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. :) 


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...