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Storage Options

Storage is a critical concern for your RED ONE camera. You have three basic options: RED CF cards, RED-DRIVE, and RED-RAM. All of these items are available directly from RED.

RED CF Cards

The RED CF cards are currently available in 8 GB ($165) and 16 GB ($495) capacities. You need the REDFLASH CF Module ($500) in order to use the cards. Record times are modest, because of the high data rate of REDCODE. You can expect about 4 minutes of 4K, 16:9 REDCODE 36 at 24 frames per second on an 8 GB CF, and about 8 minutes of the same settings on an 8 GB card.

Commercial shooters are likely to be fine with these record times. For many situations requiring long record times, such as unscripted interviews, they are too limiting, which means moving up to the drive units.


The RED-DRIVE ($900) and RED-RAM ($4,500) are your options for longer record times. Both drives offer FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 connections for downloading footage to your editorial and postproduction system.

The RED-DRIVE provides 320 GB of storage space on a RAID 0 hard drive that connects directly to the camera and can be mounted with the RED cradle (also included with the base production pack). The drive gives you almost 3 hours of recording time in 4K, 16:9 REDCODE 36 at 24 frames per second. You also need a special RED cable for either drive unit, sold separately.

Figure 4.11

Figure 4.11 The iSee4K application for iPhone helps make RED calculations easier.

I recommend getting two RED-DRIVEs per camera body if you can afford them. That way, you can download from one drive while continuing to shoot with the other. Also, if you happen to be in a remote location and your RED-DRIVE is damaged or fails, you always have a backup ready to go. If you can't budget for two RED-DRIVEs, grab one drive and a couple of 8 GB or 16 GB CF cards. You'll be able to download footage off the RED-DRIVE and continue to shoot on the CF cards until the drive is ready to shoot again. Keep in mind that the RED-DRIVEs is sensitive to vibration, so having CF cards and a RED-RAM is wise if you're planning a shoot with lots of vibration. You can only get these custom drive cables directly from RED, so stock up on a few spares just in case.

The RED-RAM unit is approximately four times as expensive as the RED-DRIVE, but it brings some nice benefits. With no internal moving parts, the RED-RAM is nearly impervious to moderate vibration and impact. So if you're shooting a concert or an action film, you don't have to worry (in contrast to the RED-DRIVE) about the drive skipping and dropping frames.

The capacity of the RED-RAM is currently limited to 128GB because of the internal solid-state drive (SSD) used in the unit. This works out to a little more than an hour of 4K, 16:9 REDCODE 36 at 24 frames per second. The ultimate decision between the RED-DRIVE and RED-RAM should be determined by the types of projects you're doing. Of course, you can always get both for more flexibility.

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