RED has removed the DSMC2 brains from its online store on RED.com. That means these cameras can’t be purchased anymore on the RED Digital Cinema website. Meanwhile, DSMC2 users are asking for support. Read the “DSMC2 users petition to RED” below.
DSMC2 brains have been removed
RED has removed the DSMC2 brains from its online store on RED.com. The website has been redesigned to emphasize the DSMC3 bodies (Raptor and Komodo). There’re some DSMC2 accessories that can be purchased though, like the RED Touch, EVF, Mini-Mag, and some cables. On other outlets, the DSMC2 are barely available. For instance, on B&H you can still find a Gemini brain, and some Rangers, but not Monstro, which is the DSMC2 flagship. It seems that DSMC2 can be defined as legacy cameras from now. Nevertheless, DSMC2 users are upset, asking RED to continue its support of their cameras.
The last firmware upgrade was in 2020: EOL?
There are many DSMC2 shooters out there who are suffering from a steep devaluation of their cameras. It’s important to note that DSMC2 cameras are very advanced cinema cameras. Take for instance the Monstro, which is considered a flagship and a solid piece of cinema gear in high-end modern production. However, without the continuation of support, its value is significantly reduced. Since the last firmware update was in 2020, the DSMC2 might get close to its EOL (End OF Life). On a hot REDuser discussion, the frustration is well reflected. Here are some quotes from the discussion.
We are waiting for some updates for years now. One of the most frustrating things in the DSMC2 world is EVF. RED decided to adjust the thing for us and to protect us from “unnecessary adjustments” for some of us EVF is absolute, and I don’t understand how come I have paid 4500$ for the EVF and another 40K for the camera and yet I can’t have basic control. This issue is so bad that I actually have to have 2 EVF as old Bomb is dub better for B&W work (I do a lot IR )… this mess is a firmware issue and I am sure they could have figured this out. There are bugs in playback in 2x anamorphic 4:3 that are there for 2 or 3 last updates.
Here’s another quote from the discussion:
I feel that RED doesn’t care about DSMC2 anymore and that we, old users, are forced to push into the DSMC3 system. I have a feeling that my Monstro is totally devaluated and pushed into EOL I feel that really soon I will enter into the domain of vintage electronics. It sucks as I still have a potent camera but I don’t know how long will I have support in order to use this system. Hardware question is equally frustrating: What happens when my monitor breaks or when I need to buy 3 more Mini-Mags? What are the alternatives? …I have a feeling bad gut feeling that RED will starve us and that Media will become the biggest problem of this system really soon”.
In a footnote, the Mini-Mags are still available to purchase on RED.com.
Abandoning “Obsolescence Obsolete”
In 2006, RED Digital Cinema has invented the term “Obsolescence Obsolete”, which points out the option of upgrades instead of having to buy a new camera every time there was some new technological advancement. The first time when this concept was applied is in the Mysterium -X sensor. You didn’t have to buy a new camera, just send your camera in and pay for the upgrade. That was a huge benefit since RED users just bought the sensor and not the whole camera, in case of upgrading. However, it seems that “Obsolescence Obsolete” has been abandoned. Let’s hear what DSMC2 shooters have to say about it:
Just my 2 cents (and I own two DSMC2 cameras) but when RED decided to abandon “obsolescence obsolete” they have a duty to continue to provide service, updates, and support for this generation of cameras for at least 5 years from the switch to DSMC3. RED cannot claim anymore that there is a good trade-up policy. The solution is that the next camera that I purchase will be from a different manufacturer, either it will be less expensive or have a better long-term support. I am disappointed and many others are as well. My old Nikon cameras still get updates from the manufacturer as needed. Z-9 is looking appealing.
Another DSMC2 shooter says:
Not to be the bearer of bad news, but as a former DSMC2 owner, the last firmware update was October 2020, before that it was December 2019, for a long while before that the DSMC2 updates were just smaller bug fixes, not like there were any major feature additions for quite a while. Based on this I’m pretty confident there probably won’t be another firmware update for DSMC2. As much as there might be a few things that people still wanted to add, you have to be realistic, with the last update being more than 2 years ago and red having released 4 new cameras since then, you got to know that they probably have their hands tied from a firmware standpoint. I actually saw they had a job opening for a firmware developer late last year, that alone said to me how much is on their plate. Would be great to see them give one more update to DSMC2 but being realistic, it probably won’t happen.
Full discussion here.
Feeling unsafe in the DCMC3 ecosystem
Another DSMC2 user claimed that he feels that this will happen to the DSMC3 ecosystem as well:
That is exactly why I got out of Komodo and the idea to invest one cent in the DSMC3 lineup. Simply I don’t feel safe investing in the RED ecosystem one more time. I have a camera that was 85,000 dollars and that is worth barely 10K today. Even by today’s standards, Monstro is one of the most advanced cameras on the market but no one whats to rent it or no one wants to buy it. I have an ultra-reliable camera that the world thinks its unreliable. After 4 years I have chanted the same song to my clients and I had to argue with the people about the nonexisting reliability issue. Now I have 8K, VV, and 16-bit RAW, that Hollywood uses on Big Shows but I can use it only on personal projects. No one in the industry wants to use and people rent it when they have no money for anything “better”.
Another user continues:
What happens to DSMC2 will be a very telling sign of how DSMC3 will be handled when DSMC4 comes out. Some of us don’t want to upgrade just yet, speaking for myself I love my Gemini and Dragon sensor. The thing I’m most concerned about is that SSDs have a lifespan, and our RED Mini-Mags will fail. Perhaps someone would rather skip a generation and get into DSMC4, I understand CFast is not an option for DSMC2. But for the people that have been there since day one, for the people who have finally been able to invest in a RED as their first cinema camera, let’s be able to purchase our own storage media. I honestly do not believe this is a big ask, we are still representing the RED brand when we shoot and deliver.
DSMC2 users petition to RED
All these discussions have led to a petition titled “DSMC2 users petition to RED”. The petition offers to fix/update//upgrade some issues related to DSMC2 so shooters will enjoy the camera for a few more years. Here’s the link to the petition which states:
- We need new firmware with fixed bugs that we are dragging on for years.
- We need new Anamorphic options in the new firmware.
- We need the Media issue to be unlocked so that 3rd media can be used.
- We need to see if there is something to be made so manufacturers like SmalHD could use Pogos.
- If Raptor that has the same sensor has really improved OLPF can we see a new filter in an old frame for all of us running the same sensor in DSMC2?
- Can something be arranged about app control that we can use?
- What’s going on with DSMC2 EVF? Can we finally get the real controls of Brightness/Contrast/Chroma?
- Some sort of official statement of RED about the future of support for DSMC2.
The removal of the DSMC2 brains from RED.com, plus the absence of firmware updates for more than two years, might be an indication of the EOL of DSMC2. The problem is that DSMC2 doesn’t mean just a camera, but a whole ecosystem. Indeed, the whole ecosystem was transferred to DSMC3, hence, the DSMC2 shooters’ frustration is valid. On the other hand, RED faces some major challenges in keeping all ecosystems fully updated and supported. That’s a problem. Nevertheless, RED should release a statement on that delicate situation, informing its loyal shooters of the current status and possible solutions.
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Major shifts in corporate support strategies such as this provide long-established companies such as Nikon, Canon, and Sony with the obvious edge. Nikon is still supporting their decades-old products and Sony’s Venice 2 recent success may just lure potential buyers away from RED. Just like a car, a camera not only requires quality, but longevity and continueing sustanability provided by manufacturers. These are not throw-away point and shoot consumer devices, these are working tools which only the major and wealthiest film makers can treat as “point and shoot”.
Dude stop with that bullshit. Sony cut their support for F55-F65-F35 and F5 years ago.
Dude you are missing the point. Regardless of which company cuts support of an expensive tool, it is downright (borrowing from your eloquence) bullshit. I inherited a Nikon F camera made in 1960 and had it serviced by Nikon in 2008 just to preserve it as a classic. I was about to dive into the RED ecosystem, and I switched over to Sony, period, end of the story!
Sony Venice is 5 year old camera and you still get full support from Sony. Arri Alexa is 12+ year old camera and you can still get it fixed by Arri etc.
For comparison; Red was trying peddle their latest Red Ranger cameras still during last year, cameras that were first released in September 2019 and came fully available during spring 2020.
So basically Red has now abandoned these 30 000+ dollar pro camera systems, just over three years after the release.
Therein lies my point, I personally will not make a substantial investment with any company which fails to provide continuity and sustainability of their premium products. I inherited a Nikon F camera made in 1960 and had it serviced by Nikon in 2008 just to preserve it as a classic. I was about to dive into the RED ecosystem, and I switched over to Sony. There are dozens of dissatisfied clients with RED’s unfortunate decision. As much as most of us love to support niche tool makers, a safer bet is to depend on a long-established company.
Where is everyone seeing that RED is no longer supporting DSMC2? Just because they stopped selling them doesn’t automatically mean they’ve stopped supporting them.
Firmware tells the tale
The technology inside DSMC2 bodies are still relevant even with today’s standard, and will be for many years to come. They need to unlock the media by making some kind of SSD case adapter which users could replace with his/her own SSD. Like the Kippertie’s Longtake with their off the shelf Samsung M.2 SATA internals.
It would be so great…but we know they Will never do that. We can forget the Early red who want help filmakers…😞😞😞
As a follow up to our arguments related to support for older products, Nikon just announced a firmware update for the D850 camera with support for some of their mirrorless camera features found on the Z line. This is one of the corporate strategies, which keep loyal customers!