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Nikon and RED will jointly develop a new camera

A little more than a month has passed since the landmark deal for Nikon to purchase the American film camera…
Nikon and RED will jointly develop a new camera
Nikon and RED will jointly develop a new camera

A little more than a month has passed since the landmark deal for Nikon to purchase the American film camera manufacturer RED. During the days of the largest video equipment exhibition NAB Show, the Japanese company released the first comment on the fact of the completed merger. It follows from this that in the future the companies may jointly release a new camera. And in general, present the products “to a wider audience.”

Potentially, the new camera will combine Nikon and RED’s expertise in creating digital consumer devices for photography and videography. The Japanese manufacturer, represented by the executive vice president and general director of Nikon’s imaging division, Hiroyuki Ikegami, states the following:

“Welcoming RED, a company that has been at the forefront of innovative technologies in the Nikon family, is sure to expand the possibilities of image expression and further delight the market with its innovations.

Then an important clarification:

“Our goal is to combine the best of both companies and work together to develop new, unique products, and ensure that the brand remains the choice for Nikon and RED fans and perhaps reaches an even wider audience ,” explains Ikegami.

Based on the earlier statement, as well as subsequent comments from Nikon, there will be no changes to the current line of RED cinema cameras, warranty policies, repairs or maintenance services. This is positive news for those who purchased RED cinema cameras right before the transaction.

However, a new statement lifts the veil of secrecy on Nikon’s plans. Firstly: development of new unique products. Naturally, we are talking about cameras for photography or cinema. Given RED’s competencies in video shooting, and in particular in codecs with the highest color depth (16-bit) – a camera with such advanced capabilities could be the subject of joint development by the parties to the transaction.

Second: Nikon plans to “reach a wider audience.” This is a rather interesting thesis, since indeed, RED cameras are very expensive. Because of this, in the more budget segment, Blackmagic and other manufacturers that have affordable cinema cameras in their range obviously win.

At the same time, Nikon is the only one of the three photo brands: Canon, Sony and Nikon, which does not produce its own cinema cameras. Two other competitors have been playing in this field for a long time, and with models in different price segments. Sony has high-tech cinema cameras Sony Venice 2, Sony Burano, as well as more budget models: Sony FX9, Sony FX6 and Sony FX3. Canon, in turn, has the budget model Canon EOS C70, Canon EOS R5C, as well as the advanced Canon C700 (pictured below) and others.

Thus, teaming up with RED will allow Nikon to finally enter the cinema camera market. Another question: will it be a Nikon camera with RED functionality or will we be waiting for a RED cinema camera, complemented by a Z-mount bayonet mount, as well as features developed by Nikon? Or both options at once, designed for different price segments.

Given Nikon’s gradual development towards advanced video shooting capabilities on mirrorless cameras (for example, 8K RAW on Nikon Z9, Nikon Z8 memory cards), indeed, both potential developments are taking place.

It is known that the latest RED cinema cameras were equipped with advanced hybrid autofocus (for example, the RED Komodo-X). At the same time, Nikkor Z-mount optics (developed by Nikon) have extensive autofocus support, with high speed and accuracy at the latest level.

The compatibility of these two obvious elements (RED cinema cameras and Nikkor Z optics) in the future has not yet been officially confirmed. However, in this case, the system could seriously compete with Sony and Canon.

Another potential growth vector for the Nikon and RED collaboration is the ability to record RAW video on a memory card in the budget price segment. Now in this segment of manufacturers Sony and Canon there are actually no cameras that have similar functionality. Blackmagic, Z-Cam and other more specialized manufacturers have such capabilities. Nikon, in turn, offers such capabilities in its flagship cameras, but their cost is comparable to mid-segment cinema cameras.

So far, there are no official details about the future developments of the two companies (as part of one). Perhaps details will appear in the near future.

Earlier, Blackmagic potentially entered a new market for itself: the premium segment of cinema cameras for professional shooting. The new Blackmagic URSA Cine 17K has a large medium format sensor (similar size to the Arri Alexa 65) with a 17K resolution. To record video, you will have to use special memory cards (Blackmagic Design 8TB Media Module) developed by Blackmagic Design.

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All TechWeek writers are indepentent and from many different countries. Some english misspelling and grammar mistakes may occur. Report article.


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