updated 08:45 am EST, Thu November 13, 2008
RED EPIC and Scarlet DSMC
RED today formally uncovered the full remakes of its EPIC and Scarlet cameras. Now considered part of the Digital Stills and Motion Camera (DSMC) system, the two are designed both to serve as extremely high-resolution DSLRs as well as RED's staple greater-than-HD video cameras. The two use the REDCODE RAW format to produce both still shots and videos, and introduce a unique modular system to either category: users pick the EPIC or Scarlet as a core unit and then choose displays, eyepieces, grips, lenses, mounts and more depending on the exact need.
This can result in a camera configured specifically for DSLR use with a side grip, a handheld camcorder-like device, or a traditional professional video camera. It even allows multi-sensor combinations for recording 3D video, according to RED.
The camera maker has also substantially expanded the sensor options from the original announcements of the two sequels to RED ONE. Scarlet now starts at 3K resolution (3072x1620) with a 2/3" Mysterium-X sensor that shoots at up to 120FPS video and scales up to 6K (6000x4000) using a 36x24mm Mysterium Monstro sensor with up to 30FPS video. EPIC will scale even larger, starting at 5K (5120x2700) and 100FPS with a 30x15mm Mysterium-X sensor and working up to an unprecedented 9K (9334x7000) and 50FPS on a 56x42mm Monstro sensor.
Launch dates and prices vary sharply and are in part a roadmap for RED's long-term future. Scarlet ships first and should be available initially in a 5K, 30FPS variant with support for RED, Canon and Nikon lenses at $7,000 when it ships in the spring or summer of next year. The 5K EPIC at $28,000 and a mini-RED mount 3K Scarlet at $2,500 will be available during either the summer or fall. A basic 3K scarlet with a built-in 8X optical lens has yet to receive a price but should ship in fall 2009, while the 6K EPIC and Scarlet models will ship for $35,000 and $12,000 respectively in winter.
The 9K EPIC is a long-term release and isn't estimated to ship until spring 2010, when it would sell for $45,000. It should also be accompanied by a premium 28K (28000x9334) 25FPS version at the same time for $55,000, though this model uses a dramatically different mount meant for large format, panorama-grade shooting.
RED is cautious and notes that both final specifications and release dates could change depending on the company's progress.