RED absolutely brought raw recording to the filmmaking arenaa with their .r3d format. Years ahead of everyone else, they showed filmmakers the power of having access to the full sensor data in a way that it's taken other companies nearly a decade to catch up to. With being first comes a lot of patents, and RED has a few of those. 

As Atomos, the market leader in monitor/recorder devices, beefs up their raw offering, it makes sense that they would need to license some technology from RED in order to do so. Thus today's announcement that Atomos will be licensing some RED raw tech, and that the two companies will be working more together in the future, makes a lot of sense.


While some might think this is about ProRes Raw, that technology was launched at NAB last year and was in the works for a long time before that, so if it depended in RED patents this would be very late in the game to be licensing it's use. This is speculative, but this is much more likely around a potential Atomos Raw format. While ProRes Raw is great, you can only edit it in Final Cut X. Blackmagic now has Blackmagic Raw, but you can only shoot it on Blackmagic cameras so far, though they are making it open to anyone, no other camera manufacturer has announced support yet.

This is where an "Atomos Raw" format, capable of working with any camera that can put out raw over SDI or HDMI, comes into play. Atomos doesn't make cameras, and they don't make editing software, so they are free to be a format anybody can adopt. An "Atomos Raw" would likely see support from Media Composer and Premiere pretty quickly, faster than Blackmagic or ProRes Raw, both of which want to be the "open platform" for raw, but both of which have hurdles to overcome to do so.


In terms of how the partnership might benefit RED, Atomos is currently the leader is capturing RAW over SDI and HDMI.  RED traditionally has internal SSD slots or pricy lemo cable connections to hard drives, not affordable open formats like HDMI or SDI.  It would be interesting to see if RED might consider releasing a truly stripped down body that output it's raw signal to an Atomos recorder and didn't bother with internal recording at all.   

Of course, RED is making 8K cameras and will surely be releasing 10k/16k bodies soon, which are currently beyond what you can fit over SDI, but maybe working together with Atomos they could find a way.

For more check out the press release.