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November 13, 2008

The RED is here, DSMC is here, DSLR executives crying in their offices!

As we mentioned last night, we did not know what to expect from RED, because as the Mr RED said "everything had changed" from what was previously announced as a development notice.

Certainly the announcements of 5D MkII and D90 started the hybridization wars, so perhaps it's no surprise now that both new RED cameras are hybrids, they are what RED calls DSMC, digital still and motion camera. The "a" in "and" is invisible :)

This is going to be a long post, so this is a good time to start brewing a medium-size pot of coffee :-)

Executive Summary
RED has announced a number of new products that are very modular, and can do moving pictures (video) and stills (photography). Their line-up has two tiers, Scarlet and Epic. Epic is the more advanced and expensive line.

Sensor sizes start at the familiar 2/3" (remember all the 2004-era prosumers like the Minolta A2, Sony F828, Olympus C8080?). Other sensor sizes? 35mm full frame (FF35), 645, 617, as well as S35, which is 30x15mm. See the two tables below for more geeky details.

The sensors at 35mm full frame and above are 6 micron, while the S35 is 5.4 micron. The smaller 2/3" sensor has 3.2 micron pixels.

As far as megapixels:

  • the 35mm full frame sensor has 24-megapixels (hello Sony Alpha A900)
  • the 645 sensor has 65 megapixels
  • the 617 sensor has 261 megapixels
  • the 2/3" sensor has an anti-climactic 4.9 megapixels


The Mythical-Modular is here, and it's not by Nikon
There were rumors (or perhaps rumorized wishful thinking) over and over about a Nikon modular system, but none of that saw the light of day. But now there is a modular system and it is really modular. You pick and match, plug and play! The call it "obsolescence obsolete".

Maybe this is the kick in the face the "SLR Traditionalists" need to break out of their (r)evolutionary freeze?

There is a vast variety of sensor sizes available going from small to HUGE and wide. The smaller is the prosumer-2004 favorite size of 2/3" and the larger is the Epic 617 that is 186x56mm. There are eight different sensor-model combos listed at the moment. Yes, eight. They use five different sensors, plus of course the existing RED ONE sensor. Here they are:

RED Models and Sensors
ModelSensorSize (mm)Pixel SizeStills (MP)MotionMax fps
Scarlet 2/3"Mysterium-X10.1x5.353.2 micron4.9mp3K120fps
RED ONEMysterium24.4x13.75.4 micron9.4mp4K30fps
Scarlet S35Mysterium-X30x155.4 micron13.8mp5K30fps
Epic S35Mysterium-X30x155.4 micron13.8mp5K100fps
Scarlet FF35Monstro36x246 micron24MP6K30fps
Epic FF35Monstro36x246 micron24MP6K100fps
Epic 645Monstro56x426 micron65mp9K50fps
Epic 617Monstro186x566 micron261mp28K25fps


Now that we covered the different sensor sizes and options, let's look at some of the planned (and estimated) commercial configurations. The following are "CPU" options. RED calls it "pick your brain". Please note that the prices below are for the "brain only". Oh this is modular, isn't it? :-) It's like building a PC, only more expensive! Please note that both prices and availability are estimates.

RED Configurations
Scarlet 2/3" Myst-XFall 2009TBD3K, 120fpsFixed 8X lens
Scarlet 2/3" Myst-XSummer/Fall 2009$25003K, 120fpsmini-red mount
B4 mount
Scarlet S35 Myst-XSpring/Summer 2009$70005K, 30fpsRED mount
Canon mount
Nikon mount
Epic S35 Myst-XSummer/Fall 2009$280005K, 100fpsRED mount
Canon mount
Nikon mount
Scarlet FF35 MonstroWinter 2009$120006K, 30fpsRED mount
Canon mount
Nikon mount
Epic FF35 MonstroWinter 2009$350006K, 100fpsRED mount
Canon mount
Nikon mount
EPIC 645 MonstroSpring 2010$45,0009K, 50fpsRED mount
Medium format mount
Mamiya mount
EPIC 617 Monstrospring 2010$55,00028K, 25fpsRED 617 Mount
Linhof mount
Alpa mount


MODULAR, what are the modules?

  • SENSORS: Five different sizes, see above tables for details
  • LENS MOUNTS: RED, PL, Nikon, Canon, etc
  • STORAGE: internal memory, CF, SSD, wireless, ethernet
  • MONITORING: 2.4" LCD, 4.8" LCD, BombEVF, RED-LCD, RED-EVF, various video outputs (up to 1080p)
  • BATTERIES: 12V, battery module, RED BRICK
  • REMOTE: master/slave, up to 100ft
  • GRIP: They call it "REDHandle" with battery and extra button that can be user-defined

REDCODE RAW is the format, and it offers lossless compression.

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Sensor Sizes

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