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RED DRAGON Has Been Unleashed. Here is the First Footage from the 6K Camera

Red DragonThe new DRAGON sensor from RED — with quoted specs like 6K resolution, clean 2000 ISO, and over 15 stops of dynamic range — was originally set to be released all the way back in late 2012. There were some promises — and then some delays. But the sensor is now finally done, and camera upgrades will begin in September. In the last few weeks DRAGON-upgraded cameras have found their way into the hands of professional DPs across the world, many working without any RED supervision. We got our first little tease of what DRAGON is capable of from one of these DPs, Mark Toia, and now he has unleashed the first footage ever from the sensor.

We will likely get something a bit more uncompressed at some point, but Mark was worried about his servers exploding, so at the moment we’ve got Vimeo to show off the footage all shot at 6K (though you should go download it right from the site for the best quality possible):

Here’s some of what he said on REDUser, followed by some stills (there are many more over on the thread). He did a stress test with the camera in all sorts of real-world scenarios, and also reiterated that Jim and Jarred were not part of the test in any way — it was all him:


The two main areas I wanted the camera to perform in are :

HIGH CONTRAST information, just how much is hiding on the shadows and highlight. And secondly, Just how far can I push it in the dark. What is the most usable ISO without the aid of any noise reducing plugins.

Data was also big question for me, I’m a laptop warrior, I travel the world with RED and MAC.. I don’t need anything slowing me down. So the question was, Just how long are these cards going to last… So my idea of testing lower compression rates to save space, and then to push the limits of the ISO into 17:1+ compression to see if it fell apart. The simple answer is no… Dragon @17:1 looks like MX @8:1. So we are all saved, none of us have to run out to buy more cards.

Skin tests, filter tests, IR tests, were also done.

Here is his feedback (bold is mine):

The Red Dragon sensor has 3 F STOPS more than before. 1 in the hight lights which rolls over wonderfully !, 2 solid extra stops in the darks…. maybe 3 once the colour science has been perfected.

But there is still noise, but nothing like before. I ran some 250d 2k film rushes next some of my 4000asa stuff, And silly as it sounds, it looks like film grain, not noise. Don’t ask me how, as I wouldn’t have a clue. But it looks great !

Red Dragon now has the best highlight fall off I have ever seen from any digital camera. Beating film! Big call I know, but after shooting film and pushing it around in telecine chains for more than a decade, I can categorically say that this new sensor has a better range than film ever had.

Probably the most interesting stuff from a guy who has shot literally everything out there:

The Dragon is more stable than my current MX EPIC’s.

The SONY F65 I rate as having the best sensor in the market for a production cine camera. Yes.. it’s better than the EPIC- MX. (I’m not going to harp on about the size of it or the price comparisons).

Even Jim knows that Sony have done very well with the F65 sensor and that was obviously pissing him off, because his new Dragon sensor has just given the the F65 notice.

All the F65 SONY purists out there will dispute this. But I have Sony files here with me, and I’m looking at both side by side… and Dragons grain (noise) structure is cleaner and it has more range.

Dragon is now the King. (AND… I’m not going to harp on about the size of it or the price comparisons). or did I ..ha !

The single one sentence i can say that can sum up everything is this..

It’s the first camera ever that I have used that captures exactly what I see with my own eye.

Never have I seen this before. !

Click for a larger version (there are many more stills taken from video over on the REDUser post):

Mark Toia RED DRAGON Still Frame 1

Mark Toia RED DRAGON Still Frame 2

Mark Toia RED DRAGON Still Frame 3

Mark Toia RED DRAGON Still Frame 4

Mark Toia RED DRAGON Still Frame 5

Mark Toia RED DRAGON Still Frame 6

Mark Toia RED DRAGON Still Frame 7

Mark Toia RED DRAGON Still Frame 8

Just as a refresher, here are some of the DRAGON specs listed by RED:

SENSOR: 19 MEGAPIXEL DRAGON™

PIXEL ARRAY: 6144 (h) x 3160 (v)

S/N RATIO: 80db

DYNAMIC RANGE: 16.5+ stops

MAX IMAGE AREA: 6144 (h) x 3160 (v)

LENS COVERAGE: 30.7mm (h) x 15.8mm (v) x 34.5 mm (d)

ACQUISITION FORMATS

  • 6K RAW (2:1, 2.4:1)
  • 5K RAW (Full Frame, 2:1, 2.4:1 and Anamorphic 2:1)
  • 4.5K RAW (2.4:1)
  • 4K RAW (16:9, HD, 2:1 and Anamorphic 2:1)
  • 3K RAW (16:9, 2:1 and Anamorphic 2:1)
  • 2K RAW (16:9, 2:1 and Anamorphic 2:1)
  • 1080p RGB (16:9)
  • 720p RGB (16:9)

REDCODE™

  • Compression choices of 18:1 to 3:1
  • 12 and 16-bit RAW : Compression choices of 18:1 to 3:1
  • 1-100 fps 6K
  • 1-120 fps 5K, 4.5K 

  • 1-150 fps 4K
  • 1-200 fps 3K
  • 
1-300 fps 2K

Getting three additional stops of dynamic range is simply huge. Though we’ll have to wait a bit to get .R3D files to play around with from the new sensor (since a new version of REDCINE-X that works with DRAGON has not yet been publicly released), it’s clear that RED has created something special. Where exactly the MX sensor ranked in terms of dynamic range was up for debate, but now with 3 extra stops, DRAGON has the highest dynamic range of any digital cinema camera out right now. Even if you were rating MX at 12 stops, 3 extra stops puts it at 15, which is pretty amazing when you then consider the 6K resolution, high-ISO, high frame rates, and the fact that dynamic range seems to stay consistent from 250 all the way to 2000 ISO.

Color science on the new sensor is supposedly much improved, and they have spent quite a bit of time behind the scenes trying to make sure that this is right from the get-go. From the looks of things, they are off to a great start. It does remind me a bit of the Sony F65, which is the best resolving 4K camera at the moment (with DRAGON now equalling or surpassing it), and is capable of some unbelievable imagery. The fact that RED is putting all of this tech inside such a tiny body is still mind-blowing.

Something that many have misunderstood along the way: you will not be projecting 6K (though when the capabilities exist you certainly could). 6K will resolve a much higher quality 4K image since you’re throwing more pixels at it (think still photographs which are very often 4K and above). This is the true power of 6K. It will also allow for reframing in post for various reasons, including image stabilization. Even a serious crop of the 6K frame will still give you plenty of room to work around, and probably still maintain 4K res.

As far as low-light performance, things are looking promising, and it seems like 4000 ISO is pretty clean, and 6400 is still usable. This is getting into DSLR territory, except you’ve got much, much more resolution and color depth to work with. I think this low-light performance and dynamic range are the most exciting things about this new sensor.

Current owners have a few upgrade options, but considering a new camera is going to start well under $30,000, it’s pretty remarkable just how far we’ve come.

What do you think?

Links:

COMMENT POLICY

We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

Description image 253 COMMENTS

  • I’m not sure what you call this but that is /not/ film grain: http://prntscr.com/1jayx6

    However, that footage looks amazing. It’s indescribably amazing. I can’t wait for some more footage out of this monster.

    • What is Jpeg compression?

    • Actually, to me it looks quite a bit like film grain with compression artifacts. I suspect that the “digital” quality to that is coming almost entirely from the compression, not the sensor.

  • VinceGORTHO on 08.4.13 @ 4:45AM

    Almost as good a 60D RAW.

  • haven’t ever really worked with red, but wow the clarity of that first shot kind of blew me away.

  • Shane Anderson on 08.4.13 @ 4:52AM

    My initial reaction is fear.

  • Worst. Camera. Ever.
    Pixelvision=Better :)

    But did anyone notice that the water and surf spray in the surfing shots glistened like glitter! Awesome.
    The slow motion at 100FPS actually was the best slow motion I’ve ever seen. Mostly all of the slow motion for digital cameras (to me) has always had a video look to it. I have to say it, this camera beats film, finally.

    I wonder if VFX heavy movies will film in 6k for a better key, or just stick to 4k?

    • I wonder if that’s got to do with having watched many badly made slow motion shots.
      I very often come across slow motion shots where the shutter was set at 360º and thus making it look videoish.
      Hell, it even happened in full movies like “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “Public Enemy”!

  • Only question is why after all talking about new color science highlights are steel pink?

    • Every digital sensor has pink/magenta highlights. Some camera manufacturers fix this in camera and others leave it to users and colorists. There is an option in RED RAW panel called DRX.

      • DRX should be enabled by default, for reals. Seen that shit too many times even in features for fuk sake. Unfortunately, if there’s no dickery with strong NDs in these tests, the Dragon can hardly match highlight protection of HDRx option. Well, at least it’s native, so no more shutter ghosting and all that.

        • It’s not on by default because it distorts the rest of the colors (since it’s shifting things around to smooth clip all the color channels at the same place). There are other ways to fix it without DRX that high-end colorists would use to avoid the distortion.

      • DRX fixes pink highlights? Wow! Didn’t know that. Thank you!

  • marketing

  • luigi valtulini on 08.4.13 @ 8:11AM

    holy Shit Shit!!
    17:1 100fps 6k ahahahhh 4000iso WOWOWO High dynamic range :))) new color science :)))
    RED Dragon is the King sensor :)
    Congratulation RED TEAM and MArk for video and still.

  • art direction..location…lighting package…then pick the the right camera film or digital …For me I like the work of
    chris Nolan, Tarantino, Spielberg, Aronofsky, Wes Anderson…(so I alway try to shoot with an arri st or panavision)

    when there is no budget I like the Arri Alexa…(which is HD)

    for me

  • red dragon best of the best… Will upgrade my red epic-m asap…

    • It really is the best I’ve ever seen. It makes me wonder what video from the NHK 8K camera looks like.

      Individual frames from Red Dragon video used for stills photography will look better than almost every stills camera in the world.

  • Hands down the most spectacular camera test I’ve ever seen! 6K – 15 stops – amazing low light and most importantly a color science that knocks the Alexa out of the ball park. The red team must be grinning from ear to ear. Well done!

  • pablopablo on 08.4.13 @ 8:48AM

    it looks really soft

    • Well, duh, Vimeo is 1080p

    • Indeed tt looks really soft in several places (low light cityscape etc.), and there is reason for that.

      It is called Optical Low Pass Filter, the actual filtering glass/membrane hardware front of the sensor.

      Basically this is Red Epic / Scarlet OLPF once again. Red has always compensated their sensor shortcomings by filtering it down a lot. Something that for example Sony F65 does not need to do as much.

      This results a softer image than you would normally get with same amount of Bayer data.

      Things get really funny, when you lower the capture resolution and Red cameras do not have horsepower to supersample the material like for example Sony F5 / F55 do with 1080P / 2K material.

      They crop sensor, resulting extremaly low res images, considering that these are supposed to be 4K / 5K cameras. I still remember how angry Red boys got when it was clear that hacked GH3 actually has easily as sharp 1080P image as Scarlet / Epic in 2K / 1080P mode.

      And of course, unless I am mistaken (which is possible) Red Dragon still crops the sensor, which is bit… pathetic. Especially when you consider all the attitude from Red how they rule digital image world.

      • That would make sense if these images were shot in cropped mode. And it’s true, I think dslr’s and especially cameras like the F55/5 or C300 are more sharp in 1080p mode than any Red camera in 1080p. However, most people don’t crop their Red sensor that much. I never will again (learned my lesson once). So in the end, the Red still delivers a sharper image because you’re shooting at 3-6K instead of cropping it down to 1080p. The only bummer is that it just goes to show how overhyped the cameras are. Jannard is misleading people a little when he says there’s 4 times the resolution in an Epic MX, because the 1080p image from that sensor isn’t as sharp as a 1080p from most other sensors. I would say an Epic MX has twice the resolution of other 1080p cameras.

  • Why there is so much noise in all those higher ISO shots ?

    And it is noise from the camera, not from the compression. Both wavelets and basic mpeg4 work by removing the high frequency material (=noise) first. It’s the first thing compression algorithm does.

    When young man with greyish shirt is the facing directly the camera, ISO is 6400 and compression is only 8:1, why there is so much noise ?

    And when it comes to overall image quality, how is this material exceptional ? It is great for sure, but something exceptional ? No.

    • Somehow I respect the amount of energy you put into hating on RED everytime there’s a RED post.

      • To be honest, it is a bit of envy thing.

        You see, I have never been that masculine guy, more like a feeble nerd. And I have been looking all these great photos of Jim Jannard online and he looks so… , well manly in them. Like he was ready fight for his country and his family.

        And I thought that how could I be manly and just like him ?

        So, I noticed that Jim has, or well, his powerful company has these “Shootwear” clothes for sale. And then it hit me !

        If just wear one of his cool t-shirts, that could do the trick ! I could finally get laid ! Of course I am a bit older guy so my “intimate performance” is probably going to be bit flaky, but as they say, better late than never !

        Althought, one thing I have to admit is that as devoted atheist I found the whole mormon thing bit…different.

        But as they say; “Amor vincit omnia ! “, so you never know what could happen, when few right ladies come up.

  • coolstorybro on 08.4.13 @ 9:06AM

    I find this hilarious. The images are kinda bad. Highlights still suck. Compared to an Alexa, heck even an F65, the out of focus highlights are garbage (the surfer girl shot). RED (and it’s fans) seems to have no idea what a roll off is. Smooth roll off, celluloid like. Most of the stuff looks like HDRx, which is not what I call roll off. Its like 6 stops over exposure is ok and then, boom…nuclear explosion, no middle ground.

    What new color science? It looks just like the MX, maybe a bit cleaner, that’s all. Skin tones?? Bah…

    Stop swaying to the words of Jannard and RED fanboys like marionettes. Look at the video subjectively, without listening to all the hoopla RED marketing. The Alexa produces a far better image professionally and for you weekend warriors, just stick to a DSLR or a C300. Spend the money you save on lenses.

    This is supposed to look like 65mm film?? Don’t make me laugh…

    • Cool story, bro. Read the FStop metering and then kick yourself in the nuts.

      • coolstorybro on 08.4.13 @ 10:09AM

        Ermm, I did. If you knew anything about F stop metering, you’d know that it only shows the dynamic range of a camera. I specifically complained about the highlights itself. So, if the camera was exposed @ f8, anything above f64, or 6 stops, looks bad, whereas in an Alexa it looks “pleasant”. But I think you’re not going to agree and post something like “go kick yourself in the nuts”, again. That’s cool. I’d rather do that then beat off to pics of JJ.

        • do not worry, judging a test and always easy, there will be ‘an early test Alexa vs. Dragon then judge. I certainly hope you’re right, otherwise you do? Steps to Red Dragon?

    • While good for being digital this is not even close to 65mm film.

      • “Dragon should never be compared to 35mm film. It should only be spoken in reference to 65mm film from here on out.”

        – Jim Jannard, 4th of December, 2012

        • Good grief. It’s because of comments like that, that I would never buy a Red. Sent my money to Sony instead.

          Whatever, Jimmy.

        • Ah, he’s just aggressive. He’s extremely successful. He wouldn’t be if he wasn’t aggressive. Buy his camera. Red Dragon is obviously the best. (or isn’t it?) There’s probably people at the top of Sony that are aggressive too. Wouldn’t there be?

    • I have to agree with coolstorybro, the highlight rolloff doesn’t look great here, if it even exists. Considering there are a lot of ‘highlight porn” shots here that are meant to show how good they look, it’s kind of doing the opposite. In no way does it compare to film, or the Alexa, or probably the BMC camera. The only thing I can think is that there is some kind of raw log version of this footage that retains more information and somehow it got graded away. But I kind of doubt that Red would let the footage be released if they thought something in the ingest chain broke the dynamic range of their raw plates.

    • If nothing else, you may want to reconsider your use of subjective vs objective.

    • Highlight roll off is controlled in post, this test is demonstrating the pure amount of dynamic range. This is for people who have been shooting on MX and know how it limits them.

    • BialislawPL on 07.30.14 @ 2:43PM

      I completely agree with you #coolstorybro. It seems very few people here actually know what a highlight roll-off is. Quite a bit of time has passed since this article was published so actual test have began to appear and you were absolutely right. Even though Dragon has about 14 stops DR it’s highlight roll-off is a hard limit on a scale (basically not a roll-off at all). It got about 1/3 stop in the dark and 1 2/3 in the highlights over the MX but it still fails compared to an Alexa which still has the smoothest curve on the the DR scale. Also Dragon really doesn’t look like 6K and more like the 5D Mark III trying to imitate a FullHD res with all the softening and blending of pixels. Another thing I have come to notice about the Dragon is the jumps between frames – this might not be true but that would mean that every shooter out there who published a Dragon test video shoots with very low shutter angle which is not likely (unless you count it as cheaping out on NDs trying to preserve the native ISO). My personal opinion is that it is a big step forward for RED, but not so much for the cine industry (F65 still being the king of res and Alexa the queen of colour).

  • The images are great. I feel those who believe in RED will laud it as the greatest since sliced bread, and those who don’t believe in RED will say it wasn’t sooooo impressive.

    I think the images look great. But I’d be lying if I told you I think they are so much better than the EPIC MX. I don’t think the avg user of the RED cam will achieve this, even using the DRAGON. Toia clearly knows his shit, it shows. Also those belittling the camera high ISO performance mustn’t forget that this is not supposed to be competitor to HDSLR in those aspects, they want latitude above all with this camera, and in those aspects it shows.

    DRAGON exists, and it looks good. That’s awesome, I know someone in my country who has the only RED cam in the whole country who has already ordered the DRAGON update, he will be happy. I can’t afford it, and hopefully one day I will be able to rent it.

    For the rest of the internets, I’m sure it will be just “on to the next one” camera for them to complain about. Etiher way, RED will make gazillions with this camera. Alexa won’t be affected, I don’t think this video does anything to win the ALEXA lovers over to the RED camp.

  • Pffttt…5D Magic Lantern looks better…kidding. Looks great!

  • Hard to compare to film because its probably not using lenses that a film would use your image is only as good as the glass it goes through. Looking forward to see a test with Ultra Primes or a cinema lens. Of course he may be using cinema lenses he didn’t say in the test. The images are ungraded and have a high compression ratio. I couldn’t it look better than film because these other factors have yet to be showcased.

    • There it just the little problem that you can not use all the “cinema lenses”, if you want the “6K” resolution…

  • These stills are just grabs from the VIMEO video, correct? I didn’t see any TIFFs or JPEGs on Reduser. If so, that should be considered.

  • Finally we get to see Dragon in action, it did not disappoint me one bit. It makes me want to go for the Dragon upgrade right now… but I’ll wait, MX is still beautifully capable.

  • Highlight rolloff doesn’t look anywhere near the BMCC, especially when you recover highlights from the DNG files in Adobe Camera RAW, but 6K is nice, I guess…

  • It”s better than that EPIC. More resolving power and better shadow detail. Color science looks exactly the same. Would I use this over the F65 and Alexa? Doubt it.

    • Luigi.valtulini on 08.4.13 @ 11:05AM

      why ‘? problems that had the epic? many people wrong about the workflow and blamed the camera. But are you have some tests to show us the original files, which clearly shows that the epic be a disaster, it would be nice. Otherwise, his answer would be a sincere yes Dragon be a great sensor and Epic be an excellent camera.

  • Underwhelmed by the test shots. I’d love to see a comparison video with footage pushed to it’s breaking point. Only then can we see how far the dragon has come. No doubt it shoots a pretty image, but the test footage doesn’t give justice to what can truly be done (if what red says is true).

    Under expose an Alexa and dragon side by side , push until one or the other breaks and then push some more. Test the flexibility in a timing session, see when it breaks and then push some more. Etc.

    Im excited to see some footage by some proper cinematographers :s.

  • AGREE that f65 was king in my opinion, AFTER EARTH COLOR GAMUT and overall look was absolutely amazing, looked damn near better than super 35mm film.

    Still think its too early jump ship but considering that it could be 15stops at 6k for around 30k which is 30k cheaper than f65 is amazing.

    IMO CURRENT CAMERA RANKS overall look excluding pixels top 5

    1. F65
    2.ALEXA
    3.F55 F/5
    4. TIE BLACK MAGIC RAW / PANAVISION GENESIS
    5. F3 with 444 dpx

    • I suggest the new Oblivion blu-ray -release. Rent it or buy it.

      Simply incredible images, which are shot with F65.

      (According to person who worked with film, 90% of the material was Sony F65, rest was Red Epic.).

      • I have to second this comment. After seeing “Oblivion”, I think the F65 is now the best digital-camera in existence. Alexa a very close second. Dragon is impressive, but it simply is not as impressive as the F65 and Alexa. Perhaps more colour-science tweaking will help the Dragon catch up.

        • So…what did you think of the Epic shots in Oblivion?

          • To answer your question about the 10% RED shots in oblivioun, Honestly were just speaking on a technical basis of overall raw picture quality with no color grading, The f65 is amazing , but honestly the alexa and even the black magic cinema camera and f55 with proper color grading could all intercut and blend well together.

            The epic and mx shots could also be blended well but sorry the former RED cameras are very nice pixel cameras and produce a very nice image good enough for production ,but they just do not simply compare to the COLOR GAMUT /SCIENCE pumping out of f65 and alexa, h3ll in black magic cinema camera .

          • @jay

            I see people say things like this all the time, but I have yet to see anyone actually prove it objectively. I call placebo.

          • In “Oblivion”, Epic shots, from what I’ve read, were only used to film clouds and then project those shots onto the massive screens that surrounded the “sky tower”: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1483013/technical?ref_=tt_dt_spec

          • OBLIVI what?

          • @Voltaire

            It was also used for steadi-cam shots according to someone who worked on the film.

          • “Sony F65 was used for 90% of the film, Epic was used for Steadicam, handheld, mini-heleicopter, and vehicle mount shots.”

            http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?90898-OBLIVION-starring-Tom-Cruise-and-Morgan-Freeman-Shot-on-F65-and-EPIC&p=1116204&viewfull=1#post1116204

          • “I have yet to see anyone actually prove it objectively. I call placebo.”

            There have been quite a few times when I’ve watched a movie and then wondered why it look so bad. When I’ve checked online, those movies have invariably turned out to be shot on a Red camera.

            Most recent example of this phenomenon is “Parker”.

          • @Daniel

            I’ve been surprised by how bad something looked, and then went to see what it was shot on and found it was Alexa…Hemlock Grove was the most recent one. The camera isn’t the only determining factor in image quality.

          • Blame the camera or the light crew and grader?

          • The best videos I’ve ever seen were done on Red, not on any other camera. The 6K sample above is one example. This is another:

            [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pSzhZ76GdM]

            Really looking forward to the first movie put out using the Red Dragon!! All other cameras are now fighting it out for second place. Maybe other camera companies should leapfrog 6K and go straight to 8K. And maybe Red should already be R & D-ing an 8K. Time waits for no one.

            Itn’ this fun!

          • @Gene

            If you’re asking about Hemlock Grove, I’m not sure I’d mark it as a failure by any particular group per se…it looked to me like a stylistic grading choice that was taken waaaaay too far, so there are multiple reasons why it could’ve turned out the way it did. But in any case I saw a lot of bad highlight roll offs, clipped shadows, icky color casts, really bad obvious power masks, ect. It’s actually probably a bullet that Game of Thrones missed…I remember reading about how they original had a really intense grade on the first season and then thankfully they realized it looked much better if they dialed the grade way back.

          • I think going for a style in grading is a risk. Maybe for moments in a movie it’s a good thing. But a whole movie can be a turn off. I remember Steven Spielburgh talking about making Schindlers List. He said he knew doing it in B & W was a risk. But in that particular case he didn’t care. He said he made the movie selfishly, for himself, in only the way he wanted it to be. He thought it would only be shown in a few art houses. But he was so rich he thought it was at the point he could make a selfish movie and lose money. He never imagined it would make $100′s of millions. Most movies makers don’t have the luxury of being selfish.

    • AFTER what?

  • Barry Lyndon on 08.4.13 @ 11:52AM

    It looks impressive, but does this mean that we will now have to suffer through another few years of incessant chest beating by Red and their legion of minions?

    Someone call me when the ALEXA II arrives.

  • It looks like a great outdoor camera … gives RED an ability to capture and stream a bunch of 4K sun&surf videos to the subscribers of their 4K streaming service … who will subsequently show off to their friends and frenemies with their 4K screens … (cheap show-offs will have a $1,000 50″ TCL and Seiki panels; the better heeled ones will have the $5K units from Sony and Samsung) … and it also forces their competitors (Alexa, Canon) to stay on their toes with their product updates …

  • Togan Gökbakar on 08.4.13 @ 12:36PM

    I am very disappointed actually. It looks very similar to an Epic Mx. This footage can be an epic- x footage easily. Highlight roll off is still not good enough. It is not as organic as an Alexa and F65. Color science is the biggest issue. It is totally not new. It is still have that RED color unpleasantness . Maybe it is because of redcode I dont know. I thought it will be ground breaking. I hoped it will be like 65mm film. But it is not. To sum up it is an Epic Mx sensor 1.2 upgrade. More resolution( which is not what we need, 6k is too much) more dynamic range. but still the unpleasant red colors and lack of cinematic look. Hd alexa with prores is still looks more cinematic than this. Buy the way I own a red too. I am not trying to be offensive. I just want to have a perfect camera from red.

    • Hi togan,

      Well the thing is, this is RC3 and RG3. The current color science and gamma. The thing to remember is that it may initially appear unimpressive, because we are looking at a LUT designed for a 13 stop camera. not a 15/16 stop camera. What i would like to have seen in some of the more aggressive contrast scenes like the female surfer, and forrest, is a DPX still of REDLOGFILM.

      RC3/RG3 in the current MX throws away a lot of information off the RAW as is. Thats not say it isnt there, but it just shows you a contrastier, snappier image so you instinctively protect the highlights/shadows a bit more. Thats what we are looking at. For all we know, since these are ungraded, in log there could be significantly more in the highlights. If i get my hands on a Dragon, which may happen as i may shoot a test film for RED, i will be sure to provide these kinds of tests.

      • I thought this too until I remembered Mark shot in RC3/RG3, but said he started his minimal grade from Redlogfilm.

        • Okay, I looked again. Some shots were RC3, we just don’t know which ones. I hope that accounts for some of what we’re seeing.

      • Red Dragon has been under development several years and there is still no new “Dragon color science” available ?

        According to Jarred Land of Red, Red Dragon cameras where fully working during 2013 NAB “installation show “. That is four months ago. So Red could not get even a new beta “color science” working in four months ?

        Either Red engineers are simply incredibly bad, or Jarred Land is a liar.

        Which one it is ?

        • Timur Civan on 08.4.13 @ 2:51PM

          The day you produce a 6k RAW camera, come back to me with how simple it is to engineer the software to maximize the hardware in a few months.

          I don’t get why people have the impression that its an easy process.

          • Don’t take Juhan serious, whenever there’s a RED related thread here he shows up bashing on RED and promoting Sony (F65). God knows why.

    • You get 16 stops to play with, and you tell me that you won’t be able to expose within those 16 stops so that your highlights roll off any way you like them?!

  • What Timur just said should be made very clear. this is RG3/RC3, old color science, so of course it feels similar to MX. These are pretty much ungraded test shots. I think as a first impression its pretty amazing, but we aint seen nothing yet.

  • In my opinion disregard all the tech mumbo jumbo and lets wait for further future footage and base it off of overal look. As of now looks promising, but lets wait till all of the smoke clears before jumping ship

    I will however say and add that the addition of 6k resolution with just 13stops would be amazing in my opinion, especially for true imax definition and not the fake imax theather branding spots, even though 2k is good enough

  • looking amazing. f everyone’s sarcasm and opinion. -5dIII raw user

  • wow!!! fighting between alexa and dragon!!!
    i think cinema need big sensor than big resolution
    something like medium format or large format

    • There’s a fight? A fight?

      Just have to add up the total box office over the last few years of the 25 biggest Red titles and the 25 biggest ARRI titles to see. No fight. (R.I.P.D (ARRI) made how much?)

      Red Dragon will make that difference far greater. That video is beautiful!

      I’ll preemptively say, don’t just say ‘Skyfall was shot on ARRI, and look how much it made’. Yes, ARRI has been used in a few big name movies. But Red has been used in many. Besides, Red was used in some Skyfall scenes. :-)

      • Mind showing us those box office totals?

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_shot_in_digital

          You can look them up and add the numbers. It’s easy to see eying them up Red wins by quite a bit.

          • To make it easier just add up the top 10, or top 5. Sorting through all of those to get the top 25 would take a while.

          • It’s not just about box office, but also the quality of the actual movie. I’m sure both have done great movies. Also, check out what are the big DP’s choosing… mostly Alexa.

          • 70 titles shot on Alexa starting just a couple of years ago in 2011.
            83 titles shot on Red cameras (Red One, Red One MX, Red Epic) starting all the way back in 2008.

            Only 31 titles shot on Red Epic…

            Seems as if most of the big name movies shooting on Epic were 3D productions. Also, there are twice as many Alexa films on that list as movies shot on the Epic, even though the cameras were released within a year of each other.

          • David J. Fulde on 08.5.13 @ 1:42PM

            ACTUALLY: Looking at all of the films shot on RED/ALEXA that are listed on that list, I did a little math…

            Per Movie: Alexa films make a little more per film overall(they have made an average of $55 972 859.46/movie compared to Red’s 51 119 104.63/movie this is less than a 10% difference so it doesn’t REALLY tell us anything)

            “But What about just the top movies?” you may ask.

            In the top 5, 10, 15, and 20 Alexa has made more money overall, and in the top 5, 10, 15 the Alexa has made more per film.

            RED however, has made more in the top 25 overall, and more per movie in the top 20 and the top 25.

            Now, I am ONLY using films’ local gross due to time. All of my data is from http://boxofficemojo.com/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_shot_in_digital you may look at my data here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AtFk9k3kfDDodE1UajV5cDE1LUxvZEFRT0hmMUJDU2c#gid=0

            Long story short: It doesn’t matter. That was a good waste of an hour :)

      • Kenneth Merrill on 08.5.13 @ 12:14AM

        That would be a good argument if people went to see a movie based on what camera the production used…

        • My argument isn’t that.

          It is that those knowing how to make bigger grossing movies choose Red more often. The resolution, DR, and beauty of the Red Dragon will ensure those same people continue to use Red. And it will bring more movie makers in. Why? A little time spent seeing Red Dragon footage, and also the cost difference compared to ARRI, will likely attract some who would have been ARRI users.

          I’m not saying choosing Red will automatically cause you to make more money. The horse chose the Red cart for a reason though.

          • From your list:

            Oz, Hobbit, Amazing Spider-Man, Prometheus, Pirates: $3.7 billion (Red)

            World War Z, Life of Pi, Skyfall, Iron Man 3, Avengers: $4.9 billion (Alexa)

          • Iron Man 3 used Red too.

          • Most of the time these movies are shot with RED because 3d rigs are lighter if you go with RED and Post likes extra res for compositing. Plus the Alexa-M is a pain in the ass. Aside from that, I know of very few DP’s that would choose a RED over an Alexa for a 2D film. I love my Epic, but I still grin whenever I get to shoot with an Alexa.

          • Peter Jackson on Red before 3D:

            [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-VeXLZTm24 ]

          • I’ve seen that Gene. First of all Peter Jackson isn’t a DP. Second of all, he’s a director that heavily relies on Visual Effects, which is made a little easier and cheaper on the RED. This was also before the Alexa even came out so it was generally Film vs. RED. The RED ONE was huge in transitioning people away from Film historically. You clearly haven’t shot with both of these cameras. The Alexa simply destroys the RED ONE is basically every aspect of it’s image and is way faster to work with on set. The Epic is a little better and has it’s advantages here and there which I’ve explained before.

            I’m excited about Dragon and will be upgrading my camera as soon as possible. Hopefully the new color science will better the Alexa. I’d love for the Epic to have a better out of the box look than the Alexa.

      • Rodrigo Molinsky on 08.5.13 @ 8:59AM

        Is this serious? I mean, who’s gonna choose a camera because “The Hobbit” used it? I’d choose something that can deliver what I’m looking for. Because a can analyse by myself. And this kind of argument is typical of some seller in a mall.

        By the way, yesterday I saw a great movie in theaters, “Hannah Arendt”. I swear, as good as the movie looks, it screams “DIGITAL”. Guess what? Red Epic. Looks great, but still I wouldn’t use it.

        • This is the second time I’ve posted that list. I got the same reaction from people who like ARRI the first time too. I am not saying if a movie isn’t a big grosser that doesn’t mean it isn’t good. My favorite movie in the last 10 years was The Debt. Most people have never even heard of it.

          On a side note, it doesn’t seem to be good math for those making movies they know won’t be a big grosser to chose the most expensive camera to shoot with. But it’s up to them.

          • Rodrigo Molinsky on 08.5.13 @ 12:36PM

            Where in my statement you read “I like Alexa better than any RED camera”? I why you keep talking about movie grossing and one’s favorite movies?

            And why I keep trying to find some logic on this?

          • I think the ‘filmic’ look is on the way out. Digital is the new ‘filmic’, isn’t it? Digital is hard to adjust to for people used to film. But digital has taken over. The horse is out of the barn. The train left the station. The egg’s an omelet….. can’t think of anymore sayings. ;-)

            But digital does look fantastic in some movies. Like I said in another comment, Transformers looked incredible. It was made in digital. This new sensor looks incredible too, even better than that. In fact, it’s the best looking video I’ve ever seen. I want a Red w/Red Dragon. Say, can you spare $50,000.00?

            The only point I was trying to make in all this Red ARRI thing is that Red is making more money than ARRI. Red Dragon will move more money toward Red. Alexa will have to leapfrog 4k and get a 6K sensor muy pronto.

          • So, then, why wouldn’t you use Red?

          • Rodrigo Molinsky on 08.6.13 @ 9:14AM

            Seriously, are you trying to sell me a camera? Stop, please. “The only point I was trying to make in all this Red ARRI thing is that Red is making more money than ARRI”. Good for them, Jim Jannard must be very happy. And I’m only writing now because you asked me why wouldn’t I use Red.

            About my choices, they’ll still be my choices, subjective or not. If I’m not going to make a movie for IMAX and I have limited budget, for example, of course I’ll not choose a RED, but anything like a BMCC to invest all the money I can in the art direction. That’s a reason to not choose a RED camera. If I make my movie (which will NOT be another blockbuster action super hero movie) with a “RED EPIC Phoenix 10K”, or whatever, and I see it in a classic street theater, where I gonna put all those pixels? Actually, I almost bought a Scarlet, but the local rental house here had some problems with the support and ultimately called it “the RED attitude” for a reason – and that’s a big “no, thanks”.

            You’re getting too much hyped by the numbers. And it’s not about film anymore. Man, I loved the look of “Hugo” and I was surprised to know it was digital. With all the cameras we have now, why some respectable professionals such as Roger Deakins and Claudio Miranda prefered other camera brands in certain productions? Because they can choose something that fits better the job. That’s what a professional would do. Why can’t I choose something that pleased my eyes most or will be better to work with? Can you excuse me and able me to do that? Thanks.

          • I don’t care about numbers. That wasn’t my point.

            Anyway, that’s for the exchange. Maybe we’ll exchange again some day.

            Have a nice night. :-)

      • Roger Deakins (DP of Skyfall) himself said he regrets having to use the red on some scenes. ;)

        • That was because the guys doing the helicopter footage botched the exposure and had blown highlights (and no budget or time to reshoot), which would have been easier to recover on the Alexa. The Dragon sensor obviously means that problem is no more (unless of course you hire complete boobs to operate who don’t know how to read a histogram or RED’s goal posts and stop lights.)
          Deakins is not a brand loyalist, he’s a picture loyalist. Accidentally blown highlights are never OK.

          Also – I have to say, arguing over camera quality by comparing box office returns is about as ridiculous as using box office returns to pick the caterer.

          • “Some RED haters on Nofilmschool are now comparing box office totals to determine which camera is better between Epic and Alexa hahahahahahahahahahaha” — Matt Ryan, @RedUser.net on 6th Aug 2013

            http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?103732-DRAGON-ITS-THE-REAL-DEAL-!!!!&p=1238997&viewfull=1#post1238997

            A-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. It was acutally Gene (a “Red lover”), who brought the subject up:

            Gene on 08.4.13 @ 6:49PM:

            “There’s a fight? A fight?

            Just have to add up the total box office over the last few years of the 25 biggest Red titles and the 25 biggest ARRI titles to see. No fight. (R.I.P.D (ARRI) made how much?)”

            When people including myself pointed out to Gene that his perception does not seem to coincidence with reaiity, it gets twisted as “Red-haters comparing box office grosses with Alexa-shot movies.” No one cares which camera grossed more at the box-office (as if that could possibly make a significant difference to the success or otherwise of a movie).

            It just goes to show how deluded the Red users are…

          • I’m a Red lover? I’ll be leaving this mosh pit now.

  • Harry Pray IV on 08.4.13 @ 3:25PM

    I’m waiting to see what Arri fires back with considering the fact that Alexa (with a sensor that is years old) gets 14 stops of dynamic range. It’s a very exciting time to be a DP indeed.

    • David J. Fulde on 08.5.13 @ 1:51PM

      Hopefully they reveal something at NAB. They said that they are working on a new camera (4K) so that’ll be exciting.

      I’ve spoken with people who say “4K won’t be enough by the time it comes out” people said that about the lack of resolution the Alexa had when it was announced.

  • Sorry, but that simply does not look like 15/16 stops of DR. The highlight roll-off isn’t pleasing either.

    Sony F65 and Alexa still have a more pleasing image I believe. However, they are more expensive cameras.

    • its only one extra stop of DR in the highlights – so the f65, alexa, f55, f35, f3 still seem to have better highlight control.

      • More stops in the shadows can mean more stops in the highlights…you just adjust your exposure. People did that all the time with film.

      • And you’re basing that off an 8-bit JPEG, are you?

        Let’s see the RAW files. As you can see from the video (assuming you actually have a clue what you’re looking at), there’s a lot of meat in there. Clean 4000 ISO and usable 6400 ISO is spectacular for any digital cinema camera, no matter how you twist your argument.

        To me, this looks like the new king of the hill, bumping the Alexa for DR and skin tones and the F65 for overall IQ. Anyone who says the Dragon is a disappointment – well, I’m not sure exactly what they were expecting so I don’t really know what to say. 16+ stops of DR (which is plainly obvious to anyone with experience), fantastic skin tones out of the box as well as groovy low light handling and 6K resolution to boot?!? That’s ridiculously attractive at any price.

      • Nick Morrison on 08.6.13 @ 5:06AM

        Ed, it’s very hard to judge highlights from this H264 video, as even Toia admits its a stress test, and he wasn’t grading it. Just because it’s only 1 extra stop in highlights doesn’t necessarily mean the roll off won’t be there. Roll off is determined by the CURVE of exposure, by the lattitude in the image, so the extra DR in the Dragon will presumably help with roll off in general. I think until the new color science is in place (RC4, RG4) and everyone starts being able to play with the actual R3D’s, I think this first video is just a SAMPLE of what Dragon is capable of. I think what’s been lost in this discussion are the remarkable elements already clear in Toia video:

        1) Amazing low light performance. See the shot of the dogs at 3:00? Shot at 4000 ISO?

        2) Amazing performance even under extreme compression. See that same shot of the dogs at 3:00? That was shot at 4000 Iso, 100 fps, and at 17: compression!!! Bear in mind we ordinarily shoot at 8:1 on Epic and Scarlet now. And this looks just as good! Which means we can be shooting at 6K, and have possibly SMALLER files than we shot at 5K

        3) Less rolling shutter. Dragon processes twice as fast as Epic-MX. See all the shots of the Cars sliding around the track? The wheels spinning look fantastic…and a lot of those shots are at 17:1 compression.

        4) Recoverable ISO. What blew my mind was Toia shooting at 200 ISO, and then PUSHING it to 4000 iso almost no penalty. That was CRAZY!!!’

        5) The dynamic range. Being able to catch that information in the highlights, but still have DEEP data in the shadows, blew my mind

        6) The cleaner ISO across the board also means that shooting down at 3K and 2K will look BETTER than EVER. So all those S16mm and 16mm primes will look better than ever windowed down.

        This also means that slo-mo at 300FPS will look cleaner, and better than ever.

        So, there is much to celebrate and admire. And all for a $9000 upgrade if you already own Epic.

    • its 2 stops in the shadows, only one stop in the highlights so yes not as pleasing as the arri alexa and sony f35 or sony f65

      • David J. Fulde on 08.5.13 @ 2:38PM

        I was thinking the same thing. Some of those shots just jump to a white blob. GRANTED: It is still freaking beautiful! however in my opinion the Alexa looks nicer.

        • Highlight roll off is completely adjustable using curves…and DR in shadows can be DR in highlights, you just have to adjust your exposure (akin to underexposing and push processing film).

          You can download the original .mov off Vimeo and put a quick RGB curve adjustment on it to play around with the highlight roll off.

          • Let’s also remember that the Alexa has a built in low con filter…nothing’s stopping anyone from putting a low con filter on their Red or any other camera out there.

    • You have obviously no idea what you are talking about because else you would know that ‘highlight roll off’ of a digital camera is not a valid criteria in footage lie this. ‘Highlight roll off’ is just a curve applied somewhen after light hit the sensor. With a raw camera like RED or Alexa or BMCC, YOU apply that curve. You create the roll off and with as much DR as Dragon has you can create very smooth roll off.

      Also, you yourself choose mid grey point by the way you expose the sensor. There’s no ‘it has more stops of DR in the shadows than in the highlights’. Expose it differently and you’ll have more stops in the highlights than the shadows.
      That’s the way you work with these raw cameras but obviously most people commenting here have never even worked with RED or Alexa personally.

  • I will wait until I can see something projected, but dynamic range seems nice even though the look isn’t for me. Looking forward to seeing Arri’s next move. Great to see competition.

  • John Wilton on 08.4.13 @ 4:18PM

    More of the same RED skins tones, casting pinkish. Yes Alexa still more pleasing for skin tones.

    • francis dellera on 08.4.13 @ 5:27PM

      John,
      you’re color blind? you can not notice any difference between mx and Dragon?
      Seriously?
      I sincerely hope that you are not a DP or a colorist.
      It’s like saying that you do not see a difference between a bmc and alexa here in the movie ..
      https://vimeo.com/62832482
      Try to go out with Alexa and shoot at 4000 or 6400 iso that you always manage to see something and not just noise, in real life without lights, as did Toia, with Dragon.
      No one has ever had problems with your skin with Red, the only people who fail to classify the movie correctly, perhaps you are one of those.
      The only problems with REd was the color temperature to 3200 that caused a lot of noise in the blue channel that was more than Alexa clean.

      • Tim Mcnamara on 08.4.13 @ 5:59PM

        Why the personal attack? Everyone is entitled to their opinion. More DR and a little extra resolution. Carry on …

        • francis dellera on 08.5.13 @ 2:35AM

          no do not be a personal attack, be an observation.
          If he can take me to clean movies like Dragon with 4000 iso Alexa are happy otherwise they are meaningless words, the colors if you do not like, Raw can change a good colorist and boom do what you want. :)
          Always know what it means to Raw.

        • francis dellera on 08.5.13 @ 6:00AM

          do you have any problem Bud buck?
          I mean maybe bad because they are not native English speakers, i am french.
          Sorry,I just want to try to make a good discussion.

    • Marklondon on 08.4.13 @ 5:28PM

      Yep. Some people like that. Not me either.
      I think it’s very cool. Does it change the game? Um, I’ll take a pause on that.
      Both Sony and ARRI are whispering things, and the current Alexa has a very defined market.

  • Not too shabby.

  • I love how everyone’s saying things like “Let’s wait and see what Arri fires back with.” as if this is an actual fight and that at the end of it only one camera will remain. I promise, if one camera ends up having better specs at a better price they won’t send the camera police to grab your camera and smash it in front of you.

    • It’s not an actual fight. It’s more like a pillow fight. Between two hot chicks in lingerie. No matter who wins or loses, it still looks hot.

    • Arri will fire back. It will be an immense battle.

      But unseen by either of them, Sony were hovering below the cliff. They will rise up and engage both of them with 16k of power.

      Arri and Red will retreat, forced to take cover in the same cave. There they will combine camera technology to take on the might of Sony — “it’s the only way we’re gonna survive.”

      Meanwhile, all three of them will taken by surprise when Blackmagic sneak a suitcase bomb* (available now for just $1k) underneath the battlefield.

      *hello NSA

    • elliott felton's mother on 08.5.13 @ 3:33AM

      Haha, best comment so far. So true. It made me laugh.

  • Reading many of these comments makes me sad. Where’s the passion for the art? So many technology suckers waiting in line with their wallets open. So you camera doesn’t have 25 stops of dynamic range… Ever heard of turning on a light and mounting a bounce board to a c-stand?

    I love what digital advances have done in the film world but at the same time I mourn the artistry of shooting on celluloid and the days of true artists and storytellers who had to rely on great story and character development instead of just propping up things with spectacle and special fx (all shot in pristine 6K from this point forward…).

    Feel free to trash talk me pixel obsessed trolls and RED zealots but I this is all I have to say.

    • It’s such a double-edged sword. I’m a huge advocate of film, both for aesthetic reasons as well as metaphysical ones. However, I’ve never shot on anything but digital cameras, and it’s quite arguable that my career is being made possible only by digital cinema and even furthermore by Red Studios. Without the Red One, we wouldn’t have any of the more affordable RAW cinema cameras, and while plenty of great looking films have been shot in compressed codecs, I also appreciate the flexibility that a RAW workflow provides. In the end it can significantly reduce the cost of a production. Put on top of that the extreme ISO’s we are able to shoot at these days, and not only is it extremely possible to shoot projects on a low budget, I almost have no excuse anymore :)

      So yeah, digital cinema has given me opportunities I would never have had otherwise. HOWEVER, I also feel fatigued by the incessant name-calling, immature bickering, and obsessive fanboy posturing conducted by many of my young generation, especially disciples of extremely well-marketed and over-hyped companies like Red and Black Magic Design (coming from someone who plans to own both a BMPCC and a Scarlett). The “I’m right, your wrong, my camera is better than yours” attitude that pervades camera forums everywhere is tearing apart a community that should really be banding together. Alas, not everyone wants to be an artist; there is too much sacrifice involved, mostly of ego.

      I’m a geek, gadget enthusiast, and pixel-peeper as much as the next guy, and I really look forward to owning my own affordable, RAW-shooting, high DR digital cinema camera, thanks to the pioneering efforts of Red Studios. I just wish people would grow up (and I need to as well, sometimes) and stop bickering over something that simply doesn’t matter. It’s perfectly fine to criticize a company because you think they are misrepresenting themselves or their products or pulling the wool over people’s eyes. It’s also fine to disagree and be ok with that company and buy they’re products because you like them. Furthermore, it’s fine to be unimpressed by footage, and it’s fine to be impressed. But please, let’s all be a little more civil to one another. We’re all here for most of the same reasons. Let’s enjoy that community.

      • Togan Gökbakar on 08.5.13 @ 4:41AM

        Redcode is not raw actually. It is a compressed codec. By saying raw if you mean uncompressed raw, red is not. And you dont need to write raw in capitals like RAW. It is a marketing thing that red created. It is the same raw with ‘raw meat’ . As I say it is not raw. Redcode is a compressed lossy codec.

        • I knew that.

        • Raw doesn’t mean uncompressed. Uncompressed means uncompressed. Most raw formats utilize compression.

          Raw means the data hasn’t been debayered and transformed into a color space and gamma curve.

        • There is Redcode and there is Redcode raw.
          Yes Redcode raw is compressed, most raw formats are.
          Redcode raw is also a little lossy, which not all raw formats are.

          Correct me if I’m wrong, this is just random info I picked up with my Google-fu

    • By 2014 film will be officially dead in movie theaters. Of the approximate 40,000 U.S. movie screens, 14,000 have yet to convert to digital projectors. Celluloid prints of new movies from the majors won’t be available after 2013. http://www.sfgate.com/business/article/Hollywood-pushes-U-S-movie-screens-to-go-digital-3345021.php

    • this ^^^^^

  • Just a friendly reminder, the footage is shot in REDcolor3 and REDgamma3 so it will look very similar to the current MX sensors. Honestly the footage looks incredible coming straight from the sensor. Especially if you have ever seen the raw footage on the appropriate display. This is just a small portion of this sensor’s capabilities. I can’t wait to see the sensor equipped with the new color science and graded.

    I don’t really see the need to defend other cameras when this is solely displaying sample footage from a new sensor. It’s another incredible tool that we can rent out or purchase to bring our pictures to life.

  • I would love it for this camera to make it up into the ISS and capture the deep blacks of space and the astronauts doing EVA’s Sounds a bit cheesy, but I imagine there would be some beautiful looking images coming back. Nonetheless, this is definitely the camera to keep an eye out for considering a 6K Workflow I’m sure has got to be fun to work with, (if you can manage the space that is…). From this first little test, I’m very pleased with the range it’s capturing and looking forward for future shorts.

  • The roiding in the comments…

  • Now, the price is justified.

  • Don’t like the color.

  • The next quest for Jim Jannard? How about 8K? 4K is 4x the resolution of 1080p. 8K would be 16x 1080p? That seems to be the math.

    NHK already has an 8K camera and is preparing to broadcast NHK tv in 8K by 2016. So 8K, obviously, can be done.

  • Hmm, I don’t see why anyone’s complaining about the Dragon at all. It’s a 6k camera head that costs $28,000.

    But let’s say that the Sony and Arri are still the better cameras, albeit slightly, they cost $70-$100k just for the brain

  • This may be a silly question but why do they show two F stops on one clip? For example, the second image above says Highlights F32 and forest floor F3.5. What does that mean?

    • @Dylan
      I think it means that, at whatever given ISO they are using, the hi-lights would measure F32 and the shadowy area of the forest floor would measure F3.5.

  • Robert Hunter on 08.4.13 @ 9:28PM

    I’ll wait for the next Zacuto shootout for a more objective analysis or even better yet test it myself.

    • If you make a comparison video I’d want to see it. Especially if it’s side by side comparisons. Those reveal it all, don’t they. Comparisons in succession are good, don’t quite do the same.

    • “I’ll wait for the next Zacuto shootout for a more objective analysis”

      Funny. The only point to their pointless shootouts is to promote brand Zacuto.

      It was ironic that Jim Jannard complained that the last Zacuto shootout only projected in 2k, thereby “crippling” his 4k camera. He then said Dragon should only be compared from this point forth to 65mm film (when scanned at 4k), even though 65mm could be scanned at 8k or even 16k.

      • It can be scanned at 8k and 16k, put can it be digitally projected or printed back to film at anything higher than 4k?

      • It can be scanned at 8k and 16k, but can it be digitally projected or printed back to film at anything higher than 4k?

        • There are 8k projectors available, you know. And 8k television prototypes (in Japan).

          A Blu-Ray mastered at 4k looks sharper than one at 2k, even though they’re both outputting 1080p. Same as a HD download of 2.5GB looks sharper than the same film on DVD at around 7GB.

  • Going from f4 to f45 is 8 stops right? So where in this shots can we see that 16.5 stops?

  • Giuseppe Badalamenti on 08.5.13 @ 1:09AM

    this is what i call camera porn… it shouldn’t be a fight of who has it bigger, 1) how you use it , 2) what you use it for.
    there is enough room for everybody in the world is quite big i assure. everybody seems to be a tech wiz when it comes to the blogs but some of you look like the fat kid in school who didn’t want lend his cool game boy to anybody. newsflash take a good look the faster they come the faster the hatin’ comes… this is called programmed obsolesce, shoot with what you please i work in film, commercial rental, and video-clips mostly… every branch of the craft has its favorites… learn to love them all, learn when to use them… its not like this companies are feeding you own them. no reason to defend them holding the flag up high.
    go work, this is merely miss use of your talent and technical knowledge… save the words for the scripts and the specs for the kids. “the tool doesn’t make the master”

    • We have a right to discuss the tools we use. If we don’t keep on top of things what kind of cameras will we end up with?

      We dont need another “Its what you do with it, not the camera” speech.

      Craftsmen want good tools and we all benefit by discussing it amongst ourselves.

  • Nigel Thompson on 08.5.13 @ 2:32AM

    All the jibba jabba is irrelevant …… The damn thing look great. As the guy said they aren’t finished with the color science yet. Just 1 highlight one the car disturbed me, seem like it blew out and got a pinkish hue as it did. Ill look again to be sure.
    Yes we all know the other cameras look great but I’ve seen the epic do amazing things. And with 16 stops it will do even more. You can get this cam to look how you need it to.

    Great job RED. Keep it coming.

  • Nigel Thompson on 08.5.13 @ 7:23AM

    Wow. Why are people jabbing at this ….. Most of us can’t afford an F65 anyway. The camera looks fantastic. The DR definitely seems like 16stop to me. My only concern is a minor pink hue in the highlights on a car shot. (Ill look again to be sure) . For the price they are selling this camera, I think it’s a give away. Definitely getting one.

  • Nice looking footage…. But Toia is an incredible shooter, he would make your dslr raw cameras look beautiful [in 1.5 second clips] Not much work posted in this forum, reading the comments looks like very people are actually involved in the industry, including the site runners.

  • There’s some people very touchy about ARRI I’ve noticed.

    • The amount of bullshit in this comments is staggering. It’d be interesting to get a real world poll here who actually works with Epics, Alexas, F55s/65s, etc, in their job. And how many are Canon 5D shooters who basically just spout off bullshit about Alexas because they heard it from a guy who heard it from a guy who touched an ALEXA at NAB.

      It’s a camera, it’s a tool, use it as such. The amount of so called “experts” on color space here is staggering. Face, meet palms.

    • I don’t see people being touchy about Arri. I think people disagree with your data on Epic vs Alexa box office / number of movies, and others are not crazy about the footage they’re seeing.

  • Nice but very dirty sensor for a Red promo video. Mostly that spot on the left side!

  • First impressions are that this sensor eats up everything in the image! There looks to be so much room and flexibility to play with as far as coloring goes that I can’t imagine a camera really doing more. The color space seems much more neutral and open than past redcolor / gamma installments. Really excited to see the creative work that comes out of this…

    BTW was anyone else floored at HOW CLEAN 17:1 looks like? Holy crap are you kidding me?! Whatever these engineers are doing, it’s really commendable as far as sheer information and efficiency in the coding… Major props to the team at RED. Well done and way to push things forward.

  • sailas vanetti on 08.5.13 @ 1:38PM

    now I prefer even more the Red Epic, I would like to combine a beautiful 5dIII in raw.
    - Travel light for me and ‘important and all in a carry-on bag makes my case.
    in many places I can say that it is a photographic camera, and I can safely shoot ;)
    - I do a lot of timelaps, so perfect with the 5D III and Dragon 6k in HDRx, a happiness’.
    - Many customers want to extract frames from the movie to make a book, to be perfect in this 6k raw by Epic Dragon.
    - I like to shoot in slow motion 300 fps are very beautiful, and I think with Dragon to be even more defined and 120 fps 5k to be a libido.
    - I can put the beautiful epic mode ‘light on a Octocopter or a 5d III for normal shooting.
    - For short films and video clips Epic to be perfect, I’ve never wrong exposure, just stay in the stakes of the histogram and then ‘a no-brainer.
    -I never had any problems with your skin, or rather the beginning it was also angry and do not know how to use REDCINE-x and I had no idea what to touch, now everything perfect simple and fast, perfect skintone, use Davinci as the main software , great. Redcode give more margin to correct, compared to a ProRes.

    I am happy that REd has released Dragon, I am convinced that its noise level is much lower in MX and high dynamic range and modularity, a perfect camera.

    Congratulations to Red Team :)

  • easy solution….test all the cameras yourself…film or digital….before a job..getting the best camera for the job…(you can’t trust this or any other sample unless you are the one that shoots it )

  • Between the Red and the Alexa, I’ve noticed more then once the Red looks a tad soft on shots while the Alexa is as sharp as a tack. Still prefer film though…

  • It’s not film or digital. Not RED or ALEXA. You shoot with whatever camera achieves the look you are going for to tell your story. We are visual storytellers. Do you think Picasso or Da Vinci gave a fuck (excuse my french) what brand of brushes they used?! The answer is no. They used whatever brushes would give them the paint stroke they needed to create their piece and convey their message. I suggest you all do the same. Jeez.

    • P.S. Not all stories call for the same look. You shouldn’t only be using one camera!

      • On film, the look is established by the lens choice, filtration, and film stock. On digital the look is established by lens choice, filtration and di/ color grade. shooting with a camera that doesnt limit the possibilities of these three variables is the point.

    • “They used whatever brushes would give them the paint stroke they needed” – in other words, they did care about which brush they were using, since different brushes give different capabilities/styles. If they needed a specific brush or paint type, they would use that on purpose, because not all brushes are the same (granted- masters can use almost any tool to achieve their vision, but we’re not talking about making the best of a situation- we’re talking about whether it’s wise to spend some thought choosing one tool over another from the get-go)

      It’s not about brand names. There is a difference in capability and results between different makes/models. Some difference more pronounced, some less so. Spending the time and energy knowing those differences is worthwhile *if it’s within the realm of possibility of affecting your product*

      Myself? It’s a question of renting things like dslr vs. blackmagic vs. ex1, if even that. These Dragon images are purely theoretical for me and- yes, probably a waste of my time drooling over. Still, pretty damn awesome imagery there, and if I can every afford to rent a Dragon, you can be sure I’ll be taking a closer look before writing a check.

      Anyway, I do like the focus of what you’re saying, that the content is more important than the tool- and I wholeheartedly agree with that. We should aim to be masters anyway, and make the best out of whatever tool we have.

      • BTW, not to hijack the discussion, but here’s a recent piece I did using Blackmagic and 7D and a hell of a lot of focus on content over tools:

        https://vimeo.com/shivimpanim/in-the-hands-of-heaven

        It’s a heady piece, not for everyone- but it was a personal breakthrough for me and I’m happy with it. Sharing since you seem to share the same frustration, wanting to see stories and something more… movie-magic… than another camera test

    • You start painting with your brushes … and I shoot with my EPIC DRAGON ….awwwww its sooo good ! :)

  • Hard to jump to any conclusions one way or the other when it’s 6K raw footage displayed in 1080p using H.264. More dynamic range than the MX sensor, colors are still TBD with the color science still in the works. What else can we really draw from this? Anything negative probably just stems from being a little underwhelmed by the subject matter.

    I guess that’s the one gripe I have with it. This thing has been built up like crazy and I think it was a bit of a miss by RED to allow this to be the first footage shown. No doubt it shows the extra dynamic range but it doesn’t really show us much for skin tones, which was what a lot of people were hoping would be improved. Come out with the polished epic video first (they had a Peter Jackson short for the RED One for gods sake) and save the real world examples for down the line. Just my two cents anyways.

    • Luke is correct. The Original .MOV file (1920×960 / 404MB) is still crippled with H.264. It might be the best H.264 you’ve ever seen, but because of that crappy compression you still aren’t looking at the “real deal”. Yeah, I have to say the subject matter was a bit bland. Maybe the Swedish Bikini Team would have been a better idea. :)

  • Joachim Høge on 08.6.13 @ 3:14AM

    Why do someone always bring in the tools of painters?
    You can be sure they obsessed as much about their tools as we do. You really think it doesn’t ,after what tools you use as a painter?

  • Joachim Høge on 08.6.13 @ 3:14AM

    Why do someone always bring in the tools of painters?
    You can be sure they obsessed as much about their tools as we do. You really think it doesn’t matter what tools you use as a painter?

  • Yea it looks amazing. I want one.

  • Downloaded the BMPCC and (controversial opinion here) I actually much prefer the image coming off that sensor. I’ve always been a stickler for s16 (actually prefer it to 35) so I guess that has a factor, but to my eye, the image is just more pleasing. Technically, the dragon is far superior, but watching a move, does an audience really care about technicality? No.

    • It could be with this sensor it make a difference. These images are the best I’ve ever seen. Big computer animation movies like Transformers, and Iron Man will look better on this sensor than any other. It don’t think those that make these big budget movies would dare shoot in 4K, 2K, or 1080p after movies made with this sensor are seen by the general public. The difference will stand out.

      At the same time, the best movies I’ve ever seen, like Shawshank Redemption, were shot on no K’s cameras. They will still be the best movies I’ve ever seen.

      • Arguably they were shot on 8K cameras.

        • digital is an emulation of film and our eyes via pixel resolution. film has no pixels.. nor does the retina. i can always spot a feature done on digital, epic, etc vs. film

  • In terms of skin color, they should have probably tried several grading options and offered it as A, B and C samples. That way, someone could say, “The original is still too red/pink but/and it looks okay – or still not okay – when color corrected”.

    Off stills, the image certainly looks sharp enough and DR seems verified. The rest is the color science.

    • I’ve always thought these samples should be graded in more than one way too. It wouldn’t hurt to have more than one colorist too. They could make 3, or 4, or 5 grades of the same sample. It’s pretty simple. Rendering is the only part that would take time. I don’t see why they don’t make more than one.

    • If you download the original video off vimeo you can still get a lot out of the image by playing around with it…and that’s just an 8-bit H264 .mov

      • Yeah, 8 bit, 264. I have yet to see 4K, 6K and 8K in all their glory. Waiting for H265, and that gigabit internet! I may move to Kansas City some day to get it.

  • “And Lo!

    He did come down from the mountain.

    And His name was Jim Jannard.

    And He did bring forth gifts*.

    And the Gift He did bring forth was called DRAGON.

    And it was EPIC.

    (A few people did not think so, but they were FOOLS, and were put to the back of the list.)

    But ALL others thought it was awesome!!!11

    On that day, history was made.”

    – from “The World According to RedUser.net”

    *$9,500 upgrade, or $29,000 for the brain, or $58,385 for PRO Package (are you Pro enough?).

    • Augusto Alves da SIlva on 08.25.13 @ 6:16AM

      I don´t compare cameras and I think nobody can say this is better than this…People should say I prefer this to that to shoot that particular shot. Still I think most of the times we spend thousands more to get 5% better image. Professionals shoot with everything each camera does what it was designed for…I wouldn´t hike the Himalaias with an Alexa or jump from a plane with a RED…But people are entitled to have their own choices…I personally prefer smaller cameras and accept their eventual limitations. If and when needed I can grab a Dragon and get the extra DR…

  • Well, at least, it beats the BMPC footage.

  • Nick Gregorio on 08.8.13 @ 4:23AM

    Enough of all this “pick the right tool for the job” and “tell a good story” bullshit. This is a camera test plain and simple. What Red has done is truly remarkable and the price is insanely cheap. The comparison of an artist and his brush is not correct. With digital cameras it’s more like comparing the canvas, brush, paint type, and longevity of the medium. This camera represents a true successor to film. That’s always been the goal. Film, the physical medium, has amazing intrinsic characteristics. This camera surpasses that and aside from the F65 no other camera does. If you are worried about good story telling go to a screen writing forum. Solid visual motivation? Go to a directing forum. This is a brass tacks camera tech discussion. Accept that and appreciate it for what it is.

  • Who builds their sensors? I would think there aren’t as many choices as one would imagine. Could even be that the same sensor is being used in more than one camera, just tweaked with different hardware and software implementations.

    I would be happily shocked if it was designed and manufactured in the U.S.A. There’s a reason these cameras are cheaper.

    • Joe Marine on 08.8.13 @ 6:03PM

      Their sensors are likely made in Israel, at least that’s where MX was made. There aren’t too many places in the world that fab sensors. The capabilities are there to make the sensors in the US, but it’s likely they would use the same fab again. Supposedly they have their own sensor design team in-house, and then that design gets sent over to the fab. Part of the reason the cameras are as cheap as they are is because they make a very high profit from accessories.

      • Joe, they might be from Israel’s specialty foundry TowerJazz http://www.TowerJazz.com I know CMOSIS has deals with TowerJazz. And it’s suspected that the new BM4K might be sporting a CMOSIS CMV 12000 or version of it.

  • part of the mystery of storytelling is allowing the audience to dream and tap the subconscious. too much resolution can hinder that. having said that, 4k, 6k would be great for porn and sports video.

  • Black Magic Cinema Camera

  • “the best highlight fall off I have ever seen from any digital camera. Beating film!”

    lol at that. A candle flame does not clip like that on film.

  • red eapic drogan on 10.13.13 @ 6:22AM

    i want red eapic drogan camera

  • Mark has owned Red for years. While what he says maybe true, it’s not an impartial test. It’s just reaffirming his own choice in camera, for purely business reasons.

  • very useful guide

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