NIKON Just Bought RED

nikon just bought red

Yesterday, March 7, 2024 – Nikon announced that they will be acquiring 100% of membership interest from US cinema camera manufacturing company, LLC. This is huge news in the cinema and camera industry as many of you may know, but let’s break down the significance of this acquisition and how it could impact the industry for everyone.


RED is a US cinema camera manufacturing company that was created by Jim Jannard in 2005. It is said that Jannard was a camera fanatic owning over 1,000 cameras and he was also the founder of the popular sunglass brand, Oakley. He originally started RED because he wanted to deliver an affordable 4k cinema camera to the market.

The ‘RED One’ camera was their first cinema camera model that was released to the market in 2007 and the company has been growing and continuing to create new camera models since.

As for Nikon… Nikon was founded by Koyata Iwasaki in 1917 in Tokyo, Japan with a start in producing micropscopes, telescopes, and other forms of optical imaging. Throughout the nect century, Nikon began creating many cameras, projectors, surveying instruments, and more.

Many of us know Nikon today as a camera manufacturer, but they still provide a vast range of products. Their cameras are (relatively) affordable and are marketed to consumers and professionals. However, something Nikon has never been renown for is their video capabilities. Many Nikon users (and haters) know their brand for photographic imaging and their lenses. THe majority of avid Nikon users know that Nikon has never been outstanding with video. Their catalogue is mostly consisted of DSLR cameras, with the exception of a few camera models. For cinematographers and professional filmmakers, DSLR is not the top-choice for creating films, and especially not the best option if you are shooting a movie.

Enter RED….

Red is known for creating cinema cameras that are made for shooting movies. They are known for their powerful optics and their incredible capabilities that have been sought after by some of the top filmmakers in the world. In fact, countless movies, tv shows, and live productions have been shot with RED cameras, so many so, that I can’t choose what to credit… Find a list of productions shot on RED here to see for yourself.

Ever Changing Industry

The news that was shared by Nikon yesterday in a press release announcing their acquisition of RED is not to be taken lightly. As an avid user of Nikon cameras, and a filmmaker that has been working in the creative industry for over a decade, I am absolutely ecstatic to hear the news… and you should be, too.

It was just last year, that there was an open lawsuit between Nikon and RED regarding Nikon’s raw video capabilities. The case seemed to be settled discreetly with little being said of the outcome; however, maybe this acquisition was something that had been discussed behind closed doors. Now, with Nikon’s ownership over RED, we are unsure whether the next RED camera models will be seen with a yellow, Nikon logo and new names. Or will we see the cameras stay the same, with new and updated systems and little knowledge that Nikon is the owner of the renown RED camera company?

Regardless of the outcome, I am excited for the future. I am excited to see new, revolutionary technologies bing implemented into the consumer market more and more as time moves forward. For quite some time now, it seems that there has been a divide between the quality of certain camera equipment… and as their should be. Movie cinematographers have every right to hold onto this pristine technology while home movie makers beg and plead for prices to be lower so they can afford these high quality, top-performing movie cameras. Does there need to be a barrier to entry to make movies? Do you need a big movie studio, a $300,000 camera setup to shoot your movie, and a cast filled with already famous actors/actresses? Is it possible to make a low budget film anymore that actually looks good and impresses consumers? Is it always about what the movie was shot on?

These are all questions that swim around in my head… especially when I’m thinking of shooting my next film and all I have to shoot it is my Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera… oh, no – poor me. I should’ve got a RED or an ARRI. Yeah, I know, I wish. I’m sure you wish the same.

What I’m most excited for with this acquisition from Nikon is to see how they bridge the gap between consumer and prosumer. For so many years, it’s been known in the film industry that if you have the budget for it, you should shoot your movie on a RED camera – they’re well-known for being the best in the industry… why would you not? Especially if your movie is going to end up on a big screen.

And Nikon. Nikon has always been known as a top-performing camera for photography. And for professionals or for beginners, Nikon is accessible. I’m very curious to see if Nikon makes RED cameras more accessible to the mass market. If these high quality cameras aren’t gate kept by the top creators in the world, how will other creatives implement these into their projects, and how will the rest of the industry improve in other areas?

If RED cameras become as accessible and widely available as some Nikon models, will this not be good for the market? More users means more feedback and ideas for future usage.

Right now it still feels like a lot of uncertainty, and I think I like that. I enjoy thinking of all the possibilities, but I also know that at the same time, it’s possible that not much will change. Nikon may continue creating their cameras, and keep RED in their arsenal for a specific audience. I hope to see Nikon implement the RED camera technology into all of their cameras. Can you imagine a Nikon DSLR with RED video capabilities?

If theres is anything that I know, it’s that we will continue seeing tons or improvements. When RED first camera out with their cameras, they changed the standard of movie making from 2K to 4K. Is this acquisition a disruption in the market to make the new standard 8K?

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