RED’s Scarlet Gets Official: 4K For Under $10K

For more than three years, upstart camera maker RED has been teasing the Scarlet, a compact camera in the same class as their more powerful, but bulkier, RED One and Epic cameras. We actually saw one at CES this year, but they’ve completely redone the design and capabilities. They were going to publish all this information on their website, but they’re apparently under attack so we’re doing this live.

It used to do 3K and have a fixed 8x zoom. Now it’s essentially the same type of camera as the Epic (that is to say, a sort of chunky “brain” onto which you can fix lenses and so on), just for a much lower price.

The brain:

Fully accoutred:

The Scarlet X, as it’s now called, will sell for $9750 and will be shipping as early as November 17th – the date they said they’d ship earlier, at least after they revised the shipping estimate a dozen times or so. So what can it do?

Well, it does 4K, for one thing. That’s 4096×2160, at up to 25FPS, or quad HD at 30. This is at compression rates that are superior to what they’ve been shooting movies on for years, yet at a data rate that’s still eight times what Canon’s new C300 system shoots at. That’s 50 megabytes per second, or 400mbit/s for those keeping track. The full sensor size is 5120×2700 for stills.

It’ll also do 3K at 48fps, 2K at 60fps, and 1K at 120fps, which is fairly low-resolution but retains the color depth and so on. It’s a Super 35-sized sensor and they’re using leftover chips from Epic brains, which cost almost three times as much. In fact, if you shoot the same type of footage with the same lenses using the Scarlet and the Epic, the images should be “identical.” Here are some datarate specs for those who like that sort of thing:

Aesthetically, it’s similar to the rest, since it’s compatible with all the accessories, but it’s “battleship grey,” as RED founder Jim Jannard described it, and it doesn’t have “ribs,” because “she’s a girl, she’s smooth.”

It’s shipping November 17th, but only if you’re willing to shell out an extra $1500 for the titanium PL mount. The new aluminum Canon mount they’re putting on it will be available starting on December 1st. That $9750 price gets you the brain and an SSD; Jannard said that a fully-functional camera, with LCD, lens, rails, and handles will set you back around $13k.