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  1. #1 Scarlet Buying Guide 
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    So, having been through the confusion of buying my first Epic and Scarlet on the Red website, I realized that a guide might be helpful to newcomers to Red. I came from the digital stills world, so I really wish I had something like this when I first took the plunge.

    This is an early draft. Looking for corrections and feedback. Thanks! (split into many posts to meet posting regs)



    Scarlet Buying Guide

    So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and get a Scarlet RED digital cinema camera. Congrats! Now just hop over the website store and….well, crap. That’s a LOT of stuff. What the hell do I buy? There are a million little parts…which one do I need? If I just buy the package, will that work? Dammit! There are FIVE packages! Now what do I do?

    If you’re like me, figuring out what you need to buy off the RED website can be a frustrating and intimidating process. And, if you’re like me, you are probably trying to figure out how to spend the LEAST amount of money to get your rig up and running. That’s why I wrote this guide. If you are new to the world of film, coming from the world of DSLR or still photography, this guide should help you on your new spending spree. It’s really not that hard to figure out once you get going, but I hope to get you up and running faster, and with more confidence, than my first RED buying experience.

    Now, this guide is NOT for experienced hollywood DP’s. We are assuming you are brand new to film and video and to RED in particular. If you are a pro, this guide will probably seem quaint and overly simplistic. It may present opinions you disagree with, but that’s okay. Newcomers can form their own opinions after reading this and buying their first round of gear, and I’m sure they will all be different. It’s more important to have one starting viewpoint rather than a dozen conflicting ones. As always, your mileage may vary.


    Parsing Red Product Names

    RED products are listed with often cryptic abbreviations. They are often more confusing to newcomers than helpful. Here is a guide:

    DSMC - This stands for “Digital Still and Motion Camera.” It’s just RED’s name for their entire line of camera systems (Scarlet and Epic) instead of the Red One. So putting DSMC in front of nearly every RED product description is a bit redundant and it is also inconsistent (just because it doesn't say DSMC doesn't mean it won't work on your Scarlet. You can ignore this part of the name.

    TI - Stands for Titanium. Many lens mounts for Red are made with titanium for maximum strength and minimal weight.

    AL - Stands for Aluminum. A cheaper alternative to TI (titanium), but arguably not as strong, especially when dealing with really heavy lenses. That said, nearly all of the “rig” bits of the camera (grips, bolt on parts, etc.) are made with aircraft grade aluminum to very high standards. AL is fine for these parts.

    MODULE - A Module is a piece of (nearly always) electronics that you can bolt or clip onto your brain to add functionality. For example, you can use a battery module to add power, or a SSD module to add storage. A MODULE usually contains electronics, vs the other types of parts you can attach to the camera.

    SSD - This stands for “solid state drive” and is the only storage medium currently for RED Scarlet cameras. SSD’s come from the computer world, where instead of using a hard drive with its fragile spinning parts, many computer enthusiasts are switching their hard drives to solid state…which is like RAM that remembers what it has stored on it even when the power is off. It has no moving parts, just chips, and is much faster than a regular hard drive.

    REDMAG - A Redmag is the name of the SSD storage cartridge that the Red Scarlet uses.

    RED ONE - Red One is Red’s original camera system. It is not generally compatible or interchangeable with the Scarlet. You should ignore any parts with Red One in their name.


    Epic vs Scarlet

    Nearly every accessory you see listed for Red’s Epic camera will also work with Scarlet. These two camera share the exact same dimension and mounting points. If you want to be sure, when you are viewing an item in the Red store, you will see a place near the item price that has a compatibility callout that show which camera models the accessory or item will work with.


    Packages

    I’m going to leave the packages alone for now. Before you can figure out if you want a package, you need to figure out what all the package components do for you. Now, the most important thing to remember, is that at the time of this writing, the package price is the SAME as the buying the individual components. There is no package discount. You could buy each part separately if you wanted to.


    Brain

    The entire RED camera system is designed to be modular. This is very different from the way that others cameras are made. Its sort of like lego…or maybe more like an erector set. You can bolt on, mix and match and custom configure your camera in a huge array of ways. This is a huge strength, but is also the reason why it can be so confusing.

    At the heart of the system is the brain. This is the box that contains the sensor and electronics and…well, that’s about it. There is no storage, no power, no lens mount. The most important thing to realize, is that it also lacks controls of any kind. Aside from a power button, there is no way to control the camera. Controlling the camera is an option, just like everything else. Oh, that and there is no way to see what you are filming on the brain, you will need the Red touch screen or an external monitor for that.

    So, there is very little to decide when you buy the brain. You’ve already chosen a Scarlet over and Epic, so now you have to decide what type of lenses you want. That will determine the lens mount you want to have for your brain.


    Lens Mount

    Another thing that makes RED unique, is the fact that you can use a wide variety of lenses with the system. RED made the brain modular and offers several different lens mounts for your brain. Right now, there are two major systems of lenses and one specialized mount (for Leica M lenses).

    Let’s also talk about autofocus. Yes, your Scarlet can autofocus! Canon lenses, when mounted via the Canon lens mount, will electronically talk to your brain and provide lens information, as well as let you control aperture via the camera’s controls. Focusing on the Scarlet can be single or continuous, center focus, or touch focus (tap the area of the screen you want to focus on) as well as rack focus (a movie term for a shot which changes from one focus distance to another as part of the aesthetic of the shot). As of now, only Canon and Canon compatible lenses are capable of autofocus. PL lenses are designed for manual control and do not offer autofocus.

    PL Mount - PL stands for “positive lock” and is a lens mount developed by Arri, the renowned motion picture camera company. Since Arri has such a long career in motion pictures, many lenses were made for this type of lens mount since it was introduced in 1982. If you know you will be shooting with cinema lenses as opposed to still lenses, this would be the mount to get. It is only available in titanium, noted as “TI” on the product name, since cinema lenses tend to be VERY large and heavy.

    Canon Mount - The Canon lens mount comes in two flavors, “TI” for titanium and “AL” for aluminum. What most people overlook, is that the Canon lens mount isn’t just for Canon lenses. Many still lenses for other camera systems can be adapted to the Canon lens mount. So the Canon mount is like a gateway to a wide range of still lenses. As for construction, the aluminum mount at $700 is less than half the cost of the titanium mount at $2000. So far on Reduser.net forums, I have heard of no failures of the aluminum mount. Another concern is flexing of the mount with extremely heavy or long lenses, esp. when focusing or manipulating the aperture, but again this has yet to seen in the field. If you are shooting very heavy lenses, you might opt for the TI version of this mount, but for most people, the aluminum one will work just fine.

    Leica M Mount - The Leica M mount allows you to mount lenses from the Leica M series of lenses made for the M series of 35mm still digital and film cameras. This mount is very specialized, since it will only mount M lenses that do not have rear elements that project beyond the rearmost face of the lens’s mounting lugs. This is because on some M wide angle lenses, the rearward motion of the elements will not clear the sensor port housing on the Scarlet. In practice, this limits you to lenses 50mm and above. Red has said this mount was really designed to let people use just a single lens, the 50mm f0.95 and f1 Noctilux (a lens fabled for its image qualities and bokeh).

    Other Mounts - Red continues to develop other mounts for the Scarlet. Next up is supposed to be the Nikon mount, for example.

    Red One Mounts - You will also find mounts listed for sale that are only for use with the Red One camera system. These will not work for your Scarlet.
    Last edited by Mark Kern; 05-31-2012 at 08:45 AM.
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  2. #2  
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    Part II


    Lenses

    I’m not going to talk about the merits of various lenses here. That would be an article in and of itself. Instead, I will just focus on some differences between still and cinema lenses and what focal lengths are most useful for general purpose use on shoots.

    The RED Scarlet will, with the proper mounts, allow you to use still camera lenses on your motion picture camera. Most typically this means using Canon glass via the Scarlet Canon mount. Still lenses are used for two main reasons: cost and weight. Still lenses are, for various reasons, much cheaper than their cinema lens counterparts. A single Red prime lens might cost $6000 while the still lens of the same focal length would be 1/10th of that ($600). But that still lens will also be much smaller in size and weight compared to the Red cinema lens.

    For most people looking to control cost and afford a wider set of lenses, or who want to shoot “run and gun” style (off tripod and handheld, moving around alot, etc.), then still lenses start to make a whole lot of sense. It is not unusual to see both still and cinema lenses used on a production, depending on need.

    Cinema lenses will require a PL mount for your brain. These are much larger and heavier than still lenses, and more costly. This is due to several factors. One is just economics. The market for cinema lenses is much, much smaller than the market for still lenses. Where there is a smaller market, fewer lenses will be sold, and a higher price must be charged to sustain the business.

    The other reasons have to due to the additional optical and mechanical complexity of cinema lenses. These lenses have a job to do that still lenses do not…they must work in motion on a very large 60 foot screen, vs a single slice of time on an 8x10 or even 4 foot print. This has numerous complications. One is that the optical quality of the lens must be top notch to withstand being blown up to movie screen sizes. Edge softness, vignetting, distortion, pincushioning, chromatic aberration and resolution are all much more apparent on a giant movie screen than they are on the vast majority of print work (aside from say, billboards in Vegas). Cinema lenses are therefore very tightly designed and manufactured with the best optical glass on a consistent basis. Most still lenses vary more and are price optimized in many cases. That said, if your end result is meant for the web, which the vast majority of work is ending up these days, then you won’t really be needing the additional optical quality of a cinema lens.

    The other complication is more subtle…when you watch a movie, the focus is frequently changing, shifting from actor to actor, or racking from far away to close up into the foreground. When you change focus on a lens, the field of view shifts slightly as well. Cinema lenses are designed to eliminate or minimize this type of shift, called “breathing.” Still lenses were never designed for motion in mind, and therefore ignored breathing. This can be a problem for some still lenses that can shift slightly during focus, causing nausea inducing reaction in audience when viewed at movie theater size screenings. If it is severe enough, it can also be very noticeable on web videos. But most of the time, for web delivery with the right still lenses, this is not a problem. Just test your lenses before you buy them!

    Also, cinema lenses are built like tanks. Much of the gear in the cinema world is rented, not purchased, and therefore is subject to a lot of wear and tear. Movie shoots can be rough places, with lots of people moving around, and therefore risk of damage to the gear is much higher than on a still shoot (I got to see someone drop a 30 pound Red camera with an 18-85 Red lens the other day…everything survived and we kept shooting). Cinema lenses are designed to take a beating.

    One limited factor that still lenses is that their aperture rings are designed with click stops so the photographer can feel the ring as it rotates from one aperture to another. On a still camera, this is great, but for movie applications where you may be changing the exposure when say, panning from indoors to outdoors, this will be very, very noticeable on screen as the exposure jumps between stops. On a cinema lens, the aperture ring lacks such click-stops, allowing for a smooth rotation of the ring through fractional f-stops and with no jumps between exposures.

    There are other differences as well, such as 80mm standard filter rings for industry standard mountings, nicely space and accurate focal marks (since tape measure are often used to nail focus on things like rack shots), color matched lenses so color doesn’t shift between lens changes, etc.


    So, what lenses should I buy?

    Okay, so I went on a long tangent about the differences between cinema glass and still lenses. But since this is a price conscious Scarlet buying guide, I’m going to recommend that you go with a Canon AL mount and still lenses. It’s your choice, and hopefully I’ve given you enough information to choose, but in the end I feel this is the best solution if you are just making the switch from DSLR to Red (you can use all your old lenses!). If you really need cinema glass, you can always rent the lenses and mount from a rental house (you can rent some nice stuff costing 10’s of thousands of dollars). Remember, it is very easy to change out the mount of your Scarlet at a moments notice!

    But what if you want that cinema look? Don’t I need cinema glass or my stuff will look like video? Nope! The cinema look has much more to do with shallow depth of field, shifting focus, framing, aspect ratio , framerate and lighting than it does the lens. Lots of stuff on TV and in movies gets shot on good old canon glass. Not every scene, but frequently much of the B shots such as establishing shots, landscapes, FX shots, etc. Sometimes we equate older lenses with that cinema look (from all the movies we watched growing up in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s), with its charming softness, highlight rolloff and subtle vignetting…its more the style, not the lens itself.

    So, now that you’ve gone with still lenses, what about focal lengths? Most of the time when people are asking about the focal length they should use, they are really talking about field of view (FOV), or the viewing angle edge to edge in a shot. Sometimes you will hear about crop factor, especially if you are in the world of stills photography.

    In still photography, you are often reaching for that 80-200 zoom for various reasons. You are often trying to get tight into the shot on detail or doing a single person portrait, etc. But for video work, you are often working at wider fields of view, since you are shooting a lot of establishing shots, multiple persons, wide shots, etc. You are also working at 16:9 or wider aspect ratios. For this reason, the most useful focal lengths are between 11 and 50mm. The Red 18-55mm is very popular lens for this reason. You will less often reach for your 80 or 90mm and very rarely you will be going for anything longer (nature work and some types of shots excluded..but then you will definitely need a tripod and won’t be running and gunning).

    So, definitely try to make your first lens selection on the wider side of things. The Tokina 11-16mm zoom is an excellent lens and very popular with the Red crowd, for example. Combine that with a nice fast, 50mm prime and you have most of your shots covered on a daily basis.

    Here is one more of the awesome things about Red. Because you can shoot at 4k (5k is only at 12fps on the Scarlet, so not really an option for most motion), you can “punch in” while editing to get a close crop if you need it. This is because you are often rendering out the final format for web or TV at 1080p. This gives you a lot of room to zoom in in post and reframe….something any other camera in this price range makes impossible since they are limited to 1080p HD resolution (at the time of this writing).

    Now, your field of view on the Red, because it uses a super-35mm sensor size which is slightly smaller than full frame FX Nikon cameras (but similar to DX or many Canon SLR sensors), your field of view will be slightly narrower on the RED, especially when shooting at 4k resolution. This is another reason why wider focal lengths will be more useful to you on your Scarlet. Want to see the difference? Check out this excellent preview calculator by Ablecine: http://www.abelcine.com/fov/ (choose Red One for the Red, which will be 4k resolution. If you choose Epic it will be a 5k preview).

    So, to sum up, pick your lens mount, pick your lens, and don’t worry about it too much. You have lots of options here to change your mind with the Red DSMC system!
    Last edited by Mark Kern; 05-30-2012 at 04:09 PM.
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  3. #3  
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    Part III

    Control

    So you have the brain, the lens mount and lenses. But you still can’t control the camera. You have two options here, the excellent Red 5.0 inch touch screen and the DSMC side handle.

    Get the touch screen. No, really, get the touch screen. The reason is that while you can access the functions of the camera just fine from the side handle, you won’t be able to see what you are doing. The side handle drives the menus and buttons on the GUI (graphic user interface), and unless you can see the GUI, you can’t tell what you are doing without an external monitor.

    The 5 inch touch screen not only controls the camera, but displays a nice, crisp view of the what you are filming in 800x480 resolution. Red also sells a massive 9 inch touchscreen (coming soon), which has a 1280 x 784 resolution. Its gorgeous, but not necessary for our cost conscious rig. Also, do not buy the Red Pro LCD 7” thinking it will give you control…it won’t. It’s just a display had has no touch capability.

    If you buy the touch screen, do you still need the side handle? It depends, but not really. The side handle gives you physical controls you can map to the functions of the camera directly, but the touch screen gives you access to every control the camera offers. The side handle is great for a couple things though…it can provide a nice grip to the camera that resembles a Hasselblad, and it also can house a single RedVolt battery to power your camera. There is one huge reason to get the side grip though…the controls are fully programmable! You can configure every button, dial and widget on the side handle. This is hugely convenient to customize your camera but is not necessary at all to controlling it (the touch screen does all that for you).

    There is one more option for control, the Redmote. The Redmote is like a remote control for your camera. It talks to it wirelessly and lets you control all aspects of the camera. It is not necessary for control, and I don’t consider part of the basic rig you will need.


    Displays


    Now that you have the touch screen (you did get it like I told you too, right?), you have a great display for framing your shots and watching playback. It’s pretty bright and has great visibility even outdoors in most conditions.

    There are other options, of course. External monitoring is very popular for shoots where other people need to see what you are shooting, and the Red brain already provides ports on the back that you can use to hook up a variety of professional displays.

    The other option worth discussing here is the Bomb EVF. Despite its name, it is neither an explosive incendiary device, nor is it the ultimate viewing device (“da bomb!”). The Bomb EVF is like a viewfinder port that you put your eye up to to view what you are shooting. You find these on every camcorder. If you much prefer this way of viewing your image, because of eyesight or because you need to see a bright image on a sunny day, this is a great option. But they do not give you any control of the camera. The only display that does that is the touch screen, so you’re going to need the touch screen or the side handle to control the camera as well as the EVF.

    There are two models of the Bomb EVF. There is the LCOS model, which is cheaper ($3200) and has a 720p resolution, then there is the OLED version which has even better image quality but is $3900. For our budget, these are out of the picture, but if you have to have one, you have to have one.


    Storage & Media

    There is currently only one option for storage on the Scarlet, and that is the SSD module. The SSD is a solid state drive, which means its like a hard drive with no moving parts and high data throughput (necessary for the enormous amounts of data Red RAW will generate). You will need two things, the module itself and media. (You will also need a RED station Redmag 1.8” reader to ingest, or copy, the data to your computer. See the DIT & Editing section).

    The SSD module attaches to your camera and provides a slot to insert the SSD media. There are currently two options: the “Rear SSD Module” and the “DSMC 1.8” SSD Module.” The rear model is “coming soon” and clips/bolts onto the back of the camera, giving you a slot on the right side of the camera. The side module bolts onto the left side of the camera and gives you a slot facing to the back of the camera. You cannot run the camera without one of these two modules. They not only provide a media slot, but also the port where you will attack the cable from your touch screen. Pick one that you think will fit your handling needs the best.

    Once you have the module, you will need media. You must use Red SSD media, you cannot use 3rd party SSD drives or make one yourself from parts. This is because Red has rated and tested these drives to work perfectly with the high data speeds needed for the Red DSMC camera system and there is currently no way to use a 3rd party SSD anyhow (plus it will void your warranty).

    SSD media currently comes in several sizes, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB. Soon there will be 32gb and 512gb SSD available as well. They are very, very pricey. What size media to use is a topic for another discussion. Suffice to say that for the budget conscious, 64GB is about $950 bucks and will give you about 30-60 minutes of recording time depending on your compression settings (more about this on another article).


    Sound

    There is no built-in microphone on the Scarlet or Epic. But there are 2 little 3.5mm jacks on the front (they are both mono jacks). But these are not regular jacks, as they can be configured for balanced or unbalanced audio from the menus of the camera. Balanced audio is where two signals are sent from a balanced microphone, one signal is inverted from the other and both are sent over the wire and then canceled out with each other to eliminate noise and interference from the cable itself. If you are using a balanced microphone, you will need adapter cables, or the excellent A box by Wooden Camera (www.woodencamera.com).

    I personally use a mono Rode shotgun mic and a Radio Shack adapter for quickie audio. But be careful! The wiring on these jacks is non-standard, and the Scarlet can be configured to provide power to these jacks (what’s called “phantom power”) for certain types of microphones. You don’t want be be providing power to some types of non-powered microphones or you may cause an electrical short.


    Power


    See my other post in this thread.



    Rig & Rail Components


    See my other post in this thread.


    DIT & Editing


    See my other post in this thread.
    Last edited by Mark Kern; 05-31-2012 at 08:52 PM.
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Matt Gottshalk's Avatar
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    You da man.
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  5.   This is the last RED TEAM post in this thread.   #5  
    Hi Mark,

    Appreciate the feedback, we are always looking for ways to improve.

    Regards,

    Keegan




    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Kern View Post
    Part III

    Control


    So you have the brain, the lens mount and lenses. But you still can’t control the camera. You have two options here, the excellent Red 5.0 inch touch screen and the DSMC side handle.


    Get the touch screen. No, really, get the touch screen. The reason is that while you can access the functions of the camera just fine from the side handle, you won’t be able to see what you are doing. The side handle drives the menus and buttons on the GUI (graphic user interface), and unless you can see the GUI, you can’t tell what you are doing without an external monitor.


    The 5 inch touch screen not only controls the camera, but displays a nice, crisp view of the what you are filming in 800x480 resolution. Red also sells a massive 9 inch touchscreen (coming soon), which has a 1280 x 784 resolution. Its gorgeous, but not necessary for our cost conscious rig. Also, do not buy the Red Pro LCD 7” thinking it will give you control…it won’t. It’s just a display had has no touch capability.


    If you buy the touch screen, do you still need the side handle? It depends, but not really. The side handle gives you physical controls you can map to the functions of the camera directly, but the touch screen gives you access to every control the camera offers. The side handle is great for a couple things though…it can provide a nice grip to the camera that resembles a Hasselblad, and it also can house a single RedVolt battery to power your camera. There is one huge reason to get the side grip though…the controls are fully programmable! You can configure every button, dial and widget on the side handle. This is hugely convenient to customize your camera but is not necessary at all to controlling it (the touch screen does all that for you).


    Displays


    Now that you have the touch screen (you did get it like I told you too, right?), you have a great display for framing your shots and watching playback. It’s pretty bright and has great visibility even outdoors in most conditions.


    There are other options, of course. External monitoring is very popular for shoots where other people need to see what you are shooting, and the Red brain already provides ports on the back that you can use to hook up a variety of professional displays.


    The other option worth discussing here is the Bomb EVF. Despite its name, it is neither an explosive incendiary device, nor is it the ultimate viewing device (“da bomb!”). The Bomb EVF is like a viewfinder port that you put your eye up to to view what you are shooting. You find these on every camcorder. If you much prefer this way of viewing your image, because of eyesight or because you need to see a bright image on a sunny day, this is a great option. But they do not give you any control of the camera. The only display that does that is the touch screen, so you’re going to need the touch screen or the side handle to control the camera as well as the EVF.


    There are two models of the Bomb EVF. There is the LCOS model, which is cheaper ($3200) and has a 720p resolution, then there is the OLED version which has even better image quality but is $3900. For our budget, these are out of the picture, but if you have to have one, you have to have one.


    Storage & Media


    There is currently only one option for storage on the Scarlet, and that is the SSD module. The SSD is a solid state drive, which means its like a hard drive with no moving parts and high data throughput (necessary for the enormous amounts of data Red RAW will generate). You will need two things, the module itself and media.


    The SSD module attaches to your camera and provides a slot to insert the SSD media. There are currently two options: the “Rear SSD Module” and the “DSMC 1.8” SSD Module.” The rear model is “coming soon” and clips/bolts onto the back of the camera, giving you a slot on the right side of the camera. The side module bolts onto the left side of the camera and gives you a slot facing to the back of the camera. You cannot run the camera without one of these two modules. They not only provide a media slot, but also the port where you will attack the cable from your touch screen. Pick one that you think will fit your handling needs the best.


    Once you have the module, you will need media. You must use Red SSD media, you cannot use 3rd party SSD drives or make one yourself from parts. This is because Red has rated and tested these drives to work perfectly with the high data speeds needed for the Red DSMC camera system and there is currently no way to use a 3rd party SSD anyhow (plus it will void your warranty).


    SSD media currently comes in several sizes, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB. Soon there will be 32gb and 512gb SSD available as well. They are very, very pricey. What size media to use is a topic for another discussion. Suffice to say that for the budget conscious, 64GB is about $950 bucks and will give you about 30-60 minutes of recording time depending on your compression settings (more about this on another article).


    Sound

    There is no built-in microphone on the Scarlet or Epic. But there are 2 little jacks on the front for micro XLR connectors. Sound is a whole other topic, but I wanted to point out you will need either an external recorder and mic (much recommended for film work), or you will have to buy an XLR microphone and mount it to your rig in some way (not the best, but often used for scratch audio track). I personally use a Rode mic and a Radio Shack adapter for quickie audio. But be careful! The wiring on these jacks is non-standard, and the Scarlet can be configured to provide power to these jacks (what’s called “phantom power”) for certain types of microphones. You don’t want be be providing power to some types of non-powered microphones or you may cause an electrical short.




    Power


    Lots of options here! Your brain, if purchased by itself and not in a package, does not come with ANY power, not even an AC adapter! I’m only going to cover the Red power options here, since these are what are for sale on the site. Also, using non-Red batteries and power accessories may void your warranty should something go wrong. Now, many, many people use non-Red power with no problem, but I just wanted to point that out.


    [More coming soon]

    Rig & Rail Components


    [Coming Soon]


    DIT & Editing


    [Coming Soon]
    Michael Keegan
    Snake Oil Division
    RED Digital Cinema
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    Thanks Mark! Why didn't you post this wonderful easily understandable guide before? :) I spent three months researching ... huh, lucky me!? ... FYI I have my Scarlet, but I am sure many fresh DSMC users will benefit from this wonderful information. Looking forward to your future post!
    The RED Scarlet X # 2566 "Angel Eyes"

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    This is Epic ... maybe it should be in other forum too!

    AJ
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    Senior Member Brad Webb's Avatar
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    Every new user that tries to start a thread in the Scarlet section should automatically redirect to this page, not let you leave the page for at least 5 minutes.
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    Here is the new Power section:



    Power

    Lots of options here! Your brain, if purchased by itself and not in a package, does not come with ANY power, not even an AC adapter! I’m only going to cover the Red power options here, since these are what are for sale on the site. Also, using non-Red batteries and power accessories may void your warranty should something go wrong. Now, many, many people use non-Red power with no problem, but I just wanted to point that out.

    The first option is AC power. You can purchase the AC power adapter, which I highly recommend. In addition to giving you unlimited power while you are plugged in, you will need it to update the firmware on your camera. Running tethered to power is not as inconvenient as you might think. But there is the danger of someone tripping over the cord and yanking the camera over.

    Your next option is battery power. There are a couple options here: Redvolts, Redvolt XLs and Red Bricks:

    Redvolts - These are the smallest batteries Red makes, able to power your camera with 30wh (watt hours) for around 20-30 minutes at a time. You usually use one at a time, plugging them into the the side handle control, or into a dual or quad battery pack module. You would be surprised at how having Redvolts can be convenient, even if you are swapping them every 30 minutes. More importantly, both Redvolts and RedvoltXL’s can travel via airline in quantity because they are considered small batteries. Since most Scarlet packages come with a DSMC Side Handle, Redvolts are an easy way to go. If you’re curious about how many batteries and chargers you would need to keep going for an all day shoot (non-stop shooting), it works out to seven Redvolts and three Redvolt chargers. Remember to let the batteries cool a bit between charges.

    Redvolt XL’s - think of these as two RedVolts stuck together and then topped off with a little more power. These batteries will only plug into the quad battery module, you cannot fit them physically into the dual module or side handle. These 89wh (watt hours) gems offer around 50-70 minutes of power. More importantly, both Redvolts and RedvoltXL’s can travel via airline in quantity because they are considered small batteries.

    Red Bricks - Remember when I said Red One accessories won’t work with the Scarlet? Well, there are exceptions, and the Red Bricks are one of them. These hefty batteries offer 140wh of power and about 2.25 hours of operation. This may cause a problem with traveling by air, depending on who you run into at the TSA. In order to use a Red brick on a Scarlet, you’re going to need a mount or belt clip. There are four ways to use a Red brick with your Scarlet:

    1) Backpack Quickplate - This will allow you to mount the batter to the back of your Scarlet, provided you have a DSMC Backpack accessory (known as a cheesplate, also known as a plate with a grid of mounting holes). This mounting solution alone is over 2k, so not recommended for our setup if you are going to run Red bricks.

    2) & 3) Red Quickplate and Red Cradle - These are clips or cradles that will hold your battery and let you angle them to comfortable positions. They range from $500 - $750, but will also require a Red 2B to 1B power adapter cable ($190), and either a 15mm or 19mm DSMC Universal Mount (a $200 gizmo that you can attach to your camera and also provides rod support, see rigs). These universal mounts in term need rods to support them, or a Red Quick Release Platform which will cost another $700. So, for our budget Scarlet setup, these are simply not an option. Too many parts to buy and too expensive.

    4) Battery Belt Clip (DSMC) - This allows you to mount the brick on your belt and even comes with the cable to attach to the brain’s power port, all for just $325! Bingo! For the economical Scarlet user who wishes to use large Red brick batteries, this is the way to go. Downside is that when you put down the camera, don’t forget to unfasten the belt clip!!! If you don’t, you can walk away and yank that camera right off the tripod or table where you left it!!!

    Quad and Dual Battery Modules - These are not batteries per se, but they let you use more than one Redvolt at a time (dual and quad) and use the larger Redvolt XL batteries (quad only). Quad means you can fit 4 Redvolts or 2 Redvolt XLs. You can actually mix and match XLs and smaller Redvolts, and you don’t have to fill all the available slots. Again, in typical Red fashion, you can’t just buy the Quad or Dual modules, you will also need the Module Adaptor to mount the dual or quad battery to your Red brain.

    Now that you’ve chosen a battery solution, you need to have chargers. There are two options for the Redvolts, and one for the Redvolt XL and one for the Red bricks.

    DSMC Travel Charger - This is the standard charger which can charge one Redvolt at a time. Pretty basic and does the job in about 2 hours. It does not work with the larger Redvolt XL batteries.

    Redvolt Charger (Quad) - This allows you to charge up to 4 Redvolt batteries at a time, or up to 2 Redvolt XL batteries. It also takes about 2 hours, but you are charging 4 at a time (for regular Redvolts), so that's 4x the speed.

    Red Charger - This charges 2 Red bricks at a time and is the only way to charge Red brick batteries.

    Now, you will notice the store also sells the chargers and batteries together in bundled packages. You can get the DSMC Power Pack which gives you 2 Redvolts and a travel charger, or you can by the Red Power Pack which gives you two Red bricks and the Red Charger. It also comes with a DC power cable for the Red One that you will not be needing.

    For our budget Scarlet rig, get 2-4 Redvolts and either the travel charger or the quad charger depending on your budget.
    Last edited by Mark Kern; 05-29-2012 at 08:10 AM.
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  10. #10  
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    well done Mark. bravo!
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