Today I was able to put the recently released Red Epic/Scarlet beta firmware build through a few tests at Division Camera, and this update adds a lot of exciting new features. Some of them are a bit confusing but we’ll attempt to clear any confusion in today’s post.
The list of new features/changes as listed on Red.com.
Added Time Lapse
Added Record Ramp
Added Vertical Monitor Flip
Added Vertical and Horizontal UI Flip/Mirror
Added Custom Overlay
Added Power Save Modes
Added User selectable 1:1 zoom
Added Selectable LCD Frequency
Added Import/Export user cal maps
Added Calibration warnings for exposure and temperature
Added Luma Ramp Test Pattern
Added Pro IO and Monitor Audio Mixer
Added internal frame summing for long exposures
Added internal frame averaging capability (noise reduction)
Added REDmote Auto Pairing
Added +1 Support
Added pluge pattern to SMPTE bars
Updated UI control look/feel
Separate Audio Channel Setup
Calibration capture speed-up
Improved RAW metering
Target exposure time support (behaves like redcode now)
Some new features are self-explanatory, others are not so.
With this mode you can pre-record 10, 20 or 30 seconds, you must activate this mode before each clip you wish to use it for.
- Record Ramp
Now you can ramp in to slow motion like you could with the Red One, the only catch is that you can only do it once per clip, no ramping up and then back down again. There is a dedicated button you will need to program that triggers the ramp.
- Vertical Mirror Flip
Now you can orient your Red LCD upside down for added versatility, except this function isn’t useful yet because you can only flip the image upside down but you can’t mirror it left to right. What that means is that if you turn the feature on you can turn the monitor upside down but everything will be backwards. Red is working on it but we’ll have to wait a while longer for this function to be useful.
- +1 support
If you haven’t heard, Red is developing and will soon be releasing a new module for the epic that adds one extra Red LCD/EVF port, allowing use of a RED LCD and EVF at the same time. This update readies the camera for this addition.
- Frame Summing, Frame Averaging, Timelapse
As you could with the Red One, you can now do timelapse in camera. And to support that mode there are a couple new modes: Frame Summing and Frame Averaging. Summing/averaging is also timelapse, the difference is that if you are in timelapse mode but not using summing or averaging, you are limited to the usual exposure parameters available with an exposure time not exceeding 1 second in length. If you activate summing or averaging then you can do exposures for as long as 16 seconds, this is ideal for nighttime/very low light timelapses. In each of the summing/averaging modes you can set the number of samples it will take to combine for each frame: 2, 4, 8, or 16. From what I can tell, although Red hasn’t divulged the particulars to confirm this, the difference between summing and averaging is what it does with these samples; Summing adds them together and averaging uses more complicated algorithms to average all the samples to create its frame with the mission to reduce noise inherent in long exposures, similar to the difference between simple blend and magic motion in HDRx. What Red HAS said is that the Averaging feature is experimental and is expected to develop over time.
To summarize these features: Timelapse allows interval frame capture but alone only allows exposure times up to 1 second. Summing and averaging allows for long exposure. These two features combined allow for long exposures at programmable intervals.
Again, this is only the Beta and there is no word on when exactly the release version will become available but it will likely be soon. This post will be updated if the release version changes in any significant way. Post in the comments section below if you have any questions. If you are in need of a Red Epic Rental or Red Scarlet Rental, give the folks at Division Camera in Hollywood a call.
By: Adam Watson