April 8, 2013

RED Dragon is Finally Here: Upgrade Schedule Announced, SCARLET Will Get Dragon Upgrade

RED is on a roll. With a stream of new products just announced, it seemed that they had done their damage for the day. However, now we've also got confirmation that not only is the Dragon finally ready, but that the Scarlet will be able to be outfitted with the new sensor. This is huge news for both EPIC and SCARLET owners alike. Read below for the scoop on the new update program.

According to Jarred Land at RED, starting Monday:

  • EPIC-M owners can pre-order the upgrade for $9500
  • Early adopters can pre-order the upgrade for $8500 ($1000 credit when invoiced)
  • New EPIC-M Dragon pre-orders begin tomorrow for $29k. Ships after existing Epic-M owners have had opportunity to upgrade.

And on Thursday:

  • EPIC-X non-early adopters can pre-order upgrade for $9500.

And here's a one of the first photos we've seen of the RED Dragon (EPIC-M) camera after the upgrade:

Jarred also recently posted about the upgrade path for the SCARLET, and much to the surprise of just about everyone, it will be possible to upgrade your SCARLET with a Dragon sensor, as opposed to having to upgrade to the EPIC just to get the sensor:

  1. Upgrade your Scarlet to Full Epic-X (including new black body) - $9500. After that.. you can upgrade your Epic-X to Full Epic Dragon through the normal Epic-X to Dragon process.
  2. Upgrade your Scarlet to Scarlet Dragon - $9500 ( keep your grey body ) Get all the dynamic range and new color science of the Dragon with a max framerate of 5K 60fps. Full specs to come soon.

Pre-orders begin this Thursday. Upgrades begin July.

While we have yet to see any actual images from the new sensor, it's only a matter of time before the interweb is flooded with them [Update: Looks like we will have to wait until after NAB to see footage.] Keep your eyes out for more announcements as we bring you info from the floor in Vegas.

What do you guys think? Is this what you were expecting the upgrade path to look like? Does it surprise you that the SCARLET Dragon is now an option? Let us know in the comments.

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61 Comments

Has anyone seen footage (of a moving object) from the dragon sensor?

April 8, 2013

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David F

Not yet. The color science isn't done.

April 8, 2013

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Brian

Can't wait to see all the Blackmagic 4K Production Camera Vs. RED Scarlet tests that are soon to follow!

April 8, 2013

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Scarlet with Dragon gains 3 stops of DR over MX. The Blackmagic Production Camera 4K loses 1 stop of DR from what the BMCC has. Color fidelity and overall "look" aside, that alone should put the BMPC4K at a disadvantage.

April 8, 2013

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Brian

Technically the Dragon should/will win. Let's see how it looks on set and in post. Also, $20k vs $4k, but hey.

April 8, 2013

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marklondon

I think many people are still looking at RED as the 3k for $3K company and deeming them a failure. I think their focus has shifted somewhat and so has their target market. They're more focused on pushing technology and you can't do that at bargain basement prices. A Dragonized Scarlet makes that camera a very serious competitor to an Alexa, provided it produces an equally or more pleasing picture (according to the people who like the "look" of the Alexa). Comparing Scarlet to the BMPC4K is a little unfair to both cameras now.

April 8, 2013

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Brian

I'd go further - it makes the camera viable. I know there are plenty of Scarlet owner-ops, but its been tough sledding on that cam in rentals, and even attracting work outside of personal projects. I think RED had to do it to bail out its user base. And its great they have.

April 8, 2013

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marklondon

I'll buy that.

April 8, 2013

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Brian

Good point. Some peoples' expectations vs Red's MO; a lot of debates arise when they aren't aligned

April 9, 2013

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Considering the price of the body, lenses, and accessories would make the Dragon more than 10 times as expensive, of course it's going to be more expensive. But I doubt it's going to have the 18 stops of DR they have claimed. They claimed that the RED Epic had only 0.5 stops of DR less than the Alexa but it actually has around 2-3 stops less DR. I doubt even this new sensor will have more DR.

April 8, 2013

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James

*of course it's going to be better

April 8, 2013

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James

Maybe you did not understand much! have 16 stops at 2000 iso clean WOWOW .. I'm sorry though I like Alexia, this being a huge advantage.
I think they also did a proxy module, then 6k + RAW 1080 Proxy, fantastic ...
I look to see what offers Arri ...
Red deserves a big round of applause.

April 8, 2013

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Alexiss

If testing confirms everything RED has claimed, such as 18 stops of DR and the image being as sharp as a still photo from a 5D mark III, then I'll become a fan of RED. As of now, I have a more cynical view of the company.

April 8, 2013

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James

No they don't

April 8, 2013

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Film genius

Jealous?

April 9, 2013

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Natt

Personally I think I'm going to do the Scarlet to Epic-X update, it just seems a little more future proof in the event I want to update the Epic to the dragon sensor.

April 8, 2013

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I really really like the idea of upgrading your personal camera, rather than trying to sell it off to buy the new one. Good on ya, RED. I'm also pleased the Scarlet is getting this love, previously I had heard it wasn't going to be eligible for Dragon.

April 8, 2013

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alex

This is cool, glad RED is giving Scarlet owners the chance to move up to new levels. I think the Epic trade in is better then moving to the new sensor for scarlet owners but this is just me. Everyone is talking about the new blackmagic, and dont get me wrong I will pre order on for my main camera, but RED really has something with all their tech.

April 8, 2013

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I agree, it is a very interesting and admirable upgrade system. I was looking for a way to avoid RED's high prices to get in the 4k+ arena, but I think their model of upgrades is environmentally conscious and very forward thinking. Maybe supporting it will cause other companies to build more sustainable systems.

April 8, 2013

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let's say Scarlet has 13 stops with the current MX + 3 stops of dragon... 16 stops!! wooopppp!

What about iso? Is it now 2000 native? If so... Mannn it costs a lot more but it will be far from BMCC also...

April 8, 2013

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Alex Mand

As a scarlet owner im going for the scarlet dragon, 9950 gets me 5K 60 FPS with new color science and DR. As opposed to getting the epic X for 9950 and then eventually another 9950 for full dragon. Spend twice as much to get 6K 100 fps. As awesome as that sounds 5K 60 FPS is plenty! All I want is that DR and the new color science.

April 8, 2013

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carlos

And iso!

April 8, 2013

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L

yeah I'd imagine its still 2000 ISO clean as current 800 ISO which would be unbelievable. I hope upgrades really do start in july!

April 8, 2013

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carlos

Also as a Scarlet owner/operator, I'm with Carlos on Scarlet Dragon.

Epic Dragon is nice, but hard to justify for most work outside of serious big budget work, then Epic Dragon is a no brainer for a 15 to 300+ million USD budget. Anything under that, especially for no/low budget, I can't see Epic dragon making that much of a difference over Scarlet Dragon

5K will down sample well to 4K, and exceptionally clean to 2k/HD, especially with the cleaner ISO range.
Provides the ability to output 2k/HD this year, then in a couple years when 4K hits the masses in numbers, re-output 4K, all from the same 5K source.

3 stops more dynamic range is gonna be a lot easier to work with (800% more light sensitivity) w/ cleaner toe and heel roll-offs

Up to 60fps in 5K (maybe 96ish fps in 4K) will be extremely useful for virtually most slow-motion/timeplay needs. 60fps gives you 40% real slow motion @24fps - If 4K does 96fps, that's 25%. With a shot planned for single frame interpolation addition via optical flow (twixtor, A/E, motion, etc), say at 4K@96fps, that's 12.5% cinematic slow motion!

The newer color science, well I'm sure it'll be cool... time will tell how much of a noticeable perceptual difference it makes to the most viewers/the audience... not just those with 100K grading beds. The color science as-is is great to work with if the effort is put in.

April 8, 2013

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Dan

Since at NAB Jarred/RED are suggesting that that even taking this option in 2014 is "likely" OK... we have plenty of time to think about it and save up.

April 8, 2013

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Dan

These upgrades are so expensive you might as well get a new camera. Who is RED kidding.

April 8, 2013

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Mark

Beats owning an Alexa and basically being told you have to buy a new 100K camera to get upgrades.

April 8, 2013

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Brian

lol,, the big myth spread by RED... Alexa is fully upgradeable.. Sony's camera in upgradeable. If the upgrade is 20% more that the camera itself-- that's not an upgradeable device. it's a hoax.

April 13, 2013

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steve duncan

Scarlet to Epic Dragon is $19K in upgrade fees, is a 5K savings vs buying it outright for $24K

Scarlet to Epic MX is $9.5K in upgrade fees, is a $8K savings vs buying it outright at $17.5K

I suspect there will be no standard Scarlet Dragon for sale, but if there is, I'd expect it to be around $14.5K
If so, then the Scarlet to Scarlet Dragon $9.5K upgrade fee would be a 5K savings vs buying outright.

The $5,000 to $8,000 savings is 20% to 45% off of list price, that sure sounds like a deal to me!

April 8, 2013

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Dan

All you haters can say what you will, but good luck upgrading your F3, C300, Alexa, Phantom, etc. Because you won't... Good luck updating your DSLR, because you won't. You will sell at rock bottom prices and buy new at full retail. Its good to be in camp Red I tell you's lol... I knew instantly when I saw their frame rates, IQ, and depreciation (or lack thereof) that it made sense for me. Sure people whined about the price cut, but DO I HEAR WHINING NOW? No, as long as you held on you could upgrade and this stuff rocks braj. Think I might go for Epic, I like the frame rates... but waiting for Scarlet Dragon specs to decide....

April 9, 2013

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brian merlen

If you bought an FS100 last year - you can sell it now for $4,000.
If you bought a 5D Mark III last year, you can sell it now for 2,800.
If you bought a C300, you can sell it now for 10 to 12k.
Even an F3, the camera that I know has depreciated the most - you can still sell for 7-8k.

It's cool that Red has buyback programs, but lets not pretend the aftermarket camera market isn't healthy. You can still get at least 50% of the original cost in almost every instance.

April 9, 2013

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Carlos D

yes, unfortunately as Scarlet owners, we got hosed. we were told it was an upgradeable camera. If you want the full Dragon sensor-- your options are limited. if you want Dragon Scarlet- you're camera dies there. RED has guaranteed that the camera will never be able to be upgrades again... And RED, to placate Epic owners, have found a way to dumb down your new dragon sensor.. that's right. they're going to take the sensor and tweak it so it only works to 60% of it's real capabilities. And show me one upgrade program in the world, where the upgrade price is selling at 20% above the actual price of the item. Scarlet sells for 8k new, the upgrade costs 9.5k. that's not an upgrade. that's the cost of a new camera plus 20% for an upgraded part.

your second great option is paying 19K to upgrade your scarlet to dragon epic. Dragon Epic is selling for 24k. So they're not upgrading your Scarlet-- that's buy back program. They're buying back your Scarlet for 5K, less than what you can sell it for and just by a new Epic Dragon. The other benefit? if you get the Epic Dragon for 4k, and put it on your amex, you'll get a 2 yr warranty, way better than the crap 90 day warranty they give you with the fake upgrade program. That's worth another $1,500.. so there really only buying back your camera for around $3,500 and you HAVE to buy the Epic Dragon with the money... You can just sell your Scarlet on ebay for 6k, and buy any camera you want, with full warranty.

problem with RED owners-- they just can't do the math, and admit they got conned from their leader.

April 13, 2013

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steve duncan

** if you get the Epic Dragon for 4k, and put it on your amex, you’ll get a 2 yr warranty**

April 13, 2013

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steve duncan

if you get the Epic Dragon for 24k, and put it on your amex, you’ll get a 2 yr warranty

April 13, 2013

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steve duncan

wow only $9500 ......now to just sell my car

April 8, 2013

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james

5k at 60fps... more than enough for me. i couldn't justify upgrading to a dragon epic at twice the price of upgrading the scarlet... what is the sensor size for 4k 5k and 6k on dragon. is 4k s35 and 5k 1.3 FF crop? is 6k FF? or s35? anyone know?

April 8, 2013

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From what I gather, 6K frame consumes a space of 30.7mm x 15.8mm on the sensor,
5K frame is cropped down to about 1.3 FOV factor, so about 23.6mm x 12.15mm.
S35 film for 16x9 would be about 25mmx14mm.

So roughly at 5K its about 94% the size of S35 motion film and close to DLSR 1.6 crop factors.

April 8, 2013

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Dan

Thanks Dan!

April 8, 2013

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It'll be interesting to see lenses at the highest level, and cheaper level get paired with this camera which seems to be moving away from standard s35.

April 9, 2013

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OF COURSE they announced this AND are offering a Scarlet upgrade. Duh. Probably didn't even want to until NEXT NAB, only they are being trumped BIG TIME by Black Magic!

I'd personally get THREE BMCC's before I got ONE Dragon upgrade.

April 9, 2013

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Shorty

I don't understand the RED hatred at all. It must be the company's public persona that rubs people the wrong way because it can't possibly be price or the capability you get for that price. The original RED ONE body was $17,500. Today, the Epic MX body costs $17,500. What has changed? I think what's changed the most over the past 5 years is people have gotten spoiled and unrealistic in their expectations. That and they just don't like RED's attitude.

You didn't mind Sony's attitude when they were charging $200K for 2/3" sensor cameras a few years ago. No one ever has a bad word to say about Arri on this sight and a follow focus and a complete matte box kit from them would set you back almost as much as the new BMPC4K. Why don't you care about that? It's because you know those products aren't intended for you and your budget and you accept it. Why everyone is comparing RED to BMD is baffling to me especially in light of the Dragon sensor upgrade. RED doesn't make cameras for the no-budget filmmaker and neither does Arri. If that's you, you need to let it go and look at things that are designed with your budget in mind.

April 9, 2013

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Brian

EDIT: "on this SITE"

April 9, 2013

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Brian

It was 20 stops of DR.

Then it was "about 18 stops"

And now it is Epic DR + 3...

So, about a year late, it will finally be something like 15 stops of DR in real life, with resolution of Sony F65 (which is one year ol dand has real life DR of 14 stops).

RED cameras - real cutting edge.

April 9, 2013

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Juhan-i

I know you would marry Sony if you could so I won't speak ill of her. RED never claimed 20 stops of DR. People misread the meaning of that chart and it's only one way to measure DR. If you go back and read that "Enter the Dragon" post, Jim ended up saying it was probably going to end being a conservative 4 stops above MX. As it turns out, it's only 3 stops above MX. I'm not going to damn RED to Hell for that.

http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?92158-Enter-the-Dragon&p=112...

My guess is various tests indicate different amounts of dynamic ranges and, when measured with some of the less forgiving ones, Dragon showed less DR than that chart indicated. In that case (and what I would've done), I believe they went with the least of the measurements. How much more cutting edge can they be? A three stop improvement over your last generation chip is no small accomplishment. Even at 15 stops, it's 1 stop better than everyone else's claimed DR at higher resolutions and higher frame rates in a smaller package than everyone else. That, new color science and less noise should make for a nice looking sensor. If you don't think so you don't have to buy one, do you?

April 9, 2013

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Brian

They have a history of overzealous claims.

April 9, 2013

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Mark

Perhaps. At least some of the claims that I can think of are subject to interpretation. Maybe that's why they officially quoted a lower number for DR. Wouldn't you say that's an improvement over past behavior? They also have a history of being pretty frank and open with their customers, more so than any other camera company. What's that worth to you? We should all be able to separate marketing hype by any company (and they all do it) from actual function and usability.

April 9, 2013

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Brian

Hhahhaaa. And what this is ? :

http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?97869-NAB13-Dragon-Sensor-Up...

I feel for the guy because Jimbo is gonna be really, really angry now.

One Shall Not Question The Words Of God".

April 9, 2013

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Juhan-i

That is truly great news for Scarlet owners (me), and it seems like going the Scarlet Dragon route is the best all-around option unless you must have high-fps potential. However, I'm still hoping RED can squeeze 4.5k (or 5k) 24fps out of the Scarlet's innards before the current hardware is put out to pasture...

April 9, 2013

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Agent55

What? Basically the same price for turning Scarlet into Epic Dragon? Wtf, who would keep the grey body?

April 9, 2013

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Natt

Read it again. $9.5k to upgrade to CURRENT Epic (no Dragon).

April 9, 2013

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