Red leader Jim Jannard has been trickling updatesÂ all day to his big November 13th announcement. This time the information first comes in the form of more upgrade options for current Red One owners. Â I’m sure by now they’ve all read the announcement and are trying to figure out how they’re going to come up with the probable $22,500 to upgrade. In a way it’s like finding out their wife is pregnant, at least they’ve got 9 months to raise the cash to support their expected new baby.
For the rest of us the information to focus on is surrounding the new Scarlet and Epic products what all they’ll do and what they’ll mean to our pocket book.
Jannard starts by saying that the last few weeks has brought some advancements in “all aspects of the electronics design and sensor fabrication…” and “a radical new approach to overcoming some of the previous system limitations.” Â All leading to the “re-write of the system specs to the benefit of our customers.” He also categorizes all changes as “changes for the better” and looking at the new specs I have to agree. Â On the bad side he admits that some of these changes will come with a slight delay in the releases, but describes it as being only “a few extra weeks”, and worth the wait.
I wanted to examine the differences in the specs and discuss some of the new pricing information. The first step there is to look at the original announcement details which I had modified to show the prices (click it to see full size):
Now look at the new specs sheet:
The first thing I looked at is the prices. The original details had a TBD price listed for the fixed lens Scarlet, which we now see is the originally promised 3k for $3k, with a ‘full kit’ listed at $3,750. I think it’s important to point out that whatever you want to say about RED’sÂ approachÂ to PR, hype and all the “waiting,” they are a company that makes promises and keeps them. Last year at NAB we were promised a 3k camera for 3k and it looks as if Jim plans on keeping that promise. In these times it’s refreshing to see that kind of integrity.
Here’s the scoop on the rest of the prices. Â The middle two Scarlet brains stayed at $2,500 and $7,000 respectively, but the higher end scarlet dropped from $12,000 to a more attractive $9,750. The Epic models also had a few price drops.
Second I compared the release dates. According to this “as always details will change – count on it” schedule, the earliest anyone will be getting a Scarlet is Summer 2009. Â The S35 Scarlet lost it’s “Spring” possibility and I fear we may see even more delays as these cameras as still being developed. I have to say that at this point it all seems like an eternity away. Like many other ‘fanboys’ I want one now.
Exploring what is being said regarding the tech specs, I think there is a lot to learn from the small details. One of the items to consider is FF1080p, which is the concept of using the Full Frame to capture a 1080p image. This is different than what I had understood about the Red One and the general Red Way. My understanding of the past is that to get a 1080P image you were just using the pixel for pixel center of the 3k (or higher) image sensor. Â That means that from a shooting perspective, in that mode you’d also be using only the center of the lens. Â I expect that FF1080P will provide more of a film-look in terms of focal length and improve light sensitivity,Â especiallyÂ when you move higher in the image-sensor-resolution-size chain.
Another piece of new information is the addition of a “Burst Speed” which is higher than the previously mention max fps, the mention of “Time Lapse” and “Ramping” which are all very exciting options.
Jumping back to the topic of wanting one now.. I’m hopeful that we’ll see something real teased this year at NAB. Maybe just a clip in that 4k screening room of theirs. But even if not, these people are designing cameras from scratch. And not just any cameras, but the cameras we’ve all been wanting and fantasizing about for a while. When I took my first few photos with my Sony Digital SLR I had the thought “why can’t someone make a camera that just takes pictures like this 24 times a second?” And RED has done that in the Red One, and they’re doing even better things in these forthcoming cameras. I think it will be worth the wait and like I said, I’ve got to save up some cash to buy it and develop a project to shoot with it.
FYI, in a future post I also plan to explore the specs on theÂ Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Did that camera start hitting the shelves in the US today? Â What a coincidence.