July 17, 2019

RED Bows to Pressure from Jinni.Tech and Drops Price on Mini-Mags

RED has dropped the prices on their Mini-Mags as a result of the controversy created by competitor Jinni.Tech.

The internet has been abuzz, in cinematography circles anyway, for the last few weeks with a bit of drama created by Jinni.Tech, a UK company that makes third part recording media for RED cameras, including the Jinn1Mag.

If you are finding yourself surprised, since you didn't know that you could buy third party media for RED, you aren't alone...since you officially can't. RED only approves their own media (which is somewhat expensive when compared to, say, just buying a hard drive), but Jinn1mag seems to have reverse-engineered a way to make it work and sell mags that cost around 1/3 the retail price on RED Mini-Mags. 

They released a teardown video of a RED Mini-Mag and revealed that it includes about $250 worth of hardware, despite it's $1850 price tag.

In response, RED has lowered the price on their mini-Mags. The 480GB drive will now cost $1,450 (a 22% drop from $1850), while the 960GB drive $2,350 (a 20% drop from $2950). This is obviously still much higher than Jinni.Tech, but it is a discount, and RED owners and especially rental houses will definitely appreciate it.  

One key concept that we want to remind users of here is the idea of professional businesses having higher margins than consumer businesses. 

RED has customer support staff, RED has R&D staff, RED has stores and testing and all sorts of infrastructure, and they support all that by selling hardware, and there will always be a markup on that hardware to support all those things. That's part of what makes a professional tool a professional tool. 

If you make your living with a tool, you want there to be someone at the company to answer the phone when something goes wrong with it. Supporting a professional business is a lot of work (something RED learned with the original RED ONE and really became clear with the pricing on the EPIC platform, which clearly had a bigger margin to cover the professional support required).

While I'm certainly not against Jinni.Tech or Jinn1Mags, if I went to rent a RED camera, I would prefer to pick up a package supplied with supported RED media. As a third-party tool, I'd want to test them thoroughly before using them on a client job. 

However, if I owned a RED camera that I primarily used for our my own purposes, where losing media wouldn't be catastrophic (in the way that losing a mag on a music video shoot with dozens of dancers and a rented Ferrari might be), I would consider the alternative as a cost-saving measure. 

They also might be attractive to schools where losing the occasional in-class exercise might not be terrible, though I would encourage students to rent official media for their thesis shoots. And it's good to have alternatives out there to help bring the prices down across the board, which is what we see here.

It's impressive that the industry has shifted so dramatically that RED, who famously disrupted the industry with the RED ONE at a price point that many didn't believe possible, is now the "big" company that is being undercut with competition.

New prices are available now for the RED Mini-Mag: $1,450 for the 480GB and $2,350 for the 960GB.     

Your Comment

22 Comments

Wow, what a story... All this time they were using consumer grade SSD and intentionally misleading their customers. They are not even USA SSD, they are from China and Singapore. I dont shoot RED personally, but if I did I would feel like a sucker.

July 17, 2019 at 12:24PM

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Walter Wallace
YouTuber
1226

The WOW is that the story doesn't manage to actually mention the lying and deceit. LOL.

July 17, 2019 at 12:25PM, Edited July 17, 12:26PM

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I agree, this story spent a lot of time talking about R&D but didn't mention how that applies to this scandal specifically. If you bring up R&D you should bring up data as it pertains to this topic specifically.

July 17, 2019 at 12:36PM

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Walter Wallace
YouTuber
1226

The RED R&D investment are already included in the price of a RED camera and all his accessories (like also the tremendous 230$ LEMO cable...for example), so really theres no other reason (other than hunger for money) to sell something that the RED User certainly need, inflating the costs about 25x

July 17, 2019 at 7:27PM

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Funny you neglect to mention that people aren't upset about the cost and absolutely GET why some products cost more than others, but rather the fact that they were LIED to and DECEIVED for years, that folks are upset about.

July 17, 2019 at 12:25PM

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So nothing about the cheating and the lies? Wow .......

July 17, 2019 at 12:29PM, Edited July 17, 12:29PM

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JoachimV
443

This story is very misleading. Everyone understands buying parts, and assembling them into a unique product and charging more for the R&D and added value of the newly created product. But RED is just re-housing someone else’s product and have been lying and saying the developed it and put a in a lot of research and created something better than everything else. When really they are just changing the connector so that people can’t use generic media. Then they are calling the product “made in the USA” when it doesn’t even qualify for the “assembled in the USA” moniker. There is no special technology or R&D that goes into the RED mag. It is just $20 of adapters, and a generic drive (not even the industrial grade versions of the drives) in a fancy shell.

July 17, 2019 at 1:21PM

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Tristan
128

yeah...this article seems to have been written by a RED public relations employee or something. We all get R&D and customer service, but this is so obviously lying and deception. This article is...why i'm probably gonna go ahead and avoid NFS forever now. Sad I guess.

July 17, 2019 at 3:55PM

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Exactly what I think... RED FILM SCHOOL ahahhaah

July 17, 2019 at 7:16PM

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That video is beautifully executed and is inspiring because it gives regular people the confidence to build knock-off mags themselves (as you should, seeing as RED extorts their customers into overpaying).

July 17, 2019 at 4:10PM

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Leaving out the continuos "lickings" of this article...RED, a cinematography professional superior brand, should have used better and most reliable memory device, from the beginning.No excuses.Only shame. And another funny thing in this story...is that Jarred has announced (in pairings with the announce of the price drop on the redmag) a price increases on all other the RED accessories and cameras...
Better if they say directly "I fuck you anyway, dear customers" aahhahaahhaah

July 17, 2019 at 7:11PM

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Especially when he initially explained the mini mags' price drop like this:

"The silver lining ( for our customers ) is that the amortized costs of development are eventually paid down and lower prices are reflected, we have done this a few times already. And even though our next price adjustment wasn’t due till the end of the year, in light of all this Drama we are going to adjust our prices ahead of schedule next week." (full statement over on cinema5d)

July 18, 2019 at 1:40AM, Edited July 18, 1:41AM

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Yes, but Jarred also said that this price drop will most likely increase the price of future RED cameras and accessories.Crazy...really crazy XD

July 18, 2019 at 7:13AM

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Still a rip off. 500gb Samsung msata drive is $90 on Amazon.

July 17, 2019 at 7:42PM

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cee dee
339

And Samsung are also more reliable SSD's XDDD

July 17, 2019 at 7:46PM

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The mag prices have ALWAYS been a joke. I'm sorry to say but I never once thought that RED had some sort of amazing proprietary technology behind their mags that warranted the crazy price. Now that we know what the mags truly are, it's even more of a joke.

The "discounted" prices still give RED a gigantic markup. I don't feel bad for them...not at all.

July 17, 2019 at 10:34PM

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"... if I went to rent a RED camera, I would prefer to pick up a package supplied with supported RED media."

Yeah except Linus from LTT destroys this argument. RED SSDs are notorious for corrupting footage, so much so that they made a data recovery department for their customers. In reality, it's just a really crappy way to store media, but as Linus points out, instead of putting 'real' R&D into better media storage solutions, RED decided that it is somehow cheaper just to recover the data...and frustrate their customers...

July 18, 2019 at 12:35AM

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Joseph Arant
Writer
328

We have been using jinny mags for more than 2 years now, in a professionnal way, and we didn’t get any problems. It’s working well. Of course when we purchased it , we were worried about it, but now i will order more without any doubt.

July 18, 2019 at 2:02AM, Edited July 18, 2:02AM

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Mael Sevestre
Film director
78

Anyway Red is doomed for a while. Better make some extra money before they close the doors. Red became what they fought against and hated 10 years ago. Hollywood almost doesn’t use them anymore. The big names Red guys were bragging about went back to Arri. Netflix is also taken back from them. The indies can’t afford them anymore but they have so many other cheaper solutions from famous or new brands. They can even get used full Alexa kits for 10-20k now. Why buying a Red these days? 8k? Most people don’t care, and for those who care there are many other more reliable 6k solutions, which is more than enough for VFX or resizing.

July 18, 2019 at 5:09AM

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JoachimV
443

this is a really interesting story I'm surprised it hasn't gotten more comprehensive coverage

July 18, 2019 at 7:48AM, Edited July 18, 7:49AM

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J Wylde
18

nice post

July 18, 2019 at 2:32PM

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Two things jump to mind, firstly why has this taken so long to figure out? second I don't understand the authors reluctance to use Jinn1Mags when we know that Jinn mags are identical to Red mags, furthermore, Jinn could presumably upgrade these drives to the higher specs mentioned in the video therefore offering greater reliability than the actual Red mags. The author is arguing that he wants to pay an extra 1000 dollars for a different name on the case of the drive. That doesn't make any sense. Worse for all Red users, you now know why your recordings have failed as Red decided to use lower grade drives in the mags. When we strip away the cute metal case what are we going to find in that shell? More generic components rebranded as RED?

July 19, 2019 at 6:54AM

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John Smith
Producer/Director
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