Nikon Acquires RED in Massive Shakeup of Cinema Camera Market

Nikon buys Red

In a surprise announcement, Nikon has acquired U.S.-based cinema camera company RED which will become of a subsidiary of the Japanese photography giant.

RED Digital Cinema was founded in 2005 by Jim Jannard and the company is best known for the RED One 4K and V-Raptor X along with its proprietary RAW compression technology.

Less than 12 months ago, Nikon and RED were embroiled in a lawsuit with RED accusing the Japanese company of infringing on its video compression patents in a firmware update for the Nikon Z9. However, the case was dismissed in April.

The deal means that Nikon, a company best known for stills cameras, will be launching itself into the cinema camera market via a popular brand. Marques Brownlee, for example, uses RED cameras for his YouTube videos.

But RED cameras are better associated with huge productions rather than YouTubers. Movies and television shows shot on RED cameras include Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3, Captain Marvel, The Queen’s Gambit, Peaky Blinders, Frozen Planet II, Squid Game, and Mindhunter.

RED is headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California, and has around 220 employees. RED president Jarred Land took to Instagram and Facebook to announce the shock news.

In a landmark move, RED Digital Cinema (, LLC), is excited to announce being acquired by Nikon Corporation (Nikon). The agreement with Nikon, reached with RED’s founder Jim Jannard and President Jarred Land, signifies a new era of innovation and excellence in the professional filmmaking sector,” Land writes on Facebook.

“This acquisition marks a significant milestone for Nikon, melding its rich heritage in professional and consumer imaging with RED’s innovative prowess. Together, Nikon and RED are poised to redefine the professional digital cinema camera market, promising an exciting future of product development that will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in film and video production.”

In its press release, Nikon says, “RED’s contributions to the film industry have not only earned it an Academy Award but have also made it the camera of choice for numerous Hollywood productions, celebrated by directors and cinematographers worldwide for its commitment to innovation and image quality optimized for the highest levels of filmmaking and video production.

“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’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 color 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.”