The exciting RED announcements keep coming this week.
Lucid, a company best known for its small 180° 4K capture camera and VR phone apps, has announced a partnership with RED to build a capture platform for the new H4V immersive media format. It will be utilized by the new Hydrogen phone from RED.
Best of all, the Hydrogen phone can be attached to the platform and used as a viewfinder, providing stereo depth to the preview image in a fashion that had previously been difficult to achieve. Beyond a mere rendering, the company had a working prototype up at the Red Hydrogen release party.
While these remain early days for the platform, it's still particularly exciting since it solves one of the trickier aspects to capturing in stereo, which is recording and previewing in stereo. While there have been a number of different workflows experimented with—including piping to a 3D theater on a boat or using 3D monitors with glasses on set, or even the very clever dual eyepiece setup from 21st Century 3D—each has its own drawbacks.
Covering both eyes make handheld work hard since you might trip. Users expect a quality screen on their camera and desire to watch immediate playback. If this system works, providing a depth screen you can mount on your camera will be great. Of course, this keeps the Hydrogen more in the "pro" space and less in the "consumer," but we're still excited to see what comes from it.Complete tech specs, price, and even its name are yet to be finalized, though Lucid says it's planning to ship this fall. The design is intended to give filmmakers professional-level convergence and interaxial control, which will control the sensation of depth in the image. Of course, depth tends to scale with screen size, but presumably, there is some processing that will occur to allow for depth decisions made on the 5.7" Hydrogen screen; this will help to represent how it might appear on larger screens.
In addition, the Hydrogen screen could be the final platform for much of the content captured with this system, as RED is also building a Hydrogen-focused platform for sharing H4V content and enabling sharing on major social platforms. As Hydrogen modules prepare to appear this summer, it's exciting to see what accesories might be available, even though this one may cost many times the base price of the $1,100 Hydrogen.