It’s no secret the RED One was a less than perfect camera.
But what it lacked in perfection, it made up for in pure disruptive power and changed the digital cinema game. Even though it was a quirky and difficult camera to use, top notch directors like Peter Jackson jumped on the RED train to digital town.
And now that RED has had quite a bit of time to mature both as a company and a manufacturer, their follow-up to the RED One, the RED Epic, is supposed to provide a more streamlined experience and user-friendly camera.
Does it deliver? Well, sort of.
But like any RED product, there’s a catch or two waiting to snag you just when the Assistant Director is about to yell “Roll camera!”
Let’s be clear: no camera is perfect. RED has simply become the poster-boy for buggy cameras.
That’s because the company releases firmware updates constantly — patching holes, creating new ones, and adding features not fully tested — but also because their cameras have such distinct problems.
For instance, I remember the RED One on my first gig as a camera assistant that would randomly go into timelapse mode, shooting 1-frame bursts between setups. Or the various times I’ve watched a boot dialog on the back LCD come to a dead stop. Or finding “phantom clips” the camera chose to shoot itself.
On the latest RED Epic shoot I was on, we avoided major software glitches, but I spent a lot of time comparing Epic to RED One and examining the trade-offs of each. I asked myself, “What are the ‘gotchas’ on this camera? What are the unique problems it presents?”
Afterward, I came up with a list of 10 “must-know” problems, issues, quirks, and limitations of the RED Epic camera.
And over the next two weeks (starting tomorrow), I’m going to be going in-depth on each of them to discuss further how you can have better control over this powerful camera and what proactive steps you can take to avoid common pitfalls.
This series of posts will cover things like black-shading calibration, REDVOLT batteries, firmware updates, and using still lenses with the Epic. Not every post will cover a “major” problem, but each will cover an issue that is extremely helpful to be aware of before you even prep the camera.
Throughout the series, you can check back here to see a list of the posts in one convenient spot.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts on shooting with the EPIC and what unexpected happenings occurred while you were working with it.
Basically, what advice would you give to someone who has never used the camera before and is about to for the first time? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Posts from This Series:
- How to Properly Calibrate Black Shading
- REDVOLT Batteries Trade Power for Portability
- You’re Limited with Monitor Outputs and Options
- Use the LED Status Indicators to Save Time
- How Epic’s Auto-Focus Works Against You When Off
- Know Your Camera’s Firmware and Its Limitations
- The Difference Between REDCODE Data Ratios
- How to Shoot Slow Motion at Varispeed Framerates
- You Must Know What You Want From the Camera
- It’s a Computer Inside of a Camera’s Body