The future will have you seeing RED.

Depending on who you ask, this is the future of photography.

The EPIC M, by RED, comes in a package one third the size of a RED ONE, carrying with it a 5K Mysterium-X™ sensor and a 27 layer ASIC, the most advanced processor of its type in the world, enabling EPIC to capture up to 120 frames per second, each frame at full 14MP resolution. EPIC both a Digital Still & Motion Camera, and that is what could be what changes everything…again.

Photography, over the years, has gone through a recent evolution. With digital becoming the standard that is wiping out the use of film, just about anyone with money and adequate desire can become a photographer. Now don’t get me wrong, this is an absolutely good thing. I have always been of the mind that photography should be something you do, as opposed to who you are. For far too long, photographers have tried to maintain this aura of superiority because they were this guild of magicians with their control of apertures, f-stops and light metering that regular people could never really understand.

Then came the advent of the digital camera.

All of a sudden everyone (including myself) were becoming camera enthusiasts, and while there was and still is push back from pro shooters, the walls were thinning and from it came a new cadre of photographers who were making images just as good because their cameras were doing much of the heavy lifting for them. All these shooters had to do was capture the same thing as the pros…the moment.

Capturing the “moment” is something that auto setting cannot compensate for. It’s the thing that truly separates the pro from the consumer. That one image, culled from shooting multiple images, and in the case of model photography, it’s achieved by knowing your subject, working with your subject to put together that one in a hundred shot that will grace portfolios, magazine covers or billboards.

Well, cameras like the EPIC M will change that.

Now to be sure, DSLRs have been moving towards more hybrid action between motion and still; even the most entry level of Canon Rebel series cameras have HD camcorder ability. But not like what you’re getting with the EPIC M on the professional end. Now the impetus doesn’t have to be on getting the “moment” shot, because technically, you can just take this camera and do a motion shoot on a set, and an EDITOR can go through the footage and pull out an extremely hi-res frame and there you go. Folks, this camera shoots at 128 fps, something that practically guarantees than any single frame will generate a shot just as good as anything that can be shot on a still camera.

(c) 2011 Vincent Laforet

Have a look at that shot.

This is a frame grab from a video shot at 96 fps on an EPIC M by photographer Vincent Laforet. Look at the depth and definition, something that would only seem to come from a still camera. Laforet wrote about his experience with the EPIC M, and he feels this has the potential to cause radical change within photography.

Now make no mistake, still photography certainly isn’t going away, not by a longshot, but think about the implications for commercial photography. Consider how this camera could be used at weddings, where a photographer would simply need to just take sweeping shots of the scenery and then go back over the video and pluck choice frame grabs later on.

What this also means is that now the relationship between photographer and editor will take an even more dramatic turn. Instead of using an editor to retouch photos, now you can use an editor to help you select the shot from the video footage. The possibilities are many, and once again, the paradigm is shifting.

Welcome to the future.

For more on the RED EPIC M, visit their Web site.

For an interview with Vincent Laforet on the convergence that will come with cameras like the EPIC M, visit APhotoEditor.

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3 responses

  1. Yes, but a Canon-based 9shooter system (with the Canon 5D Mark ii & HFS200) costs less than 1/10 cost of the RED EPIC and can be hand-held, as it is far lighter and smaller. The 9shooter also carries the advantages of redundancy and both dedicated stabilization for stills and dynamic stabilization for video, and one can use standard Canon lenses. In a showdown, the <$5,000 9shooter system would beat the $58,000+ EPIC RED hands down. And just you wait until the 9shooter with a Canon 5D Mark III & Mark IV!
    http://blog.9shooter.com/2011/06/canon-based-nine-shooter-9shooter-4500.html

    In a showdown, the 9shooter beats the EPIC RED hands down.

    June 20, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    • If anything, I would argue that it makes the possibilities with what I just described that much simpler.

      The point here is that there will be a move towards using motion photography to produce still images from hi def frame grabs. Whether it’s expensive rigs like the RED EPIC, or aftermarket setups like the 9shooter system, well that’ll always be up for grabs.

      Thanks for the response!

      June 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm

  2. i don’t know much about cameras, or photography on professional level… i am one of the “regular people” who now can explore my love of photography without mastering an aperture (that was not happening). I would love to get my hands on one of these. In my next life maybe, but in the meantime thanks for posting. now i can dream big! (-:

    December 30, 2011 at 11:20 pm

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