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RED to ship beta EPIC-X cameras, upgrades Scarlet

updated 06:40 pm EDT, Fri October 30, 2009

RED details EPIC-X beta, Scarlet 1080p60

RED this evening provided an update on the progress of its greater-than-HD EPIC and Scarlet cameras with a beta program for the EPIC-X and a feature boost for the Scarlet. The 5K resolution EPIC-X should now be available as a "beta" test camera before the end of 2009 and, in a first stage, will give those buyers a pre-production core body and all the equipment needed to use it outside of the lens, such as CompactFlash storage, an electronic viewfinder, a mount and power. This initial run should be available only in very limited numbers for $28,000 and will get special support up to and including CEO Jim Jannard's personal cellphone number.

A second stage will be destined for existing RED ONE owners that want to keep their camera. It will cost $19,500 and have virtually a similar load-out to the first stage but should use production hardware and come with a 5-inch LCD in place of the viewfinder. These models will ship after the earliest testers are satisfied but will have serial numbers that aren't eligible for trade-ins, like later cameras.

Stage three owners are those who want to trade in their RED ONE units and will only pay $10,500 after having exchanged the old camera. These models will have 2.8-inch LCDs and ship after stage two. Stage four applies to all other buyers and will include just the main body for the full $28,000 price.

The 2/3-inch Scarlet camera has also been upgraded as a reaction to major video-capable DSLRs like the Canon EOS 5D Mark II and should now have features that beat these cameras besides the additional resolution. RED claims higher bitrates in the native REDCODE format that should allow for 1080p at 60 frames per second. It will now also have a gigabit Ethernet jack for networked shooting, tap-to-focus when linked to a touchscreen LCD, a more modular design and the same color, gamma and light sensitivity features as the EPIC line.

Jannard is aware of the company's repeated delays in launching the cameras but, along with promising shipping cameras, explains that the company both has a better control over its development process and also that the economy gives RED little reason to accelerate any launches until customers are more willing to buy into the system.

The EPIC and Scarlet are both part of a new modular design system that lets videographers choose as much or as little equipment as is needed to record, including different grips, previewing systems, storage and lens mounts. When completed, the new system should also allow for recording 3D or using the Scarlet for still photos.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Wow, smell the vapour!


    Joined: Dec 1969


    And the beta camera...will also be delayed.

    yes, smell the Vapour indeed! can always expect delays! Year long delays!
    or more...

    And what's the deal with this line :
    "...also that the economy gives RED little reason to accelerate any launches until customers are more willing to buy into the system."

    Right, that explains why the EOS 5d markii flew off the shelves and was on backorder for nearly a half year... Yep, the customers just weren't there! Come on already!

  1. shawnde

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Learning from Microsoft ....

    I don't think these guys have ever shipped a real 'finished' product ... their terms are always about "beta", "trade-in", "rental", "swap", etc .....

    All these limited time offers, delayed products, beta tests remind me of the glory days of Microsoft, where everything was basically in pre-Alpha state (i.e. still on the drawing board), and the entire customer base was used as a paying (not paid) beta-test pool. I mean who wants to 'pay' beta testers, when the testers themselves are willing to pay you !!!

    Meanwhile, Panasonic, Sony and others are actually SHIPPING real tested cameras that function in the real world. Whew ... what a concept !!

  1. lolcat789

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Decent specs

    Really ugly.

  1. cvbcvb

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Red One

    “Meanwhile, Panasonic, Sony and others are actually SHIPPING real tested cameras that function in the real world. Whew ... what a concept !!“

    Shouldn’t you add the Red One to your list...


  1. dhsg

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Anyone here have a clue..... ?

    Well, fair enough. There is some frustration about these cameras. But it would seem that the posters so far do not have any idea about what these products from RED really mean. I would also assume that none of the posters actually work in the Industry, because you guys are coming across as not having a clue on what your talking about. I am yet to meet a disappointed RED owner. I cannot see how it would be a 'negative' that RED have offered a pretty good deal for current owners of SHIPPED RED cameras. What are the chances of getting a trade in from Apple for an old Apple TV when the next model comes out with improved specs? Yeah right. So Shawnde, I just don't understand why you see it has a problem to have the option of a "trade - in". As for the other manufacturers, well, they make some pretty decent cameras, but when your working in the industry, your always on the lookout for an improvement to workflow or a new approach to the craft. Frankly, competition is always a good thing. So, Thanks posters for making comments on concepts and products I doubt your have any working knowledge on.


    Joined: Dec 1969


    Yes..a clue.

    I work with Red all the time - and overall I think the RED 1 camera is a fantastic and groundbreaking setup. I congratulate Red on finally breaking up this overly dominated market with something that really rocks the boat -
    But, remember it took them SEVERAL years to actually release RED 1. And products they've been talking about (like the scarlet) have now been on their site for 2 years now as well. Why talk about stuff like it's "about to come out" when it's years away? Oh...gee - what about Red Ray - remember that...from 2 years ago?

    Sure, they're the only game in town and they have been using their client base as beta -testers for a while now (just ask my friends who lost various mags on RED code switch overs and firmware changes - and the host of other odd problems that have plagued the camera) but it would be swell if they just didn't bother talking fantasy and stuck with reality. I was all set to buy the Scarlet Last year - now it looks more like Summer of Next year. Jeez!


    Joined: Dec 1969


    BTW: - New Company, New Camera

    My new company is set to introduce the GOD camera...
    capable of infinite resolution, endless storage and unlimited angle recording.

    I'm taking Deposits now!

    *** Specifications, prices and delivery dates are subject to change. Count on it.

  1. dhsg

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Other companies

    I am just as frustrated about the Scarlet as others, by all means it would have seemed likely to have arrived earlier, but has not. But in fairness, how long have sony stuck with Betacam SP, in otherswords, how long did it take them to move from the invention of Betacam SP to the Digital Versions. A fair bit of time. We seem to be letting the other manufacturers off the hook for taking years, decadeds for major upgrades. Then again, we also do not have high expections of these companies. It has been a long time since they caused a true ripple of excitment (VDSLRs excepted)

  1. Yirmin

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Vapor ware

    I have to admit that Red did come up with a viable product in the past. But the reality is many of the best intentions turn to vapor ware. And the scarlet is appearing more and more like a good idea that just will not happen. It has been delayed by more than a year and there is still no real release date. When things are delayed they do not tend to get better they tend to be like hollywood movies that are delayed because of problems and will be dogs if they ever see the light of day.

    At the moment the Scarlet is claiming some better ad-ons but at a much greater expense... I suspect the reality will be Nikon and Canon will continue to improve their dslr and video capabilities to the point that Scarlet will be dead before it arrives. The prosumer and consumer market will never be willing to buy a 10,000 camera when they can get a 3000-5000 nikon or canon that will provide the equivalent output and offer much wider selection of add on lenses.

    And before people start flaming about the much higher quality of a scarlet... well, the reality is the output doesn't have to be nasa quality for a consumer or prosumer... I could use a nikon dslr now and create a movie that would be of high enough production standards to make film festivals or TV commercials... and would have saved much money and gotten more possibilities than a Scarlet... 2.8f for a scarlet, when I can get 1.4f from a nikon or canon for peanuts.. or push for a 1.2 or 1.0 with the spare change I got by not buying a scarlet.

    I can see no point in a scarlet anymore.... they had a chance to enter the market and make a wave but they waited too long and the tide has gone back out.

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