in my studio for a green screen slowmo shooting, an external crew, I was not shooting, just rented the space, and they spent more time rebooting the crashing camera than shooting... it sounded strange to me but they say it was "normal".

May 23, 2018 at 4:15AM

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ginuz
95

Red is fighting an uphill battle now. They're fixing their color science and dropping their prices. Alexa has become the industry standard, with Canon, Panasonic and Sony fighting hard for the 10k and lower market. Maybe Apple will buy them for their IP and we'll see an apple cinema camera to partner with FCPX.

May 22, 2018 at 1:01PM, Edited May 22, 1:32PM

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Rubidium Wu
Director
74

That's actually an amazing idea.

May 22, 2018 at 6:01PM

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Jan Becker
DP, Director, Producer
453

hey Rubidium, nice to see you here, been watching a lot of your videos on youtube lately, good to hear the Aussie accent for a change :)

Just a quick question: If someone hired you to shoot a low budget feature, would you use your c200 or hire a red / arri? Are the canons there yet?

May 22, 2018 at 7:32PM, Edited May 22, 7:32PM

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I don't think that will ever happen with Apple. Apple aims for mass markets not niche markets. As it is RED and Apple barely make money off of the Raven package they have. That was to cater the Final Cut Pro / Apple loyalists. Honestly the c200 is a much better camera than the Raven regarding the reliability, efficiency, performance, and financial wise. Having seen and used both. Also great videos Rubidium.

May 22, 2018 at 10:31PM

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With Sony, Canon, Blackmagic and even Panasonic Doing so many great things... how do you justify a purchase like this? The only Cam I would buy at that Price is an Arri. RED is Totally pushing it.

May 22, 2018 at 4:54PM

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Wentworth Kelly
DP/Colorist/Drone Op
3108

Well, sometimes we do still get commercial clients on the lower-end who think they want RED (likely because some other production company sold them on "we shoot in 8K!" as a differentiator. Keep in mind our markets are pretty saturated, though. But... all the "good" jobs we get? Clients would be happy with whatever we choose. And I agree there's so many good options today under $10K. Still, sometimes a RED is the best tool for a job, but I can't justify keeping up with their constant turnaround and upgrades, it's kind of bullshit.

May 23, 2018 at 11:40AM

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Patrick Ortman
I tell stories. Sometimes for money. Sometimes, not.

I always just wonder who is buying these cameras, and who is paying the rental fees to owner operators?

If you're high end and have budget, you're shooting ARRI.
If you're indie/documentary, you're shooting Sony, Canon, or Panasonic.

Who is the RED for, exactly?

I'm open to being wrong here, but RED has always seemed like a camera system in search of a market.

May 22, 2018 at 7:37PM

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BD
834

This is just anecdotal, but I see a lot of REDs on corporate video shoots. I run a video team at a large corporation, and while we shoot on C300ii’s, a lot of our sister teams in the company shoot RED.

May 22, 2018 at 9:30PM

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Bryan Howell
Screenwriter, corporate videographer, and indie filmmaker
434

I've sold my corporate clients on 8K, but from an acquisition perspective. For quick, 1-camera executive interviews, I can crop between 8K and 4K in post to make it look like a 2-camera shoot and they absolutely love it. 8K is all about acquisition... at least in my personal case.

May 23, 2018 at 1:10AM

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Ryan Sauve
@sauvedp
157

Interviews on an 8K RED...? :o/

May 23, 2018 at 8:33PM

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Brian
Senior Producer / Graphic Design Artist
138

Interesting... I sell my clients on a result.... not an equipment list. I'm going with you are a hell of a salesman or your clients are clueless ... possibility a combination of both?

May 24, 2018 at 1:49PM

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As a cameraman shooting a lot of wildlife documentaries, the smaller form factor and versatility of the RED makes our job in the field a lot easier. Much of Planet Earth2 was all shot on the RED as is a lot of new upcoming documentaries. I can't speak for drama and features, but here in India, the RED has taken over the market. We run a rental house & 90% of the clients want the RED, even though we have all the other capable 4K high-end cameras like the Varicam35/LT, C500, Sony, BlackMagic etc. There's certainly a market that they are selling to at that price range - although, I too wish it would come down :-)

May 25, 2018 at 11:34PM

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Sandesh Kadur
Director of Photography
90

How is this "beautifully simple??" The 'Epic' was the 'Brain' and the 'Dragon' was the sensor. Now, the 'DSMC2' (or is it just 'DSMC' or 'DMSC' or 'DSCM?') is the 'brain' and 'Monstro,' 'Helium' and 'Gemini' are the sensors. How is this better or simpler? RED definitely overused the 'Epic' in their product and their website is still very confusing, made worse by throwing in all the upgrades into the main product line. I don't want to look at a Scarlet that only shoots black and white. Just add an "upgrade" button or "click here if you are a current RED owner."
The correct RED naming convention has always been "RED-[brain]-[sensor]." Some have added the resolution at the end in an attempt to add clarity; eg, "RED Weapon Helium 8k." One element that has always added to the confusion is producers or directors talking about their film at panels or at film festivals; they never get it right, but that is really the DoP's job anyway...
I seriously doubt people will name RED cameras correctly in the future with any greater degree of accuracy.

May 28, 2018 at 4:14PM

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s
171

These prices are Starting Prices, meaning Brain only. If you want to be able to control the camera (via the monitor), record video (module & SSD are required), power the camera (battery plate & battery are required), mount a lens, etc etc, add at least $6000.00 to every initial brain price, and probably more.
To help justify the high cost of a RED, you will get clients immediately with a RED, but, as with anything, choose the best camera for the project.
I love RED & use them often, mostly for music videos, but have always just rented them. RED's upgrade program is very encouraging for existing RED owners.

May 28, 2018 at 4:33PM

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s
171