With digital movie cameras completing their takeover of the industry, it’s time for them to become a full platform for custom apps.
That’s exactly what the high-end Red Digital Cinema is doing with the release this week of its REDLINK Development Kit and an accompanying REDLINK Bridge box.
The company’s Red One, first shown at the 2007 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show, has secured a place in cinema history as a widely used, professional-grade, digital, ultra-HD video camera that has played a major role in putting movie film capture out to pasture. The reasonably priced Red One quickly gained a reputation as a digital camera that captured images with the resolution of 35mm film.
The development kit, unveiled at this year’s NAB now in Las Vegas, supports the creation of custom apps for remotely controlling the company’s digital still and motion cameras through an iOS/Android mobile device, Windows PC, or microcontroller.
A USB drive, pre-loaded with sample apps, is included in the kit. The apps can be used to start and stop recording, or to adjust shutter speed, white balance, ISO, and programmable user keys, as well as monitoring camera settings.
There’s also a wireless, $395 aluminum box called the REDLINK Bridge, which docks on the back of the camera, has a wireless range of about 50 feet, and allows apps to talk to the camera.
It can also communicate with the Tactical Hand Controller that interfaces with the lens control system, so apps can be used to modify focus or iris on Canon and Nikon lenses. This arrangement requires less equipment to remotely control the Red’s cameras lenses than previously. Only one camera can be controlled through the Bridge, although an unlimited number can be controlled if they’re networked through Ethernet.
The apps can be most useful to control Red cameras in setups without camera operators, such as drone-based aerial photography or that shot of a car racing toward you, as seen from the point-of-view of the road.