Red One

Check this shit out. The creator of Oakley Sunglasses sold the business to Ray-Ban for a few billion dollars. Now he’s founded a high-end video electronics company called Red Digital Cinema which seems to specialize in HD cameras. The gem of this progeny is the Red One. An HD camera that approaches the resolution and visceral quality of 35mm film.

There are lots of nifty charts and graphs in this article at Wired that detail how the Red One compares to film. But one quote kind of says it all in no uncertain geeky terms..

“The Red One records motion in a whopping 4,096 lines of horizontal resolution—”4K” in filmmaker lingo—and 2,304 of vertical. For comparison, hi-def digital movies like Sin City and the Star Wars prequels top out at 1,920 by 1,080, just like your HDTV. Film doesn’t have pixels, but the industry-standard 35-millimeter stock has a visual resolution roughly equivalent to 4K.”

I imagine even armed with said visual aids, digifiles will still have their hands full with film-purists waxing poetic about the charms of celluloid.

Though I do consider myself a film-purist, I am not a pusher. Shoot on what you want. If you can do it with a tightened belt, then go for it. The Red One is considerably cheaper than a 35mm rig. (Talking studio budgets here.) It’s the story you are trying to tell that matters, not the gear. We are quickly moving past a time when video and film are two separate mediums. Film may finally make that dreaded transition to the realm of the hobbyist. The Red One may be its harbinger. There are currently 40 feature “films” being shot on this puppy. That happened a lot sooner than I thought it would.

What else does this mean? TV shows will look better for one. Hell, as the price of technology predictably drops, everything you consume will look better. We’ll peer upon the world with ever-increasing fidelity. And that is where the real excitement is.

Watch this hypnotic skateboarding video for an example of the Red One at play. Gorgeous! The Bones Brigade would be proud. Must watch it fullscreen….

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