Red-dragon-sensor-e1334563324185-224x207It's been announced - the long awaited successor to the MX sensor, Dragon, is finally getting some specs and a release date. Upgrades for Epic will cost $6,000 and begin late this year, while the Scarlet upgrades won't be until 2013 with a price TBD. Jim slightly broke his rules - announcing specs for something that isn't shipping yet - but it's still fun to see what those guys at RED are coming up with. I just came from the REDUser event where the 4K portrait finalists had their films displayed on multiple 4K TVs all at once - my favorite being the Panasonic 152" behemoth, which isn't even at NAB - only RED had it at their event.

Here are some words from Jim about the new sensor:

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

The full list of specs we know so far:

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

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

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

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

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

Link: REDUser - Dragon