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Full Specifications of the Democratizing (and Canon-Beating) RED SCARLET X Camera

11.3.11 @ 11:16PM Tags : , , , , ,

Since RED’s announcement of their world-beating (and certainly Canon-beating) SCARLET X, their website has been down sporadically, but I was able to grab the full specification sheet from their website during a moment of uptime. First of all, I want to say that yes, you can shoot a beautiful film on the new Canon C300 — in fact, Vincent Laforet already did — so, taken in historical context there is nothing wrong with Canon’s new camera. A few years ago it would’ve been amazing. But it’s not a few years ago, and in fact just a few hours after Canon launched their first foray into the professional motion picture arena, they were upstaged by a startup named RED (you could also argue that the Sony F3 is also a superior option). While the Canon will be better in certain areas — low light performance, perhaps? — the SCARLET X starts at half the price of the Canon. Yes, you’ll need to add some accessories, but looking at these specs, I couldn’t help but order one.

PIXEL ARRAY 5120 (h) x 2700 (v)
DYNAMIC RANGE 13.5 stops, up to 18 stops with HDRx™ 6 fps with 5K FF and HDRx On 12 fps with 4K HD and HDRx™ On
MAX IMAGE AREA 5120 (h) x 2700 (v)
LENS COVERAGE 27.7mm (h) x 14.6mm (v) = 31.4 mm (d)
LENS MOUNT Al Canon EF (PL mount optional)
MAX DEPTH OF FIELD Equivalent to S35mm (Motion) / APS-H (Still) lenses
PROJECT FRAME RATES 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 47.96, 48, 50, 59.97
MONITOR/PROGRAM OUTPUT HD-SDI and HDMI with Frame Guides and Look Around or Clean Feed 1080p 4:2:2, 720p 4:2:2 SMPTE Timecode, HANC Metadata, 24-bit 48Khz Audio
DIGITAL MEDIA REDMAG (SSD) Module : (64, 128, 256GB Media)
REDCODE™ 16-bit RAW Processing : Compression choices of 18:1 to 3:1
1-12 fps 5K FF
1-30 fps 4K HD
1-48 fps 3K HD
1-60 fps 1080p HD
1-120 fps 1K
AUDIO 2 channel, uncompressed, 24 bit, 48KHz.
Optional 4 channel, and AES / EBU digital audio.
BOMB EVF™ High Definition Viewfinder
REMOTE CONTROL REDLINK Wireless, Ethernet, RS232, GPI Trigger
WEIGHT 5lbs. Body only
COLOR Battleship Gray Brain Body, Black Canon Mount and Side SSD, All DSMC Modules Black
TEMPERATURE RANGES Operating Range: 0˚C to +40˚C (32˚F to 104˚F)
Storage Range: -20˚C to +50˚C (-4˚F to 122˚F)

Also, here are the barely readable resolution/datarates (larger image here), which are lowered from the $28,000 EPIC-X but wipe the floor with the Canon’s 8-bit MPEG-2 codec (an 8-bit codec for $20k, really?!):

Camera specifications do not a good movie make, I know. But I’m sorry — if you’re not excited about this, you’re not into cinematography. RED’s Jim Jannard claimed this would be the most significant announcement in RED’s history, and he wasn’t kidding. And while I know the cameras will not ship with all features intact from day one (and RED says they’ll probably be back-ordered until February), this camera has at least 2/3 of the EPIC-X’s ability for less than 1/3 of the price. You can bet that the price of this made-in-USA camera was set more by Jim’s desire to win the fight with Canon (and everyone else) than it was by a calculation of maximum profitability. It helps that he has deep pockets from Oakley, but still: to me the SCARLET-X represents RED making good on their initial startup promise (if they haven’t already) of democratizing film production,1 and I’m excited to shoot Man-child on a SCARLET-X. So much so, in fact, that:

After years of shooting on jury-rigged cams, just ordered a #R3D SCARLET-X. Long time coming, can't wait to shoot #Manchild and more w/ it!

Whew! What a night. Hopefully I won’t wake up in the morning and feel like the SCARLET-X is one of those products on late night TV that you order drunk and regret it when it shows up a week later. Not that I do that. But I’ve seen it happen.


  1. Along with DSLRs, of course, which I wrote about long ago. []


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Description image 114 COMMENTS

  • I like to think that my kickstarter contribution is helping to purchase this camera. Maybe one of the buttons. Or one of the screws that holds it together.

    • Thanks Michael! I’m actually not going to use the Kickstarter money to buy the camera — the Kickstarter funds are all going on screen. I’ve been saving up a long time to get to this point, and it’s as much a business investment (as any camera at this price point should be) as it is for one project. But thank you again!

      • Jacques E. Bouchard on 11.4.11 @ 3:25AM

        That’s not what “investment” means. The camera isn’t going to make you – or even SAVE you – money, on the contrary. Hell, people have shot features on less than what the fully package will cost you.

        • That’s a very simplistic way of looking at it, and doesn’t really address the realities of the situation.

          If the Scarlet means Koo spends less time jumping through hoops in pre-production and production, that’s time and money saved.
          If the Scarlet means Koo can shoot faster and more efficiently, that’s time and money saved.
          If the Scarlet means Koo can get through post more quickly and with less hassle, that’s time and money saved.
          If the Scarlet means that along with all that, the final film is higher quality (which is due to a combination of all the above, as well as the pure image quality, and resolution if you’re interested in that, of the camera) then that might well mean more money made at the end of it.

          So while a better camera doesn’t just sit there and accrue money, it’s definitely an investment in my book. I can certainly see it paying for itself on Man-child alone. And the Scarlet is, frankly, perfectly priced for such a view. It’s not DSLR cheap, but if the specs are to be believed it is perhaps the first instance yet of truly professional quality equipment at an indie price.

          • Jacques E. Bouchard on 11.4.11 @ 2:10PM

            It’s realistic, not simplistic. Film productions rent, they don’t buy. There is no downside to renting, except for the fact that you don’t get to keep the toys.

      • You have a funny definition of investment. Plenty of people make money off their camera, by renting it out, by DPing projects and renting it at the same time, by running a production house that uses the RED and saves money on rental (in the long term), by having it in-house for TV shows… all considerations of mine.

      • You say on your kickstarter site (pasted below ) that you were renting a camera at $15,000 from the kickstarter funds, yet you are now saying you had at least $20000 saved ( and I’ve posted it below) for buying the camera (and who knows how much more you have). You should have disclosed how much you can put into the project to begin with and have been honest about your intentions of using your funds to buy a camera instead of adding $15000 worth of expenses into your kickstarter begging. Now that you bought the camera with your money as you put it, you should be honest and return the $15000. Unless I know someone personally and see their finances there is no way I’d take part and what you just pulled is why. From your comments and kickstarter begging, it appears you’re just into self-promotion (not movie-production promotion) and shady tactics to get money for who-knows-how-it-will-be-spent?? Don’t even bother replying, you’ve said enough.

        “As ujojazvec and carsonbenett say above, I’ve noted that I’m NOT spending Kickstarter funds on the camera:”
        And on
        Koo on 11.3.11 @ 11:41PM
        Thanks Michael! I’m actually not going to use the Kickstarter money to buy the camera — the Kickstarter funds are all going on screen. I’ve been saving up a long time to get to this point, and it’s as much a business investment (as any camera at this price point should be) as it is for one project. But thank you again!

        Renting equipment: my equipment isn’t good enough to shoot this movie. Especially because there are a lot of SLOOOOOWWW MOOOTIIOOONN shots. We’re going to shoot it on something called a RED camera, which can do great slow-mo. But we have to rent it, because a fully equipped RED camera with good cinema lenses costs more than this campaign’s entire goal! So at $500/day for a camera package (a conservative estimate), a 30-day shoot = $15,000.

        • 1.) Wait, so you’d rather have me spend $15,000 on renting a camera instead of buying one? What’s the difference to you?

          2.) When I wrote that a RED EPIC cost $58,000. So of course I wasn’t buying. Now one comes out for $15k… which is what I’d budgeted… that changes things. Wouldn’t you say?

          3.) I’m not using Kickstarter funds anyway. And who says I’m buying it alone? Going in for one of these is easier if you have (a) partner(s).

          Every single dollar is going on screen, so if I want to get a new credit card with 0% APR for 12 months and pay a camera off over time, I’m not sure how that relates to you complaining that I was self-promoting my Kickstarter campaign (how else do you promote one). I’m not being duplicitous or anything of that nature, I’m trying to make a movie. And that’s what my Kickstarter pitch was all about. It’s not like I’m spending it on caviar and strippers.

  • Hi Koo and all;
    Sorry for the foolish question.
    Whats the purpose of 1k footage?

    • Not exactly going to be an everyday useful thing, but… I suppose if you were shooting slow-motion videos for the web or something…

  • I wouldn’t exactly call it “90% of the epic”. I consider the frame-rate resolution differences as well as the difference in data rate to be a bit more like 65% of the epic. Which is still good. I do think that we’re all getting lost in the ACTUAL cost of the Scarlet. Even with the 14k price tag for the package, you still NEED an EVF, you NEED WAYYY more than two red volts, YOU NEED WAYYY more than a 64gb SSD card. Total cost with shit you NEED….more like 22,500$. Price it out, you’ll see..

    • Hey James,

      Sometimes is very useful for shooting a fx element for compositing, for instance. Specially at high frame rates.

    • Agreed, I suppose I mean “90% of the EPIC in many situations.” I’ll rephrase!

      • And the price point? I’m curious on your thoughts on what the camera will REALLY cost after you get all the vital tools with it. Red should do a better job at giving actual costs instead of starter kits that get you 30 mins of footage on 25min batteries..

    • Sorry James,

      This was meant for David, upstairs :)

    • Money better spent on a script, actors, and P&A.

    • I was wondering when someone would note this. You’re paying for the same amount, if not more. And that’s not even taking into account all of the post issues.

      Not to mention most people won’t be editing or displaying their films at 4k in the first place. So what diff does it make if the camera captures at 4k only to be downsampled to the 1080p res output to make the image similar (or inferior) to what the Canon is offering?

      And I’m guessing the Canon will have both better low light capability and better firmware stability.
      You’d be fooling yourselves to believe that the Scarlett is for the lower end spectrum of the filmmaker. Only to find out that it’s just as expensive and less reliable than other options.

      • RevBenjamin on 11.4.11 @ 9:28AM

        When you say “most people” Kahl, I think you mean “most people are not making product intended for film print”. Distributed film can go “4k” just fine, and I believe that’s the intention for Man-child.

  • With the pro market shifting away from RED, they really have to hope for the Wedding photography market, because what’s the point of a 2/3 chip? If the 5D taught the world anything it’s that sensor size is arguably the most significant factor.

  • I am blown away! Trying to order, on phone to bank, trying to contain myself!!!

  • What exactly do you mean by democratizing? For who…professionals who already have that kind of money to spend? This camera held some relevance for me when it was originally planned to be around 3000.00 in a galaxy far, far, away.

    • Trevor Macdonald on 11.4.11 @ 12:14AM

      I think that this pricetag is the epitome of democratization. I’m not rich by any means, but a camera like this, for once, is not out of the question.

      • Like a Ferrari coming down to the price of a Lexus? The analogy may not be exact, but I think you get my point.

        I see many fellow students trying to get productions off the ground and the least of their worries is the price of a camera. If you are not already financially established or plan on running a production company, this is a waste of funds that could go to talent $$$$ or P&A..

    • I mean democratizing for feature film production. And you don’t have to BUY it — renting a $10k camera is a whole lot cheaper than renting a $100k one. Even most of the HDSLR-shot features to date used so many accessories (PL mount, support rigs, pro audio gear) that, going forward, they’ll probably be shot on a SCARLET-X or something like a Sony FS100 instead.

      • I’m not Darren Aronofsky. Why would I want to waste money on digital camera rental costs when DSLRs already exist that give me quality good enough to get my work noticed? It’s easy to get caught up in this tech game, but it’s not worth it for most of us.

      • I agree with you about it democratizing the means of production. It will allow smaller/low budget filmmakers access to similar image quality as their big budget counterparts. Which, in turn can allow filmmakers/studios to take risks with their content. In the end: better picture at a lower cost is a great thing for the growth of the medium.

  • this camera is the one. I feel it.

  • You have the money why not shot Manchild on Alexa?
    it has better out of camera image.
    of you don’t plan finish post at company 3 .

  • Did you even SEE the images that came out of the Canon cam? Obviously you need to understand the sensor in that cam, and how 8 bit is “good enough” because of how the tech is applied. No debayering, no aliasing/moire, rolling shutter almost non-existent, and the best and sharpest 1080p image a 60 ft screen has ever seen (thank you Star Wars, but you’ve been surpassed).
    Canon’s cam IS expensive, but the 1080p they offer is more than good enough to compete on the BIG screen…And they have a totally reliable system there, whereas Red, even with the Epic, has had terrible reliability issues, which has made many pros boiling mad on set. This is totally unacceptable, especially when you’re shooting with your own camera (your only one) and the dark stuff hits the fan. What then?? production is at a stand still, but the clock keeps ticking away, taking the money with it. God help Red if they release a beta cam in huge numbers and they all have to go back to be “serviced”. That would be a nightmare for them, and could bury them, and your production.

    • Agreed… that’s why I started the post with “you can shoot a beautiful film on the Canon” — my point is compared to the market most people (myself included) see them as overpricing the camera.

      And that 8-bit codec… time will tell how far it can be pushed in color correction. Certainly not as far as RED footage.

      Well aware of RED’s reliability issues, but they’ve definitely gotten better. Soderbergh shot Che on the RED ONE… one, and we’ve come a long way from there.

      • Just how far do most people HAVE to push their CC/grading? When any of my ‘old-style’ Canon 8 bit footage is run through Cineform and upscaled to 10 or 12 bit/4:2:2 or 4:4:4 there are no issues at all. I can then push my grades to the next county if i want.
        Look at what Vincent Laforet said about the C300 footage on his blog…As far as price, they are both going to be close when you add up all the goodies.Really.

        • with cineform can you obtain a better quality from your DSLR? Can you really see it? I’ve never tried to use it… can you explain me your workflow… Do you see anything different than editing native CS5.5? Thanks

  • Erika Basil on 11.4.11 @ 1:15AM

    Let’s not forget…. These are all tools which will never make an untalented filmmaker great. You can give Tiger Woods the cheapest set of clubs and he’ll still kick ass. Go out and make your films. Content is everything. Without good content, you pretty much have nothing. Don’t use these tools as a crutch or you’ll be spending all your time acquiring the next best thing instead of making a film. I love this camera too, but I like making films even more : )

    • Jacques E. Bouchard on 11.4.11 @ 3:22AM

      Precisely. In the indie film community, I’d say that about 90% of what I see is crap. Filmmakers put more importance on the hardware and the software than on the actual script. I was a screenwriter before I was a filmmaker: story is EVERYTHING.

      And if you’re scrounging to make a film, buying this camera is not only a huge lack of responsibility towards your investors, it also demonstraytes a dismal ability to intelligently manage money. I’d like to use a RED to shoot my short films and features, but calling it an “investment” is ridiculous. I would only buy one if I could use it to shoot corporate videos and ads. But for now, the cost is too prohibitive. Maybe in a ocuple of years.

      • Jacques E. Bouchard: its an investment if he rents it out, like traditionally most red-owners do. pull your head out of your you know what.

        • Jacques E. Bouchard on 11.4.11 @ 2:14PM

          “Renting it out” is the excuse you use to convince your wife or accountant to let you buy the camera. But in reality that only incurs more expenses (insurance, repairs, maintenance0 and even in the best case scenario where you rent it out every week, it’ll take you a few years to recoup your investment.

          My head’s right up the balance sheet. Where’s yours?

      • He said at the top of the thread that he did not use Manchild money to buy this. He did it the old fashioned way by saving.

        • Jacques E. Bouchard on 11.4.11 @ 2:16PM

          Exactly. And $14,000 is just about the right amount of money to cover all the unpredictabilities and complications that arise on a film shoot and will keep your unfinished project off the shelf.

          I’ve seen enough productions die to recognize blowing money on toys as a classic pattern.

  • To supplement NoFilmSchool’s coverage, here is the User Group community for Canon’s new Cinema EOS C300 and C300PL Super 35mm camcorder. All of the breaking news and user discussion will be posted there, connected across social media platforms, and eventually it will be the best place anywhere for sharing and sampling actual footage:

  • I’m drooling over the specs myself… but what made you make the jump to purchase before seeing a single image from the camera? Seems like a big leap of faith.

    • It’s essentially the same camera/sensor as the EPIC, and I’ve handled an EPIC and seen its footage projected at 4K, so that makes it much less a leap of faith.

  • CANON C300:

    What’ I’m thinking is Canon has developed a camera that shoots a 4K image, and compresses it into a 1080p file size. If this is the case, would this mean that our 4K files would be the size of a 1080P file? If so this means we can take our 1080P file, that has 4K compressed quality, and should we decide to output a 4K or even 2K video… we then can scale that footage to either 2 or 4K, without any quality loss. If this may be the case, then that’s awesome in my own opinion. That makes handling 4K material much easier to work with based on the file size ALONE!

    I think people are missing about the Scarlet X is $10K is the price for the BRAIN ALONE!!! After you get the accessories needed for it… you’re looking at $20K still. If the C300 gives more dynamic range than the Scarlet X then I’m thinking I may just get the C300 now.

    People who have uses Canon’s for years need to know this… You have invested money into your gear for your DSLR’s over the years. Why start from scratch if the C300 captures 4K compresses it into 1080p? One thing we should all understand is that Canon is READY!!! RED… Red will be Red. They’re going to have their issues with the camera, and too much work to get it to work the way we want.

    So I figure C300 ($16,000 FULL PACKAGE) VS. RED SCARLET X ($10,000 BRAIN ALONE)… You see what I’m saying?

    • You can’t upscale a 1080p file to 4K with no quality loss. Or rather, I should say, you can’t upscale a 1080p file to 4K and see quality gain.

    • Even if you shot trillion K once you scale to 1080 everything above that is lost forever, you can’t go back up.

      Scarlet “kit” is around 14000 bucks, with that you get pretty much same stuff with canon… Battery, screen, memory card (which prob is not incl with canon). Btw i heard the red EF adapter can auto focus/touch focus from screen, if scarlet does that too then it does more than canon with its own lenses. Not that anyone needs auto focus, but it’s nice to focus remotedly was it with the screen or redmote

  • Overcranking forces you to crop to 3K
    HDR forces you to crop to 3K
    Crop… say bye bye to wide angles
    Suddenly i’m not so excited about scarlet any more
    3K physical non cropped sensor with proper fps with HDR would have been lot more atractive

  • EOSHD dude hates you for buying a Scarlet X.

    I think its pretty immature of him to post that.

  • People are also forgetting to add up the back end into their prices. A 64GB Red mag will get you roughly 25 min 4k at 24fps, or 40 min at 2k 24fps, compared to canon XF which will get you 3 hours on a 64GB CF card. Harddrives are cheap now-a-days… but not THAT cheap. And can you afford all that extra time in post transferring and rendering?

    Granted it all depends on your application. This will be winner for features and high end commercials for sure. But I don’t see Doc’s and TV jumping on this

  • RevBenjamin on 11.4.11 @ 9:41AM

    The comment thread here is killing me… how can you guys not be excited about this camera?

    I can’t believe we’ve already gotten the old “it’s just a tool” trope… READ the article, Koo acknowledges this, but it’s a fun tool. Which is more fun – a hammer or an auto-hammer-3000 with lazer guided missles?!

    RED naysayers… that camera is far more proven in the film industry than Canon. Canon wowed with 5d2, granted. But how many features were shot on that camera compared to REDs? Or will be? Peter Jackson shoots on RED. PETER MOTHAFUCKING JACKSON.

    I can’t see the “RED’s unreliable” argument any longer, either. I’ve had the RED crash on me, a few times. I’ll take that any day to film stock… and I’m sorry, but end-image on 4k RED is going to be far closer to the quality and latitude of film than ‘just another’ Canon 1080p. There’s just more information guys.

    • +1 on aaaaaall of that.

      Particularly the “It’s just a tool” thing. Seriously, we get the fucking message. Why does someone feel the need to say that on EVERY camera discussion on the whole damn internet? We know it’s just a tool! We’re discussing the pros and cons of this tool! This post wasn’t entitled “How to make every film awesome: buy this camera”. If you don’t want to talk about a camera, go and do something else!

      • And who exactly is Peter Jackson? A man…just a man. He likes a certain image that others would reject. Red reliability hasn’t redeemed itself. Any “professional” camera on ANY set crashing is just unacceptable. It’s really sad that folks can’t see that…until it bites them on set. Red is not a professional “tool” until they work consistently and develop a better workflow.
        Canon has the best 1080p image out there now, and it’s only 8 bits! Technology efficiently produced. Red needs the big numbers game because they can’t do that…yet. I hope at some point they get it together. It would thrill me to see them as a world-beater from the good ole USA. Their attitude sucks too. If people are paying for your cameras/progress, you don’t get smart with them. You treat them kindly, even when you are attacked.
        And BTW, the lowly 1080p version of ‘Mobius’ was super sharp on a 60 ft. screen with awesome color/skin tones, no banding, aliasing/moire, jello, and had as organic a noise as anything we’ve seen yet. Beautiful! Canon doesn’t need big spec numbers on a piece of paper to wow folks. Heck, they can make a happy accident (video in 5d), and have something awesome. Now we are seeing that efficiency of design/technology working to their advantage in this new series. And reliable as a brick.

        • I like the look of the C300 footage, for sure. I think what a lot of people (myself included) are complaining about is the fact that they’ve got a 4K sensor that can do 1080/60p, and then give you a maximum codec/output of 8-bit 1080p and 720p/60. These compromises are fine — but for $20k? $20k is plenty of money to stick a fast enough processor in there and give you a dual-link uncompressed HD-SDI output. If you’re spending this much money on a camera, it’s not just about TODAY, it’s about where the market’s going to be in 2-3 years, and it just seems to me that Canon is saving features for their C400 or whatever’s next.

          That said, you can shoot a great feature on the C300. It looks like an ALEXA meets an F3. I look forward to Zacuto’s next shootout…

      • I try to point this out in every post in some sort of subtle way to deflect such comments! Hah, “How to make every film awesome: buy this camera”

  • Add to that James Cameron. JAMES MATHAFUCKING MONEY MACHINE CAMERON. He would’nt trust shit if it was’nt worth it.

    • I believe his real nickname is James Motherfucking straight cash homey Cameron. Just wanted to clarify that.

      • Straight cash indeed. One thing I do wonder is how many big Hollywood features are using the RED because they need 3D — its small size makes it hard to beat there — and not because of 4K, RAW, or its other touted features.

  • Looks like people thinking of buying the Alexa, Epic, Sony F3 – People comfortable with 20k+ pricing – have options in the Red Scarlet and Canon C300 (more tilting towards Scarlet).
    Looking to find what is the best option for a 5K price point for shooting a feature (Guerrilla Style – minimal lighting for outdoor night sequence etc) – Is there an article on the best option for a 5k price point – including Lens and accessories.
    Damn it – my wait for the announcement was a waste.
    Need your help – on comparisons – Canon 60D , 7D , SOny Alpha 77/67 , Panasonic (whatever new they have) – or Sony Fs100 or Af100 would be a safer better bet
    If you know any articles – blogs would love to check them out on the comparisons …

    • I believe a number of video comparison of those cameras have been done. P. Bloom did one with the FS 100, F3, 5D, and AF100. The FS 100 was basically as good as the F3 and better than the AF100, all of them better than the 5D. That’s around $5000 I think.

  • Camera_sandy on 11.4.11 @ 11:33AM

    The RED cameras a so over-rated. They shoot extremely large file size videos. And the 5k resolution shoots at 12fps. Why does it shoot that resolution, at all??? Also, as the frame rates go up, the resolution goes down. That means, that, technically, there is no consistency between the frames. 1080p is a great resolution, if you can manage it well. 4k, in most likelihood, is a resolution, which over-loads storage data. And, in terms of resolution, in most cinema halls, people will not be able to tell the difference between 2k and 4k. No convincingly enough, to justify getting a Red or any other 4k resolution camera.

    • Lucas Adamson on 11.4.11 @ 11:56AM

      Such a weird comment. For the cinema, the RED is the future, and the now to some extent. It is used extensively, and the results are great. Tell me what camera you’d prefer for $15K with all of the bells and whistles of the Scarlet kit?

    • Lucas Adamson on 11.4.11 @ 12:00PM

      For the Cinema, I mean. You’d prefer 1080p? Shoot 1080p then, but how you can argue that it’s better than Red, god only knows. Oh, and by the way, 12p could be useful in rare situations for certain effects, low light etc. but having it as a freeby is hardly a deal breaker, now is it?

  • i’d still be happy with a fixed lens scarlet for 6k. i don’t need all the bells and whistles and worry for all there other pro stuff. something expandable that’s killer and portable is enough. the idea of the super 35 camera was nice to me. i still think thats a viable market – that would compete even still with the current 1080 dslr range. there’s still room to grow. a red is likely to stay in the closet until you use it on shoots. other cameras capture the moment constantly. the canon will come down in price. and lets wait to see the new dslr style camera they have planned. even four cameras bought to 1 red is a competitive edge if you sell more units

    • Lucas Adamson on 11.4.11 @ 12:35PM

      There’s definitely a bit wide gap between the likes of the AF100 and the Scarlet, and that’s the area I’d like to put my money (but more than the cost of the Scarlet, obviously).

  • I can’t believe people are welling to pay 20$ for the C300, wich ain’t offering anything new… From Canon, el queso de la tostada it’s in the new 4K lenses that nobody has even mentioned.
    I’ve been Canon user for year (GL2, XL1, XL2, 5DmkII, 7D, 60D) and never (shame on me) NEVER been on a production with RED cameras (not even the ONE)… But if I had the money now, I’ll go with RED, no quetions ask. A ti PL Scarlet with the new 4K Canon prime lenses. Now that’s fucking… ME DAY DREAMING!!! XD

    P.d. I saw some artifacs (like when pushing a grain reduction filter too TOO far) in Vicent Laforet’s “Mobius”… And it kind makes me feel used (wating for moths, for THIS!.. I know, I know, internet videos are not the best reference… but, I haven’t seen streamed RED footage with such a thing) Plus, I never had a good experience with MOTION Jpeg footage, sooooo…

  • Lliam Worthington on 11.4.11 @ 12:22PM

    God love you Koo. Such a breath of fresh air.

    I also put my order in today for a Scarlet for my Indie feature. Incredible release.
    As t many of the above posts, I’ve already spent my patience posting a critical post of Philip Blooms take on NOV 3. I think he’s fantastic. But people are simply not being realistic or bipartisan when they are comparing these cameras. And many others have no idea of the power of RAW let alone what it means to have a camera that you can release for IMAX for 14K.

    Scarlet is pulling down the divide. Canon are pulling something else.

    Also, just realised, your undoubtedly going to be posting Scarlet goodies left right and centre now Koo!!!

    And it will be a boon for film makers for years to come I’m sure.

    Very cool stuff. Exciting days.

    Best Wishes


    • Thanks Lliam! I’ll definitely be posting more RED stuff but don’t want to forget about DSLRs either. Big plans for the site!

  • Well RED is not an upstart company by any means. They’ve been around for years now offering 4K camera’s. They are owned by the man who created Oakley Sun Glasses. But until they get there heads out of their butts and allow dealers to offer the product, this too like previous units will go by the way-side. Because if you can’t mass market or sell the product effectively, what good is it.

  • Me too. After the a fixed lens scarlet for 6k became a no-sho, I bought the 7D and Nikon prime lenses, a Merlin steadicam, and a Sennheiser shotgun mounted in the hotshoe spot. I concentrate on keeping the shot moving (when the script allows it). And I love abusing the 7D, ha ha – knowing I can afford to trash the camera really has me placing the camera in hazardous places. So far the equipment still works perfectly and I am a happy crapper.

    Here is a link to a slo mo scene I shot with the 7D a few weeks ago.


    and a big Yes, if I had the loot to spend and get that Scarlet X, I would – for sure. Those specs are in-f’n credible!. I love tech that pushes that envelope for us filmmakers, this is all good stuff, and exciting. Someday I will upgrade my format. For now, I will do the best with what I have.

  • The thing is: why bother buying a camera? If you make a living out of renting the camera, OK. Otherwise, you’ll end up with an obsolete camera using an obsolete CODEC 6 months from now and will be forced to sel4 it for a few bucks, if any. Every production is meant to rent equipment. If you don’t have the budget for, say, a 4-week rental of an Alexa (or even an 5D), then you’re not at a professional level. And then, why bother reading and commenting this articles about this “great” cameras? Shoot with your iPhones. If you’re that great a director, you’ll make it.

    • I agree. But I’ll be renting it.

      • Personally, owning a camera enables you to be an expert in operating the camera and knowing it’s limitations. But more importantly, it enables you to shoot ‘films’ with much less cost. I think becoming a great film-maker is about practice. How much practice can I do at $500/day? After 28 days of rental I’d own a Scarlet X. If this camera cost $100,000, rental would make more sense, but $14,000?

        And I completely disagree about the camera being obsolete in 6 months… Great glass will keep the Scarlet X relevant for years. We’ll be looking to buy one as soon as the initial frenzy dies down a bit early next year.

        We’ve enjoyed using Canon products, and I respect them, but kudos to Red for finally delivering a real blow to the chin of foreign manufacturers that have doled out high end technology to only the elite for years. Let the battle truly begin.

    • Man, your comments are a really good fit for Canon’s products! You really have no idea of what it means, finally having an affordable camera that shoots 4K RAW! With no compromises! No shitty codecs! No Moiree! That works with most lenses! Etc…

      Everyone is an iDirector these days… Few know how to make a difference with a tool like Scarlet in their hands!!!

      I’m really stoked for Koo getting a Scarlet and can’t wait to see the sure fire results!!! Stay stoked! Stay proud! Your film will benefit tremendously from your decision!

      T ; )~

  • I had to order one, this camera is a steal at 14k.

  • Russell Steen on 11.4.11 @ 2:32PM

    The turnover and dropping prices of new technology is making rentals less attractive, or purchases more attractive, but I never bought a camera package because those I knew who did always tried to fit the project into the limits of their package. Rental meant getting whatever you needed for the shot (within budget constraints) dictated by the story. There were those who bought specialty products that were hard to get or very expensive to rent so they would have those tools available. If you’re buying a Red because you can afford it and don’t care if two months after the check clears someone comes up with a $300 full frame sensor iphone modification with a PL mount that sends RAW footage via the cloud, go for it. If buying a Red means you plan to shoot and direct your film, let me offer a bit of free advice. NO! If the director owns the camera, will he cringe when it’s being hung out a 6th floor window, or buried in dust, sprayed with sweat, or has a cable connector pulled out on a dolly run? Here’s the deal KOO. You obviously can do a lot more than most, but you can’t do everything. Hire experts and channel your efforts into directing or you will almost excel at two things. As amazing as the one man band stuff is, collaboration between experts is how great films are made. The sum is greater than the parts only if the parts are directed to add into the equation. Your DP should be a better DP than you are. In fact, that should apply to camera assistants, lighting, grip, audio, hair, make up, etc. Your actors need to be better at acting than you. It’s permissible to have PA’s that don’t do their job as well as you could, but not preferable.

    • All excellent and very useful points but not sure how relevant to the fact that these cameras do represent a significant although obviously incremental lowering of the barriers to entry in feature making.

    • Oh, lord knows I’m not trying to do everythig myself. Don’t worry about that! And who knows, on Man-child we may use the SCARLET as a B cam (and rent another SCARLET or EPIC as A). It’s a sports film with action scenes requiring coverage, after all. If my feature was the ONLY consideration for this camera, I wouldn’t have ordered it. Hear you loud and clear!

  • The 2/3 in. sensor kills it for me. The whole reason for the HDSLR craze was for that narrow depth of field you get with a large sensor.

  • Most first time filmakers-writers like myself, just do not have the money to go pro. No big crew, etc. It’s just not there. And it’s a waste of a life to save money up for 5 years or go around begging for bucks. It makes more sense to practice test shots — to work on your film language narrative on say…the new iphone or even a canon Mark II D. I don’t see anything wrong with doing as much as you can on your own in a small, small budget because you control as much of the process as you can without yelling at your crew who may not know how to do anything or can only work as a team when there’s a paycheck involved. If I budget an indie feature at under 50 grand…and put a lot of time into pre prod. working out my boards and lighting and camera tests…and go back and forth on the rewrites — GETTING RID OF MY PROBLEMS — in the much cheaper writing stage; I can pull this off.
    But there’s a lot of things most of you normal working folks are going to do I can’t. Why? Cause of lack of
    money. So…I have to think and create outside the box — which is not working with a solid, professional crew, etc., because the money is just not there.

  • Soon, we´ll see a RED with the price of a 5d shooting at RAW 4k resolution, but meanwhile, i consider a RED for $10K it´s a good deal.

  • Koo,

    Renting a cam for your shoot should be $1500 per week. Most rental houses have a 3 day week rental policy. You are going to spend $9k more than you need from your budget renting this camera. Even if you were shooting only on weekends, rental houses have a 1 day charge for camera per weekend. That’s $7500. You would still be saving half the cost of the camera by renting. Food for thought. Good luck on your film!

    • I hear you. And that would be totally true if I were using Kickstarter money to buy the camera. But I’m not, so it’s kind of different… writing a post about this now!

  • While it’s “neat” that these cameras are democratizing the industry, it seems odd that it would take their release to do so. Truth is, there have always been options to shoot films on a low budget. Many filmmakers started with 8mm. Indies were being produced regularly starting in the 80s with An Arri and a bunch of 16mm (Slacker, El Marriachi, Clerks, being some of the famous darlings of that batch.) And 16mm isn’t THAT expensive when if you maintained disciplined shooting ratios. (A skill that I’ve noticed some people who never shoot on film lack.) A few (award-winning) Dogme 95 films were shot on mini-DV if I recall correctly.

    They do make it easier to shoot for that once heralded “big-budget” look for no budget at all. Maybe a more appropriate sentiment would be democratization of “slick looking” because in the past two and half decades, if you had a strong script and knew your way around the actors, you could have produced a feature film.

  • One more very important thing. Field of view. While the Scarlet sensor is full frame at 4k, it isn’t at 2k which is where you get your best compression setting. Its 1/4 the size at 2k. This mean your FOV will be narrower effectively doubling the focal length of your lenses. Your 25mm will behave like a 50mm. This is a Digital s-16 camera in that respect, and will may have noise issues because of it. As a VFX guy who has comped with Epic footage, I can only recommend you shoot tests with ALL of the cameras in this price range before purchasing. Rent an f3, a Scarlet, and a C300. I used to work with Sam Nicholson, and he raved about the C-300 in private because of how clean the new chips are. He mentioned other much more expensive cameras with better specs on paper and the c300 kicked their ass in side by side image comparisons when he and his guys were.pixel peeping at the frames. Plus rolling shutter is negligible. Do your self a favor and test drive all 3 before you buy. You will be glad you did. The sdi out on the F3 and c300 give really fantastic results.

    • RedKiteBart on 11.5.11 @ 3:16PM

      One other thing is that at 2k HDR you have a full frame cropfactor of 2×1.5 (s35) = 3x. There goes your wideangle options no fisheye action. And @120fps 1k has a 6x cropfactor.

  • Sam also thought the c300 was a better tool for green screen work after using it on his film Xxit. The compers at his shop loved the footage out of the sdi out because of the doubled up green channel that the c300 has.



    • Chris,

      Not even amateur vfx guys are looking to work with 8 bit 4:2:2 50Mbps long GOP MPEG and I’m sure I’ve read the C300 SDI output is interlaced (?) Canon are not playing in the same league as RED or any league at all considering what the hacked GH2 is capable of. The truth is that in 5 years, we’ve gone from laughing at RED to laughing at everyone else. Not to be unkind but in 2012 8bit, 50Mbps GOP is perhaps better suited for family album videos of baby, hardly a format that should be in serious consideration for cinema aquisition.

  • Until I see some footage and get some feedback on the crop factors and the overall workflow, it would be difficult to really compare and reach a decision. I liked the C300 footage in both Mobius and XXIt.

    I actually think that, do to workflow issues with Red(s), the C300 will get some heavy usage in TV Land over the next couple of years and that Canon will get more “with it” the more that they earn a valid place (however large or small). All of the competitor’s are going to have to start really pushing the envelope maybe even steaming it open (some would argue that Red has already done that).

    Promising times for all.

  • By workflow issues I mean the amount of RIG needed to push Scarlet footage through the pipeline. Perhaps only “issues ” for those in need of sleek workflow.

  • “f you’re not excited about this, you’re not into cinematography”

    Actually, I’m not excited about this precisely *because* I’m into cinematography. I realize the ramifications of offering this tech at this price-point, but the limitations of CMOS-sensor cameras will simply never appeal to me. Also, while it’s true that the specs don’t make the movie, there are a LOT of filmmakers who think it does, and these people invariably obsess over RED cameras, which can get annoying.

  • I’m sure there are many talented cinematographers using CMOS sensors that have created beautiful looking art that would disagree with you. But each to their own. Not all of us get to use high-end non-CMOS cameras.

    • I never said CMOS couldn’t produce beautiful images. The stuff I’ve seen come out of RED cameras is breathtaking. All I said was that I, personally, couldn’t get excited about new CMOS cameras, no matter the cost. If you’ve ever seen a Jell-O-like iPhone video due to the creator waving it around a lot, what you’re seeing are rolling shutter artifacts, which are a limitation of the technology: they can’t be fixed in post (mitigated somewhat with recent filters, but it’s still a herculean task), and this persists even in professional camcorders—not that you would wave those around, but if you want to shoot fast-motion, like a chase scene for instance, it becomes a hurdle that you then have to shoot around. If you’re OK with that, then fine, but you should at least be aware of it, which I feel not many are.

      Also, there’s nothing “high-end” about non-CMOS cameras, unless you’re talking about analog, film-loading cameras. The common alternative, CCD sensors, have been around longer than CMOS and therefore probably cheaper. They are not without their own limitations (vertical smear, for instance), but they lack rolling shutter artifacts and thus, until they come out with something better than either of these, remain my sensor of choice.

  • Hi,
    Its not just about specifications. Red cameras have impressive specs, but are not reliable at all. I will convince my producers to rent three Canon C for an upcoming TV serie. Alexa would be my first choice, but there are some budget limitations. Anyway, 2k is far enough good for TV. I even guess that the majority of an audience can’t even see the differences in a movie theater.

  • No one is talking about the BIG PROBLEM WITH SCARLET: It “windows” the s35mm sensor and crops the field of view with each step up in frame rate. IE 5k 12fps is THE ONLY frame rate that will give you the full s35mm field of view (and DOF accordingly) of your lenses. 4k 24 FPS will be a cropping the s35mm field of view. This is terrible. When you get to 120 FPS and 2k you’ve got a 50% crop of your field of view which will make any wide angle lens into a telephoto. This is a huge issue and I wish someone would explain it in full with charts and FOV and DOP comparisons. Of course, Red is talking about it. See here: for a s35mm comparison which hints at this issue. Phillip Bloom also mentions this on his first comments on Scarlet, though he ordered one too. Any thoughts??

    • Everyone knows that the sensor gets windowed, it is not some shockingly big secret. It has been talked about and understood since the Red One came out 5 years ago. Just like shooting 60fps on a 7d can’t be done at 1080p. Lots of people don’t mind trading the crop sensor off in the name of higher framerates.

  • Edit: That is Red is NOT talking about it.

  • I have been shooting on the Epic camera for the last couple months. Scarlet is the same as the Epic, but doesn’t give you the higher framerates at higher resolutions that you get on Epic ( 5k @ 120fps, 2k @300fps). There are no rolling shutter issues that I have noticed. I have shot out of moving cars with a Canon 7d, or a goPro, and those cameras have a serious rolling shutter. Fences posts look like they are at a 45 degree angle with 7D, and the GoPro is seriously Jello when it hits bumps. After shooting 3 days out of a side of a car with the Epic, I am happy to say that there is no rolling shutter.

    Also, you can’t argue with 13.5 stops of dynamic range, 5lb body, raw recording, half the price of the new Canon stuff coming out, 1/6 the price of Alexa, more resolution, less weight, etc. Plus, rock solid easy to use touch screen operation, and a completely transparent customer focused company who designs and builds in the US.

    Camera renting is not what it used to be, the model is changing. The rental model exists so heavily in this industry because nobody could afford to buy a 35mm camera, and stuff was priced for the niche markets they served.

    • Thanks Jay, that’s what I’m hoping for with the EPIC. There were a number of rolling shutter issues in Kevin Smith’s RED STATE, but that was the RED ONE M-X and the EPIC/SCARLET readout should be quite a bit faster.

  • Koo,

    Do you have a list of accessories you ordered? Did you order the SCARLET-X titanium PL mount package? I was thinking of the Canon EF mount package and then just buying the additional Canon lenses I need. You mentioned 3rd party batteries, where did you find them and are there other items you are ordering 3rd party? Thanks, Rodney