RED Updates It’s Camera Firmware with Significant Additions and Enhancements

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

RED announced a significant update of its camera firmware today. The new version 3.3, which is aimed at Epic and Scarlet platforms, comes with a heady collection of additions and enhancements which RED users have been clamoring for, while rival shooters of the Arri Alexa and Sony F65 have been enjoying continual updates as well.  But RED is also adding some hardware enhancements as well, including additional monitor ports and XLR connectors.  Here’s a general rundown …

Lots of cool stuff in this one.. with a ton of bug fixes. Note the PRO-IO support which another batch will start shipping next week.  – Jarred Land, Fire Chief, Red User Forums

First, the firmware. Shooting framerates reflected more accurately, rather than simply rounding up.  Shutter speeds are also shown with greater specificity.  Function keys are showing up as well as auto presets.  But there’s a lot more …

  • Added Pro IO Support (Video, Audio, Timecode, Sync, Genlock, GPIO and PWR)
  • Added Pro IO Power Control
  • Added Pro IO and Camera Audio Output Mix Control
  • Added Audio Playback
  • Added HD-SDI and HDMI Audio
  • Added Pro IO HD-SDI audio on PREVIEW and PLAYBACK
  • Added Overlay Menu on left/right side of touch screen (Soft Keys)
  • Added Preset RUN on internal actions (Startup, Preview->Playback, Playback->Preview)
  • Added Yellow GEN icon on cross-locking
  • Added Frame Guide Menus
  • Added Lookaround support
  • Added higher frame rates 312,325,330,336,350,360,375,384,390
  • Enhanced Camera/Pro IO Overlay Selection
  • Enhanced Camera/Pro IO Video Output Format Selection
  • Enhanced UI usability
  • Enhanced AF and Iris control capability

RED has also included an “absolute”option, which will allows the cameraman to determine the resolution desired and get that frame guide on the monitor itself.  Nice feature.

On the hardware side, RED now supports up to six monitors simultaneously using the PRO I/O Box.  Frequencies can be changed and overlays can be moved to any monitor (only one at a time). You also have audio in playback through both HD-SDI and HDMI, finally, and you can mix in camera and adjust volume control.

Some things to keep in mind with this version, however is that it isn’t really 3D stable just yet.   Users need to be sure to use camera brain sync port for 3D work and avoid 3D sync when GEN ICON is yellow.  Other quirks of the firmware include that the camera may display voltage instead of battery capacity when powered by RED BRICK, EVF black levels are raised in some cases prompting a requisite shadow adjustment as required.  Image Magnify is also available during preview only, and while HD-SDI is true Progressive, it will not support 1080i or 1080 PsF signal formats.

The versions 3.3 firmware is currently in Beta, something to keep in mind, and is available for both Epic and Scarlet users at the following links:

In addition, RED also released a Beta update for REDMOTE (vs. 4.04) and final stable version for version 3.2.19, which they say “mops up” anything left over from the previous 3.2.16 update.  You can download those versions here:

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.

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