Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Well once again the boys at RED DIGITAL CINEMA have done it again and set the cat among the pigeons for the amazing price of £5000 (UK conversion) you can own a RED SCARLET camera which will be a far better investment for everyone who likes the film look than tinkering with any HD SLR. This in my opinion spells the death nell for what has been an interesting but stupid phase in global HD development. If you add in the price of an HD SLR plus a couple of  Canon ‘L’ lenses you are past the £5000 mark !



Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

25 thoughts on “Scarlet 2/3″ 8x Fixed lens pricing $4750 “Amazing”

  1. yes… their cameras always look good… but… when are we going to be able to have/buy/use it?
    I mean… they talked about scarlet… 2 years ago…. so… maybe we have to wait One year more…

  2. Remember quality comes at a price and if the price is time then like a good Scotch Whisky it will be worth waiting for, if you finally want the true film look and a camera that is fit for purpose then you have a choice…wait for Scarlet or join the rest of the lemmings who have spent a fortune tinkering with HD SLRs that are not fit for purpose in my opinion.

  3. I honestly don’t get your hatred of video DSLRs. It almost feels like a personal grudge you have against them.

    Don’t forget Scarlet is not out yet and the way things have gone, don’t expect them to be released on those dates. The iphone was announced the same time as Scarlet was first announced. Can you imagine if we were all still waiting for the iphone to come out. Lots of announcements…no products. Until I see footage and I know they are actually coming out advising people to wait for Scarlet is foolish. If they are all they promise then I will of course be buying too…but for now, it’s yet more waiting. My 2 cents.

  4. I totally agree with Phil: I don’t see the point of slagging off VSLRs, when the Scarlett is still vapourware as far as I’m concerned. Sure, video-capable DSLRs are not perfect, and we’re all trying to (and often succeeding) achieve something that they weren’t really designed for.

    But the fact is, a lot of people are getting some pretty remarkable results out of these cameras, and a big reason for that is their affordability. People like me can actually go out and buy one, play and experiment with it, and learn the ropes without breaking the bank.

    Even if the Scarlett does come out (one day) and I can afford one (one day), item 4 on their spec list will certainly justify my investment now, in that I’ll hopefully have a good set of lenses that will work with the Scarlett.

    In the meantime, I’m off out to MAKE SOMETHING.

  5. Scarlet my arse. Right now the Canon 5 & 7D cameras are yielding stunning results.

    Canon have set the standard. The Scarlet is late to the party and it’ll have to be very, very special indeed to touch Canon, seems to me. And that’s if it ever actually makes it to the party.

  6. The Scarlet is very exciting stuff. But it would be unwise to bet that it’ll kill the HD-SLR craze. Yes, it’ll be the must-have camera. RED has strong brand awareness and a good reputation in the industry. But there is lot’s of competition in the HD-SLR world. They are here to stay and thanks to this aggressive competition coupled with an already thriving 3rd party marketplace they will continue to evolve and grow to better cater to the digital cinematographer.

  7. Video DSLRs are still very early on in the marketplace. Just because Canon don’t release CG mockups of everything in their lab, doesn’t necessarily make them behind the curve. They do have a rich history in video. The 5D made red rethink the Scarlet, and that can only be a good thing for us end users. Hopefully the scarlet will raise canon’s 5D III game.

    Also isn’t the whole hoohaa about the FF DSLR is the ability to have filmic DoF as and when. Correct me if I am wrong but a 2/3 is going to be much deeper at the same F stop due to wider lens needed? The red might have filmic temporal look, but spacial too?

    Final thing, L lenses are expensive but hold their value, perfectly sane to run a 1D3 with a 35L 50L 85L maybe a 24-70L and only really loose money on the depreciating body.

  8. You’re comparing apples with pears.
    The 2/3″ sensor is small compared to the 7D or 5D, the comparable S35 is $7000 for the ‘brain’.

    I’ve no doubt the Scarlet will produce good images, but so do the DSLRs. Pixel watchers will find fault with any system, if the clients are happy we should just get on with what we have now. Who knows what the competition will develop over the next 12-18 months.

    I think people also need to consider viable workflows. How many people can work with data rates produced by the REDs?

    The Scarlet looks great, but it is still at least a year away for none red one owners. It’s not the only game in town…

  9. Hi, thanks for your post. Very interesting. Here are our comments:

    “Well once again the boys at RED DIGITAL CINEMA have done it again”

    So far, another announcement… nothing else. Possibly become a reality, but “when” is uncertain..

    “RED SCARLET camera which will be a far better investment for everyone who likes the film look than tinkering with any HD SLR”

    Sorry, but that’s not completely true (they are different in technical aspects -not as shallow depth of field as Full Frame DSLRs, low noise capabilities. Many other aspects are different too, like compatibility, versatility, ease of use, and worldwide availability & service, which RED does NOT have at all. Maybe you are forgetting the rest of the world)

    “what has been an interesting but stupid phase in global HD development.”

    Sorry, but that’s out of reality.
    That phase delivered (and will continue doing even better) really great tools to amateurs, professionals and even studios.

    There are thousands of people using those tools for both stills and filmmaking tasks, and we never heard any of them calling those tools as “stupid” at all.

    Maybe you don’t like DSLRs or you are a big fan of RED, which is COMPLETELY OK and nice, but this perspective is not on par with what is going on.

    RED and DSLRs cameras can “live” together because they are aimed to different segments. And that’s great, because there are more options for customers not only in USA, UK or few more countries, but AROUND the world (which indeed DSLR market is astronomically bigger than RED’s)

    The best proof of what DSLRs are able to achieve on Full HD are out there, at the reach of everyone.


  10. Getting a bit carried away aren’t we? Any pro getting excited about another press release from RED should take a reality check. They haven’t delivered anything but a beta camera (their admission) and judging a non existent camera on the strength of their promises isn’t particularly ‘professional’. Your criticisms of HDSLRs are spot on but my god did the RED ever have some compromises and liabilities when it was delivered. A lot of people bent themselves double working around its quirks and the HDSLs are no different. Your comparisons are way off, the 2/3 scarlet needs to be compared to the varicam/f900, that’s the market its potentially busting. The s35 and ff35 are more comparable to film cams but they are even further down the development track.

  11. Today’s announcement feels rather like a company who is struggling to develop a product but need some positive PR to keep the shareholders happy.

    “We need to release something to keep the momentum going – ‘got those CG shots ready. Maybe we could cobble a press release together for Monday?'”

    Until an affordable product hits the market that can improve over the 5D, then I’m happy to get past the obvious shortcoming, keep my customers happy, and make some money with what i have access to.

    Yes, when the Scarlet comes down to £5k-£6k including a viewfinder and some lenses, then I’ll have to make do, but owning a camera is always ‘making do’…

  12. Boy, everyone calm down. Yes, it’s an announcement but why the cynicism? I do see the value of this post. Keeps things into perspective of what “might” be of value next year… or the next. Let’s just take a look at more information as it comes along. Thanks HDW, keep it coming. Especially, dates because apparently they can’t be unlinked with Red.

  13. VDSLR’s like the 7D and 5DmkII do have serious limitations – fact. They are not and were never meant to be replacements for pro video cameras. I can entirely see where Mr. Johnston is coming from with his comments.

    I own a D90 and a 7D and think for the price they are great cameras. The video for web content is superb (7D), I like the discreteness and portability of them compared to lugging about my EX1 kit. I’d never dream of using the 7D as a substitute however.

    As for scarlet I’ve been following closely since the $2500 soccer mom days. Red certainly support the big studios with high profile shoots. However I know of Indie owner operators who been out of action whilst there cameras fly to the US and back to the UK to have issues resolved – in my opinion Red just don’t have a decent support network in place yet.

  14. I have no doubt that RED will deliver my only problem is in what quantities as someone has said they are not Canon ! As far as professional features Scarlet has been designed to be a movie/stills camera which is significantly more user friendly for video use and has proper professional video features.
    HD SLRs to date are nothing short of Heath Robinson when it comes to being and looking professional…yes people are making them “WORK” by cobbling together various 3rd party accessories but they have serious non professional limitations the main one being sound.
    I have been getting pelters for my stance from various “Pro” and non pros about my so called negativity around DSLRs well that’s tough…As a video professional of 27 years I am entitled to “MY OPINION” and I even sold my Nikon D3 to buy the Canon 5D2 in order to run some professional tests myself. I used it on a recent corporate job and the pictures do look cracking till you try and do anything with them…99% of my 5D2 shots were re shot using my Sony EX-3 because I could not spare the time to work out where I was going wrong with the 5D footage and can I just add I followed Mr Blooms tutorial on Squared 5 to the letter.
    So my comments are based on professional experience not hearsay as a professional photographer I cannot praise Canon enough, though you have to spend time with the 5D2 to get the best out of it, but as a video tool I am less than impressed, maybe I will see it in a different light when we get the updated frame rates !

  15. The Canon Pro cam – and affordable !- is for the next NAB…I know Canon Crew somewhere….

    Maybe available in large quantity before Scarlett at the same price with an intercheangeable lens instead of the fixed x8…..


  16. Vaporware ,
    No point worrying about it until it hits the streets. This sector changes on an hourly basis. Time to settle down I think.

  17. HDW Reply…Hi Phil a good 2 cents, I don’t have a hatred for a Camera I own (5Dmk11) I don’t even have a hatred for DSLRs, I don’t like people be used and that’s my main problem with DSLRs, camera manufacturers like Canon, Nikon are using people to help boost their flagging sales by adding HD video as an afterthought, these cameras are NOT designed for video use…LCDs that are not high enough in resolution, don’t swivel, sound is a joke…to make it happen everything is a compromise…In the last 27 years I have never had to compromise using a video camera.

  18. HDW Reply : Now I must admit the HD SLR may just fit the student budget and for that alone will be a useful “tool”. I am coming from a total professional angle and have not taken students into account plus if I am being honest younger people adapt to video/stills cameras more readily than older pros like myself.

  19. HDW Reply : Q.”They do have a rich history in video” Correct…SO WHAT ARE CANON PRO VIDEO DOING…NOTHING. They have not brought out a new model for over 17 months, are they too scared to step on their sisters toes.
    If you are into photography as I am then every ‘L’ lens is worth their weight in gold but if you are following a phase only to use these lenses for “video” then you could be spending a lot of money that would be better served holding off for a true film like camera eg. Scarlet.

  20. HDW Reply : I think I am comparing gold with bronze myself, as a camera for filming HD SLRs don’t cut the mustard, they are not practical and have less than useless sound capabilities.
    I grant you DSLRs are cheap in fact if you took off the HD part of it you would be talking at least £700 less for the camera !

    “Anyone can produce quantity but not everyone can produce quality”

    RED has issues…the main one will be keeping up with demand.

  21. HDW Reply : OK it’s like all new things we get a taster and 6 months later it appears but RED are far from being Canon…they don’t produce lots of clones at a cheaper price they prefer to produce less but of higher quality.

    Q. “not as shallow depth of field as Full Frame DSLRs, low noise capabilities. Many other aspects are different too, like compatibility, versatility, ease of use, and worldwide availability & service, which RED does NOT have at all.” The DoF issue is as yet unproven…ease of use… now with my photographers hat on I agree but with my DP hat on it’s a joke.

    Q. “thousands of people using those tools for both stills and filmmaking tasks” Yes it’s a 50-50 camera, most things in this world that are diluted 50-50 are 50% less useful than they would have been otherwise.

    When I take on any job I have to calculate “time taken”…to produce anything that I would term as usable with a DSLR would take 50% more time to achieve, that’s 50% more production time in filming and 100% more time in the edit suite…sorry to burst your “Canon Users” balloon but if I were to add 150% more time to produce a job I would be far from competitive and quite frankly it’s not worth the effort.

  22. HDW Reply : OK so I will call it a craze… so far these HD SLRs are not practical they are like diluted orange juice…not a good as the real macoy.

  23. The interchangeable 2/3 Scarlet configured with viewfinder, etc. will set you back from $11000 to $15000 The fixed from $10000 and counting. Thus it is not easily comparable to S35 or FF DSLRs which cost far less and sport a bigger sensor. It is more comparable with the new Sony 350 camcorder which cost $20000 with lens and also has a 2/3 sensor.

  24. lets first allow some space for mr jennard to say EVRY THING CAN BE CHNGD…he is fake a total fake,,, who just busted two good years of a video guy for what ….,just announcements haaaa joke…..thn canon Hd Dslrs thy hav issues bt still a tool needed to be approched with interest……. if u can thn u will produce good results by this is real not ann announcement and its not going to change at alll thy hav excellnt support tooooo

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