Nikon acquires RED digital cinema

Comments Comments

In a surprising move, Nikon has acquired 100% of US-based RED Digital Cinema.

RED was founded in 2005 by Jim Jannard, the founder of Oakley eyewear, who sold Oakley for $2.1 billion in 2007.

Jannard's original goal was to deliver relatively affordable 4K video at a time when 2K was the standard, and cinema was still being shot on film.

In 2007 the company launched the RED One 4K with its own 'Mysterium 4K' 12MP Super 35mm film sensor. This sensor, along with a mount that enabled the use of larger lenses, meant the ONE 4K was able to deliver shallow depth of field that cinematographers love. 

Since then, RED has gone on to be a well respected, high end cinema camera brand that has created more than 14 sensors that utilise the propriety Redcode RAW (.r3d) file format. RED currently has 220 employees.

The current RED V-Raptor XL [X] 8K retails for approximately $81,000
The current RED V-Raptor XL [X] 8K retails for approximately $81,000. Image: RED

So the big question is – why did Nikon buy RED?

If you look into who is the main manufacturer of camera sensors – Sony wins hands down with more than a 42% market share. And yes, Sony even makes sensors for Nikon – including those in the latest Z8 & Z9 cameras.

So it makes sense for Nikon to acquire RED to gain access to the company's sensor manufacturing nous. This will (hopefully) see greater profit in the near future in not only Nikon's stills camera market, but also the cinema camera market.

Nikon's official press release states that "Nikon's expertise in product development, exceptional reliability, and know-how in image processing, as well as optical technology and user interface along with RED’s knowledge in cinema cameras, including unique image compression technology and colour science, will enable the development of distinctive products in the professional digital cinema camera market.

Nikon will leverage this acquisition to expand the fast-growing professional digital cinema camera market, building on both companies' business foundations and networks, promising an exciting future of product development that will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in film and video production."

You can read the official press release here.

comments powered by Disqus