September 22, 2011

RED to Announce SCARLET Nov. 3 (Same day as Canon), Bringing a 'Bazooka to a Knife Fight'

We have a duel! RED has followed up Canon's announcement that they will debut something "historic" in Hollywood on November 3rd, 2011 with a pre-announcement of their own: RED will also debut SCARLET on the same day (and, if their claims are to be believed, start shipping right away). Never a bunch to shy away from competitive statements, that line about bringing a bazooka to a knife fight is a direct quote, further bolstered by Jim Jannard, who stated, "Canon announces... we announce. The best one wins." Some more quotes direct from RED:

"What a big day! RED announces the new Scarlet. Canon announces "something really important to Hollywood". Everyone wins. November 3rd is the day that RED announces all the changes to Scarlet and shipping info. You get to see the future Nov. 3rd. You get to compare RED's latest directly with the newest from one of the "big dogs" in the industry."

"It is gonna be pretty simple.. Announce and Ship. No dicking around." As for when the camera will be available to order exactly, "Ordering opens November 3rd at 7pm PST, both UK and US."

As for what final form SCARLET will take -- or the price -- no one knows. Is this the 2/3" chip SCARLET we originally heard about with a fixed lens, is this the camera formerly known as the EPIC-S, or is it something different?

There are some rumors that Canon's announcement will be of a 4K camcorder; pictured above is a 4K prototype they showed a year ago. That camera, however, was only a 2/3" chip, and I would be surprised if both Canon and RED announce small chip, high-resolution camcorders on the same day. My personal opinion -- and I'm betting the opinion of most shooters -- is that I'd rather have a 1.9K (1080p) large sensor camera than a 4K small sensor camera. We'll see on November 3rd.

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28 Comments

Agreed. I'd also much rather have a lower-res (funny to think of 1080p that way), large-sensor camera than a small-sensor, high res one.

Whatever they both announce I just hope there's something great and affordable. For a long time now RED has simply priced themselves beyond my interest.

September 22, 2011

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I've said the same kind of thing in various places around the internets in the last few weeks, but I agree with your last bit. I'd much rather have a really good 1080p than a good/passable 3k or 4k. Give me a RAW codec, minimal rolling shutter, no moire, 2 XLR inputs, and 1080p with framerates up to 120 fps, and you've pretty much sold me a camera. If I can use my existing Canon glass and it has a large-ish sensor (APS-C is fine, I actually don't know that I'd want to deal with even narrower DoF than what you can get with that), that's a bonus. I'd actually prefer a RAW codec at 1080p over 4k because it would be much easier from a data storage and post production infrastructure perspective.

Is a large-sensor, 1080p RAW camera really that difficult? My 7D can shoot RAW stills at about 6 to 8 fps at roughly 5000x4000 resolution. Reducing the resolution to 1920x1080 (by making a new APS-C sensor with 4 or 5 Megapixels rather than 18, or whatever the numbers work out to) should lower the amount of data transfer enough to make at least 1080p24 RAW attainable, shouldn't it?

I'm obviously not an engineer, so I'm probably missing something significant, but it seems to me like 1080p RAW with today's technology shouldn't be rare or expensive.

September 22, 2011

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You can shoot 6-8 pics/sec, but you need a lot more time for saving them as you may have noticed. Your camera goes to idle-mode after shooting a series.

September 22, 2011

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ok, let's see...

my 550D (single digic4) shoots 3.7 fps at full 5184 x 3456 resolution (25MB raw files)

if you want a sharp 1080p image, you need a bayer pattern of about 2560x1440 (3.7 megapixels), which is 4.86 times smaller data footprint than what my 550D has; so, for the same data throughoutput, you can get 18fps; i.e.: on digic4, you can forget about it (you could go dual-digic4, but that's old news already...)

now, digic5 is supposed to be 6x faster, which means it should do 60fps with no problems, maybe even 120fps; so let's look at the other side: recording all that data

4.86 smaller data footprint means roughly 5MB per frame; at 24fps, that means 124 MB/s; it's not going to work on a CF card, but an SSD drive could easily do that; at 60fps, it goes up to 308 MB/s, and now even SSD drives will have problems

if you are smart enough to add interframe compression (as opposed to the intraframe compression you currently have in your series of RAW images), you can easily divide that by 3 or 4, and then a CF card would be enough for 24p, and an SSD would be enough for 60p, and even 120p

so the problem is that you need to do 3 difficult things that RED got totally right with its original RED ONE:
* fast sensor
* fast image processing
* efficient compression

September 23, 2011

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It has nothing at all to do with getting the engineering right. It is about profit margin. Canon does not want to cannibalise its higher end cameras, so it will always find engineering problems. Now if Nikon realise that the DSLR market for still only cameras is a dead end, and that consumers want good video included, and for them it is a must buy feature, then Nikon does not have a high end video camera line to cannibalise. If anyone is going to give us a 2K or 3K RAW camera in the next decade, it will be Nikon. They would get to sell a lot of new expensive glass as a bonus.

September 23, 2011

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Bunny

Man, I think there are still folks around the internet that haven't become slaves to the 4k hype!
I agree with all of you about a 1080p cam, but one that actually resolves all lines! This would be an awesome deal. Folks that should know better simply don't understand that unless you are going for a theatrical release that 1080p is MORE than enough! It always has been, and always will be at the screen sizes it was designed for. Even when projected on a "big screen", if shot with good glass and lit properly with good exposure (all the normal stuff), it looks fantastic. The audience cannot tell the difference between 2k and 4k, unless they're on the front row and can somehow watch BOTH at the same time for a comparison. That would be just about impossible because of the screen size.
I have really tired of hearing from Red, "1080p was never good enough". I know it's always been better than "good enough", and it seems that folks here know that too. In the sea of misinformation that is filmmaking, it's great to see others who think for themselves.

September 22, 2011

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would you like to test your eyes to see how many megapixels they can see?
I have pretty good vision, and mine won't even see any detail beyond 3K
http://www.similaar.com/foto/mpix/mpix2.html

September 23, 2011

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just doubled my pledge.......you're so close!

September 22, 2011

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RJP

1080p on a large sensor may not be a good idea, since it needs intensive pixel binning, 5D2 uses full sensor area to capture raw signal then do the binning to give you 1080p, hence the horrible moire when there are fine details in the scene.

In RED cameras, full sensor area is used when you choose to shoot in full resolution (4k for Red One, 5k for Epic), but if you want to shoot 2k, 3k etc., only a certain region of the sensor is used.

September 22, 2011

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Marvin

"1080p on a large sensor may not be a good idea, since it needs intensive pixel binning, 5D2 uses full sensor area to capture raw signal then do the binning to give you 1080p, hence the horrible moire when there are fine details in the scene." Most people just don't seem to get this. Most people just don't get what RED is accomplishing.

"In RED cameras, full sensor area is used when you choose to shoot in full resolution (4k for Red One, 5k for Epic), but if you want to shoot 2k, 3k etc., only a certain region of the sensor is used"-Not sure this is true

"Whatever they both announce I just hope there’s something great and affordable. For a long time now RED has simply priced themselves beyond my interest."

It's going to be 6-8k how much cheaper do you want this to be, guy?!?. This isn't a frigging T2i, it's a pro cine cam with a hugormous feature set, not a one trick dslr pony(shallow dof). The scarlet if priced 6k or under will hopefully end the reign of the 6k EX1 and 4k hpx170. I also intend to shoot stills with it. If you wan't large sensor video right now for under 6k the FS100 is the one. Canon will put out something soon and it won't be cheap, why cause they sell said video cameras in the 4-10k range. The DSLR is a happy compromise, make do with it for now. 2/3" chip will be awesome like16mm! I'm in!

September 22, 2011

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JEF

Well, the $3k price tag originally promised would be a nice place to start... Since that was the entire reason for the stripped down Scarlet model to begin with.

September 23, 2011

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Bryan

A full HD DSLR that shoots RAW and 120 fps? That would be amazing.

September 22, 2011

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How can you possibly say 1080p is MORE than enough??? Its essentially the de facto standard across all consumer screens, meaning anything less than 1080 will be inferior. How can it be MORE???

I'd say there is far less hype around Reds 4k than the there is the misconception that it is simply a number. The technology, image quality, resolving power and latitude that comes along with what they are bringing to the table dwarfs any offering by Sony or Canon (to date).

Dont get me wrong - 1080 / 2k is where 99% of my work will end up and Im happy with that. But to have the creative freedom of recomposing / pan and scan / crafting an original raw 4k image is something no one should dismiss as hype. We are after all creative artists so for me the tool that gives me the most options wins hands down.

If Canon brings something that meets these needs to the table then Im all ears...if not then viva la revolution and choice that red has provided for so many for so little.

September 22, 2011

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Paul

@Paul
How can I say that? By having seen footage @ 720p and then 1080p That look spectacular when projected. I'm also gonna tell you that 8 bit is "good enough", because if you know what you're doing, then nothing is a handicap. I say it's MORE than good enough to do what MOST will EVER do, and my comment stands. The only thing that would convince me somehow that I "needed" 4k is the situation of cropping and /or reframing because I didn't know exactly where I was going with that shot, and should have thought out the sequence better before committing to a shot that wasn't properly storyboarded.

The ONLY reason for 4k workflows is in the cropping/resizing and movement within a frame, AND the fact of a systematic approach that takes me to a release print scanned @ 4k or higher.

September 22, 2011

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Dave Creu

I must agree with you Paul. Most people that discuss these cameras really don't see the difference between 2K and 4K. It's mostly gearheads who wet their pants when they talk about specs. And unfortunately, the arrival of cheaper high end cine equipment have woken up all these characters. In reality, most of the stuff they shoot ends up like tests and endless timelaps videos on Vimeo anyway. Compressed to the max. So hooray, more crap, but now in glorious 4K.

There's always a group that will shoot something nice with production value. But I don't see them discussing things so much on forums.

I've shot a few commercials now on a RED and more so on the Alexa. Both me and the various dop's I've shot with don't see that huge of a difference. And we were watching on a $55K Dolby reference monitor! The only difference is that the Alexa has a more pleasing look for me.

I judge the image to what looks good to my eye. That's the ultimate benchmark. And if it's 6k, 3k or 100K, I really don't care. The rest is just nerds talking tech.

September 27, 2011

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delano

Of course I meant to say I agree with Dave :-)

September 27, 2011

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delano

....and then there's Nikon with their V1 Blmbocam...very sad.

September 22, 2011

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Skeptikal

i love large sensors and have argued for their superiority for a very long time, but now with some of the stuff i see coming from smaller sensors, I'm genuinely impressed; and if anyone is innovative enough to make a small sensor have a big sensor feel, it's the RED guys. we shall see though :)

September 22, 2011

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Lets see if Nov 3rd tops October 23rd/24th (depending on what side of the planet u r in) Highest funded feature film on Kickstarter! LOL

September 24, 2011

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We shot a doc on the HVX, 720/24p. Edited DVC Pro, color corrected in Color, had Dolby do our Digital Cinema Package and it looked amazing. We had our theatrical release last year and it looked fantastic! Our film CHOSIN airs on EPIX on Oct 19th. Moral of the story: you don't need 4k to make a beautiful image - and a bad story will never be saved by technology.

September 25, 2011

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... and "Iraq in Fragments", the multiple award winning documentary, was shot with Panasonic DVX-100 and DVX-100A cameras, using 24p Advanced Pulldown mode, letter-boxed. That means SD, letter-boxed!
According to some, you couldn't watch something like it on a 27" screen. But somehow people still loved it on the big screen...

I'm not saying I don't see the advantage of 4k - but I wouldn't mind a 1080p camera if it reads the whole sensor and records to RAW, and the price is affordable.

September 25, 2011

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Heiko

I see. So, 1,080 lines is enough, is it? 8 bits per channel is enough, is it? Okay. So when Canon/Sony/Nikon release DSLRs which do better than this, nobody will buy those because the 5DmkII is "enough"? I know: the prices of used 5DmkIIs will go up because people won't want the new ones!

(So how come 1,080 lines is enough but 'cropped' sensors are not? I smell a delusion.)

I would not allow a DSLR on a serious shoot, whether for TV or for cinema.

September 26, 2011

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Pikemann Urge

I think distinguished camera men like Matthieu Libatique, ASC who used a DSLR on the subway scenes for Black Swan or Rodney Charters, ASC who used a 5D on 24 would disagree with you. I believe they were some pretty serious shoots for tv and cinema.

What I'm saying is, use the tool that is best for the job. Trust your eye and don't get hung up on tech.

September 27, 2011

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delano

If you shoot 4k, then see it projected 4k you will be convinced.
2012 Olympics will be shot in 7k by the BBC, a format they hope to transmit in soon (within a decade).

If you have a great story you can shoot it with any camera you like (Jergen Teller successfully shoots with a 2005 Canon Powershot), but if RED/Canon release a pro-quality 2k cam that is ergonomically good to use, can hit 100fps, mounts as many glass options as possible, and that can also do 4k at the flick of a switch, or a $1-2k add-on I'm there. Not because I cannot make something decent without it, but for those times and projects that will make the use of it. I often preferred shooting 16mmm to 35mm. God I miss 16mm.

But 4k is coming as home format, faster and more low cost than stillborn 3D. And I've seen the difference, and it didn't seem that hard to tell to me, especially on footage I'd shot. Not life or death, but enough to make me immediately look up the price of a used RED ONE MX.

If I also get a stills camera that can roll at 100 fps at 30mpixel+, even better.

October 1, 2011

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markt

I should add, that camera had better be under US$20k.

October 1, 2011

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markt

4k-5k is future proof, there is only one way for technology to go and that is to keep climbing, eventually they will have to start selling us 4k TVs, and 1080p will not look good on them, with film you can always rescan negatives to 4k, and if you are shooting on RED now then hopefully all your work is backed up and you can export at the higher resolution. Im a canon user and 1080p is going to be fine for years, but looking ahead I think any one who is investing in RED is set for YEARS to come, as opposed to those who have been using canon/DSLR, who seem to switch bodies quite often, that is of course unless today canon starts to give RED some serious competition, we'll see

November 3, 2011

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Carlos

It's November 3rd did anyone hear RED "debut something “historic” in Hollywood "?

November 3, 2011

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I truly enjoy the bazooka to a knife fight comment. The only problem is if you are not a fat sloth, you can take out the bazooka guy with the knife.

November 3, 2011

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Amir