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RED Claims Dragon Sensor Doubles EPIC/SCARLET Sensitivity, ISO 2000 Cleaner Than ISO 800

08.10.12 @ 7:35PM Tags : , , , ,

All has been quiet on the RED front concerning the new Dragon sensor since NAB in April. After their kickoff party before the start of the exhibition, they announced the specifications of the updated sensor. One of the criticisms of the MX sensor has been lower dynamic range than some of its peers, like, for example, the Arri Alexa. RED seems to be gunning straight for that camera with a reported 15 stops or more of dynamic range and 6K of resolution with a sensor only slightly larger than MX. Now we’ve got a little more confirmation on sensitivity of the $6,000 EPIC upgrade (SCARLET pricing and specs will come later). If the numbers from RED’s CEO turn out to be true, it would mean that the new Dragon sensor would be a little more than twice as sensitive as the MX, even with smaller pixels.

Here is what he had to say on REDUser:

… photosite (pixel) size used to be one of the most important pieces for DR but has now taken a back seat to pixel design. The MX sensor has more DR than the original M sensor… and the pixels are the same size. The new Dragon sensor has mind-blowing DR and the pixels are slightly smaller than either the M or MX…The Dragon sensor is the cleanest sensor you have ever seen. ISO 2000 looks better than MX at ISO 800.

These are the specs as they were stated back in April (with updated info):

  • 6K Sensor
  • 15 Stops or Greater Dynamic Range
  • 120 Frames Per Second at Full 5K
  • 85 Frames Per Second (at least) at Full 6K
  • Sensor Size: 30.7 × 15.8mm
  • Pixel Size: 5 microns
  • ISO 2000 Cleaner Than ISO 800
  • Late 2012 $6,000 Upgrade for EPIC
  • 2013 SCARLET Upgrade

RED seems to be working extra hard on sensor design, as the increase in sensitivity is contrary to the way most of us have been told sensor pixels should work. In the past, the smaller the pixel, the less sensitive the sensor would be overall, even with very optimized micro-lenses to guide light to the pixel. That doesn’t seem to be the case with the new Dragon sensor. While the new sensor is actually 10% larger, there are far more pixels, and the end result is a larger pixel density (thus smaller pixels). Sensor design for all manufacturers is certainly improving, and while larger pixels usually equals better light sensitivity, it will be extremely impressive if RED can more than double the sensor’s performance in lower-light over the MX.

The RED Dragon Sensor:

While availability for the upgrade is still stated as sometime before the end of the year for EPIC cameras, there are no hard dates for when this process might begin. However, there is some good news for a select group of people — those who purchased $50,000 or more worth of a RED EPIC and other gear after NAB will receive a free upgrade to Dragon. If you were one of the early EPIC-M adopters (the hand machined EPIC that was released long before any of the others at a higher price), you will be the first to receive the Dragon sensor update. While not free for anyone else, if you were an early adopter, RED is once again attempting to take care of those users.

Here is Jarred Land on that:

Epic -M owners will get priority for the Dragon upgrade. No free upgrades before the NAB special $50k deal.. It has nothing to do with loyalty.. it has to do with economics. As much as we would love to.. as a business we can’t give everything away for free.. we already did that once.

While I’m not sure RED has ever given everything away for free (if they did I think I missed that sign-up sheet), it should still be comforting for those who purchased a Beta camera (as stated by RED) to be the first to shoot 16-bit RAW and higher frame rates in a smaller package. There is some other interesting news regarding codecs. One of the big complaints about the RED workflow is that there are plenty of jobs that just want ProRes or DNxHD 1080p (like the Blackmagic Cinema Camera can do) immediately instead of 4K or 5K RAW (for speed purposes). This is something that RED’s main rival, Arri, has been able to incorporate into the Alexa (ProRes from the start, DNxHD as a paid upgrade). Being forced to convert footage is just another step for some of these clients, and many just want to edit immediately using a ProRes log file or similar. There is some word that RED may finally release a module to do either or both ProRes and DNxHD, which just might steer some of those professional jobs right back into RED’s corner.

Jarred Land when asked by Rory Hinds about a possible DNxHD/ProRes module said this:

Dont worry Rory.. we are listening.

Increased sensitivity could put the new Dragon sensor in line with some of the other digital cinema cameras out there (like the Alexa), and may actually prove to be comparable in low-light to cameras like the Canon C300 and the Sony F3. For those wondering why anyone would ever need 6K, if you’ve been reading the site lately, we’ve talked about bayer patterns and the loss of resolution that comes from pixel interpolation. Since there isn’t a red, green, and blue for every single pixel, there has to be some interpolation to fill in the missing gaps. The more information you start with (6K), the closer you’re going to get to a clean 4K, which is the intended final resolution for high-end digital cinema and 4K television sets. Sony’s F65 has an interesting 8K pixel design precisely for this reason — though that camera was only ever designed to shoot 4K, while RED’s will actually give you the 6K file for manipulation and cropping.

These are interesting times, and we don’t have much word on when the update will be coming to SCARLET, how much it will cost, and who gets it first (probably those who ordered first). There is no question that SCARLET will have lower frame rates and probably a lower shooting resolution, but how much lower remains to be seen. Since Dragon will need to be cropped for many lenses anyway because of the larger than MX sensor (35mm still lenses, or lenses like the Zeiss CP.2s, will still cover the sensor), being forced to shoot 5K on the SCARLET wouldn’t be a deal-breaker depending on the price.

[via REDUser]


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  • Upgradeable sensors seems to be one of the greatest attributes for owning a RED camera. Making that part modular was definitely a right call and when I’m ready, may be a deciding factor should I choose to buy into their ecosystem.

    • Brian Kaufman on 08.10.12 @ 7:47PM

      It’s a big investment. If you have a chance to give the system a try (via rental, or if you’re lucky, a friend), I would recommend it. It’s hard to “know” a camera until you have it in your hands.

    • john jeffreys on 08.11.12 @ 6:38PM

      Yeah. The modularity and hardcore customization is what really sells me on potentially using a red for my next project. Affording one, well, thats another story.

  • Brian Kaufman on 08.10.12 @ 7:45PM

    I assume when talking about needing ProRes output we’re talking about shops with Final Cut or older versions of Avid? Premiere CS5+ has no problem editing R3Ds in real time, and if I recall correctly, Avid now handles them natively as well… I just used a Scarlet-X for a 48 Hr Film Festival piece (where time is of the essence) and it was just as fast as using a more traditional camera/codec.

    • Avid’s handling is only semi-native, but that doesn’t change the fact that many post-houses and editors would rather have a smaller file to edit on a less powerful system just to do the cutting. Each place has their own workflows, and if that includes having ProRes or DNxHD for the editors, they’re going to do it even if the system might be able to handle a RAW file natively.

    • This also helps handle the ever growing issue of storage space – especially for post houses who archive as well. I believe Joe did a fantastic write up of hard drive space in relation to 4K raw workflows. The results were depressing haha. Raid systems just can’t get big enough fast enough, or cheap enough – so having prores or dnxhd for active projects that don’t need 4k is a super plus.

  • 6K = Overkill, sorry
    15 stops = great
    image still not as nice as the Alexa in most of the situations

    • Nothing is overkill if you understand the way sensors and resolution works – there is a reason the Sony F65 has 8K pixels. The more pixels you have in a bayer pattern, the closer you’ll get in resolved detail to your final intended resolution. 5K should produce a real 4K if you work on the 80% bayer pattern to final resolution rule, and since people like David Fincher and others actually frame the sensor smaller than the full height and width for stabilization and reframing, this would allow people to frame for 5K, get a real actual 4K, and still have room to manipulate the image.

      • Kevin Marshall on 08.10.12 @ 9:42PM

        That’s been the M.O. of a DP I do a lot of work for. Besides reframing, you also get more tracking data for VFX, and room for convergence and geometry on 3D shows. There’s also the benefit for deliveries with differing aspect ratios – you can add height and/or width as opposed to pan&scan or letter/pillarboxing. Again, some more specialty stuff – not necessary for every production – but still useful. You’re welcome to shoot at 5K, or hell even 4K. And now the 5K will fit closer to S35, so more win to those of us currently vignetting.

        • @kevin, it doest make it easy to track it will make it very heavy. For good tracking you need contrast basically. You need someone on set to make sure the image been captured has all the info to be tracked otherwise you place some tracking marks also collect camera and lens information. I give a credit for stablishing and reframing but for that 4k should be just enough.

          • With a bayer pattern sensor, 4K isn’t really 4K. So if you’re starting with 4K, you’re not actually resolving 4K, and if you then need to stabilize and crop into the image, you’re probably resolving closer to 3K or even 2K. There are certainly people out there who don’t care about that – but this is what’s happening to the image, whether we like it or not.

      • You are right Joe, as long as im not forced to record in 6k, 5 or 4k when i dont want to. If at least the didnt have the crop if you want to record straight in 2k. Hence overkill.

        • Well that’s the trade-off, isn’t it? That’s why there are plenty of cameras out there for different situations – if you don’t want to have to deal with those resolutions, you don’t have to shoot with these cameras. If you really wanted to just record 1080p, you could record the HD-SDI output. It’s probably going to be a little lower quality than doing it in post, but all your dynamic range should be there.

        • You are looking at a RED system as a Video camera ment for use like a video camera. The RED is from conception, a 35mm Film replacement camera.

          Saying 6k is overkill for a corporate video, is like saying shooting 35mm film is overkill. Yes it is. That would be using the tool outside its intended purpose. You can do it… But it requires the time and effort to deal with it. The company is RED Digital Cinema, Key word Cinema. You cant fault it for doing what its designed to do. Capture high resolution images in RAW. Thats what a RED does. Period. Its not a 1080p camera, its not a ENG camera, its not a DSLR, its not a Stills camera. Can it be used like those things, yes it can. But they all stray from its intended purpose. You can’t fault a sports car for being impractical. It was never ment to be.

    • Kevin Marshall on 08.10.12 @ 9:27PM

      “image still not as nice as the Alexa in most of the situations”

      How do you know that? There haven’t been any images released from this sensor. If you’re talking about the MX, I’d say it’s up for debate – and definitely somewhat subjective.

      • Lliam Worthington on 08.11.12 @ 6:42AM


      • Color science still the same, and you right its up for debate, its my personal opinion.

        • Who said that the color science will be the same after upgrade?

          • Red said that the color science will be upgraded as well, hold the hate my friend

          • Not hating, Red is a great camera, perfect fit for independent filmmakers within its price range. If you check their foruns you’ll see Red is attacking Alexa based on resolution only, thats their strenght along with a compact body. The only thing I hate is Reduser forum nonsense :)

        • If you look at their forums, what you said is not true.

          • Of course they have multiple posts about the subject, some of them trying to fix things said in the past. Anyway, I have no interest in making this discussion longer. My post was to state 3 things (my opinion): 6k recording is overkill for today, 15 stops of dynamic range is great! and the image (until the update their color science) is still less appealing than the Alexa, FOR ME, sorry if I offended anyone.

    • I see the same thing, it is a bit like the megapixel race in the dslr world not so long ago. As a d800 owner, I can tell you that apart from billboard or museum shoot the 36 megapixel are overkill for 95 % of shots. What is nice is that the camera is still well excel in every other domain like very good in low light and great DR. Should it have been different I would have been very critical of it.

      Now on the 6k sensor and 4k output. Is the 4k (3k real) output not already very good to overkill? I mean until now I have never seen a pixel in a 2k output (even looking into it). Most of the actors faces (mostly woman) are being soften a bit in post. I am not interested to see every pores of my favorite actress. This is going more in the technological arm race Marketing propaganda than any real perceivable quality gain by human beings.

      The last thing is the refraining concept. I read an article from a very experience editor and she was complaining that people were thinking that everything was possible in post. So people were getting lazy and that in the end the work was getting harder and that now they had to pay much more for the editing because of the time for re-framing color correction etc.

      So my conclusion is that people are getting too much entangled into technological mambo jumbo. How many film you where bothered by the 2k output. 6k is overkill, 15 stop is big, because for now from my experience I would say that it is close to human perception. When they will release the camera with 20 stop DR, I won’t be that exited because up and above certain level there is a sharp law of diminishing return. Resolution for motion capture is already close for me at 2k.

      • I could see a big difference between the Imax and 35mm shots in the Dark Knight Rises, so more resolution is useful for some things at least. It’s also worth noting that to keep details like pores from becoming unsightly, you have to have real detail not artifically sharpened detail…and the only way to get that kind of real detail in 1080p, is to shoot something like 4k and do a high quality downscale. This gives you a smooth creamy detailed image, without the harsh halo artifacts of sharpening.

        Re: Reframing in post…any tool that lets you do something easier means it can be used in a lazy way. Somebody can use their car to drive two blocks to the grocery store, and end up getting fat and lazy. But that doesn’t mean a car is a lazy tool…it’s just being used for the wrong reasons. If you use the tool to do something you couldn’t otherwise do, then you’re using the tool for the right reasons.

        • Couldn’t agree more to all of that. Options are not a bad thing. It’s like people who say “if you’re panning so fast that rolling shutter is a problem, then you shouldn’t be panning that fast.” Oh, really? What about if you make a creative choice to have a handheld scene running with the camera? What if you’re shooting in strobe lights? Sure, the camera arms race is less important than age-old storytelling. But give us options and the best storytellers will use them wisely.

        • Elizabeth Zoppa – Wow! I haven’t checked out your blog for a while. What amaizng photos you have taken. The clarity and sharpness is awesome. I noticed you now have the 5D (yeah!). I am wavering between the 40D and the 5D and am hoping if you have time you could email why you like the full frame sensor better and which lenses you have now.Thanks,Liz Zoppa

    • 6K = post stabilization and reframing. It’s overkill only for n00bz.
      DR is the king for sure though

  • One interesting thing I found when posting about pixel pitch and noise before the Sony F3 came out: “engineers find that, while very small pixel pitches bring with them increased noise, once you reach a reasonable size — 4-6 microns — the benefits of larger pixel pitches in terms of noise are reduced.” The Dragon Sensor, even at 6K, is squarely in that “reasonable size” range at 5 microns.

  • If this actually happened, I think it would be the end of the game, in a way. If you have a camera with 15 stops of DR, shoots at 6K, 120 fps at 5K, 16bit RAW and 2000ISO looking as good as 800, well… would you really need anything else? It sounds a bit ‘pie-in-the-sky’ but, if I had the dough, I’d buy it and figure I was set for life. I hope Jannard makes it happen.

    Maybe this isn’t the place but, Joe… got a thread idea for you (you’ve probably already thought about it) and it might be interesting to start it before the final episode of the Zacuto shootout is released (hell, I don’t know, maybe after) but, here goes…

    Since the GH2 won the poll for best looking video in the 1st Zacuto episode, (my God, I’m still baffled as to why it did but, it did) I was thinking a good question now would be, “If money was no object, which camera would you pick to shoot your next motion picture project on?” I would think lots of folks would say Alexa, many would say Epic (probably, a lot now would say, I’ll wait to see Dragon) and some, the F65 but, I would be curious to know, how many of those who chose the GH2 in the poll would say they would, actually, choose the GH2 to shoot their feature on? I mean, if you thought it looked the best, why wouldn’t you use it, even if money wasn’t an issue? Huh? This I would like to know.

    • Inputs/outputs, low light performance, lens compatibility, codec, reliability, ergonomics, recording media, resolution… To start. But I wasnt one of the ones who thought the GH2 looked good (other than in the bang for the buck department!).

      • If I read you correctly, Koo, those would be on my list why NOT to use a GH2, besides the fact that it was near the top of my list for worst looking of the group. But, I think it would be an interesting read on why an individual would choose one over the other, if they could afford any camera they wanted. And, I’d still like to know if those (even Coppola) who preferred the GH2 image, would choose it over all others.

    • Yeah I’ve thought about that – it’s an interesting idea. I really don’t think anyone in their right mind would choose a low-budget camera if given the choice. If money is no object, you shoot on the best camera available – Alexa, F65, or Epic. If you specifically need a camera to be amazing in low-light, then you might choose the C300 or F3.

      These are biggest questions you should ask when choosing a camera for a specific project: What does the image look like (and do you like it)? Which camera will give you the least amount of compromises while shooting and in post for your particular workflow?

      • Well, there’s your question… What does the image look like (and do you like it)? I mean, to me, as a DP, image is everything. All the other issues Koo mentioned above notwithstanding, if you thought the GH2 looked the best then, why would you use anything else? I hope my point is not lost in here, somehow. Never considered myself a gifted writer.

        • No, it’s not lost, but I don’t think you can have one question without the other. Maybe you like the GH2 image the most, but that camera is certainly not going to be the most flexible on set, and in post. At least from my point of view, if another camera actually lets you work faster and better, you might choose it even if you aren’t as happy with the image.

          All of those factors, however, must come after budget. If you can only afford $1,000 or $2,000 for your camera rental during a production of more than 3 or 4 days, your options are severely limited, and at that point it does become “what is the image I like the most, for the least amount of money, and with the least amount of compromises?” Hopefully people understand this when they view these types of shootouts. No one camera will do everything you need it to do, maybe some day, but at the moment they’ve all got positives and negatives and those have to be considered along with your budget, how much you like the image, and what it will mean for your production and post workflow.

  • I can’t wait for the people who start saying “yeah, sounds cool – but I’m gonna wait for the 8K version”

    Think we’ll hit 10K by 2015, or will we just get outrageous low light instead? Cameras are getting weird haha.

  • Red has promised a lot of things over the years. Many empty promises that turned out to be false.

  • The reason 4k cameras are meaning full right now is this:

    Click “Original” size. 4k delivery right now. with Retina displays at the nearly 3k mark, 1080 material appears soft. Try watching 1080p Prores on a 27″ Retina mac monitor.

    Then watch Timescapes in 4k on that same monitor. This is why i went with red instead of a used Alexa. Make a film, post it in 4k, Deliver over the web in 4k, whether it be Youtube4K or a Download. The delivery medium is here.

    • No one has a 4k monitor.

      • If by no one you mean the general public, you might be right, but if things go as planned Apple just might have more than a 4K monitor in its next Cinema Display and iMac. Once that happens, it’s a race to the bottom and HP, Sony, and others won’t be far behind trying to capitalize on higher resolutions.

        • Peter Kelly on 08.14.12 @ 5:35AM

          yes i mean the general public. Honestly do you know anyone with a 4K monitor? Anyway even if Apple release a 4k cinema display monitor watching something on a computer screen in 4K, seriously wouldnt that be kinda redundant anyway? On a big screen, sure it’d be great, but on a 17inch MBP on your lap? or even 30inch Cinema display. And watching 4k on Youtube? Wouldnt there still be hideous compression issues with that?

          I love my technology, and I love nerding out over specs and cameras and everything else, but I really do think 4k is overkill. I think people are using the whole reframing argument to try and justify it in their own heads.

          Having said all that if you offered me a 4K camera I would bite your hand off

          • Daniel Mimura on 08.25.12 @ 8:16PM

            I used to think 4k was overkill, but the fact that my iPad is more than 4K makes me realize that it’s not. And I second Timur about the 27″ iMacs and the Timescapes comparisons…compression is an issue, but even compressed, there is a place for 4k right here and now.

          • Daniel Mimura on 08.25.12 @ 8:17PM

            I meant my iPad was more that 1080, not 4k.

  • VINCEGORTHO on 08.10.12 @ 11:49PM

    More big shot cameras for hollywood fat-cats and big-wigs to make more insipid fmovies.

  • Sweet mother god red is trying sell more gimmicks. I might sound like an ass saying this but Digital’s only benefit is you can watch daily’s that day on any budget. HDRx is for lazy filmmakers and photographers. I am not the only person who thinks that either. Red’s workflow and camera set up is garbage compare to the arri alexa. I owned a red scarlet and sold the shit out of after 3 months. Maybe I am old fashion but film is still a better.

    • So more dynamic range (HDRx) is lazy, but film and Alexa with all their dynamic range aren’t?

      I’m sorry you had so much trouble working with your Red footage, but…I’ve been happily editing and grading Red footage on a $700 PC laptop. *shrug*

    • Lliam Worthington on 08.11.12 @ 6:58AM

      Wow. More DR, higher resolution, and better low light performance are gimmicks?

      WTF do you buy cameras for, keeping your door open?

      Your right.

      You do sound like an ass.

    • Film does look better to many people, and it’s a great archival medium (Unlike hard drives).

      But it’s a real bitch to work with.

      And I think 6K RED footage will be a real bitch to work with as well. At least for awhile. Like 4K was a few years ago. I’m happy that companies are pushing the industry, but I learned after last time that there’s often hidden costs to a project.

      • Also, I think Jack’s right about HDRx often being the lazy way out. I think what he meant is, digging into tech on a camera rather than lighting or doing production design correctly is a lazy way to make a film. Some would say reframing massively in post is also being lazy.

        It’s a valid point of view, if you respect the art of filmmaking. As are other points of view.

        • The point of HDRx is to bring the dynamic range up to what you can get with film, so if it’s lazy for one you have to say it’s lazy for both.

          I don’t think it’s lazy though…I’m a big fan of on location shooting, by which I mean shooting on mountains and in tough weather…and I assure you there’s nothing lazy about shooting in those conditions. But to properly take advantage of a shoot in uncontrolled environments, you need to collect as much information as possible, and dynamic range is a key part of that.

          I mean when you have a solution to light a mountain, I’d be very interested to hear it. In the mean time…

        • And I don’t think this has anything to do with the art of “filmmaking”…it sounds to me like the talk of bitter cinematographers, or technophobes. As a director, I don’t care whether the final framing was done on set or in post. What I care about is that I get the framing I want. The art happens regardless of where in the process each bit happens.

          Having the DP get his framing on set at the cost of my vision is a failure of the art of filmmaking.

          I mean if the DP can get the framing in super tough conditions with one take, then great. But that’s a bad bet. If you’re just out to create pretty pictures, then sure spend all your time and resources toward that goal…but filmmaking is about telling stories, so I can’t waste all of the time letting the DP screw around on set.

  • Wow, do people not want this to happen?

  • VINCEGORTHO on 08.11.12 @ 3:06AM

    Hopefully it will look beautiful.
    I like the image from the blackmagic camera so far.
    Reds video has never really impressed me. It never looks to emulate the feel of film, probably the cinematographers choice in style.
    IMO, they should put to rest high resolution, electronic video for a short while and focus on producing 4K television sets to be sold at Best Buy. Then finally we can see the qualities of 4K dating back to the red one.

  • Lliam Worthington on 08.11.12 @ 6:53AM

    “Come the end of the year… there will be a new dynamic range King. It just so happens that there is a new resolution King at the same time. And frame rates don’t suffer.”

    “I asked Graeme to evaluate the tests. His comment… “16 stops of the cleanest image I have ever seen. Native.”

    Have to say I’m excited.

    Vince. Prometheus didn’t inpress you visually? Hard man to please.

    • I thought Prometheus looked terrible and I shoot a lot of EPIC and MX.
      Then I found out hey downrezed it all to 2K for the effects work.

      • Álex Montoya on 08.11.12 @ 6:00PM

        You thought ‘Prometheus’ looked terrible?

        To your eyes, does ‘The Hobbit’ look terrible as well?

        • If Prometheus is finshed in 2K..welll..thnk about it…what is the hope for 4K movies. None.
          And a 6K sensor seems silly and strange when
          Ridley Scott and a 100+ million dollar budget can’t come out in 4K.

          • Part of that has to do with 3D, part of it has to do with the extra time/money/resources it takes for 4K effects, which will get cheaper. David Fincher’s Girl with the Dragon Tattoo cost $90 million and was finished and displayed in 4K, so yes, it’s going to happen more and more.

            Contagion, a $60 million dollar movie, finished in 4K for the IMAX release.

          • Acquisition is ahead of distribution right now, but that won’t always be the case. Are there any theaters that do 3D at 4K (each eye)? I don’t think so. Once there are, however…

  • Interesting developments and it’s exciting to see technology moving onward and upwards. A couple of concerns for me personally though; If I were interested in the Scarlet/Dragon upgrade (which I’m currently not), I’d likely be looking at something close to $10k since Jarred noted the Scarlet would need more hardware replaced besides the sensor itself. That’s a lot. Second, I like standards, standards that allow me to use the plethora of S35 lenses that have been produced over the years. With the Dragon growing even larger than the Epic’s at 5k, it seems like fewer existing cinema lenses will work with it.

    • You can always crop down to make sure your lenses will not vignette.

      • True, but that of course takes away the full potential of the sensor (resolution, DOF due to use longer focal lengths etc.). It’s just strange to me that RED knows full well an owner might have invested in a set of S35 PL’s, only to have them loose their full usefulness when they upgrade to whatever the next, larger sensor might be. The direction RED’s “bigger and bigger” sensors are heading makes sense in a world where money is irrelevant, but not much sense from my perspective.

        • You have to make the sensors a little bigger or your pixels have to keep getting smaller (and physics tells us noise becomes an issue after they get to a certain size). 5K with Dragon will actually make more lenses compatible since it’s smaller than the current MX sensor at 5K, meaning you’ll still be able to get a real 4K (resolved resolution), and more of your lenses should actually work without vignetting. I don’t really see anything wrong with this approach – it won’t be any different if they come out with a full frame 35mm sensor – you’d have to crop for Super 35mm lenses.

          • I wasn’t aware the Dragon sensor fit 5k into a smaller area than MX, that’s good, sounds like RED is trying to stay relatively small, without compromising IQ that is.

  • Well Zacuto shootout 2012, final part 3 is coming in few days. So, Jimbo has to do some damage control.

    After all, when you finally do REAL COMPARATIVE TESTS BETWEEN CAMERAS, his beloved Red Epic will not do that well against Sony F65…

    Oh, and about the Dragon sensor; it will never be 15+ stops.

    • This I really agree with. I have never believed RED in their DR claims.
      I’ve seen 8k. I’m sure 6k looks great. But 15+ stops? That I take with a shaker of salt.

      Also the lens issue and cropping issues remain. Won’t buy – will rent.

      Also, VERY unlikely it has any affect on the Alexa market IMO. Avengers screened in 4K looked pretty good to me, as did Drive. Two totally different feels.

    • Don’t be so sure about that, friendo.

  • Lliam Worthington on 08.11.12 @ 11:23AM

    Amazing how many people know the future. *rolls eyes*

    When will people accept these are all incredible cameras, and the fact that RED wants to keep making better ones at the price point they do is genuinely pushing the industry forward and is a WIN for all of us.

    Hilarious that a company can announce some pretty incredible upgrades that you can do without paying for a whole new camera, and people see it as an opportunity to attack??

    What is there to fight about in this? Baffling.

    Next thing you know, people whinge about the BMC…. a RAW cam at a incredible price point…

    Oh wait…


    • vinceGortho on 08.11.12 @ 11:59AM

      Tech is amazing, if you can see it. They should be focusing on 4k televisions more than the next 9k or 28k sensor. No point, if we can’t see 4k yet.

      Prometheus looked good. Unfortunately Lindelof’s attempt at making it intriguing is what pulls my eyes awayfrom the blu ray releases, better viewing quality.

      • As I mention above, Prometheus was only completed in 2K.

      • Green screen, camera tracking (even 2D tracking), etc. all work better if you start with a resolution significantly higher than what you want to distribute. You can’t always see it at the full resolution, but that doesn’t mean that you’d get the same result if you captured the image in 2K instead. For things like stabilization and re-framing this also goes without saying. So yes, there is a point.

  • Raoni Franco on 08.12.12 @ 10:33AM

    It’s interesting to think……about all this….cameras filming at 8K, many options of frame rate, ultra-blaster low light performance, dynamic range getting bigger and bigger……..Sometimes I feel we are lost as storytellers, at least I feel this way sometimes…….It’s f*** hard to find a really good movie these days, story wise. We are ultra-excited about our new toys, and forget about the core of filmaking. it just make me wonder…..

    • Exact-a-f’ing-lutely.

      We have the tools we need to tell great stories. The camera arms race has become bullshit noise, if you’re a storyteller instead of a camera geek.

      • Go tell your story with SD camera, friend. And then try to sell it.

        • If it’s an interesting story, well-told, it will ALWAYS have more chance of selling than any boring pos shot on a 6k camera. I agree, the tools are there, pick one and tell a story. This is all tech masturbation at this point.

  • 4K is the new black.

      • 4K is ok…but it is not revolutionary.
        If it was Red would do a 4K vs 2K test and it would show night and day diffence.

        But they have never done such a test. Because the difference is so subtle.
        Face it there is a plateau effect at 2K.
        No-one is walking out of 2K films and asking for their money back.

        • I used to feel this way till i actually started using a red on a regular basis. (before buying into it)

          Its less about the resolution add it is about how streamlined a system it actually is. Raw recording onboard, small size, frame rates, and a wide gamut of compression ratios, internally powered peripherals, decent power consumption, and oh yea, all the Rees you can shake a stick at.

          Look at what it actually offers. Now compare to a raw work flow on an Alexa, or F65, or genesis.

        • Wait till you actually see the 4K footage on 4K laser projector (Barco, Christie or Red, whatever). THEN we gonna talk.

  • I always find it odd w/ people using the Red, only to downsample in Prores for the edit. It tends to defeat the purpose of using the camera as resolution in Raw is the biggest strength. Shooting in 4k digitally makes sense for archiving. But if you’re killing the resolution while editing, the only advantage seems to have a sharper 1080p image and not much else.

    Seems like people shoot on the Red just to say they shot on the Red. If it’s not being edited, colored and outputted in native film 4k, then what’s the point? Mind as well use a C300, really.

  • I don’t even care if Scarlet’s not gonna get 6K at 11 fps like MX one, the main thing about Dragon update is the DR and lowlight performance. This is the stuff.