April 16, 2012

RED to Ship Dragon Sensor in Late 2012, Promising 6K Resolution, 15+ Stops of Dynamic Range

It's been announced - the long awaited successor to the MX sensor, Dragon, is finally getting some specs and a release date. Upgrades for Epic will cost $6,000 and begin late this year, while the Scarlet upgrades won't be until 2013 with a price TBD. Jim slightly broke his rules - announcing specs for something that isn't shipping yet - but it's still fun to see what those guys at RED are coming up with. I just came from the REDUser event where the 4K portrait finalists had their films displayed on multiple 4K TVs all at once - my favorite being the Panasonic 152" behemoth, which isn't even at NAB - only RED had it at their event.

Here are some words from Jim about the new sensor:

The Dragon sensor is slightly larger than the Mysterium-X sensor and the pixel size is slightly smaller. The pixel design and sensor design makes all the difference in the world. Most all of your current lenses will work.

The full list of specs we know so far:

  • 6K
  • 15 Stops or Greater Dynamic Range
  • 120 Frames Per Second at Full 5K
  • 85 Frames Per Second (at least) at Full 6K
  • Sensor Size: 30x15.8mm
  • Pixel Size: 5 microns
  • Improved Low-Light
  • Late 2012 $6,000 Upgrade for Epic
  • 2013 Scarlet Upgrade

Low light is supposedly improved, as that is an area where Canon and Sony seem to be taking the lead. Not that we should ask one camera to do everything, but being able to push the Dragon another few stops over the MX without noise would be impressive.

Scarlet has not been given an upgrade price but it is expected that it will cost more than the Epic upgrade - and won't start until 2013. I'm sure upgrades are going to go well into 2013 for the Epic, and possibly 2014 for the Scarlet. We are now finally seeing RED's answer to what Sony and Canon are doing. Though it doesn't have quite the oversampling that the F65 has, the Dragon sensor will give a tremendous amount of flexibility recording to 6K. We are beginning to get into seriously high quality video with RED, and it means that shooters will be less and less limited by their cameras and more by their imaginations. There is a lot of potential for what you can do with 6K - and to dismiss it because it can't actually be displayed at this time would be a mistake.

The RED event really spoke to the fact that 4K is coming, and that this year will be a big year for 4K displays. Many of the screens showing the contest are not actually showing at NAB - including the gigantic Panasonic display. We are going to see all of those displays sooner rather than later - and one comment I kept hearing is that content distributors and display makers want 4K content.

More to come tomorrow at NAB - and I will hopefully get a good look at RED's projector at their booth (as well as any other surprises they might have there).

Link: REDUser - Dragon

Your Comment

65 Comments

Check. Mate.

April 16, 2012

0
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Luke Neumann

Good luck to Canon, Sony and everyone else with their "cutting edge" cameras.

RED did it again.

April 16, 2012

1
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Demetri

Yes... for anyone who has 60k laying around they really did it.

April 16, 2012

2
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mauborba

Something tells me that a 6K Scarlet with Dragon sensor will still be less expensive than a C500 with a 4K recorder.

Although both nowhere near the 60K price.

April 16, 2012

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Demetri

In terms of feature film work it's either F65 or Epic Dragon, really. Filmic DR + oversampled 4K. Rip 35mm.

April 17, 2012

1
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Natt

Or you know... Alexa

April 20, 2012

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Tom

Alexa is 2K, less than 35mm resolution.

April 20, 2012

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Álex Montoya

+1000000 likes

July 7, 2012

1
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zino

"Did" in the past-tense? More like "saying they're going to do it." As a SCARLET owner I'm of course very interested in this, but until we actually see anything... I'm sure Canon is doing just fine selling plenty of C300s.

April 16, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Exactly. Horses for courses.

April 16, 2012

2
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6K sensor is not effectively 6K image.. C500 has 8K sensor and i'm sure it will be out long before this

April 16, 2012

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sebasti

Not sure where that information came from but the C500 has a 4K only sensor - and when it records 4K RAW because of the bayer sensor its resolved lines of resolution will be below 4K. Dragon (if/when it's released) will actually record a 6K image that should downsample to a truer 4K image.

April 16, 2012

1
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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

yes, my bad, remembered this wrongly, had confused the 8 megapixels with K.. but still the point is same.. F65 at least has 8K sensor down sampled to 4K and this camera has been available for long time.. so in that sense 6K is not so special... the dynamic range is amazing on dragon but you can get to almost the same with F3's S-LOG. I wouldn't see this announcement anywhere as innovative as Red originally was... to me it seems they are slowing down compared to others speeding up.

April 16, 2012

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sebasti

You can get 15+ stops with the F3?

April 16, 2012

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Álex Montoya

Comparing the F3, though a great 1080P camera to an Epic with Dragon epic with 6k, 15+ DR and 120 FPS in 5K is bonkers.

Frankly, I believe it is still not the specs but RED's obsolescence obsolete philosophy that is truly the most powerful horse in this race.

April 16, 2012

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Lliam Worthington

Red's 6K sensor is effectively 6K. It doesn't super sample, and their proprietary processing retains much more resolution than many Bayer pattern based single chip sensors, at least that's how the MX and Epic sensor respond.

April 16, 2012

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Angelo

Whenever I see strangely optimistic comments like these (that barely make sense) I can't help but wonder if it's an employee doing a bit of viral marketing after a launch.

April 16, 2012

1
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Roger Freeman

I'm still more excited for BlackMagic's camera,h right now, though, ha ha ha

April 16, 2012

-1
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Me too! More because it fits my price point than anything.

April 16, 2012

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Darius

That is until you start buying SSD's for it when you are on a full day shoot.

Just because a camera came along that is cheap and specs seem alright, doesn't mean you should buy it. In all honesty, your money would be better spent on a 5D3...

April 20, 2012

1
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Tom

I do like the looks of RED a little bit more these days. The entertainment of new cameras every other month is old now... I do like the idea of having one machine that i can, to an extent, always "upgrade" on. Reminds me of my motorcycle.

With the ridiculous prices of Canon's antics, with yet what seems to be still 'sub-par' cameras. With a set of Nikon Primes, I'm really interested to see what Sony, Red and Panasonic have for the "indie." Right under $5,200 seems to be my max. budget on a camera, a camera i could use for a while and own. And even at $5,200, that's still quite a bit.. lofty, for me :).

April 16, 2012

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Cleon

Totally agree. I'm don't want crippled cameras designed to drive repeat sales. And while the "different tools" line will always have merit, I personally really don't want to buy or rent multiple cameras. I'd much prefer to focus on my work using a camera I know intimately, is extremely well rounded and produces stellar images. And if I can upgrade it too... well for me that's perfect.

Unfortunately I don't think RED will offer anything beyond the Scarlet for the Indie at the 5K price point. And canon have shown their hands with their sincerely misguided price points, but the future looks bright still, with Sony seeming determined to kick ass and Panny will almost certainly come to the party too.

Blows my mind though just how much Canon could have owned the market if they weren't so catastrophically blind as to what they achieved with the 5D.

April 16, 2012

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Lliam Worthington

Look up Black Magic Design's new camera. 2.5K RAW for 3K. EOS mount, 13 stops of dynamic range, thunderbold and SDI, ProRes and DNXHD, AND coolest of all, a free, full version, of Davinci resolve

April 16, 2012

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I was ready to preorder until I saw the senson size :/

April 16, 2012

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carlos

what's the size? i know i'm slow, and i could not find it at BMD site.
If it's 2/3" there will be some limitations by using EF lens with it (but the good point is the center of the lens, that has more resolution, will be well used by it! :))

April 16, 2012

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guto novo

S16. See our post about it!

April 16, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

"Most all of your current lenses will work."

whut.

April 16, 2012

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The sensor is a little bigger than the current one, which itself is a little bigger than S35. Some lenses probably don't cover the full 6K, as dome lenses don't fully cover 5K right now. Good news is, with the smaller pixels, 5K will be closer to (or smaller than) S35-size.

April 16, 2012

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Kevin Marshall

That should be "won't" and "some." Damn phone keyboard...

April 16, 2012

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Kevin Marshall

the sensor is a tiny bit bigger (30mm vs 27.7mm), some lenses won't work, most will

April 16, 2012

1
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6K. My gosh, what for?! That's one sick update right there. Really nice though. Curious about the lowlight.
Off-topic: Does anyone know if the 4K Canon short film by Shane Hurlbut will be released on the web? If so when? Same for the Man&Beast C500?

April 16, 2012

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Tim

The big thing though is what the BBC will do with their 8K coverage of the London Olympics and the heralding of H265 (8K file format). 4K seems like a bridge between the almost future - 8K - and what will actually be a determined broadcast format (8K). Very exciting times.

April 16, 2012

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Shaun Wilson

Finally someone talking sense. The next broadcast jump in Europe/japan is to 8K folks. This is likre the mobile market wars all over again.

April 16, 2012

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Ant idea about resolution/frame rates for the scarlet?

April 16, 2012

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Ryan

Nothings been given. All TBA.

Smart money is on basically transposing the current scaling between Scarlet and Epic specs onto the Dragon... So something like - 6k 12fps - 5K 30p, 4K 60P 3K 120 - for Scarlet would be my guess.
With 15 stops of DR and significantly improved low light performance, for a camera system for about 22K?
That will be pretty damn mind blowing.

April 16, 2012

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Lliam Worthington

HOLY SHIT!

I didn't see this one coming!

Cleon, this looks hands down like the next big Indie sensation to me. Think I may have just found my Scarlet B cam.

http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?77213-Davinci-Resolve-9-0-an...

April 16, 2012

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Lliam Worthington

These guys are so impressive... They constantly push the envelope and to me are the most exciting player in the industry... I'd love to see some of the new Dragon Sensor test footage when it comes out... I'm sure they're just scratching the surface with what they're pushing out and have a feeling that with this sensor will come an additional firmware update showing some strengthened workflow flexibility for the creative...

April 16, 2012

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Jim slightly broke his own rules? He's never shied away from announcing things years before they were releaased - remember the spec sheet on the Scarlet w/lens 4 NAB's ago?

Blackmagic may trump EVERYONE this NAB!!!

http://johnbrawley.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/blackmagic-cinema-camera-let...

April 16, 2012

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Lance Bachelder

Yes, as much as I may love RED (I own RED cams), BlackMagic Design's new Cinema Camera is the one I think indies have been wanting and needing for some time. In some ways it looks like it kills Scarlet (without dragon, of course). Which explains why Jim Jannard broke his own rule about announcing things before they're ready.

I love that it'll use standard SSDs (cheap! not like RED's). I love that it's much more open, as far as format, cables (broke a $300 cable on my most recent RED shoot... UGH), etc.

Can't wait for dragon, it'll be great. I'll enjoy it on Epic. But BMD claims these new cinema cams will ship in July, not sometime in 2013.

I'm buying at least one.

April 16, 2012

1
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>Scarlet
>4K
>S35

>BMD Camera
>2,5K
>S16

wat

April 17, 2012

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Natt

Yep. You also left out. 5K stills. HDRX. 2K 60p, upgrade path, modularity...
I think this BMD cinema cam looks fantastic, and I think I may purchase one, but to call it a scarlet killer is crazy imo.

April 17, 2012

1
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Lliam Worthington

I agree! The Blackmagic Camera is perfect for the ones who missed the 3K for 3K Scarlet.

While I own a Scarlet I am seriously considering purchasing this as a B-Cam plus the the $1,000 worth of software that comes with it.

April 17, 2012

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Chris 2

Red always has the corniest, stupidest names. Epic? One? Scarlet? Dragon? RED??? Studid.

April 16, 2012

1
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James

*STUPID

April 16, 2012

1
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James

Also I doubt it'll actually be 15 stops. The Scarlet was said to have 13.5 stops, and the Sony F3 with S-Log has more dynamic range than it, although it's also said to have 13.5 stops.

April 16, 2012

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James

Haters gonna hate

April 17, 2012

1
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Natt

Yep it's the names that matter. Excellent point. Who are you people? Did Jim Jannard shag your wife? Seriously?

April 17, 2012

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Lliam Worthington

Maybe, but it is better than the alphbet and number soup of the others. th Hgmk-3650, or the VFX-T-100. Lol, I much rather have a real name vs a bunch of random letters and numbers. (The same with cars as well.)

April 17, 2012

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Chris 2

Therefore easier to recall,
Bye

September 30, 2012

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Cesare

I'm not as smart as most of you are on here so I'll ask this question. What is the advantage of being able to shoot 6K? And how can you effectively take advantage of it to watch it? Don't you need a tv or projector that can show 6K?

Also, how powerful of a editing station do you need to process this footage?

Thanks.

April 16, 2012

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cappy

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