August 30, 2013

RED DRAGON 6K Upgrades Have Begun, JAY Z Music Video 'Holy Grail' Shot on EPIC DRAGON

RED has carved out quite a bit of the professional market with their cameras, and they're trying to do far more than that with their new 6K resolution DRAGON sensor, which according to the company is capable of 16 stops of dynamic range and is very clean at 2000 ISO. Now we have word that the first finished cameras are finally shipping to customers who ordered the upgrade, and we've also got what looks to be the first official music video shot with the camera.

Here is Holy Grail from JAY Z featuring Justin Timberlake, directed by Anthony Mandler and shot by David Devlin (some NSFW language):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AIdXisPqHc

Obviously this is a very strong grade, so you're not really going to be able to make out any dynamic range improvements, but it's interesting to see it being used on such a high-profile shoot before the color science has been finalized. Clearly this was shot with anamorphic lenses, and we've also got some strobes in the video early on, which either means they long enough for the sensor to read them, or the team is playing with the new Motion Mount that acts as a global shutter and ND filter.

Those guys aren't the only ones playing with DRAGON. John Marchant had a little time to shoot with his new DRAGON and shared this clip:

http://vimeo.com/73332322

Here is Jarred Land on REDUser about the announcement:

Dragon Upgrades have begun. The first handful of Dragons have shipped to customers, coincidentally almost 6 years to the day after the we shipped the first RED ONE in 2007.

Michael Bay , David Fincher, and John Marchant being the first 3 to receive their Dragons.

Things will be going pretty slow for the next month, as we are working through a low sensor yield right now, and that won't change until the end of September.

Cameras will be rolling out in small numbers until then.

He also mentioned when we might get a new color/gamma build completely optimized for the new sensor:

DRAGONCOLOR and DRAGONGAMMA will likely come out in October, we still are making sure it covers all the basis. Right now people with the Dragons are using beta builds with an Dragonfied RG3 and RC3 , and that beta build will probably roll out to the public shortly after IBC.

While quite a few high-end directors and DPs have already gotten to play with DRAGON, people like Michael Bay and frequent Darren Aronofsky collaborator Matthew Libatique are now getting the final shipping version of DRAGON:

https://twitter.com/MattyLibatique/statuses/373538452958363648

As for why these people are first, Jarred gave a nice explanation:

Its not the high profile stuff.. its all about people.

Yes Michael Bay and David fincher are big dogs.. but Bay spent alot of time with us on making some of our new accessories work better , And Fincher comes in almost every single week and helps with various pieces of development.

John Marchant is in that first 3 not because he is a big name, but because he has donated a ton of time working on the Monochrome and with Graeme on the underwater colorimetry and various other things leading up to the Dragon.

These are the guys that don't just make money using the tools.. they give up time from their incredibly busy schedules to help us make the tools better.. Everyone wins when that happens. We don't pay any of these guys anything, and they all buy their own cameras, so letting them use the cameras they help develop right out of the gate is the least we can do.

Matthew Libatique is another great example. Yes, he is a big dog, but The new exposure tools that give you 50% grey along with sensor clip and lows was developed by him. The guy is always shooting but yet he comes in on his down days and spends hours and hours with us to make things better.

Every one of these cameras you see going out early has a similar story. So don't feel bad if your number is low or you think you should be next and you see someone else out there swinging around a Dragon... its the only way we get to reward the guys that really make a difference and push us forward.. ultimately making the camera that you do end up getting that much better.

So when you see Guys like Phil , or Evin, or Toia get bumped up later next month, it's because they deserve a little nod. We love you all.. and wish we could do everyone at the same time, but we just havn't figured out how to do that yet :)

So at this point everyone receiving cameras will still be using the beta color firmware for DRAGON, as the finalized DRAGONCOLOR and GAMMA will not be out until October at the earliest. That doesn't mean you'll necessarily have to wait that long for your camera, as the early adopters and EPIC-M users should be getting their number called sometime in September. For us average folks, it may not be until October, but things are supposedly going to ramp up by then. How about SCARLET DRAGON, the lower specced and cheaper version for SCARLET users? I would assume we won't start seeing those upgraded until RED has gone through most of their EPIC upgrades. That could take some time, so it's possible that SCARLET upgrades will take well into the new year (but it's really anyone's guess right now).

EPIC-M owners, who has gotten their number called? What are you most excited about with DRAGON?

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Your Comment

53 Comments

IN BEFORE THE COMPLAINING STARTS!

No seriously, I can't wait for my Epic's number to be punched. This solves many of Epic's main issues, but to be honest the MX sensor makes great images, this only makes it better. /Stoked

August 30, 2013 at 11:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Thom

Yep. If I were you I'd be stoked too! I've seen the pregraded version of the Jay Z Dragon shots above. NICE.
Interesting that Bay has picked up a couple. He's a film boy.
And yes Jim, you've come a LONG way.
/ok the complaints can start now.

August 30, 2013 at 11:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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marklondon

According to IMDB, Red One was used on "Transformers 3" for aerial shots of Hong Kong.

He's currently using the Dragon on "Transformers 4":

http://vimeo.com/73446258

August 31, 2013 at 9:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Daniel

It's nice to have a budget where you can switch to a Dragon.

August 31, 2013 at 12:49PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

If anyone's got it, it's MB!

August 31, 2013 at 12:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Yeah, he's made a little money there. ;-)

August 31, 2013 at 5:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

I kinda don't want to come back to this comment thread tomorrow. I know what I will find. But heck, maybe I should believe I'll find interesting, thought evoking chatter.

.
.
Ok, I'm back to the real world. :-(

August 31, 2013 at 12:18AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

So now that I'm pining away, eating my heart out over seeing that model.......

August 31, 2013 at 12:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

my god she is drop dead beautiful :-O

September 4, 2013 at 12:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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These camera tests are pitifully sexist.

September 26, 2013 at 6:16AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Graham Kay

I had to turn the sound off on the music video but, besides that, it seems like the blue and the green were pushed up a la "Stalingrad" and the "film grain" added. On the positive side, the girl's boobs look very natural. It looks like they're filtering the image but, with 6K to play with, they can.

August 31, 2013 at 1:37AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

I don't understand Hip Hop.

August 31, 2013 at 1:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Johnny

Hip Hop is dead. Jayz is a negative credit to the genre.
The song sucks.

August 31, 2013 at 2:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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VinceGortho

wow a man speaking on the negativity of fame and the abuse of hiphop. in my opinion more people who speak about hiphop doesn't actually understand hiphop. Just had to say that back to topic on hand.

August 31, 2013 at 8:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Howard L Hughes

Negative credit to the genre? What a load of horse-shite. I'm guessing that if he were lilly white you wouldn't have this absurd theory.

JayZ is hip-hop royalty. Few rappers have done more positive in the industry than JayZ except maybe Kanye West. If you think hip hop is dead you simply are just not paying attention. Go see the gazillions of plays their videos get on YouTube, all the Grammy Awards, and multi Platinum albums. Dead indeed...

September 1, 2013 at 7:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Markus Arike

By the way, the song is a huge hit, so as an arm chair pop music critic, you suck.

September 1, 2013 at 7:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Markus Arike

Not the best representation of the new sensor, since the poop-hop music video (not my cup of shit anyway) was graded to hell and back. Let's see what other guys are doing with this thing.

On the other hand, shooting hot babe on the beach with cool camera in your hands could make anyone a Happy (John) Marchant.

August 31, 2013 at 3:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Natt

September 2, 2013 at 3:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Who cares...it's just a camera...........Wish I had the bones for it.........Then I would care.......yeah......but I would break it cause I suck and film near salt water all they time and the little screws would go rusty......and the LCD would get a broken pixel......oh wait...it's just some dried salt water.......Oh...I'm so confused right now.

August 31, 2013 at 3:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Phil

Yeah last Weds. wasn't a bad day at the office :)

What's hard to communicate is that we were pushing the camera's capabilities hard, shooting in an unforgiving way. Hard daylight, no fill, bounce, etc. No silks, no diffusion. The hardest sharpest most clinical contrasty glass. And except for white balance, my images are straight off the camera. No colour work, no image processing at all.

The images do stand alone, but when you find out in person how the camera handles a scene its another level.

August 31, 2013 at 6:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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John,

Thanks for stopping by! Your footage is the best thing I've seen to date from DRAGON -- excellent DR and skintones, which are the two things I'm most looking forward to about the new sensor. Especially considering this is the old color science!

August 31, 2013 at 12:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Awesome! Thanks, John!

September 4, 2013 at 4:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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McBlakewich

If they can't complain about the camera, they'll complain about the music LOL. But I guess ISPs would be poorer if they didn't have these pros in every forum online

August 31, 2013 at 7:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Bobkat

Well, a 4 F-stop ND filter would make the outdoor image look considerably softer.

August 31, 2013 at 8:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

The Dragon is definitely great, but these videos don't really show why it's so great. Better things will show up soon enough.

August 31, 2013 at 10:00AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Daniel

If nothing else it'll be Transformers 4. But I'm like you, looking for a video that shows how beautiful this sensor can be. Jacob Schwarz is in line for a Dragon upgrade. I know he will make something glorious with it. Here's a couple 4K Red from him. It's best to download the largest file from YouTube you can and watch it on your own player:

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

[ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYYYT48Iv_c ]

[ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7WD-SpNX_I ]

August 31, 2013 at 2:54PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

That's another poster - I'm the Daniel who posted the "Transformers 4" link.

I think the John Marchant video looks good. I'd have no idea if it was film or digital unless I was told.

August 31, 2013 at 5:17PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Daniel

Looks very soft. And Using the N word doesn't help anyone. It's racist, ugly, divisive and keeps the wall up. Dragon sensor or not, I'm sick of it.

August 31, 2013 at 10:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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lol the debate over the N word and whether or not it's racist, ugly, and divisive will go on forever and this is probably not the forum to debate it but.... yeah I don't think the compression on the video is the absolute best. Doesn't really do it justice.

August 31, 2013 at 11:11AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I mean, it's YOUTUBE. They could upload and have it play back in 'original' quality. And I think they should!

August 31, 2013 at 11:23AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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David J. Fulde

Your right, this is not the forum for the disscusion of the merits of the N word. I suppose any and all material is OK as long as were're focusing on the qualities of the camera.

August 31, 2013 at 12:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Don't forget it's soft because it's anamorphic. Who wants to see a super sharp image anyway? Softness is ethereal.

I don't like Jay-Z either

August 31, 2013 at 1:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Kevin Pham

Personally I think John Marchant's video shows quite a bit of evidence as to "why it's so great". Undoubtedly will keep on happening, but it is a bit unfortunate when people want to critique non graded footage being stress tested with criteria such as the "best" footage or the like.

It's been stated by all of these fantastic DP's that they are not trying to blow our minds with their skill, they have been abusing the camera to get a sense of it's potential, and then are reporting being very impressed by it... I see no evidence to doubt them at their word. For those who do, I would genuinely be very interested to know why if you could qualify your opinions within relevant parameters of what is being presented?

Personally, the shot's on the beach blow my mind. No bounce and still holding the sky? Great detail in the sand. No noise in the cossie. Even at the peak of the beautiful flaring, quite remarkable how little it washes out - holding colour and detail across the models face (especially knowing there's no grade). Dim tungsten light holding together beautifully... and skin tones look great right out of the box.... And this is the old colour science?

Honestly, it looks more than beautiful, it looks liberating to me. Less time overcoming limitations, means more time to find other ways to help enhance the storytelling.

Great choice of model too :))

Soft... ehehheehe. Creative choice perhaps? Surely even the most ardent RED haters aren't concerned this camera won't be able to produce sharp enough images?

August 31, 2013 at 11:47AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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where's that strobing you talk about? in the closeup of jay-z watching the teles? it's to illustrate the effect of flickering tv screens I suppose?

August 31, 2013 at 6:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Paul

There are strobe flashes in the first 10 seconds of the Jay Z video.

September 2, 2013 at 3:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Brian

I believe Lady Gaga's 'Applause' video was the first music video to be shot on the Epic Dragon. It was released a few weeks ago.

August 31, 2013 at 7:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Glass

No, it was said that it was shot on RED EPIC M-X.

September 2, 2013 at 8:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Josh

Post about the image capabilities of a digital sensor, subsequently get anti-hip hop/Jay-z comments. Our community can be really pathetic.

August 31, 2013 at 8:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Does this footage look better than the Arri Alexa or 35mm film? As far as skin tones?

September 1, 2013 at 9:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Aaron

I honestly haven't seen any footage or images from this sensor yet that really convinces me that it is *that much* better than MX or that it supposedly lives up to the insane amounts of hype RED's online fanbase have generated around it.

Then again, we haven't seen any decent features with it yet so it's a matter of time

September 1, 2013 at 2:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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john jeffries

I like this Dragon.
Raw :)
Out of the box 2000 iso clean:)
Skin tone perfect out of the box :)
Hight DR more film 16 stop usable:)
Slow motion in low light wow :) 300 fps at 2000 iso clean :)
High resolution 6k for photo and video :)
Time Laps at 6k ... Oohh shit.:)

Congrats Red, best sensor of motion capture:)

Red Epic Dragon for a creative world video and photo still.
Play whit this:
http://www.reduser.net/forum/showthread.php?104889-Some-tests-I-would-sa...
http://www.reduser.net/forum/forumdisplay.php?74-DRAGON

September 1, 2013 at 4:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Luigi.valtulini

I came here to post a link to that thread. The thread starter says you can get a very natural look without really lighting.

September 2, 2013 at 8:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Daniel

The strobes somehow look graded in post to me, like with animated exposure sliders in AfterFX. Don't know why exactly. Anyone else feels the same?

September 1, 2013 at 7:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Petr

The first few strobes appear to be real and do seem to exhibit a negligible rolling shutter effect when you step through frame-by-frame. The next set of strobes may have been added in post.

September 2, 2013 at 3:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Brian

Upon closer frame-by-frame inspection, some of the subsequent flashes reveal a hard shadow on the wall behind him that indicate it's done in-camera.

September 2, 2013 at 3:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Brian

yes, it's not the strobing. it's to simulate the tv lights I guess

September 2, 2013 at 4:19AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Paul

The image sucks. It reeks of RED. RED is dead. Good riddance!

September 7, 2013 at 7:40PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Alexa Blackmagic

I'll be more happy when i don't have to sit through a JayZ video to watch some footage

September 9, 2013 at 9:16AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I think it is very telling that Matthew, David, and Michael spend so much time helping with development. I did not know that they devoted so much time helping to make the camera work. I know Matt and Davids work on the b&w Justin Timberlake video with the Epic monochrome was awesome. Shot entirely at 3200 ISO if I remember correctly. Pretty amazing if you ask me. Libatheque is easily one of the finest working DPs and has shot on film primarily, so for him to buy two Dragons says a lot.

The skin tones look much better on the Dragon, overexposure too. Better rolloff. Could tell in the scenes with the girls in white sheets in music vid, and girl on beach. I would love to shoot on one. Still not 35mm film, but close enough for most applications. Skin tones is where 35mm is still the best. People always say exposure but I think skin tone is what makes film shine. Does anyone agree? I have shot and projected my own 35mm one light transfer and nothing is more magical than that. Not one single thing.

September 12, 2013 at 9:13AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Miles

I wonder is there a question about can we really see the result of difference such a dynamic range and pixel amount.Performance values,it is okey. but that is deal to shooter.Do you know any display or projector that gives this kind of color tonal range.It's not our pc screen or tv even they most expensive one.

September 29, 2013 at 6:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Turker Metingul

i really didn't see any good footage on jz's flick, looked bad to be exact???????????

November 2, 2013 at 2:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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tom

oh, point the lens directly into the sun and win an academy award like everyone else!

November 2, 2013 at 2:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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tom

you don't see good skin tones because no one has makeup on in most of these trials as a rule

November 2, 2013 at 2:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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tom