RED Unveils More Details on Scarlet Camera

Dec 1, 2009
By Dan Havlik, PDN's Technology Specialist

Red Scarlet

Quixotic camera company RED was at it again yesterday, announcing more details of its Scarlet camera system in a posting on an Internet forum. This time it was Jarred Land of RED stepping in for company founder Jim Jannard to announce news of Scarlet in a REDUSER message board posting on Monday.

Most importantly for RED watchers was the announcement of a price for the 3K video capable Scarlet: $4750 for the system which includes a fixed 8x zoom lens. Scarlet was originally estimated to sell for under $3,000.

Features in the full Scarlet ensemble include the "brain," REDmote, 2.8-inch touchscreen LCD, REDVOLT battery and travel charger. Other intriguing details include:

• 3K REDCODE RAW capture at 120fps (or 150fps burst mode)
• Scaled 720p or 1080p recording at 60fps
• Interchangeable lens mounts including focus and iris control of RED, Canon and Nikon lenses
• "Touch focus tracking" with electronic lens mounts and RED touchscreen LCDs.

Red is also selling Scarlet in an "interchangebale" version which includes the "brain only" for $2,750. Users would then be able to add on a "mini prime" lens via a REDmini Mount. Those lenses include:

6mm T-1.5 ($950)
8mm T-1.5 ($950)
16mm T-1.5 ($950)
25mm T-1.5 ($950)
50mm T-2.9 ($950)

As is typical of RED, the Scarlet announcement was unconventional and, at times, perplexing. For instance, the list of 32 features for Scarlet includes #21 which simply says: "Something very interesting goes here..."

Also, the new 3K video/still camera -- which is the smaller version of the full-size RED Epic announced in early November -- is now being referred to as Scarlet 2/3" without explanation of what the 2/3" stands for. (Sensor size?)

If RED hadn't earned its stripes with the successful launch of its first camera, the RED One, back in 2007, it would be easy to dismiss yesterday's news as something of a joke. But as many have already learned with RED: underestimate the company at your peril.

Below is a product shot of Scarlet side-by-side with a Nikon D3x to show scale.

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