Cinematography Mailing List - CML

Red Drive Reliability


Has anyone run into any issues with the reliability of Red Drives?
I have one and it's never given me any trouble at all. Today I had a panicky call from a client who was using a rental Red, apparently they've been using these 2 drives and cables for 3 weeks with no problems but today neither drive would work - couldn't even format them. Tried both cables, too. Camera recorded fine to the CF card, so they finished their day on CF cards.

Since I've never had any problems, I'm betting there is something more going on here - but has anyone had anything similar happen to them?

George Hupka
Director/DP, Downstream Pictures
Saskatoon, Canada
Listmum - Cinematography Mailing List

>>Has anyone run into any issues with the reliability of Red Drives?

Had two errors crop up last Tuesday on a RED drive. Fortunately I was able to pause it and then roll again, with no apparent data loss.

Never had any problems before that.

Art Adams | Director of Photography
4 1 5 . 7 6 0 . 5 1 6 7
showreel ->
trade writing ->

Jeff Barklage wrote:

>> I've had zero problems with the Red One....

Well, Jeff, you weren't shooting with me today in the tomato cannery where the temps were over 100° and 95% humidity. The Red worked well for about 30 minutes 'till it started to puke. Two frozen gel packs and changing from the drives to CF cards and we were able to continue. The DP still was bothered by the EVF deciding to go into "I'm not happy and I'm going to show it" mode. That cleared up after we got outside where it was "only" 90°. I have to admit, it's the first time I've had a usually very reliable serial number Red camera throw a shoe but it was at a very bad time. When I got back to the rental house, their tech was providing telephone support to a client on the last shot of the day when *their* Red decided to have an imaging problem requiring a long problem solve. Apparently they had to do an involved reset and black balance while their crew went into overtime.

Ahh progress.

Rod Williams
Motion Picture and HD First Camera Assistant
Petaluma, California
(707) 778-7524 Home
(415) 309-3407 Cell

Jeff Barklage and Rod Williams wrote :

>> I've had zero problems with the Red One....
>>Well, Jeff, you weren't shooting with me today in the tomato cannery where the temps were over 100° and >>95% humidity. The Red worked well for about 30 minutes 'till it started to puke.

Heat... and Auto Fan does not work with most cameras. High Fan is the only way to shoot long takes or in a high heat environment...

Any camera. External fans and ice packs are also common, as is courtesy flags... I could show you pictures. The sound mixer will just have to complain to the producer on this issue... not me. Because then I can negotiate to get a fifteen minute cool off period for every thirty minutes of power on, let alone recording time. Heat also messes up the noise in the blacks on certain sensors–– CMOS especially.

If I hadn't had a flawless RED One feature shoot just before I lost a long interview take to heat issues with the RED One, I would have bad mouthed the camera into a long hiatus. Yes, even the record red dot was on in the viewfinder. But the camera is here to stay for a variety of reasons (just look at District 9 for yourself) and with anything new, and dare I say, a "revolutionary" option towards cinema capturing. We are all experiencing and learning what is best for what situation and sharing knowledge on these forums that are very helpful towards this goal of a better camera. So, having "zero problems" and "flawless" experiences are good to have on a production, it is certainly not the norm when you are pushing things to strive for an extreme situation or look... or just striving for a camera with continuing enhancements.

Being burned and living with the consequences, may they be reflected on you personally, or shared with the production, or blamed on the manufacturer, we usually move on with a solution or the next best thing–– the next time. It is what we do.

Eric Adkins
DP, Los Angeles

The Red Drives do have a tendency for the FW800 port to go out.

Did the Client Try USB2 or Fw400 to get it to mount on the Computer?

They could use R3D Data Manager to Format the drive from the Computer then mount on the Camera. It is within the realm of possibility for a Red-Drive to fail but I haven't encountered a complete failure yet.

Dane Brehm
San Francisco

CML has just published the "Little RED Book"

This book is an edited collection of conversation's during 2009 about ways to use the RED one and how to get around any problems you may encounter.

Impress others with your knowledge!

Be the envy of your friends!

Buy it today!

Available as an A5 book or a PDF if you just can't wait!

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