It's been quite awhile since a single camcorder, of all things, got as much hype as the elusive RED machine from Oakley founder Jim Jannard, but this mysterious beast is escaping the treacherous realm of vaporware and emerging into reality according to the man himself over at DVXuser. Aside from shooting HD footage at 60fps with those fine 11.4-megapixels, the all-aluminum cam is finally making its debut, and a few glamour shots of the first prototype, dubbed "Spike," have now been released. It's noted that actual production units will not sport a shiny finish (sorry, blingsters), and the official forums will open up tomorrow at RedUser.net. Ole Jim also mentioned that the machined prototype "should be operational" within days, and hopes to garner a good bit of attention at the next NAB expo. While the initial batch of $17,000 pre-orders are long gone, the firm just might take more orders for a small window of time in "early 2007," but it's shakily committing to a "May 31st" or earlier ship date for those lucky (and loaded) individuals already on that coveted list. Be sure to tag the links below for more very-not-fuzzy sneak peeks.

[Via DVGuru]

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First pics of RED "Spike" camcorder prototype surface