How RED cameras changed independent cinematography forever


RED digital cameras have become a must have for big budget studio productions, Netflix shows – and, of course, Fincher and Soderbergh. There’s a new one that’s perfect for independent filmmakers.

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Digital cinema has mostly resigned itself to the digital SLR, until digital RED enters the scene. The camera company quickly became a favorite among directors and cinematographers, including Steven Soderbergh, one of the first to use a RED camera when he shot both episodes of “Che” in 2008. Account considering the high price, RED cameras are too expensive to buy. for some independent filmmakers – other than the RED Komodo, which is designed for independent productions, most independent filmmakers would rent these cameras rather than buy them, unless they were large studio productions. A RED camera can cost you anywhere from $ 6,000 to over $ 50,000, and while it’s used in productions of all sizes, you’ll typically find them on the sets of major studio movies, including “The Suicide Squad “,” Army of the Dead, “” Captain Marvel “,” Hustlers “,” The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run “,” Dolittle “,” The Irishman “,” Entourage “,” Birdbox “and the Netflix documentary Oscar winner “My Octopus Teacher”.

RED Digital has also been used for “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier”, “Stranger Things”, “The Queen’s Gambit”, “Peaky Blinders”, “The Morning Show”, “Mr. Robot”, “Godfather of Harlem” and other TV shows, including Netflix series.

The RED One model, released in 2007, paved the way for a whole fleet of revolutionary cameras. RED’s flagship camera captured up to 120 frames per second in 2K resolution and 60 fps in 4K resolution. The company has since discontinued many of its older models and introduced a new batch of favored cameras by Michael Bay, David Fincher and many more.

Fincher was among the first studio directors to embrace digital cinema. He has been using RED cameras ever since “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Mank,” which won the Academy Awards for Best Cinematography and Best Production Design, were shot with a monochrome black and white Red Ranger Helium camera. specially designed. (Made for Fincher to his specs, it’s a camera you just can’t get your hands on.)

“David and I needed to be able to look at a monitor and be very specific about everything that exists in the setting – the setting, the composition, the lighting, the overall tone,” said the director of the photography Erik Messerschmidt. “Being able to see the image on the monitor and make those creative decisions analytically is crucial to David’s process. On the other hand, there is an imprecise nature in composing a shot with a film camera. It just doesn’t provide the same level of control we need.

“For this film, we wanted to take pictures with very deep focus for most of the film, and then be very specific about where we used the shallow focus,” Messerschmidt continued. “Shooting on film would have severely limited our creative choices, especially when it came to focus and depth of field. “

Below, find the prices and capabilities of some of the cameras in the RED Digital product line. Note: Most of these are not ready to use and would require other accessories before you can shoot. And for cheaper recommendations, check out the best affordable cameras for any budget.

Red Camera Digital Cinema V-Raptor St 8K VV DSMC3

RED Digital’s latest cinema camera, the V-Raptor 8K VV Camera was unveiled in September. Billed as the brand’s most powerful camera to date, the DSMC3 device offers the highest dynamic range, fastest cinema-grade sensor scan time, sharpest shadows and frame rates. highest of all other RED cameras. The camera costs $ 24,500 and is currently available in the white ST version pictured above (the black edition will be released at the end of the year). The V-RAPTOR has a multi-format 8K sensor (40.96mm x 21.60mm) with the option of filming in 8K large format or 6K S35. Far exceeding previous censorship capabilities, the V-RAPTOR offers users the ability to capture a full 8K sensor up to 120 fps (150 fps @ 2.4: 1), 6K up to 160 fps (200 fps at 2.4: 1) and 2K (2.4: 1) at 600 fps while capturing over 17 stops of dynamic range.

RED Komodo 6K Camera

The Komodo 6K is a compact cinema camera at an affordable price (when it comes to RED cameras). It was introduced specifically for independent filmmakers. Along with 6K resolution with shooting capabilities of 40-60 fps and an S35 (27.03mm x 14.26mm) sensor, the Komodo offers unmatched image quality, in addition to being quite versatile, and the 4 “x 4” camera weighs only two pounds. You can also get the Komodo 6K Starter Pack for $ 7,200.

RED Ranger Camera System with 8K S35 Helium Sensor

If you’re looking for an integrated but less complex system (with a larger fan) and have at least $ 30,000 to spend, this all-in-one camera system offers 8K resolution and SDI power outputs and AUX more independent. It also has a built-in XLR audio input, weighs just over seven pounds, and supports a wide input voltage of 11.5 V to 32 V. Additional features include a built-in microphone, Genlock, lenses. interchangeable and a CMOS sensor. The box comes with a PL mount wedged and PL mount shim pack, LCD / EVF D adapter, RED RANGER power adapter, and 10 ′ RANGER RED 3-pin XLR power cable.

RED DSMC2 Gemini 5K Educational Kit

The RED Digital DSMC2 Gemini 5K Camera Kit comes with over $ 1,400 worth of free equipment. Kit includes DSMC2 BRAIN with GEMINI 5K S35 sensor with 4.7 “Ultra LDC monitor, RED MINI-MAG, DSMC2 All Cannon Mount, V-lock I / O expander, battery and charger , a 3/16 “key, and a carrying case.

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