Configuring a RED ONE camera package can be a challenging prospect because of the sheer variety of choices. Hundreds of accessories are available from a number of manufacturers, including RED, such as batteries, mounting hardware, onboard monitors, an electronic viewfinder (EVF), and two sizes of camera-mountable LCD monitors. RED also offers its own branded set of prime and zoom lenses designed for the camera. The camera is also compatible with many preexisting 35mm optics and accessories as well as new products designed by third-party manufacturers especially for the camera system.
So, what do you really need in a RED package—and what's nice to have if you can afford it? In this chapter, we'll look at the major categories of equipment and accessories and I'll offer my own personal recommendations. Then you'll learn about assembling RED packages at specific price points and for specific purposes.
The RED ONE Camera Body
The most important item to purchase is, of course, the RED ONE camera body (currently $17,500). The body is a very sophisticated digital camera and user-upgradeable computer surrounding a CMOS image sensor (see the "What's a CMOS?" sidebar). It's also a highly customizable platform for connecting video and audio input and output devices, and it accepts lenses and many photographic accessories needed to effectively capture motion pictures. Just about every piece of equipment I covered in this chapter mounts directly onto the body (Figure 4.1)—and of course you'll need a lot more than just the body to shoot footage.
Figure 4.1 The RED ONE camera body is the heart of the RED system.
I recommend the base production pack ($1,250) for a starter kit. This set includes handles and rod mounts for use with a tripod as well as a battery cradle. You may choose to forgo the base production pack and purchase these necessary pieces, such as the ARRI Base, from manufacturers such as Element Technica.