The file based eco-system that RED has promoted is finally doing what I always expected - taking over the business. The new SSD RedMags with RobCode are marvels of data acquisition convenience, capacity and capability that carry tremendous amounts of image information. Yet many producers still avoid RED cameras as the RAW files are not immediately ready to edit on typical systems without processing/transcoding (or, even if native on the timeline like in Adobe Premiere, still require rendering for output).
The putative magic bullet to solving this issue is the Red Rocket PCIe accelerator card and its been a huge asset. That said, with the higher data rates on Epic (and, presumably, to a lesser degree, Scarlet), we are now looking at needing 2 Red Rockets for real time decode/playout. That's a $10K investment and some post processing effects like Alchemy would still require rendering. From a producers POV it is also an investment that sits idle when using any other camera system (one trick pony objection).
Arguably RED's compressed RAW proposition offers more image information per GB than any other. Uncompressed solutions like Codex are too expensive (cost, data payload) for most projects. Compressed component and RGB options lack either latitude, resolution(native/chroma), bit depth or all three. I believe the marketplace would respond rapidly to an affordable, easy to employ second generation Red Rocket.
My hope? About 6 times the horsepower of the current Red Rocket for around $3,000 - presumably sporting one or more of the new ASICs developed for the camera program. I think the price point has to accommodate a pretty wide range of budgets and not be too big a pill for those who use multiple camera systems. It should handle anything short of 5KFF/48fps stereo in real time both for playback and transcoding, without a second card.
If RED (or a 3rd party like DVS) could offer real time manipulation of r3d assets for the right price I believe it would significantly improve industry acceptance of the RED camera system. If that doesn't happen soon, I fear that many will resort to recording the SDI output at 10 bit 4:2:2 and finishing from those files to appease budget obsessed producers who's mantra is "good enough".
Cheers - #19