Adam Wilt of Pro Video Coalition recently paid a visit to the RED company headquarters in Los Angeles where he saw first hand some working RED Epic cameras. He also was able to watch a 4K projection of that recently released HDRx footage. While touring the complex with Jim Jannard, founder of RED, Wilt was able to find out some interesting new details about the upcoming RED Epic digital cinema camera.
One of the first demos Wilt got was of the Epic camera in it’s “DSLR” mode. For those who don’t know, the Epic is being billed as a DSMC camera, or “Digital Stills and Motion Camera” camera. That means that the guys over at RED want to create both a still camera that is also a really nice cinema camera. That way RED can tackle not only the DSLR camp, but established heavyweights like the Arri Alexa as well.
Wilt handled the camera in DSLR mode and stated it felt very good and the design of the camera is leaps above the RED One’s clunky laser gun approach. He also noted that inside the Handgrip accessory is a REDVOLT battery capable of half an hour’s worth of shooting. That means that you could operate the camera without an extra battery module. This is big because it substantially changes the weight of the camera, cause those batteries can really add some pounds (I know from that Steadicam rig I threw together).
Another interesting part of the story was Wilt’s analysis of the HDRx footage, as well as some of a tiger, projected in 4K downresed from the Mysterium-X sensor capable 5K. He thinks the footage looks amazing and that RED has jumped the resolution hurdle towards the film-look finish line.
Other details revealed in the story:
- The current boot time for the camera is 18 seconds, though Jannard says they are working to get it down to 9 seconds
- The lens mount on the front of the camera is secured by 4 hex-key bolts and is easily swappable, even in the field, Wilt says. There are precision milled silver “feet” that keep the mounts an accurate distance from the sensor. Immediately I was suspicious about the back focus, but Wilt eases us with info that back-focus will be adjusted within the “brain” of the camera with an adjustment screw
- The BOMB EVF is finished and currently awaiting FCC testing before it will ship. As a consequence of this, RED is no longer shipping the old EVF’s, but is still repairing them
- Wilt does claim that the BOMB EVF display is a bit too small for his liking and asked if he would be able to magnify while rolling. Jannard says yes and that different outputs will be able to magnify independently. First AC’s everywhere will rejoice knowing that they can 1:1 zoom without a director/producer/operator asking what’s going on.
- As stated before, the Handgrip accessory contains a REDvolt battery to allow close to 30 minutes of shooting without a battery module attached.
- The handgrip itself also features a red light near the power on that indicates if there is enough juice to power up
- From the article: “Jim says EPIC has twice as fast a CMOS reset time as the RED ONE: that means it has half the rolling-shutter “jellocam” of the earlier camera.”
There’s a lot more info, better analysis, and many more pictures in Wilt’s article over at Pro Video Coalition that I encourage everyone to go check out and read. Arri Alexa better watch it’s back!