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RED's SCARLET-X Camera Shoots 5K Stills and 4K Motion, Ships December 1st for $10K

11.3.11 @ 9:30PM Tags : , , , , ,

I guessed RED’s 2/3″ SCARLET was dead, and now it’s confirmed. RED just announced the SCARLET-X, which more than backs up their claim that they were bringing a Bazooka to tonight’s knife fight with Canon. The SCARLET X is not the low-cost “3K for $3K” SCARLET announced years ago, but is instead the interchangeable lens camera formerly known as the EPIC-S, and it looks like an amazing deal. It is very, very close to being the same Camera as the $28,000 EPIC-X — it’s the same size and weight, has the same large sensor, takes the same accessories, and maxes out at the same 5K resolution — except the SCARLET-X starts at under $10K. Canon C300, we hardly knew ye.

The SCARLET X will do 5K resolution at 12 FPS (for still shooting), 4K at 1-25FPS, 2K at 60FPS, 1K at 120FPS, and also does Quad HD (which is popular for downsampling to 1080P since it’s precisely double the resolution in both dimensions). It uses REDCODE RAW at 50MB/sec (which is 440 megabits/sec), comes with a side SSD slot, Canon lens mount, and will ship December 1st. Pricing will be $9,750 for the Canon mount version and $11,250 w/ a PL mount lens (and the mounts are interchangeable).

Here’s the breakdown of the ordering options at present:

There’s also supposed to be a $15k PL mount package, but I haven’t spotted it yet. If, like me, you want one, you can place a deposit at the link below (if their site is working, that is…).


Also, given REDUSER is down, if you can’t access this FAQ, here are the contents for now:

The Bomb Squad will be buried for the next week or so… so please expect delays. We would encourage you to read the FAQs (we will update) and try and resist the temptation to call in unless you have a question that we can’t answer here.

When will Scarlet-X begin shipping?
Dec 1st, 2011 for Scarlet with aluminum mount. Orders for Scarlet with a Ti PL mount will ship earlier. Add $1500.

Are there any considerations or discounted packages for RED ONE owners on Scarlet-X?
No. RED ONE owners have special consideration for EPIC upgrades only.

How can you offer Scarlet-X at this price when EPIC is so much more?
Data rates and processing power. ASICs that weren’t fast enough for EPIC… just became a gold mine for Scarlet. This, and board component reduction, allows us to lower the data rate throughput and significantly reduce our costs over volume.

Why can’t I shoot 24fps 4K HDRx?
Data rates and processing power. We are working on a future version of HDRx with modified compression to enable this possibility. It will be a firmware upgrade and free.

Can Scarlet-X be upgraded to the new Dragon sensor when it is released?
Yes. However the upgrade will be more expensive than upgrading an EPIC due to the necessity to change several primary boards. There will still be data rate limitations to Scarlet after the upgrade as compared with EPIC.

When will the Dragon sensor upgrade be available?
2nd half of 2012.

Will I be able to get RED Armor extended warranty for SCARLET-X?
Yes, RED Armor will be available for SCARLET-X for $1500.

Will firmware upgrades be free for Scarlet-X as they are for EPIC?

Does Scarlet have the same native dynamic range as EPIC?

Will all features be enabled in Scarlet-X when it ships?
No. We will continue to add features as time goes on, some of which were never expected. Scarlet-X feature additions and improvements will happen simultaneously with EPIC.

Will there be a different REDCINE-X Professional for Scarlet?
No. REDCINE-X Professional works both EPIC and Scarlet-X files seemlessly.

Will all EPIC Modules work on Scarlet-X?

Are there any modules that are specifically for Scarlet-X?
No. EPIC and Scarlet share exactly the same accessories.

Since Scarlet-X has a lower data rate, does it burn less power and have greater battery life?
Yes. More than slight and less than a lot.

Does Scarlet-X have the same user-interface as EPIC?
Yes. They are brother and sister.

Is the side SSD module on Scarlet the same as the one on Epic?

Will the Ti PL Mount and Ti Canon Mount work on Scarlet?
Yes. All mounts for EPIC work with Scarlet. Everything in the EPIC/Scarlet system is interchangeable.

Can I upgrade to the Ti Canon mount or Ti PL mount instead of buying the Aluminum Canon mount?
Yes. You just pay the difference in price. And it will not hold up your order. Actually, it will ship 1st because we have a supply of Ti PL mounts.

Will anything be is short supply when I order my Scarlet?
Yes. Side Handles, REDmote and EVF. Any delay in Scarlet is most likely to be caused by the Canon aluminum mount.

When will you get production of all parts up to reasonable levels?
February. We have spent a ton of energy to get out of back order status. The team has targeted February as the “end of pain” month.

How much does Scarlet weigh?
Exactly the same as EPIC.

Will Scarlet have Playback enabled?
Yes. Playback is being released before shipping.

[image via @DanielxHicks]


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Description image 93 COMMENTS

  • Jacques E. Bouchard on 11.3.11 @ 9:35PM

    This washes out the bad taste left in my mouth by the C300.

  • holy shit. 10k with a EOS lens mount…I think i just came all over myself. Where is some footage?!

  • Indeed. Canon are assholes. What are they thinking? Red will outsell them like crazy

  • McBlakewich on 11.3.11 @ 9:38PM


  • I feel a tinge of pity for Canon right now

    • I do too. Geez, they flew in all the bigwigs from Japan. But what were they thinking? I said just before the announcement that they wouldn’t bring a knife to a gunfight, but it looks like they did.

  • FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Wow! All I can say is wow! I am pumped with adrenaline. Red just made Canon look stupid.

  • Jacques E. Bouchard on 11.3.11 @ 9:40PM

    I used to be faithful to Canon. But I would actually consider embarking on the RED path with this camera for high-end corporate videography, advertising and filmmaking, and keeping my respectable XHA1 for event videography. This is actually a feasible investment.

  • Lucas Adamson on 11.3.11 @ 9:40PM

    Canon need not even bother releasing. Amazing!

    • three years late at three times the price. Wow thanks so much. WTF RED.

      • Lucas Adamson on 11.3.11 @ 9:52PM

        Well you got the 3K for 3K thing, it’s now 3 years for 3x :)

        It’s half the price of the C300, and is a considerably better camera. It’s the best $10K camera. It’s what I had hoped Canon might do. Canon’s release really makes this look better than it is – we should have expected this of RED. Canon really have disappointed me tonight.

        • Jacques E. Bouchard on 11.3.11 @ 9:57PM

          I’m guessing Martin Scorsese is kicking himself tonight for picking the wrong party. :-)

          • Lucas Adamson on 11.3.11 @ 10:13PM

            Actually, thinking about it, I think the Canon will sell – they will just have to drop the price CONSIDERABLY which I’m sure they can (must?) do. But how low would they need to go? I mean, it records sound, is 422, highish bitrate, but not so much as it eats hard drives – you could make an Indie feature with it – I’d buy it for $7K, at a push, maybe, as realistically, the RED is $13K once its got it’s bells and whistles. The RED is too much for me to own – I just can’t afford it, and many won’t, but I would LOVE a RAW video camera!

  • This will be a great camera to buy in a year or two when they have all the bugs fixed.

    • You know that with all those bugs great directors have shot great films with the RED ONE? And it still running right now. You can try this yourself with SCARLET, if you do not succeed do not blame the camera though!

  • This almost seems unreal. Holy shit, holy shit! I still can’t get on Only Red…

  • This is more interesting to me, simply because of the price. And it appears to have better features too, waddayaknow

  • Canon have made an awful mistake. Good lord.

    Canons pricing is madness.

  • Guess I’ll just have to take out another college loan haha

  • Its not your next camera anymore, koo?

  • WOOOOW Holy Sh… that is what I am talking about .. There is an other history that has just begun … and it is in RED

  • What about the fixed lens version?

      • Seriously, This is kind of annoying, We spend a year or so planning for the announcement of a fixed lens version and then all of a sudden we get a curve ball with specs on a totally different product. WTF?

        • Lucas Adamson on 11.3.11 @ 10:15PM

          Why in the hell would you plan for a fixed lens model? Scarlet died years ago. The spec on this wasn’t strongly hinted at, was it?

          • They have been showing it for years in the wild, talking about it, and showing footage from the “fixed version”. The newest footage released was from the fixed version just a few months ago. In fact this version is news to me as i thought they had delayed the canon/PL versions.

  • Whoaw , I really don’t like red marketing, been very critical of it, but this time he is right, they did bring bazooka to a knife fight. They are launching a 4k raw camera for under $ 10 000, full package for $ 14 000, when Canon is giving us 50 mbit 8 bit 1080p camera for $ 20 000. November 3 will be remembered as RED day and not Canon day.

    When Jim said it was the most important launch date, in fact he was right, this is the biggest day in red history. I was always saying that they should rationalise their production. They were always putting more and more features and spec that made the thing costlier and out of reach of many, and we are not talking about delays. They just needed to give what 90 % of users would need at a more affordable price. Not everyone needs to shoot at 90 fps 5k.

  • That was a hell of a day… RED guys are really awesome. We shouldn’t forget that Canon does some great stuff for us poor, aspiring filmmakers, but RED definitely brought it to the next level. Holy shit.

  • not to mention they are promising firmware upgrades with improvements something Canon has difficulty to do, you gotta rely in no official ones, moreover, market prices for Canon cameras drop way more than Red’s

  • It looks like the RED probably wins handily, but I’d still be interested in a side-by-side comparison with the Canon. Do we yet know anything about how the dynamic range, low light performance, and effective resolution compare between the two?

    • Just found out the Canon is, according to their own PDF spec sheet, 8-bit. That doesn’t bode well for it, but I’d like to see the side-by-sides as well.

      • Lucas Adamson on 11.3.11 @ 10:49PM

        That is sooo lame. 8 bit is not a revolution. 8 bit is a massive drag from the days of miniDV!

  • Didn’t Canon come out with a camera as well, forgot all about it…don’t even remember the name

  • So are we, therefore, paying for Canon c300′s low-light capabilities and not much else, or does this Scarlet X beat the new Canon camera out as well in that field?

  • Cinema lives.

  • Wow, looks impressive. I wonder if many people will still be keen to pony up the extra cash for the Epic? This seems to have basically all the important features at a fraction of the price….

  • This is why i love RED canon stay out of motion picture

  • Now all it needs is an iPad app.

  • I really want to know what the low-light performance is compared to the Canon. I have invested in a bunch of Canon glass, cards, and so forth. If the RED isn’t as great as the Canon EOS c300, then investing in the Canon Al Mount kit (14k), plus backup cards, hard drives to hold the massive footage, and light rentals will probably far exceed the Canon c300′s 20k price tag.


    • Also, and just to add onto my own thoughts- most of us are going to be outputting at 1080p anyways, right? 2k is the highest most movie theatres can support as well.

      • People keep saying there are no movie theaters doing 4k projection, and maybe it’s just cause I live in LA, but we have a lot of 4k projectors here. It is stunning and actually exists.

        • I live in a small town (150,000) in Germany, and we have two movie theaters here with 4K projectors. It’s not that uncommon anymore! :)

      • dont forget that the extra res allows you to pan around and zoom in post within the frame, whilst maintaining a high resolution image, should the need arise.

    • Also, you know the Canon will work out of the box and won’t be running beta software that has bugs/crashes. Can’t say that for sure with the new RED.

      • I agree red let me down tonight the fps is not that hot and they as a company don’t know what direction to go in. And if you think I am just talking look at thier past. They dont know who they target market is. They company have no vision . I would not be surprised if this company is pushing bankruptcy. Not to rain on you all out side party but this cam could have stay under 7k with all the extras. I don’t see this camera nor the c300 worth buying. Maybe that mark 5d iii looking piece would be worth. Every one throw 4k around and not really know it true meaning

  • Uh Oh. We may have a game changer here. under 10k! tiny footprint! 4k, 2k, 1k, 1-120fps, redcode RAW!? Yikes I’m actually excited.

  • hahah this will benefit from canon’s new cine lenses. Poor c300

  • Where is Koo? I would like to see what you have to say about that…The story in RED

    • Where am I? Trying to buy one of these suckers!

      • I hear you Bro. I will wait to see some of the footages.
        Are you going to shoot ManChild in the new Scarlet X?

      • I’ve Heard That We Might Have An Easier Time Getting One Sooner By Going Directly To The RED Studio Itself Vs Ordering. Do You Know If This Has Any Truth To It?

  • @Brendan RED is Always Ahead Of The Game When It Comes To Motion Picture. Cannon May Be When It Comes To Stills But Some Of Your Assesment Of The Scarlet X Vs The New Cannon Are In Many Ways Doubful Of The Scarlet X. To Answer One Of Your Concerns Regarding The Price Of The Accesories You May Need For Full Functionality Of The Scarlet I Can Say This. The RED Scarlet As You Stated In Your Concern Is Designed To Shoot At An Extremely High Resolution Compared To Any Other Camera In It’s Price Range Today. Therefore It Seems Like Flash Cards Would Need To Be Increased At A Steady Pace The More You Shoot. RED Designed The Memory Cards To The RED ONE, THE EPIC, And The SCARLET X With You, The Filmaker In Mind. The Flash Cards Are Designed To Dramatically Compress And Lower The Amount Of Information The Filmaker Shot In For Reasonable Storage Space And Then Blow Everything Back Up To Its Original Recorded, Shot In File Size Upon Upload To Your Computer. So You Wont Spare Memory Space Just Because Your Shooting In A Resolution Thats Close To Five Times The Size Of 1080p. As For The Hard Drives. Your Going To Need Hard Drives Irregardless Of What Your Shooting with. A Cannon Super 35mm Camera Is Going To Take Up Alot Of Space As Well. Hard Drives Are Needed In Professional Digital Cinematography Of Any Level. Lighting Is Always Going To Be Expensive And They’re Are Always Ways To Create Your Own Ambience Of Light Without Delving Too Far Into Your Pockets. I’ll be Breaking The Bank To One Own. But Only Half As Much As I Will To Own The New Cannon, A Camera Capable Of Less Than Half Of What The Scarlet Can Do. Why Would They Create A Camera With A 35mm Sensor That Shoots In 1080p. That Will Not Fit On A Big Screen. Go With The Scarlet Friend. You Will Be Saving Money And Making A Better Choice For Yourself In The Long Run.

    • Landen, could you retype? It hurt my eyes after the first two lines to read.

      • I take that back- made it through and seem to agree with you. However, I do feel like Clayton is right- Canon will work out the bugs- RED I’ve heard is notorious for just releasing cameras with betaware.

  • Pleasantly surprised. I’m not about to drop the 5 digits it’ll take to keep a working RED kit, but I can’t wait to rent this bad boy out.

  • FREE software updates, Sony. Hope you’re listening.

  • Here’s what I have decided on doing PERSONALLY:

    I am Directing a new weekly 45 minute teen web show beginning in January called Closure. We plan on exporting all the shows out to 720P for the web. Using a RED on a show like this… with it’s workflow to me… is Pointless. I do plan on getting the Canon C3oo after I see it’s dynamic range, and seeing some footage shot with it. I am a complete Canon supporter, and probably will be forever. This is only their first step into Cinema, and I guarantee they will find themselves evolving more and more into Cinema Quality.

    However, I am not only subjecting myself to Web Shows. I am a filmmaker who wants “FILM MAKER QUALITY”. Therefore I will be going RED also. With it’s price point… I can NOT pass this up! Everyone is upset that the FPS aren’t where they’d like them to be. Here’s something to digest… We only need 24P. If you want that slow motion use something like Twixtor. Much cheaper and easy to use.

    I’m sold on both the C300 and the RED Scarlet X. Both for completely different reasons!

    • Have you used twixtor before? It has really limited capabilities outside of very specific things. If you’re using it in a narrative way, you basically have to write your shot around twixtor instead of the other way around.

      • Twixtor can be tricky indeed. Hair or water are very difficult to get right without morphing artefacts that look unnatural. Nothing beats the real super-slomo of a camera like the Phantom.

  • The price is def very attractive! Wish I had more going on right now to have a good excuse to buy this camera. 1K-120fps for action shots, yeah!!

  • I do wish the numbers were reported better.

    An EPIC-M is a $39,500 brain, nothing else included (not $28K), you can’t even shoot with it at this price, same goes for the brain of the Scarlet-X at sub $10K, you can’t shoot a thing with it until you spend more.

    EPIC-M package $58K
    Scarlet-X package $14K

    add lenses and you can finally make a moving image.

  • Ok, love the specs, *want* this sooo bad.

    However, my main concern is service. I’m based in the Netherlands and from what I’ve understood RED doesn’t have a service center in mainland Europe. So, if I invest in this as my main camera, I cannot afford to lose it for a few weeks when it’s being serviced in either the UK or USA (with all the additional cost of shipment).

    Another aspect is – as much as I covet having HDR-x – do I really *need* it? Most of my clients are perfectly happy with 720p as their output format (I mainly shoot for online use), because it looks great on their site, on YouTube and acceptable on their LCD screens. I suspect this to last for at least another year, so the C300 will give me what I need. Probably even with less noise and without moire / rolling shutter. Down the line Canon promises to deliver a 4K DSLR.

    So it’s a balancing act between want and need.

    • Good Q about the service center, I’m not sure about that, but I think RED announced expansion plans on REDUSER recently.

      If you’re clients mostly want 720p for online use, I’d think about the Sonys or the Canon… You really can’t tell the difference between 4K and 1080p (much less 720p) anywhere except the theater (assuming the theater even has a 4K projector, that is).

      • If they sell enough Scarlets those expansion plans will likely speed up too. I would be happiest with a service center right in Amsterdam, but Paris or Berlin is also fine. Crossing the channel (UK) or overseas (USA) just feels not that handy. Maybe they can make arrangements with rental agencies so that you can buy some sort of insurance that you won’t be without your camera for prolonged periods of time (should it be needed).

        I like 4K mainly for the crop factor it will give you in post. Basically, it means you can shoot wide / medium / close with a single camera, given that the output is 720p or, to a lesser extend, 1080p. On the other hand, I also wonder if Premiere Pro on my pretty powerful Win7 workstation is capable of handling it with an nVidia card. And I have no idea if you can get both a Red Rocket and an nVidia card working simultaneously.

        Sony is not an option as I am heavily invested in EF glass and there’s currently no mount for it on the FS100 or F3. That’s what I like about Scarlet-X (it even allows for autofocus, where the C300 is fully manual). Birger and MTF Services are working on mounts, but the latter has a break-out box to control aperture electronically inside the lens. That means you can’t mount it on a Glidecam, handheld rig or monopod. Then again, I can’t imagine me running and gunning with the Scarlet-X.

        • Richard, you could try to establish a deal with Camelot or Camera Rentals. Both in Amsterdam. They have great technicians for day 2 day service.
          Personally I think that the Scarlet is great for ‘sketching’, for pursuing personal projects. But it wouldn’t be my first choice if i’d be directing a commercial. The Alexa is a much more reliable camera and a true system camera.
          Also tying yourself down to one system could also limit your freedom of choice to pick the camera suitable for the job. You have to earn that camera back right. That’s why I ilke renting, you do not only get a camera, but also the service of the rental company. When shooting big budget commercials you need stuff that works, and works flawlessly.

          Curious to see though what all these Scarlet buyers will produce. Because when I look on Vimeo to see what’s been produced with all these nice cheap cameras like GH2 or 5D, mostly I see people shooting tests, time-lapses and landscapes. No story, no creative solutions, nothing original and no craft in filmmaking. Of all these people that buy these things, that is a very low output. So are we going to see more crap, but now in glorious 4K? I hope not.

          Equipment is merely a tool. Specs don’t matter as long as the image looks good and serves the purpose of expressing your creativity. I don’t see enough stories how people used their shiny cameras in the story and their creative process. Instead I read a lot about 4K, 3K, nitrates bla bla.
          Be original !

  • The ScarletX is nice but my question is where is the SCARLET 8X fixed lens ?

  • If you want to shoot 4K on a Scarlet you are going to need a few SSD media modules as these will fill fast, You will also need batteries. Outdoor shoots you will need a Bomb EVF or some other form of EVF.

    Expect to pay $20K for a professional Scarlet kit to do paid work.

    Don’t want to shoot 4K? Maybe 2K, well the sensor crops = no wide angle shots

    Audio, Welcome to mini jacks for incamera sound, good by Pro XLR!

    • @Toobs- Are you saying that when filming at a lower resolution the camera actually crops the image?
      Is it not possible to film at a lower resolution but still use the cameras image width?

  • Red has been failing to deliver on their promises for years and years. I can’t really believe anything they say.

    • I am disappointed that RED posted shipping dates of December 1st the day the Canon was announced but now here i am waiting. Sure, they shipped a couple on that date but that was not the impression i got. I wish RED would not do this! Why?! We are all in the same gang!

  • Koo

    Greetings … I congratulate you on this website.

    I have a Nikon D5100.
    What is your opinion of this camera, and give me advice to optimize it.

    I am a photographer by profession and worked as a publicist for 15 years … Now, I
    tell stories through film. Was to become my new passion.

    Thanks in advance.

    Remember … Nikon D5100
    Gabriel Lezcano

  • Will you have aperture control using EOS lenses on the RED?