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CamDiver

Letting the Cat outta the Bag

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Well guys,

I've been sitting on the fence for quite some time with regards to what kinda direction I wanna take with filming. I have also been keeping my finger on the pulse with regards to developments of the RED camera over at the DVXuser forum. Having just turned forty one I don't think I wanna continue looking to bounce around dive shop locations trying to sell DVD's to punters. Its not that I don't enjoy it anymore its more that this kinda scene is more suited to a younger more energetic body. Not that I'm getting slow or anything but I do have to face facts that I ain't getting any younger.

 

The past 15 or so years have been real fun and I am really looking forward to continuing here in Palau at least for one more year but after that I'm planning a pretty big step. I've just received confirmation from the 4K Digital Cinema Camera Company that my recent order for a RED ONE camera has been accepted and processed and I am #954 in line for one of their cameras once manufacturing is complete and distributions start sometime in the first quarter of next year. Realistically I'll be lucky to get mine before September of next year.

 

This translates into a period of about 10 months of solid work to save for the required funds for the housing, camera and lenses. I'm in contact with John Ellerbrook over at Gates as they will be developing the housing for the camera so once I decide on my lens options I will be sending him those specs. At this point in time I have also started work on the outlines of a project which I plan for theatrical release and as such I have also secured partial backing from three independant investors.

 

The coming ten months will be a time of learning for me. I am thus far self taught on MiniDV and HDV cameras, albeit slowly due to this foggy old sponge I call a brain. RED is completely manual, no auto focus, no auto iris, WB is only an option if shooting 2k rez and down so it will be a challenge. I have yet to decide which route I'll be going, which format to go with. My new sneakers have 4x4 options seeing as I think this learning curve is gonna be a damn steep one.

 

Just wanted to share this with you guys.

 

Cheers,

Mark.

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Congrats, Mark!! I'm looking forward to seeing photos of the setup. ;)

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Cheers Eric,

It'll be some time before I can post any kind of images but I'm in contact with Gates and the 4K company on a regular basis as well as other people looking to adopt RED for underwater work. As and when I can I will post any relevant points I feel members here would be interested in.

 

Cheers,

Mark.

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Wow Mark, congratulations on that. Must have taken a lot of balls to make that committment and I'm quite surprised that it came this soon after your move to HDV. Thoughts like this occasionally enter my head too but I'm thinking at least 2 years down the line when I see what the likes of Sony come up with to counter RED.

 

Good luck with it all. Can't wait to see what you do with it.

 

He who dares Rodders, he who dares...

 

So why can't it white balance at the higher resolutions?

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Go Mark

 

That's a big investment.

Yes it will be cool to see your setup come together and wish you all the luck with your projects. ;)

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ooo you went public!!

 

congrats man!!

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Hey Nick,

No one can account for the rate at which technology, especially in the camera world, is released these days. My decision to put the RED reservation in was also in part to protect me from any price increases of the system once the reservation deadline had been passed. I now have a year almost to evaluate the whole idea of making such a step. Thats also a very short time frame with which to learn the basics of what will be a very serious camera system and workflow. Some have scoffed at Jim Jannard's idea with this thing and yes, it is still a concept idea. However the footage and screen grabs thus far attained by the sensor at both 2k and 4k rez and released by the producing company pretty much speak for themselves.

 

Thus far the company have also said it is future proofed against later models released by other camera manufacturers. It will just be a matter of swapping out one set of software programmes for an updated version of the same format therefore dragging the cam back to the top of the pile. Thats a very brief outline of what will be required to upgrade the camera but best to keep it simple. For that piece of mind the reservation, if I decide to go for it, is a small price to pay for a camera which could very well deliver unrivalled clarity and images. Time will only tell.

 

WB on most of our regular cams give us the option of balancing to a specific temperature, i.e the reflected temperature of the sun at any given depth. When shooting with RED up to a max rez of the 2k format I will still have that manual option but for the 4k format seeing as it is aimed for cinematic production other rules apply.

 

Basically production companies prefer the freedom to be able to produce their own white references by usin what are called LUT's or Look Up Tables. These are basically setups, in the form of filters, applied to the footage once on a timeline which will then give the footage the desired level of white balance for differing effects or ambience etc. Some editors produce a whole range of LUT's for one particular project as they can then take one shot from one day of filming and match it exactly in tonality and light temperature with another sequence shot on a different day. No exact lighting or scene are the same. This is how it was explained to me anyway.

 

Cheers Wagsy, it will be cool looking to get this thing together too.

 

Mike (snigger there I go again), I have a lot of respect for a lot of the people here, yourself included. It takes balls in any arena to poke two fingers up at the world as you endeavour to do something just a little out of the ordinary. I appreciate the help and direction I have gained from people on this site and feel it only fair to share the news. This is solely a reservation at the moment. When the time comes for the right decision to be made, Yay or Nay, I will also share that here.

 

Cheers all,

Mark.

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WOW - even the stills are incredible!!

 

Can't wait to see what you do with it Mark. Very exciting.

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Kudo's Marky,

 

Go on my son !!!

 

Well done and I hope that it all spans out for you mate..Even though I only met you for a short while in 2002, I could tell you had the drive and passion, so knock em dead.... ;)

 

I myself am contemplating a big move next year (not as big as yours) and will have to outlay some large finance, including converting my summer house into a mini editing studio..At least that will free up one of my bedrooms (Steph will be pleased)... :(

 

Lets hope its a good year me 'old mate'

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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Mark, that is so incredibly cool and gutsy!

 

I remember hearing all the buzz when I was at NAB, and even wondering if the thing was real.

 

You are a true pioneer in my book.

 

Please keep us all posted as you "boldly go...."

 

Mary Lynn

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Ah so that is the big news! Wow is all i can say. The cam is soo sexy i can't wait to see how sexy the footage is. Also, i assume you are hiring to porters to carrry it underwater for you (Just like Howard Hall). I am for hire if you need one:) Even more exciting than the cam is the project. Can't wait to learn more. I am also laying the foundation for a smaller project right now and udnerstand the effort it takes to find investment backing, schedule shoots, etc.

Best of luck Mark!

-shawn

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Very cool Mark! If you're still in Palau when it lands then it may be just one more excuse to get over to that part of the world. Taking a peek at that monster would be worth the trip alone - not including Blue Corner and all the other cool dives there and of course maybe even a hop over to Yap to play with the Mantas!

 

I truly hope it all pans out for you.

 

Cheers, Simon

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Hi All,

Thanks for the responses thus far.

 

This will be a very personal and intrepid venture on my part. The learning curve alone is a huge one with a lot of considerations for every aspect of filming with this system. I believe in the potential of the camera and am having some great help by some great people with regards to getting the knowledge down. Its daunting but through determination I hope I can pull it off.

 

When the time comes for the decision I'll be selling everything I have to take this puppy on if I decide to go with it. I've never had any real plans for a 'normal' life anyway. Just hope the resulting archives from the planned project can go towards helping folks appreciate the Ocean environment and all that dwell therein.

 

Hey Wags, gimme about ten years and once you've got your multi screen venue we'll hold a world premiere "Down Under".

 

Thanks all,

Mark.

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Right on Mark - I've been waiting to read a post like this here - amazing they've already got 950 pre-orders. Looking forward to seeing how this camera progresses.

 

Aloha

Bryce

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Right on Mark - I've been waiting to read a post like this here - amazing they've already got 950 pre-orders. Looking forward to seeing how this camera progresses.

 

Aloha

Bryce

 

Hey Bryce,

Pre-orders broke the 1000 mark. I've been allocated #954 as my reserved camera.

 

Mark.

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So Mark, are there other underwater shooters amongst the pre-orders? Are other manufacturers developing hous apart from Gates? As an early adopter and current user I guess you have a chance to have some valuable input on the housing design. How big is the RED against something like the Z1?

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Hi Nick,

There seems to be a few other entities, mainly corporate, interested in underwater applications for RED. I've been discussing stuff with some of them. As yet there remains very little dimensional info as the system is still in development stages so could change. The weight of the camera body is expected to be somewhere around 7lbs bare.

 

For the housing design I am in touch with John over at Gates. He is not going to share his client list with me but he's mentioned that he will welcome any input from me with regards to points for addressing the housings concept and design. Seeing as it is basically a system which revolves around the lens choices of the shooter I think we could be looking at a housing similar in concept for a Dslr or Stills camera where the user can swap out the required extension components for use with differing lenses etc.

 

The only image I have of the prototype thus far is attached below. This is still in the development mid stages so expect potential changes to the aesthetic appearance of the camera next year. Ohh, the protoype has lovingly been christened "Frankie".

 

Cheers,

Mark.

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JESUS CHRIST !!!

 

That looks more like an experimental pulse laser rifle "what you see on the counter son" ..Maybe it was designed by Arnie :D

 

I've heard that the other 999 are being shared between Eric and Drew... ;):(

 

Dive safe

 

DeanB

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At 4K I'm wondering what kind of computer you would need to edit all that data. Thats like 4 x more than HDV. I see they have there own special 10-12 bit codec (Redcine) that comes with the camera.

 

Also it comes with a 80GIG drive so what would be the recording time?

30 mins or so?

 

I wonder how many day DVD's we would have to sell to get our money back?

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You looking to be the first Red Downunder Wagsy?

 

I too was wondering about recording time. I imagine it wouldn't be very long...

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80 Gb isn't very big at all. Presumably they'll have options for much bigger Firestore type things that could be housed???

 

If this succeeds I just can't imagine Sony, Panasonic, Canon etc. sitting by for long and letting RED and others take all this market. With so much R&D clout I wouldn't be surprised if they already have similar working prototypes themselves.

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I'm waiting for someone to make a Firestone like thingy that will grab the component (uncompressed) feed from my FX1 as it's filming and capture it in some higher format codec.

 

Going by the firewire HDV ones they make, it could still fit in my housing.

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Hey Guys,

80 Gb is not that big granted but they are also looking at a 160Gb option too. The camera shoots a range of formats from 4k down so you can select your format which will obviously then either extend or decrease the data storage capacities on the hard drive.

 

Sony are trying to hit back but can't get down to the price range, otherwise their existing high end professional product line will become obsolete.

 

For editing they are saying that the machine of choice should be the Intel Macs as they are working on some stuff with Apple and FCP too (no surprises there). Don't fret Wags, I know how much you like your PC set up so there are PC specs that will allow you to edit on a variety of platforms, linux included.

 

Cheers,

Mark.

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Hey Mark,

 

congratulations for spilling the beans! You're the RED man, to all of us!

 

I was getting used to pretending I didn't know anything about the whole thing... hehe :-)

Glad that I was able to help out with the order, you know you can always count on me.

 

Let me know when you need me to order the new Apple 12-processor dual-G9 PowerMacPro Monster-Edition to edit the RED footage... :-)

 

Nick

 

PS: Just got my L&Motion Bluefin HD for my Z1... will do the maiden voyage next week...! It's a beauty! RED, watch out!

Edited by nickdiver

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Hey Nick,

Congrats on your recent victories on the festival circuits.

 

Glad you managed to keep schtumm for a while on the whole issue as I had to make sure all elements were in place behind the scenes before announcing this thing.

 

Editing wise I am not really looking to do any!! I'm talking with a production company who have all the whistles and bells with regards to editing 4k footage meaning the project may be a joint effort. Trying to kit myself out with that would just be too much. I will only be looking for a relatively straight forward system for reviewing footage and creating my EDL's from there. That, for the most part, will be in writing. Its a long way to go but it will hopefully be worth it.

 

Hope your adventures with the Z1 go well. Go get some great footage mate as I'll have you running around again soon with other things !!

 

Thanks for all your help as well, a few beers have been put in the fridge for ya!

 

Best,

Mark.

 

 

Wagsy,

Just for you mate. I know how much you're into the editing machines.

 

REDCODE Editing

 

Mark

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