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New RED announcements

RED just announced the new Epic and Scarlet specs after their retraction of the previous announcement.

I didn't really feel like comparing the two specification-by-specification but I did notice a couple of things:

* Some prices are now lower (e.g. the 28K Epic is now $2,000 less)
* Some frame rates are now higher (e.g. 28K Epic now shoots 30 fps at 28K instead of 25). There's also been some significant ramping of frame rates at lower resolutions - e.g. the 9K Epic can now shoot 2K at 350fps!
* The fixed-lens 3K Scarlet now has a price tag - $3,000 for the body and lens and $3,750 for the whole kit (I guess this means viewfinder, battery, etc).
* Epic X now offered as an upgrade path for Red One owners only.
* Full Frame 1080p now offered.
* Time lapse and ramping now listed (don't know if they were available before or not)

So definitely some nice improvements, and no-one can complain about better specs for a lower price.

If you want to go through the announcement in greater detail, here is the latest one, and here is the old one. And here are detailed specs for the old announcement.
Posted by Jon Chappell on Dec 3 2008 to Cameras, Indie

RED introduces brand new DSMC system

Everyone's been talking about it. Today RED announced its redesigned Scarlet and Epic offerings, thought to be taken back to the drawing board due to the sudden competition from traditional SLR cameras such as the Canon 5D MkII.

At the core of RED's new offerings is the DSMC (Digital Stills and Motion Camera) system. You select the "brain" (sensor and body) of the camera and then mix and match components based on your requirements. You need never buy another whole camera again - just upgrade components as and when they are released.

In addition to the previously-announced Mysterium-X sensor capable of recording at 5K, they have developed Mysterium Monstro, which captures at up to 28K. To put things in perspective, IMAX footage is around 10K so that is almost 3x IMAX resolution! It can capture 261 megapixel (MP) still images too, which means that if you printed out an image at 300 dpi, it would cover approximately 77 square feet!

Epic "brains" come in large, rugged cases whereas Scarlet ones come in smaller and lighter cases designed for traveling. The "brains" available are:

Scarlet models

3K - up to 120 fps with lens
* 2/3" Mysterium-X
* Comes with fixed 8x lens
* This is the original Scarlet announced at NAB
* The original price was $3000 but price is now TBD so it could end up lower
* Captures stills at 4.9 MP
* Fall 2009

3K - up to 120 fps
* 2/3" Mysterium-X
* Mini-RED, C, B4 mounts
* Basically the original Scarlet with the ability to change lenses
* Captures stills at 4.9 MP
* $2,500
* Summer / Fall 2009

5K - up to 30 fps
* S35 Mysterium-X
* RED, PL, Canon, Nikon mounts
* Captures stills at 13.8 MP
* $7,000
* Spring/Summer 2009

6K - up to 30 fps
* FF35 Mysterium Monstro
* RED, Canon, Nikon mounts
* Captures stills at 24 MP
* $12,000
* Winter 2009

Epic models

5K - up to 100 fps
* S35 Mysterium-X
* RED, PL, Canon, Nikon mounts
* Captures stills at 13.8 MP
* $28,000
* Summer/Fall 2009

6K - up to 100 fps
* FF35 Mysterium Monstro
* RED, Canon, Nikon mounts
* Captures stills at 24 MP
* $35,000
* Winter 2009

9K - up to 50 fps
* 645 Mysterium Monstro
* RED, Medium Format, Mamiya mounts
* Captures stills at 65 MP
* $45,000
* Spring 2010

28K - up to 25 fps
* 617 Mysterium Monstro
* Linhof, Alpa mounts
* Captures stills at 261 MP (!)
* $55,000
* Spring 2010

But what on earth do you capture that amount of data to? Well, you have a choice of internal memory, special high-speed DSMC CF or SSD modules (most likely a ton of regular CFs or SSDs in a RAID 0 configuration) or, intriguingly, wireless or ethernet transfer. I'm guessing those last two won't be an option for larger resolutions but hopefully you will be able to send out a proxy version for previewing.

Oh, and you can also link two together for stereoscopic imaging which is unbelievably awesome. The image shows two Scarlets in stereoscopic configuration but it's not stated whether or not the Epics can do it too (particularly the huge 28K one). That'd be interesting to know.

The idea behind the camera is that you swap parts so you could buy a Scarlet and gradually work your way up to a higher model over time without having to re-purchase any extra equipment. This is perfectly possible but it is worth mentioning that some of the models have different lens mounts, and Mysterium-X lenses will not work very well with a Monstro as they are designed for a sensor that is considerably smaller.

The only downside is that Scarlet was originally scheduled for release in January 2009 (I forget when Epic was supposed to be released) so these dates have been pushed back. But I think we can all agree it will be worth it in the end.

Read more at RED's site.
Posted by Jon Chappell on Nov 13 2008 to Cameras, Indie, Indie

RED CES news - 4K delivery and Scarlet

I know I'm late to the party but there were some important announcements at CES (Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas) by the creators of the RED camera.

Jim Jannard (head honcho) yesterday announced a 4K delivery system in response to the 4K displays announced at the show by Panasonic and Sony. He was not specific about what this delivery system would be comprised of but he has stated in the past a desire to create 4K projectors and it was interesting to note that he said "in the home as well as on the big screen".

I'm wondering what sized screen (and what sized house!) you would need to get the full benefit of 4K in your home (Panasonic's one is 150"), but I guess all will be revealed at NAB (the National Association of Broadcasters conference) in April.

Earlier in the week, Jim also revealed that there is a "pocket professional camera" in development called Scarlet. Further details will be given at NAB, but Jim did imply that it was intended to compliment, not replace the RED One.

That Jim loves to tempt us. It's a great way of getting people to talk and speculate about his products though. Apple adopts a similar strategy.
Posted by Jon Chappell on Jan 9 2008 to Cameras, Indie, Hardware

Matrox MXO now runs on Leopard

Matrox has just released a patch for its MXO HD monitoring system. The patch offers "Mac OS X v10.5 (Leopard) support, Apple Color v1.0.2 support, Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 v3.1.1 support and genlock timing offset controls."

The Matrox MXO is a box that you connect between your graphics card and an Apple Cinema Display that allows you to perform accurate high definition monitoring for under $2000. This is a great product for indies, as monitoring solutions normally start at about $8000-9000, and the Matrox MXO is definitely comparable with these higher-priced solutions. The best experience will always be on a CRT monitor but this is a close second for a fraction of the price.

Visit Matrox's MXO support page to download the patch. Note that you will need to be a registered user on their site in order to do so.

[via Broadcast Engineering]
Posted by Jon Chappell on Dec 27 2007 to Color Grading, Hardware, Indie

Moby offers royalty free film music to non-commercial films

Moby is offering royalty-free film music to "independent and non-profit filmmakers, film students, and anyone in need of free music for their independent, non-profit film, video, or short."

If you are using it for commercial use, you can apply for an "easy" license with all proceeds being given to the Humane Society.

This represents the third example this year (that I can think of, let me know if I missed anything) of a major artist bypassing a record label. The first was Prince, who released his album Planet Earth for free in a UK newspaper, then Radiohead released their album In Rainbows on the internet for whatever price downloaders were willing to pay.

Life is getting harder for the record labels because the viral nature of the internet means that some established artists are questioning the need for a middleman.

[via HDForIndies]
Posted by Jon Chappell on Nov 9 2007 to Indie, Industry, Useful sites