Thread: redmag controversy

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  1. #1 redmag controversy 
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    Not a red user so don't really care but reminded me of an idea I had a while back. When I first discovered m2 ssd and saw how fast and cheap and small they were I thought they would make perfect camera media if someone would just make a case for them. Obviously Red thought so too, ha ha. Anyway, BM seems like the kind of company that would just make the case and let users buy the drives, it would be cool if they built a camera around something like that rather than cfast2.

    As an aside, I found USB-c cases that would allow you to roll your own for P4k and G2, has anyone tried this, any advantage over the existing externals like Samsung and wise?
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  2. #2  
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    IMO, I prefer BMD to spend their time upgrading their UMP and P4K firmware with new features or in making Resolve more efficient and feature pack than coming up with some kind new proprietary drive hardware built into their camera. C-Fast is fine as it is and the prices are coming down that we will be seeing cost as low as $1/Gb. SSD cages from SmallRig and others already allow you to mount drives externally which is decent enough. Even wise now provides a cold shoe to mount on cameras. So, No.
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  3. #3  
    While I don't own a Red I have a lot of respect for them that's similar to how I feel about Blackmagic. They completely changed their industry bringing reasonably priced technology to creatives. They're certainly not perfect. Fits me to a tea. I sure have seen a lot of great films shot on their gear. Now that's not to say that I don't love the footage that I'm seeing around this place as well.

    But I think that Red deserves respect. The controversy over the media could likely have been prevented but hind site is always the clearest POV.

    Looking forward, I'm excited about the future. This is just the beginning of what will be so many great tools. Some of them will likely be overpriced but I sure hope that doesn't dissuade their development.
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  4. #4  
    I think it's the BS and dishonesty from RED that people are seeming to have issue with. I'm pretty sure most people already knew they were over paying for media, they just didn't expect to be lied to about what they were buying.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member LochnessDigital's Avatar
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    Mitch Gross over on DVXuser had a really interesting perspective on the matter:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Gross
    I come at this from a very different perspective as I have been on both sides of this type of situation.

    At Convergent Design, the Odyssey used proprietary 2.5" SSDs. This is because in the past the CD nanoFlash had recorded to generic CF cards and it was a support nightmare of people using cheap cards that failed. For the Gemini, CD used proprietary 1.8" SSDs (same as what's in RED's SSDs and AJA's KiPro Quad Drives). These proved problematic at the time and that's why we moved to 2.5" for the Odyssey. But we locked out all other brands of 2.5" SSDs and had our drives built to our specifications by a major manufacturer. This was because we found the commercially available units, even so-called Enterprise class models, to be inconsistent with their capabilities and not always up to our needed specification. Of course this meant that our own SSDs would be much more expensive than consumer models, which became a huge marketing hurdle. Eventually Samsung released a consumer model that was up to our spec and consistently good so CD got out of the media business.

    It is not a fun business to be in. In fact it is a major pain in the ass. Constant testing. Every time your contracted sub-manufacturer wants to make a Bill of Goods change in their manufacturing (at least once or twice a year) you have to go through more testing again. And the testing takes forever because it's not just running through an SSD and seeing if it works. It's taking a stack of them, recording in various formats and data rates, filling and emptying drives many, many times, and testing for speed and error inconsistencies throughout. You chart it all on complex spreadsheets to see how the media hold up. It takes a LOT of man-hours. The move from proprietary SSDs to the Samsung units took many, many months of testing and lots of direct interaction with the manufacturer. And after we approved them it was only about a year before Samsung discontinued the models we used for some new ones, and we had to start over.

    Now I'm at Panasonic and we have two tiers. On one is our proprietary P2 media. Panasonic was the original company to use such proprietary non-tape based media when we introduced P2 with the HVX200. Some people complained that P2 cards were just a bunch of SD cards in a case with a little RAID board, but the fact is that they are insanely reliable. They use extremely high-spec components and are heavily fortified and tested. I was at Discovery Networks when then tested the cards by shooting them with an air cannon into a brick wall at 20mph. These things are super reliable, and of course that also means that they are not the cheapest items on the market. On the lower tier we have SDXC cards, such as what are used in the EVA1, the CX350 and in the mirrorless cameras. We do make our own V90-class SDXC media, but we know that there are less expensive brands on the market. But we can't control them so again I find a great deal of our support time is taken up by questions and issues that are the result of poorly-performing media.

    I don't think anyone is questioning RED as to the use of subcontractor media or for the need to make a profit. I think they are questioning the profit margin, which when looked at from a simple physical material cost is a tenfold margin. But that math doesn't take into account the vast complications and headaches I know from experience that they go through. It's really no fun dealing with media.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Gross
    Story time. Back in the days when I was at AbelCine I was on the team that helped bring the Arri Alexa in. We were the only company besides ARRI to sell the camera and it was a pretty big deal at the time. The profit margin on the camera was ridiculously slim but that was OK because we knew that weíd also sell lenses, tripods, batteries, etc. to complete people's kits. I had to package out the camera into standard kits that we could recommend to clients so that they could then figure out what items they needed. I discovered that Arri did not have an AC power supply for the camera; coming from the film world it just wasnít something they bothered with. They had a monster power supply that was originally designed for the 535 film camera, constructed in a small flight case and costing almost $2000. So I went to the Mauser catalog, found a medical grade 24v 200w power supply for around $75, and bought one. I had to snip off the DIN connector and solder on a $5 XLR3 plug, and it was done.

    So how much to sell it for? Less than $80 in parts and a few minutes of labor. Iím the one to recognize that there was a need for this product, something that Arri had not done. Thereís some value. I knew that such an item could exist in some form already, and that has value. I took the initiative and spent the time to find the source items, and that has value (took me less than an hour, but I knew where to look). Most things a company such as AbelCine sells are commodity products. They are sealed boxes that come into the warehouse and go out again to clients. But this would be something where two source parts came in, would need to go to a technician who would interact with those parts to then create a new product, and then this product would have to be added as inventory in the warehouse. Thatís a bunch of administrative work. AbelCine would be responsible for creating marketing and awareness of the product. As the end manufacturer, AbelCine would also bear the responsibility to the client for any defect. And the company had carrying costs, as we would purchase lots of parts at a time to get a decent price and so that a technician could assemble a bunch of completed units all at once. Those units might sit on the shelf in the warehouse for several months before the supply ran down enough to do another batch. Thatís equity tied up in boxes sitting on a shelf. And letís not forget thereís a business here with a bunch of employees with salaries, health insurance, pension plans, etc., plus an office with rent, air conditioning and so on.

    So what to charge? In the end it was decided that a simple formula of 3x cost would apply. 1/3 is to the hard costs for parts, 1/3 is for soft costs of all that stuff I listed above, and 1/3 is for profit. So itís a $240 power supply. Personally I think thatís incredibly fair. For the additional $160 we figured out the right kind of device, found it, did the rewiring, tested it, and will stand behind it should there be a problem. The customer doesnít have to think about it. Whatís that worth to you?

    As soon as we announced the product Arri ordered a bunch. They saw the value. Eventually Arri made its own version thatís exactly the same thing and it sells for exactly the same price. I think AbelCine stopped making its own because people would just as soon buy the Arri version and for AbelCine it was less hassle for a relatively small amount of money. And of course that financial model is different because Arri has to give some of that profit to companies like AbelCine.

    This little tale is a small example of how a $80 item becomes a $240 item. And who knows how much Mauser pays to the factory that makes the original item. I bet thereís a distributor in there as well. Could be those power supplies are $10 each coming off the assembly line, and the XLR3 connector 10 cents apiece. Itís a long way to go to get to $240, but itís a fair road every step of the way.

    BTW, here it is. The current iteration of what was my little idea.
    https://www.abelcine.com/buy/expenda...a-power-supply

    http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread...post1986795276

    http://www.dvxuser.com/V6/showthread...post1986795422
    Aaron Lochert
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member Frank Glencairn's Avatar
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    It's not the first time someone opened up a RedMag, we now since years what's in them, so what's the news?
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  7. #7  
    Here's a good video on it by Linus:

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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by yakubeshi View Post
    Here's a good video on it by Linus:

    [v
    Oh please stop giving this guy views.
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  9. #9  
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    Hmmm 8.8 million followers, 536 posts.
    Ummm.
    Ok.
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAWlover View Post
    Hmmm 8.8 million followers, 536 posts.
    Ummm.
    Ok.
    Boy what stupid freaking numbers logic that is. GFY.
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