How to make an EPIC impression…

John Brawley, "A" camera operator Richard Wilmot and Ted Schilowitz from RED

Well, it is an EPIC day when the self-confessed number 2 employee of RED turns up on the set of Offspring Series 2 with an EPIC and a SCARLET for some show and tell !

Ted Schilowitz of RED is on a world tour showing off the just barely shipping EPIC camera, their version 2.0 of the already successful RED camera. We’re using RED MX on Offspring Season 2 right now and Ted observed us at work just before we broke for lunch.

Yes…that is me there grinning like a kid as Ted takes me through the EPIC. At lunch, the ever patient Ted showed us through the EPIC and the Scarlet. My first impressions were…WOW !

I guess I had an understanding of the specs and I’d seen some shots online, but to actually handle it is another thing altogether. The camera is a lot smaller for starters…for me it felt like an oversized Hasselblad ! It actually felt more like a DSLR than a cine camera. I’m not entirely sure about how the production mode on this camera would work, but I really love the more compact form factor of this smaller size. I just hope that there are some good options for accessories when it get’s built up bigger…

It was certainly heavier than I thought it would be….not that it’s unwieldily, and in fact having a little mass makes it easier to hold the shot steady. I did a series recently that show with a lot of 5d’s and I have to say, for their image quality downsides, I liked having such a small camera to be able to move around with. EPIC gives me that freedom, plus I can get much better pictures !

It all of a sudden makes 3D seem much more posisble to do as well ! The smaller form factor should make it much simpler to have smaller 3D rigs.

The new touch screen is great too. It’s just SOOOO much faster to navigate around the menus that were previously buried in pages of sub menus on the RED ONE.

The PL mount looks indestructible, and I guess they really have learned their lessons from the pain of the constant back-focus issues with the RED ONE mount…they’ve cleverly made it easier to backfocus by putting in a device that moves the entire sensor to change the backfocus ! It should be much easier to change it if it’s out.

I think there’s something like 14 customisable buttons too, literally littered all over the camera body as well.

The remote or REDMOTE as they call it also seems like an obvious extension to the camera. Like the touch screen, it suddenly makes the camera much simpler to use. I was constantly scrabbling around the back of my head to get to the menus before. A removable remote is simply awesome, taking a lot of complexity away from the body. Its going to make the operating of the camera so much less fiddly. If it lives up to it’s promise this feature alone is almost worth an upgrade. That, along with the increased resolution at higher maximum frames, not to mention the smaller form factor and touch screen…these are all major improvements…

I have to say, I was really blown away. It’s stating the obvious, but RED really have outdone themselves with this new camera. I wasn’t expecting to be as impressed as I was. I ended up going to the presentation Ted was doing at Lemac that evening and saw some more in-depth discussions about some of the cameras features. The scarlet featured as well, and I expect it will have it’s uses. I was a little less excited about the 2/3″ sensor size and fixed lens, but the price seems pretty good !

Ted himself was almost as impressive as the EPIC, with an untiring enthusiasm for what they are doing. The man is a machine !

I’m really looking forward to being able to use this camera, I think it’s pretty exciting to have something like this coming hot on the heals of the Arri Alexa as well. I really like RED’s approach to engaging with their users. They seem to be listening to the feedback…

Congrats RED for producing such an amazing improvement on what you’d already done.

John Brawley handles the EPIC while Ted And Richard look on.

"B" camera focus puller Grant Sweetnam, John Brawley, "A" camera operator Richard Wilmot, loader Caitlin Dooley, "A" camera focus puller Cam Gaze engrossed in Ted's magic show

About johnbrawley

Director Of Photography striving to create compelling images
This entry was posted in Equipment, Production and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to How to make an EPIC impression…

  1. Richard Wilmot says:

    It was great to finally meet Red Ted.

  2. Shirley Barrett says:

    Dear John Brawley,

    In almost all these pics, you camera guys have obviously wolfed down your dessert but left your fruit salad. This concerns me.


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