Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Red Camera

This is a picture of the Red Camera all stripped down. Not all that impressive looking, but it is a piece of technology which is going to change the film production process.

For eight days beginning Jan. 30 and ending Feb. 8 Flashpoint Academy produced The Intruder, a short Twilight Zone-esque film, using the Red Camera. It was the first time the camera had gone out as a rental in Chicago and it was yet another way Flashpoint is at the "bleeding edge" of both education and technology.

Since I am not the most technical person I'll give you the lay version. The Red Camera, captures a digital image at 4K resolution. That's more than double the image quality than the Super Bowl broadcast, while film itself is about 12K resolution. To my eyes you couldn't tell the difference between the Red images and 35mm film.

The camera will accept any 16mm or 35mm lenses with a PL mount. You can record to a 320 gb hard drive, but we chose to record to 8gb compact flash cards. Those flash cards would hold four minutes of "film." When filled they would be transferred to a computer and reformatted and reused. In short it was not much different from using your digital still camera except we were capturing 24 frames per second. As a point off comparison- the Panasonic HVX200 P2 camera shoots 16gb cards which can hold 42 minutes of film.

The Red Camera comes at a base price of $17,5oo and with all the accessories you will probably spend $60,000 to have a decked out camera. That's not a lot of money if you shoot a lot of film. And because of of the huge, file storage issues, you will probably need another $30,000 of computer technology and storage space. Cheap if you are making lots of film or working on a feature.

Check out the camera for yourself.
Here is a picture of it all tricked out.