HomeCameraRED Slash Camera Prices, Gentlemen Lift Your Skirts: What does the historical Formula One saying “Gentlemen Lift Your Skirts,” RED dropping camera prices down and the new Sony F5 and F55 cameras have in common. A level playing field of course. Be it technological, price, sensor, format, or whatever there really is a sense of IT’S ON… Posts from RED’s Jim Jannard for me is a must read over on REDUser. Possibly around early to mid October JJ fired up the old laptop checked to see no one else read his emails, maybe spat out a ginormous amount of cuppa Joe and then probably muttered something like “Really, oh come on really, first Canon and now it looks like Sony are sniffing our behinds.” Checkout out some of what JJ and Jarred Land wrote over at REDUser and suss out the new prices for the RED range of cameras that hopefully now make for a level playing field. Or Click HERE to go directly to the new RED camera price range. Everything changes… IMPORTANT post. Everything in the electronics world changes… usually for the better, cheaper and faster. EPIC just did. We have learned how to make EPICs in quantity, lowered our assembly costs, found better suppliers and paid off our NRE. That means we can continue to charge the same for an EPIC (and now make an obscene amount of profit) or lower the price. Those of you that paid the initial price hopefully got your money’s worth. It was the best price we could offer at the time. You rented your cameras. You used them to generate income by shooting projects. The industry struggles how to handle it when technology gets better for cheaper. We just tell the truth. We are ready to lower prices on EPIC. So if you bought an EPIC did you lose? Only if you did not put your EPIC to work. These are professional tools. They need to work. That is your responsibility. Is your EPIC still relevant? Absolutely. Can it be upgraded to Dragon? Yes. Is it frustrating that you paid $X and it will soon be sold for some percentage less than X? Yes. But this is the nature of electronics. It has been. It is. And it always will be. I paid over $2400 (in 1984 dollars) for an original 1984 Macintosh. That is over $4000 worth of today’s money. It had no hard drive. It was 128K of RAM. 3.5″ floppys. All I could do with a 1984 Macintosh was MacPaint and MacWrite. Today… for $4000 you can buy an iMac with a ton of RAM and a bazillion times more in storage that is 10,000 times faster and more capable with a billion times more applications. If you thought the world was changing rapidly then… hold on to your hat. We now live in the world of exponential. So. We could easily pretend and invent a new model to justify a lower price with higher performance. You are too smart for that. So are we. Instead… we will just lower the price of EPIC. EPIC continues to be modular. Dragon will be an upgrade. Meizler is a module. All is good in the world if you accept the fact that everything gets better, cheaper, faster and for less money over time. If you bought an EPIC in the past 30 days… we will offer a credit towards accessories. That amount will be posted along with the new EPIC pricing. Nov. 1st is when it happens. Here is to transparency and honesty. Here is to the future. This is all an experiment. Let’s see how it goes… Jim From Jarred Land: This is another reason why building our own factories in California and manufacturing our cameras here was a great idea. When manufacturing or assembly improves their process, becomes more efficient, and it results in cost savings, those savings can get directly passed down to the customer. I can pretty much assure you that if we hired a factory somewhere else to build our product, we would never catch wind of those efficiencies. Jarred Land More from Jim: The primary difference between us and the other guys is… we are in this 100% heart and soul. Jarred and I (plus a ton of Bomb Squad and other RED employees) live this stuff 18 hours a day. Jarred actually is really in 20 hours a day. Everything matters to us. The cameras matter. Our customers matter. And it is complicated times a number you can’t think of. If we ever fail… it is NOT because we are not trying. We give our every fiber to this cause. Jim Contemplation… Just contemplating… If you are looking at value in a camera… look to yourself. Everything will get better and cheaper as time rolls on. It is up to you to make the most of this… especially when it comes to cameras. Cameras are investments… an investment in you. Cameras alone do not hold any special value unless you plan on holding them new in a box for 50 years. Whatever you buy… cameras, computers or almost anything electronic will dramatically improve and get cheaper over time. That is a given. Mark this down as an irrevocable law in heaven. RED is in the same boat as everyone else. We can make it better and make it for less given some time. How can we assure that our customers don’t get screwed? Most of this is up to you. You need to use your pro equipment and expect that it will be obsolete the minute you buy it. Make it work. Or lose money. It can make you a living or sit on your shelf and devalue. Your call. You need to put your investment in any camera system to work. Or you will lose money. That is a fact. Read this twice. Or more… Obsolescence Obsolete. We do give you a chance. We upgrade. We allow trade-ins. We do everything possible to help you out. But in the end… you will lose if you don’t put your equipment to work. These are the cold, hard facts. Expect more capability for less money as time goes on. Think carefully before you buy anything. As soon as you receive it… use it. Get ready for the future. It is full of more for less. We take pride in telling you the truth. It is your job to accept it. Or not. Jim Sony F5 and F55… I am going to give a tip of the hat to Sony tonight. These two camera announcements are significant. While I do not see them as a threat to EPIC or Scarlet… I do see them as a threat to the conventional and outdated thinking of the industry that tried so hard to cling to “1080P and 2K are good enough”. We began to champion 4K as the respectful replacement for film in the digital motion world back in 2006. We were embraced. We were ignored. We were revolutionary and we were a scam. Others in the industry incredibly (and successfully in some circles) attempted to convince the industry that 1080P and 2K was good enough. On one page of Arri’s website they extolled the virtues and increased detail of a 4K film scan and then on another sold the Alexa as a feature worthy camera that “had more resolution than other so called 4K cameras”. (rolls eyes) Every single camera manufacturer now has a 4K and/or 5K sensor program in the works. Why? Because 1080P and 2K acquisition was the biggest scam in the history of the film industry. Sony has come to the party. God love them. The F65 is a true 4K camera (although not 8K as it is advertised). The F5 and F55 are 4K cameras soon to be released. There are 4K display panels being released. 4K projectors. The world is finally coming to its senses. We predicted this 6 years ago. Now it is here. What does this mean? There is a new standard from Japan (not exactly sure why they get to call the shots) for consumer 4K . It dictates that you can’t up-rez to 4K. It means that features and TV shows shot on 1080P or 2K are destined to be left out of a second bite of the apple for a 4K delivery opportunity. It means that we were right after all. Not that we want to gloat. We are just sad we didn’t do a better job of clearly explaining our position to more people over the past 6 years. In the end… Sony has validated what we have believed in all along. 1080P is not a respectful film replacement and 4K (or more) is. Actually we believe in 5K+ bayer to a 4K finish. But I don’t want to nit-pick Sony’s announcements. The image needs to get better over time. There was a moment in history when it got worse. It was called 1080P and 2K acquisition. Mercifully that time has passed. Thanks to Sony for acknowledging this truth. Did I mention that 4K is 5 times the resolution of 1080P? Jim RED’s New Camera Prices Now… here is the new pricing: 5K EPIC-X Brain- $19,000 5K EPIC-X Monochrome Brain- $20,000 5K EPIC-M Brain- $24,000 5K/4K Scarlet Brain- $7,950 4.5K RED ONE M-X Battle Tested- $4000 (includes CF or SSD recording module) You can upgrade EPIC to Dragon. It will cost $6,000. EPIC monochrome now X, not M. The RED ONE is End of Life. Battle tested is all that will be available from here on out. Due to high anticipated volumes, plan on extended response and processing times. Dragon sensor upgrade is not included for any EPIC system purchased at the new pricing going forward. As I said before, everything in the electronics world changes… usually for the better, cheaper and faster. EPIC and Scarlet just did. Right now. We have built an incredibly efficient factory in Irvine, California and over time learned how to make EPICs in quantity, lowered our assembly costs, found better suppliers and fully paid off our NRE. When we assembled the 1st EPIC camera in Stage 6 at RED Studios Hollywood it took our team 12 hours. It took two more days to de-bug. Today we can assemble an EPIC in 13 minutes and 95+% need no re-work after diagnostics and testing. It is a testament to our manufacturing team and supply chain teams. Since our costs are now significantly lower we are re-pricing our cameras as of now. For those of you that purchased a new Scarlet or EPIC brain on or after Oct. 1st 2012, the next time you order accessories from RED you will receive a discount to use towards that purchase. $1000 for Scarlet and $4000 for EPIC. Talk to your Bomb Squad representative when you are ready to use this discount. Jim Please see RED for more on their full range of cameras, and swing on over to REDUser and join in on the conversation. NB: Quotes are from REDUser RECON.