This is a post from my blog, but I wanted to post it here to get feed back from some RED users.
Please no "religious" responses. Educated, example driven comments appreciated.
The Red Digital Cinema tag line is “The Red Camera Makes Obsolescence Obsolete.”
As a DCI digital cinema expert and past owner of a Film and TV production studio and facility, unfortunately, this comment is a little miss-leading.
Let me explain why.
I am involved in the installation of DCI projectors within Australia. As such, I am well informed of technical roadmaps and installation numbers. Currently the DCI equipment being installed is 2k, general projecting SCOPE as 2048×858 and FLAT (1.85) as 1998×1080. The DMD, or DLP chips are 2048×1080 in total.
At the current rate, we will not see large penetration of DCI in all cinemas, especially in non-US cinemas, for quite some time to come. Even in the US the change over is not near 50%.
Current roadmap for 4k DLP support? Not even being talked about yet.
Life span of a DLP projector. Expected 10years, however, Cinemas are use to 40 years lifespan on a traditional projector, so expect them to run them into the ground, 15-20 years.
I would expect the world to be fully DCI in about 5-10 years.
If we add all these time frames up, etc. Don’t expect to see 4K cinema for 20 years. Maybe more.
Now lets look at who can tell the difference between 2k and 4k. From many people I have spoken to, even trained pros have a hard time telling the difference is at a reasonable distance from the screen. Sure, if in the front row it is much easier. In general, however, it is expected that the general cinema goer, 99% would not tell the difference.
As a cinema owner, can you justify spending hundreds of thousands of dollars just to keep 1% a little happier?
What I am trying to point out here is that 2k is pretty much it. Doing production in more then 2k is a good way to simply spend more money on Post with no real way to get it onto a cinema screen for a very long time to come.
RED1 queasy 4K bayer as opposed to real 4k (when you say 4k you mean 4k of resolution. 4k baye, DLPr is not 4k resolution.) the RED1, in a 2k workflow is most likely the best bang for $$$ camera currently available.
RED cry the “Obsolescence Obsolete” tag line, but this is more hype then reality of what is involved in real production.
Cost, destination format, qualified workflow. This is what you as a producer should be excited about. Not how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.
SideNOTE: Over sampling or more then 2k aquisition is very useful for certain post requirements. Mainly CGI, but in general, it has no bearking to the final result in a 2k workflow.