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Re(a)d(y) to go!
23 November 2011
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It’s a fact! The long awaited affordable 4K cinema camera by Red is finally here.
Codename:  SCARLET - X

It began almost three years ago as a 3K project for the “poor” cinematographer with a pricetag of 5750$, but in the meantime and with Canon breathing down their necks, Red decided to revamp their system and speed up its announcement...
5K stills resolution, 4K motion (RedCode RAW), interchangeable lens mounts and last but not least an innovative Red technology named HDRx (already incorporated in their flagship model Epic) which boosts the camera’s dynamic range to 18 stops (more than any film stock), by capturing two simultaneous streams each of them using a unique shutter speed.
(Unlike Epic and due to transfer rate and processing power limitations, Scarlet-X currently achieves the desirable 25fps with HDRx activated, only when its sensor is set to capture 3K video material. According to Red: “We are working on a future version of HDRx with modified compression, to enable 24fps at 4K.
It’ll be a free firmware upgrade for Scarlet users”.)
Red claims that HDRx will help cinematographers to “make the impossible possible”.

4Κ Digital Cinema Camera War Flares-up

The strong competition for dominance in the market is firing up.
It surely wasn’t a coincidence that Red announced Scarlet-X is ready-to-go (the first camera of the line was actually delivered on 19/11/2011), the same day Canon revealed their C300 and that the company is developing a new-concept 4K EOS series SLR. Canon’s “game changing” model will be equipped with a 35mm full-frame CMOS sensor, capable of recording 4K video at 24p, using Motion-JPEG compression (pricetag and detailed specs still unknown).
When Jarred Land (aka Fire Chief at Red) was asked to comment on whether Red was really going head-to-head with Canon on the 3rd of November, he said: “We like to bring Bazookas to knife fights”.

What’s really interesting is that along with the announcement of the development of a 4K camera model, Canon introduced seven new top grade cinema lenses (4 zooms and 3 primes) capable of delivering 4K optical resolution...needless to say, Red Scarlet comes standard with Canon EF and PL mounts.
Great news for old and new Canon glass users!

Of course other 4K competitors (not price-wise...) are readily available or in development,
such as Sony CineAlta (F-65) and Vision Research (Phantom65).
Additional digital cinema camera manufacturers are: Aaton (Penelope Delta  rumored 5K sensor),
Arri (Alexa  3K sensor) and a new contender from the east, Kinefinity (KineRAW S35  2K sensor) that promises 12bit true raw 2K material for 8000$.

Do we really need all this new technology, specs, codecs etc. to realise our vision?
We think not...
Are we going to benefit, as creators, from this industry changing activity?
We hope so!

George Tampakakis
  Red Scarlet
  Canon EOS C300
  CineAlta F65
  Vision Research - Phantom 65
  Arri cameras
  Aaton Penelope Delta
  Kinefinity - KineRaw S35
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