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RED SCARLET-X Starts Shipping, Can Actually Play Back Files

11.19.11 @ 9:02AM Tags : , , ,

While many of us who ordered SCARLET-Xs right away have not yet been contacted about our orders, at least one SCARLET-X is in the wild, which means RED kept their promise of shipping on November 17th — almost. SCARLET-X brings with it an important feature, not just for SCARLET cameras but also for EPICs: playback. Here it is in action on the very first SCARLET-X:


I know, I know it seems stupid that a $30,000 camera like the EPIC couldn’t even play back its own video files, right? Well, yes and no. The ARRI ALEXA couldn’t either, initially, and without playback you’re forced into more of a film-like workflow… except instead of having to take your footage to the lab to be developed, you needed to offload the cards to a computer (which is much faster). Playing back 4K files is not easy for a full-size desktop computer, much less a 5lb box that looks an awful lot like a

still camera (right down to the color scheme). Still, playback is a welcome addition and no one’s going to argue against it.

Also of note: the RED ONE was a notoriously slow-to-boot camera, taking 90 seconds to start up, and it seems the SCARLET-X (and by extension EPIC) improves on that quite a bit:

Alright guys… I know you want to say it. “My $700 DSLR is faster to boot and has always had playback!” Go ahead…

[photo and videos via Tonaci Tran]

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Description image 30 COMMENTS

  • Man i wish i had this camera but one day i will get it

  • Footage!!!

  • Yeah, that’s pretty ridiculous actually… I suppose it is higher-end and needs to process much more data and whatnot, but still…

  • i think the reason they did this is because that when people are working on high budget movies they usually have a red drive and a video monitor of some sony usually from sony that they use to playback their footage so that is why i think that did that with the RED ONE

  • matt amrich on 11.19.11 @ 11:08AM

    Can i ask you Koo, i would really like to know one thing.. i know you have 5D mII and i would really love to see a portrait of some person shooted with 5D and scarlet in 5K hdrx mode in same conditions with same lens.. i have seen many good photos from red one and i would really like to see how it holds up to pro dslrs like 5D from stills side.. and i would really appreciate if those still images would be available for download..

    and maybe also some straight footage from scarlet for download so we ,who won´t find scarlet under the christmas tree , will have also nice christmas playing with 5k raw stills and 4k raw footage … please Koo tell me you do :D i don´t want anything this year from santa if you fulfill my wish :D

    • Trying to line up one such test! I have no idea when my cam will be getting here, but I’ll definitely shoot one.

      • matt amrich on 11.19.11 @ 1:38PM

        YES! thank you Koo! I´m looking forward for the test :)

      • I’ll do a test with an 50 or 85 CP.2 this week. Indoor and outdoor, epic vs 5d vs 7d vs gh2.

        • matus amrich on 11.21.11 @ 9:17AM

          sounds good… i hope your gh2 will be using all intra codec (the driftwoods Seaquake patch) and the 5D will be using magic lantern too.. i would like to see comparison with the highest quality possible from these little miracles.. and will it be also still comparison or video only? don´t forget to send us link somewhere in the comments or maybe contact Koo for the publishment.

    • Not to steal your thunder Koo, but there’s an answer to this question from Film Riot, who had an EPIC on loan for a short time and tested it against their 5D mkII:

      • matus amrich on 11.19.11 @ 1:55PM

        Hi Anton I already have seen this test.. but i want straight comparison from stills side.. anybody knows what are the pros and cons when shooting with 5D and scarlet..if i had money 4k raw vs 2k 4:2:0 with moire is no brainer for me…..but imagine you are a pro who makes living from photography and cinematography… you have your scarlet for video and your 5D or D3s for stills.. but scarlet has 12fps in 5k HDRx mode which has greater dynamic range than 5D or D3s .. 14mpix is enought , so i wanted to know if the scarlet would be better than 5D.. i would like to have 2 raw stills to download from each with same lens and same lighting conditions so i can play with them and find out how they show up in post..(or maybe some pro photographer would do this)…. you dont need to spend a lot of money on videocamera and stillcamera .. that´s why many people shoot video with dslrs and i want to know how good is scarlet in terms of still quality and if i need stillscamera allready if i would own a scarlet

        • If I try real hard.. it sounds like english.

          • matus amrich on 11.20.11 @ 5:14AM

            i apologize, i´m not native english speaker :) but i hope everybody understands what i was talking about …

        • I understand! Yes, given RED is pushing its cameras as video-still hybrids (as opposed to Canon’s still-video hybrids) and folks are shooting magazine covers on RED, I’m interested in this aspect too. I’m working on lining up a fashion shoot with a photographer friend and we’ll do RED and 5D Mark II (and maybe a Hasselblad?) side-by-side.

          • matus amrich on 11.20.11 @ 6:23PM

            that´s how i wanted to say it lol…i guess it´s time to improve my language skills! anyway, some medium format camera would be really great! wish you good luck with testing :)

  • Ryan Emanuel on 11.19.11 @ 12:34PM

    Koo what is your general post production process gonna be with your scarlet? I’m looking at sonnet’s thunderbolt options to have an external expansion that will accept a red rocket for my mac book pro. But that doesnt come out til January, however I probably wont have my scarlet til then either.

    • I’m going to be maxed out for a bit in terms of $$$, so I’ll probably just try REDCINE-X Pro and Premiere Pro. My Hackintosh should be able to play back the .R3D at 1/4 resolution for now…

      • Koo, about your post workflow, have you heard that DaVinci Resolve Lite 8.1.1 now can handle unlimited nodes and 4k,2k grading. Might work well for RED files. I also have a hackintosh, and would to know optimum graphics card to run it as it is always crashing on me when I import fcpxml.

  • Does anyone know if playback of 120+ fps displays in slow motion? I know that any footage shot at 120 or higher fps will already be slowed to perfection the second it’s uploaded to the computer. (wish my 60D would do this rather than having to use cinema tools for initial slow down)

  • My $700 DSLR is faster to boot and has always had playback!

  • Koo, are you going to buy any lenses for your Scarlet-x? Also “Tilta” is going to make a custom rig for Scarlet-X, and it’ll be very affordable.

  • Philip Bloom just did an informative article about the Scarlet weighing the pro and cons of the camera and how it compares to the Epic.

    To buy a Scarlet or not to buy, that is the question…
    http://philipbloom.net/2011/11/20/scarlet/

    • I will pass on Scarlet. Have my eye on 1Dx and EPIC rental if needed for slo-mo mostly.
      I love the FF aesthetics of my 5D. I’ve invested a lot in to Leica lenses and don’t want to have them cropped. 1Dx gives me: FF from 5D + 60p from 7D + scalling instead of line skipping + iframe codec. I’m happy :)

      • I’m really interested in seeing side by side comparisons of the Scarlet, 1Dx, and C300. The 1Dx’s sensor should put the effective resolution squarely between the 5D/7D and the C300, but it’d be interesting to see which one it comes closer too. If the 1Dx’s 1080p output is basically indistinguishable from the C300 and it has comparable low light performance (which it apparently does) and dynamic range, it could seemingly take a lot of customers from the C300.

        People who are interested in high resolution, high framerates, and high dynamic range will presumably get the Scarlet (or something more expensive, of course), so the only people who would get the C300 are those who want value better low-light performance and an easier workflow (and maybe some more subjective measures like skin tones). The question is whether someone in that latter camp would have any reason to pick the C300 over a 1Dx particularly at more than double the price.

  • The first footage is here!!!
    http://vimeo.com/32433131

    May I be hired as a NoFilmSchool Writer!? LOLz

    • Is it just me, or do the edges/details in that footage look unusually soft? Judging by the still frames, it seems like it’s probably just the way the footage is downsampled or compressed, but it’s still a bit odd.

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