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FAQ

So what is 5K and 4K?

4K is the term originally associated with motion picture film negative that has been scanned digitally to a resolution of 4096 horizontal pixels for a 4K digital intermediate. The vertical pixel count can vary depending on the aspect ratio. The Red One shoots a 4K image with a 16:9 aspect ratio, and delivers a resolution of 4096 x 2304 pixels. This is over four times the resolution of 1920 x 1080 HD. The RED Epic Dragon camera shoots a 6K image (6144 x 3160 pixels) with a 1.9 aspect ratio which is slightly wider than 16:9 at 82 fps.

Why shoot 5K or 4K?

The advantages of shooting 4K when you know you will only finish and master to HD or 2K for film-out is that your downsampled HD or 2K image will benefit from all the original image data, it will be sharper and show less noise when compared to shooting straight HD. Your master archive material will always be 6K, 5K or 4K which means a conform to 4K is always possible.  You can also crop and reframe in post with no penalty.

What am I recording to?

The RED Cameras record to SSD’s (128GB or 256GB).

What happens to my data?

Red RAW footage is offloaded by the DIT on set onto two duplicate external hard drives via a verified checksum process.  The drives are connected to power via an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS).  Before any media is formatted, two verified copies are produced.  Once the backups happen, the transcoding can begin for the offline edit.

Provided there is enough disk space, the transcoded footage can be delivered on the same drives as the RAW footage.  At the end of the shoot, the master drive will go to the editor, and the backup drive must remain in a secure location other than the post house.

How many hard drives do I need?  How big?

Every hour of RED Epic footage requires 130GB to 520GB of hard drive space and up to 1TB for an hour’s worth of HDRx footage. Every hour of 4k RED One footage is approximately 130GB.  External drives such as the Lacie Quadra drives with eSATA are required, which we can purchase from our supplier at a very good rate. It is also important to note that we don’t have any hidden costs such as charging per GB of footage recorded as is the case with many other rental houses. These costs can quickly add up to an additional R2500.00 per day on top of the rental rate.

How do I view my footage on set?

There are a few options for playing back footage on set.  The camera puts out an HD signal which can be played back easily from the camera itself.  The simplest and cheapest option is to hire an HD monitor and play back the clips directly from the camera.  If separate SD recording is required (as you would on a 35mm film shoot), an HD-SDI downconverter (which we can supply @ R600 per day before discount)  will be necessary along with a VT operator.  We’ve been on shoots that have used multiple HD monitors along with the SD downconverter playback setup, as well as some that simply play back from camera going to HD monitors.

Can the camera record sound?

Yes, The RED Epic can record 2 channels of audio at present and the RED One camera can record up to 4 channels of uncompressed audio.  If recording to camera, however, the sound must come to the camera as a line input via a mixer.  This way, audio will be automatically embedded in offline files.

Can you provide my footage in (insert any digital video file format here) for editing?

Yes! Whatever you need, whether it be Quicktime, AVI, DV, Avid DNxHD, Prores… the list goes on ad infinitum, we will transcode your Redcode RAW footage to any SD or HD format you need.

What about Nikon primes?

We can provide a Nikon mount adapter which allows the use of high quality, high speed DSLR Nikon primes and zooms as a cheaper cost alternative. There are however operational drawbacks. The focus throw is much less than for a cine lens, which makes pulling focus that much more fine, some increased breathing may also be noticeable. In the end, it depends on your priorities and your budget, the choice is yours.

I’ve heard the camera overheats?

Prototype and pre-production Red One’s had a overheating problem. It is true that Steven Soderbergh’s crew had to keep a ice pack on the camera body in the tropical heat while shooting The Guerilla. This problem has been solved in the production models that are now shipping.

There is NO overheating problem with the RED Epic nor the RED One. Countless productions have been shot in desert and jungle locations with these cameras with absolutely no problems.

I’ve heard the camera is noisy?

The camera has a small fan built into the body. The fan runs while the camera is on standby and switches off as soon as you are recording, other than this, the camera is silent.