Monday, November 7, 2011

The Ultimate Camera - RED Scarlet X

When I found out about this... I couldn't wait to blog about it too!

RED Digital Cinema has finally unveiled its long promised "ultimate camera," the RED Scarlet X, immediately after Canon annouced its new EOS C300.  The Scarlet has been hinted about for more than 3 years, but has not been formally launched until a few days ago.  In the wake of Canon's reveal, RED immediately responded with the Scarlet X to douse the excitement building around the EOS C300 -- The Scarlet X will be retailing at half the price (9K + to the C300's 20K) and will be available by December (the C300 will be available Jan. 2012).  These are exciting times indeed!

I call the Scarlet X the ultimate camera, because it can be used for both professional still photography and cinematic videography -- like the new generation DSLRs, but for high-resolution (4K) pro-cinema grade applications.  The other professional grade digital cinema cameras currently in the market (including the new C300) are all dedicated motion picture cameras.

The RED Scarlet X looks really good on paper, capturing 5K stills (Redcode RAW) up to 12 fps and 4K motion resolution to 30fps.  The camera is modular and is adaptable to any shooting scenario, be it still or motion, and can be fitted with an array of gadgets and accessories including multiple lens mounts (the camera comes standard with either a Canon EF or PL mounts). 

The RED Scarlet X configures both as a still or motion picture camera

The RED Scarlet X boast a dynamic range of 18 stops, 4 more stops of latitude than 35mm film and 6 stops more than the new Canon EOS C300 using HDRx.  It also captures two simultaneos streams using unique shutters -- one for motion, one for stills (VFX tracking).  This camera shoots at 4096 × 2160, at up to 25FPS, or quad HD at 30, at compression rates superior to what they’ve been shooting digital movies on for years.  This data rate is eight times what Canon’s new C300 system shoots at -- 50 megabytes per second, or 400mbit/s.  It will also shoot 3K at 48fps, 2K at 60fps, and 1K at 120fps.

Here are some of RED Scarlet X's specs in a nutshell:

Sensor:  14 Megapixel MYSTERIUM X - 5120 (h) x 2700 (v)
Dynamic Range:  13.5 stops, up to 18 stops with HDRx™ 6 fps with 5K FF and HDRx On 12 fps with 4K HD and HDRx™ On
Image Area:  5120 (h) x 2700 (v)
Lens Coverage:  27.7mm (h) x 14.6mm (v) = 31.4 mm (d)
Lens Mount:  Al Canon EF (PL mount optional)
Max Depth of Field:  Equivalent to S35mm (Motion) / APS-H (Still) lenses
Aquisition Formats:  5K FF REDCODE RAW (Full Frame)
                                  4K HD REDCODE RAW
                                  3K HD REDCODE RAW
                                  1080p REDCODE RAW
                                  1K REDCODE RAW
Frame Rates:  23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 47.96, 48, 50, 59.97
RED Code:  16-bit RAW Processing : Compression choices of 18:1 to 3:1
                     1-12 fps 5K FF
                     1-30 fps 4K HD
                     1-48 fps 3K HD
                     1-60 fps 1080p HD
                     1-120 fps 1K
Audio:  2 channel, uncompressed, 24 bit, 48KHz.
             Optional 4 channel, and AES / EBU digital audio.
Monitor/Output:  HD-SDI and HDMI with Frame Guides and Look Around or Clean Feed 1080p 4:2:2, 720p 4:2:2 SMPTE Timecode, HANC Metadata, 24-bit 48Khz Audio

Here is some footage shot with the new RED Scarlet X at 120fps:

--Photos and Video by RED Camera

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