The images are stored as R3D files. Uncompressed, with current storage limits of digital media, the 4K images would be too big to be practically useful as video, so Red developed Redcode to compress the data to manageable file sizes. To date, there are two formats: Redcode 28 and Redcode 36, with the latter being less compressed. Red are calling it 'visually lossless'. They claim tests have shown it is impossible to distinguish between compressed and uncompressed footage.Less compression means more storage space, but better images, more suitable for special effects and high-end work.
The Red One records to either Compact Flash or Red Hard Drives.
Compact Flash is robust and able to deal with harsh, high-vibration shooting conditions like helicopters and car-mounts because there are no moving parts. 16Gb CF cards will allow for about 8 minutes of recording at 4K.
320Gb raided hard drives will store around 180 minutes of Red footage, although in practice these drives are rarely filled. It is unwise to load a hard drive to its capacity and the reality of shooting means that often the quickest and most secure workflow on set is to regularly download the R3D files from the Red Drives. This keeps your DIT (Digital Imaging Technician - or Data Wrangler in the U.S) working efficiently and means they are not left at the end of the day with masses of data to duplicate.
The Red Drives use two hard drives in a RAID 0 array, but they are still susceptible to violent movements or repetitive vibration such as a moving vehicle. This may result in 'dropped' or missing frames. The cameras will display a warning when this occurs. Red RAM drives are solid state RAM and overcome this problem, but at a financial cost. As with any tapeless format, the Red One data needs to be backed up (in three locations) on to hard drives, Blu-ray discs or data tape.