We'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
Incident 2.8 1/2
2.8 (9:1 compression)
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.