RED vs HDSLR – RED founder says Canon should be “embarrassed”

by planetmitch15 Comments

The founder of RED makes a bold statement on the forums: “I fully expect the DSLR mfgs to get it right at some point. Make a non-line-skipping 4K camera. At that point, the difference will be RAW 5K and 6K vs. whatever they make. Until then, a line-skipping 1080P camera is just not in the running for a pro camera. Can you make OK images with a line-skipping 1080P camera? Sure. Should you be embarrassed? Yes. We are not in that business.

I saw the Canon commercial about shooting “motion stills”. They should be ashamed. Just try to take a still from their motion 1080P capture…


Redrock Micro

Update: I had a couple of queries about what a “Line skipping camera” was… so here's my quick explanation:

The 5D2 is a “line skipping camera” – in movie mode, it does not use the full sensor to output the video – it skips 2 out of every 3 lines. The 5D2 sensor is 5616 x 3744 pixels – yet the output of video is only 1920×1080 – so about 1 out of 3 rows of pixels in the sensor is used (and 2 or so are skipped). The exact ratio of full sensor size to movie output size is 3.47 – so I don't know exactly how Canon gets 1080 out of 3744, but it is about 1 out of every 3.47 lines of the sensor.

If you don't keep up with RED, they've announced yet another delay in production of their new units. Not only is there some kind of bug they've been working on, but their manufacturer overseas is having trouble. But yet, Jim has enough confidence to make those bold statements.

I've enjoyed reading some of the thread there and reading other posts on the subject. But so far, Vincent Laforet's balanced post leads the pack in my book.

“Every camera has it’s place. Every camera excels in some things – and fails in others. Every end user has specific needs, quality standards, and budgets…

In the end – learn all of the tools (if you can) – and use the best tool for any given job.

Yes, planet5D is currently totally devoted to the Canon line, but that doesn't mean we don't keep an eye on what is going on in this space. Keep an eye on RED and Alexa and Canon and Nikon etc… There is a lot of cool stuff coming!

(Photo credit: snap from the video)



  1. Those are bold words coming from a guy who can’t even get a new product out the door. Canon should be embarrassed? Sorry Jim, you’re not one to talk. And by the way, it’s not exactly fair comparing a line of professional STILL cameras that also happen to shoot video to a (enormously expensive, buggy, awfully-designed user interface) SINGLE PURPOSE video camera.

    Besides, these Canons don’t do professional work? I’m sorry Jim, you’re full of crap. Enough big-budget productions have used them to thoroughly out that one to bed… Are the House, 24, etc. productions done by amateurs? That’s not even to mention the slew of work done on these HDSLRs like all of Vincent’s films. Are you going to tell Vincent Laforet he is not a professional?

    Please. Canon’s got a lot to be proud of. You? Well, talk to us when you actually get Scarlet out.

  2. “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone with a bad attitude.” Well, so do I. I am less likely to use a Red product now.

  3. Definitely not the right time or the right person to be mouthing off a company like Canon. Jim could have held onto some brownie points if he didn’t specifically point at Canon but than again, what other DSLR company has a 1080P camera out that professionals are currently using? Show us the product (a retail/consumer one) and then… just maybe then…. you can post an argument against Canon. Until then, keep on dreaming and keep on delaying your product. RED dropped the ball on this one. We all were waiting for what ever it is that RED was suppose to release. Enough is enough.

  4. “Keep away from people that belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” -Mark Twain

  5. Jim is a stand up guy. Not many CEO,s are willing to openly communicate with his customers about every aspect of his business, including product development and problems that occur along the way. What, none of the other high tech have bugs in R and D? At any rate, it’s silly to compare these cameras, I own and shoot with 5Ds and Reds. And I can tell you they aren’t even in the same league, not were the ever intended to be. It’s like comparing kites and airplanes.

    1. You are correct but it’s still no reason to say the things he has said about Canon.

  6. Pingback: Liever Dead dan Red « Filming with digital camera

  7. Absolutely right, Jim. The reviews from your sub-$3,000 Scarlet are in and it completely blows the 5D Mark II away. Just like you promised, it takes terrific stills and makes me feel embarrassed to use it. Canon should be ashamed of themselves for trying to get into digital imaging! After all, a Japanese corporation with over sixty years of experience in optics and photography could learn a thing or two from a visionary who brought the world much more important developments, such as designer sunglasses and rubber motocross handlebar grips.

    After all of the productions the Scarlet has proven itself in, I’ve GOT to have one and see what all this fuss is about! Can I pick one up at your private island in Washington? Can I also peek at your rare collection of Canon EF glass, like the EF1200mm L– Ooops! Wouldn’t want to embarrass you, what with you shooting Canon and all. Wouldn’t want you to be ashamed, afterall.

  8. Ooh, handbags! As someone who used the RED and absolutely fell in love with it, this is pretty funny, since RED were the ones who pissed on the bonfire in the first place. RED invented a brand new category and now they’ve had their upstart position usurped by completely unexpected, leftfield newcomers. It’s all good, and if Jim wants to shout and rant then let him. Money talks and everyone’s now buying DSLRs because they are doing the business. For you, me, Rodney Charters, my employers, my friends, my competitors, right now, DSLRs are vital. Like it or not, if you want to survive a recession then you have to jump on kit like this, educate yourself and then be incredibly smart about how you use it. Jim knows this and is just launching a tirade borne out of frustration as his competitive edge disappears. Bring out a killer product (like the RED one and we’ll all come flocking back… or will we?) – hint: make sure the new product is compatible with stills lenses…

  9. Pingback: RED vs HDSLR – RED founder says Canon should be “embarrassed” | planet5D - HDSLR community | Video For Real Estate |

  10. Pingback: RED vs HDSLR – RED founder says Canon should be “embarrassed” | planet5D - HDSLR community | Video For Real Etate |

Leave a Comment