RED Scarlet Camera

Posted by Scott

RED is finally bringing a prosumer class camera to bear and it looks like the release is imminent. While certainly not cheap at nearly $5,000 for the “lens and brain kit”, it certainly makes for a compelling alternative to the Canon 5D MK2. The aesthetics on the RED cameras (founded by Oakley’s Jim Jannard) are a little to reminiscent of those MP3 goggles Dog The Bounty Hunter wears but there’s no denying the quality of the output.

All the of RED stuff might as well be vaporware to me, I know it must exist somewhere but I’ve never seen it in person or even heard of anyone owning or using one of their cameras. Here’s a video of someone actually holding (apparently not using though) a Scarlet. I really like the screen configuration. Does anyone around here own or use a RED? Does it live up to the hype? Do you get free MP3 goggles with it?

Via Engadget

21 Comments Leave A Comment


Michael Raiden says:

December 15, 2010 at 4:03 pm

I have used the RED ONE ($40,000) on several occasions and own a Canon 5D. The Scarlet has veeerrry similar quality as the RED ONE at a fraction of the cost. Scarlet will be my next major purchase.

These cameras are the future of digital video. The image quality, rugged build quality, and versatility of these cameras will be the basis for the future of the video artform. You could shoot a Hollywood movie on that little thing up there; it almost matches the quality of film itself as it has 3k resolution. It has the capability to shoot raw digital footage, much like RAW pictures on today’s high end photography cameras which allows for awesome control in post production. Plus, it has sexy slow motion capabilities. Wikipedia has some good information and an interesting resolution comparison chart.

I have your entire discography of music and listen to it on the reg. Huge fan, you’re a genius.


gerwin says:

December 15, 2010 at 4:08 pm

I’ve done some music video’s and such using the Red One, and it’s quite nice. In the film industry, this camera’s been called the revolution in digital cinema, since one can get 3K quality for a “low” price, plus the fact that you can use film lenses on it.

Ever since the RED came out, other companies have been forced to release their version of a semi-low priced digital camera that can produce film-worthy material.


John Carrington says:

December 15, 2010 at 5:04 pm

I have shot with the RedOne a few times and I love it. Amazing quality for the price. Still vastly more expensive than a DSLR but totally worth it. I rent one whenever I am able to with the budget.


Michael Gluzman says:

December 15, 2010 at 5:15 pm

My friend has 2 RED Ones and we shoot with them on most projects. I work as his production designer so i love seeing my work in all that 4K glory. one of the bodies just got he mysterium X sensor upgrade and it produces some amazing images. we wrapped on a short out where they shot part of zombieland and i’m pretty stoked. Scott, you would actually have the perfect style for the poster of this film.


BD says:

December 15, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Check out RED’s homepage and see what has been shot on it. It’s quite a list of recent titles, plus Peter Jackson has decided to shoot The Hobbit with the Epic. These works and their filmmakers are a good testament to what the product can deliver and/or offer on the creative end.


PT says:

December 15, 2010 at 9:48 pm

We’ve used RED Ones on various commercials and loved it. It’s all you could want in a professional digital camera. Fork out some $ on a good lens and the Scarlet will be a dream.


Dan says:

December 16, 2010 at 12:37 am

Not to split hairs but the Scarlet no longer exists, at least in the iteration RED was originally planning. They have renamed it to Epic Light and increased the price beyond $5000.

I’m not sure this is attainable for the budget filmmaker anymore. I’d stick with the 5DMK II for now with an eye on the MK III or something, the RED stuff takes forever to develop and get in people’s hands.

Here’s the forum thread discussing the demise of Scarlet –


Jonathan says:

December 16, 2010 at 6:58 am

Dan, the Scarlet does exist in the 2/3″ format. The S35 was renamed epic light. As for pricing and availability no one knows for sure. I have used camcorders and HDSLR’s for awhile now and I see the the vision that Red is trying to achieve. I hope the achieve it.


doane says:

December 16, 2010 at 7:21 am

Yes. They live up to the hype, but I wouldn’t consider this an alternative to a 5DMK2. The user experience will be so different with one of these. Yes, they do the same things but in much different ways. Even though some high end fashion photogs are using it for stills most users will want their dslr for that. I would expect this to excel at video but suck for still photography. Just as the 5D sucks at video and excels at stills.


Marc says:

December 16, 2010 at 8:57 am

I agree that the red cameras look like crap, but the output makes up for it. A photographer work for shoots everything on red. The footage is a beast to work with (it’ll bring the most powerful computer to it’s knees), but you get great results.

Here’s his site. I think everything on it is shot on the red.


Ryan says:

December 17, 2010 at 3:00 pm

We did a video shoot with one a while back. I remember being surprised at how big the whole rig was but still relatively small compared to film cameras, of course.

The dolly track even had a starring role!


sibel kekilli says:

December 21, 2010 at 8:21 am

I’ve done some music video’s and such using the Red One, and it’s quite nice. In the film industry, this camera’s been called the revolution in digital cinema, since one can get 3K quality for a “low” price, plus the fact that you can use film lenses on it.


Francisco says:

December 25, 2010 at 3:28 pm

Too expensive. The real future will be DSLR’s. In about 3-4 years all DSLR’s will produce video of this quality and resolution, at a lower price than this. RED came to late to the game.


Jeremy says:

January 11, 2011 at 2:18 pm

I know I’m very late to this thread, but better late than never?

No doubt the RED ONE shoots some pretty pictures, but its by no means perfect. Its a great low(er) budget choice for commercial production (which is where my experience is). The major rub is the post workflow is generally very non-standard. While the flexibility of their “raw” files is really wonderful once you get into color grading the actual shear amount of data and proprietary file formats are kind of a pain in the ass. Only relatively recently have software packages really integrated their format natively ( AfterEffects, Fusion, Nuke). Its much easier than it was a few years ago and its getting easier, but man RED files are a pain sometimes… But its quickly become the standard for any level of production, so thats forcing workflows to be improved.

The other rub was always that if you wanted any high-speed over 60fps then you were stuck with shooting 2k which only would use half the sensor cropped. Getting you more an equivalent of super-16mm. Not great for greenscreen keying.

All that being said its VASTLY better quality than one comes out of any of the DSLRS everyone loves so much. I mean those are great if all you have to worry about is Vimeo or worse presentation on the web, but held to the true scrutiny of post work-flow say on a commercial its just sort of terrible. Especially for doing any kind of major color grading or VFX. 5D is full of noise unless give it TONS of light and then even then you’re stuck with a super compressed file. And of course there’s the rolling shutter there to make it very hard to do any kind of camera tracking…

I’m not bashing either of these formats, they both have their place, I just see so much praise thrown around I wanted to mention some of the things I’ve seen from the other side. I’ve spent plenty of time pushing these formats to their extremes in post and seeing where they fall apart. And I’m happy to see all this stuff evolve and more than happy to use it on my own low end productions, its just often frustrating to be soooo close to great quality and see it always just out of reach…


fletcher murray says:

January 20, 2011 at 5:34 pm

You raise a lot of good technical issues which can be debated, and have been debated for years.

In the production world, the 5D has delivered what people want right now – a beautiful 35mm film look at a great price. When you put stellar glass in front of it (Canon, Zeiss or the maker of your choice), the 5D takes your breath away. Compared to an Arri 35mm film package (including purchasing the film, processing and telecine charges) the 5D is 85% cheaper. Shane Hurlbut told me personally that he can shoot at least 50% faster with it. So when the clock is running, and talent is hot, and the director’s chomping at the bit and everybody wants to get paid a good day rate, my camera of choice is the 5D. It’s a win-win-win for everyone. If you’re going to the big screen, it’s a different story. If you’re an ad agency and want to impress the client that’s a different agenda.

We’re a production company, but last year when I heard from too many D.P.’s who were losing their homes because they’d had no work in 8 months, we decided to offer Canon 5D boot camps. Seeing Gale Tattersall’s stunning work with the 5D in last season’s finale of “House, M.D.” convinced us the 5D’s a game changer. We’ve trained over 135 people now and most have found work. Our graduates are getting work because in these times the 5D gives a beautiful look at a great price.


davelegion says:

March 31, 2011 at 7:31 am

I used the RED one to shoot a music video, It was clunky and with all the attachment and add ons plus weight of it made me feel like i was trying to film with a climbing frame on my shoulder.

End result, it was poor in low light and we used all the footage from a nikon D90

canon 5d and day of the week