Shooting with RED

Finally a new post to this blog, it’s been awhile between drinks. But the good news is i have actually had a chance to shoot hands on with the RED ONE 4K digital camera last week here in Sydney for a low budget TVC for ‘Lava Life’. Last time i saw the RED was at the night held during SMPTE in July, and that camera was just a non-working dummy. This time i had use of Mike Seymour’s (FX camera, serial number 22, plus the RED zoom lens and accessories. TVC Producer Jason Sinclair was keen to try out the RED, being on the waiting list himself, so he bit the bullet and hired the kit plus technician Jimmy for the ad shoot. We had a very simple scenario of two girls sitting at a table in a leafy backyard, discussing the virtues of the Lava Life service. Direct sun was diffused with an overhead grid cloth and augumented with HMI and Kino lighting. The RED camera proved to be pretty straightforward to use, and we had Jimmy to take care of our data management – and there was a lot of data. But the RED is still definately ‘a work in progress’ unit we had a scary few minutes where the camera refused to accept any inputs until we turned it off and let it ‘cool down’ for five minutes or so. Heat does seem to be an issue and we were using a damp cloth draped over the body to try and help keep the camera cool, although it was hardly a hot day. But the pictures looked great on my 17″ HD monitor – the output via the HD-SDI is 720P and impressed everybody. But the biggest problem with the camera at the moment is the fact that there can be only one video output operational at a time, ie you can have the on-board monitor, OR the viewfinder, OR the external HD-SDI working. So we ended up shooting using the 17″ monitor ‘wheeled over’ close to the camera so i could see it along with the director and client crowded around. Certainly not a real world solution but no doubt the RED team is working to fix this. More details to follow soon .

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