Reading off Engadget, found at the comprehensive Reduser.net forums, Jim Jannard (founder of RED) has apologized for the “embarassingly late” production delays on the Epic (pictured above) and Scarlet cameras. He explains the cause of the delay was a bug that took months to find and put a “bullet in the back of it’s head.”
Admitting the humble beginnings of the RED one, Jannard explains that they don’t plan to release a “buggy camera with limited features this time,” instead opting to leave the testing in-house rather than in the hands of indie filmmakers who have that special itch to early adopt. That means the Epic and Scarlet cameras should take a bit longer to rev up into production, though the pain of an unstable camera should be removed.
In his forum post, Jannard explains that Epic is first priority:
Scarlet is moving along side the EPIC program as the big bug hit it as well. Production of Scarlet will trail EPIC… not exactly sure by how far. A lot of it has to do with just how fast we can get EPIC production rolling and solid.
Jannard then goes on to say he doesn’t think it’s “productive to promise another [release] date… the sooner the better.”
In the end, Jannard sounds sincere and apologetic for the delays but defends the company’s work on a “complicated and aggressive project.” According to Engadget, however, the cameras seem to have a probable release by the end of 2010. At least with the Epic.
For those unaware, the Epic is RED’s follow-up to it’s increasingly successful RED one camera, though Arri Alexa wants to take a bite out of that pie. The Epic is said to sport 5K resolution with the Mysterium-X sensor that can now be fitted on the RED one, it has greater capabilities on dynamic range and varispeed shooting as well.
Most attractive for the Epic, however, is it’s module design that allows buyers to pick and choose hardware they do or don’t want allowing the camera to be built specifically for certain types of projects from video to point-and-shoot to digital cinema filmmaking.
Alongside Scarlet, RED is also touting a 3D system, hopefully giving us more great 3D that the Arri Alexa should soon provide for Michael Bay and Transformers 3. If all goes right for RED, the Epic should give everybody in the indie film game a run for their money, including you DSLR types.
But in case Epic can’t quite kill off those Canon 7D’s and other DSLR’s, the RED Scarlet camera is a 2/3″ sensor camera that is priced more similarly to offerings like Panasonic’s HVX and Sony’s EX1. There are two offerings, one with a fixed lens and one that enables you to mount RED, Canon or Nikon lenses.
For those who still think that price range is trumped by the affordability of a DSLR, I want to point you in the direction of a series of blog posts written by filmmaker Paul Harrill where he examines the true cost of DSLR filmmaking on his website, Selfreliantfilm.com (Part 1 and Part 2)
Head on over to Reduser.net to read the post from Jim Jannard for yourselves.