Wednesday, November 07, 2007

HD Expo and the Red One

HD expo is a very small trade show that has been held anually since 2001. Today was the first day of the 2 day show and I decided to attend it since I had missed it last year. One of the things I wanted to check out was the Red One camera since it has been out in the wild now for a few months. To that end, the expo hosted a Red One presentation by some of the folks from Red. This included a screening of Crossing the Line.

Now, for those of you who may have been hiding under a rock for the last 2 years, the Red One is a 4K digital cinema camera that is being created by Jim Jannard of Oakley Sunglasses fame. The big deal here is that the camera body sells for $17,500.00.

Now I have not covered much about the Red on my blog here because there are 800 gazillion other bloggers out there that evangelize the product constantly. However, I have made a point of following this revolutionary product's progress.

Part of that progress includes the creation of a short film by Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame using 2 prototype Red One cameras a few weeks prior to this year's NAB show. This is the Crossing the Line film.

Needless to say, Red has caused quite a stir in both the indie film and studio folm worlds and for good reason. For the last two years I have been hearing all of the hype about this camera and the other products that Red has on the slate (Lenses, 4K projectors, Other cameras etc.). And the line to get into the Red booth at NAB this year to see Crossing the Line was a 2 hour wait on average.

So, getting to see this short film today, I was a bit jaded in expectations due to all of the overhype that this has received. Kind of like when a film gets overhyped and I do not bother to see it as a result. And then when I do, it's a big let down because of all of the hype.

Well, let me tell you, this little film exceeded all of my expectations. I was truly stunned by the sharpness and the lattitude that was exhibited. It looked like film. Truly. It blew away what I saw on the Panafest demos of the Genesis. I am completely sold. This camera is a true game-changer.

All the hype? Doesn't do the camera justice. It far exceeds any hype. They also demoed the Red Post software that they have in development. They ran it on a Macbook Pro. Fed it 4K raw footage that played back in real time. And they were correcting the footage WHILE IT RAN in real time without rendering. Amazing.

And the rest of the HD Expo? I don't remember. I know that there was no earth shattering new gear to be seen. Just the same stuff that has been around for the last few months... I guess my mind was on what I saw in the Red presentation...


Anonymous said...

Until you've seen the Red footage next to Genesis footage under the same conditions I'd be slow to make such a bold assertion. I think when you do you will be surprised.

modifoo said...

I thought that you could not playback 4k in realtime on a Mac, "only" in 2k resolution...

That said, I also feel like a member of the "critical optimist" faction.

Here in Norway things always take a bit longer, so I have not yet seen any real Red footage, just heard/read a lot of hype. From what I gather, it is definitely better than Video, and different from Film. Not better or worse, just different.

It will take a while to get used to the new workflow. A bit like when analogue photographers moved over to digital. You have to expose differently.

Or, for that matter, when sound recording went from Nagras to digital. Keep everything lower.

What I do wonder, is how a Red camera compares in handling, when used in documentary / ENG situations. If it is at all feasible.

B-Scene Films said...

Anonymous, you are right. That judgement needs to really be made in a double blind comparison with Red and Genesis.

I am just excited about what I saw.