December 20, 2013

New RED MINI-MAGs Are Smaller, Faster, & Cheaper Media for SCARLET, EPIC, & DRAGON

RED teased newer mags for their cameras back in November, and now they have finally arrived, starting with a 512GB MINI-MAG. The biggest change from the old cards is that these are much cheaper and faster, so you can get better compression ratios than the older cards. How much better you ask? A chart has been posted showing exactly what kind of compression improvements you'll be looking at, and we've embedded it below.

Here is word from the forum on the MINI-MAGS:

Announcing the RED MINI-MAG System. 

The new MINI-MAGS are not only 50% smaller than the existing RED MAGs, they can also read and write 30% faster. 

This not only allows for lower compression ratios during recording but the new mags in combination with the new 6G readers allow for much faster offloads. 

An Upgrade for all existing Scarlet/Epic/Dragons.

You'll need a brand new Side SSD and a new Reader for these cards, though you could still use your old cards at the same time with the rear SSD module. Here's what you'll need to get started with these:

And here is what sort of compression changes you'll see with the new cards, the numbers next to the resolution represent ratios, for example, 2:1 or 10:1:

RED 512GB MINI-MAG Compression Chart

As I mentioned in the previous post, I thought there was a chance these were going to come in cheaper to reflect how memory prices have fallen, and that is absolutely the case. While $2,450 for a 512GB card might seem very expensive on the surface, it's actually the exact same price as the current 1.8" 256GB card. That means you're getting twice the storage for the same price. The current 1.8" 512GB card is $3,900, so you can get 1 Terabyte of storage for a little more than the old 512GB card. These prices are much more in line with other high-end media from Sony and ARRI.

So what if you own the older cards? It seems you're a bit out of luck, as they worked on an adapter to fit into the 1.8" slot but it was unwieldy. This sort of thing isn't new if you've been around cameras, as formats change all the time, but the positive development is that the prices are heading downwards. Right now they aren't happy with prices for the 1TB cards, so they are waiting on a better deal before offering them for sale. They will likely be somewhere around $4,000-$4,500 based on the way RED has priced cards in the past, but we'll have to wait and see.

If you're wondering why the old cards are not going down in price, Jarred offered and interesting explanation:

Heh heh it would be nice to be able to dictate to the handful of memory manufactures in the world the exact layout and chip size and process and format we want but that is a reality that is not going to happen unless we either sold 100s of millions of cameras or if we charged you $100,000 per mag. 

You are right, We do have custom firmware because of the way we write to the cards... but the actual silicon is not something we control... because it doesn't make sense to invest the money to do so, as that dramatic increase in cost would fall on you guys. 

And for the same reason, we do not get monthly commodity pricing on memory. We need to make large orders to be able to get the qty needed to even be able to talk to memory manufactures about getting us special runs for extra the testing and firmware we require. So the price it costs us for the 256gb large cards today is the same as we paid last year on memory because thats when we purchased and inventoried them... and remember, these cards are only a few years old, not far from the 18 month normal cycle. If we do get a break in pricing because we sell out of inventory and have the opportunity to renegotiate pricing for a replacement order, then you guys see that break as you have seen in the past.

RED also introduced some other new products, like the REDVOLT XL Module for $1,150 and a new Dual Outrigger Handle for $490.

Links:

Your Comment

24 Comments

This is awesome all around... especially for download times which can be brutal.

I love it how they trick out this camera in so many different ways.

December 20, 2013 at 9:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Jorge

So much for Obsolesces Obsolete...except when we basically screw a memory standard we had all our users invest in for 2 years.

Makes me want to just finance an Alexa.

December 20, 2013 at 11:06AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Thom

And swap the SXS module for the XT Codex? Nothing new here.

December 20, 2013 at 12:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Robin

Except your SxS cards don't become obsolete using the new module. There is an adapter that slides right in.

December 20, 2013 at 2:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Anon

That's a good point. It's too bad RED couldn't get their adapter to work to their liking. However, it is still an option. I think people forget just how much less an Epic, even with the Dragon upgrade, costs versus an Alexa. If someone paid $50K for an Epic-X package, got $0 ROI, bought the Dragon upgrade and the new Minimag SSD and 2TBs worth of media it would still be quite a bit cheaper than buying an Alexa body only.

Image quality preferences aside, I have a hard time understanding how people who think RED is somehow gauging them contemplate buying a camera that costs several times more money than what they're paying for RED gear. ALL Arri gear is expensive as well. How will it be any different?

December 20, 2013 at 2:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Brian

I meant the Minimag SSD is an option, not the adapter.

December 20, 2013 at 2:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Brian

@Thom - Did your Side SSD and 1.8" Redmags suddenly stop working when these went on sale? RED never claimed individual components or the technologies they leverage wouldn't be replaced by newer, more capable ones. They said you wouldn't have to buy a whole new camera in order to take advantage of them. If you recall, 1.8" Redmags replaced CF cards. Something may replace the Minimags eventually.

As others have pointed out, Arri did the exact same thing with the XT module. Imagine how much it would suck if you bought an Alexa and Arri made you buy an entirely new one to get the XT module.

December 20, 2013 at 2:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Brian

Ultimately no I don't think the 1.8 SSDs are useless. In fact I hope to be a jackal and buy the 128gb cards from people who are buying the new shiny thing for the sake of it being shiny (uh...so most of Red User I suppose!). But this does create a problem now having two memory standards, especially if mixing cameras, as that could be a bad day on a shoot to not be able to have uniform memory across two or more cameras.

The other issue is that RED has made no compelling reason why to stay with current RED MAGS since they haven't adjusted the price. Based on the mini-mags if the big mags were maybe reduced by 50 percent in cost, some of us would gobble up a lot more. Why these cost what they cost is still just smoke and mirrors on RED's part. As someone pointed out at least you can use SxS cards in other cameras.

December 20, 2013 at 5:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Isaac

From Jarred Land directly:

"Unfortunately we don't dictate form factors that memory companies make... In reality the Laptop companies do. And the industry has widely moved on from the 1.8" factor used in the current mags. We of course will continue to sell and support the current larger mags.. they still work great. But don't expect larger sizes and faster speeds to come out down the road. That's technology for you. It moves fast. At least we are modular so you only need to replace the side module instead of the whole camera when technology moves and we move with it."

December 20, 2013 at 5:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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You don't have to buy it. The current cards work just fine.

December 26, 2013 at 3:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Timur Civan

I want to preface this by saying I am in no way a fanboy of either system Arri or RED. Just last night I was looking at an Amira for purchase or an Epic Dragon package.

Thom- Arri did the same thing with the Alexa XT. They have a new internal raw recording which no longer records to SxS cards. Although "Obsolescence Obsolete" is not Arri's catch phrase they did the same thing to further benefit the end user.

December 20, 2013 at 11:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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You can still use your SxS cards on the XT via an adapter.

December 20, 2013 at 4:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Bill

This costs more than a T3i..... bitch bitch bitch... moan moan moan!

December 20, 2013 at 12:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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lee

Hey people!
This is OPTIONAL the 1.8" 's are not going away! These are cheaper, faster and with larger storage capabilities.
If I owned a RED I would embrace them, sadly I can only rent these for big projects :(.
All those moaning about this are not owners but some trolls... Check out the reduser forum and you'll see that the real owners love it.
Just saying, don't shit on stuff you know shit about...

December 20, 2013 at 1:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Henri

Most of RED USER is people basically on their knees singing praises in that giant echo chamber for a forum.

The best thing about this is that it's devalued the cost of RED MAG 1.8s. LET THE LOW BALLING BEGIN!

December 20, 2013 at 1:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Isaac

Agreed - there's a huge frenzy right now on the For Sale section of reduser where everyone is trying to do away with their old mags.

December 20, 2013 at 5:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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And thus I must become a JACKAL and feed off the corpses of the early adopters!

December 20, 2013 at 7:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Isaac

I'm curious what brand of NAND flash they're using this time.

Last time it was Toshiba stuff with ~220 MB/s write speed. It was also grossly overpriced.

December 20, 2013 at 2:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Anon

compared to what? SxS????
Also Please tell us whats the price of XT upgrade for alexa :) we would like to hear it loud if its possible

December 21, 2013 at 11:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Kemalettin

Incredible prices. I'm not invested in RED so I'm nothing more than a casual observer. I just bought into an Odyssey 7Q system and their proprietary SSD's with the same features cost $390 for 256gb and 500mb/s write speeds. Makes you wonder about the profit margins! Red has superior raw compression though and I'm not trying to compare the camera systems, but wow those gigabytes sure do make you bleed, even at half their original cost!

December 20, 2013 at 6:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Kyron

Wow, bring something out to help the customer, and just a shower of hate comments.

December 20, 2013 at 7:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Tim

pretty much sums up the history of complaining on reduser.

apparently nobody gets that this isn't in any way required for anything.

apparently nobody gets that r&d costs have to come out somewhere.

extortion is basically the opposite of what red is doing with their camera system...

January 13, 2014 at 10:31AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I don't think they are hate comments. A scarlet body costs 8k. 2.5k for 1 red mag seems a bit extortionate. especially with the falling price of memory. A really fast 512 GB SSD costs around $400.

The storage is grossly over priced.

December 26, 2013 at 8:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ian

What's the going rate for a used 128GB card?

May 3, 2014 at 1:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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