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RED EPIC and SCARLET to Get ProRes*, DNxHD, and H.264 Recording Through New Module

09.20.12 @ 3:56PM Tags : , , ,

This post was going to go live far earlier but there’s been quite a bit of news regarding cameras. First Sony releases more models than we can keep track of, and then we get the Panasonic GH3 and Nikon D600. RED has been plugging away at their Meizler Module for some time now, and the amount of functionality shoved into one device is truly mind-boggling. Unfortunately, it comes at a price, but it will be one of those modules that will be very useful as a rental (unless you’ve got a lot of money to spend). Since there are so many, some of the more important specs are listed below.

Connections Include:

  • 1x 2B Lemo DSMC standard input power
  • 2x 2p 1B accessory power output
  • 1x 9p 1B Gig-E
  • 1x 10p 1B 232/422
  • 1x 4p 0B CAN
  • 1x HD-SDI video BNC
  • 1x Time Code BNC
  • 1x D-Tap output
  • 1x RED MINI-MAG Input

Some of the more interesting specs:

  • Proxy Recording – Record Proxy files to a RED MINI-MAG card and record REDCODE RAW to sideSSD simultaneously (DNxHD, H.264, ProRes)
  • Wireless Motor Control – Integrated Wireless communication between 3rd party hand controller and Meizler module. Internal wiring to front outputs for clean cable routing
  • Wireless Video – Transmit 720p or 1080p uncompressed video at 5Ghz. Wireless video system has <1ms latency
  • Wireless Audio – Receive audio signals from REDsync Master (optional purchase)
  • Wireless Timecode -Receive wireless timecode from REDsync Master ( optional purchase )
  • 802.11b Compatible – Receive system control commands from custom iPad/iPhone/iTouch app through REDsync system
  • CAN Port – Allows for hardwired communication between the 3ality Technica hand controller and Meizler module
  • RS232/422 Port – Hardwired communication for iPad, iPhone and iTouch apps and 3rd party devices
  • 3D Port – Sync two Meizler modules together to create a 3D lens control system
  • REDmote Port – Charges and Communicates with REDmote via direct hardwire
  • RED Monitor Port – Support Dual RED EVF/LCD operating simultaneously via monitor ports on Meizler and Side SSD. Touchscreen control capability on the RED monitor
  • Lens Ports Front — Control 3rd party lens motors for Focus, Iris and Zoom
  • Wireless Internal Antennas
  • Price: $13,000

The other modules announced:

  • REDsync Master: $2,900
  • HD-SDI Wireless Receiver: $3,400
  • HDMI Wireless Receiver: $1,100

The reason for the asterisk is that it seems that they are still going through certification for ProRes and they aren’t supposed to say either way during that process. Jarred from RED did reveal the current resolutions for recording — which include 10-bit for any of the recording formats (these are also standalone files ready to edit):

720p – 4:2:2 @ 24 & 60fps
1080p – 4:2:2 @ 24 & 60 fps
2k – 4:2:2 @ 24 & 60fps

2k 4:4:4 will become enabled early 2013.

Jarred also mentioned that 25fps and 60fps were included in the spec, so anyone in PAL country can have the correct outputs if they need them. The proxy files match the R3D files exactly, as this would create all sorts of problems when relinking footage. A question was asked about the possibility of proxy recording being built into a much cheaper recorder, and rather than completely give up the information, offered that a proxy-only recorder might be seeing the light of day next year.

What is truly interesting about the module is that it includes the ability to interface with lens motors. This is a big deal because if it works correctly, it will mean that there will be no need for antenna control boxes hanging off the camera. It also means at some point in the future that the REDMote wireless focus controller will be able to work with the lens motors from other companies to properly control the focus, iris, and zoom.

I did not make a mistake with the price, and since it is that high, this is going to be a rental option for anyone who owns a SCARLET — and probably most people that own EPICs. This is a very high-end piece of gear with a lot of expensive and complicated technology built-in, but many of the functions are not always needed, so this makes a lot more sense as a rental on a shoot like a feature film. A cheaper proxy recorder is definitely in RED’s best interest, as this has been one of the most requested features since the first RED One. Other companies have made products that will create proxies, but having a native piece of gear that bolts onto the back would be preferable to most RED shooters. The idea of modularity is that items like this can be made, and it’s definitely an argument towards the RED system.

There is no question that a moderately priced proxy recorder will sell well, and with the amount of action that the Arri Alexa tends to get at rental houses, it is still a big draw, especially since we’re still in 1080p land for the most part, and if a job has to move quick enough, they may prefer not dealing with the RAW footage. We should know in the next few months more about this cheaper proxy recorder, but until then, the Meizler priced at $13,000 is the only native RED option. To see the rest of the specs, head on over to the RED store below.

Link: RED Meizler Module

[via REDUser]


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  • this has nothing to do with this post, but i wanted to know if y’all were still updating the “how to build a hackintosh” page. i’m currently thinking about getting my money together and building one and i wanted to know if there are better parts now than before.

    another thing, i feel like this blog needs a forum. i throw my name in the hat as a potential moderator if it comes to that.

    Thank you.

    • Yes to both. :)

      Hacktintosh article will be up next week. Was more complicated this time around as there are more good video card options but I had to do more testing than I expected.

      • Thanks for that btw.. We’ve recently built up our Hackintosh and despite some power supply issues it’s been running really great. We are still running Snow Leopard on it and, I’m guessing, because of that it’s not agreeing with the final 4gb stick of ram. We are preparing to upgrade to lion soon in order to switch over to our nvidia graphics card and install the final 4gb stick. If there are any new graphics cards that would accelerate our Adobe workflow we may order one. Look forward to reading it.

  • I’d second that proposition. A forum would be a grand addition to the site.

  • Just out of curiosity, doesn’t recording in prores or DNxHD 1080p completely defeat the entire point of using a RED? The latitude is good for it, but the colormentry isn’t the strongest point (ala the Alexa) and w/o 4K in its favor, why not just use a C300 at that point?

    Very odd choice.

    • Colorimetry is much better now, but if you’ve already got a RED, and you need a fast turnaround on a project – and the client doesn’t want RAW, it makes sense. Also in terms of proxies in general, it’s much faster to just record them internally on-set than create them in post – so even if your final grade will happen in RAW, you can keep the project ProRes or DNxHD until that point for the most compatibility possible.

    • Jeff Akwante on 09.20.12 @ 4:30PM

      Not really, you’re going to get some really sick down sampling (guessing)

  • I love my Hackintosh. Saved about $1500 at the time I built it and got a more powerful machine than the base Mac Pro at the time. OS updates can be a pain sometimes, but you shouldn’t be doing those often on a production machine anyway.

    Learned everything I needed here:

    • Tonymac’s great, but as I’ve designed our machine for video editors, there are additional video card considerations (Adobe CUDA support, DaVinci Resolve, FCP X acceleration) that they don’t prioritize like we do. Updated machine next week.

  • I’m drooling over this module. Proxy recorder, wireless focus, and especially a solid wireless monitoring system.

  • Also new low priced media for the Scarlet is gonna drop before the end of the month, Around 50 gigs for $300-400.

  • The form factor is starting to look more like a RED One or Arri now.

  • Alex Zustra on 09.20.12 @ 8:34PM

    This may be a stupid question (I work mostly in post), but didn’t the original module already have SDI out? Doesn’t than mean you could just spend much less on a ki pro or something and record prores or dnxhd?

    • It was really monitor only, or for ‘emergency’ recording only. Wasn’t properly debayered.
      This module looks good. If I were an EPIC owner I’d buy one. Bit OTT for a Scarlet rig.

      Also, I like the ‘colormetry is better now’ comment up above. That made me laugh. Yes it is. But its still a pain in the ass.

      • No, Epic/Scarlet do a proper debayer…it was the Red One that didn’t do a proper debayer. Using an external recorder has been officially endorsed by Red.

        And what’s a pain about the “colormetry”? It’s so similar to Alexa you can even just use Alexa LUTs if you want…it’s extremely easy to do.

        • And just to add to the the external recorder bit, I’ve personally used a Ki Pro Mini to record Scarlet footage. It looked great, definitely a proper debayer and downscale. The only problem was that at the time it was still scaling as if it were a 2k image, so if you tried to record 16:9 footage, you’d get a black bar all the way around the footage. I’m not sure if that has been fixed yet.

  • After hearing about all the issues with Red cameras, starting back with the Red One and continuing with the Epic, I can`t take them serious anymore – the latest thing that happened to a friend of mine: Days before he could start shooting with his Red Epic X not only did it die but also his second camera, the Epic M, leaving him to rent an Epic somewhere else. It is no wonder Arri`s Alexa is loved despite it`s much lower resolution – it`s pictures are just stunningly beautiful!!

    And if you follow closely, after all the innovation from other camera companies which deliver systems now even much more affordable and with more convenient and practicable file formats, the new stuff Red has to offer sounds rather dull: a black-and-white camera??? and now this module which only 10% of their shooters need and can afford…

    • i must say i somewhat agree. but they have built up one hell of a brand, which of course means nothing without reliable functionality . . so . .

    • Alexa had it’s share of problems as well (and was as much a “beta” camera in early firmwares as Epic was)…that’s just the nature of these heavy lifting cinema cameras. The problem with Red is the price point has allowed people to use them that aren’t used to using this type of camera. Had Alexa been priced the same, you’d be hearing the same kinds of things about it. Instead, most people only know Alexa from well known filmmakers’ comments.

      I have never had a problem with any of the Red’s I’ve worked with. Of course they all had one thing in common: They all ran stable release versions of the firmware. I hear over and over people running the new beta firmwares and then having terrible problems on productions…you can blame no one but yourself for that. You don’t use beta firmware on actual productions. Simple as that.

      And it’s strange that you don’t mention the Dragon sensor…that’s been their major hype of late. And Red still is the only system that makes it practical to shoot Raw for anything but a large film production. Every other system is either uncompressed Raw (ungodly huge files), or they require an expensive external recorder which is a pain in the ass. You want to talk about innovation…who else lets you shoot 16-bit wavelet compressed Raw?

    • Ya, I had a friend that had problems with his Ari/Canon/Sony camera. They all suck! And that 4k RAW format is so annoying. I mean really, I need a laptop with Premiere to edit it! Terrible. And all that reframing freedom with a 4k image… completely pointless… and grading in RAW… just too much latitude! :p

      BTW, we love our Scarlet!

      • Before anyone takes offense about my ‘they all suck comment’, I was being sarcastic. Arri/Canon/Sony all make great cameras.

        People that don’t use Red cameras keep on talking about friends experiences, or stories from 5 years ago proving to them that Red cameras are unusable for professional work… We’ve had nothing but solid performance with our Red camera. And as Gabe rightfully points out, using beta firmware is never advised for paid work.

        • I am thankful for what Red accomplished with their low cost 4K systems, they pushed the others very hard, but as I spent some time with the Red One myself prior to my friend`s experience plus having worked several years in a postpro company and that way having dealt with Red related stuff I would rather not buy a camera from them if I needed it as a indie film maker or camera man but spend more money and get an Alexa, it is not worth the possible trouble because when it fails, it fails at the very worst time. Red has an bad technical reputation and some no name with a Scarlet is not going to change that.

          P.S.: I`ve just ordered my Alexa Plus at IBC just after my friend`s Epic failure… (pun intended)

  • Too late too late shall be the cry is all i have to say…..

    I’ve been a RED fan from day one ……. but they waited way too long to do this…..Alexa came along and beat them on the head with Prores and DNX capability and to drop another bag of money for the module ….? not sure how well it will be received but i guess we will see

  • Im using red since 2007. RED one RED MX then EPIC m and EPIC x now dragon coming. I must say i ve not seen a single malfunction with RED epic. I ve finished 4 feature film with Epic and i truly believe its a Gods gift. I now own top of the line Alexa XT studio with all options available but honestly…EPIC is EPIC. nothing could beat the handy feel the personal touch Epic brings. It gives a film feel…yes Alexa does it too but the amount alxa takes to give that film feel is amazingly crazy.

    My camera feel after a jib collapsed from 44 feet. camera was running and it came down fell hard on the ground and camera kept running nothing happened. body got a small chunk taken out out cuz of that but still nothing happened to the camera.

    Guys this is bullshit talk Alexa RED crap….its really worthless crap. Apple Window talk is for kids old stop wasting ur time or no camera is worth ur time or energy.