RED V-Raptor XL
Image courtesy: RED

Back in October, we reported Frame.io’s announcement that compatibility with its Camera-to-Cloud (C2C) technology was going to be integrated into some RED cameras. As of today, Frame.io has now released beta firmware for the RED V-Raptor and V-Raptor XL.

What is Camera to Cloud?

Just to recap, Camera to Cloud is a workflow that enables filmmakers to export original footage to the cloud. This means that it can be made available in a post-production environment as soon as it is recorded. Frame.io also incorporates technology to speed up the process of uploading and sharing your videos. This removes the need to physically transport memory cards or data drives. As such, C2C means that processes such as editing and VFX can begin without delay.

How does it work?

Previously with C2C, you had to plug your memory card into a computer to upload your files. However, with the beta firmware integration, the RED V-Raptor and V-Raptor XL can upload files directly to Frame.io. All you need is your camera, a paid Frame.io or Adobe Creative Cloud subscription, and a high-bandwidth internet connection. You don’t need any additional hardware or hard drives.

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How fast is it?

Frame.io has reported the results of the first-ever automatic transmission of files during a test production. The data that was sent included an 8K RAW R3D file, a Color Decision List (CDL), a ProRes proxy file, a WAV and a custom LUT associated with each take. The C2C integration also accurately captures off-speed recording, which was a much-requested feature.

Do you need a fast internet connection?

Around 4TB of RAW data was sent directly to the cloud without ever downloading a RED mag. Note that you will need a very fast internet connection with minimum speeds of 800Mps for files this large. However, you can also use smaller file sizes if your internet connection can’t cope with this amount of data. For example, a ProRes proxy workflow would only need an upload speed of over 80 Mps.

What we think

The release of the beta firmware to integrate RED cameras with Frame.io’s C2C technology is exciting news. Though it currently requires expensive RED cameras and fast internet for the highest quality files, it is a glimpse into the near future. Frame.io say that they are already working with more than a dozen different hardware companies to integrate Camera to Cloud. As new cameras get released, and fast internet speeds become cheaper, the use of C2C for recording will become more widely available. The days of the memory card may be numbered.

Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.