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Nino Film Blog | June 12, 2024

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RED announces SCARLET X, totally blows Canon C300 out of the water

RED announces SCARLET X, totally blows Canon C300 out of the water
Nino Leitner

Every now and then, a disruptive company comes along that just does what everybody was hoping for – simply because it could be done – and thereby disrupts an entire industry.

RED did that already with the high-end cinematography market with the RED ONE (check out something I shot on RED here) and recently with the RED EPIC, and now the lower-budget independent filmmaker market is up on the disruptive agenda:

RED has announced the SCARLET-X, which used to be dubbed “3K for 3K” and was supposed to only have a 2/3″ sensor … these time have long passed it seems, and RED adjusted the specs to the ever-growing demand for Super 35mm sensors.

The crazy thing: It is priced just under $10K including a Canon mount (Brain plus side SSD included too)! (Or $11,250 with a PL mount, and $14 in total to get it with all the bits and pieces like monitor etc. to make it actually workable.) The EF mount version is supposed to ship December 1st, PL mount on November 17 already.

SCARLET-X will do 12fps in 5K (the stills mode), 4K at 1-25fps, 2K at 60fps, and 1K at 120fps. It records to REDCODE RAW at 50MB/s, that’s 440Mbit/s (insane compared to what the competition has on offer) …

In a brash move, RED intentionally did the announcement on the same day as Canon unveiled its Canon Cinema EOS C300 camera (for $20K), which is supposed to serve the same market.

If the SCARLET is as good as the specs say though, Canon – and all the others – will have an incredibly tough time. However, RED is a tiny company, and track record shows that they are not the most reliable ones when it comes to actually shipping on time!

Steve Jobs always said, “You can’t be afraid to cannibalize yourself”.
He also said, “Real artists ship.”

Let’s wait and see which quote goes for which …

Here are the FAQ’s from Scarletuser:

The Bomb Squad will be buried for the next week or so… so please expect delays. We would encourage you to read the FAQs (we will update) and try and resist the temptation to call in unless you have a question that we can’t answer here.

When will Scarlet-X begin shipping?
Dec 1st, 2011 for Scarlet with aluminum mount. Orders for Scarlet with a Ti PL mount will ship earlier. Add $1500.

Are there any considerations or discounted packages for RED ONE owners on Scarlet-X?
No. RED ONE owners have special consideration for EPIC upgrades only.

How can you offer Scarlet-X at this price when EPIC is so much more?
Data rates and processing power. ASICs that weren’t fast enough for EPIC… just became a gold mine for Scarlet. This, and board component reduction, allows us to lower the data rate throughput and significantly reduce our costs over volume.

Why can’t I shoot 24fps 4K HDRx?
Data rates and processing power. We are working on a future version of HDRx with modified compression to enable this possibility. It will be a firmware upgrade and free.

Can Scarlet-X be upgraded to the new Dragon sensor when it is released?
Yes. However the upgrade will be more expensive than upgrading an EPIC due to the necessity to change several primary boards. There will still be data rate limitations to Scarlet after the upgrade as compared with EPIC.

When will the Dragon sensor upgrade be available?
2nd half of 2012.

Will I be able to get RED Armor extended warranty for SCARLET-X?
Yes, RED Armor will be available for SCARLET-X for $1500.

Will firmware upgrades be free for Scarlet-X as they are for EPIC?

Does Scarlet have the same native dynamic range as EPIC?

Will all features be enabled in Scarlet-X when it ships?
No. We will continue to add features as time goes on, some of which were never expected. Scarlet-X feature additions and improvements will happen simultaneously with EPIC.

Will there be a different REDCINE-X Professional for Scarlet?
No. REDCINE-X Professional works both EPIC and Scarlet-X files seemlessly.

Will all EPIC Modules work on Scarlet-X?

Are there any modules that are specifically for Scarlet-X?
No. EPIC and Scarlet share exactly the same accessories.

Since Scarlet-X has a lower data rate, does it burn less power and have greater battery life?
Yes. More than slight and less than a lot.

Does Scarlet-X have the same user-interface as EPIC?
Yes. They are brother and sister.

Is the side SSD module on Scarlet the same as the one on Epic?

Will the Ti PL Mount and Ti Canon Mount work on Scarlet?
Yes. All mounts for EPIC work with Scarlet. Everything in the EPIC/Scarlet system is interchangeable.

Can I upgrade to the Ti Canon mount or Ti PL mount instead of buying the Aluminum Canon mount?
Yes. You just pay the difference in price. And it will not hold up your order. Actually, it will ship 1st because we have a supply of Ti PL mounts.

Will anything be is short supply when I order my Scarlet?
Yes. Side Handles, REDmote and EVF. Any delay in Scarlet is most likely to be caused by the Canon aluminum mount.

When will you get production of all parts up to reasonable levels?
February. We have spent a ton of energy to get out of back order status. The team has targeted February as the “end of pain” month.

How much does Scarlet weigh?
Exactly the same as EPIC.


Will Scarlet have Playback enabled?
Yes. Playback is being released before shipping.


  1. RED SSD modules and batteries are super expensive though! Is the included ‘side SSD’ actually a disc or only the reader?

  2. Has anyone actually seen or used a Scarlet X yet? For all we know it could still just be a prototype that they decided to announce because of the C300. Also, when will they arrive in people’s hands? Paying for a Scarlet this year doesn’t mean you’ll get it this year.

    • Good point, nobody has used this final version yet, but I guess saying that the first ones ship starting November 17 means that they are actually being produced as we speak! That’s in only two week’s time …

  3. We just shot on the RED Epic Weapon and had issues with “spanned clips”. We ended up stitching longer shots together in video post production. Not fun. Do you know if they have fixed this?
    Capitola Media LLC

  4. We just shot on the RED Epic Weapon and had issues with “spanned clips”. We ended up stitching longer shots together in post production. Not fun. Do you know if they have fixed this?
    Capitola Media LLC

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