First things first: to RED, Summer really means Summer, so we're looking at the end of September before the first upgrades will start for CF (or Carbon Fiber) WEAPONs, with the cheaper Magnesium coming much later. Secondly, if you look at the history of upgrades with RED, there have been many delays and many long lines — so upgrades to WEAPON were inevitably going to take a very long time, unless you spend more money. Those who spend the most get things first, and that's going to happen with their new WEAPON Forged CF line, which will take priority for both upgrades and the 8K sensor.
The first WEAPON cameras going out the door right now are Forged Carbon Fiber WEAPONs, which is a totally different process than traditional Woven Carbon Fiber — and yields a much stronger body (though specs internally are identical for both CF versions). Originally this was supposed to be a special order item, but they've since added it to their actual lineup. Forged WEAPON is going to come with both OLPF versions, and is a $10,000 premium over the normal Carbon version. It's now available to order as an upgrade ($5,000 deposit), as a new camera brain (totals about $60,000), and as a new camera package (which totals $77,500):
Here's the full update from Jarred over on REDUser:
Ok... things are going great. Forged Weapons have been shipping since mid-last month and our manufacturing has gotten into a great pace.
By popular demand we have removed the " call your rep to order " restriction that not only was a pain in the ass to our customers but also bogged down my staff ( sorry about that ) . Forged ordering should be on RED.COM shortly. The line for an upgrade from your Dragon to a Forged 6k Weapon is about 4 weeks but we are doing a good job of knocking that time down. New direct Forged 6K Weapon orders (not upgrades) is about 4 days from payment.
To answer the first 5 questions people ask when they call and ask about the Forged:
Cost of the Forged is a $10k premium over the normal Carbon Weapon. ( It takes 4x as long to manufacture a Forged Weapon than a Carbon Weapon )
Weight of a Forged Weapon is roughly the same as Carbon Weapon, But the forged is much, much stronger.
Forged orders take priority for 8K sensor Upgrades.
All the parts and modules made for Carbon/Mag Weapon will fit on the Forged Weapon.
Delivery time ( see above )
After the Forged are caught up the line switches over to Carbon Weapon and that is looking like first week of October. There are a shit-ton of Dragon to Carbon Weapon 6K upgrades so its gonna take awhile to get through all of those until we move onto the Mag Weapon 6K.
8K is still on track for end of year.
The first cameras going out are Forged Carbon Fiber, followed by Woven Carbon Fiber, followed by Magnesium. Here's the priority order for current RED owners, and where their place in line is:
- EPIC-M RED DRAGON (Carbon Fiber).
- EPIC-M RED DRAGON. Upgrades for EPIC-M RED DRAGON will not be notified until all pre-orders for EPIC RED DRAGON (Carbon Fiber) are notified.
- EPIC-X RED DRAGON. Upgrades for EPIC-X RED DRAGON will not be notified until all pre-orders for EPIC-M RED DRAGON are notified.
- SCARLET DRAGON. Upgrades for SCARLET DRAGON will not be notified until all pre-orders for EPIC-X RED DRAGON are notified.
Confused yet? Essentially if you pay the most money, you'll get a camera sooner. Just like with the previous upgrade programs, people who purchase a new camera outright will likely be getting a camera before those who upgrade, just because of the way they do their upgrade programs. If the 8K sensor does come out by the end of this year, I would expect it to only come out to those with a Forged CF camera — with others following.
It's probably one of the more confusing upgrade programs they've ever done, though a lot of that comes from trying to please current owners and give them some money off. For the complete information, check out their FAQ here.