Saturday, October 25, 2008

Gates Housing for the RED Video Camera

Today at the DEMA show I had a chance to talk to John Ellerbrock about the new Gates housing for the RED video camera. The RED is an almost mythical camera that will push the envelope of high definition video far beyond anything available previously in the digital realm. See, or in their words: "Typical high-end HD camcorders have 2.1M pixel sensors and record with 3:1:1 color sub-sampled video at up to 30fps. RED offers the Mysterium ™ Super 35mm cine sized (24.4×13.7mm) sensor, which provides 4K (up to 30 fps), 3K (up to 60 fps) and 2K (up to 120 fps) capture, and all this with wide dynamic range and color space in 12 bit native RAW. At 4K, that’s more than 5 times the amount of information available every second and a vastly superior recording quality."

But, for an underwater shooter, what good is the very best camera without a stellar housing, and that's what the Gates team has achieved. Working in close collaboration with IMAX film-maker Howard Hall, John Ellerbrock of Gates has created some breakthough innovations in housing design, including using the reverse polarity of magnets to actually operate mechanical controls without the necessity of through-housing shafts, and a unique toggle shaft for the housing that is a clever solution to what must have been a very challenging (but crucial) camera control.

I'm not a videographer, but I do appreciate brilliance in mechanical design and machining excellence. Very nicely done!

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