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Red breaks cover

19 September 2006

After several months of hype and hyperbole, the Red Digital Camera Company demoed its long-awaited 4k images at IBC, writes Carolyn Giardina.

The demo of images recorded with its developing 12 Megapixel Mysterium chip took place in the IBC HD theatre, as well as on an HD monitor in the Red stand.

The company – founded by Oakley’s Jim Jannard – announced earlier this year a plan to develop a Red One 4k digital cinematography camera that would list for $17,500. Since that point, the company’s plan has been met with a mix of enthusiastic admiration and harsh scepticism, particularly as it began taking $1,000 camera ‘reservations.’

Red reported that the images have a pixel array of 4520×2540 across the Bayer pattern. The demo – which the company emphasised was ‘first look footage’ and ‘work in progress’ – showed several interior shots, such as someone blowing a bubble with bubblegum, or someone smoking a cigar. Red reported that this material went through post processing, followed by digital grading at Hollywood DI, using an Assimilate Scratch system.

“The revolution is very real and it’s really happening,” asserted Red’s Ted Schilowitz, who goes under the name ‘leader of the rebellion’. He also introduced some additional tools for the camera system. Reporting the need for post processing, he announced the development of Redcine software to process, correct, resize and encode the raw Red camera footage. He also announced two Red lenses with pricing: a 300mm Prime for $4,995 and a zoom 18-85 mm for roughly $10,000.

Schilowitz said he expected to show a prototype of the camera toward the end of the year. He told the audience at the theatre demo, “We are in active development.”

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