RED ONE Camera Shoots Esquire Magazine Cover

I’ve been yelping about photo and video convergence since long before the Nikon D90 and the Canon 5d, so it’s nice to see the support for these claims just keep on rolling in. For example, Esquire magazine today announced that the June 2009 issue of their rather glorious magazine (on sale May 10) features Megan Fox on its cover, and more importantly, that the image was captured with a video camera. Yes. That’s right the REDone’s 4k image is the first I know of to be sitting nicely on the front cover of a high-end, public-at-large magazine.

I love it. Rather jealous, actually, of photographer/director Greg Williams. I’ve been working with the RED a fair bit in the past year and trying to talk my magazine friends into letting me pull off that move. Nothing doing. Been laughed outta the building in fact. So big kudos to Greg and the Esquire team for taking the plunge and making this happen…

“It allowed her to act,” Williams says. “She could run scenes without being reminded by the sound of a shutter every four seconds that I was taking a picture. As in still photography, a lot of it is capturing unexpected moments. This takes that one step further.”

Read the brief “sneak peek” story here at

Surely you have some thoughts on this. Is this the first signs of the levy cracking and will we now see a wave of this? Or is it steady as she goes…

Thanks to Justin Abe for the tip, via Facebook. Become a fan.

54 Responses to RED ONE Camera Shoots Esquire Magazine Cover

  1. Jeremy Allen April 27, 2009 at 8:22 pm #

    I can’t imagine why this trend would slow down. As the economy grows, more photogs will be trying the Red, and more mags will be willing to pay.

  2. red April 27, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    WE’RE DOOMED! ;) Wow, that’s really something! Thanks for posting that, Chase!

  3. Ed Araquel April 27, 2009 at 8:26 pm #

    There will be some convergence but stills and video are sometimes at cross-purposes to each other.

    You can think of video as a machine gun whereas the stills camera is a sniper rifle. Sure there are times you can get them to do each other’s job but then there are other times when one is better to use than the other.

    Also, did they turn the RED camera sideways to do their vertical shot? :)

  4. Craig April 27, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    like i said on facebook, i think is good for someone like Fox because she’s an actress who’s used to working in front of a video camera.

    But i think it might be a little disconcerting for models who are more used to still photography.

  5. mattfogarty April 27, 2009 at 8:29 pm #

    Thanks for posting this. Absolutely no surprise here, yet there had to be a “first”, and it is fun to see. There is so much great stuff coming down the pipe.

  6. OG April 27, 2009 at 8:35 pm #

    Heard about this. Very interesting and exciting. Solid job by Greg.

  7. batgeek April 27, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    Progress is beautiful, i did read in some place. There will be cake for everyone, and everyone will cut the part they are most interested in.

  8. DiegoFuego April 27, 2009 at 9:08 pm #

    Ed Araquel brings up an interesting opinion as to the differences in photo and video, but I’m not sure if I agree.

    If we try to get all of our still images from video then we’re going to be making a lot of work for ourselves having to look through all of the 24-30fps * x seconds to find the right shot. Plus, if you want to get a sharp image, then you need to increase your shutter speed, which will make the video awful for most purposes. (Have you seen those awful TimeWarner commercials?)

    I’m only 18, but by the time I’m out of school I think this will be much more common. I definitely don’t think we’ll be losing the still camera any time soon, though.

    What’s more fun, shooting still images or shooting video? They’re completely different experiences.

  9. DiegoFuego April 27, 2009 at 9:12 pm #

    *When I say the video quality will be awful with a faster shutter speed, I am implying that it would be difficult to use the video and the still image. What’s the point of shooting with video just to use a still?

    **Or you could just increase the frame rate, but technology still needs to be improved in that area.

  10. Izam April 27, 2009 at 9:14 pm #

    I find this really interesting actually and bit disheartening. To be able to have the model fully unaware of the camera being in use is great. It gives the artist less to worry about such as the impact of the camera on the model/photographer relationship and focus more on the image at hand. To be able to pull out dozens of images from of single second also is very alleviating for the mind as you will always have plenty to choose from.

    Although it does take away a bit of the rhythmic magic I’ve loved about photography. By having having the camera constantly rolling at a set speed it takes away from the photographer’s internal senses, calling for that defining moment. Maybe I’m being too romantic about this haha.

    Ultimately, the future is going to be very wild indeed.

  11. Zak.Shelhamer April 27, 2009 at 9:50 pm #

    Multimedia all the way! I’m stoked but at the same time I’m WHICKED worried about all the time its going to in post…

  12. Jason Wallis (Wallis Photo LLC) April 27, 2009 at 9:57 pm #

    Oh WOW… Oh no! How much is that going to cost us to buy?

  13. arthuralmassy April 27, 2009 at 10:02 pm #

    Yamahama, it’s fright night! Kiss the future, baby! That’s awesome. Please advance at an increasingly faster pace so that I can soon afford the technology!!!

  14. Doug April 27, 2009 at 10:28 pm #

    I was thrilled to see the movement. Something about the motion was amazing, but I think it was more so to do with the unexpected movement of a model on a magazine cover. The motion kind of took away from my imagination of what she was doing, or about to do before she started moving. There is still something very powerful with a single and well done still image. This does inspire and feel great to be involved in capturing moments and telling stories here, now and in the future. Can’t wait to see the full size quality.

  15. Cooper Strange April 27, 2009 at 10:54 pm #

    That really changes the need to capture the decisive moment, huh? I can see the positives for the models, but I would imagine a photographer with that natural timing could still excel.

  16. D00MED R0MANCE April 28, 2009 at 12:29 am #

    You’re welcome. Glad I could help. Thank’s for the plug after the jump. =)

    What I see next in consumer DSLRs are touch LCD able to focus live view by pointing at what you want in focus. May be nice for browsing through the camera menu also for all those people that love smudges on their devices.

  17. cruelphoto April 28, 2009 at 1:20 am #

    Love it.
    I just wonder why it hasnt been done before=D

    Will be cool to see the full video to.

  18. Roger Overall April 28, 2009 at 1:29 am #

    This is very exciting. It will help overcome the resistance to conversion AND open up new creative and financial avenues for photographers. With Esquire taking the lead, others will follow very, very soon.

  19. Chaz Boyd April 28, 2009 at 1:41 am #

    Hopefully this will be the starting point. Its nice to see a mag willing to do something different, even though I’m sure most of the readers would never notice a difference. Yet, if you cant tell it was shot with a video cam, why isn’t there more of this happening? When you think about that quote, it is soooo true. No need to pose, no need to tell the model what to do…amazing imo.

  20. Emile April 28, 2009 at 2:33 am #

    I am slowly becoming a believer of the photo/vid convergence (thanks to you I might add). However it would have been nice to see a coverphoto that demonstrates the advantage of having continous capture. Perhaps some moment that would have been painstaikingly difficult to capture with an SLR or some other creative added value that an SLR simply couldn’t pull off.

    I like Ed’s analogy of the machine gun versus sniper rifle. Although it doesn’t hold water entirely since the RED allows for sniper action after the shoot. An interesting alternative concept of RAW data: you can virtually re-shoot the thing over and over! Although you are stuck with the angles that were choosen and whatever pose or expression the model gave you … In that light perhaps “one shot, one kill” provides for better photos? The Esquire cover for one doesn’t provide any arguments to think otherwise.


  21. Ian April 28, 2009 at 4:41 am #

    Well is it any surprise that the first convergence cover is so weak?

    I think for the lifestyle shots Chase is known for this idea is a no brainer, but for a cover, I can see people wanting you to slow down and hold still.

  22. Ghislain April 28, 2009 at 4:48 am #

    Maybe because I do not have lots of experience with a RED Zone camera or video in every aspect… but as I do believe video is something extremely cool, I think we should not always mix both world. It takes us so much time right now to find the perfect picture in a burst mode, now trying to find the best move, expression, pose in a VIDEO? This is going to add again additional work when it’s not really required when you know what you’re doing. This is my 2 cents..

  23. Jurgen April 28, 2009 at 5:21 am #

    This is interesting and confirms the trend we see with current DSLR cameras like the Nikon D90. The difference between moving pictures and still photography is blurring. It will require a different way of thinking and planning of a shoot. It makes the famous “decisive” moment more predictable. Interesting trend.

  24. Jim Luning April 28, 2009 at 5:50 am #

    Red had a seminar in Chicago a few weeks ago…it’s really interesting. I think the one thing that will have to be worked out is a work flow that is suitable for still photographers. How do you have a client sit and watch 24 images a second come through and narrow the selects? There’s more tools for image makers to use now. You still need a good idea and to use the right tool for the job.

  25. dan c April 28, 2009 at 6:07 am #

    Does this make anyone else want to shoot more film for personal work? I’m not sure why that is my first reaction. For commercial, the convergence of still and video digital images seems an obvious, inevitable, and somewhat exciting development.

    But in my gut, I want the process of creating photographs to be more organic, and more about compressing a single, selected moment of time into a 2D print I can hold in my hands. The choice of when to press the shutter is one of the selections I value when making photographs–much the same as the choice of shutterspeed, aperture, and ISO.

    Selecting a still from a pile of frames isn’t a wrong choice or anything–it’s still a choice and it still requires a photographers input, but it isn’t as exciting a choice to me personally.

    Am I making any sense?

  26. Matt Lange April 28, 2009 at 6:35 am #

    My initial reaction is a bit different. For some reason I instantly thought of editorial photographers vs editorial videographers, the venues and events they shoot. Take basketball games for example. Does this eliminate half the jobs eventually? If you can shoot the game with this time of video quality and pull the SI cover from it…why have two guys there? Also, venues and promoters will have to rethink their secure strategies. If you go to a place where video is prohibited and only still can be taken, how will they know what you’re shooting if it’s all the same cam? I just wanted to touch on that real quick.

    As far as the rest of the comments go, I think I’m leaning with the commenters along the lines of, why do a photoshoot with a video camera? I agree, that’s a shit ton of frames to go through to be able to pick out a shot or two. Overkill for sure. And I also agree that this may take away from the photographer. If all I had to do was set up a video camera and say ‘go’ to the model or whatever, what thought is there on my part? Sure there is some, but I think eventually the creativity could be gone. It would be boosted in some parts but down in others.

    I think for video purposes, RED is the pinnacle. No doubt about it in my opinion. But I think you choose your weapon according to the battle. Although the technology is awesome, it just really seems that using a RED One for this is a bit much. A RED SLR however would be beautiful ;).

    I think something like the 5DMKII is the best route as far as merging. Just my opinion.

  27. Nicholaus Haskins April 28, 2009 at 7:22 am #

    “Allowed her to act…” ?????

    Are you kidding?

    Why not take the show on location and shoot PJ style? I know, I know…it’s not a controlled lighting situation…but seriously….anybody can hold an expensive camera rolling video. If everyone starts taking stills from video, then where’s the challenge of getting a great image? It seems less rewarding IMO.

  28. Chase April 28, 2009 at 7:32 am #

    I agree that there is a convergence with video and photography. I liken it to design for print and the web coming to the scene. I was resistant for a long time to that cohesiveness and had to play catchup.

    I still think they will each have their separate needs and so forth, but I think it would be extremely foolish to think they wont merge in certain aspects.

  29. marco aurelio April 28, 2009 at 9:13 am #

    i think it will be even more revolutionary in a very practical near future. two things are blindsiding us:

    1. murphy’s law is no longer applicable in technology. conceptually, the machines of the future are coming to us in less that we can blink our eyes. additionally, there is convergence in technology that will bring an explosion of hybrid technologies together. so, the equipment we will be using in just ten years will blow us away, even though we have not imagined it yet.

    2. we are on hot pursuit of replicating virtual worlds. can you say holographic equipment? we will be using equipment that will leave still and video cameras in the dinosaur age.

    so, red is fantastic, but it will be ephemerally-lived.

    i.e. kate moss holographic display at the alexander mcqueen show a couple of years ago.

    live version:

    controlled version:

    paper magazines in a virtual world?
    paper magazines in a world where a hologram will appear before your eyes.. with all the replication of sensory information: smell, warmth, etc.

    honestly, there is a giant white wall in front of us that seems to be holding us back from what we are capable of imagining and creating. but the thing is… i strongly believe it is a wall the thickness of chiffon. right now our imagination is being held in check with the conventional idea that the technology isnt there yet.

    and the sooner we let go of that thin wall, the sooner we will start imagining realities for our field that are very much within our grasp.

    the sooner we start experiementing in our own backyards (not wait for collosus photo-equipment corporations), the sooner we will make our imaginations tangible realities.

    and, more importantly of all, the sooner we can throw away photo-format 1.0 and 1. wrap our minds around the idea that technology is leaving itself in the dust every week; 2. welcome the idea that anything and everything we use d3, red, mark 900, whatever letter and #, (in my sad case, a nikon d80, which i must embarrassingly confess to) will be obsolete very shortly, and 3. upgrade to *unknown* format 2.0 which has as its prime directive to adapt and change as the new stuff arrives, or as *WE* create it.

    the sooner will create an even more amazing world.

  30. Chris Bohnhoff April 28, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    Pretty interesting use of the technology. Two things that come to my mind:

    1. If this gives magazines a shiny new tool to increase readership and better integrate print and online content, then I hope they hit it hard. A revitalized editorial world would be outstanding news.

    2. The most perplexing thing about this stuff to me is how to reconcile what I’ve heard over the past few years about the importance of *not* being a shooting generalist with the idea that we should prepare for the day when we’ll need to be videographer as well as photographer. Not exactly the same concept, but the two ideas do seem to me to be at odds a little bit.

  31. Car Blog April 28, 2009 at 9:54 am #

    I think its wonderful how new video cameras can take such good pics. Now only if digital cams and SLRs can take good videos.

  32. Chris Conroy April 28, 2009 at 10:13 am #

    Gives me a bit of a stomach ache. Somehow the RED felt like an industry secret, but to have it’s capability realized on the cover of a National “Print” medium… So now we are hired for a different skill set. We’re no longer looked to for eliciting and capturing a look and feel in a single instant, but instead we now become directors. I think the skill sets are similar, but it scares me that over zealous Art Directors are going to want to hire a production crew and then put the RED ONE on a tripod and push go… Are Photographers the next Letter Press?

  33. John-Paul Lumansoc April 28, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    Photography and Videography will surely come together in the future but my concern is on location photography with lighting. Even just using modeling lamps on batteries would die real fast unless you had generators around and I for one aren’t going to lug around a noisy generator. Same thing applies to shooting events, having a constant light source would be difficult to maintain. Otherwise, RED looks to be a fantastic product, I’ve never touched myself but from watching videos on my limited 1900×1200 it looks great.

  34. Anonymous April 28, 2009 at 11:25 am #

    I really hope this stays in the professional market. The last thing I want to see is a bunch of amateur “videographers” running around the streets with boom mics capturing “the moment(s)” on video.

  35. David Redding April 28, 2009 at 6:07 pm #

    I already see the slight convergence in the wedding industry with photographers using video on the 5D MKII to spice up an engagement session, but that’s about it and that’s about as far as I see it going.

    Maybe in the commercial editorial world, more and more companies will expect one person to do the job of both video and still, that’s one less plane ticket to pay for when they send journalists into war zones I guess. The cream of teh crop will rise and show talent in both relms.

    But in the end, there will still be specialists in both fields

  36. Matt Lange April 28, 2009 at 6:34 pm #

    I want to revisit this and repost 12 hours later. Although I still have some concern for editorial purposes, that’s beside the point.

    I have been excited about this coming for a while, and was a bit shocked when it happens. One thing people need to remember, no matter the technology, is if you can’t compose, light and create, you aren’t going to succeed no matter what you use. Someone told me earlier that photographers are a dime a dozen now, which may be true, and this made it worse. Wrong. This is awesome. You still have to think and create and light and compose. Just a new medium. I’m excited.

  37. Ron Dawson April 28, 2009 at 7:50 pm #

    Without a doubt, the convergence is coming. But before everyone gets their underwear all in a bunch remember two things.

    1. It’s the talent, not the tools.
    This is my broken record soap box. I don’t care what new contraption they come out with, it’s the person behind the lens, or in many cases, the person in the “director’s” chair PLUS the person behind the lens that matters. The camera itself is not going to make or break anyone. Chase, your iPhone photos are proof positive of this.

    2. Just because you dance and sing around your home in your underwear, don’t make you Madonna.
    Putting a RED One in the hands of a top photographer won’t make him/her a great videographer/filmmaker. Likewise, putting a 5DMII in the hands of a top videographer won’t make him/her a great photographer. The skillsets needed in each are quite different. The workflows are extremely different. Those who succeed in business with convergence will be the ones who will not try to be everything to everyone, but will collaborate with those who can do what they can’t.

    BTW, the Madonna comment is an obscure little pop culture reference from the Movie “Working Girl.”

  38. Matthew Saville April 29, 2009 at 1:02 am #

    Meh! (JK)

    But seriously. Film is already an “old” practice, a hobby for most. Imagine the day when actually timing a shot perfectly and clicking a shutter for every capture will be “old”!

    …Wow… Depressing or exciting? I’m gonna stick with “meh” until I can actually buy one of those RED cameras for the same price as a 5D2 / D700. THEN I’ll consider it a hostile take-over…


  39. Guy Cochran April 29, 2009 at 9:27 am #

    I just shot an interesting interview on this very subject with Ted from RED. He talks about 65MP images at 100 frames per second.
    The interesting part to me will be continuous lighting vs. strobes. RED needs a lot of light. Maybe by the time all of this becomes real and affordable, portable LED lights like Litepanels 1×1’s will be brighter and less expensive. Stay tuned. We’re in exciting times.

  40. wallpaper April 29, 2009 at 3:12 pm #

    caught me by surprise when i first watched it. it’s nicely done

  41. Jimmy Gilmore April 30, 2009 at 11:06 am #

    Jim Jennard (CEO Oakley and Red) has already leaked there is a DSLR killer coming. Be very excited.

    All this talk about shutterspeed and frame rate. Just read up at

    Photography is evolving. Folks were freaked out about digital a few years back now there’s no looking back without nostalgia.

    Also, photography and cinematography (v word is excluded) is about lighting. You can do that, right?

  42. Chris Wadkins April 30, 2009 at 6:46 pm #

    I think its great, I love using my video camera and my regular camera. I always think man I wish I had that as a picture when I watch some of my videos… and Megan Fox is hot… so I would video tape her all day long.

  43. May 2, 2009 at 11:19 am #

    This is lame… Why would a photographer want to be strapped down with a RED cam.. We who shoot REDs for TV and film would like eo shoot the 5D if it had more options for us..
    I think it worked for this shoot but I can not see the trend, plus the rental is a lot higher than still work..
    What about stobe options?

    Just my two cents

  44. Adam May 4, 2009 at 6:08 pm #

    Is it really photography? What happened to the crucial moment? The moment it clicks. That’s what makes photography great. I mean shit, who gets credit for that photo? The “director” who sat back and shouted emotions at an actor/model. I don’t know it seems cheap…

    But then again, I suppose the same could be said about digital photography in general. The future freaks me out.

  45. Anonymous May 30, 2009 at 5:31 pm #

    Thing is though the whole unaware quote is completely pointless. An EVF camera could do exactly the same thing, with electronic shutter.

    I think we will see EVF cameras they will have video capability but their wont be total convergence for a while yet. Video and still lenses and systems have completely different orientations for a start.

    Video and Photo disciplines are totally different else we would see top end wedding photographers switch over to dual discipline while most find that doing both, even when they know how, makes both that bit worse.

  46. corporate video October 23, 2009 at 8:31 am #

    my mate has a red one and the images he gets from it are rich in colour and of superb clarity

  47. Anonymous December 27, 2009 at 1:44 pm #

    Simply put, Art Directors are becoming increasingly greedy. These no nothing morons want us to shoot portscape because they can't figure out what they want. Pulling stills from Video is no different. You are a fool if you think this convergence will increase quality. Anyone here think the VHS DVD combo was a good product? Technology is cheapening the quality of the work out there. Just more crap to sift through.

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  49. Jonathan July 7, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    love it, this convergence will take things into exciting new territory.

  50. Dr. Elliot McGucken June 25, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    Yes, but a Canon-based 9shooter system (with the Canon 5D Mark ii & HFS200) costs less than 1/10 cost of the RED EPIC and can be hand-held, as it is far lighter and smaller. The 9shooter also carries the advantages of redundancy and both dedicated stabilization for stills and dynamic stabilization for video, and one can use standard Canon lenses. In a showdown, the <$5,000 9shooter system would beat the $58,000+ EPIC RED hands down. And just you wait until the 9shooter with a Canon 5D Mark III & Mark IV!

    In a showdown, the 9shooter beats the EPIC RED hands down.

    Canon will eat into Red's market share far faster than Red will eat into Canon's market share.

    The 5d Mark III & IV, sdhx cards, USB3 hard drives–all these things will erode the Red Market share.

    Think about it–are google and facebook and amazon built from IBM mainframes? Or from off-the-shelf components designed for the masses? What happened to Sun Microsystems? RED is the Sun Microsystems. Canon is the Microsoft/Dell/Apple in this case. Today's $299 laptop from Fry's electronics beats the $20,000 Sun Ultra Spark Station from ten years ago.

    Moore's law tends to favor companies reaching up far more than companies reaching down.

  51. Video Production July 12, 2011 at 2:29 am #

    Don’t stop at photo and video convergence, go even further! Converge photo and video hosting sites like Flickr, Tumblr, YouTube and Vimeo to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages to really spread the word about what your up to! Whether it’s hobbies or business you can make a big splash by converging image/video hosting sites with social networks across the web!

    Skeleton Productions.

  52. Van Breakdown Cover August 1, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    That’s right the REDone’s 4k image is the first I know of to be sitting nicely on the front cover of a high-end, public-at-large magazine.I love it.

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