Nikon acquires RED: What does this mean for the industry?

Nikon released a press release announcing that it entered an agreement to acquire cinema camera manufacturer and industry giant RED. This is massive news that’s turning the industry upside down, but what does this deal really mean for the market?

Let’s get to the details

The agreement Nikon reached with RED will allow Nikon to acquire 100% of the membership interest of RED.com, LLC. This essentially means that RED will “become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nikon,” according to the Nikon press release.

“This agreement was reached as a result of the mutual desires of Nikon and RED to meet the customers’ needs and offer exceptional user experiences that exceed expectations, merging the strengths of both companies,” Nikon says.

Why is this such a big deal?

RED has been releasing cameras since 2006 (starting with the 4K Red One camera), and it has been a massive part of the cinema camera market since. It’s a widely used cinema camera brand in Hollywood and has even won an Academy Award. “Grisela” (2024), “Midsommar” (2019), “The Boys” (2019-present) and “Captain Marvel” (2019) were all shot using RED cinema cameras. It also released its own groundbreaking RAW compression technology, REDCODE RAW. To say that RED holds a huge place in the cinema camera market would be an understatement.

Now, after acquiring RED, Nikon is positioning itself as an even bigger player in the market. According to the press release, Nikon plans to capitalize on the “fast-growing professional digital cinema camera market.” Additionally, Nikon promises “product development that will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in film and video production.” Specifically, Nikon mentions RED’s optical technology, user interface, image compression technology, and color science.

Nikon steps further into the cinema camera market

With the growing cinema camera market, it’s clear that Nikon wants to position itself as one of the major cinema camera brands for professionals. Acquiring RED is undoubtedly a huge step toward that goal and will likely put Nikon in competition with the likes of ARRI. Nevertheless, whatever the two companies have in store for the coming months and years, it will surely stir up the cinema camera market.

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's Managing Editor.

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