August 1, 2013

Here's Your First Real-World Teaser Image of RED DRAGON's Amazing Dynamic Range

We might have gotten our first "real" taste of RED's new DRAGON sensor all the way back in February, but the camera has been in the hands of professionals for a bit of time now, and the images are finally starting to be let out by guys in charge over at RED. Mark Toia has been doing some extensive testing with the new camera sensor and not only has he shared some of his thoughts, but he's also been allowed to unleash the first confirmed real-world image of the now-completed camera package.

Mark posted this on REDUser (though I wonder if it's Saturday in the US or Saturday in Australia):

Night tests completed.... and WOW ! took our little team by surprise. Better results than we had hoped for.
4000ISO is completely useable. Even some of the 6400 iso scenes are good to use. 

Spoke to Jarred today, 
We are good to share Saturday onwards. 

Which is good timing for me, because I have to go through several hundred test shots to find images that can represent the cameras dynamic range properly. 
( Not to mention I have to go back to my real job tomorrow, because I have producers about to kill me if I keep playing Mr camera tester nerd ) 

This thread is done, Im starting a new one Friday / Saturday. 

Here is a teaser image. :) 
Enjoy. 

Later he posted this image talking about how good the DRAGON sees:

Mark recently spoke to fxguide about his experiences with the camera. He specifically talked about just how impressive the dynamic range feels, and that there was at least two more stops that he could see with his naked eye without doing any scientific testing. During the interview they mentioned a few times about how the image from the DRAGON seems to match the image from the EPIC MONOCHROME, which is a native B&W sensor camera that starts natively at ISO 2000.

He also hasn't been using the PL mount much, and instead threw a Canon mount on the camera very early on because the 1.18 crop factor felt very close to full-frame, and he wanted to use glass that better matched up with the sensor, rather than PL which may not cover 6K at all (those are his words before the Super 35mm purists go crazy). Mark also reiterated  in the interview that he felt this thing was the real deal, and that RED had created something that he felt was worth the upgrade price.

More test images (and hopefully footage) is coming soon, but in the meantime, check out more photos from Christopher Probst's DRAGON shoot (Phil Holland has kindly given permission to use the rest of these pics):

The fxguide podcast is a great listen, so I encourage everyone who is mildly interested in RED to listen to those guys talk about the cameras (since they are using them on big commercial shoots). They also have a great little interview with Ted Schilowitz where they ask some pretty tough questions, including why RED decided to upgrade sensors at NAB even though the camera wasn't quite done yet.

Things are certainly heating up...

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77 Comments

...all I want to see is the shadow noise (blue channel) and high ISO, everything else RED has had nailed for years.

August 1, 2013

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Charles

amen on the blue-channel noise issue.

August 1, 2013

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August 1, 2013

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Timur: is there still malware on your blog? if so, perhaps posting links to it is not a good thing...

August 4, 2013

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jfilmington

Need a side-by-side with a t2i and go pro

August 1, 2013

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+1 :)

August 1, 2013

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P

you do not need, you're not even able to use a go pro or a t2i ahhah :) and of course not even understand a simple test side-by-side hahaha :) ahah ahah :)

August 1, 2013

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Alexis

wtf?

August 1, 2013

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Kevin

Yea, I had a difficult time understanding that response as well.

August 1, 2013

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Aaron

Hahahaha

August 1, 2013

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Ryan

Now that's funny.

August 1, 2013

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Hubert

Side by side with Canon would be a rare sight. So very few are made. But no, Canon wouldn't want their video capability put side by side with Red. Kinda like most girls wouldn't want to be compared to Kate Upton.

August 2, 2013

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Gene

Hahahahaha

August 2, 2013

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Wait. So the dragon sensor is physically larger than the epic's Super 35?

August 1, 2013

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Kenneth

Yep, the 5k area is slightly smaller than the MX's 5k area, but the 6k area is bigger.

August 1, 2013

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Gabe

Yikes. I didn't know that. Why haven't I heard a big fuss about it? Seems like a pretty big issue.

August 1, 2013

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Ben Corwin

Well I think that was part of the reason to shrink the 5k area...so that it would be more compatible with cine lenses than the MX 5k.

August 1, 2013

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Gabe

The Dragon 5K is almost exactly ANSI S35 standard width. Essentially, it makes almost all lenses compatible.

August 1, 2013

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Yes, curious about that as well. I mean, if the sensor lives up to the hype, then it's obviously pretty sweet and worth using. However, a 1.18 crap factor will really mess with cinema primes. And I would rather use Zeiss Super Speeds over Canon L glass any day.

August 1, 2013

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Kenneth

What on Earth would stop you from shooting 5K or 5.5K instead of full 6K?

August 1, 2013

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Natt

Ah come on. Some lens company must already be working on a 6K sized lens.

August 2, 2013

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Gene

Have you cropped a sensor on a Red before? I did; it wasn't pretty. Granted it was more drastic than a 5k on a 6k sensor (more like 2 on a 5), but it would just be convenient to get the full sensor's resolution at a regular crop ratio.

August 2, 2013

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Kenneth Merrill

@Kenneth: I'm intrigued - why is it not pretty? Surely it's just like cropping in post? Isn't it just reading out a smaller area on the sensor, rather than changing its binning etc?

August 2, 2013

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Luke

@Luke - That's what I thought! I figured, "I shoot 1080p on my 5D all the time, and it's totally usable. Cropping the Epic to 2K shouldn't be a problem." Unfortunately, it turned out that a 2K crop on the MX is much more soft and blocky than even a 1080p image out of a 5D. I'm sure part of this is because we didn't have time to Black Balance, and we were shooting a relatively high compression ratio (10:1), but I even talked with my brother-in-law who owns an Epic, and he says he never crops down to more than 3 or 4K because it's too muddy and soft, even at lower compression ratios. I don't know why this is.

This is why I feel a little miffed when Red advertise their image as being 4 times larger than regular 1080p. While this is technically true, if you crop the image down to 1080p either in camera or post, it isn't as sharp or clean as the 1080p we're used to.

Has anyone else had different/similar experiences with Red sensor-cropping?

August 2, 2013

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Kenneth

It's not so bad, I've gotten pretty solid results with R1 at 2K. You're cropping into whatever noise pattern you produce, but it's not much different than blowing up a piece of 16mm film, you just have to be particularly careful with your exposure and choice of lenses. And it seems obvious enough, but if you know you're going to 2K, don't compress your footage so much.

August 2, 2013

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jime

@jime - you're absolutely right about the compression. It was my first time shooting a crop sensor, and I overestimated the detail in the 10:1 compression. We also did that compression because we were running super guerrilla and weren't able to dump cards, plus we were shooting 240fps. We were worried about having enough media so we shot at a higher compression. Simple misjudgment on my part.

August 2, 2013

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Kenneth

I do believe Contax Zeiss glass will cover 6k. I assume this holds true for the superspeeds and cp2's as well.

August 2, 2013

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it reminds me of the red mx

August 1, 2013

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DIO

unreal image, crazy .... this video be a regamma3 and redcolor3?
The night picture even more crazy, room on the right for brighter highlights, goalposts - empty and stoplights --- empty. , SHiiittt ...
We will see other posts Saturday, if you really can shoot images up to 4000iso
and the dynamic range be increased up to 16 stop and apparently creamy 6k image and the colors are great out of the box RED Dragon will be 'the best camera.

I love this camera and just know that I can also shoot slow without noise with a high dynamic range and better colors out of the box makes me shudder.

RED DRAGON wowow

August 1, 2013

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LUIS

that camera doesn't look right on that dolly...what about a arri st with a 1000 foot mag instead

August 1, 2013

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DIO

Yes.

August 1, 2013

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engadi porantha

Fire the Dolly Grip. You really should put something on the end of those rails to keep the rig from sliding off ;)

August 1, 2013

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Nick

Haha

August 1, 2013

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Kenneth Merrill

There is something at the end of those rails. Its hope and possibly a job.:P

August 1, 2013

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George

It shows that you have never been into a real set. That particular dolly has a brake to prevent from sliding off the rail. Stay on the internet where you belong ha!

August 1, 2013

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christine

Or hopefully get a chance to be on a set that uses one... not all of us are as experienced as you ;)

August 1, 2013

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Aaron Grimes

Be kind to those who are less fortunate or don't always know the ins and outs of dollies. You may want a job from them someday.

August 2, 2013

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Kenneth Merrill

interesting

August 2, 2013

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Gene

What does the f4 and f32 printed on the car image refer to?

August 1, 2013

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Ben

Its the light reading from a light meter for exposure an exposure setting on the lens in f stops.

The purpose is to show the dynamic range of the sensor.

August 1, 2013

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George

I'm pretty sure it's the stops. It seems to be marking the darkest spot and the brightest spot.

August 1, 2013

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Marinho Gomes

It seems the secret to greater DR lay within higher K's.

August 2, 2013

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Gene

Just curious, what Variable ND were you using?

August 1, 2013

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Steve T

Probably the one inside the camera.

August 1, 2013

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Bry

The camera itself does not have an internal ND system. It will be coming as part of the Red's new Motion Mount. The new mount will be available later this year.

August 1, 2013

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Bob

From F4 to F32... and all the light coming in correct levels of exposure? Even shooting on 250D vision 3 can you do that? Wow!

August 1, 2013

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Alex Mand

I was hoping for a tad bit more highlight bloom before hitting hard clip, but it's more than fine and fixable for anyone except anti-"fix it in post" luddites.

August 1, 2013

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Natt

Well, that's also what lens filters are for...seems like they get forgotten now that everyone has a "create the look in post" mentality.

August 2, 2013

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Gabe

Gah dang I wanna see footage from this camera!!!!

August 2, 2013

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Gene

Some very odd comments there. Looks fantastic to me.
I'll be interested to see some serious work shot with it, and how DOPs plan to use it.
I've already had issues with having to ND a phone screen because that light was too bright on the actors face. :-) Now you're giving me another 4/5 useable stops?
I wouldn't buy it, but I'll certainly try it as a rental.

August 2, 2013

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Marklondon

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