Red Announces Epic And Scarlet DSMC System

Featured News Red Uncategorized

Red Announces Digital Still And Motion Camera System

Red DSMCThere’s a lot of buzz in the online photography community about the new Red modular camera system, announced today. Red really stirred things up in the digital video industry last year with their Red One ultra high-def modular video camera system. I’m no video expert and I won’t pretend to understand exactly how the Red system differs from the Canon, Sony, and Panasonic cameras. But I do know it’s modular and upgradeable and a lot of videographers believe it offers a serious challenge to the digital video status quo.

For a while now there have been rumors that Red was working on a modular system for pro photographers. Those rumors and expectations really started heating up after Nikon and Canon both introduced digital SLRs with HD video capture capability (Nikon D90 & Canon EOS 5D Mark II). The announcement today of the Red and Scarlet DSMC (Digital Stills and Motion Camera) system confirms those rumors and sets the stage for what may be a new round of real innovation in the photographic world.

“Using a DSMC allows you to shoot no-compromise still or motion images with the same camera. Well actually with over a trillion different cameras. Configure your camera to handle like a DSLR… or a cinema camera… or anything you can imagine.”
Red Scarlet & Epic DSMC Announcement

Red DSMC Digital Still and Motion Camera

Red’s DSMC modular system is built around the Epic and Scarlet “Brains.” The Brain is essentially a black box containing a processor and lens mount. You choose the Scarlet “Professional” or Epic “Master Professional” model based on the sensor size, lens mount, and frame-rate you want. Supported sensor sizes range from 2/3-inch all the way up to the 6x17cm. Most still photographers will probably be interested the $7000 (Brain-only price) Scarlet S-35, which supports Nikon, Canon, or Red’s own PL lens mount. Yes – Red is even making lenses! You configure the camera around your Brain, choosing a lens mount, sensor module, monitor (electronic viewfinder), battery, handle, etc. And since these components are modular, they can all be upgraded. Red calls this “Obsolescence Obsolete.” One of the key elements of the Red system is the high frame-rates it supports. Depending on the Brain and sensor, a Red camera can capture anywhere from 25 to 120 frames-per-second. You can easily configure your Red camera to shoot both stills and video, hence the DSMC (Digital Stills and Motion Camera) acronym. And even the slowest frame rate is faster than the Canon EOS-1D Mark III’s maximum 10 FPS capture rate!

Red DSMC Epic and Scarlet Brains

Whether or not you’re interested in a camera that can shoot both video and stills, the modular Red system is very compelling because of it’s upgradeability, versatility, and the high frame rates. And innovation is always good for the consumer. It raises the stakes for manufacturers and almost always results in better products and lower prices. The Red DSMC system won’t be for everyone – it’s bulkier than most digital SLRs and costs far more than the average photographer would even think of paying. But for professional photography and multimedia studios, it will be very attractive. The price of the system will seem crazy to the average consumer. But a professional commercial photographer might pay for a camera like this in one job.

Red Modular DSMC System

For another perspective on the Red DSMC system, see Jerome Thelia’s article, Thoughts on the Red Announcement from a Red One User, on the PDN Web site. As a member of Merge Group, a multi-media production company that’s been using the Red One camcorder, Jerome Thelia has some unique insight on the Red DSMC announcement.

Official Red DSMC System Announcement

Related Content:
Digital SLR Forum
Digital Video Forum
Red Web Site

Red DSMC - Top
Red 15-25mm f/2.8 full-frame zoom lens

About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

Related Articles

NOTE: There are two ways to comment on our articles: Facebook or Wordpress. Facebook uses your real name and can be posted on your wall while Wordpress uses our login system. Feel free to use either one.

Facebook Comments:

Wordpress Comments:

  • multimotyl says:

    Unbelieveable. True future of digital imaging. Especialy the largest “brain” is breathtaking!

  • Photo-John says:

    Thanks for the comment, multimotyl. I agree that the new Red DSMC system is very exciting. It’s priced way out of the range of even most serious amateurs, though. As I said in the article, it makes a lot of sense for professional commercial photographers. But it’s going to have to come way down in price before it starts to interest regular folks. On the other hand, it may light a fire under the collective butts of Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Sony, etc. and encourage them to make HD-ready DSLRs that the masses can afford. Nikon and Canon have already done it. The Nikon video quality is a bit on the iffy side and I haven’t seen what the EOS 5D Mark II has to offer. But the ball is rolling ion the right direction. A little pressure from a new competitor won’t hurts the process.

  • multimotyl says:

    Don’t expect the price drop any soon. They do not want to make consumer market machines. Look at their web, they have problems to complete today’s orders in time.

  • Kaju says:

    I think it’s a cool lil product..but hardly going to change the face of photography, that’s for sure. It’s a poor man’s cinema camera, just like the 1DS is a poor man’s phase one, for lack of a better comparison. Same game different country.

    It’s essentially a canon 1D mark IV with a high FPS buffer and the ability to rec. hd movies. Okay that’s great..but will we all need/use that? Probably not.. photography is so versatile, the very thought of inventing a be all end all to all products out there is just unfathomable.

    The lens mount thing is cool but i’ll have to see this camera in action to really be the judge of the “future of photography”

    Specifications on paper don’t mean much .. we all know you don’t need more than 4 mpx to get professional work done, and even a point and shoot can qualify to put out beautiful portraits in magazines of fashion and galmour. I think this camera is a nifty new gadget, but that’s about it .. what about its interface? Its handle-ability, its adaptability. Its versatility. Is it weather sealed against all elements? How heavy is it? How long can you hold this thing comfortably? What kind of photographer are you and what is your muse ?

    To me, high fps takes the challenge out of photography.. i still prefer using film, and they say that’s obsolete.. it’s really not, just not mainstreamly used. I think with a price tag of 7000 $ its going to be a while before people catch on to this product. My thoughts

  • Pingback: Red DSMC, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, and the Olympus E-520

  • Me says:

    Just came in pants. O-face….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *