Thread: HYDROKOMODO. 3 years and still waiting

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  1. #1 HYDROKOMODO. 3 years and still waiting 
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    Today 3 years ago we got the announcement of the new project hinted by Jim.
    3 years ago today, I immediately bought one (and then bought a second one).

    I might have misunderstood, but we were buying into a revolutionary portable media machine, powered by RED minds.
    Something that would allow us to take photo and video to a new revolutionary place.

    It took about 16 months to get it delivered. And when it came... let's just say that the market speaks for itself.
    I was personally very disappointed in the overall experience, and I reduced my time on the forums due to that reason. It made me lose the excitement I have for RED.
    Meanwhile the module promised never came, but it got shifted back into RED hands, and from Hydrogen, we are now into Komodo.

    Komodo is a very different product from Hydrogen, and also a very different product from what an H1 plus module would have been.
    It is not even an HydroKomodo, as I mention in the title. It is a new camera module by RED.

    I understand we H1 owners might get some sort of deal on the Komodo. I feel that for all the effort we made and the commitment of paying for a product, waiting 15 months for it, and never get what was promised, it hasn't been fully rewarded. I always like the stormtrooper idea, but maybe this time was better to look into the rebels? Instead of soldiers of the evil empire, reward the people who have been waiting 3 (THREE) years for a product?

    An H is a $1000 investment. A Komodo is $5000. Am I now supposed to spend 4K for a product just because otherwise I lose the benefits of buying another one that did not work?
    And what if I want what was promised?
    What if I didn't want a Komodo, but a H2? A portable media machine? Not another camera.

    I am sorry to vent. 3 years is a long time. Seeing the stormtroopers out, and not being even offered one without having to follow IG and the forum constantly, it makes me a bit upset.
    I am still a fan of RED. I like the quality of the products and I like the team. I am just wishing I got what I paid for 3 years ago.
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    It seemed very clear to me when I received my hydrogen that it was a failure in nearly every way. I returned it within the return window mostly because above all else hydrogen was clearly a waste of money given many early adopters who were given extra units were selling them basically new for almost half price the week they officially came out. Hard to imagine holding onto a phone, something you use many times a day, through a massive price drop just for the possibility of some hinted or maybe even sort of promised thing that was very vague especially after the experience of seeing how poor and behind schedule the whole hydrogen development process was. I'm sure it sucked and probably feels like a scam, but they did have a perfectly good return policy you could have used, no?
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Bob Gundu's Avatar
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    I’m trying to figure out what you’re looking for. Hydrogen didn’t pan out. I would have tried to sell it when you could. I saw the writing on the wall and got the full refund before the release. It almost seems you’re not even needing a Komodo. If that’s the case better to loose a $1000 than spend another $5000. Actually, you could get some money for you H1 still as it’s worth something to get the discount.
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  4. #4  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    If you are a Hydrogen owner there is a discount available for the full production Black models. Early bird cameras, which are more expensive than the Black release cams aren't applicable for the discount. There was only a mention of the development of Hydrogen 2, but that was a far off horizon and nothing was ever hard planned.

    There was a Camera Module of some sort that was planned for Komodo, which also would have cost money. The benefit of being a Hydrogen owner is you do get that Komodo discount if you want one.

    The question really comes down to if you were interested in the Camera Module and if that ever interested you. Komodo likely was going to be released in it's current form either way based on what Jarred's said in interviews and even shown a much older prototype. Though Komodo is not a "camera module", it's a bit more fully featured than the initial prototype of that module shown was by a fairly large margin. And is in effect compatible with IOS as well as shortly Android devices and not limited to one exact phone.

    A completely hot and personal take as RED Hydrogen and RED Digital Cinema weren't exactly the same company or truly related. Though RED Hydrogen didn't survive the onslaught of modern day 3-6 month mobile phone cycles and had some rather large potholes when it comes to the general consumer experience, what's far more interesting to me is the people still using Hydrogen in 2020. I'm still paying attention to that crowd who are still tapping into the H4V and Lightfield tech, 3D, and other things you can use the phone for. And a really hot take, my Ti still gets 3 days per charge. But most mobile phone companies now offer huge batteries around the same year of the H1 launch. A lot of criticism surrounding the project and rightly so, but it is very interesting that there are people still using these devices as phones, content creation, and presentation.

    My personal take was if Hydrogen featured 3 cameras with wide, normal, and tele lenses without the focus on H4V and smidge more focus on 2D, things might have played out a bit differently. The following year is when the newer iPhones and other cameras with multi-cams/focal lengths hit and some of that integration is sexy. Not to mention killing the auxiliary lens business to some degree. Now we have fancy mirror and periscope zooms. Lots of interesting small tech these days.
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  5. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Holland View Post
    My personal take was if Hydrogen featured 3 cameras with wide, normal, and tele lenses without the focus on H4V and smidge more focus on 2D, things might have played out a bit differently. The following year is when the newer iPhones and other cameras with multi-cams/focal lengths hit and some of that integration is sexy. Not to mention killing the auxiliary lens business to some degree. Now we have fancy mirror and periscope zooms. Lots of interesting small tech these days.
    It's still amazing that hydrogen could have been ahead of the game with the focus on awesome cameras but somehow completely missed the boat. Now one of the main features of all top end phones are their large main camera sensors that are practically 16mm sized (1/1.28in-1/1.4in) which are 2-3x the size of the best phone camera sensors of only a year ago. That would have been right up REDs alley back in the day, and they could've been cutting edge on a trend that was barely starting out. Still seems insane that a cinema camera company made a phone and it didnt even have a particularly notable 2D camera.
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  6. #6  
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    I would rather see a phone with a multi-sensor array high resolution camera that could take full advantage of AI image stitching for large sensor performance and optical aesthetics with light field technologies. It could still fit in a large smart phone envelope like the H1.
    Hydrogen is not the only phone to miss the boat. Before COVID my company installed Zoom conference rooms with 13 megapixel three sensor array cameras that could produce an undistorted 180 degree panoramic view of a room and intelligently shift its zoom ratio and image composition to include just the people seated at the table.
    The most serious example of this kind of tech is a 295 phone camera sensor satellite spy camera that can zoom and track to resolve a license plate to HD quality from low earth orbit.
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  7. #7  
    Thank you for starting this thread today @Alberto Guglielmi - I had been thinking about starting a preorder anniversary thread over on h4vuser.

    Investing in an H or two was a bit crazy but I feel like I have a far better comprehension of media technology after the last few years. I am in fact very grateful for the experience of owning this device. At this point though it is becoming difficult to not already consider what might make Komodo obsolete.
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Bastian Meier's Avatar
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    i have to say I was actually quite please with the camera results.
    as Phil said. Probably a Focus on more lenses would have been better then H4V.

    here are some pictures I took during a for fun race (while I was also taking part in the race. So not a lot of time)
    https://adobe.ly/3hP7lzu
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Holland View Post
    The question really comes down to if you were interested in the Camera Module and if that ever interested you. .
    Phil, of course I did. I am a photographer. The idea of having a phone where I can put my camera lenses on was a dream.
    And it is also the reason why I did not return one of the phones. (PS yes I did return the Ti and the free aluminum that came with it).

    I respectfully disagree with some of your opinions. The phone was delivered less than 2 years ago. The fact that people are still using it it's a given. It is not that old.
    On the H1 forum there are people begging for the phone OS to be updated and/or unlocked. So that they can keep a functional product.
    People are still using 6 years old iPhones and also creating great content with Dragon cameras (which I still love, btw).
    But yes, the phone still takes great photos and videos. It is sad there is no development around it.

    I do agree that less focus on the 3D would have been better. I also understand the commercial logic behind putting the eggs into the 3D basket to have a point of differentiation. I think along the lines they forgot that moving towards a truly portable media device was the selling point.

    I will want a Komodo. How much I need it, compared to other cameras, I don't know.
    I know I still need that portable media device that brings me excitement to shoot.

    Check the now delivering Pixii camera. I like some of the concepts there. Bridging a gap and using technology together. Just food for thoughts.
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Donald MJ Anderson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alberto Guglielmi View Post
    I know I still need that portable media device that brings me excitement to shoot.
    .
    The media machine label was never accurate (and very 90`s sounding like Edutainment) Its like calling your hands Grippy Machines and trademarking it. Funny to call it a media machine when the H1 has some of the all round worst speakers of ANY phone I`ve used in the last 8 years. If I watched any "media" on it I was always checking if I had the volume turned up. Obviously doesn`t help when one of the front facing speakers is fake. This "Media" machine also barely functioned as a phone due to microphone quality. I was always being asked if I was on hands free when I wasn`t it sounded that poor.

    If they had gotten to market quicker with the modules it could have been a different story. I always thought they should have had the phone as a module and the screen and chassis as the actual "device" - that way when the phone tech is out of date and updates stop for it, you can get a new phone module if you wanted.
    Last edited by Donald MJ Anderson; 07-07-2020 at 07:57 AM.
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