CAMERA



RED Digital Cinema Cameras

The RED camera family in an overview.

RED ONE


In March 2007 company founder Jim Jannard presented the prototype of the RED ONE. It went on sale in autumn 2007 and offered 60fps in 4K and 120fps in 2K. The data was generated by a so called „Mysterium“ sensor in the new proprietary file format REDCODE RAW. From 2010 an update of the RED ONE to the 14 megapixel sensor "Mysterium-X" was available.


RED ONE
The DSMC System

The first generation of DSMC cameras (Digital Still and Motion Camera) was launched in 2009.

The first model in this series was the Epic-X, followed by the SCARLET, which offered slightly lower end specifications but at a lower price. The originally implemented 5K sensors were later replaced by 6K sensors of the RED DRAGON coming with a higher dynamic range.

DSMC 2

The following DSMC 2 generation was delivered beginning in 2015. Since then, the new housing concept has been used for all RED cameras until now.
The first model was the RED WEAPON, either as 8K or 6K version. This was followed by the RED RAVEN and the RED SCARLET W, which offer ProRes and DNxHD formats in addition to REDCODE RAW.

In 2016, the helium 8K sensor became part of the RED family offered for the RED EPIC W and WEAPON 8K S35. 



Common to all devices is a specified dynamic range of 16.5 f-stops. In addition, the SCARLET, WEAPON, SCARLET-W and RAVEN offer the option of recording not only in REDCODE RAW but also in Apple ProRes. This step is interesting for limited workflows that want to avoid the data-intensive and comparatively complex data management of REDCODE RAW and the need of a high-quality alternative. ProRes recording is possible in 4444XQ to 2K (2048x1080). The WEAPON can record up to 4K in ProRes422HQ. The RAVEN delivers maximum ProRes422HQ up to 2K and 60fps.

For all these models there is a free firmware update available which adds the recording formats DNxHD and DNxHR. These formats can be saved simultaneously to the REDCODE RAW recording.

The most important differences between the devices can be seen in the ratio, which maximum resolution at which frame rates under which compression rates can be achieved – and which maximum data rates the respective system can achieve. The WEAPON achieves up to 300MB/s, the EPIC up to 200 MB/s, the SCARLET-W up to 140 MB/s, and the SCARLET up to 72 MB/s. Here, a limiting factor is the storage medium itself. The fastest of these are the RED Minimags with a capacity of up to 1TB.

The selectable compression rates and the achievable frame rates within each device depend on the selected target resolution, aspect ratio, time base (24/25 etc), movement intensity of the camera and the subject as well as the speed of the SSD used. The basic recommendation is to select a REDCODE RAW compression ratio of 3:1 for stills, 5:1 for scenic shots, and 7:1 for Web&TV. Rates up to 10:1 still function visually lossless even if the target format is downscaled compared to the recording format (e.g. 4K to HD).

Current DSMC2 sensors

In addition to the Monstro 8K VV sensor, the Helium 8K S35, the Gemini 5K S35 and the Dragon X 5K S35 sensor are available as of June 2019.

Monstro 8K VV



This offers a contrast range of up to 17 f-stops. The image window of 40.96 mm x 21.60 mm is slightly larger than the classic full format (36mm x 24mm). With an effective 8,192x4320 pixels, the Monstro reaches 35.4 megapixels at full 8K resolution. 

The RED Weapon/Monstro 8K VV records in 8K 2.4:1 with up to 75 FPS or in 8K full format with up to 60 FPS. 300 MB/s data rates allow simultaneous recording of Redcode RAW and Proxy 4K Apple ProRes or 4K Avid DNxHR. REDs IPP2 (Image Processing Pipeline) is used.

The monitor outputs are as follows: 

- 3G-SDI (HD-SDI ) and HDMI with DSMC2 Expander Module
- 1080p RGB or 4:2:2, 720p RGB or 4:2:2
- 480p RGB or 4:2:2 (HDMI only)
- SMPTE Timecode , HANC Metadata, 24-bit 48 kHz Audio

Helium 8K S35



This offers a contrast range of up to 16.5 f-stops. The image window has a size of 29.9mm x 15.77mm (S35). With an effective resolution of 8,192x4320 pixels, the Helium 8K S35 achieves 35.4 megapixels at full resolution.
 
It records like the Monstro 8K VV in 8K 2.4:1 with up to 75 FPS or in 8K full format with up to 60 FPS. 300 MB/s data rates allow simultaneous recording of Redcode RAW and Proxy 4K Apple ProRes or 4K Avid DNxHR. REDs IPP2 (Image Processing Pipeline) is used.

The monitor outputs are as follows: 

- 3G-SDI (HD-SDI ) and HDMI with DSMC2 Expander Module
- 1080p RGB or 4:2:2, 720p RGB or 4:2:2
- 480p RGB or 4:2:2 (HDMI only)
- SMPTE Timecode , HANC Metadata, 24-bit 48 kHz Audio

Gemini 5K S35



This offers a contrast range of up to 16.5 f-stops. The image window has a size of 30.72mm x 18mm (S35). With an effective resolution of 5,120 x 3,000 pixels, the Helium 8K S35 achieves 15.3 megapixels at full resolution. Furthermore, the Gemini 5K S35 is the first RED camera to offer the dual ISO system and is therefore up to 2 f-stops brighter than a helium. 

It records in 5K 2.4:1 with up to 120 FPS or in 5K full format with up to 75 FPS. 300 MB/s data rates allow simultaneous recording of Redcode RAW and Proxy 4K Apple ProRes or 4K Avid DNxHR. REDs IPP2 (Image Processing Pipeline) is used.

The monitor outputs are as follows: 

- 3G-SDI (HD-SDI ) and HDMI with DSMC2 Expander Module
- 1080p RGB or 4:2:2, 720p RGB or 4:2:2
- 480p RGB or 4:2:2 (HDMI only)
- SMPTE Timecode , HANC Metadata, 24-bit 48 kHz Audio

Dragon X



This offers a contrast range of up to 16.5 f-stops. The image window has a size of 25.6mm x 13.5mm (S35). With an effective resolution of 5,120 x 2,700 pixels, the Dragon- X reaches 13.8 megapixels at full resolution. 

It records in 5K 2.4:1 with up to 120 FPS or in 5K full format with up to 96 FPS. At 2K 2.4:1 up to 300 FPS are possible. 300 MB/s data rates allow simultaneous recording of Redcode RAW and Proxy 4K Apple ProRes or 4K Avid DNxHR. REDs IPP2 (Image Processing Pipeline) is used.

The monitor outputs are as follows: 

- 3G-SDI (HD-SDI ) and HDMI with DSMC2 Expander Module
- 1080p RGB or 4:2:2, 720p RGB or 4:2:2
- 480p RGB or 4:2:2 (HDMI only)
- SMPTE Timecode , HANC Metadata, 24-bit 48 kHz Audio

As part of the DSMC2 camera line, these cameras benefit from the modularity of the product line. Wireless accessories, an integrated mounting plate, wireless control and compatibility with the many other Red products. Interchangeable OLPFs (Optical Low Pass Filters) and lens mounts are also supported.

The weight (excluding lens and accessories) is stated to be only 3,3 lb / 1.5kg.

RED RANGER



The launch of RED RANGER was announced by CEO Jarred Land in January 2019. After some speculation it was clear: the RED RANGER will only be available for rental. The reason given by RED is the high production costs with low quantities of the model. The purchase of a single RED RANGER would not have made economic sense. The RED Ranger uses a Monstro 8K VV sensor.

Exposure

During shooting, the falsecolor mode of the RED is very suitable for a quick and reliable assessment of the exposure. Red areas mark clipped image contents, violet areas mark image contents compressed in black. These areas marked in this way cannot be saved in post-production even despite REDRAW recording. 

Sharpness

A magnification mode in the viewfinder or on the LCD that quickly shows whether the desired image content is in focus is suitable for quickly judging sharpness. 

Black Shading

If the exposure time is changed by more than half a second or the ambient temperature changes significantly, black shading is recommended at the beginning of each shooting day. Black shading is a calibration procedure to calculate the sensor noise already during the recording. During this procedure, the attached lens should be closed light-tight or the sensor protection cap should be inserted into the mount and the camera operated via a power supply unit.

Black shading is found in : Menu Settings > Maintenance > Calibrate > Sensor > Calibration Capture. Time must be allowed for the process. The calibration process performed by the camera itself takes several minutes.

HDR 

Another feature is the HDRx mode, which increases the dynamic range by another 6 f-stops. Simultaneously, the camera takes an image corresponding to the exposure setting (A track) and an underexposed image to capture the brightest areas of the image (X track). Both tracks are synchronous, there is no offset between them.

Material Processing REDCODE RAW

To check, grade, trim, and transcode REDRAW material, RED offers the software REDCINE-X for download. In a workflow with RED cameras, this software is a recommendable and helpful tool for evaluating the generated data.

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