Red Digital Cinema has conjured up a range of configurable professional cameras that shoot both video and still images, can capture resolutions of up to 28k and also work in stereo 3D.

The new technology line is the reinvented and re-designed Epic and Scarlet cameras that were announced at NAB in April.

Utilising a new DSMC (Digital Stills and Motion Camera) system, the US manufacturer is developing eight new Epic and Scarlet electronic engines or ‘brains' (see picture below) that include the image sensor and vary in resolution, frame-per-second and format capability and price.

They become the central hub of either a stills or video camera that can be configured to suit either purpose, by adding appropriate handles, lens mounts, view finders and batteries.

The cheapest ‘brain' will have a 2/3 inch sensor and cost less than $3,000. The most expensive will have a 6x17cm sensor that can capture 28k images and should retail at around $55,000.

According to Red founder Jim Jannard, as far as format options are concerned, Scarlet ‘brain'-based cameras will be ‘limited' while Epic ones will be virtually ‘unlimited'.

“The electronic engines are different between each of these camera models,” he said. “That means there are format capability differences. For example, the Red One has 4K, 3K, 2K, 1080P (soon) and anamorphic format options. It does ramping, time-lapse, has four channel 24-bit audio, etc. Scarlet will NOT have the full flexibility of a Red One. Epic has more capability and flexibility than the other two.”

Depending on which brain is chosen, lens options include mounts for Canon, Nikon, Linhof and Alpa and Red primes.

When asked what use a 28k image would be, RED Problem Solver Graeme Nattress said: “I'd remember you can extract lower resolutions from the R3D [file]. And think of the uses of cropping and panning over such a high resolution image. [That] could make for interesting creative possibilities for movie-making as well as sfx work.”

Stereo 3D shoots will be possible by linking two Red camera brains together.

The first of the new brains, the 5K resolution S35, should be available by spring/summer 2009.

Red Digital Cinema is famous for its Red One camera, which can shoot 4k images and has been adopted by television, film, promo and commercials producers wanting to get 35mm production value on a budget.

Announced on its website forum on 13 November, responses to the announcement of new camera tools alone numbered over 2000 and got nearly 200,000 page views.

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