As noted previously, RED has a new color science and gamma curve for their RAW-shooting cameras: REDgamma3 and REDcolor3. The new color science comes with a new camera firmware -- version 3.0.0, which is a release build (not beta) for both EPIC and SCARLET -- and there's a new version of REDCINE-X as well. RED's Jim Jannard explained the color science updates with the following -- note that if you're doing a full grade, your gamma setting will still be REDlogfilm, but you should expect to employ the new color science alongside that gamma curve:
My preferred workflow is now RG3/RC3 and Alchemy set to 0.350 (default) and post saturation set to 1.10 (optional). DI will typically still start with REDlogFilm and REDcolor3. Shooting RAW (REDCODE RAW in this case) is the way to go. Getting locked down recording an RGB codec is very limiting. RC3 and RG3 is proof.
Also of interest from the release thread:
wow this is interesting...I'm finally seeing some microtonal separation on skin tones with red color 3...going over old footage of closeups on faces and doing side by sides against red color 1/2/3 and 3 is showing stronger microtone separation exactly that one thing i was hoping for which alexa does better than Red.. just preliminary results at first but I'm liking what I'm seeing
It's all in the color science. Graeme does a small tweak here and a big tweak there and turns 1000 knobs until everything lines up just right and suddenly the difference between Alexa and RED in terms of skin tones disappears. Just remember you can't artificially create Resolution... ;)
Unfortunately I haven't had a chance to do any testing myself -- I'm headed off to a log cabin (with no cell phone service, just what I need for focusing!) for the next ten days to focus on the next draft of Man Child. But you can bet when I get back that I'll take a look at some of the SCARLET footage on my drives -- not just our test short, "Pull Back," but also some other unreleased stuff I have sitting around.
The update also brings with it a new Final Cut Studio 3 installer.
In other news: RED has released a RED Station Mini ($195), a smaller, non daisy-chainable version of their current REDMAG reader. More importantly, their flagship camera, EPIC, is finally out of backorder and is shipping immediately. This is a big step for the made-in-the-USA camera, as one of the chief complaints about RED has been their availability (or lack thereof). Finally, they released "the mother of all backorder updates," which updates the shipping schedules for the rest of their camera accessories. Unfortunately I still haven't received my DSMC Side Handle, though I should note that I didn't order it until at least a month after the SCARLET brain (had I ordered it immediately, it would've been here quite some time ago). Still, it's nice to see the California-based startup making progress with their supply chain.
Because all RED cameras shoot REDCODE RAW, it should be easy to take old footage and apply the new color science. If you find any such tests, please share them in the comments! I'm very curious to see REDcolor3 in action, but don't have any of my own SCARLET footage handy on this laptop.