Big Day for RED
Wow. The whole web is a twitter right now about the re-announcement of RED's Scarlet and Epic programs. I'll be posting some more specific thoughts here after I've had a chance to digest it all but my initial reaction is somewhat dumbfounded and not in an entirely good way.
Never mind that none of these 8 new camera bodies exist beyond the ray traced renderings found on the website. Some of these proposed cameras just seem a little ridiculous. Honestly, who is going to shoot 24fps on a 28,000 x 9,334 pixel sensor at 500 MB/sec? And how is RED going to develop, supply, and support all of these new products simultaneously when their RED One has barely even had a chance to take hold? They're still having trouble fulfilling orders for the R1. I know people who are finally getting their camera 9 months after ordering it.
Additionally forget 28k, the word "EPIC", and the rest of the catchy language used to fuel the hype machine - out of all this, the thing that's got me real excited here is the fact this camera system is truly, completely modular. This notion of interchangeable camera "brains", how cool is that?
Let's say you spend the dough to build yourself a nice camera package centered around the S35 Scarlet brain (a substantially less expensive option than the S35 Epic brain). You use this setup as your main 23.98 fps sync sound production camera. Now let's say you need to do some 100 fps off speed work or maybe an FX shot calls for a larger image size - just go rent one of the other camera brains, slide it into your rig and you're good to go. No need to rent an entirely separate camera package ever again.
This interchangeability is what will make this system truly groundbreaking. And as an added bonus - now that the product line is so much more specific - people like me who work as a RED camera Tech/Consultant will now have work for year's to come!
On a side note - it doesn't really seem like they succeeded in coming up with a cost effective alternative to the Nikon D90 ("video SLR") and its friends. The Full Frame 35 Scarlet body which accepts Nikon and Canon lenses alone is $12,000! That's not even remotely competitive. However the S35 PL mount version is $7,000 - a S35 sized PL camera for 7g's?? That's a game changer. Give me one. Now.