updated 02:20 pm EDT, Mon April 14, 2008
RED at NAB 2008
RED today launched into the NAB pro video expo by debuting cameras at opposite ends of its signature RED One. The Scarlet is RED's first true handheld camera and incorporates a new, 2/3-inch version of the trademark Mysterium X sensor that still produces greater-than-1080p images. At 3K, the horizontal resolution is sharp enough to eclipse the best HD viewable on Blu-ray or other newer formats. While smaller than the Red Ray, it still offers an 8X zoom lens and shooting at up to 120 frames per second depending on the resolution; 180 FPS shots are available for short bursts.
The camera transfers files directly to a dual CompactFlash card when fully portable and links to computers either through FireWire 800 or USB 2. A 4.8-inch LCD and output through HDMI or HD-SDI provide previews. The camera can be controlled remotely by Wi-Fi and will be available by early 2009 for under $3,000.
At the high end, the Epic becomes RED's best camera and shoots at a near-unprecedented 5K resolution courtesy of a new full-frame sensor that matches the exact size of 35mm film with all the benefits of digital. The advancement allows shooting for 4K while still leaving room for cropping. RED also vows an extremely upgradeable system where even the sensor can be replaced; the Epic can stay current as formats change, according to the company. It shoots at up to 100 frames per second and requires RED's custom flash storage and either HDMI or special, dual-link HD-SDI for video out. The Epic shares the same Wi-Fi control, FireWire 800, and USB2 connections and will ship alongside the Scarlet at $30,000, below the cost of many 4K cameras.
Buyers eager to use Epic can buy a One today and exchange it at full price for the 5K camera when it becomes available, the company adds.
As a complement to both devices, RED has also taken the cover from the Red Ray, its first preview equipment for its camera format. The compact box reads RED discs as well as RED Express and CompactFlash cards loaded with video up to 4K in size, eliminating the need for a high-end computer on location. Video shot at lower resolutions from the Epic also works properly. Outputs on the Red Ray haven't been detailed but should include multiple HDMI and HD-SDI connectors. Pricing isn't known for the hub, which will be available in the same early 2009 timeframe as the new cameras.