Similar to the Epic, the RED Scarlet will now also feature HDRx, a new mode of the cameras that utilizes it’s Mysterium-X sensor to capture a dynamic range of exposure close to 18 stops. That competes heavily with the Arri Alexa which boasts a range of 14 stops with it’s 2.0 software update. The upgrade to Scarlet doesn’t come with a price, though, as the camera is expected to be delayed as a result of the additional feature. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to those following all things RED as Jannard has stated that Epic is the company’s first priority while Scarlet waits in the wings.
RED’s Scarlet is positioned to be even more of a low-end option than the Epic and RED One and will likely be more akin to the DSLR efforts that have been dominating the indie landscape lately. The RED One bridged the gap between prosumer and professional systems, but there were still tens of thousands of dollars that found it’s way between a Panasonic HVX and a RED One. Even though RED has already brought the cost of filmmaking down substantially, it’s attempting to do so even more with it’s Scarlet cameras.
Low budget filmmaking has a seen a boon in recent years, but adding HDRx to Scarlet is going to cost it’s users though – $1,000 to be exact. The price should be considered well spent, however, considering that after spending a day with Jim Jannard, Adam Wilt of Pro Video Coalition had nothing bad to say about the company’s new tech. It’s ability to convert low light sensor sensitivity into a high dynamic range has been much lauded and HDRx will provide the latitude that film lovers have missed in the transition to digital.
Those who can afford this extra grand but can’t quite reach Epic status should rest easy though; Scarlet is merely the “brain” of what is to be the 2nd wave of RED products and accessories. The idea is to make all of the parts compatible and modular. This means the same battery systems or handgrips used with Epic should also be capable of being used with Scarlet. The only difference would be the capture capability and sensor. This was RED’s mission statement from the beginning but the RED one was rushed into production and became a beta test for the company’s larger plans.
HDRx seems promising – judging by the clip released before – but it’s place in the post-workflow is yet to be seen. Hopefully Jannard can get the cameras out sometime soon, as promised, but he’s made it very clear they don’t want to rush products like they once did with the RED One.