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Over the years there have been a lot of criticisms of Red. Some of them true, others are not.
One thing that has been valid is the fan noise on the epic. Nothing is worse then being in the middle of a important emotional interview and have your Epic turn into a leaf blower.
That's why I've been pushing every manufacturer we know to produce a top plate with a fan in it. The more air you can push through the body, the better chance you have of keeping the epic core temperature below the dreaded 75C.
So we were pretty excited to finally get our hands on one - the Mecasax top plate. Now these guys know audio, even the academy recognizes that. So we had pretty high expectations.
So we did a lot of tests. Tried to cover as many variables as possible to see how much of a difference the plate makes and at what cost sound wise.
As you can see from the chart, the fan plate makes a vast improvement. Record times even at room temperature are doubled or tripled. We found that the fan plate set to even 25% makes the epic act as if it was set a full 10% higher. The dB cost, however is really quite minimal.
Now the testing was as accurate as possible, but there are so many variables that everyone's mileage will vary. But if you do a lot of long takes, or if your camera is having heat issues this may very well be the best solution.
One of the best things about the Mecasax is that the fan speed is manually controlled. For some people this might be seen as a negative. People like to just let the camera handle its own cooling. However, variable fan noise creates it's own issues. When the noise is constantly changing it makes it that much more difficult to get a proper noise print. The more constant a sound is, the easier it is for audio software to eliminate it.
There are a couple of drawbacks to the top plate, however. The first is that the design allows for maximum heat disapation, which means fewer screw holes for mounting accessories. They did have to get a bit creative to make it compatible with side mounted accessories (cages, etc) but it seems to work well from what we've seen. Secondly, at this point there is no way to adjust backfocus without removing the top plate. They are working on a solution, and hopefully it's soon.
So there you have it. We have one, and we're glad that we do. Nothing is more embarrassing then bringing a leaf blower to set. Yeah Red has some solutions comming up, but they won't be free so you'll have to pay for a solution regardless. Also, as of now at least, Sonosax actually has units in stock to purchase.
Until next time - happy shooting!
This graph shows the effect on record time the fanplate makes. All of these tests were done at about 23C, with the Epic's internal fan at 30%. The camera was allowed to record until it's temperature got too high. As you can see the having the fanplate on low hinders arflow slightly, hurting record times. Even at 25%, however, record times triple. The reason that both 25% and 50% are the same is because we ran out of media. Needed some 512gb SSDs!
Here we see the relationship between fan speed and dB readings. These were done with SPL Meter for iPhone which we found to be fairly accurate. Regardless, however, all of the tests were done using the same settings - 5 feet, meter set to slow reponse, and SPL(A). As you can see, having the fan on at 50% only increases the dB by only a fraction of a dB, but allows for significantly longer record times.
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So apparently RED is now acknowledging that the Epic fan is an issue. They are doing two things:
1. Next firmware will have a new control algorithm that will gradually increase the fan speed rather then suddenly jumping to 100%.
2. New fans will be shown at NAB. The Super front fan and grill, and the new top fan that fits between the camera and top grill will be optional paid accessories (boo!!!)
The Red +1 Module will be available for purchase on Tuesday, and starts shipping on Friday.
-Allows a the usage of a second Red LCD or EVF
-Replaces the module adapter
-HDMI port is consumed by this module, and can only be used if the module is removed.
-HDSDI port is still useable
This website is a collection of the best shit we could find for your camera. We explain what you need, why you need it, and how to use it.
We've also collected a few things around here that we liked enough to put in our store - making it the easiest most cost effective way to outfit your camera.
So make yourself at home and take a look around. Just make sure you put everything back where you found it.