November 3rd…are the planets converging?! Canon S35 camcorders! Red Scarlet goes on sale! Also Nikon bring out mirror-less cameras!

EDIT: Lots of buzz, lots of speculation but some is more credible than others…This is what I have collated from unnamed sources. Seems pretty solid though, but we shall see…I rarely comment on rumours but this has a very strong ring of truth about it…Of course if it isn’t any of the below you will always have the Scarlet to order!!

According to my sources this is what will be announced on November the 3rd. Remember…none of this is confirmed!!

There will be two Cameras. A PL version in the F3 price range and an EF one more in the FS100 price range. Crews have been around Los Angeles and in the Mojave desert area shooting demo material for the launch presentation.

4:2:2 in camera recording, the tried and tested XF codec, which is rather spiffing as I have it in my XF105 and it’s nice and robust AND accepted by HD broadcasters…Full HD is most likely. The XF codec and 4K would be a struggle.

I would also not be surprised if we see two version of the cheaper EF camera. One with SDI and Genlock and one without. Canon have history with this style of design. 

Canon is prepared to deliver in quantity at the beginning of the year.

Well it seems it could be a hell of a big day in the camera world. Not only will the Chronos film festival be opening  on the 3rd Novemeber with me introducing Koyaanasqatsi in Santa Fe , NM (come along! it’s going to be a blast! What a great place to shoot!) but Canon have their “big announcement” which may or may not be a new camera and now RED have come out of the closet with what seems to be something we all though would never happen. Announcement of what the final specs of the release Scarlet will be with a CONFIRMED ship date and that orders will be taken on that day. Order start at 7pm PST for both the USA store and for RED EUROPE.

I, like many, have been waiting for the Scarlet ever since it was announced with the mock up back at NAB in 1976 when I was just 5 years old! It’s been a long road but it looks like we could finally be reaching the end of it. It’s gone through many different specs. The main 3k for $3k cameras for the prosumer was dropped, mainly due to the Canon DSLR revolution. Now the camera we are currently expecting is the 2/3″ fixed lens Scarlet with an 8x zoom lens. It looks sweet but 2/3″ these days, to be honest, is not the size sensor that indie filmmakers want to shoot with. Unless of course they have a huge love of 16mm film and have those lenses. I still shoot 2/3″ for my broadcast work but on big ENG cameras with 20x + zoom lenses and I can get shallow DOF but only on the end of the lens. It will be interesting to see how a fixed 8x zoom 2/3″ camera will fit into the market. It “should” have 120 FPS though and that RAW RED format is to die for. I have my EPIC M and it is simply astonishing. I expect it will be a great camera for 3D as 3D works better with deeper depth of field. But I have about as much interest in 3D as I do in watching “The View”.

So, is this designed to take away the thunder from Canon’s announcement? Personally I don’t care. The sooner we get confirmation of a release for Scarlet the better. It makes a lot of marketing sense to do it on that day. I am very curious to see if the specs have changed and given Jim Jannard’s announcement that they will talk about products when they are ready to ship this could mean we are finally there. For me it would make a great B camera to my Epic.

Of course we still don’t know what the Canon announcement is. It could be anything from a 4k S35 camcorder to a 5DmkIII, to the release on Ron Howard’s movie he made from user submitted stills or maybe it’s a new laser printer than can print a whopping 120 PPS (pages per second)?? Now that is an over-cranked printer. Neat! Click the image below for some fun speculation!

We also had the new mirrorless cameras announced from Nikons. The looks really nice apart from one thing. The sensor is too small. The new wonderful Sony NEX5N has an APS-C chip in it . The sensor of the new Nikon is called a CX format and is a 2.7x crop of a full frame. For reference full frame is a 5dmkii, sony nex5n 7D etc is 1.6x crop. GH2 is 2x (ish) crop. So this is even smaller. Personally that is a big let down. A sensor smaller than micro four thirds?  Who wanted that? Not me!

I am a Nikon user and have 4 of their DSLRs but this is disappointing. This is a bit worrying as Nikon has a lot of money invested in yet another format for a camera that really wont work well with the current Nikon lenses due the mis-matching of sensor sizes. This means this will be their new format for the foreseeable future. Of course a mirror-less camera needs native glass as the sensor sits a lots closer to the back of the lens. I am fine with that as long as I can use my current glass with an adaptor for the same field of view. Sony have clearly shown a small camera with APS-c sensor is do-able so why have they gone down this road? It’s not even cheap! Around a $1000 which is more than my NEX5N and close to the very high spec NEX7 due in November.

Oh it does record video but to be honest I cannot see me getting one of these and that says a lot for a lover of cameras like me!

Anyway. Gotta shoot. Off to see Tinker Tailor Solider spy. Will update this blog later with more info…

Update: Tinker Tailor was exceptional. You need to pay attention though!


  1. RED Scarlet is a good alt. to canon ONLY if will have interchangeable lens… in my op.

    Canon will launch a camera (Cinema or DSLR) otherwise I cannot see the point of taking this event to Hollywood…

    Better is to think like that: “the best camera in the world, is the camera you’re holding in your hands when shit happens” 😉


    1. “Better is to think like that: “the best camera in the world, is the camera you’re holding in your hands when shit happens” ;)”

      By far the best analogy I’ve ever heard- spot on.

  2. This camera will be GREAT for studio and 3D tracking. It has a 3K resolution (so you will be able to crop it for 2K and stabilize it) and deep DOF witch is great so you don’t loose the tracking points that are far from the camera when doing closer shots. Not to mention that it will probably have less problems with rolling shutter. In my opinion: the perfect green screen camera.

  3. Yeah, Jim Jannard said that if we’re disappointed with his announcement, he’ll retire. So, Jim, if Scarlet isn’t going to be what all the indy filmmakers are waiting for, which is a 4K raw camera, with a S35 sensor, for less than $6000, you can retire on your island 😉
    Bye bye Jim 😉

    1. What I want is a 1080p, S35 sized camera with Redcode (or equally good, compressed codec), a Canon mount, over-cranking (120fps?) and XLR ins. For under $5000. Red won’t make one though – it would mean a whole new sensor design. Sony nearly has. Maybe Canon will.

  4. Hmm, interesting news date for Red,sort of leads one to believe Jim knows what Canon announcement is and wants to counter as it perhaps is a direct threat to sales of scarlett. ..But Naa just coincidence and silly speculation…fun none the less though..

  5. Hi Philip, as nice as your GoPro 3D rig is… a scarlet 3D rig might… er, no I take it back, your GoPro rig exists!

    With the plethora of lack luster s35/24p content out there today, I have been drawn to 2/3″ 60p in ways I never thought before. The scarlet would work for that. The right tool for the…yada yada.

    1. “With the plethora of lack luster s35/24p content out there today”

      You are being too kind!!! Paper thin DOF gives me a headache.

      If you like gritty, low light movies check-out “Never Die Alone”. Matthew Libatique shot it in Super 16 and it was released in 35mm 2.35 anamorphic. He also shot “Black Swan” in Super 16, and it was also released in 35mm 2.35 anamorphic.

  6. If it’s true that Scarlet has a 2/3 inch chip and no PL or EF lens mount – what can I say except I remember reading a comment that Scarlet was going to be a rich soccer Mom’s camera – and so it seems. Different tools for different jobs.
    As for Nikon’s CX (x2.7 crop) format. As we’ve learned from MFT technology, unfortunately, even in 2011, lens engineers are still bound by the laws of physics. They can build a smaller camera body without a mirror and a smaller sensor (GH2) but it seems it’s impossible to build a comparatively small, compact, fast zoom lens. We’ll be taking vacations on Mars before that happens. Please correct me if I’m wrong but f5.6 on a MFT camera for example, has about the same depth of field as a full frame sensor at f11. This puts an APS-C sensor in the sweetspot – the same as 35mm film.

  7. It made me laugh so much

    “I, like many, have been waiting for the Scarlet ever since it was announced with the mock up back at NAB in 1976 when I was just 5 years old! It’s been a long road but it looks like we could finally be reaching the end of it.”

    You made my day!!!!

  8. If there is a scarlet that isnt fixed lens and is under or round about 10 grand then I think I will have my camera of choice to purchase in 2012.

    But I’ll wait to see on pricing. If not then the sony f3 seems the next logical choice.

    I dont think id buy a fixed lens camera anymore, even if it was a RED Camera.

  9. A Scarlet with intechangeable lense (called Scarlet Cinema…. Last time they named it) seems to be still on schedule. (if it was not, Ikonoskop has some interresting piece of gear that shoots RAW with a 16mm CCD sensor… But only 1080P, only 1 to 30 fps…)

  10. I do not understand the target of this product.. The use of RAW file is an enormous positive point but on a camera to the sensor 2/3 “?? If you have time to process the RAW and you look for the best quality of image, which is going to accept a sensor so small with the inconvenience of the optical report.
    And if this sensor’s size suits you and that you need a camcorder pro, in that case the Scarlet is not a camcorder, and you have no time to work in RAW for these needs.

    1. Thats very true, it kinda defeats the purpose considering RAW will slow you down. Its a real shame that the sensor is the size it is. Im just not that interested in a camera like this for fiction work.

  11. Fixed is good for dogs and cats, and probably certain humans; but since the interchangeable lens things has come out, nobody will buy the Scarlet if it is indeed fixed lens. Man…. that would be so anti-climatic after all these years. It would probably be one of the biggest disappointing camera releases in history if it’s a 2/3rds.

    The only thing I could see me using it for is our green screen at the studio where 4K plus deep DOF would be good.

  12. Why so much hate about the scarlet?
    The RED Lenses seems to be really good (what you can read
    in forums) so the zoom lens may be good. And 3K is fine.
    Its above 2K…. and people shouting 4K will be the new standard, blah blah.
    WTF? 99% of the films you watch in cinema is 2K.
    1080p Blue Ray is almost 2k.
    Peter Jackson is the one of a few directors that shoot on 4k (The Hobbit)
    Maybe 4K is coming back in cinemas.. but not ofer night.

    And about the depth of field.
    I’m sick of the DEEEEEEp DOF videos on vimeo.. with
    the Canon 7D and 5DMark II.

    Please go and watch films “Children of men” or “Tree of life”.
    What will you see? not much DOF. right. Handheld 35mm Camera.
    DOF is just one little thing.
    The BIG thing for me is if it looks like film.
    And all those DSLR doesn’t look like film.
    But RED Footage looks almost like film. Even
    with less DOF. And thats great.
    + RAW Format.

    And about the DOF… and cropped Sensor, etc.

    Did anyone of you see allready footage from the the RED Scarlet yet?

    For me the RED Scarlet sound great. Less DOP.. fine..
    no extra Full HD Monitor for 5.000 Dollars and more.

    Fixed lense = easy filmmaking, I think that what
    the RED “Makers” want with the scarelt. Easy to use.

    What we get is:

    easy to use
    film look

    sounds perfect to me.
    Its ridiculous that some people say that you can’t use this cam for
    a film, only for homevideos, shooting cats, or skate kids. absurd.

    (btw.. excuse my bad english)

    1. Deep depth of field means more in focus, less depth of field is a narrower focus plane, to avoid confusion.

      the films you mention are still shot on 35mm.. zodiac, benjamin button, the wrestler, black swan IMO are good genuine example of attractive 2/3rds equivalent aesthetics.

      And all of you ripping on cats, they rock, you know it.

    2. I agree that DOF is only one aesthetic and often over used. However, IMHO the S35 sensor size provides the best overall latitude of DOF which covers a broader variety of filming requirements. A 2/3 inch sensor has very little to play with with regard DOF. I spent my entire career shooting 2/3 inch sensor video and 16mm film. I found it often a struggle getting decent shallow DOF when I wanted it. If a client wanted deep DOF then I could simply shoot at f8 on an S35 camera or shoot close to wide open on a 2/3 inch camera. Different tools etc.
      Looking forward to the new Canon XF S35. It should of course take EF-S lenses as well as EF lenses and hopefully have a usable viewfinder in the right place.

  13. yes, the nikon v1 is a major head scratcher…but what excites me is that they are making progress on the whole FPS drawback that was never implemented in the d7000, so seeing them do 400fps is very exciting, and it stirs my hope for the future, so i’m on the “glass half full” bus for a while.

  14. I predict, soon after November 3rd. Philip Bloom will be VERY busy testing new cameras and posting his impressions. Maybe some 5D Mark II vs. Epic vs. Scarlet. Get some rest Phil, Get some rest…

  15. I applaud canon if the rumors are true, because sony and panasonic are idiots with their shit codecs, and we all know what arri has been up too (ahem… espionage). Red better come big with the scarlet features!

  16. btw. I just watched “PressPausePlay” last night. Great movie.
    They release the full movie online for free:

    its about the ‘digital revolution’ and how everyone becomes an artist.
    And how the world change when everyone can be an artist… and has
    access to cheap digital film cameras like the RED, etc.

  17. My money is on something that most will shoot down in flames. My bets are on the Canon announcement and the Red announcement being one and the very same. There have been hints that Jim Jannard knows what the Canon announcement is. Red or not, why on earth would he dilute his own announcement by doing something on the same day as a highly anticipated Canon one?

    If Scarlet is going to be the ‘affordable’ camera in Red’s range, then it needs good distribution. They can’t sell it in the same individualistic way as the higher end cameras. Hence I think a team up with Canon would benefit both companies.

    Though I like said, I’ll also make a firm bet that most people will balk at the mere idea of what i have suggested. But we shall see on Nov 3rd.

    1. As Mister Bloom said, it is indeed an interesting idea.

      I don’t see the Scarlet being Canon branded though. BUT, I can imagine an announcement like the fixed lense is being made by Canon or a team up for a bundle with Canon products.

      Well, actually I don’t really have a clue and I can’t wait to see what they have to tell us 11/3 !

  18. Agree with Dr Strangelove. Its too early to put down the fixed lens on the Scarlet, it might actually be quite good considering its Red manufactured. Having seen most of Ted’s videos with the Scarlet, it certainly is very appealing to own one.

    BUT, it won’t just be Scarlet on its own that will give you that film look!. Remember you will need to purchase all the accessories which will cost a bomb. That is where Red will make money and you will go bankrupt!.

  19. Canon is launching a communication campaign in France called “Your adventure begins here” (Votre aventure commence ici) around the T3i/600D (they’re sponsoring tv shows). I cannot help but see some similarities with the “The story begins” line.

  20. Mr Bloom, how about getting an Ikonoskop A-cam dll to test.

    I love the footage I’ve seen, and being priced between a F100 and a F3, the cost is reasonable.

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