Red Digital Cinema Camera Company

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Red Digital Cinema Camera Company
Type Private
Industry Digital cinematography
Founded 2005
Headquarters Lake Forest, California, United States
Key people Jim Jannard
Jarred Land
Products Red One, Epic, Dragon, Scarlet cameras
Owners Jim Jannard

The Red Digital Cinema Camera Company is an American corporation that manufactures professional-grade digital cinematography and photography tools. It was solely founded and financed by Oakley founder Jim Jannard. Red cameras are known for their modularity, Raw workflow and ability to capture video and stills at up to 6K resolution.

The Red One in a simple setup

The company’s headquarters are located in Irvine, California with studios in Hollywood and international offices in London, Berlin, Mumbai plus many authorized resellers and service centers in a variety of locations globally. Red also has physical retail store locations in Hollywood and New York.


Founded in 2005 by Jim Jannard, Red Digital Cinema started out with a small group of pioneers in a warehouse garage.[1] Jannard had a desire to build the best digital video cameras available and believed that 4K was the future of digital image capture, not 2K or 1080.

At the 2006 NAB show, Jannard announced that Red was going to build a 4K digital cinema camera and began taking deposits. Over one thousand people put down a full-refundable deposit, and Red began work to fulfill the orders.

In March 2007, director Peter Jackson completed a camera test of two prototype Red One cameras, which ended up becoming a 12-minute World War I film called "Crossing the Line".[2] Upon seeing the shot film, Steven Soderbergh told Jannard: "I am all in. I have to shoot with this." Soderbergh took two prototype Red ONEs into the jungle to shoot Che.[3]

Thus, the first Red camera, the Red One with the Mysterium 4K sensor, was delivered to customers in August 2007. At the time, the Red team was able to create a camera capable of recording Redcode Raw 4K images at up to 60 frames per second. The price-to-performance ratio of the Red One was unheard of at the time and Red took the first of many steps to revolutionize and democratize the digital cinema camera industry.

The introduction of the Red One effectively eliminated the barrier of entry for filmmakers to own and operate the highest quality camera by presenting an unprecedented price-to-performance ratio. With the Red One, filmmakers had a camera that, for the first time, provided customizable features and out-of-the-box functionality in a "feature film quality" yet affordable digital cinema camera.[3][4]

By 2009, Red released Redcine-X,[5] the post-production workflow for both motion and stills, R3D SDK[6] and introduced the world to the concept of "DSMC" – Digital Stills and Motion Camera.[7] In 2010, Red offered a M-X sensor upgrade to owners of the original Mysterium sensor, further proving their tagline of "Obsolescence Obsolete". That same year, Red acquired the historic Ren-Mar Studios in Hollywood, which would become the Red Studios Hollywood.[8]

In 2013, Red began taking pre-orders for the camera their newest camera, the Epic Red Dragon.[9] The Epic Red Dragon once again placed Red at the forefront of the digital cinema world because it would become the first ever 6K camera.


Red One[edit]

The Red One was Red Digital Cinema’s first production camera, opening the world of cinematography to 4K motion and still capture.[10] Utilizing an S35mm image plane, the Red One displays a natural depth of field from 2K to over 4K resolutions.[11]

The first Red Ones were outfitted with the 12 megapixel Mysterium sensor, capable of capturing up to 120 frames per second at 2K resolution and 30 frames per second at 4K resolution.[12]

The second generation, Red One Mysterium-X has a 14 megapixel Mysterium-X sensor. It captures up to 120 frames per second at 2K resolution and up to 30 frames per second at 4K resolution. With the upgraded sensor, the Red One Mysterium-X offers more dynamic range, higher sensitivity and enhanced color management tools than the Red One Mysterium.[13]

Red One Mysterium specs:

  • Sensor: 12 megapixel Mysterium
  • Pixel Array: 4900 (h) x 2580 (v)
  • Dynamic Range: > 66db (11 stops)
  • Max Image Area: 4480 (h) x 2304 (v)
  • Lens Coverage: 24.2mm (h) x 12.5mm (v) x 27.3 mm (d)
  • Acquisition Formats: 4K raw (16:9, 2:1), 3K raw (16:9, 2:1), 2K raw (16:9, 2:1)

Red One Mysterium-X specs:[14]

  • Sensor: 14 megapixel Mysterium-X
  • Pixel Array: 5120 (h) x 2700 (v)
  • Dynamic Range: 13+ stops
  • Max Image Area: 4480 (h) x 2304 (v)
  • Lens Coverage: 24.2mm (h) x 12.5mm (v) x 27.3 mm (d)
  • Acquisition Formats: 4.5K raw (2:4:1), 4K raw (16:9, HD, 2:1, and anamorphic 2:1), 3K raw (16:9, 2:1, and anamorphic 2:1), 2K raw (16:9, 2:1, and anamorphic 2:1)


Scarlet-X is a professional digital stills and motion capture camera that comes with one of two sensors – the 14 megapixel Mysterium-X sensor or the 19 megapixel Red Dragon sensor.[15] Scarlet-X cameras with the Red Dragon sensor are known as Scarlet Dragons. The Scarlet Dragon, formerly an upgrade option, was announced as a for-purchase product at NAB 2013.[16]

Scarlet-X makes use of a modular concept, making each camera customizable depending on the shooter’s need. Like all Red cameras, Scarlet-X has interchangeable lens mounts, allowing for use of many industry-leading lenses.[17]

Scarlet-X M-X specs[18]

  • Sensor: 14 megapixel Mysterium-X
  • Pixel Array: 5120 (h) x 2700 (v)
  • Dynamic Range: 13.5 stops, up to 18 stops with HDRx
  • Max Image Area: 5120 (h) x 2700 (v)
  • Lens Coverage: 27.7mm (h) x 14.6mm (v) x 31.4 mm (d)
  • Acquisition Formats: 5K FF Redcode raw (full frame), 4K HD Redcode raw, 3K HD Redcode raw, 1080p Redcode raw, 1K Redcode raw

Scarlet-X Dragon specs[18]

  • Sensor: 19 megapixel Red Dragon
  • Pixel Array: 6144 (h) x 3160 (v)
  • Dynamic Range: 16.5 stops
  • Max Image Area: 6144 (h) x 3160 (v)
  • Lens Coverage: 30.7mm (h) x 15.8mm (v) x 31.4 mm (d)
  • Acquisition Formats: 6K FF raw (full frame), 5K raw, 4K raw, 3K raw, 2K raw

Red Epic[edit]

The Epic camera line consists of the highest performing Red camera systems, including the Epic-X Mysterium-X and Epic Dragon. The Epic-X M-X uses the 14 megapixel Mysterium-X sensor.[19] The Epic Dragon contains the 19 megapixel Red Dragon sensor.[20]

Both cameras are also available as monochrome versions, allowing for the highest quality output of black and white motion and stills capture.

Additionally, the Epic Dragon camera has a carbon fiber option,[21] increasing durability while decreasing overall weight of the unit.

Epic-X M-X specs[22]

  • Sensor: 14 megapixel Mysterium-X
  • Pixel Array: 5120 (h) x 2700 (v)
  • Dynamic Range: 13.5 stops, up to 18 stops with HDRx
  • Max Image Area: 5120 (h) x 2700 (v)
  • Lens Coverage: 27.7mm (h) x 14.6mm (v) x 31.4 mm (d)
  • Acquisition Formats: 5K raw (full frame, 2:1, 2:4:1, and anamorphic 2:1), 4.5K raw (2:4:1), 4K raw (16:9, HD, 2:1, and anamorphic 2:1), 3K raw (16:9, 2:1, and anamorphic 2:1), 2K raw (16:9, 2:1, and anamorphic 2:1), 1080p RGB (16:9), 720P RGB (16:9)

Epic-M Red Dragon specs[23]

  • Sensor: 19 megapixel Red Dragon
  • Pixel Array: 6144 (h) x 3160 (v)
  • Dynamic Range: 16.5+ stops
  • Max Image Area: 6144 (h) x 3160 (v)
  • Lens Coverage: 30.7mm (h) x 15.8mm (v) x 34.5 mm (d)
  • Acquisition Formats: 6K raw (2:1, 2:4:1), 5K raw (full frame, 2:1, 2:4:1, and anamorphic 2:1), 4.5K raw (2:4:1), 4K raw (16:9, HD, 2:1, and anamorphic 2:1), 3K raw (16:9, 2:1, and anamorphic 2:1), 2K raw (16:9, 2:1, and anamorphic 2:1), 1080p RGB (16:9), 720P RGB (16:9)



Mysterium is a 12 megapixel sensor designed specifically for Red’s first commercial camera, the Red One Mysterium. The sensor is capable of capturing up to 30 frames per second in 4K (1-120 fps in 2K). Mysterium has a native color balance of 5,000 degrees (Kelvin) and boasts a dynamic range of 66 dB (11 stops).


Mysterium-X is a 14 megapixel sensor designed specifically for the Red DSMC to capture video and stills at up to 5K resolution. The sensor includes high precision analog to digital conversion, capable of delivering up to 13.5 stops of dynamic range with daylight light sources over a camera sensitivity rating of 320-800 ISO. Variable frame rate imaging is up to 95 FPS at 5K FF resolution, and up to 400 FPS at 1K WS resolution. Mysterium-X has a native color balance of 5,000K (Kelvin) and electronic white balance color compensation from 1,700K to 10,000K.[11] Red One, Scarlet and Epic cameras each have a version containing the Mysterium-X sensor.

Red Dragon[edit]

The Red Dragon sensor is a 19 megapixel sensor that captures video and stills at up to 6K resolution. The sensor captures over nine times more resolution than standard HD, resulting in native exposure that exceeds 35mm film in both latitude and image density. Red Dragon supports 100+ FPS, 16.5 stops of dynamic range, and advanced color science.[20]

In 2014, the Red Dragon sensor received the highest DxO Mark sensor rating ever recorded, with a score of 101.[24] This marked the first time a digital cinema camera was tested alongside leading stills cameras.[25] The Red Dragon sensor is available within Epic and Scarlet camera systems.


Redcine-X Pro[edit]

Redcine-X Pro is a professional coloring toolset, integrated timeline, and post effects software collection for both stills and motion, built specifically for Red camera systems. The post-production software allows for non-destructive manipulation of 4K, 5K and 6K raw .R3D files.[26]

With the latest update of Redcine-X Pro, users can mark frames while shooting and access those specific frames within their timeline. Additionally, this latest version includes A.D.D. (Advanced Dragon Debayer), a new algorithm for Dragon that carefully analyzes every pixel to create the best frame possible.[27]

Redcine-X Pro is free of charge. Updates to the software are also complimentary, further reinforcing the idea of Obsolescence Obsolete.

Previous Workflow Software[edit]

Red Alert was the first form of workflow made available to Red owners/operators, although it was more of a diagnostic tool. It allowed Red One users to tweak debayer settings and render out to dpx/tiff/mov.[28]

Redcine was the first end-to-end workflow for Red users. Although the software was developed by a third-party company, Red provided the SDK for their customers to use.

Redcine-X was the first workflow software developed solely by Red. Like Redcine, it was offered as an end-to-end workflow solution for Red owner/operators and preceded the current Redcine-X Pro.

Red Rocket[edit]

Red Rocket is an internal PCI Express card that is capable of 4K, 2K, or 1080p real-time debaying and video playback of R3D files. It can be used to accelerate video editing in compatible Non-linear editing systems, outputting the image via HD-SDI to a user-supplied monitor. A breakout box component of the Red Rocket allows users to convert the HD-SDI signal to four HDMI outputs.[29]

Red Rocket-X[edit]

Red Rocket-X is an internal PCI Express card optimized for the 6K Red Dragon sensor and is designed to accelerate the processing of R3D workflow, regardless of resolution. Compared to Red Rocket, Red Rocket-X processes and transcodes files up to five times faster.[29]

Third party workflow systems[edit]

Red offers the Red Apple Workflow Installer which allows applications that support QuickTime to also support R3D files, including plugins for Adobe Photoshop,[30] Adobe Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro X, and Sony Vegas Pro.

Other Notable Products[edit]


Announced in 2012, the Redray Player was the first plug-and-play friendly device capable of providing 4K content to 4K displays. Utilizing a 1TB internal drive to store content, Redray can play 4K, 3D or HD media. Additionally, the player supports 12-bit 4:2:2 precision at 4K resolution.[31]

3-Axis lens control system[edit]

The Red 3-Axis lens control system is a turn-key wireless lens control kit for driving focus, iris and zoom. Designed to give the camera operator full control of their DSMC, the 3-axis lens control system delivers a complete solution that features a rotating drive cable connector, interchangeable mounting brackets, and swappable drive gears. Included is the T.H.C. (Tactical Hand Controller), a wireless remote that allows the operator to adjust lens settings from a distance.[32]

Redlink development kit[edit]

Announced at NAB 2013 and launched in 2014, The Redlink Development Kit is a SDK (software development kit) that allows programmers to create custom applications to control their camera via mobile device, computer, or microcontroller. The kit includes the Redlink Bridge, a wireless module that allows apps to communicate with the camera. The bridge supports a wireless communication range of approximately 50 feet.[33]


On August 18, 2008, Red filed a lawsuit against the electronics company LG over its use of the name Scarlet.[34] Red accused LG "...of taking the "Scarlet" brand name from the camera company, despite Red's denial of their request."[35]

On September 23, 2011, Jim Jannard announced that his personal email account was compromised by former Arri executive Michael Bravin.[36] A lawsuit against Arri and Bravin was filed at the end of 2011, and settled and dismissed in 2013.[37]

On June 27, 2012 Red sued Wooden Camera, a manufacturer of third party accessories, for patent infringement.[38]

In February 2013, Red filed for an injunction against Sony, claiming that several of its new CineAlta products, particularly the 4K-capable F65, infringed on patents the company held. They requested that Sony not only be forced to stop selling the cameras, but that they also be destroyed as well.[39] Sony filed a countersuit against Red in April 2013, alleging that Red's entire product line infringed on Sony patents. In July 2013, both parties filed jointly for dismissal, and as of July 20, 2013, the case is closed.[40]

Notable Works Shot on Red[edit]




These competitors may have similar features or appeal to similar market sectors. Some are already in wide use by the film industry.

In development[edit]

  • Aaton Delta Penelope (S35 4K or more, CinemaDNG)
  • Ikonoskop A-cam DII (16 mm, 1080p, CinemaDNG)
  • Kinetta Camera (sensor agnostic)
  • KineRAW (S35, 2K)

See also[edit]


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  11. ^ a b
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  20. ^ a b
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  27. ^
  28. ^–-the-easy-way/
  29. ^ a b
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^
  33. ^
  34. ^ "Red brings the trademark pain against LG's Scarlet HDTV". Engadget. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  35. ^ "Head-2-Head News". 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  36. ^ "Michael Bravin Charged with email hacking!". 2011-09-22. Retrieved 2012-06-21. 
  37. ^ "Movie-Camera Maker Red Accuses Rival Arri of Corporate Espionage". Reuters. 2011-12-29. 
  38. ^ "Red Sues Wooden Camera Over Patent Infringements, Sunglasses & More". Cinescopophilia. June 27, 2012. 
  39. ^ Dent, Steve. "Red sues Sony over patents, wants disputed F-series cameras 'destroyed' (updated)". Retrieved 2013-11-30. 
  40. ^ Krishnan, Bala (2013-07-29). "Sony, Red End Patent Dispute - Intellectual Property Insiders". Retrieved 2013-11-30. 

External links[edit]