No idea on an upgrade. I suspect it's the end of the line...
It is a very capable video camera; has ND, XLR, good presets. We still have two - for sale ))
I think this is the point of camera makers.
This is just a ramble of thoughts after coming off large production for weeks........
In a way it's kind of a shame that Panasonic and RED can't get together, or at least either one adopted part of the other's mindset.
The AF100 is a great camera, almost bought one, but at the time went the RED route. Now with the RED's for large A cam with large supports and the gh3's for lifestyle, quick cutaways, fast low light work, I pretty much have all the bases covered, though I'd give anything for a AF100 and the RED 4k X sensor camera and a raw solution.
A lightweight, autofocus camera that used xlr inputs and had a dedicated viewfinder, multiple lens mounts, touch screen focus would virtually replace our multiple solutions.
The Gh3's are good, if your careful with the file and produce beautiful skin tones, a good clean file up to about 1000 iso, but they are still a dslr type camera and that form factor has it's limitations.
Also I know that in 18 months time the gh3's will be setting on the shelf replaced by a gh4, or a sony or a something while I'll bet we're still lugging those old RED 1's to each project.
When RED called the 1's future proof I don't think they meant the file size to go back and repurpose footage, I think they should have meant that the cameras will be good for a long time.
It's a different world for our business as we work so fast today and the shot list so long.
Honestly I'm blocking shots before I've had time to think of the shot, which may sound counterproductive but somehow we do it, we get it and I'm so use to the short timeframe I think we get the shot pretty well.
I can say this, the days of saying you can't direct while shooting may be coming to an end, at least for short form, because I can see every bit of the frame, what's in focus what isn't, what looked good, what didn't without a replay, without a group discussion. I know instantly whether someone walked into and out of frame naturally, if the line delivered was believable or staged because I'm directing, scanning the frame every moment and feeling the shot from within, not from a distance.
Then again I come from a still photographer's background where directing from a viewfinder is not uncommon.
But getting back to cameras, if a company really wants to make inroads, first they should consider usability. The R1's are great, were expensive (much less today), robust (I think it took RED a period to get there), great file (with the X sensor) good software (needs another generation or two), good sound inputs with 4 channels, good viewfinder (with the new bombs) and in my experience incredibly robust.
Also I've upped the usability of my RED's by adding Zeiss nikon mount ZF still lenses as they are short throws on focus and with one quick run through you can focus and shoot yourself a lot easier than you'd think.
For stationary shots or shots with a dedicated focus puller we use the RED PL mount lenses and in all honesty not because they're better, they just look more impressive to have big glass on a big camera body, because I'll admit the RED's with the ZF's look kind of silly.
Still think about the AF100 with a 4k sensor, 14 bit 4:4:4 file, zone focus, xlr's, dedicated software conversion suite for raw and at least a smaller conversion box that would transcode the file to prorezz.
Actually, (even though I go hot and cold on RED) when you look at the price of a RED 1 (about 13k) what a set of ZF lenses cost, a bomb viewfinder, 5 v lock batteries your still around the price of anything that Sony and Canon will offer in 4k footage and have a more established rig and one that will probably last a lot longer.
Consequently there is the Scarlet. I ordered an epic, thought better of it and went a different route condsidering both were new.
Granted it was early on and every part wasn,t available but those 3.5 mm sound inputs, only two channels, bog slow autofocus and that glossy screen that turns into a mirror in bright sunlight just did me in. Now there is modules for Xlr inputs and you can add a bomb, but that jet engine fan is too much also given the fact that the r1's shoot 4 files, 3 quick times and one raw where the Scarlet just shoots a raw and Im now thinking of making a change.
I believe this is where most Japanese electronic cameras fall down When you buy a Pana, Sony, Canon, still or motion, It feels to me that it's just a short time until they will be replaced as some features really needed aren't there yet.
Things like industry standard V-lock batteries. If I have to buy and carry another dedicated battery charger . . . Whew.
Right now we have 4 different battery chargers for 4 types of batteries (in multiples) but with V lock, what fits on an led light, works just as well with the REDs. That is something someone should give some serious thought to.
Sound inputs should be standard. XLR is fine, mini xlr is kind of goofy, 3.5 mm is dangerous. For output, hdmi should be standard. Does it really make sense to have hdmi, mini hdmi, micro hdmi? Really what is the difference between 1/4" to 5/8" inch?
(sorry to go off topic, but if one more sound guy tells me he doesn't like sending a sound signal to a camera, I think I'm going to buy 24 seihauser lav's and be done with it.) Every sound guy gives me ok sound to the A camera, tinny sound to the b cam, on and off sound to the C camera and then hands me their sound file to match up. Really? I've never done an edit where regardless of where the sound comes from that hasn't had to go to sound sweetening for something and it's not that expensive. Actually, when done properly the sound that goes into the RED one especially since it allows for 4 channels, is identical to any sound file the tech gives us.)
Wireless. I'm there when it's a standard but today it's all a hit and miss. There are dedicated hd wireless boxes that work robustly and though not that large are not that easy. All of these cameras produce a knocked down signal for the lcd's and elv's. Why not a tap into that signal to send to monitor. It's really not necessary that a client see full 4k, or 2k video on an hdmi monitor but it is necessary that a monitor is up and running so they can see the shot without scrubbing through.
Actually the Gh3's allow for a wireless transmission to a Ipad and as you are looking through the camera, it taps into the evf signal, "until" you start taping and then it cuts off. I'm sure there is a reason for this but I don't know why.
We all know it's coming where everyone will have a wireless transmission, the problem is they all will be different protocols and hardware, all require different menus, all require different systems and of course require more cash outlay.
Focus. Now this one really throws me. I'm not an tech or engineer, but I know that autofocus on all cameras, stilll and motion hasn't changed in decades or more. The GH3's have the best autofocus I've seen under the right conditions, but man when something isn't to their liking they go nuts. I use focus pullers (you now the guys that stand there next to the camera with a box and turn a knob) and have one that is very good, but just can't cope with fast lens changes so he wants everything shot with an angeniux zoom.
Isn't there a way to make a detachable touch screen, like the gh3's monitor where you just tap on a subject and it tracks them, tap on another area and it ramps to that, because today the only way to have exact focus is to manually do it and that is still open to human error. Or how about a separate device that triangulates with the lens the subject and the device. You point what looks like a sekonic spot meter at the subject, it follows them and the lens adjusts. I don't know . . . is this possible?
Anyway, I guess I went off topic, but the electronic era may have brought us some amazing devices, but with it comes a perpetual upgrade process where there is an announcement every week, about an announcement, followed by an introduction, followed by 4 firmware upgrades, followed by a new camera announcement.
When I pick up the RED 1 it reminds me of the film camera the past (the good and the bad) and that this is a camera that you can keep using in production for a long time. When I go into those florescent lit stores that have rows and rows of black plastic video cameras all with 12 character names like AVX-1000s-Mr63 I know I'll be back.