November 30, 2009

RED RAY and RED SCARLET updates

Lots of news from the RED camp today. If you're interested in what may be not only the future of digital acquisition, but also display, head on over to their forum. Of note:

  • RED RAY, their 4k (apparently now 5k) playback system, will have a pro version coming out first, in February (plus or minus a year, and definitely not minus).
  • SCARLET 2/3", their lowest-priced camera, shoots 3K footage (likely as sharp as 1080p when all is said and done) at up to 120fps. The 2/3" sensor isn't ideal for every production, but don't knock it: the gorgeous The Curse of Benjamin Button was shot on a 2/3" sensor and was the first film shot digitally to be nominated for the Best Cinematography Oscar. SCARLET has some very innovative features, such as internal motion sensor, GPS recorder, and wireless firmware updates; will sell for $2,750 (body only) or $4,750 (kit) plus primes at $950 a pop in June 2010 (plus or plus several months).
  • SCARLET S35 (same size sensor as the RED ONE, and roughly equivalent to 35mm motion picture film) updates coming soon; $7,000.
  • EPIC-X was updated last month with RED's new beta release plan, TATTOO (everything must be capitalized and badassed!). $28,000 for the real deal (seems expensive next to the current DSLR price disruption, but if your film is budgeted at upper-six or any-seven figures, it's cheap).

It will be interesting to see how SCARLET competes with whatever DSLRs will be available mid next year, not to mention any other large CMOS sensor-based offerings from the likes of Canon, who are rumored to be working on a XL1-esque camera incorporating what they've learned from their DSLR camp (namely: put a big chip in a small camera, and it will sell like hotcakes). The cameras are certainly similar both size- and price-wise:8D3

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