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Nikon buys high-end cinema camera company RED

Nikon has announced it is buying RED, the high-end cinema camera company, for an undisclosed sum. In a statement, the camera giant, which has suffered along with most of the imaging industry in recent years, said RED will become a wholly-owned subsidiary, as found by The Verge. RED currently has about 220 employees, and no layoff plans have been made public in response to the sale.

RED was founded in 2005 and has since had its cameras used in popular productions, including Squid Game, Peaky Blinders and Captain Marvel — a market Nikon plans to expand into with this acquisition. Nikon has withdrawn from less profitable areas of the camera market in recent years, including ending development on new DSLRs

The move could benefit both parties, as RED’s president Jarred Lang shared on Facebook: “This strategic partnership brings together Nikon’s extensive history and expertise in product development, know-how in image processing, as well as optical technology and user interface with RED’s revolutionary digital cinema cameras and award-winning technologies.” RED’s 2018 attempt to expand on its own (into smartphones, no less) didn’t last long, and the products soon were discontinued.

Interestingly, RED sued its new owner in 2022, claiming that Nikon knowingly used RED’s patented data compression technology in its Z9 camera. Nikon, in turn, argued the legitimacy of RED’s patents before the two companies agreed to a dismissal.

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