Thread: Regarding the RED-Mini: feature request

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  1. #1 Regarding the RED-Mini: feature request 
    Member Eugenia Loli-Queru's Avatar
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    I read a few weeks ago that you are preparing a pocket professional camera.

    I am a video enthusiast (not a professional: http://eugenia.blogsome.com/2007/07/02/the-zoo/ ), but I would sell my Canon HDV camcorder on the spot for a professional AVHCD camcorder in a similar price range that gives me what I want most: *some* background blur. You see, the biggest difference in the "look", between the expensive pro cameras and the "Indie/consumer" cameras (including the HVX/DVX series) is the contrast (which can be fixed with the appropriate lense/filter) and the background blur (which would require somewhat expensive adapters/lenses).

    In order to get some considerable background blur, you need a big sensor size. Creating big sensors means more manufacturing problems which can mean a higher price, but that's ok. Speaking for myself, a $999 pocket camera that has an acceptable lense (for the price) but big sensor, AVHCD support recording 720 (24/30p) clips in normal CompactFlash HC format would not only "do the job", but it would be perfect for a particular niche market who are after the "cine look" on a budget. I am not even asking for 1080i or 1080p or crazy features. 720p is good enough if that's important to keep the price down, as long as the visual quality is good enough and it offers the "cine look" (complete with contrast and background blur).

    The downside of this design is that there is no zoom capabilities to speak of. It is an optics limitation by using a larger sensor, so the zoom wouldn't be more than 3x. But that's ok. Except if you are an ultra-modern action director with extra needs, you would never zoom more than 3x in a movie (at least, not frequently enough). Sure, the inability of having a large optical zoom would hurt "family" sales, but I am talking about a director's toy here, not families...

    The kind of product I am suggesting here exists in the digital camera world, it's the Sony DSC-R1:
    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/spec...sony_dscr1.asp
    It's a failed product, let me clear this up, right off the bat. But it's a failed product because for the price it was selling, users would just get a real DSLR with the appropriate lenses instead. But in the video world, things are different. Users are buying $5000 cameras and then they have to shell an extra $1000 for 35mm adapters+lenses usually to get the "cine look". While what I am proposing here would offer the cine-look for $1000 -- for those who want it.

    Of course, I might be completely off the mark with this comment just because RED might be preparing a pocket camcorder with more capabilities in the price range of $5000. But even if they do so, maybe a "lite" 720p product as I suggested above could fill a niche if it was to be produced. The individual bits of technology for my idea already exists, it's just that everyone is afraid of failure I guess because it's not a traditional product with traditional set of features (in fact, Sony did fail with their equivalent digicam).

    Opinions?
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  2. #2 tight lipped 
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    The Red team is super secretive about any specs for the pro pocket cam.
    Don't expect them to say much of anything about it.
    I like the way you think, except for the desire to have AVHCD. AVHCD isn't good for editing. Expect some kind of Red code that doesn't compress via interframes. I am just guessing that the RED camera will have to have specs as good as the HV20, 1080p at 24fps. I am guessing it will store data to the same CF cards that Red will make for the RED One.
    There are already 720p pocket cameras that record to SD cards. I don't think they are that great. I am going to get the Canon TX1 as a toy to play with. It is the only pocket cam that seems any good from what I have read.

    http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/edit...less/index.php
    Read the article above if you own a Mac. You can now use AVHCD with the latest version of Final Cut Pro.

    You have to watch this video of a camera testing diva. I like the end where she tests a Sanyo water proof camera by flushing it down the toilet.
    http://blip.tv/file/267227/
    http://www.sanyodigital.com/e1.aspx
    It records 640x480, not HD. But it could be a nice toy to take to the beach.
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  3. #3  
    In my opinion to make it professional it would at least need to record (at least) 1080p. (There's already a bunch of products that do 1080i (and below)). The other thing is that it would have to record to a codec that is frame independent (redcode seems to fill the bill). Those are my opinions.

    More than anything I also await for more info on the pocket-Red.

    visionmind
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  4. #4  
    don't forget, laser leveler.
    Laser leveler.
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  5. #5  
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    Hi Eugenia,
    Yeah it's a shame about the DSC-R1 failing in the market place. I followed it closely and was very impressed. I'll still buy one when I can, as the optical quality and focal length range would do just fine for my use. Right now I'm using a Kodak Z650 6.1mp with a 10x Schneider designed zoom that I'm quite happy with. Some of my camera snob friends made comments to the effect of "How could you by a Kodak Camera"? I have no problem with the cameras sold by the Great Yellow Father. Kodak has been on the fore front of digital sensors right from the start.

    Chuck
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  6. #6  
    Member Eugenia Loli-Queru's Avatar
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    >AVHCD isn't good for editing

    I know, but it won't require tapes to work with like HDV does. You see, if such a product was to exist, they would possibly mostly serve as "toys/tests" for the pro directors and as "ok" cameras for the indie/enthusiast directors. For that reason, the camcorder must be small and most of all "convenient", and not having to deal with a tape can help a lot. AVHCD does not have as good quality as HDV does, but it's good enough for the purpose of such a supposed product IMHO.

    >There are already 720p pocket cameras that record to SD cards

    Problem is, these cameras are all jokes -- including Canon's $400 such camera. These cameras are just digicams and they record motion-jpeg usually, at needlessly high bit-rates. Plus, they use a normal digicam sensor/lense rather than anything more serious, they have no good controls or mic-input etc.

    >In my opinion to make it professional it would at least need to record (at least) 1080p.

    I was discussing the issue with my husband over dinner tonight (he has studied optics & engineering) and he indeed said that it won't be much more difficult to go all the way to 1080p if you have the electronics that already do 720p. I merely suggested 720p because IF that helps bringing down the price significantly, might be a good route to go to. I mean, as an indie/enthusiast director, I don't think you need much more than that (mostly because your main medium would be YouTube and a DVD quality version), and it's good/fast enough for rough edits/cuts for a pro director or director of photography who would just "test things out" before an actual shoot.
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  7. #7  
    I guess the question is the size of the sensor and whether people want the Mini-RED to be semi-compatible with RED ONE, in other words, do they want to share the same lenses on both cameras, would they want or live with a Super-16 / 2/3" size sensor with the attendant change in depth of field / field of view compared to the same lens on the RED ONE, etc.

    Or would they want something more in size and design like a point-n-shoot digital still camera, 4K / 2K / HD resolution but small sensor and permantly-mounted mini zoom?
    David Mullen, ASC
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  8. #8  
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    your main medium would be YouTube and a DVD quality version
    OUCH! That is where I am at now with my prosumer SD cam. I want to make the leap to 2K and Blu-ray. I hope the RED pocket cam can do 2K. I don't care about price as long as it costs under $5,000.
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  9. #9  
    Member Eugenia Loli-Queru's Avatar
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    Personally, I just want something that has a reasonably good all-around lense (no need for interchangeable lenses, even if that would be nice), small body size, big sensor size, good contrast, 2-4x optical zoom, and 720p (or 1080p if possible) AVHCD (or on any other reasonably well-encoded MPEG4 format), on CompactFlash HC or SDHC cards.

    I don't need compatibility with the RED One/lenses, because that probably would make the size of the device really big. I am thinking of the device as a prosumer-looking camcorder BUT with "cine" features/look. A device that would attract artists and directors on-the-go, rather than families or even news TV crews (I am mentioning this because a TV channel in Germany already equipped their reporters with a... Canon HV20).
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  10. #10  
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    a TV channel in Germany already equipped their reporters with a... Canon HV20
    I wonder if Canon regrets making the HV20 too good?
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