There aren’t that many top-end film cameras out there for RED’s new Digital Still and Motion Camera System to replace

RED released a new camera system today, the “Digital Still and Motion Camera System“, a ridiculously modular system with a goofy name for which I’d mock them if the whole package didn’t turn my tongue to sandpaper with lust.

But in a preface to an interview with RED head honcho Ted Schilowitz, FX Guide make an interesting observation: even though the new RED cameras could take on professional 35mm cinema cameras, there aren’t actually all that many top-end units being used at any given point in time:

Currently there are about 75 Genesis cameras in the world, far fewer F35s or Dalsa cameras. If one was to give these cameras a generous $200,000 price tag, then at about 50 Cameras a company could expect to make 50x 200K = $10,000,000.

It was estimated in 2007 before RED delivered that the world requirements for high end cameras to service the non-indie film feature film market was just 500 cameras total. If the world could be clever: a mere 500 cameras would be need to film all the professional studio films in the world. There just aren’t that many major features being shot simultaneously in any given month that the world needs more than about 500 top end cameras.

Interview with RED [FXGuide.com]

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10 Responses to There aren’t that many top-end film cameras out there for RED’s new Digital Still and Motion Camera System to replace

  1. royaltrux says:

    But, aren’t the RED cameras more affordable, enabling some companies to buy them who never would have dreamed of owning their own top-end cameras?

  2. aTanguay says:

    I wonder if this also takes into account other markets like TV commercials…high end corporate video/film.

    Plus some of the higher end items can be like the Audi RS8…get that halo effect from the high HIGH end.

  3. CraziestGadgetsdotcom says:

    just like Final Cut Pro, it could bring a high-end film production tool to the masses.

    and then of course people will convert their film quality works to grainy youtube quality for upload.

  4. venicerocco says:

    There were only X amount of publishers around when the typewriter first came out too.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Seems like some sort of obvious logical fallacy in the main argument. Red isn’t really trying to replace the 500 or so cameras being endlessly rented by studios that can write off the rental fees.

    Red is trying to bring that level of quality down to be affordable independant producers who need to own their gear because they are constantly mobile, from indie film wannabees, to advertising agencies, to corporation in house.

    The need and ability to shoot stills at the same time from the same camera is pretty darn useful, if you have to carry gear out in the field, or even for in studio.

    But if you want to buy two cameras when one will do, go ahead.

  6. EdWatkins says:

    I own a RED ONE, I’m a full time Indie filmmaker.
    There are far more of us than “Professional” Studio Filmmakers.

    Its the Starbucks business plan; create the supply at the right price, and the demand will follow.

  7. dculberson says:

    Yeah, a basic config of these things won’t cost anywhere near $200k. I’m sure you can get it to that point, but when the basic brain starts at $1200, that high price would be a pretty extreme case.

    If the price is right, the quality will be purchased. An indie looking at a many-fold increase in quality for a price they can just reach would be nuts to not buy it.

    Plus if it’s in the $10k or less range, I can guarantee there will be a bunch of gear obsessed hobbyists out there buying it. If hobbyists buy D3′s, which they do, then why not this?

    Hell, if I was into film making in the least, I would be dying to get one. But for now my hobby is cars. Which aren’t really any cheaper.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Never underestimate the desire of amateur and hobby film enthusiasts to spend money on nice tools.

  9. NathanWallace says:

    I wouldn’t have been too excited by this topic if I hadn’t seen this a few months ago:
    http://www.vimeo.com/1343189

    Now I understand what all the fuss is about!

  10. David Carroll says:

    I was having a chat with a camera store clerk today about the new Red line. He and I totally get the potential for HD, 2K or 4K motion picture use, but can’t see why anyone would want to use these cameras for still photography. By the time you stick together the Red One, battery and display modules you are looking at a huge heavy beast and you haven’t put a lens on it yet. You would be far better off with a large format still camera like a Hasselblad.

    Does Red expect people to buy this gear just to do still work, or is it intended as primarily a motion camera system that can do the odd still?

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