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RED EPIC/SCARLET Nikon Mounts Now Available, Supported in New Firmware Update

09.6.12 @ 9:00PM Tags : , , , , , , ,

When the RED EPIC was first announced, one of the big selling points from RED’s perspective was the fact that the camera could be used for both stills and video. Until now though, the only still camera lenses that could work natively on the EPIC and SCARLET have been from Canon (and more recently some older Leica lenses). RED produced that electronic mount in two versions, aluminum and titanium, and it has been very popular on the SCARLET camera to use lower-cost (but high quality) lenses. Those mounts also allow the use of autofocus and ability to control the iris directly from the camera. The long-awaited Nikon version is now not only available in the store, but is supported in the new firmware update that was just released.

First, here are the significant changes in the new firmware version 3.3.12:


  • Fix error in Playback when switching rapidly between HDRx clips
  • Fix min/max frame-rate/exposure in HDRx mode
  • Fix Security Erase for 512GB Mag
  • Fix intermittent mount of 512GB Mag
  • Fix to apply AF mode presets
  • Fix REDmote upgrade notification
  • Fix display of max frame rate
  • Fix guides in playback regardless of “Load Image Metadata” checkbox
  • Fix sensor frame rate info in UI for certain exposure error case
  • Fix metadata for user time-code preference
  • Added Nikon Mount support

Here is the Aluminum mount on top followed by the Titanium mount on the bottom:

Canon might have a more popular mount for video at the moment thanks to their DSLRs, but there are still plenty of Nikon lenses in the wild that can be just as useful for video. Even though there are dumb mount solutions for the Nikon lenses from third parties, this is the first officially supported mount that handles the G series lenses without an iris ring — and will also be able to use the autofocus function.

Of course, with anything RED, these solutions aren’t going to be like buying a $30 Nikon to Canon adapter. These are fully electronic lens mounts that also feature a positive lock (like professional lens mounts) to ensure even the heaviest lenses are secure. The titanium mount is technically stronger and will supposedly not be affected by large temperature changes, but other than that, the aluminum mount is the same. The Aluminum mount is going to run $800 and the Titanium mount is retailing for $2,200. RED now offers four different mounts with their DSMC cameras: PL, Canon, Nikon, and Leica M.

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  • Johnny Unitas on 09.6.12 @ 10:20PM

    Haha, a RED Scarlet Titanium mount is nearly the cost of a Blackmagic Cinema Camera! If Blackmagic were ever to release a Super35mm BMC for under 8K, RED’s days would certainly be numbered.

    • Complaints about prices are like [ahem] — everyone’s got ‘em. But you can’t complain about something costing $2,200 when there’s a perfectly functioning version for 1/3 of the price also available from the same company.

      If Unicorns were to release a digital IMAX camera for $0.27, Blackmagic’s days would be numbered!

      • Johnny Unitas on 09.6.12 @ 11:56PM

        I know there’s a cheaper model, I simply made the point that the Titanium version costs nearly as much as a Blackmagic Cinema Camera…?

        Unicorns…yeah…anyway…back on Earth, if Blackmagic did sell a $6K – $8K Super35 version with RAW and internal ProResHQ, RED’s days would be numbered as they’d either have to cannibalise themselves, or witness losing their entire indie-market. KineRAW could do it, but the reason the KineRAW won’t steal RED’s indie-market is because Kinefinity lacks the “trust base” and reputation for quality that Blackmagic already has achieved by means of its previous products (even though I’m sure Kinefinity makes quality products).

        • As much as I’m happy about the KineRAW and the inevitable price wars it is creating, KineRAW is not doing what RED and Blackmagic are doing. They are doing a pixel bin on the sensor before debayering. So you start with 4K, then 2K, then you still have to debayer. It’s not going to be as sharp as Blackmagic or RED footage.

          You’re right, if Blackmagic could sell a $6-$8K Super 35mm digital sensor camera with the same specs as the current Cinema Camera, it would turn the market upside down. There’s a very real reason why that didn’t happen, and that’s because the technology to get the picture quality they are getting out of the Cinema Camera isn’t there for bigger sensors yet that would actually be affordable. It’s just not. Blackmagic can’t afford to build their own sensors, so all you have to do is look around and you can see that it just doesn’t exist.

          • Johnny Unitas on 09.7.12 @ 12:40AM

            That’s really interesting, I didn’t know the KineRAW created its image like that. Doesn’t seem very logical/efficient.

            I thought Blackmagic could bring in a Super35 version with an identical spec of their current BMC, but I made that assumption off this concept: http://www.apertus.org/

            I think these next few months are going to be amazing for indie filmmakers – so many good, well priced choices. However, I think this time next year is when we’re really going to see the manufacturers blazing their guns at one another. Good times ahead!

          • Definitely, it is all very good for filmmakers. The way KineRAW is deriving their image makes a lot of sense, and it takes the load off of their entire pipeline. Doing 4K uncompressed is ridiculous, but also pixel binning helps with noise. Apertus won’t be using an identical sensor to Blackmagic in terms of specs (at least if they stick with current plans), far from it actually. The current sensor they want to use is only 10 stops with a 15-stop HDR mode similar to EPIC/SCARLET, but the details of what that will look like are a little hazy right now. I am actually talking with Apertus behind the scenes and I applaud absolutely everything they are doing, but they know what’s realistic right now.

            In an interview it was stated that a Super 35mm Blackmagic Cinema Camera would probably cost $25K with current technology. I don’t think that’s an exaggeration knowing what I know now about camera design.

          • “They are doing a pixel bin on the sensor before debayering. So you start with 4K, then 2K, then you still have to debayer. [The KineRAW] is not going to be as sharp as Blackmagic or RED footage.”

            How do you know that for certain Joe? Image quality depends on many factors, not just one (like, for example, sensor size, which is much bigger on the KineRAW than on the Black Magic . So far, the images that have come out from the KineRAW camera are ‘sharper’, and more cinematic in my opinion, than the ones coming from the Blackmagic (or even RED). Sometimes theory alone cannot predict reality very well.

            http://vimeo.com/46219535
            http://vimeo.com/45595673
            http://vimeo.com/44424450

          • Joe Marine on 09.7.12 @ 1:33AM

            I really should have added “at 1080p” – because that’s what I’m referring to. Honestly if you like the images better out of that camera so far, who am I to tell you that you’re wrong? You can’t argue with personal opinion.

            You’re right though, image quality does depend on many factors – but what I’m saying is based in science. The KineRAW is limited from the start with the amount of resolution it can produce. I’ve looked at the resolution charts for all of the cameras but the KineRAW, and the Blackmagic is already producing more resolution than the KineRAW is capable of based on the Bayer pattern.

            I’m not knocking the camera, far from it. But what I’m saying is not a theory. Certainly playing with the RAW files from both the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and the KineRAW I’ve been able to pull more dynamic range out of the Cinema Camera. Again – they will both be good cameras, and they will both produce nice looking images – really no need to start an argument over silly things like resolution, which as we all know, doesn’t necessarily matter as much to many people, since we’ve been using low-resolution DSLRs for years now.

  • Pete Kurachka on 09.7.12 @ 5:54AM

    For stills, for this price, you’d be much better to buy a Nikon camera to use your Nikon lenses…
    For video, using Nikon lenses is a budget solution (they’re not pro cine lenses), so to spend 2000+$ just for the mount adaptor seems too much (more than a price of several lenses!)
    Makes sense only if you already own a really big collection of Nikon glass…

    • marklondon on 09.7.12 @ 2:31PM

      …like I do, and as a ton of RED ONE owners do. That Ali $800 mount is probably worth me buying as I rent EPICs a lot (and often from operators who don’t carry various mounts). Would save hassle on the B Cam.
      Also, and I know its harsh to say this, but Canon lenses are generally awful on the newer REDs, whereas the old RED ONE/Nikon combo always looked pretty good.

  • Careful with old glass. Fast Nikon ais lenses have a long protection pin that prevents them from being fitted!

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