Review of the RED Scarlet-X

5
Feb
2012
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Frame grab of my lovely mum from 4k capture video


NOTE: My goal for this article is to provide a fair, unbiased review of the Scarlet-X. I am aware that RED has numerous fans who can at times be a little blindsided to negative feedback of RED cameras – this review is probably not for you, even though for the most part it is VERY positive! This is a review for individuals looking to make an informed purchase decision and who want to learn more about this camera. These are my own findings and must NEVER be used solely in your decision to purchase the camera. Get your hands on one and test it yourself! One last thing, RED are constantly updating firmware to improve features. This is a review as of release firmware on the 5th February 2012. 

I was not paid by anyone to do this review. I did this on my own time for my readers. For more on my ethics please read my ethics statement. 

Scarlet-X review test footage from Philip Bloom on Vimeo. Footage has only minor colour tweaking in RED Cine Pro-X. No Grading.

This is probably one of the most unique camera reviews I have ever done. Why? Even before ever touching it, seeing it in person or shooting with it,  I knew EXACTLY what it would be like. You see as a former owner on a RED Epic and having shot on that camera many times, knowing that the Scarlet-X is simply a cut down version of the Epic, everything about the camera was going to be familiar to me, both its pluses and negatives.

The Scarlet-X was finally launched on November 3rd last year, just a few hours after Canon announced the C300. Initially people, including myself, were underwhelmed by the C300 compared to the Scarlet. But things change. Once I read up on what the Scarlet could actually do, I realised that this is not a camera in competition with the C300 at all. It is a camera that occupies a unique place in the market. Whereas the C300 is an all-rounder, the Scarlet is a specialist camera. It is simply the cheapest way to acquire 4k video with a super 35mm sensor. Basically they’re taking chips made for the RED Epic which apparently hadn’t passed the QC and sticking them in the same (more or less) housing as the EPIC-X and limiting the features. That is it in a nutshell. A superb 4k acquisition camera.

If like me you have had experience with an Epic then Scarlet will frustrate you. It’s like having a Ferrari but being limited to 1st gear…The 1st gear is amazing but you SO want to open her up. It looks great, handles the same but doesn’t do most of what the Epic can do.

Mmmmm….that analogy kind of works. How about it’s like being a member of a swish club but you don’t get to go into VIP area or it’s like being given the new XBOX console but limited to just one game! That is enough for analogies….onto the review! Feel free to add your own below!

Thanks to Stewart Addison of Panny Hire, I had a RED Scarlet-X for the weekend. I am still recovering from laryngitis that wiped me out so I didn’t do a whole lot of filming with it and my plans to do an on camera review went out the window with my voice. But I still did some filming down at my parents’ to test it out (thanks mum and dad!). As I said earlier, it was not a surprising experience in the slightest! There were no wow moments. But it was, as ever, a pleasure to operate one of the new style RED cameras.

This is what the Scarlet does EXCEPTIONALLY well…The 4K recording is just amazing. The detail in the image plus the amazing latitude is a thing of beauty. The Red code RAW codec is robust and working with it in RED Cine Pro X makes working with ANYTHING else seem like a compromise. The ability to take frame grabs from the camera is just incredible. These are really high quality images and for me represent true convergence between video and stills, as these are grabs from video – you’re not stopping recording video to take a still.

The joy of RED Cine X Pro

Frame grab of my dad

Unfortunately the cool feature from the Epic, that is HDR-X, the ability to capture two streams of information at a different exposure simultaneously to create a much higher dynamic range, is missing in 4k. It only appears at 3k and even then only for 24p, not 25p.

The camera shoots up to 5k and when it does that the part of the sensor used is larger than super 35mm. More like APS-H. Unfortunately it is useful for nothing more than stills or timelapse as its fastest frame rate is 12FPS. Although you can get away with a little video with it if you need it as you can see in my test video.

So really it’s 4k that is the main resolution for this camera. Not as big as the 5k but sill plenty! Also it’s super 35mm at 4k so that’s just fine as it’s the standard and as I have already said the 4k is exceptional.

Now for off speed, currently the fastest frame rate you have is 60fps at a windowed 2k. That means the field of view is half that of the 4k. A massive pain if you want to keep the same frame, lens etc but suddenly need slow motion. For me in my tests I found the 2k 60fps vastly inferior in quality to the 4k both in noise pattern and in resolution. Even when exported to full HD ProRes. I found this with my EPIC too but I rarely needed to use the 2k in the EPIC, as it can do 120FPS in 5K and that was more than enough for most things! I have always found the 2k to have a disappointing amount of noise in it.

3K is a good compromise. It can do 48fps (so no 25p HDRx in 3K, only 24p) and that looks pretty good. A less severe crop, sharper and more detailed. For me if I owned this camera the 3K 48fps would be my slow motion of choice. For the cost of 12FPS you can a much better looking image.

120FPS is coming but only at 1k. Until I see it, who knows what it will be like. The 2k should be improved upon with firmware upgrades. Fingers crossed on that one! The biggest problem is that the 4k is just so damn superb that anything next to it suffers immensely.

There is a chance that RED will be able to offer these speeds at lower resolution without a crop at some point, certainly it has been mentioned for the Epic. That would be great as the crop can be quite a pain at times. You can see how much it crops from 5k, 4k, 4kHD, 3k and 2k below.

Sensitivity appears to be the same as the Epic, which is not great (although with no Epic to hand, I could not do a side by side test), it needs to have light. So indoors it needs to be lit. It doesn’t come close to the sensitivity of other large chip cameras out there like the FS100, F3 and C300, but it’s a totally different camera for a different market in my opinion.

The camera I had didn’t have the side handle yet, which is a shame, as the touch screen (as cool as it is) is not super responsive and not the quickest way to flick through menus. But, it is very intuitive. Just don’t expect iPhone style responsiveness. That mean no red volts too as they go in the side handle, so I was not able to test power consumption.

I had 2 64GB cards which was more than enough for the limited filming I did, but in my EPIC experience 4 x 128gb is a minimum amount of cards I would personally recommend for a full day’s filming without offloading during a shoot.

The camera also had the Canon EF mount which is just superb, different to the Ti one I had on my Epic in design but it worked as well. Controlled the aperture just fine, albeit only in 1/3 stop increments and powered the IS (and focus if that is your bag!) Next to the C300 one (which should be better as it’s on a Canon) this is the best Canon mount out there other than on a DSLR! It’s easy to switch mounts to PL by removing 4 screws and putting the different mount on. One of the loveliest features of this RED design. Both on the Epic and on the Scarlet.

I mentioned this in detail in my previous Scarlet post but beware of the costs of the camera. The base price of sub $10k is not shootable. A proper shooting package, without even getting into the need to really get a RED Rocket for post, is much closer to almost double that when you get the batteries, cards, EVF, cheese plates, rods etc. You can spend a hell of a lot more than that too if you wanted. Just with my Epic which cost me $58k I spent over $20k on bits for it. Be careful as it can become a bit of a money pit!

So in summary. What do I think? It’s an astonishing 4k camera for normal speed recording. Amazing flexibility in post with the RAW image. Skin tones impress for sure. They look terrific as you can see in the video of my mum and dad!

For off-speed this is not the camera for you, IMHO. Even though the resolution on paper is better than other cameras at 60fps, it’s inferior in many ways. For example the FS100 does 1080p slow motion and it’s gorgeous. Shame it’s at such a low bit rate of 28mb/s. The C300 only does 60p at 720p but it is not windowed (cropped) and suffers from a wee bit of aliasing. To be blunt, the cropping is a massive pain…ALTHOUGH there are times when being able to punch in is quite nice…the C300 720p 60p is of a mostly similar quality, in my opinion to the Scarlet is terms of sharpness at 60fps but it is cleaner for sure! That is what is so disappointing in the camera. For a camera that does one thing so well it’s a shame the rest is not so great!

Perhaps if I was coming at this camera without EPIC experience then I would see it differently, but then again maybe not. All I know is that 4K is so damn good it’s so damn frustrating that it cannot do off speed, even at 48FPS in 4k. If it did, this would be in my camera arsenal for sure! Only being able to do 30p at 4K is just so damn…limiting!!

Therefore, who is this camera for? Well it is a good backup for an Epic or RED One. A great camera for a narrative feature that you can light. A great camera for music videos with no slow motion (although many music videos need them). A great camera for commercials, again when you don’t need off speed. It’s not a great doco camera, which is my forte, where available light is often all you have to work with. Not a camera for the budget conscious. Not a camera for the casual user. This is a PRO camera for PROS. Getting this camera will not make you a better shooter. It will make your images look crisper, but it won’t suddenly make your work any better. It will make you more skint so remember that when you get out your credit card! :)

So is this the camera for you then, or is the C300? The F3? The AF100? The FS100? Well my next blog post is “Which large chip camcorder should I buy?” but I can tell you now those other cameras should be compared against each other. The Scarlet? It’s just unique and for a totally different task. I will go into that further in my next blog post.

If you are England based and need a Scarlet for hire, Stewart is your guy. For £350 a day (always check price!) this little beauty could be yours.

 

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Comments

  1. Videomac says:

    I find your review NON BIAS, but there will be the ones that says the other way around, keep up the good work and informing us, cheers mate, and yes the Superbowl is a Giant bowl full of cereal, hahahahah!

  2. Probably THE most non-bullshit review I’ve ever seen for the Scarlet.

    I must admit, I’ve worked with the files and they’re gorgeous, as you said. I was convinced even further with Cronenweth’s work in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo also. However, after reading this, I may have had my heart set a lil’ too strongly.

    4K raw is awesome, it really is. I love working in it and it’s hard to go back. But, that can’t be all it has to offer and the cropping is a major turn off for me.

    Maybe I’ll wait to work on the Epic (sans the hardware issues) or simply wait up for whatever Canon has up its sleeve for a 4K C-series DSLR. I’m sure it’ll be limited in framerate like the Scarlet, but without the cropping issues….maybe.

    1. Ray says:

      Totally Agree! First non bullshit review on the Red Scarlet! Nice one.

  3. ebflow says:

    RED really are a interesting lot. There is no question the image quality is stunning. But they are just not a easy solution. Im in the market for a new camera. I currently shoot on a 5d/60d with Zeiss glass with great results. The workflow is easy and you can turn work around really quickly. The RED workflow and reliability issues are just too much stress to justify that extra hair follicle’s definition (especially for web broadcast).

    Audio monitoring/Aliasing is really the clincher… so the FS100, F3, D4, AF100, C300. I’ve got a big shoot this week, think ill hire the FS100 or F3 to see how they roll, your next review is highly anticipated Philip.

    You are a Guru, cheers mate.

  4. Nice review Philip. Look forward to the comparison tests.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      Not doing any Andrew!

      1. ” my next blog post is “Which large chip camcorder should I buy?” but I can tell you now those other cameras should be compared against each other. The Scarlet? It’s just unique and for a totally different task. I will go into that further in my next blog post.

        so no side by sides? :(

        1. Philip Bloom says:

          no sir sorry. Too much work and not enough time!

  5. Tim Nitsch says:

    Thanks for the great review!

    It reassured me that the Scarlet was not quite the camera for me.

    The FS100 seems like a better fit.

    1. Other than being a bit awkward to hold and it taking a bit to get used to the way the settings work, the FS100 was the best option for me out of all of the new cameras. The footage just blows me away every time I play it back. Just know how you plan to handle lens adapters before hand!!!

  6. Very nice review Philip. I enjoyed reading it. And as usual learned several thing also.

  7. Paul Sellen says:

    Looks cold mate………….still you will be out here in Australia soon. It’s forecast to be 34c for the rest of the week here in Perth.
    Nice shots of the snow …..brings back memories.
    Cheers
    Paul

  8. Mark Morris says:

    This would be my camera of choice to make a movie with but because of my fear for reliability issues I’d want two with me. To hire at £350 per camera per day over 6 weeks even both discounted to £3000 per week would still be £18000. Add in all the peripherals needed to work with it …. So elusive all that beautiful imagery for post work would be wonderful. Unfortuneatly for me and probably many others it isn’t realisticly likely to happen! I hope prices and workflows can get to indie level soon!

  9. Scott Thomas says:

    Hi Philip.

    After you went through the Red Cine X Pro did you edit on FCP or Premiere and if so in what format – 4K? Would be interesting to know your post-workflow for 4K, 3K, 1080p mixed source material and also how you finally get it to 1080p for Vimeo.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      i just ran it through RED Cine X pro and converted to ProRes editing in HD

  10. Hi Phil,
    The “low-light” performance of RED makes both the EPIC & SCARLET non-starters in the real doco world. The holy grail is being able to film with available light. Looking forward to the “next” wave of “camera-backs” later this year. I’m sure someone will stick a 4-5K cat amongst the pigeons.
    rgds
    Kostas

  11. Danny Cooke says:

    Great review Philip, I completely agree about frame rates. The scarlet only appeals to me because of the 4k images, but as you said it’s the bits and pieces that cost – also the infrastructure – you need a decent system (or red rocket) and storage before even considering buying one. I’ve been holding off for a while because I want to see how it settles in, like any other product.

  12. Randy Noland says:

    I believe it was Mark Twain that said, (and I paraphrase) “We’ve created 1000 luxuries and made to believe they are necessities.” Doesn’t fit exactly but sort of.

    Philip, you had it right in “Choosing the right camera for the right job” at http://tinyurl.com/7z3vyjt.

    Who doesn’t love 4K and 5K images? They are gorgeous. But at what cost and at what reward? Supply and demand is a crude reality, even for an artist/creative. Net profit is smart business that must take priority so our business thrives allow us freedom to do what we choose.

    If the job requires 4K/5K, then that is simple. If the job profit is there warrantying the equipment costs, the potential unreliability factor, the more time consuming post edit then there is a business case. Also will the delivery method (viewing) displays the final film in all its 4K/5K glory? I admire these works and Im certain technology paradigms will bring 5K ability to the masses soon enough. It is predictable.

    For me, 95% of my work is web delivery. I probably can get by on a lot less but have chose the C300 for my current camera. Mostly b/c of the points you made re:doc work. I need the ability to gather what I need, when I can, with available light in a small, travel friendly form factor. Yes I want the best image I can get and for now Im betting on the C300 to do that. My migration in my short years (since 2007) are Canon XL2 then JVCHM100u (first time I ever heard of Philip Bloom :-), 5DMII and AF100. They all had their bumps as Im sure so will the C300.

    The joy is in the journey, not the destination. Thanks as always for sharing!!

  13. Martin Beek says:

    Very nice piece Phil! Short, clear and informative.

    I have ordered the Scarlet and for one reason only: Low budget 4K cinema production. With well-lit scenes and only one or two slowmotion shots it will do more than OK.
    4K raw-on-a-budget is where the Scarlet shines and has it’s niche. And, indeed, when the thing eventually arrives, i’ve spent at least 15.000 euro’s and not shot a single frame yet. Still a lot more economic than renting a camera or shooting on film, for this feature length production.

    We’ll use the Scarlet for the feature film only, for anything else… i’ll use the 5D or the Sony FS100.

    Thanks and regards,

    Martin Beek
    Marvels Film

  14. neilhartop says:

    Great review philip,

    Its nice to see an unbiased review of this camera. Actually trying to find a review of this camera full stop that isnt some fanboy is rather difficult!

    Do you know How does the sensor compare to the MX sensor? Ive shot alot with the REDMX and have been very impressed with its latitude and light sensitivity.

  15. Jim says:

    Thanks for the review. Always enjoy your opinions.

    Do you get snow often?

    IMO, there are a ton of camera’s and camera/lens combo’s out their doing fantastic work. The vast majority of people watching movies, tv shows, doc’s, independent film, corporate films, etc. can’t and don’t really care about the small differences in the finished product these camera’s are putting out. I think the technology has gotten so good so fast that we are on the downside of this tech revolution involving digital cameras. We will have changes and better cameras, but the big tech leaps have happened in regards to what our eyes can see. Getting the camera’s to adjust to highlights and shadows the way our eyes do is pretty much the last horizon. Resolution is there, more isn’t necessary until the costs comedown.

    I have bought too many camera’s in the last few years and am now comfortable with what’s out here till the 10k-15k cameras come back down to 2-5k. (US dollars) . I pined for an Epic, but got over that pretty quickly when I saw the cost of their storage and other peripherals. Like many I was at first disappointed in the C300, then excited, then got over the urge to hit the buy button. If it had 60fps at 1080p, I’d have been tempted at 10k & 60fps at 1080p…. Now that I’m over that, I decided none of this was necessary as my needs are being met now. Why do I need more, especially at such a higher cost. NO, The only real feature I really need is 60fps (or more) at 1080p and more highlight/shadow detail. The rest of what I want are desires, not necessities. eg… Not going to pay alot for them.

    The more resolution you shoot, the higher costs you have across the board from storage during shooting to more everything costs during post. Bigger faster computers, more storage, backup etc… it’s massive. It’s not really worth it unless you do big budget projects.

    The first version of the Girl with the Dragon Tatto was one of my favorite movies last year. 1 viewing at the theater and 2 viewing on a 46″ 1080p TV via Netflix streaming. Went to see the new version shot on the Epic at a 4k theater. Beautiful. . Lots of gorgeous pixels, but I (and my wife) still liked the other movie better. I saw the difference, but it didn’t matter. What’s this, we chose a subtitled 2k movie over and English speaking 4k at a 4k theater. .

    In another life, I used to integrate some film based typesetters and printing plate machines. Now, the laser printers and inkjets do the same thing. The sharpness and accuracy of the dots on laser printer is as good or better than machines costing 100x more just a decade ago. Same thing is happening here. Take a 5 year nap, and the smart phones will have all the resolution and storage we need for 2k and maybe more.

    Learn to shoot, light, and tell a story and quit fretting about the gear. Take a deep breath and wait for 24-36 months when the prices drop like a rocket. as well as faster computers and lower cost large hard drives. Don’t get caught up in the Twitter/Facebook marketing hype that is making everybody yearn for new cameras. Most of us don’t need it.

    Go back and watch & read the content on the many reviews and opinion pieces that Phil writes about. Listen, Learn, & think. There is a gold mine of information fairly put forth here. Phil, thanks again.

  16. Daniel says:

    I have to admit, I did not expect you to review it after all you’ve been through.
    But I’m glad to see that you’ve taken the High Road.

    I love the footage of this camera as well, but making a jump from a GH1 workflow to a RED Workflow is far to big of a canyon for me to bridge right now. I’ve been considering the FS100 for a while, and I’m feeling that is the way to go. I’ll be sure to purchase a Atomos Ninja along with it whenever the happy day is.

    Cheers!

    1. David Lagos says:

      “I have to admit, I did not expect you to review it after all you’ve been through.
      But I’m glad to see that you’ve taken the High Road.”

      Agreed. It just goes to show the kind of guy Phil is I suppose. A very down to earth no-bullshit camera man who just wants to pass along crucial info to people who are trying to find their way in the crazy world of cameras. Good on you Phil and great review.

      Cheers.

  17. sojioguns says:

    Thanks a lot Philip. I do give these camera companies praise for starting that unbelievable storm called HYPE. I’m consulting and maybe DP for a new film project and the producers went ahead to buy 2 RED Scarlets without any for of consultation. It is supposed to be a horror/action flick that to me, requires slow mo sequences. Low light is key and since this camera isnt outstanding, it doesnt look good. Thanks again Phil for your insightful reviews.

  18. Solid review. Anyone not wearing RedGoggles should be able to distinguish it as a professional non biased review, and not get their RedPanties all up in a bung.

    I’m an avid fan of your shooting, and website. Keep up the great work!

  19. Michele says:

    Ottimo lavoro, Philip. Looking forward to try one.

  20. As one major German Dealer stated as I asked him why they did not carry RED,

    ‘ there is much more to making a picture look good than just capturing it in RAW or 4k and I am NOT talking about light
    or other exterior sources – I am talking sensor etc etc etc… RED has the first part but lack the latter ‘

    Any canon/nikon RAW with a FF sensor is superior to anything that RED will ever shoot. As of now. IMO.

    Add a RAW recording possibility to either a nikon or a canon and RED would be bankrupt in a month !

    Is the RED the best/cheapest way of capturing RAW currently… Yes

    Are they delivering the best quality possible. No !

  21. jamesbenet says:

    Great fair review, seems to echo what other Scarlet owners have posted without getting into fandom.

    Fast frame rates are the killer feature going forward which could potentially lower the uses of this camera 48 would be good enough to make it useable but for how long? Low light is already outstanding in the FS100, F3 and C300 the Phantom, Epic and other Hi Speed cameras will reign in the high frame rate world for a little while more but the technology is there to create affordable high speed.

    The 700fps 1080p barrier is at $35k without lenses or accessories. How long will it take to drop to under $10k?

  22. Thanks for the great review Philip!
    I know this might be random, but on your micro blog, I was really wondering if you could tell me what lenses you were using for the Boxing shoot? They look so amazing I can’t even describe!

    Cheers,
    Devin

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      they were ZF lenses…coming out next week!

  23. Hey Philip, Definitely a thoughtful review. I thought 2012 would be the year that I upgraded from the 7D and I was looking at Scarlet or the C300 to do it. After reading this review and your C300 review (and others reviews) I’ve made the choice that now is not the time to move forward with a higher quality camera. As a documentary filmmaker myself, I have come to rely on the video and still capibility of my 7 & 60D. I’ll wait it out and see what comes down the line. Maybe the 5D mkIII? Maybe its a mirrorless Canon “DLSR”, maybe its the 1Dx? Who knows for sure at this point?
    Rob

  24. Jim Birkett says:

    A very interesting read Philip, your totally right this is a ‘Budget Motion Picture Camera’ albeit a stripped down version.

    For me the most exciting camera is the Sony FS100, I now have one on order. It’s affordable and gives myself as a freelancer an entry into Super35. In reality and the current economic situation is the Red Scarlet really going to sell in it’s thousands like a DSLR, AF101 or FS100??

    I’m not so sure….

    It’s still an awesome camera

  25. lukaskosik says:

    is there any site where can I get original, no edited shoots from red scarlet or another … for free ?

  26. Prendi says:

    RED totally lost me as a customer when they decided to ditch the Scarlet and make this Frankenstein style camera. Basically it’s made from chips that were too crappy to go in the Epic. That would be fine if the camera were not in the region of €20k. Sorry RED, but you’re taking the pi$$.

    All that weird cropping and any camera with a 1k resolution function is already out of date. Really, what were you thinking? The original fixed 2/3″ camera was a far better concept. Fact!

    Goodbye RED!

  27. So your mum makes your dad hike out to snowy corner of the yard to smoke his stogies?

  28. Alan says:

    Wow,

    Did I miss the Earth moving beneath my feet? Did that opening paragraph actually say, “a former owner on a RED Epic”?

    Yes, it did. What happened Phiip? Were people not interested in having a 4K overhead? Sure it looks great, buy it can be a little challenging in post. Were perhaps clients not asking for 4K, or maybe not interested in PAYING for a 4K budget?

    Please do tell what the thought process was in you selling your Epic? Too big a carbon footprint with all those RED Volt battery chargers roaring in the background?

    I’m sure the story of the decision process and the weighing of the pros and cons would make a very interesting post. Or did I miss that one?

    Cheers,

    Alan

      1. just read it! great article! I would not have been so nice!

      2. Alan says:

        Hey,

        About the only thing positive you can say about Jim Jannard’s “apology” is that they didn’t issue the typical 21st century
        crap like “If anyone was offended by my actions, I apologize.” Which when it comes down to it really isn’t an apology.

        Same is true of the RED “apology” He took responsibility for his actions, but didn’t truly apologize. Nor did he say
        anything would change going forward. And to use that signature “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone with a bad attitude. Really?

        Here in Los Angeles we have new cameras coming onto the market all the time. The latest really show promise. They are popping up all the time. Mostly on Craigslist. They are made by familiar names, Arri , Aaton, Eclair. Their resolution is off the charts!

        Their pictures are organic, with a very film like look. Natural looking grain. Battery life is very good. And reliability?
        Well lets just say they have worked out all of the bugs many decades ago. When you turn them on, they just go. You do have to reload frequently and check the gate after the good takes.

        All kidding aside 35mm film camera packages a being listed for sale here in town for less money than the Scarlets cost.

        Of course there is that little matter of the stock cost and lab bill. But that cost is starting to look smaller and smaller given the headaches digital is capable of inducing. Film! I’m thinking of starting a blog…

        Maybe this would make a better signature for Jim Jannard to keep in mind:

        Ability can take you the top, but it takes character to keep you there.
        Zig Ziglar

        Cheers,

        Alan

  29. Glad we have you out there to explain these things and test new gear. great work. I ‘ve been watching frustrated friends with RED sending it back for repairs constantly moving professional shoots around to accommodate then replacing it with a new models. and waiting months and months…Nothing worse than having gear fail in the middle of a shoot! if my 5D bites the dust chances are it can be replaced within a day. and I live in the hills! thanks again Philip! hope to see you at NAB!

  30. Phillip,

    Let me first state that I have been a huge fan of yours since discovering your site two years ago! I have been a frequent viewer of your blogs and your amazing films! (you have been a huge help and inspiration!)

    Second I would like to say that i am severely upset about the whole red situation. I guess you could consider me a red fanboy since i praise the camera and will soon be the owner of an epic x. I appreciated your honesty in your review of the epic m, it definitley was something that gave me an honest opinion of the camera before i made my purchase! It’s a shame a few extremists and bad form on reds part influenced you to return your camera. I was looking forward to more blogs about your workflow and experiences with the camera.

    anyway let me get to my point, I am happy to see a blog about the scarlet x. after seeing the first footage of scarlet-x on vimeo i was unimpressed. I understand the weather was dreary, but I see a difference in the overall “look” of the scarlet x. Compared to your videos from your epic, i feel that the epic is far superior in image and specs. Do you agree or am I alone on this?

    thanks again,
    Brandon!

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      i shouldn’t imagine there is a difference. My Epic stuff is coloured whereas this was not…i wanted to show the natural nature of the camera…

      p

      1. that might be it. I don’t remember if it was your or not who favored the 5d over the 7d even though the specs
        are very similar, other than you just liking the “look” of the 5d more.

        thanks,
        Brandon

  31. lukovsky14 says:

    Hey Philip, what ND filter did you use L.C.W. Mark II ?….

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      i used, on this, their new top end one…

      1. Irishmarty says:

        Great article as usual, and for any amature its like a school away from school…but dude you’ve no scarf on?

          1. Irishmarty says:

            No doubt….

      2. lukovsky14 says:

        how does it compare to the Singh-ray Fader ND filter?… I’m debating which one to buy…

        1. lukovsky14 says:

          sorry for all the questions… Are you using the ND ULTRA Mark II, or ND dig-pro HD?

          1. Philip Bloom says:

            the new top end one. the expensive one

  32. The big deal breaker for me is the crop, or should I say zoom. Everyone knows if you digitally zoom in on an image it isn’t going to look as good. Come on Red, anything less than 4K is a joke with this camera. Either use the full sensor size across all resolutions or don’t. But don’t give us a digital zoom hack!

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      You couldn’t be more wrong! It’s not a zoom! A zoom literally zooms in on the pixels. This crops so you are losing no information.

  33. Hi Phil,

    Good to read your review and concise as usual. I just got hold of my Scarlet today and I’m incredibly impressed thus far. Like you I didn’t have my side handle. One thing I’ve noticed with the new firmware is how fast and responsive the touch screen is and how quick powering up or shutting down is. Ok, it’s not a light switch but I was impressed. Again, this is my first RED camera.

    It’s apparent that all the new S35 generation cameras being released have some sort of drawback. Crop factor, 720p for slow mo on the C300 which is unforgivable in a £10K camera, etc, etc. But having worked so much with Canon 5D footage and having tried the AS100, the thing that frustrates me the most is when you move to the grading. Everything you do takes something away from the original image. And this is I think the simple fact you are dealing with an 8-bit compressed image. With 4K or 5K the possibilities are really endless and Redcine X is an amazing piece of free software.

    Now the fiction versus documentary issue. I totally agree with you. I’m supposed to be filming a late night event at the Science Museum on Wednesday and I’m struggling a bit with what will be the best solution (since I sold all my light-weight kit to buy this new toy which does weigh a bit!) Yet, whilst I agree there is no such thing as one camera for all jobs, there are other solutions which can immediately make the Scarlet a good doc camera: Atomos Samurai springs to mind. Anyway, keep up with the good work buddy!

  34. I just recieved my Scarlet Last week. The side handle is in limbo. (It shipped, I just keep missing the Fed Ex guy.) Great review, I love your non bias opinion.

    I absolutely love mine! I purchased it with a slightly different mind set. I never truly considered it a 4k camera. I see it as a 3K camera with a 4k option. I usually, so far, use 3K as my primarily shooting mode. It takes half as much space, and less post production time.

    I am primarly doing short narratives, and maybe some commercial side work.

    “Getting this camera will not make you a better shooter. It will make your images look crisper, but it won’t suddenly make your work any better.”

    Very true, however, I am now confident, I am the limitation, not the camera! Lol, it took away my excuses!

  35. patricktristao says:

    Hi Philip,

    I recorded with a Red Scarlet at 24fps then the footage is playing back on fast speed. I really dont’ know what is happening. Can you please help?

    Thanks!

  36. kimballmcgary@gmail.com says:

    I love this camera. I’ve been deeply conflicted between two RED upgrades. I am eligible for the red epic upgrade or the red dragon upgrade. There are benefits to either. At this point I am solely going to think about fps and dynamic range as any of the red cameras scarlet on up all have great stock features. I think I’ll rent an epic and play with the post footage and see how badly I want an epic. I rented an epic once from utahcamerarental.com and had a great experience but this time I’m going to compare hdrx footage. Thanks Philip and keep it coming.