We saw this coming. We suspect everyone else did as well.
Now, eight months down the line, the Irvine, CA company has a new strategy for RANGER, and some new siblings. The camera will be available for sale as opposed to rental, and there are two additional versions, based around the company's existing sensors: the 8K HELIUM and the 5K GEMINI. The MONSTRO version of RANGER will remain rental-only. The HELIUM and GEMINI versions will also be stocked by rental houses.
RED RANGER side view
An important step
We think this is an important step for RED. While modularity has its advantages, it's also sometimes an obstacle for productions that need a dependable, deterministic, fixed setup. According to RED the MONSTRO version of RANGER has been a popular item for rental customers since its release.
Just to recap, the camera can take large power sources and comes in versions for V-Lock and Gold Mount batteries. Heat management is an intrinsic part of cameras at this level, and the RANGER has a much larger, single fan, rotating slower for lower noise levels on set. The RANGER can operate from a wide voltage range: 11.5V to 32V and there are 2 x 24V and 2 x 12V power outputs.
Second, the I/O is fully integrated and is quite comprehensive, with three SDI outputs, one of which can independently output different looks from the other two feeds.
Audio is 5-pin XLR stereo, with switchable Line/Mic and 48v for Phantom Power. Other I/O includes genlock, timecode, USB and control.
In addition to REDCODE RAW RANGER also captures to Apple ProRes or AVID DNxHR with a data rate of up to 300 MB/s. The new camera does, of course, include RED’s modern, HDR-capable colour management system, IPP2.
RED RANGER MONSTRO, HELIUM and GEMINI
Why not Monstro?
We asked RED's CEO, Jarred Land about the decision to keep the RANGER MONSTRO limited to rental only:
" Quite simply, the RANGER MONSTRO was created specifically for rental houses by the request of the rental houses, and RANGER still falls under their guidance. There of course are benefits on both sides. Keeping RANGER restricted to rental houses obviously makes them more exclusive, but opening RANGER up to the wider owner/operators aids in the marketing and in turn increases their demand. What we have now with these two new variants of RANGER is a nice way to satisfy both. That said, there is an exception that the rental houses proposed at Cine Gear that we will indeed honor: Private owner-operators that sub-rent their DSMC2 MONSTRO’s thru rental houses can (by the rental house’s request) have their cameras upgraded to RANGER MONSTROs."
This is a clever move by RED. It means that it now has a brand new camera range that will appeal to a different demographic. And in a way, this is emblematic of the state of the camera industry today.
Cameras are mostly not only good enough, but, objectively, quite amazingly good. So, at least for the near future, until computational imaging and AI/Machine Learning start to make significant inroads into video technology, selling cameras is going to be a matter of matching form factor to closely targeted types of user.
And that's exactly what RED is doing.
RANGER HELIUM and RANGER GEMINI ship complete with:
New Production Top Handle
Shimmed PL Mount
New LCD/EVF Adaptor D with improved cable routing when used on the left side of the camera
New 24V AC power adaptor with 3-pin 24V XLR power cable, which can also be used with 24V block batteries
Lens mount shim pack
Compatible Hex and Torx tools