Cameras

RED simplifies their camera offerings with new lower pricing

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Comments (41)
  1. Larry Templeton says:

    I was hoping that by simplifying their product offerings RED was going to stop with the seemingly endless nickel and diming that comes with having to buy things like a port to record audio, insanely expensive media, batteries, monitors, handles, etc.

    RED is a lot like Porsche in the way that they use their caché and (sorta) reasonable prices to lure you in. And once you’ve been pulled in, by the time you’re done the total outlay is 50% higher. There’s an offensive psychology to that whole process, IMO. If the camera needs to be priced at $30K then charge $30K.

    Other manufacturers do similar things, but no one to the extent that RED does. A $20K 5K Gemini with all the parts needed to shoot (and reasonably priced media) would be a much more interesting camera choice.

    1. Steve says:

      Yep. In the beginning they had short warranties, and outside those months, if you got a little fault on your main board you were up for several thousand for a replacement (likely going cost them hundreds to fix and exchange to somebody else). I saw that, and thought I could barely afford their camera and wait for replacement from the US, and gave up the “dream”. But the faithful offensive fan brigade over there are still “dreaming” and can’t stand anything outside of their off dreams. They are aligning themselves with such fans. I imagine Arri gets lots and lots of sales from those people being around forums.

      So, they dumped that cheaper for much more all in one camera, and brought in the money train module system. You want to turn on (or was it record?) the camera you just bought, that’ll be a module please. I remember those days.

      If you want to get an idea of the price, compare it against BM products, like the Pockets. How is an 8k camera worth more than 4 pockets unless there is significantly more costs to get more performance (the difference between a Nissan Skyline GTR and a Ferrari). The Red is closing in to bring the new Ferrari of the camera world. BM is like the Holden Commodore or something. Unfortunately, there is no high value high tech Skyline GTR, Lotus Elise or efficient Japanese small car like cameras. It seems to jump through low quality through compromised overpriced on the high tech side, until you get to Red.

  2. Steve says:

    If they were democratizing cameras, their cameras would be cheaper than BM’s. How come Gemini isn’t $5k, or less? Looks like my predictions have come true. Raven gone, even Scarlet gone, as they move into the prosumer and multipoint camera segments.

  3. Jim says:

    mmm..love them as cameras & great pictures but I think they will struggle going forward. ProRes raw and cameras under 10K will eat their lunch. I think we should all be thankful that we don’t run a high end camera company in a consumer electronic market where 4K is now a standard not a feature.

    1. Ed Andrews says:

      I think you’re right. I’d love to own a Gemini. However, looking at it as a cold hard business decision, it would be very difficult for me to make my money back on it at that sort of cost. You would have to have some big projects where it was going out every day weeks and months on end to even cover the cost of the brain – let alone the accessories.

      One good barometer of whether a camera is worth buying is how often you see a used one up for sale. You see a lot of used Red’s doing the rounds suggesting there’s a lot of investments that haven’t paid off.

      However, something like the EVA1 or Ursa still deliver some great images that clients demand but are a lot more financially viable.

    2. Darkness says:

      Exactly my point sir James.

      1. Jim says:

        Thanks, people often forget I’m a knight of the realm (of darkness)..that Terra is looking promising ; )

    3. LOLA says:

      I completely agree. Their only hope to to attack the top end of the market and hope Arri drop the ball on 8k.
      Also, maybe similar to Apple it’s their phones that save them?

  4. Alejandro B. Martin says:

    This can be an obstacle for Fran development. I hope that if Fran cannot be developed, as by RED cut prices, at least I willbe happy to know that our camera, even at an unannounced price, might be contributed to now users to be able to get a 8K (red) at sub 25k usd.
    We are going to renegotiate with our sensor provider. But at first instance will be difficult to compete with red 8k 60p at 25kusd. When Fran, even at 50MP still is 8k 30p.

    1. Darkness says:

      I guarantee you they’re still manufacturing these brains at a fraction of the cost. So what are you paying for?

      You’re paying for legacy. The legacy behind the philosophy that for every stop of DR, equals an exponential monitary sum. It’s the virtual Nike logo slapped on a shoe by a 13 year old in a factory in Indonesia. You’re paying for a perception, and a status.

      I’ve been harsh here on RED. Again, I’m not saying their cameras suck, because they certainly don’t. I’ve used them myself.

      I just really think they could do a lot better on their pricing, especially as other companies are offering value for less money, a trend only likely to increase. Does RED have vision? What’s their long term strategy? Will they go back to their roots, or continue to play the corporate game? BMD and Kinefinity will be more than happy to make up any shortcomings, much like RED did with Arri when RED first hit the scene. Remember that?

    2. Gregory Gillaspie says:

      I’m pretty sure your silly “off the shelf parts put in a box” camera- RED wouldn’t take seriously (If they even know about it), and had nothing to them streamlining their manufacturing.

  5. Matt Carter says:

    This is why I’d never buy Red. Depreciation… It must sting to be an existing Red user, to have invested a large sum of money in one of their cameras and then have it be devalued by a price cut overnight. Glad Arri avoid doing this to their customers and their cameras therefore hold their value for much longer making them a safer investment…

    1. Surykaty says:

      Well Arri had one big advantage.. the perfect color science and dynamic range. They didn’t have to change a thing – except the 4K LF model thing. Red has gone through multiple iterations and significant changes in the sensor tech.. Arri is basically the same thing since 2009.

      1. Darkness says:

        Seeing as how the theatrical standard is STILL 2k, their willingness to go 4k is a good signal that Arriflex can be influenced as entrenched as it is. It means they feel some pressure. As a consumer, THIS is exactly what you want.

        Dynamic range and color science are wonderful things, no doubt. But that wouldn’t stop most people from investing in a great story if those things were absent. In fact I’d invest in better audio than elect 2 more stops of DR if I had to chose between the two.

        Simply put, a general audience simply doesn’t care about these things outside of splitting hairs. I would even argue if your audience is paying attention to such things than your film is not working.

        I find it hard to divorce talking shop without talking about the actual skill of filmmaking. The tool isn’t the film, at least that’s my understanding.

        Is RED investing in filmmakers or it’s portfolio? I believe it can do both, but not at it’s current price structure. To me, the message is pretty clear.

        1. Surykaty says:

          Pro fillmakers who have big budgets, when chosing a camera first and foremost go for the “look” and then the ergonomics, audio, inputs/outputs, reliability and etc etc… considering the “art” is the top on the list the primary look is the art.

          That’s why Alexa destroyed the competition.. make no mistake. Correlation between the number of Alexas on the high end productions and the Alexa look is very obvious. Alexa could have been the reliable workhorse tank that it is, but if didn’t had that “look”, it would not be anywhere.

          People with small budgets can say what they want about “how I would trade the look for a lighter body” .. high end productions are a completely different world and camera operators go to the gym because they have to.

          Red thought it could bamboozle the filmakers with tech aspects but well.. failed sort of (they’re successful, but not as they wanted to be).. it took ithem almost a decade to “fix” the highlight saturation issue.

  6. Gregory Gillaspie says:

    Great! They did something to get the pricing of their cameras down!
    Now the question is… when can we expect them to do something about the pricing of those media cards?!

  7. Caine says:

    I would love to know the full story behind the Raven “experiment”. Would love to know the sales, ratio of their business, what they learned, and how many new long term (upgrader) users they might have brought on-board…

    1. Dustin Schmidt says:

      I know a guy who just bought a used Scarlet Dragon a couple of months ago. He was pretty fired up about it, saved for awhile to afford it. Now he has to pay $14,500 to trade in for a camera that will be on an “upgrade” path. Sounds more like buying a brand new camera to me. If you recently bought a Raven where does that leave you? Owing quite a bit more to actually get into their system moving forward.

      1. Darkness says:

        I’m learning with the rapid growth of technology not to invest in equipment for it’s resell value. It’s not like it used be some years back where you could reliably infer the high-end would hold it’s value. There wasn’t much competition then.

        The field is going to look very different going forward. Will RED or Arri adapt? Or will they pull a Canon or Nikon on us, while the Sony’s and Panasonic’s soar past them in the spirit of progress? Too little, too late.

        I’m leaning on RED and Arri holding on to every last old paradigm until finally being forced to change. And why not, its a total cash cow for them.

        This is nothing new. It’s the same tale of Adobe InDesign dominating the long entrenched, but super problematic Quark in the early 2000’s. People get tired of being sold a bill of goods eventually.

        People can help democratize these companies for them with their wallets. But that’s brave, because the industry is very hostile towards companies who are trying to cause change and disruption. But the very nature of creativity IS change and new ways of thinking.

        Are we here to create art, or help companies prop up their product portfolios? You know one thing you can’t purchase from any camera manufacturer is vision.

        1. Dustin Schmidt says:

          Couldn’t agree more.

      2. Fawn__Liebowitz says:

        Red was clear from the beginning that there was no upgrade path from the Raven. I would think that yesterday’s announcement would make no difference to Raven owners.

        1. Dustin Schmidt says:

          Thanks for the clarification. I’m not 100% up to speed on how RED does their upgrades. As Jarred Land himself said, it’s confusing to say the least.

  8. Derek Oberbrunner I says:
    1. Trevor Meier says:

      Man, that really doesn’t resonate with the Red that I know. If you’re working as a shooter, a few tens of thousands is a big investment but, like anything in a good business, it makes me money over time—significantly more than it costs me up front. It should be that way with anything you buy for your business. I get that Red’s more expensive than Blackmagic but it’s also because of their product choices. With my Red’s I’ve got a dependable solution that works when I need it and produces great images in almost every situation. I don’t feel that confidence with Blackmagic or Kinefinety… not yet, anyway.

      It’s not just about sensor specs. It’s about the whole stack—the workflow, the camera as a system, the firmware, the accessories, the image you get in the end and how much that costs in time and energy to create. For me Red’s always been ahead of the curve if what you’re shooting for (hehe) is the cheapest option without compromises.

      If I need things to be more affordable I go to Canon’s offerings—great colour and (IMO) the best ergonomics for doc shooting, with some image flexibility/quality compromises. I’ve considered Kinefinity, and once they start to deliver a bit more on their announcements I’ll take a serious look. But Blackmagic has been a chain of broken promises for me. The low cost doesn’t justify it when you end up with disappointed clients, an important shot missed or spending your time futzing with bad firmware. I’m glad that they exist but I wish they’d charge 50% more and sort out the image quality, firmware and ergonomics issues. Then I think they’d be a serious contender.

      1. Darkness says:

        Thanks for the thoughtful and objective reply. Someone else below replied to my thoughts and I basically was deemed stupid and inexperienced. Hmmm, not so sure about that.

        Although RED makes great cameras (that was never my arguement) not everyone in the business is a RED enthusiast or wants to take out a second mortgage or go $50-80k into dept.

        And besides, we all know the cream of crop in terms of digital cinema is the Arri Alexa, not RED, not Blackmagic, or Sony, or Panasonic or Canon, so this is not my arguement here.

        I find the negative comments here on Blackmagic a bit over inflated at best. Yes, some copies have had issues with firmware, and some manufacturing defects, but firmware updates and repairs take care of this, seems pretty standard.
        But are any one of you actually going to assert all camera manufacturers don’t suffer these issues, even RED? Because that would be super unrealistic.

        The Blackmagic cameras on their high end are built like tanks. They’re heavy bastards. Honestly, what you get for price vs. value BMD is the only one taking up that space right now, although as we can see Kinfinity is starting to gain inroads. Once these cameras gain more traction, which is inevitable, I think both RED and Arriflex are going to have to look at their business models and change. Isn’t this a good thing for the consumer? There’s so much that goes into a camera purchase, IQ is only one factor out of so many.

        My assertion here isn’t that BMD cameras are the best thing since sliced bread, or that the company itself has it all figured out. But the image is at professional standards, shoots acquisition formats, and for the price range that’s special.

        I can get a full Ursa Mini Pro 4.6k setup for under $12k. You can’t even get a RED body (new) for anything under 20k, and that’s on the low end. You cannot deny this is an incredible value, lowering the barrier of entry for so many folks. Again, I think that bothers some folks, especially those that have invested over 6 figures into RED, understandably.

        Recouping $12k seems better than recouping $50-80k. I could recoupe $12k with just one or two high profile projects, which means I’m profiting much, much sooner.

      2. Gregory Gillaspie says:

        The big difference is that RED develops almost everything themselves.
        They design and manufacture their own sensors.
        Blackmagic uses off the shelf parts. That’s why the cameras are so affordable. They’ve come a long way, but it’s hard to imagine them disrupting the professional industry that way.
        A few weeks ago, I told a BMD rep that I would love to see their entry into the full frame market with an improved- pull all the stops out cinema camera- Ursa Mini Pro like design.
        He told me, “Grant won’t do it unless it can be made cheap”.

        1. Alejandro B. Martin says:

          not true, red do not manufacture their sensors

          1. Gregory Gillaspie says:

            RED claims that they do. They say they have RED employees on site where the sensors are being made.
            And they’ve said it many times in regards to what makes them different.
            Unlike you most companies have a have a hand in designing their own sensors. RED claims that they are like Sony and manufacture them as well.

          2. Alejandro B. Martin says:

            thats not true.Again, and I dont want to insist you more as almost like all you said is weong based only on your supossitions. Red does not manufacture their sensors. Red uses third party custom sensors.

          3. Gregory Gillaspie says:

            Actually what I said is 100% true. Red does CLAIM everything I said.

          4. Darkness says:

            Greg, you know that companies are notorious for overinflating their claims. I don’t personally know you but you seem intelligent, so I know you know what we both know here.

            What we can infer is that RED incorporates their technology into the RAW sensors they claim to produce. An image sensor is nothing without a way to interrupt what it captures. RED gets full credit for this.

          5. Darkness says:

            Correct. You have Sony and Samsung. Those are the major suppliers globally. In fact it was Samsung that created the first back illuminated sensor and put that into their NX1 in 2014.

            That being said, RED does incorporate it’s own technology in how it reads those sensors, as does every manufacturer. No one will deny the RED image is a very nice image. Is it $50k nice? That’s debatable imo.

            Also, we are leaving out the more important factor of IQ and character. That exists in the glass, not the brain. Any top-tier DP will tell you this.

      3. Freelance cameraman China/HK says:

        No worries,
        Someone who compare RED with Blackmagic don’t know what is talking about and more likely read article instead of using both to get comparison in real life.
        The only downside with RED is a resale value as their lineup is very complicated and always upgrading. Price of accessories not compatible with previous generation is also quite annoying and you end spending a lot.

        1. Darkness says:

          Wanna try me? Let’s walk down this path a little.

        2. RentEmSpoons says:

          In terms of reliability , they are apples to oranges. No professional considers any black magic cameras a workhorse, atleast not yet.

          Hopefully that changes with the new 4K pocket cam taht features what’s said to be the same Panasonic (sonic sensor ) , which should erase any problems suffered by older black magic cameras. Leaving on hardware body issues as a concern, such as over heating .

          Red and Black Magic are apples to oranges interms of realiability , but I do believe that Black Magic has still shaken up the game somewhat. If the new cameras actually work without falulty issues , then it would Ben a game changer on all levels.

          1. Darkness says:

            So you know all working professionals yes? Obviously not. So why bother making an assertion you could never back up? Talk reason, be fair, be objective.

          2. Fabdex says:

            You do like your apples.

            And oranges.

      4. CrocanLB says:

        I am not in RED world yet, but I am looking into after introduction of Gemini, so I was reading a lot on reduser. And I must say it is quite scary reading. REDs are not too reliable according users. Boot times are horrible as well.

        I think brains are almost there with pricing but what bothers me are aks.

        1. 9-0 says:

          Dont be concerned about reliability, as usual on the internet only those with issues tend to go online, theres no real point making a thread about how wonderfully your camera is working, the bodies have got bugs here and there and i think its pretty accepted that Reds philosophy is system which is constantly in rolling development. For better or worse its a different approach to technology more of a constant evolution than Arri which is a turn on and shoot kind of system. As for the accessories, you should be worried, but if you go in thinking you will spend the same amount of money on accessories as the outlay on the brain you’ll be ok.

        2. Gregory Gillaspie says:

          RED’s are really about as reliable as they get when it comes to high end cameras.
          Any reliability issues were fixed long ago. Everyone gets a lemon once in a while. People used to complain about RED’s reliability, but most people still had no problems. It’s just unforgivable if your camera gives you issues when thousands (or millions) of dollars are on the line.
          If you want some perspective- I’ve got a RED One MX that I’ve had for years and had ZERO issues with it. It’s never even given me an overheating warning.
          I hear horror stories about the reliability of the Alexa Mini. No camera is perfect.

          All that being said, RED definitely is the major innovator of the camera industry. It’s hard to ignore their influence. Innovation and reliability don’t always go hand and hand for obvious reasons- but they seem to pull both off about as well as possible.

          1. Darkness says:

            I almost pulled the trigger on the first RED because there was a great deal on EBay for the brain and all the accessories. Then the Ursa Mini Pro 4.6k hit the market. Honestly, to m eyes both produce a clean and cinematic image, and shoot RAW and prores.

            It will be interesting to see how the new BMD “Pocket” camera 4k performs once it’s released. I know its M 4/3, but that price tag l, dual ISO and smaller footprint is intriquing to me. It will come down to image at the end of the day.

            My problem with many RED users is their broad dismissal of the underdogs. Its ironic because RED used to be the underdog in the shadow of Arriflex, now RED is an Arriflex crapping on the little guy, yet trying to uphold its “democracy” mo. Yet, their prices dont reflect their mission statement at all.

            Companies like BMD and Kinefinity (I dont personally like the Kinifity image btw) have a lot more to prove, so the fire to compete is a feather in their caps. RED and Arriflex stand to lose here. They most likely won’t however, it’s political, and “too big to fail” as ingrained as they are in the industry.

            I have a mean equality streak, I’ve had it since childhood. I like a good story of the underdog overcoming the powers that be. I think RED can afford to do much, much better than 20% lower prices. Do they want to be the brand of the people or Wall street? These are principled decisions.

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