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RED DRAGON Gets Some ASC Love: DP Peter Collister Delivers a Gorgeous Clip from the New Sensor

RED DRAGON Footage Peter Collister ASCWe’ve gotten our hands on a few pieces of sample footage from RED’s new DRAGON sensor, but we’d been told that more was coming from all sorts of shooters. RED has been making good on that promise, allowing more sample clips to be uploaded, and while the following clip from ASC Cinematographer Peter Lyons Collister may not feature exotic locations like what we saw from Mark Toia’s video (and what we’ll surely see from Tom Lowe), it shows off some gorgeous skin tones and quite a bit of dynamic range.

Here is the short test posted to REDUser (download from Vimeo for the highest quality). A better quality version is supposedly being uploaded by Jarred, so we will update the post if/when that happens:

He posted his settings on REDUser:

Beginning Closeups: 85mm Nikkor T/4 60 fps (11:1 compression)

Old man at window: 24-70mm Canon T/4 40 fps (7:1 Compression)

Highlight T/16 incident
Shadow T/ 1.0 2/3 incident

Beach exterior sunset 
Nikkor 105 macro T/22

Pier Night amusement park 24-70mm Canon zoom T/2.8

Lightbulb dimming up 85mm Nikkor
48 fps (9:1 Compression)
T/ 5.6 1/2

Sparkler Test 
Incident 2.8 1/2
2.8 (9:1 compression) 

Dog park 
70-200 Canon Zoom 

100 fps (17:1 Compression)

Those first few images in the clip are what people (myself included) have been looking for, and to me it actually has a different feeling than EPIC MX footage I’ve seen in the past, even some of the nicer stuff that’s been graded with secondaries to get the skin tones just right. There definitely seems like more dynamic range with the sensor, as the highlights and shadows are holding practically everything (a good example is the clip shot against the window). Again, with a sensor that is as clean as DRAGON, even if it doesn’t have that much more in the highlights, underexposing slightly should move that dynamic range around without penalty to ensure you don’t blow anything in the higher end.

Though we’ll have to wait for higher quality files from the sample footage above, right now the test from Evin Grant is available to download in ProRes LT, which shows much higher detail and gives you a better sense of the noise at high ISOs. You can watch that clip again below, or download the ProRes here:

And if you missed the first clip from Mark Toia, check it out:

I’d be really interested in seeing some log clips that give you access to even more of the details in the highlights and shadows since there is only so much you can infer from graded web footage. Hopefully we will be getting some .R3D files from DRAGON in the next month or so. We’ll update as soon as possible when more downloadable footage is made available.


Related Posts

  1. RED DRAGON Has Been Unleashed. Here is the First Footage from the 6K Camera
  2. RED Dragon Indeed: First 6K 2000 ISO Images from New Sensor Unveiled
  3. Here's Some Brand New RED DRAGON Footage to Like/Hate/Discuss


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  • There’s people that say no car has ever looked better than a ’57 Chevy. In the same way some people will always say nothing in digital looks better than film. And that’s alright. They have their own personal feelings about it. I wouldn’t want to dare argue with them over it. Film has evolved since the late 1800′s. Digital is still in its infancy. 6K is the first step that distances digital from film. I know 8K and higher is on the way. I don’t know what film can do to keep up anymore. I suppose breakthroughs are possible. But in a comparatively short, very short, time digital has overtaken film. And it seems that handling memory cards is a cry easier than handling film. I really am looking forward to 8K, 10K, 16K and higher.

    It might not sound impressive for me to say this, but how the black dog’s tongue looked says a lot about this 6K sensor. I don’t think film, 4K, 1080p, or anything else can capture the same.

  • Meanwhile, Dan Chung of Newshooter sat down with a KineRaw bigwig over at a convention in Asia. The bigwig claimed that they will release an outboard recorder by the end of 2013, thereby turning the KineRaw Mini into a 4K camera for ~ $8K or so. The 2K images that EOS HD shot on the Mini recently are gorgeous.
    If one of Red’s major selling points is its small size (I saw MarkLondon’s comments), then the Mini could provide it with some competition. The Mini’s price will obviously be its trump card. With the BMD’s 4K4$4K offering still in the queue, the current 4K price leader is the $12K Canon 1D C. When the Convergent Design’s Odyssey Q7 ships (AbelCine is aiming for October), the FS-700 package will run roughly the same amount.
    PS. With the new camera on the horizon, some older ones are lowering their prices. Panasonic’s GH3 can be had for a grand. 1D C itself was once $15K too.

    • I was just reading—won’t tell you where—that the GH3 sensor is being used in the new Panasonic 4K camera being released in November—the SAME sensor. So the GH is ready and able for 4K but they won’t be making it 4K able…… just yet.

      • The photo sensors themselves, for the most part, have not been the main problem of transitioning from 2K toward 4K. Rather it’s been the processing power + heat + battery drain + media storage / data transfer / data recording. Hypothetically, this could have been done on a larger body – think Aaton or Alexa – but the consumer and the prosumer markets have long been about smaller sizes. The development of camera-smartphones helped with the processors. The advances in NAND technology and faster transfer rates (T-bolt, USB 3.1) are helping with the media. Heat build-up is a mechanical-electrical problem that can be solved with certain types of (very expensive space/aviation quality) materials or more efficiently running processors and codecs or combination of all of the above.
        The deployment of an outboard recorder a la Convergent Design Odyssey Q7 and Gemini or Sony SR5 solves the heat (two separate bodies), the media and the camera size problems at once, which is why it seems to be the go-to solution of the day.

        • I wasn’t told what the name of the Panasonic 4K camera being released in November is. Do you know what line they are putting it in? The AG/AF has a beautiful picture at about $2000.00. I’m wondering if it’s going to be upgraded to a 4K. Of course it wouldn’t be $2000.00. They’ll probably put it in a more expensive line.

          I’m working with a church in Nebraska to buy an AG/AF. They want a professional grade camera, rather than a prosumer, that isn’t at a high price. They’re really happy with the video samples they’ve seen of the AG/AF (here’s one [ ]), and the fact that professionals have used it to make movies and music videos.

  • Looking at this with the downloaded original file, the 663MB one, i think it looks great.

    I’m not looking at it from the standpoint of “this shot looks good” “this shot looks bad”. I’m looking at it, in combination with what i’ve seen so far, as what am i going to do with it.

    Like a chef tasting a dish and thinking what he could do with the same ingredients.

    Great new tools benefit everyone because remember eventually, there will be a Scarlet version as well for much less $$ than a full dragon Epic. It seemed pretty cool, 5K up to 60FPS. That would be enough for most every production.

    • An outfitted Scarlet Dragon will still run about $25K-$30K. Will the difference be worth it compared to an expected gaggle of competitors in the $10K-$12K range?

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