RED Scarlet-X with EF mount has arrived!

December 16th, 2011

The Scarlet-X has arrived at my office today.
It looks like Cinema5D is among the first to receive the Canon EF mount version of the camera which also supports autofocusing with Canon EF glass. The highly anticipated high resolution 4K RAW camera is slowly making its way to the customers and the ones who got their orders in quickly during the November 3rd announcement are happy to receive it on time.

There has been a lot of scary talk about the Scarlet lately and a lot of people are going crazy about why it’s either amazing or sucks and why it compares or cannot be compared to Canon’s C300. We don’t want to go into that now, I think either isn’t right, every camera has flaws and benefits. What I know is that this one will give us 4K RAW at an extremely reasonable price. Are there downsides? Of course, but as filmmaker Robert Rodriguez said: “There’s always a way.

Here are my first observations of what you’re dealing with when you’re getting into this camera:

➤ Takes about 12 seconds to boot. Not a DSLR, but definitely quick enough. Like

➤ 3.5 kg in the complete setup you can see in the pictures (without lens). It may look like one, but it’s not a DSLR. In terms of weight you carry a steel brick. That’s a good and bad thing.

➤ The design and quality of all the stuff is very nice, very robust and user friendly.

➤ There’s a small fan at the front and it’s not exactly silent. The noise is reduced during recording, but there may be problems using an on board mic or shooting a very quiet scene. Fanspeed can be set manually too.

➤ Batteries last for I think a little over 30 minutes. It took them 1:45 to fully load.

➤ I don’t need the touch LCD. Control via side handle is intuitive. Need a longer LCD cable ($200) to position it anywhere else than top. I’d rather go for a different monitor + EVF. RED LCD is crystal clear and very robust though.

➤ EF mount sits very firmly. Not easy to get some lenses on/off, but they’ll hold tight and we might need some getting used to.

➤ Did I mention it’s 4K? Yes that’s very nice.

➤ Didn’t find 1K 120fps setting. Not in manual either. Where is it?

➤ Couldn’t engage auto focus on Canon and Tokina EFS lenses. Will try EF full size tomorrow.

➤ Loading 1/3 full 64GB SSD off to RAID via eSATA took 1 minute 35 seconds. To a normal disk this takes about 3 minutes. So if anything you’ll need a RAID and a good technician (DIT), not another SSD. We’ve got 2 64GB SSDs and they should suffice.

➤ EFS lenses work without any significant vignetting. There’s really good affordable EF/EFS glass. And it looks good at 4K.

➤ Newest version Premiere CS5.5.2 didn’t like my Scarlet R3D files.

Coming up next:
– more testing and a video review.
– night shooting now.
– other accessories, handheld setup options and meet with Arri
– tests with new Atomos Samurai, probably next week. User Manual says hdmi is clean.

The RED Scarlet-X forum:

Here’s the growing Scarlet-X buyers guide for some configurations:

(please add stuff there)

And please let me know what you’re interested in and I’ll check it out. The camera is here and it’s here for you too.

To watch all the images on the same page you’ll have to open them from the news frontpage, not the article page. Sorry for the inconvenience, the programmer has fled.

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