The faces of executives at RED, arguably the most successful maker of digital cinema cameras, may have turned scarlet or even red, during the launch of the RED Scarlet. After all, what is suspected to be a malicious attack on its servers made RED’s web site unavailable.
The faithful who attended the launch of the RED Scarlet tweeted bits and pieces of news that partially made up for the web site being down. But the RED Scarlet, launched at a relatively low-key affair just hours after Canon’s C300 launch, may still make Canon turn scarlet or even red.
When RED announced the Scarlet three years ago, it was positioned as a 2-3” chip providing a 3K resolution picture for 2K deliverables after processing. However, what was launched last week is really a cheaper version of the RED EPIC, the company’s flagship 5K resolution cinema camera. The Scarlet X is capable of 5K stills and 4K video at 25fps. It will also shoot at 120fps in 1K mode.
According to Jim Jannard, RED’s CEO, the EPIC’s ASICs (application specific integrated circuits) and matching electronics are very expensive. Therefore, the Scarlet has used less advanced (and consequently, less powerful and lower-cost) electronics to reduce the cost.
The Scarlet comes with a standard cinema PL mount or the Canon EF mount with autofocus support. The former will be available in November, while the Canon EF mount version will be available in December. RED has promised to ramp up production, so that by February 2012 or so, the cameras will be available from stock.