Red Scarlet prototype demo

Ted Schilowitz from Red shows off the latest version of the camera a lot of indie filmmakers have been waiting for. And more waiting is the keyword: it was supposed to be out last year; now it’s slated for “spring or summer.” The model shown here is a non-functioning prototype.

It looks like an amazing camera, for sure. And at a price-to-quality ratio never before seen in the industry. This is a high production value camera for making films aimed at viewing on the big screen.

But for documentary shooters like me, for whom story generally trumps production value, I’m not sure it’s where I’d put my money (although I might change my mind after I get my hands on one). I also seriously question the workflow, which sounds really cumbersome compared to my drag-and-drop JVC HM-100 to Final Cut workflow. Of course, from a quality standpoint the quarter inch sensors of my JVC don’t even begin to compare with the 2/3″ first-generation Scarlet sensors. On the other hand, the Scarlet doesn’t compare with the Canon 5d MKII’s full 35mm sensor.

As much fun as it is to peek behind the curtain at what Red is developing, I question their logic in hyping the camera months, or in this case, years, before it’s even finished being designed, much less available for sale. I prefer the kind of frustration Apple dishes up – never knowing what’s coming until the rabbit comes out of the hat, and I can place my order the same day.

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