• Nikon Red logos together
    Nikon Red logos together

In what we could say is one of the more surprising camera industry moves in the past 5 years – Nikon has acquired the US based RED Digital Cinema.

RED was founded in 2005 by Jim Jannard – who was originally the founder of Oakley eyewear (he sold Oakley for $2.1 billion in 2007).

Jannard's original goal was to deliver relatively affordable 4K video at a time when 2K was the standard, and cinema was still being shot on film.

In 2007 they launched the RED One 4K with their own 'Mysterium 4K' 12MP Super 35mm film sensor. This sensor enabled the use of larger lenses and therefore were able to deliver that sweet shallow depth of field that cinematographers love. 

Since then, RED has gone on to be a well respected, high end cinema camera brand that has created more than 14 incredible sensors that utilise the propriety Redcode RAW (.r3d) file format. 

The current RED V-Raptor XL [X] 8K retails for approximately $81,000
The current RED V-Raptor XL [X] 8K retails for approximately $81,000

So the big question is – why did Nikon buy RED?

If you look into who is the main manufacturer of camera sensors – Sony wins hands down with more than a 42% market share. And yes, Sony even makes sensors for Nikon – including the latest Z8 & Z9 cameras.

So perhaps Nikon is acquiring RED to gain access to their sensor production nous. This will (hopefully) see greater profit in the near future in not only their stills camera market, but also the cinema camera market.

Nikon's official press release states: "Nikon's expertise in product development, exceptional reliability, and know-how in image processing, as well as optical technology and user interface along with RED’s knowledge in cinema cameras, including unique image compression technology and colour science, will enable the development of distinctive products in the professional digital cinema camera market.

Nikon will leverage this acquisition to expand the fast-growing professional digital cinema camera market, building on both companies' business foundations and networks, promising an exciting future of product development that will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in film and video production."

You can read the official press release here.