Since announcing the SCARLET and EPIC camera lines over two years ago, RED has pushed the ship dates back and changed a number of features. While the list of films shot on RED has been growing ever longer, indies have been waiting (patiently or not) for the lower-end SCARLET entry. I'd previously noted that RED was abandoning the prosumer market because of HDSLRs, but seemingly in order to ship even better high-end rigs. Now comes word from head honcho Jim Jannard that the Super 35mm-sized SCARLET has been renamed the EPIC-S and re-priced accordingly.
UPDATE as of October 2011: it appears RED has re-re-named the EPIC-S back to the SCARLET and will be announcing it officially (and shipping it) November 3rd. Stay tuned.
The old details:
1. We have moved from the less robust Scarlet S35 chassis to the EPIC S35 chassis (like going from the economy car frame to the truck frame). Pro, not prosumer.
2. We are trying to maximize the performance specs given the cost cutting from the hardware, including board reductions. This is no small task but is a primary focus within engineering.
3. Frame rates and data rates in combination with project sizes will be the primary compromises in comparison with the big brothers (EPIC-X and EPIC-M). You can anticipate about 1/2 the overall data throughput. As soon as the engineers finalize the list... I will post it.
4. HDRx™ will be included, but with limited frame rate options as is anticipated in #3 above.
5. Price has risen due to the chassis and HDRx™ change/additions. Expect somewhere in the neighborhood of $12K. Package prices will be posted as soon as we are sure what they will be. We will not post another "interim" price structure in the meantime. Next price posting will be final.
6. EPIC-S will use the same production line as its big brothers (which we are setting up now in California) so there will be no additional delays to produce this model. However, the EPIC-M and EPIC-X models will be released 1st as has previously been noted.
7. EPIC-Ms are currently being produced in low quantities and will step up just a bit this month (January). Production EPIC-X is scheduled to begin small production end of February with a fairly significant ramp up in March. Major volume begins in April. Many of you will have your EPIC-X by NAB. EPIC-S should begin production in May... depending on EPIC-X orders.
Keeping all of this in mind, here is the original announcement from RED (April 2008) with the intended SCARLET price points:
Over two years later, it looks like the Super 35mm SCARLET has jumped to the Full Frame model's price point, the fixed-lens version is still TBD, and the fate of the 2/3" B4 mount cam is anyone's guess. In case you missed it, however, the fixed-lens version of the SCARLET (2/3" sensor, 8X zoom lens) was recently spotted in the wild. Here's a look:
Video is no longer available: vimeo.com/17819409
Given Jannard's forum signature is "Everything in life changes... including our camera specs and delivery dates," one wonders when (and for what price) these cameras will finally ship. For now, it seems a $12k EPIC-S is an upgraded, slightly cheaper RED ONE with HDRx mode. While a lot of guerilla filmmakers would probably rather have a $7k camera sans HDRx than a $12k camera with it, the EPIC-S is priced similar to Sony's PMW-F3 (assuming that the $12k EPIC-S price is for the "brain" only). It seems $15k is the new price point for a Super 35mm "real" cine camera, with the Panasonic AF100 hitting the $5k price point with a slightly smaller Micro 4/3 sensor, and DSLRs occupying the lower-end. Any thoughts on this latest announcement by RED?