Thread: Should RED stop the upgrade program and just sell new cameras ?

Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 11
  1. #1 Should RED stop the upgrade program and just sell new cameras ? 
    On paper upgrading instead of buying a new RED is an unique and cool feature. Back in the day, upgrading your R1 M to a R1 MX would set you back $5,750 which was revolutionary at a time when Sony used to charge $250,000 for a new 1080P CineAlta camera.

    Almost a decade later, I feel that the upgrade program has become a lot less attractive putting RED and its customers in a less then ideal position.

    It is my understanding that RED is swapping a lot more than the sensor during a camera upgrade. More internal boards need to be replaced as more horsepower is needed with the higher resolutions and frame rates.

    At one point one has to wonder if changing the sensor and a good chunk of the boards should still be considered as an upgrade as opposed to a new camera ?

    As if manufacturing cameras wasn't hard enough, RED also has to deal with a logistical nightmare when a new sensor or camera is announced and everyone sends their camera in for an upgrade.

    Many customers only have one RED camera. When it's time to upgrade, they need to let go their money making tool for a week or two and and rent another camera if they have a shoot in the meantime. Sometimes, the camera is not working as expected after the upgrade and needs to go back for another week or two. We have all heard horror stories about people loosing money by not having their camera and sometimes not even having the Pesos to rent.

    When you look at the prices being slashed by half on new cameras and the upgrade cost getting more expensive, is the upgrade program still relevant ?

    A new DSMC2 Gemini brain is $19,500 and if you want to upgrade from an 'old' DSMC1 Dragon brain, it's going to cost you $14,500. I think you're better off just buying a brand new Gemini AND KEEPING your old camera as a backup or B CAM.

    If one could use RED accessories, which are quite pricey, on DSMC2 and futur DSMC3 cameras, one would only have to buy a new camera brain when available. IMHO, I think it would be better both for RED and its customers.

    What do you guys think ?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  2. #2  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Location
    Brooklyn
    Posts
    199
    NO!
    Reply With Quote  
     

  3. #3  
    Yes
    FOOTAGE ONLINE - resource for UHD, HD and RED stock footage - on facebook
    production unit: www.departmentstudios.de
    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #4  
    Senior Member DJ Meyer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    944
    Nah
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #5  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    333
    Epic-W upgrade to "Weapon" or Gemini @ $5k, whole new camera $20-25k, seems the upgrade path is beneficial. That being said, there is a lot more cost in mounts,media, monitors, V-locks, etc. and it is nice that they will transfer to a new upgraded brain. I think it is a good ecosystem.

    "A new DSMC2 Gemini brain is $19,500 and if you want to upgrade from an 'old' DSMC1 Dragon brain, it's going to cost you $14,500. I think you're better off just buying a brand new Gemini AND KEEPING your old camera as a backup or B CAM."
    No one is stopping anyone from doing this are they?

    Oh, and one other thing, it is not for us to decide...
    Last edited by Jon Dishler; 07-08-2018 at 07:55 PM.
    DSMC2 Helium 1402
    DSMC2 Helium 6423
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #6  
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    CA, USA
    Posts
    93
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Dishler View Post

    Oh, and one other thing, it is not for us to decide...
    Actually, companies are 100% driven by their customer’s purchasing decisions. I’ve had to standardize my production cameras on the CXX line because a $14k upgrade (within a year of purchase) does not make any sense. Our two Reds are going to sit out this upgrade cycle 100% because of price.

    Canon’s raw offering is $7k. With phenomenal auto focus. And phenomenal on-board audio options. How was our Scarlet investment not a mistake? $1000-$2000 for a memory card?

    We run live shoots that need multiple cameras. And we do this multiple times a day. The people that finance this use case do not believe the prices I throw at them when I budget for Red.

    To support this use case Red could make a camera that tops out at 4k/59.94p. It would never steal away the cinema business, so it could be priced to appeal to smaller productions. Instead they announced the Raven, then shuffled it off to Apple, straddling it with a large chunk of partner profit in the price tag.

    Could you imagine Canon doing something like this with the C200? I cannot, which is why our corporate dollars are headed in that direction.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #7  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    Posts
    173
    Seems like this would just be removing an option for consumers. Sure, RED could stop offering upgrades, but then you'd need to purchase a brand new camera at retail value rather than getting some trade in value for your current model. It's always up to the owner whether or not to go through with the upgrade. I personally didn't see a ton of added value for the type of work I usually do in upgrading to the Weapon (or other DSMC2 options) when the original upgrade path was declared closed. Then, the Gemini was announced and I completely changed my mind. In their infinite benevolence, RED decided to allow Epic Dragon owners to upgrade, and I immediately jumped. Yes, the cost was significantly more than simply keeping my Dragon, but if I had to purchase the Gemini new, it would have been an even bigger price tag. Ultimately, I think the new simplified upgrade DSMC2 system and upgrade path will be good for everyone.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #8  
    Senior Member Zeb B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    In The Moment
    Posts
    4,935
    The freaky upgrades are what keep RU fun to watch. Always a logistical cluster and always entertaining. Can't really beat the Dragon to Gemini deal tho. That Gemini sensor is the RED droid I've been looking for
    -Zeb
    FAA 333 Drone Ace
    6K Drone Worldwide
    Underwater Shooter
    RED in Hawaii w/Operator
    www.Stock8K.com
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #9  
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Hollywood, USA
    Posts
    6,358
    Quote Originally Posted by Stefan Antonescu View Post
    On paper upgrading instead of buying a new RED is an unique and cool feature. Back in the day, upgrading your R1 M to a R1 MX would set you back $5,750 which was revolutionary at a time when Sony used to charge $250,000 for a new 1080P CineAlta camera.
    Small correction: I don't think any Sony Cinealta camera was ever more than about $180,000-$190,000. But it's clear to me that Jannard examined the F900, F950, and F35 and realized "there's not more than about $10,000' worth of parts in there," and was able to make a better 4K camera and sell it for under $20,000 starting in 2007. You can make a good case that without Red's competition, the move to 4K would never have occurred as quickly.

    You also have a third option (beyond a trade-in or keeping your camera): you can sell your old camera on the used market, take a loss on it, and then apply that to a brand-new camera. Maybe that makes more economic sense. Or you could do as others have suggested and just rent a camera when you need it. Lenses, matte boxes, tripods, mounting gear, lights, and grip packages never really become obsolete, but cameras often do. Hell, there's a 2000 F900 on eBay right now for $1200, which is much, much cheaper than $180,000. And I guarantee you there are Sony owners out there who bought F65's that wish there was a program to trade those in for a Venice.
    marc wielage, csi colorist/post consultant daVinci Resolve Certified Trainer
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #10  
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    46
    I am sure there are a lot of Arri owners, who wish they could upgrade their Alexa for the LF. Even their XT for a mini. I hear the rentals on anything but the Minis have slowed down. Arri is not much different that people want the newest and best. Their camera prices are much higher. If I had bought the Arri SXT kit at $93,000 and now have it sit around, because everyone wants the Alexa Mini.. No upgrade or sidegrade option.

    The industry has changed since the first RED ONE. The competition has caught up since then. There has been a lot of heat, because of the RED price cut, but I think it was the right decision for RED to stay competitive and unify the line up. The upgrade program and now sensor swap program are what makes RED unique. It really only makes sense if you keep up with it. At some point if you fall behind it makes sense to just buy new. But paying $5,000 to have a brand new top of the line camera, that's amazing.

    If I hope for any changes, it would be the sensor swap program. It is still the old pricing before the camera price cut. Any update on this program coming soon? I don't see why you still need to pay $5,900 just to have the option to install a new sensor. Just keep it simple. RED simplified the camera line up, but I hope this sensor swap program is not starting a new mess in the making. I think the sensor swap program could outplace the upgrade program eventually. It's almost there already. Cut the prices of the cameras and charge people for sensors instead. At the moment, (after one additional sensor swap) it's hardly any saving over just buying a new camera. Maybe something with DSMC3 that will get easier, cheaper and better.
    Director of Photograhy
    schmige.net | instagram
    Reply With Quote  
     

Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts