It looks like it's RED Day here at No Film School. Both Sony and RED have been making a lot of noise in relation to new products (or price reductions). We've got the new F5 and F55 cameras, and a new 4K recorder from Sony, and while we can't be sure of the final price just yet, it's clear RED and Sony both view compressed formats as important (even if one might say 1080p/2K is a "scam"). The new RED Meizler Module, which features all sorts of wireless controls and proxy recording, now officially supports ProRes. Another major milestone for RED, they've also released the cheapest media available, a 48GB SSD, and it's in stock in the RED store if you'd like to order it. Click through for more details.
Here is what Jarred Land said about the announcement on REDUser:
I am proud to announce that the Meizler Module now supports recording to ProRes to REDMAG Mini cards.
You will be able to record 720p, 1080p and 2k in ProRes 422 LT and HQ flavors.
Sample record time on 256GB REDMAG mini : 6.5 hours @ 1080p 24fps 422 ProRes LT , or 16 hours at 720p 24fps 422 ProRes LT
On speeds, 60fps max all the way up to 2k with max quality.
Brain cannot and will not record ProRes onboard. Not really a mantra but a philosophy. Our foundation is not only based on Resolution, but RAW as well, and we really feel strongly about it.
The good thing is.. if you disagree.. or whomever you are working for disagrees, you now have an option that as a complete package, is still smaller than the competition and does a whole shitload more... plus you get the best of both worlds.
It's important to note if you missed it that these new modules take a completely different SSD than the traditional REDMAG. The new mini MAGs are much smaller, closer in size to the SxS cards from Sony, and ironically, Sony has just introduced a bigger card for 4K acquisition. While RED hasn't said if the new module will support ProRes 4:4:4, Jarred explicitly stated that the new module won't not support it, so they very well may be going through another process with Apple or internally within the company to enable this.
As far as this technology goes, we've already talked about the possibilites that may exist thanks to the new $13,000 Meizler Module. RED has put a lot of R&D into this guy, and what better way for them to recoup more of it than to release a proxy only module that is smaller and costs less. They can reuse at least some of the same tech, but it would also open up 1080p and 2K recording in a lot smaller rig than adding an external recorder, especially when 4K or 5K isn't needed. The guys at RED have also alluded to this new proxy only module, so I think we can certainly look forward to this sometime in the future. Depending on what happens with SCARLET prices, a cheap module could mean great 1080p recording and internal 4K in a package that will still be smaller than most.
The new 48GB REDMAG SSDs were also quietly introduced. Instead of a full announcement, they've just been made available in the RED store. While these new cards are the cheapest at under $500, from a price per GB point of view they are not the best value in the RED line, though if cost of hardware is important, they may be good for people just getting into the RED system, or for those who want a cheap backup card just in case. These new REDMAGs are specifically designed for the SCARLET, and they will not handle all of the data rates that the EPIC compatible SSDs can handle. This is similar to how the new 512GB SSD (which is actually the best value from a price per GB standpoint) is designed specifically to handle the data rates and frame sizes of the new Dragon sensor.
It will be interesting to see if RED does anything with SSD prices, as they've already reduced them once before, and media is always getting cheaper. While people want cheaper cards, they also have to consider the stress testing that RED performs to ensure that the media is reliable, and in an industry where everything is a variable, the last thing you want is your media failing or dropping frames.
What do you guys think? Where do you think the SCARLET stands in value if they can get out a very good 1080p/2K proxy module for under $5,000? How about the EPIC?