July 18, 2019

RED Drops Big CFast Hint Today

RED CFast Jared Land Camera
RED seems ready to drop a new CFast camera and it looks interesting.

Jarred Land, RED Digital Cinema company President, posted a hint on Instagram this evening that there is a new camera that records to CFast on its way. Looking at the ports, the mini 3.5mm audio-in seems to point to a compact or pocket cinema camera, perhaps to compete with the wildly successful Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4k.

Recording to CFast will certainly bring the cost of recording media down to a place that is more reasonable than the price of the current RED Mini-Mag. Cheaper media cost is a big issue for longtime RED customers.

With the release of the Jinn1Mag and videos revealing the technology behind the RED Mini-Mag, RED has been forced to lower their price. Initial reaction to the post seems to be overwhelmingly hopeful (DSMC2 or 3?) with a bit of residual rage at RED over the whole mag issue.

Regardless, the fact that RED is looking to CFast certainly is timely, given the recent controversies. And that the location given for the IG post is London, UK could be a bit of Jarred's savage humor (Jinni.Tech is located there).

In the best RED tradition, they've dropped a bomb on our laps that raises more questions than answers. Especially, if it is a pocket camera, what kind of sensor and image processing will they be able to cram into such a small form factor? Given RED's history, the sensor could possibly be larger than the BMPCC's MFT 4K.  How they pull this off, and at what price point will be driving discussion around this until we get further announcements.

However, history also tells us that a photo hint from RED can mean a product is coming or that it is still a prototype with a distant release date. One thing is certain, RED is still able to grab their customers' attention and hold it in a way unlike any other camera company. Hopefully, this is truly an exciting new camera that is coming quickly and not a CFast bone to appease customer discontent.

 

Your Comment

11 Comments

Feels like PR damage control. Trying to change the topic.

July 19, 2019 at 12:02AM

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Benjamin Bettenhausen
Owner, Mahalo Video
122

Pretty much all the Red cameras have only had 3.5mm jacks for audio so I wouldn't say this hints at all at a smaller/pocket camera.

And historically, the sensor sizes & resolution on their cameras are exaggerated by referring to the ultra-wide mode. When talking about standard frame sizes, RED's bottom-rung Raven has a sensor only marginally bigger than the Pocket 4K (20.48x10.8mm vs 18.96x10mm). So, even if this is a cheaper, pocket-style camera from Red, your statement about Red's history suggesting a "much larger" sensor is completely inaccurate.

July 19, 2019 at 12:06AM, Edited July 19, 12:06AM

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The Raven ended up around 23.04mm x 10.8mm I believe. That said, the wording was a little sloppy, due to trying to get this out immediately.

This is all conjecture, so I won't be surprised at all if my guesses are incorrect. I won't be surprised at all if this is a camera that is never released. Nothing with RED surprises me and I won't lose sleep worrying about it until they actually ship something. The devil with them has always been in the often way too copious fine print.

July 19, 2019 at 12:36AM, Edited July 19, 12:40AM

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Craig Mieritz
Color, Light and Camera Geek

Yes, the Raven is 23.04mm wide, but when you crop it down to 16:9, like 98% of clients will expect to receive, it is closer to 19mm. That is why I mentioned "standard frame sizes" - They are more relevant to the project/delivery specs than Red's marketing material.

July 23, 2019 at 6:05AM

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Doubt it is a new camera. It is most likely just an adapter that will allow RED cameras to record to CFAST. That way the whole charging 10x more for commodity grade SSDs issue will be side-stepped. "You can now choose to spend 10x more on off the shelf SSDs rebadged with the word "RED" on them, or just buy expensive, but still WAY cheaper CFAST 2.0 cards."

July 19, 2019 at 1:45AM

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Film Voltage
Director
356

Thanks, that’s an interesting thought. What would you see as a price point that won’t further antagonize customers?

July 19, 2019 at 8:28AM, Edited July 19, 8:44AM

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Craig Mieritz
Color, Light and Camera Geek

Why everybody complaining about Red Media prices and none from the industry doesnt give a shit about 2-3 times more expensive Codex Media and Sony Memory Cards?

July 19, 2019 at 5:02AM, Edited July 19, 5:02AM

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The bigger productions don't really give a poop about anything, since they're already running on excessively bloated budgets in the first place. Another $1k here or there is pocket change.

And I always was annoyed at Sony SXS card prices, since everyone knew its just standard memory slapped into a more durable frame. But at the time, 10 years ago, a metal, bigger "card" was much appreciated over some tiny little plastic SD card. AND contrary to RED, I can't recall a time we ever had a memory issue on either of our XDcams, burning footage all day in 90+ degree heat. Those things were and still are workhorses and I appreciated being able to toss memory cards in my pocket or accidently loose in a bag without worry of damaging them.

July 19, 2019 at 9:02AM

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Josh.R
Motion Designer/Predator
1023

Like redmag, the C-Fast is basically SATA, then it's a great opportunity to fix the pr in post while taking moar money.
On one hand you provide alternative media solution and maybe start to sell rebranded "tested" cfast cards, while also allowing cheaper brands.

On another hand you sell people a ~1000$/€ "cfast side module" which can replace the minimag side and it will work as both are sata anyway.

Make money when going uphill, make money when going downhill. Nice

July 19, 2019 at 1:36PM, Edited July 19, 1:36PM

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wow

July 20, 2019 at 6:06AM

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Why doesn't RED just cut the bullshit and sell SSD caddys like Atomos does. RED is basically using the same marketing strategy the pharmaceutical industry uses.

July 20, 2019 at 6:24AM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
1514