RED Hydrogen One smartphone prototype hands-on

Here the first RED Hydrogen One smartphone prototype hands-on:

Additional information on the RED Hydrogen One:

  • Android OS based
  • 5.7-inch holographic display
  • Can view 2D, 3D, VR, AR, and MR
  • Multi band support
  • MicroSD slot
  • USB-C support
  • Price: $1,195 (titanium version: $1,595)
  • Shipping date: Q1/2018
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  • I wonder why they needed to make the RED-style camera a module instead of building it into the base unit. It seems odd to have a camera that produces a bulge on the main unit, and then add something in front of it to be the “real” camera.

    I’m definitely intrigued by it but it would have to be pretty darn awesome to wean me off of iOS. Still, it’s one of the few companies that has even a remote chance at that …

    • Mike

      Agreed. Plus it might be my only chance to own a RED anything. 🙂

      • RED just announced its RAVEN in a very appealing bundle at Apple Stores for $14,999. So that’s a step closer at least.

        However, I live in Miami, which I think qualifies as a big city (it actually has a really nice RED Retail Store in the Wynwood Arts District), and not even the most upscale Apple stores (Aventura and Miami Beach) had even heard of the bundle. So my hope for a demo is shattered, at least for now :(.

  • animalsbybarry

    They claim cinematography in your pocket and DSLR guality ??????

    • paige4o4

      Who knows… maybe they plan on sticking a DSLR module on the front 😉

      • animalsbybarry

        I believe ( not certain of this)
        The camera module has a sensor and kens mount (mirrorless of course)
        Lenses will be interchangeable

        I also believe that when a newer better sensor comes out you can replace just the module and keep your phone and lenses…. or replace your phone and keep the camera module

        • Robert Falconer

          Unlikely, since a newer, better sensor would also require a significantly more powerful processor, too. So unless you stack both the sensor and processor together — doubtful due to the heat problems in the cramped space of a smartphone — that’s not gonna work. Not mention the updates coming to the phones as well, which will require the usual smartphone update cycle, aka a whole new phone.

          This “throw everything and the kitchen sink into a smartphone” approach is getting wearisome. What if you’re using it to film something critical and your phone rings and it’s an equally critical call? Everybody says “we can do this” without asking “should we do this?”

          • abortabort

            Sorry why would a ‘better’ or ‘newer’ sensor require more processing?

          • Robert Falconer

            Because an improved sensor architecture that captures more detail with wider dynamic range (or adds additional features such as pixel-level focusing) also requires more powerful processing to take advantage of the hardware and algorithm improvements. At the processing level, A/D conversion and S&N firmware are at least as important as the sensor itself…some might argue even more so.

          • abortabort

            Sorry, but unless they are drastically changing the processing that’s simply not true. The processing is just processing the data that comes off the sensor, better samples data is still the same data that just more accurately captures information. Processing 8 million pixels (for example) that are better sampled by the sensor doesn’t take any more or less processing. The processor doesn’t care if they accurately represent the scene or not.

            Obviously if they change the processing (such as depth or frequency) it will.

          • Robert Falconer

            Except that we’re not talking about identical pixel levels or anything else on a newer sensor that would be the same. At a certain point, you cannot keep updating sensor modules and continue using the same processor. It’s an indisputable fact that newer, more advanced sensor architectures require more powerful processing algorithms, and hence more powerful processors. It’s why when Nikon introduces a new flagship camera with a more advanced sensor, they simultaneously upgrade the processor as well. Or, if you begin adding more phase and contrast detect points to the sensor for AF purposes, the processor has to work much harder to crunch all that throughput.

            A modular smartphone that allows you to swap out the heart while retaining the same brain isn’t going to happen.

          • abortabort

            Sorry but no. They release a new camera with new processor because the camera has new capabilities such as increased frequency (fps) or resolution. Plus adding other new capabilities to the camera. Processing x bits of data over y number of photosites doesn’t change just due to a sensor being of higher quality. An 8MP phone sensor being sampled at 12bits (say) is no different than a FF sensor of the same spec. Yes there will be useful photographic information stored in there, but that doesn’t change the processing requirements.

          • Robert Falconer

            Nobody said that processor improvements weren’t also designed to manage additional camera functionality. But you’re cherry picking your facts here; for example, who’s to say that the sensor will remain at 8MP, and not jump to 12, or 24? And you’re missing the other functionalities that current sensor architectures of this type possess, such as pixel-level AF functionality, phase and contrast detect algorithms, etc.

            I’m sorry, but you obviously don’t properly understand the full gamut of sensor architecture, or the relationship between A/D conversion, S&N firmware, and processing power.

            Let’s just leave it at that.

          • abortabort

            This is a RED, who make cinema cameras. They aren’t interested in the things little Nikon fanboys are.

            I think RED have a much better idea of image signal processing than you do. Let’s just leave it at that.

          • Robert Falconer

            LOL. Tell ya what, come back and talk to me when you actually learn something about RED, cinema cameras, and the film industry — or when YOU become a brand ambassador — not just when you want to start an argument for its own sake.

          • abortabort

            LOL! Are you a RED brand ambassador? ROFL! And how many phase detect points do your RED cinema cameras have? LOL! If you don’t think RED will be releasing camera modules for this phone… you’re absolutely delirious. Yet you come here and stamp your ‘authority’ that it will never happen. It’s is LITERALLY in the video on this very page.

            Come back to me when you’re not a clueless idiot.

          • s3t

            There is very distinctive reason why new cameras need more processing power. New cameras have to be better than older generation, which is… Physically… Impossible. I’m talking about downsized single image quality. Current imager quality is limited by photon efficiency which is already maxed out to the degree camera makers ditch the image quality (color separation) of CFA for sake of better quantum efficiency and then, drum roll, fix the ugly color fidelity in post processing (cpu). This is true for last 5 years engineering. In addition to worsening the color fidelity of resulting image, they throw more and more advanced algorithms of noise cancelling /suppression, which again require much heavier processing power. So, nowadays, when you buy a new camera, you most of the time get more advanced processing and a bit of sensor advancement (not particularly so, look at d5/500, their bare sensors are worse but get much more advanced noise management).

          • animalsbybarry

            Apparently you are not familiar with current sensor technology
            The latest sensors are multi layer stacked sensors with DBI ( direct bonding Interface)
            In simplest terms the processing occurs on the sensor , not in the cellphone

            Processing of the sensor data on the phone would be so incredibly ineffective, slow, and due to the distance between process and sensor noisy

          • Robert Falconer

            Very familiar with the stacked architecture, actually. In fact, it’s not the distance between sensor and processor in a smartphone that gave rise to the DBI design, it was necessity driven by the tiny innards of the smartphone.

            But there’s a tradeoff. RED is touting this camera as being potentially superior to DSLRs and mirrorless for the type of videography those cameras typically do. The only way to accomplish that is to use a larger sensor for this phone; larger than the usual 1/2.3 and 1/3 inch variety. The issue in that situation is thermodynamics. Going to a larger direct bonded sensor construct — which necessarily takes up more real estate — means there’s less room for heat dissipation, something which is likely to be a real challenge to manage. In that circumstance, bonding sensor and processor is likely to generate more noise, not less.

            In reality there are so many reasons why a swappable sensor module in a smartphone makes absolutely zero sense—and we haven’t even discussed the “planned obsolescence” factor that’s driving all the profitability in the smartphone marketplace right now.

        • paige4o4

          Sounds less like a smartphone with a great camera, and more like a camera with dedicated smartphone at the back. Or that’s how it could be with the full camera kit.

        • Paige4o4 is actually correct. There are camera modules planned to bring it as close to the quality of an actual RED camera as they can produce in the smaller cost and form factor required. They use the smartphone processor and software to decrease the cost of producing the hardware and software, and then piggyback the camera on it.

  • Vikingog

    hahaha! is a Moto Z2 Play with the camera of the G5s Plus.. LOL!

  • paige4o4

    They really need to give us more info on what in the world is going on with the display. Holographic tech? This is vapor ware until they tell us what it is.

    • Robert Falconer

      Plus how does it benefit you? What problems does it solve for you? Does it make you more productive? Or is it just more whiz-bang, look at this cool effect flotsam?

    • think nintendo 3ds and hold on to your money

  • Jeffry De Meyer

    well that is a let down, I was expecting a single big sensor camera.

  • FountainHead

    $1200 for this piece of crap?

  • Minority_Taxi

    Damn thats one ugly phone

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