RED Digital Stills and Motion Camera

RED, makers of the digital video camera RED ONE, have announced their new camera system: the RED DSMC (digital stills and motion camera).

As the title of the system suggests, we’re not just looking at another video camera here, the specs on the higher end sensors promise to rival those of current DSLRs. As with the Nikon D90 and the Canon 5D Mark II, digital stills and digital video are converging, but this particular thrust comes from the video side.

The infinitely-configurable system from RED is so different, it’s almost confusing. The RED Scarlet and RED Epic sensors (with funny names like Mysterium Monstro) can be combined and interchanged with different lens mounts (including Canon and Nikon mounts), batteries, recording modules, lenses (of course) and so on. The idea is that the camera can be configured and tailored to your needs in a myriad of ways. Further, as technology advances and new components become available, they will integrate into this system and you won’t have to upgrade the entire camera.

All of this, of course, comes at a price. A lot of it is pretty costly stuff, but perhaps the less expensive options will allow budding filmmakers to buy into the system and upgrade into the more high-end options as their needs may advance. The lighter weight versions, however,  do seem fairly affordable  for the ability to get good quality HD video.

On the photography side of things, I’m not sure the specs / cost will win over too many DSLR shooters. The higher-megapixel options are a lot more pricey than their DSLR counterparts. What we have here is the reverse of a camera like the 5D Mark II. RED’s system will allow filmmakers to branch out into still photography where the Mark II will give photographers the option to try their hand at making some moving pictures.

Though it will likely be a long while (if ever!) before I get to play with one of these (especially since it doesn’t an official release date yet) it’s still fun to watch the technology blossom and to imagine where things may go next.

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