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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.

SENSOR 14 MEGAPIXEL MYSTERIUM-X™
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
ACQUISITION FORMATS 5K FF REDCODE RAW (Full Frame)
4K HD REDCODE RAW
3K HD REDCODE RAW
1080p REDCODE RAW
1K REDCODE RAW
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.
MONITORING OPTIONS RED LCD 5″ Touchscreen Display
BOMB EVF™ High Definition Viewfinder
REMOTE CONTROL REDLINK Wireless, Ethernet, RS232, GPI Trigger
WEIGHT 5lbs. Body only
CONSTRUCTION Aluminum Alloy
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.

Link: RED SCARLET-X

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

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