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  1. #1 Phil's NAB Journal 2013 
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Aloha Redusers. I've been at NAB literally one day and was at Red's booth for most of it, which to me is great news. It means a lot of good things are coming up. Here are some of my personal highlights from Day 1.


    Red Dragon


    Dragon finally has landed and it's all good news. Things have changed a bit for the better for us too. Notably Red found a way to push out 100fps at 6K from the previous 86fps. The other huge news is that the Dragon upgrade is literally happening right now and upgrades are happening even right on the NAB show floor.

    Here's the rundown of the specifications on the upgrade path for both Epic and Scarlet owners:

    Epic Upgrade Options:

    - Epic-M owners can pre-order the upgrade for $9500
    - Early Red adopters can pre-order for $9500 and receive a $1000 store credit when invoiced.
    - Epic-X owners can pre-order their upgrade at $9500 4/11/2013.
    - New Epic-M Dragon cameras will be sold for $29K, pre-orders now. Ships after Epic-M owners have had their chance to upgrade.
    - Epic-X Dragon cameras will be priced at $24K, shipping and release information unknown at this time.

    Scarlet Upgrade Options:

    - Trade in your Scarlet-X to upgrade to Epic-X with the Mysterium-X sensor for $9500. Upgrade your Epic-X to Full Epic Dragon for an additional $9500.
    - Upgrade the Scarlet-X to Scarlet Dragon for $9500. Scarlet Dragon will be a 5K, 60fps camera.
    - Pre-orders for upgrades begin Thursday, upgrades start in July.
    - Scarlet Dragon price and availability TBD.

    So to be clear, Epic and Scarlet can be upgraded to Dragon.

    Dragon will exist in three flavors:

    - Epic-M Dragon $29,000
    - Epic-X Dragon $24,000
    - Scarlet Dragon $????? (at the moment)


    Brain Surgery

    As I mentioned earlier, Red is upgrading select Epic cameras to Epic Dragon at NAB. Red has built a Class 100 Clean Room as part of their booth and allowed us to witness exactly the process each camera will go through on it's journey to becoming a Dragon. It's really a fascinating thing to observe. I don't know how long I watched, but I came back a few times to see the progress while zipping around through the booth.








    Motion Mount

    If you'd like to know where I was at the very first moment of NAB I was standing in front of Red's new Motion Mount literally before the lights came on at the booth. This is tremendous and new technology in our field that tackles a few interesting things. I picked Justin's and Bob's brains all morning.

    Apparently there are several modes on the Motion Mount: Clean, Global, Motion Mode, and Strobe Safe modes. In effect the "Motion Mode" provides the most natural image, however, you can also generate what we would typically consider the Global Shutter look as well. Strobe Safe is exactly what it implies and tackles the "bars" that appear when a strobe is fired within the frame.

    By itself it straight away dims the sensitivity 1 to 1.5 stops when the Motion Mount is in Clean mode. They are still fine tuning that bit. It provides a 10 stop range overall with the ability to dial in the amount ND you would like as well.

    So in DP-speak, a 0.3-ish ND through an ND 3.0.

    On the subject of IR contamination, with Mysterium-X you'll still be seeing it's "influence" on the image just like we do today, however, you will only need to add a hot mirror into the mix to correct that. When it comes to Dragon, as it has a new IROLPF filter, we'll need to test out exactly where the IR become "unfriendly". I'm imagining somewhere around 1.8 or 6 stops, but until I have it in my hands to test I have no clue.

    Red is targeting a Fall 2013 release for the PL mount version with a Canon EF mount to follow.

    This bad boy is some freaky voodoo. Let me tell ya. Imagine the control you'll have over your exposure with this device. Imagine the space saved in your bag not carrying a full range of NDs around. Imagine not spending time swapping out filters on set.

    Seriously I'm loving this.

    We'll have to do some tests to see which lenses are compatible with the Motion Mount, but for a great deal of modern lenses I think we'll be in the clear. Some deeper protruding lenses may cause some headaches, but we'll have to see.




    ODEMAX, REDRAY, and 4K Displays

    I probably spent the most time sitting down the ODEMAX team and discussing some of the various ideas they are currently working on as well as demoing what they currently have built up. It's positive and more so than ever I'm excited about what ODEMAX means to content creators, distributors, and theaters.

    There's crazy power in there. You can control several REDRAY/playback devices through ODEMAX's control panel/dashboard. Meaning you can be in LA and press play and somebody in Hong Kong is now enjoying your movie. Seeing this in action had a pretty profound effect on me honestly. ODEMAX is going into it's next testing phase in the next couple weeks. There isn't an ETA on it or REDRAY, but all I can say is it's looking damn good and the potential is looking even better.



    REDRAY was on display and pushing out some gorgeous content on the Sony and Samsung 4K televisions. And it looks really nice. The proof is really in the pudding when it comes to seeing high quality 4K content on quality panels. Crowds were gathering and people had those awe moments whenever snow powder kicked up or they could be riding with the motorcycle out on the flats and feel the denim. Resolution is one thing, but the texture and richness of these images was pretty damn great. And this is coming from somebody who's seen plenty of 4K material projected.

    On the note of projection. Red had the 4K Barco setup to roll the NAB sizzle reel as well as some bonus material from The Hobbit that was finished out in 4K. I have a very sincere feeling that The Hobbit was truly meant to be watched this way. The rich production design, detailed sets and costumes, and beautiful landscapes jumped out of the screen. This is the stuff that dreams are made of.

    I can't stress enough the "window" effect that happens to people when they watch 4K projected or on a monitor. What 4K is all about is putting the viewer in a position where they aren't sure if they are looking through a window or an open door. I think we're really just scratching the surface in terms of quality here.


    Red Lens Motor and Meizler



    The new Red Lens Motor is pretty rad. Not gonna lie. It's been a while since innovation of this sort has happened on the FIZ motor front. Just going to discuss a few really cool highlights.

    - Rotating power input
    - 19mm (15mm with spacer) clamp
    - Rails on two sides for clamp position
    - Friction and Standard gears

    Basically you can rig this motor anywhere you want and in any way you can imagine. It's also a safe bet to see new components using this new quick release compact rail in the future.

    Here's three Red Lens Motors rigged on Meizler:



    And also what Meizler is looking like today:





    I fiddled with Meizler a bit for the first time really and something you'll be seeing in the future is it's control interface through the Touch LCDs (and also a glimpse into future firmware):




    Quickplate Focus


    I spent about 20 minutes with Matt and he's bloody excited about some of these newly designed components. Red is expanding on their Quickplate, compact, and lightweight gear. They are doing this by utilizing the Quickplate as a standard and we're finally seeing some new accessories roll out. These weren't announced last night, but were awesome to see at the booth.

    Here's a Quickplate (what I'm calling) half clamp. You can bolt this pretty much anywhere and adjust it's position. Great if you are looking to quickly relocate your battery or perhaps mount it in unique positions.



    Check out the Quickplate shoulder pad:



    And in it's pretty early development, the REDVOLT XL Quickplate Battery Adapter:




    Other Bits

    There's so much at the Red booth this year. On display and running is the new RedRocket-X:



    Ted has been dishing out some great interviews that I've spied on.



    Red's also running three 1 hour Reducation course a day throughout NAB.

    More tomorrow.

    Phil Holland - Cinematographer - Los Angeles
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  2. #2  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Day 2 thoughts:



    First up an answer to a few questions out there. I caught Jarred in between probably 15 different meetings, but I did get some important questions answered.

    Q: Will Scarlet Dragon have any 6K functionality?
    A: Nope. Scarlet Dragon records at 5K at up to 60 frames per second.

    Q: There were talks about a 5.5K resolution on Dragon to essentially be a similar size to the Mysterium-X's full sensor size.
    A: In progress. Also, Red is investigating on how to allow the shooter to set their own custom resolutions.

    Q: Will Dragon have HDRx or not?
    A: Looks like it will be in there as of 1:43am 4/10/2013.

    Q: In the Dragon cameras or upgraded cameras do we get the new DSMC FAN 2.0?
    A: Nope. That is an optional upgrade for those who desire it.


    Quickies

    Some other quickies that I'll just add some thoughts to.

    Redmote Pro? Not here at NAB. However, I will poison your mind a bit. Red recently acquired Element Technica and that opens up some interesting and exciting possibilities. For instance, the Technica Hand Controller (THC-L) and the 6-Axis Lens Control System (LCS) can be used in conjunction with the new Red Lens Motor and can be powered in a variety of ways.



    Additionally Viewfactor is getting closer to their Origo device for shooters who own electronic focus still lenses.

    On the mechanical control front Element Technica also had an extremely early prototype of their new follow focus:




    The Redvolt XL Quickplate Adapter. I wanted to show a closer look at this guy. One very interesting thing to note is the port for the power LEMO, so you can choose what length cable you'll need for your rigs.




    The Red Vesa Mount. Another surprise bit from the floor. This device provides a place for A/C power to live from the monitor and a couple of wireless accessories such as the Redlink Video Receiver. This thing is pretty early in development. Good things about it are the use of the Red Rosettes/Dog Bones to attach those accessories to the monitor itself, a beefy handle for transport, and the ability to keep your monitor fully rigged between setups or even shooting days. Really smart stuff that can help speed up a typical production day.





    Dragon and Lens Thoughts



    The one thing that we have really no shortage of this year at NAB is lenses. Dragon is looking to be a 4K delivery machine that can shoot at 6K or 5K (or whatever really). Dragon at 5K resolution is indeed about the same size of S35 3-perf, which means it's usable with pretty much any lens designed for S35. 6K is a different story. Some lenses will cover, some not. Usually the 18mm and 25mm in typical modern sets will be the ones that have coverage issues. However, there are a good amount of FF35 lenses here today and more on the way. And let me say, some really good lenses.

    There are a ton of S35 lenses out there, but just for the moment let's focus on the new glass out there that can cover Epic Dragon at 6K.


    FF35 Glass Highlights



    Schneider Xenon FF-Primes. I got a nice early look at these. Affordable, T2.1, available at the end of the year. These are new designs and differ from the Canon CN-E and Zeiss CP.2 lenses because of that.





    Zeiss Compact Zooms. I had the privilege to spend about an hour with Helmut Lenhof from Zeiss and we talked lens design. Easily one of my favorite memories this year at NAB. He really was inquisitive about what I liked and disliked about the new Compact Zooms. Optically speaking, these are pretty damn amazing. Sharp wide open at T2.9 and built like tanks. Minimal breathing and what I would say class leading performance from the 70-200mm. I need to spend more time with it, but I don't think there's a better 70-200mm on the market. I have a slight criticism regarding the close focus on the 28-80mm on the wide end, however, Helmut explained why this happened due to the compact nature of the design. The other good news is that a wide angle zoom is in the works that will cover full frame 35mm which will compliment this set. It will likely be in the 15-35mm range or at least close to it. It's currently under development.




    Canon CN-E Primes. Hey look. It's that 35mm I told you about a year ago at NAB 2012. Canon has taped up all the info because it's not officially announced. They have been working on a 35mm redesign for a while now and they really need to nail this as it's really going to be hard to improve the old version. I will say this, and they won't confirm it at all, but I'm pretty damn sure that's a T1.3 lens under that gaff. Which is pretty much what I said a year ago as well. They have no targeted release date, but if I was them I'd get this out the market pronto. 24mm to 50mm is a massive gap and 35mm is too popular of a focal length to leave out of a cinema lens set.




    The Zunow Imperial Primes. These are new. So new that this is actually the only set in existence. They are made in Japan and to me look a heck of a lot like S35 Illuminas, but just a smidge lighter. Currently a 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm exist. There's a 24mm in the works and they are actually going to pump out an 18mm T2 as well. There's a macro in the works and they are working on a 100mm and 135mm design. And they are trying to hit the market at an MSRP of $4000, which is amazing if they can pull this off. These prototypes are pretty early and there's a whole lot of image shift happening in there that they need to lock down. However, the actual wide open performance is pretty impressive on these at the moment and breathing was fairly minimal. We'll have to see if a completed set can happen before 2013 expires.


    Anamorphic Attack!

    There were literally 3 new anamorphic prime sets on display at NAB 2013. Which is nutso to have so many options around now. None of these are inexpensive, however it's nice to see some new quality glass coming to the market.




    Arri/Zeiss Master Anamorphic Primes. These are nice. Really, really nice. The word on the street is that these don't flare much, but you can get some out of them with a hot source light. Looks a bit futuristic and produces a blue/cyan streak from what I could observe on the floor. No breathing. Sharp for anamorphics. T1.9! Gorgeous out of focus oval bokeh. I need to test these once a production set is out there.




    Scorpio Anamorphic Primes. I really need to look at these at some point when they are ready to go. T2, a bit of smidge of breathing, although I was told they don't. These are different and didn't produce what I expected from anamorphic lens. I'll hold my opinion until I can play with them.


    Cooke has some T2.3 anamorphic lenses on the way. Also, fairly early on in the development stage, but I can't wait to see these on a camera when they are ready to go.


    Finishing Up NAB

    I'm heading back to LA to prep for a shoot just a few hours from now. This pretty much has been the most exciting NAB for me. There's so much coming down the pipe that's going to greatly effect our Red workflow from rigging, to capture, to delivery. Red's clearly focused on creating some new lightweight and wireless rigs. Which is a great for productions from my perspective. I'm really excited to see where the new rail and SWAT gear leads us.

    4K was everywhere at NAB 2013. Considering the negative press last year and that HD was enough it's pretty clear to see we've come a long way. Red is really the only company out there creating a complete ecosystem from top to bottom. This in itself is truly amazing considering what's transpired in the last 7 years.

    Dragon is really completing the promise that Red set out to do from the get go and I can't tell you how excited I am about shooting with it. There's tremendous new "sci-fi" technology at the Red Booth. I don't think I saw 5 seconds where people weren't being wowed by the Motion Mount. Nobody else here at NAB has that.

    Okay. I've got to hit the sack and drive back to LA. I have to say meeting some of the folks at Red responsible for the gear I use nearly daily and some Redusers that I've never seen outside of this forum has been really memorable. Some great conversations about gear, theory, and life. It's been a whirlwind and I don't know exactly how much sleep I've had, but it's been a blast. I hope to have a minute to digest it all.

    I'll leave you with this shot of one of the Reducation sessions.

    Phil Holland - Cinematographer - Los Angeles
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  3. #3  
    Senior Member Will Keir's Avatar
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    "- Epic-X owners can pre-order their upgrade at $9500 today."

    Are you sure about this one Phil? I asked my BS Rep and he said Thursday at 9am.

    Nice post BTW, going back to read it all. Keep up the good work.
    Will Keir
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  4. #4  
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    Thanks for the excellent write up Phil. Looking forward to your next updates... Can you enquiry the guys concerning Red Armor transfer on upgrade and how it works? Cheers!
    Sérgio Perez

    EPIC-X 2029 "Lilau" in Macau!

    Video Director/Creative/Producer


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  5. #5  
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    Some more interrogation of RED/ODEMAX would be good. Your choice of methods, feel free to set up a honey trap/use thumbscrews/just ask/bribe/etc
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  6. #6  
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    Thanks for being our Eyes Phil! Your hands-on is helping make sense of some of the new RED swag. Will check in here throughout NAB.
    Stu Aull
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  7. #7  
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    Thanks for the great information Phil


    Sunil Prem
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Mike Garrick's Avatar
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    Hey Phil nice work ....... look forward to more updates.

    P.S. Damm that Dragon lab looks so sexy...... very Kubrick ..complete with Hals eye as the red logo
    Last edited by Mike Garrick; 04-09-2013 at 03:17 AM.
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Kwan Khan's Avatar
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    Any word on Motion mount for NIKON/ Canon?
    No, I do not RENT MY GEARS... - NYC (Times Square)

    EPIC-D with 9" touch, 4 RAVENs, RPP, Sigma 18-35 PL, Motion Mount, VF/RED-rock wireless FF, Pana 17", JVC 20", Seadicam with SEGWAY, Letus 4-Axis with L'Aigle Exoskeleton.

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  10. #10  
    Senior Member Sam Taylor's Avatar
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    I appreciate you taking the time and effort to write this post Phil!
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