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RED's $7k SCARLET Camera Becomes $12k EPIC-S

01.3.11 @ 9:31AM Tags : , , , , ,

Since announcing the SCARLET and EPIC camera lines over two years ago, RED has pushed the ship dates back and changed a number of features. While the list of films shot on RED has been growing ever longer, indies have been waiting (patiently or not) for the lower-end SCARLET entry. I’d previously noted that RED was abandoning the prosumer market because of HDSLRs, but seemingly in order to ship even better high-end rigs. Now comes word from head honcho Jim Jannard that the Super 35mm-sized SCARLET has been renamed the EPIC-S and re-priced accordingly.

UPDATE as of October 2011: it appears RED has re-re-named the EPIC-S back to the SCARLET and will be announcing it officially (and shipping it) November 3rd. Stay tuned.

The old details:

1. We have moved from the less robust Scarlet S35 chassis to the EPIC S35 chassis (like going from the economy car frame to the truck frame). Pro, not prosumer.

2. We are trying to maximize the performance specs given the cost cutting from the hardware, including board reductions. This is no small task but is a primary focus within engineering.

3. Frame rates and data rates in combination with project sizes will be the primary compromises in comparison with the big brothers (EPIC-X and EPIC-M). You can anticipate about 1/2 the overall data throughput. As soon as the engineers finalize the list… I will post it.

4. HDRx™ will be included, but with limited frame rate options as is anticipated in #3 above.

5. Price has risen due to the chassis and HDRx™ change/additions. Expect somewhere in the neighborhood of $12K. Package prices will be posted as soon as we are sure what they will be. We will not post another “interim” price structure in the meantime. Next price posting will be final.

6. EPIC-S will use the same production line as its big brothers (which we are setting up now in California) so there will be no additional delays to produce this model. However, the EPIC-M and EPIC-X models will be released 1st as has previously been noted.

7. EPIC-Ms are currently being produced in low quantities and will step up just a bit this month (January). Production EPIC-X is scheduled to begin small production end of February with a fairly significant ramp up in March. Major volume begins in April. Many of you will have your EPIC-X by NAB. EPIC-S should begin production in May… depending on EPIC-X orders.

Keeping all of this in mind, here is the original announcement from RED (April 2008) with the intended SCARLET price points:

Over two years later, it looks like the Super 35mm SCARLET has jumped to the Full Frame model’s price point, the fixed-lens version is still TBD, and the fate of the 2/3″ B4 mount cam is anyone’s guess. In case you missed it, however, the fixed-lens version of the SCARLET (2/3″ sensor, 8X zoom lens) was recently spotted in the wild. Here’s a look:

Given Jannard’s forum signature is “Everything in life changes… including our camera specs and delivery dates,” one wonders when (and for what price) these cameras will finally ship. For now, it seems a $12k EPIC-S is an upgraded, slightly cheaper RED ONE with HDRx mode. While a lot of guerilla filmmakers would probably rather have a $7k camera sans HDRx than a $12k camera with it, the EPIC-S is priced similar to Sony’s PMW-F3 (assuming that the $12k EPIC-S price is for the “brain” only). It seems $15k is the new price point for a Super 35mm “real” cine camera, with the Panasonic AF100 hitting the $5k price point with a slightly smaller Micro 4/3 sensor, and DSLRs occupying the lower-end. Any thoughts on this latest announcement by RED?

Link: EPIC-S (old Scarlet S35) update


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Description image 41 COMMENTS

  • RED’s 3K for 3K promise was always too ambitious. They just don’t have the economies of scale Canon do. Only a small percentage of DSLR are use primarily as a video camera, so the development can be ‘subsidised’ by all the photographers out there.
    The key price point is the 2/3 Scarlet (or whatever it’s name is now), I guess that will be ~$6K (with lens), similar territory as the AF100. If that is right, at least there will be a choice; largish sensor and poorish codec of the AF100, or smaller sensor producing R3D files.
    So film makers with smaller budgets are still in compromise land, some things never change.

    • Kyle Krupinski on 01.3.11 @ 4:36PM

      The thing people don’t realize about 2/3″(super 16) cameras is that with a set of really fast lenses, like the mini Primes that RED is making or a set of Zeiss Super speeds that shoot at T1.3 is that being wide open will give you a very equivalent Depth of Field as shooting with Super35mm at f4 or f5.6. I typically keep my lenses at f2.8 or f4 when shooting Super 35 or RED.

      • I agree, there are many features shot on 2/3″ cameras that have shallow DOF. The DSLR phenomenon seems to have convinced many that a bigger sensor is always best.
        I think that the 2/3 Scarlett will be an excellent production camera (with fast lenses)

    • The Academy rewarded a Super-16mm and 2/3 Digital film with Top Oscars. George Lucas made a Billion shooting 2 films with 2/3 digital. The 8X fixed will still be in range of the indi filmmaker, I spent over $6,000 on a film transfer to digital and didn’t get a free 3K HD camera with that transfer.

  • Alexander Miller on 01.3.11 @ 12:17PM

    Why doesnt the 6k version have a PL mount?!

    • Kyle Krupinski on 01.3.11 @ 1:18PM

      RED Mount means their universal mount, you can buy the PL mount or if you have one from another camera you could still throw it on there. The new cameras are part of the DSMC system which stands for Digital Stills and Motion Camera. The full frame is more for the photography market then motion, at the time of conception the 5dmkII/ Full Frame “cinema” market hadn’t started. Of course a lot has changed since they announced these cameras, also there is no idea when the Full Frame cameras will be released, it is going to use their third gen sensor which is, best case scenario, a full year away from release, more likely 18months away.

      • Is a Full Frame sensor necessary?
        RED are going for the pro market, which seem very happy with the S35 sensor in the new Epic, Full Frame sensors are a photographic standard. True Cinema lenses don’t always provide fill coverage of larger frames.

        • Kyle Krupinski on 01.3.11 @ 4:32PM

          Full frame is necessary for the photography market. I think it’s highly overrated for cinema productions but RED set out to create a camera that can be customized for film work or for photography work or for both. Personally I am more interested in their iMax size sensor, that seems like a much more useful product in my mind.

  • I don’t know what to think about these cameras anymore, all I know is that when I see them, I drool. Haha, damn they’re sexy.

  • reading the release dates (“fall 2009″) on the originals is funny…
    i can’t really take any red press releases seriously.
    we’ll see what comes out when the engineers finish their work.
    and yea they look awesome!

  • I think everything RED does is hideous. The product design and marketing materials remind me of mid-90s Oakley.

    • Agreed — it’s like a 13 year-old boy designed everything to be maximally “badass.” Thankfully, the cameras aren’t seen on-screen…

    • the guy that started Red started a sunglass company called OAKLEY you wonder why there cameras look like that.

  • Chuckarama on 01.6.11 @ 2:10PM

    I’m tired of RED promises/lies and the hype surrounding them. Give me something solid that I can get some work done with. I can work with the shortcomings and advantages of whatever, but it has to actually be something that I’m able to put in my hands, first. I was actually prepared to pay $7K, at one time. Had saved my pennies and everything. Now I have a Canon 5DMII and a 7D I love intensely, and with what was left and planned for future RED purchases I bought a Yamaha 550 Grizzly, and a BMW F800 GS to mount them on. What did you buy with your RED cash and budget, in the last couple of years?

  • To Red or not…NOT. We’re sticking with film and alternatives for the little digital involved in our work. And now I see more reasons to be glad we made that decision.

  • Im not a native filmmaker but nature scientist and made a few journeys in documentary filmmaking and interested in high quality image (because of very restricted budget I never reach the point to buy a high end equipment). I was also exited about the low price of Scarlets and now I fell scammed because I wait for years for cine camera under $10K and obviously I will not ever purchase Scarlet or Epic even they are good twice as now. Have to say RED should change marketing staff because it seems we written for years on forum about aliens and UFOs we will never meet. So I decide to purchase 5dmk2 and Im very satisfied and why not because if this camera is good enough for George Lucas and Dr. House production team it is also more then good enough for me. Second or third production camera it is for me all the same. Why? Because finally the images will also be edited in the film! Who am I to judge about image quality? Even cinema engineers are not able to make distinguish between shoots on RED, 7D and 5dmk2?!
    I have to apologize for my bad english. It is not my native language.

  • I think its kind kind of sad to see there will not be a $3,000 Scarlett any more as i was saving my money for that vapor ware for quite a while.

  • never mind im dumb i misred, heh looks like an around $6,000 fixed kit version will still be released :)

  • evan maines on 01.18.11 @ 11:05PM

    I knew it was to good to be true… as a 14 year indie film maker I was anticipating the release of the so-called “RED SCARLET 2/3″ When I saw that RED ONE was soooooo expensive, then this “magical” $6,000 ultra HD 3k motion picture camera landed in my lap… I had the money ready and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it… Now just to find out that RED once again screws us over…. hikes the price up to a staggering 12,000$, they are trying to keep it “professional” why would it matter…. Why would they care if someone is professional, indie or amateur…. Please…..

    • 1. The $6,000 Scarlet is the fixed lens version. The $12,000 Epic-S (formerly Scarlet S35), is interchangeable lens design. Both cameras are being released this summer. They are not the same.
      2. RED screwed us over? How the F? By not releasing the cameras before they were ready? RED doesn’t owe us anything. Nobody owes anyone anything in this business. If they hadn’t kept us in the loop and had announced this at CES or NAB 2011, you and everyone else would be falling over each other trying to get one. But then again, without us in the loop, it wouldn’t have turned out the way it is, because things have changed due to our input.
      3. Professional only applies to the tools, not the person. They’re making professional tools, not toys. Whether or not you’re a pro is irrelevant.

      Repeat: nobody owes you jack. Remember that.
      Also, a case could be made that the hd dslr craze happened because of RED.

  • I know many people are upset with Red always pushing back the release date, specs, and the price. However, I think Jack Frost is right, Red does not owe us anything. It would be different if we placed a deposit on the camera. With that being said, I think we need to look at the bigger picture. Personally, I have become jaded by Red’s progress and poor marketing skills. Granted, Red is an industrial product that serves a limited base. However, Red should stop pushing into the prosumer market because they do not have the resources or experience. I believe Canon and Sony will soon be making cameras that will rival the Scarlet for the same price point. Red needs to focus on their real base and not push into markets they do not understand.

  • evan maines on 02.7.11 @ 9:05AM

    You make a good point…. Even though RED may have started the craze, all the other brands pioneered HDSLR film making, when the the 3,000$ 3k version was released it excited many. But as the price went up and up and the list of movies shot on RED got longer, people began to relize that maybe this so-called RED camera isn’t a camera for us, then Canon comes along and relized a nice line of HDSLR cameras that became widely popular as time went on. I see what they meant by keeping it professinol as on a equitment view-point, but it still will leave many film makers in the dust because of it…. Thanks!

  • What a marketing scam…3 years worth of bogus promises/free goodwill advertising and now “Vaporware Scarlet” becomes something entirely different. Bye bye original promise from JJ.

    Here Downunder we have a name for people like JJ…”Bullshit Artist”…

  • its the old create the hype and then raise the price what else would we expect from a company that only deals with high end small run products, we never see Farrari saying guess what our next model will be a super mini costing $5000. They should not make claims they cannot keep as it does get people that have limited budgets hopes up. I hope RED read theses responces and realise what damage they may have done by turning the next gen of production film directors off to there promises.

  • As a company Red seem like a bad soap opera, he said she said, will they won’t they, give me a break. They keep talking themselves up like a wannabe gangster rapper “I’ve got the biggest gun on the block!” they’re just like all the other carrot dangling technology companies, they talk the talk but can’t follow up by walking the walk, more like zombie used car salesmen, dragging their feet while mumbling something about brains, (the price includes only the brain, add another fist full of dollars for what you actually need to do something useful). The real indy game changer was the DSLR with the after thought of HD capture which caught everybody in the industry on the hop, mainly because of the price and how any Joe can now afford to make a film, Red are in fact chasing big budget or should I say bullshit and not about indy at all, they know they can’t compete with the likes of Canon on price and who no doubt are in the process of creating a Red killer DSLR, who knows maybe if red twiddles their thumbs for long enough they might get to see what the competition is up to and delay the release of the scarlet further to add some other feature nobodies asking for.
    Now, I think i’ll see what silicon imaging are selling, ha ha

  • Red Cam also has the most arrogant employees in the business. Did you see them at NAB? So over the top.

    Finish your cameras first and just put out a good product.

    Enough with the whole mis-management of a company already.

  • I think at the moment if I had to choose on a 2/3″ camera I’d go for the Ikonoskop dii, the sample footage I’ve seen from that is really really interesting – different but in a good way. Plus the fact that it is out already in small numbers. A surprise competitor to the scarlet.

  • while we’re on the price of this babies Koo, why don’t you do a post/ feature/ the right word for it of a full ready to shoot RED EPIC configuration?
    I think with the RED its very hard to determine the cost of one of these things when configured for a film setup. I cant wait to see this on my mailbox next week ;)
    I like your to-the-point approach in your weekly newsletters (and in most of your posts)!

  • Hey guys. I was looking forward to the RED Scarlets $7k price point. But now that it is estimated to cost $12k, im not really in the market for it. What do you guys think is the best camera in the $5x-$9k price range? I plan on shooting short films in about a year or so, and of corse, I want the best looking picture possible. Thanks!

    • I’d wait for the Canon 5D MK III announcement that’s rumored to be end-of-November. (Separate to the “Pro” Hollywood event.)

      Speculation is of potentially two models, one featuring higher quality video functionality, with a shipping date of April 2012.

      All rumor-mill as I say, so I’m no source of truth on this, just avidly following

      Disclosure: I’m waiting for the MK III announcement to see what the impact on the MK II price will be, as I’m looking to get one this year, not wait until April.

  • How any normal person with a job can afford this stuff is beyond me. I will stick with DSLR’s and traditional video cameras and plunge any extra money into costumes, make-up and heaven forbid, acting talent.

  • Gerry owiti on 10.26.13 @ 8:24AM

    Hi,just wan a know how much 6k goes for so that I budget coz the camera is just amazing and sexy,please give me the African price.

  • Gerry owiti on 10.26.13 @ 8:25AM

    Am not buying another camera coz have com to the n o my search