February 19, 2016

RED's 5K 60fps SCARLET-W Camera is Now Shipping

According to RED's Jarred Land, the company's newest 5K camera, the SCARLET-W, has begun to ship.

Last December, we worked with RED to help announce the camera, which tops out at 5K 60fps RAW and 2K ProRes, and starts just under $10,000. The ship date for the body was February, and it looks like RED is hitting that goal. Here is what Jarred posted in the forum:

We began blasting out notifications tonight.... The Scarlet-W program has officially begun. 

Brains are going out first, and the Scarlet-W Packages should start going out next week. 

Thanks to all our great customers for all for your support... and thank you to all the RED engineers for truly outdoing themselves on this one.

RED SCARLET-W Jarred Land Post

As far as image quality, everything should be essentially identical to the footage from other RED cameras with DRAGON sensors, assuming the image area and compression are matched. If you missed it, here are the specs for the camera:

  • 5120 x 2700, 13.8 Megapixel RED DRAGON Sensor
  • Sensor Size: 25.6mm (h) x 13.5mm (v) x 28.9mm (d)
  • Interchangeable Mounts & OLPFs
  • MINI-MAG Media Bay, Record RAW & ProRes Simultaneously
  • Dynamic Range: Same as Other DRAGON Sensors (Listed at 16.5+)
  • Range of Aspect Ratios Including 2:1, 2.40:1, 16:9, 3:2, 4:3, 2X Anamorphic and 1.3X Anamorphic
  • 48 fps at 5K Full Frame (5120 x 2700) and 8:1 REDCODE
  • 60 fps at 5K 2.4:1 (5120 x 2160) and 8:1 REDCODE
  • 100 fps at 4.5K Full Frame (4608 x 2412) and 14:1 REDCODE
  • 120 fps at 4.5K 2.4:1 (4608 x 1944) and 13:1 REDCODE
  • 120 fps at 4K Full Frame (4096 x 2160) and 13:1 REDCODE
  • 150 fps at 4K 2.4:1 (4096 x 1728) and 13:1 REDCODE
  • 160 fps at 3K Full Frame (3072 x 1620) and 10:1 REDCODE
  • 200 fps at 3K 2.4:1 (3072 x 1296) and 10:1 REDCODE
  • 240 fps at 2K Full Frame (2048 x 1080) and 7:1 REDCODE
  • 300 fps at 2K 2.4:1 (2048 x 864) and 7:1 REDCODE
  • Minimum REDCODE Compression: 5K/24fps/4:1, 5K/48fps/8:1, 4K/24fps/3:1, 4K/60fps/7:1
  • ProRes 2K (2048×1080): 422 HQ, 422, or LT up to 60 fps (Not cropped — this uses the entire frame of a given resolution)
  • 17x17x17 3D LUTs
  • Audio: Integrated Dual Channel Stereo Microphones (Uncompressed, 24-bit 48 kHz
  • Remote control via Wireless, Ethernet, RS232, GPI Trigger with Expander Module
  • Auto Black Calibration
  • Compatibility with All DSMC² Modules
  • Body type: Alluminum Alloy
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs. Brain with Media Bay
  • Availability: February 2016 for Brain, March 2016 for Package
  • Price New: $9950 Body Only for SCARLET-W and SCARLET-W Monochrome, Packages starting at $14,500
  • Price for SCARLET DRAGON Owners: $9950 Body Only, Packages Starting at Only $12,000

If you are behind in the pre-order line or you wanted to order one today, it's unclear when you might get the camera in hand, as apparently there are a ton of SCARLET-W orders. 

Jarred also mentioned that since RED can't make their Carbon Fiber 7" touchscreen fast enough, they are releasing a slightly cheaper non-CF version for $200 less at $2,750, which should be in the RED store soon:

P.S just as a little heads up for you guys paying attention, tomorrow we are going to add a non-carbon version of the 7" DSMC2 LCD to the lineup, as we just can't make the carbon fiber monitors fast enough to keep up with the demand.

RED 7 Inch Touch Non Carbon Fiber

Interview with Jarred Land

As for the SCARLET-W, Jarred Land sat down with me for quite some time before the announcement last December and we talked about the new camera and where it fits in, and what's happening with their other models. Here's the interview again if you missed it:

RED SCARLET-W 5K PL Mount Black Background

No Film School: Why the SCARLET-W name over SCARLET WEAPON?

Jarred Land: SCARLET-W is to WEAPON just like SCARLET is to EPIC. You can’t have a SCARLET EPIC, Just like you can’t have a SCARLET WEAPON. The –W is not just an evolutionary amendment, it is also an indicator that you can use all the same bits from the new DSMC2 accessory and module line as is shared by the WEAPON, including interchangeable mounts, interchangeable OLPFs, etc. 

NFS: Why the grey color instead of the black that RAVEN and other WEAPON cameras have?

JL: Since SCARLETs are often used in very high end productions alongside its bigger brothers, and since the body style across them are physically the same, it is important to have a visual distinction. It is something both rental houses and on set camera crews have requested and it makes a lot of sense.

NFS: Who is SCARLET-W designed for and why did you build it? How does it fit in with RAVEN and the other WEAPON models? Does it share similar image quality since it’s the same sensor technology?

JL: Yes, all of our DSMC2  line of cameras have the DRAGON sensor in common, so intercutting footage between the entire line is pretty seamless. RAVEN was designed to be an entry point to the RED ecosystem and, just as importantly, be as light as possible for gimbal and drone work. The SCARLET-W was designed with a filmmaker in mind, borrowing a lot of technology from our top shelf cameras at a very disruptive price point.

NFS: The RED line seems to now be following a defined path of higher resolutions and higher frame rates equaling higher cost. For example, we now have 4.5K, 5K, and 6K cameras in the DSMC2 bodies that are all in their own price brackets. Is the goal affordability, or is it more that you guys figure out where the needs are and work out how to offer a compelling camera at the lowest price possible (rather than price being the first objective)?

JL: The ultimate goal is to put the best image possible in the hands of filmmakers that are serious about what they do. Image quality is always our top priority, and that is the foundation of all of our cameras at all our price points.

NFS: You’ve mentioned that RAVEN is a physically smaller (4.5K) cut of the DRAGON sensor, is that the same with SCARLET-W, or is it similar to the original SCARLET that had 5K M-X sensors that weren’t up to the highest spec but worked for 4K and lower resolutions?

JL: SCARLET-W uses the same sensor as the 6K DRAGON, but only has an active 5K image area. We are the only company other than Sony in this market that designs both our own ASICs and sensors, so we can leverage yields in the manufacturing process to accommodate an array of products in different price points that all share the same DNA.

NFS: How do you see this model stacking up against cameras from other manufacturers like Sony, Canon, and Blackmagic? What makes RED different from these other offerings?

JL: We see the SCARLET-W to be the perfect camera for a lot of people. At this price point I honestly don’t think there is really anything to compare it to.  

NFS: Will there be any upgrade options to SCARLET-W or will you consider any sort of trade-in discount for current SCARLET DRAGON owners (or even owners of other cameras)?

JL: SCARLET DRAGON owners get to purchase the SCARLET-W BASE I/O V-LOCK PACKAGE for $2500 less than non-SCARLET DRAGON owners. We promised we had some love for those guys coming, and getting that package at $12,000 gets them running right out of the gate. Not a trade in, mind you, just a little thank you. 

And, yes, you are able to upgrade from SCARLET-W to the WEAPON class…

NFS: This camera, just like RAVEN and WEAPON Magnesium, is limited to 2K ProRes. With so many productions looking for a 4K ProRes solution, what prevented these other models from getting 4K ProRes and what factored into this decision?

JL: We believe strongly that REDCODE is the best solution for acquisition. We do understand the need for ProRes and other RGB outputs for quick reference material that is often a requirement during a shooting day and that is why we now supply RGB codecs alongside REDCODE in camera.

NFS: With heat/size/price being a factor in offering better ProRes resolutions or frame rates, will RED consider a larger body in the future that has everything, or will the technology soon be at a point that everything can be done in the DSMC2 body?

JL: Neither of those answers are wrong. [Laughing]

NFS: Will SCARLET-W also have better black calibration like the other DSMC2models? Essentially black shading won't need to be thought about like it is now on current SCARLET and EPIC cameras?

JL: Correct, SCARLET-W shares the same Auto Black Balance as the rest of the DSMC2 line.

NFS: What sorts of packages will you be offering with SCARLET-W? You mentioned some people might want to switch out the V-Lock Expander for the REDVOLT Module. 

JL: Being a modular system, it's possible to have a million different packages. We have base packages for what we think most people will choose, and people can build their own to suit them if that doesn’t work.

NFS: Will there be an Anton Bauer version of the DSMC2 Base I/O V-Lock Expander, or V-Lock only?

JL: V-lock is the option we are manufacturing since we also manufacture V-lock batteries. Element Technica makes an AB plate for the normal Base Expander, and since we opened our system up to approved 3rd parties, I am sure if the demand is there, there will be a solution.

NFS: What’s happening with the M-X sensor cameras now that we’ve got replacement models?

JL: We no longer are manufacturing nor selling M-X cameras, but that doesn’t mean that they are not just as capable of capturing world class images today as they were when they were released over 5 years ago.  

NFS: What would you say to those people who dislike RED because of the marketing and camera names? Are we going to see a more toned-down RED in future years? What do you think is most misunderstood about RED as a company and the people that work there?

JL: We are who we are. We have personalities, and we don’t hide them. The images you get out of our cameras should ultimately be the only thing that really matters. 

***

Thanks again to Jarred for talking with me, and if you haven't pre-ordered the camera yet, you might be in for a little bit of a wait, but hopefully they can ramp these up fast.      

Your Comment

32 Comments

Red is such a refreshing company to deal with. Better customer service than Sony, Canon and BM combined. The CEO answers questions on the Red forum at 2 AM on Sundays while most people are asleep. The CS alone is worth buying into the system

Great images, solid reputation in real world production and unreal support makes this a great camera for the price. I am personally thrilled to be getting mine soon. I think making this camera in the $15K range / market was a smart move and opens up ownership to a lot more people.

February 19, 2016 at 11:01AM, Edited February 19, 11:03AM

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Gene Sung
DP / Director
697

Yup.

I cannot tell you how many times I wished Black Magic or DJI had 1/10th of the customer service and transparency of RED.

February 19, 2016 at 11:23AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2682

Because of all of your experience, I really appreciate reading comments from you two guys (Luke and Gene).

February 20, 2016 at 3:31PM, Edited February 20, 3:33PM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1674

Red grew up and that's nice to see. For a while they were acting a bit too much like cow boys. I like the new spirit. Taking time to explain things, fixing misunderstandings in a clever way, adding some "one more thing" improvements at the last moment like 4.5k to raven or a case for the scarlet. Less rough, and more easy with critics. And now they deliver before the date. Time for many to make peace with this brand.

February 19, 2016 at 11:56AM

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JoachimV
503

Unfortunately, many of them still act like viva la bam's entourage. They are improving, but jesus christ some of the people that get hired -____-

February 19, 2016 at 1:27PM

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Unfortunately, many of them still act like viva la bam's entourage. They are improving, but jesus christ some of the people that get hired -____-

February 19, 2016 at 1:27PM

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This is awesome - I'm so done with BMD and have been so pleased with RED's communication on REDUSER that I went and pre-ordered the Raven. Can't wait!

February 19, 2016 at 12:55PM

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Aaron Nanto
Creator/Filmmaker
175

I'd echo this statement. I also pre-ordered Scarlet-W and it was my first time dealing with Red. I was very impressed with the communication and they are very helpful and quick. I also cancelled my Ursa Mini 4.6K order and moved to Red eco system.

February 19, 2016 at 1:23PM

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ozkan erden
Aerial Videographer
173

I felt like the Scarlet-Dragon was a bit crippled with less ideal compression ratios to protect the Dragon so it never quite caught on. Scarlet-Weapon is a legit camera and a lot more capable. 4:1 compression at 24fps (maybe even 30fps?) 5K is great. Scarlet-Weapon will get a lot more use than it's predecessor.

February 19, 2016 at 2:00PM

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Gene Sung
DP / Director
697

Can anyone enlighten me on the crop factor of this camera. Near as I can tell at 2k, the sensor capture size is smaller than Super16 and at 5K it is right around Super35. Assuming that choosing "Red Dragon at 2K and 5K" in the RED crop factor page is what I needed to do.
http://www.red.com/tools/crop-factor

So there is a different crop factor for each resolution? Is there a chart that explains this all in one place, other than their crop factor tool?

February 19, 2016 at 2:41PM

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Yes, each resolution is a different crop.

This image from Phil Holland shows what's going on:

http://artbyphil.com/phfx/red/dragon/images/phfx_redDragon_filmRelevance...

February 19, 2016 at 3:00PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2682

My sincere thanks. Looks like shooting 5k and down scaling in post would be the best way to maintain shallow DOF except for initial file size. Again, I appreciate the response.

February 19, 2016 at 3:19PM, Edited February 19, 3:20PM

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The 2K ProRes files from this will be downscaled versions of whatever you shoot. So if you're in 5KFF, you will be getting a 2K ProRes of the same sensor size. Kind of nice...

February 19, 2016 at 3:24PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2682

That is exactly what I was looking to hear! So, I can get all the benefits of the 5K sensor (Shallow DOF, etc.) and the camera will downscale and output a 2k ProRes file. I love it. Thanks for the additional clarification.

February 19, 2016 at 3:44PM

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Yup! At the same time it will record your 5K Redcode video if you want it to. A very cool addition that isn't really "sexy" but is so important to have on many jobs.

February 19, 2016 at 3:53PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2682

This is the "problem" with shooting RAW - in this example REDCODE (but also with BMD CinemaDNG and so on) is that the information is not processed in-camera. So if you want to shoot at a lower resolution then the max, and still use the full sensor, you either need to capture full resolution of the sensor in RAW or have it process to a compressed format (like ProRes). But internal processing will require a lot of power compared to RAW. So the processing of compressed formats (like ProRes) will always be in smaller resolutions and/or frame rates, than the RAW capabilites:-)

February 19, 2016 at 6:33PM

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My scarlet-w is payed for and on the way :)

February 19, 2016 at 3:18PM

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So cool. We havent ordered yet, but will soon. Unless we stumble upon a shedload of cash and order a weapon... not likely

February 19, 2016 at 3:26PM

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Dean Butler
Writer Director Shooter Editor
473

you've received yours? I ordered mine a few days after they announced, and my friend as well was in line ahead of me- and we haven't heard anything yet :/

April 7, 2016 at 5:06PM

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Robert Spaniolo
filmmaker/ vfx artist
81

I sold my Scarlet-X (which I loved) before these cameras were announced and was going to switch to Mini Ursa 4.6K. However, I think you won me back RED and I couldn't be happier.

February 19, 2016 at 7:11PM

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Ian Mora
Writer, Director, Editor, Camera Operator
247

I feel the same way. #feelingsaboutacamera

February 20, 2016 at 4:04AM

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Dantly Wyatt
Musical Comedy & Content Creator.
840

I won't have a need to switch to 4K+ till this summer. In the meantime I can be patient and see what comes to market. Red is more expensive than BMD, but has also become more reliable and field tested. If BMD hasn't started shipping the mini 4.6K by may, hello Red. If they ship and have as many issues as previous cameras, including poor low light, then hello Red.

February 20, 2016 at 4:05PM

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I'll probably be disciplined and wait until the Ursa Mini 4.6K is out in the wild for a while as well for all the same reasons you mentioned, Joe.

February 20, 2016 at 10:19PM

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Ian Mora
Writer, Director, Editor, Camera Operator
247

Guys, you also talk a lot about Mini Ursa here. Do you really think that Mini Ursa 4.6K is/might be better than Scarlet-W? Would you, please, mention the main factors where these two cameras could compete or are close to? Thank you.

February 29, 2016 at 4:36AM

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Bird Green
Music & video producer, composer, performer.
161

Since windows users like myself can't get Prores 4:4:4, we can edit Redraw. So can Mac users. Win, win for everyone. High density, high performance SSDs are affordable now, so Raw isn't the roadblock it once was for editing.

February 20, 2016 at 3:59PM

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DNXHD is coming this summer

February 20, 2016 at 8:31PM

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....and redcode is a dream to work with. CinemaDNG worries me a little, and the compressed 4:1 samples are nowhere to be found

February 20, 2016 at 10:17PM

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Ian Mora
Writer, Director, Editor, Camera Operator
247

+1 for Redcode. It is easier for me to work with 6K Redcode than it is 4K GH4 footage.

February 20, 2016 at 11:44PM, Edited February 20, 11:44PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2682

omg, really. I don't have a Red...yet. It's good to see this good experience you have had with Red.

Do you think you will go to Red 8K when it's possible? The two videos I've seen from it so far look good.

February 21, 2016 at 12:52AM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1674

I hated on them back in the day but I have done a 180. Really great "all around" cameras. Is the Alexa image more film like? Probably. Their older models cost twice as much and are heavy and the raw codec is a nightmare (emphasis on nightmare).

Probably won't do the 8K RED for a while as the price is just crazy compared to other offerings. Honestly I'm waiting around for the inevitable price drops. Then the Dragon and MX line (which I still love) will be pretty affordable.

February 21, 2016 at 12:05PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2682

Kinda nice that an Arri vs. Red food fight didn't start in this thread.

February 22, 2016 at 1:39AM, Edited February 22, 1:39AM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1674

I just bought by Panatronics Milan. He will arrive in August. As soon as I have it in my hands I am telling you what makes this camera.

June 16, 2016 at 12:54PM

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Francesco Morra
FilmMaker - DoP - VideoReporter
81