-=:¦ …Red Cut Camera Price And GoPro Hero 3 Set New Standards…

Before I go any further, it is assumed you are familiar with the companies and the products in the title; Red and GoPro, and their cameras the Red One and the Hero 3. If not, just consider us talking about the various cameras currently available on the digital market and you will certainly pick up the gist of what this blog post is about [or if you are seriously interested and curious in knowing more, check out the Red website and online store http://www.red.com/ and the GoPro homepage and online store http://gopro.com/]. We are now in between generations, similar to when phones first became cordless and then were defined as mobiles and now everyone has one. There are the generations who know about and have no doubt used actual physical film stock, there are the newer and younger generations who know of only digital recording onto the likes of flash cards and solid state mediums. Then there are those who have lived through the transitional period of both. The first digital cameras, for the consumer markets at least, were released in the mid 90’s yet for most people in both photography and filmmaking on a professional and consumer level, tape or film was still the predominant staple for production. It was of course with the advent of the increased processing power of home computers coupled with the available software on the consumer market which allowed for more and more demand to grow both professionally and at an amateur level. The term Prosumer, although coined in the 1980’s to mean proactive consumer, has later been adapted to marry the professional world with the consumer due to the level and quality of both equipment available on the market and the ability of the artists (filmmakers). This Prosumer is the kind of filmmaker who maybe isn’t working for a big television company or film studio, but nonetheless takes their filmmaking seriously.


Up to 2006 most films seen at the cinema were produced and recorded on 35mm stock film using large cameras which cost more than most people could imagine. Film of this size was used (literally 35mm wide) so that when projected onto a huge screen the quality would look fantastic.


    Digital video cameras available to the consumer up to this point were recording at a standard definition (around 800×600 lines of resolution) which to the consumer was great and something they could make very effective home movies on. The digital camcorder quickly moved into high definition with the professional market making use of True HD. In 2007, Red launched the Red One, the first digital camera to shoot at a resolution of 4k (that’s around 4,000 lines of depth and detail) not only surpassing the previous True HD 2k recording (with HD being considered at approximately 1,000 lines) it was the closest thing to rival 35mm quality.
Redonecamera - en.wikipedia.org

Redonecamera – en.wikipedia.org

These were not consumer friendly in cost, but were of course available to the professional markets where they quickly built an interest with over 1,000 deposits being placed in 2006 before the first models were even on general release. Films such as Wanted [2008], Jumper [2008], Knowing [2009], The Social Network [2010] and Jackass 3D [2010] were shot using this model.
Wanted - beyondhollywood.com

Wanted – beyondhollywood.com

Some five years down the line Red have introduced a range of models with various specifications, one of the most popular being the Red Epic whose body or “brain” as they like to call it (currently retails at around £12,000). Then of course you have to buy all the extras, almost like a Lego model, to build the camera as you require suiting its purpose while allowing for flexibility to create other scenarios later down the line. Many filmmakers began taking up the digital option not only down to cost but also flexibility of the cameras. Other companies soon followed the trend. GoPro on the other hand are now probably the most well-known maker of close encounter action based cameras in the world. The GoPro Digital Hero 3 (also launched in 2007), initially used by surfers, was the first digital video camera to capture standard definition footage not only from a tiny little light weight digital camera set up that could be attached to the surfboard with ease, but which could also withstand depths of up to 30m (almost 100 feet) under water. The GoPro Digital Hero 3 allowed for new things to be captured on film inexpensively in ways only previously dreamed of by the majority. It recorded at a resolution of 3 megapixels at 512×384.
Digital Hero 3 - gearjunkie.com

Digital Hero 3 – gearjunkie.com

The GoPro later released its HD series in 2010. All of these cameras were relatively cheap in comparison and were certainly aimed first and foremost at the budding sportsman, and then at the more crazy filmmakers who wished to capture remarkable imagery at a very low cost with a shock proof, waterproof camera.

I’m rushing through the very brief history so I can reach the crux of this blog post.

The Red One M-X W/SSD in late October 2012 (along with virtually all of Reds entourage) was reduced dramatically in price. This was, according to NoFilmSchool.com, related to Sonys release of its next 4k generation of digital camera (http://nofilmschool.com/2012/10/sony-announces-f5-and-f55/). It is now the first digital camera which records 12-bit RAW 4K from between 1-30fps for less than £2,500k. Granted you are still required to buy the various add ons before it becomes a fully functional camera, none the less it is an astronomical leap forward allowing for the Prosumer and aspiring feature filmmakers to gain access to cinema quality output at an achievable price.
Red One

Red One

You will of course have to have the related editing platform and software to cope with the footage but this may well be a small compromise comparable to the increase in quality and potential you produce, not to mention you will literally be in a big boys league (even though they will also be jumping to 8K very shortly). Then we have the launch of the GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition, a small, compact lightweight action orientated camera, which for less than £500 records at 4k!!!! This is the part of the blog where even explicits cannot express the moment I am having.
GoPro Hero 3

GoPro Hero 3

The downside of course is that this 4k is only recorded at 15fps (compared to the Reds 30fps+) however above 2k is possible at 30fps (and then at 720 resolution it will record at 120fps producing stunning slow motion imagery). For less than £500!! It even has a Wi-Fi remote control!! Now granted once again you may have to buy a few more accessories depending on your specific use, but nonetheless we are talking about some amazing advancements in our technological age and a price you can now afford. For those new to the GoPro period, check the video link below to see what it is capable of; So that’s the latest news. What does this mean for existing filmmakers? Well for brand new filmmakers who are ready to purchase professional equipment to create, and even for Universities, Colleges, Schools and other training and hiring facilities, there probably has been no better time. With the reduction in both of these varieties of cameras it will certainly cause a stir in the market for all other manufacturers to reduce their prices to remain in the game. It will hopefully ripple out to the hire market also reducing costs over the coming six months. To existing filmmakers, especially those who have recently purchased equipment or who have purchased over the last few years something that they consider cost them an arm and a leg, yes it kind of sucks. But this is where we must shift our perspective and perception. Filmmaking is not only about the cameras and technology, the special effects or the celebrity status of the actors, the size of the budget and the capacity and opportunity locations offer although all these things help. The essence of all filmmaking has always and will always be about the story, its message and how it is conveyed. A thirty second commercial can be as valid as an hour and a half of feature film. A short four minute music video can be on par with a whole season of your favourite television show. Dear current filmmakers, do not be disheartened that quality is improving not only making it easier for new filmmakers to emerge but for current filmmakers to improve their craft, embrace this moment. Act always in your capacity within the resources you have, creativity has always been more powerful than simple ideas and equipment alone. Imagination is an awesome thing. We at Methodworks have always stated the most important aspect of filmmaking is the response of the audience, everything else must meet in alignment to produce this desired response within the boundaries of your capacity. A film made in the 80’s such as the E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Blade Runner, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Back to the Future, Scarface, Die Hard and so on are classics not because of the equipment they used which are now far outdated, but because of the great stories they told, the messages they carried and the way they were creatively conceived. This is the real importance of filmmaking and the reason why just those few films I have mentioned are continuously repeated throughout the year and especially during holiday seasons even though we have plenty of new films released every week which we could flood the networks with. In conclusion, and we do like to keep these blogs brief, love your craft, understand your art, know your audience. Appreciate technology but do not hold it against yourself as a limitation, almost every filmmaker I know began with something ever so basic, kids have been making movies on their mobile phones for heaven’s sake, keep your ideas simple and clear, approach with great creative flare and imagination and be realistic with what is available to you. Soon enough the world will be your film set… as long as you remove all boundaries to your desires. Always remember, If The Method Works… Why Change It.

2 Responses to -=:¦ …Red Cut Camera Price And GoPro Hero 3 Set New Standards…

  1. Simon 4th November 2012 at 11:42 am #

    My first reaction to the idea of cheaper cameras was that it would just lead to better quality footage on You’ve Been Framed but you’re spot on about stories being more important and longer lasting.

    3D is an interesting “new” developement in modern cinema, as it requires not just the film maker to invest in new technologies but the consumer too.

  2. Tommy Deb 6th November 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Initially, when I began delving into the history of the Red and the GoPro, I thought to myself, “surely, there’s something in here for me”. I didn’t think I was just going through a catalogue of “unwanted stuff” like I’d go window shopping when I didn’t have anything better to do. As a matter of fact, I must confess halfway through the blog I started feeling my eyes wanted to move away from it all, my concentration levels started nose-diving faster than the UK recession (especially after stumbling across figures like £12k)… and then…EUREKA!!!

    My world came to a HALT and for a split second all else didn’t seem to matter when I checked out the clip made by the Hero 3 and that mouthwatering figure of under £500. FIVE HUNDRED!!!! Seriously??? Dude, this is a revelation in itself. I am a reformed man. I’m now a bored-middle-aged-man-turned-Hero3-predator. We need to talk again!! I’m changing my method….coz the last one didn’t work! lol

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