In this video, I discuss my unbiased opinion of the app that controls Red cinema cameras. Here is the Fool Control app review, covering the three main reasons why I believe all Red Users should use the Fool Control App.
***Disclaimer: I wanted to mention I was not paid for this review. I had to purchase the app just like everybody else.***
As a Red user for several years, our ability for remote access to the camera itself has always been limited to none. Everything and anything, whether you’re making camera setting changes, formatting media or even playing back footage… it all had to be done on the Red camera itself. Pain in the but!
Since Red has come out with their Weapon Fleet, they were kind enough to include built in WiFi. This has allowed the chains to be broken! Now a very smart app developer from France named Michael was genius enough to develop an App for our iPhones and Macs to… are you ready… to control our Reds wirelessly. Essentially, this means if your Red has Wifi, you literally have full access control to the camera.
1st, no more finger prints. As a cam op, I want my monitor to be clean and free of any fingerprints. Since Red made their monitor a touch screen… everyone has to touch it… and every time someone touches it, more finger prints are left behind…. and when more finger prints are left behind, people’s heads are about to roll. Don’t touch the monitor… clean monitor good… fingerprints bad. Now with Fool control, no more touchy the monitor. Huge feature!
2nd, no more slow and clunky menus. I’ve always heard other DPs or Cam ops complain about the laggy and clunky menu system on Red. It’s true… we live in an age when using our phones we’re used to smooth and fluid menus. Red makes a great camera… but the latency and slow frame rate of their menu systems make it a challenge to use. Fool control gives you the quick and fluid access to Reds menu system on a familiar platform that we use everyday, our Phones.
3rd, no more lemo connected monitors when needing playback. As many of you know, I am a camera movement specialist, which basically means I move cinema cameras… in a special way. “Smirk” As a gimbal operator and a drone pilot, I don’t always have the luxury of having a red touch monitor when providing playback for the director after a shot. So my 1st AC would always have to grab the touch monitor, and my gimbal operator would have to dis-engage the gimbal so the gimbal motors wouldn’t fight the off balanced camera once the monitor was plugged in, and then things turned into a big time wasting mess. Well thanks to Fool control, those big time wasting messes are no more! Activating playback is a cinch. When running gimbal and after completing a shot, the gimbal can stay engaged and I can simply whip out my phone and activate playback. Since we always have a wireless HD downlink feed sent to video village from Red, the director can see playback wirelessly. When we’re flying drones, same thing. Once we land, my phone will re-connect to red once I’m close enough and I can activate playback from my phone, again giving playback wirelessly to the director. Brilliant!
So the bottom line is whether I’m shooting red on sticks, on a gimbal or high in the sky, Fool control is the solution for all Red users.
So all of these positives are great… so what are the negatives. I didn’t find anything negative about the app as of yet, however you will have those rare occasions when WiFi wants to make life difficult and connecting to the Red may be an issue. The older Reds, such as Red epic or Dragon don’t have WiFi built in, so you need a 3rd party module. I’ve heard other red users having issues with these modules. On the newer red models like weapon, scarlet-weapon or raven, since wifi is built in, much easier to connect. It also depends on the wireless interferences that are in the environment.
So what about the range of WiFi… how far away can you be from Red and still be in control. Again, that depends on what devices you’re using, how good are those devices WiFi reception, and are you using any third party camera wifi boosters? With an iPhone 7 Plus and just the stock internal wifi with red, I can be about 25 ft away before the wifi signal dies down.
There are a ton of other features included in this app which I’m not going to go over in this review for just the sake of time. There are other resources out there that cover the app in more depth. If enough of you want me to provide my own in depth overview of Fool Control, leave a comment below.
So all of this wireless goodness boils down to the price. What does this app cost? Well to be able to control one red at a time, the iPhone/ipad app is $150. This is a great price for what the app provides. It’s well worth the time savings and convenience by far.
Here is a link to Fool Control in the app store. Fool Control
If you want to learn more about Fool Control you can head on over to Michael’s website at Fool Color.
I hope you found this review helpful.