The RED ONE, first offering from RED Digital Cinema, entered the scene and began shipping in August of 2007. Intent on breaking the rules of convention, the RED ONE pioneered resolution thought to be impossible, at a price point most considered a fantasy, and proceeded to turn the world of motion pictures upside down. In the short time since its introduction, the RED ONE has come to dominate television commercial production and owns the world of music videos. Literally thousands of films have been shot with this digital cinema icon and with each feature advance, made possible by free firmware upgrades, the RED ONE has become the benchmark for quality and value.
The RED ONE is a digital cinema camera, not to be confused with a video camera or a HD camera. Boasting 4K resolution, five times the resolution of HD video, RED offers the world a rightful digital successor to film. When digitally scanned, film offers a resolution of 3.2K. This allows anything captured on 35mm film to be transferred to standard definition video, High Definition video, 2K digital projection or even capable of being up-resed to 4K. High Definition video, on the other hand, simply doesn’t have the information to be enlarged to 4K, making it a poor choice for future-proofing the material. RED’s 4K acquisition suffers a slight reduction in quality as the signal is processed, leaving a net resolution of 3.3K-3.5K. As the equal to film in resolution, this new digital cinema format remains the obvious choice for the digital film maker and the realization of that has launched the revolution that is RED.
Based on the company credo of “Obsolescence Obsolete”, RED developed their camera technology in such a way as to allow the constant evolution of additional features and capabilities through upgrades, as well as designing the accessories in such a manner that as the camera evolved, components would be upward compatible, allowing the replacement of individual parts without having to purchase a brand new camera. This effort on the part of RED to add value to their product by not forcing their customers to continually purchase the “new model” stems from the philosophy that RED holds to be true; “treat the customer the way we (RED) would want to be treated.” When the developing technology determined a design shift with EPIC, it was decided that the RED ONE owner should be given the option of a full credit reimbursement towards the purchase of EPIC. Never before in our industry has a company offered a 100% credit on a future purchase, another example of the rule breaking nature of RED.
In January of 2010, RED announced the ability to upgrade the RED ONE with a new generation sensor, the Mysterium-X™, developed for ultimate use in the next generation EPIC cameras. With the modest charge of $5750, every RED ONE owner could upgrade their camera with this state-of-the-art modification, which included a new sensor, sensor board and OLPF (Optical Low Pass Filter). Providing a lower noise floor with rich blacks, extended dynamic range and increased sensitivity, this new sensor was one more step closer towards obsoleting film. As the RED ONE M-X hit the streets, a new standard in digital capture emerged, with one of the first films being shot with the new cameras being The Social Network, by David Fincher, acclaimed as a milestone in film making and applauded for its beautiful images. A new era was dawning for digital cinema and RED was leading the way.