You may have dealt with Carbon Fiber rails at one point or another -- and you might even own some -- but how about a Carbon Fiber camera? That's exactly what the RED team has created. The California-based company has put their brand new DRAGON sensor into a custom Carbon Fiber shell and machined Magnesium body with a Magnesium PL Mount to bring the weight of the camera down 1 pound. Two of these cameras are going to be used on the HBO series Game of Thrones (which we recently wrote about), but I'm sure most of you are wondering, how much will it cost to get your hands on one?
Here is Jarred on REDUser, plus a picture of the new camera (click for larger):
Meet the Carbon Dragon.
With a Carbon fiber shell and side SSD matched with a machined magnesium body and machined magnesium lens mount it cuts off a full pound from the standard Epic weight. It takes a tremendous amount of time to build each one of these but they are quite incredible.
We are also excited to announce that the first 2 Carbon Dragons are being used by HBO for Game of Thrones, a fitting first flight for one of our all-time favorite shows.
Carbon Dragons will be available to purchase on a one- by-one, build-to-order basis starting at the end of October for $50k, first come, first serve.
$50K is obviously out of the price range of most people, but the original RED EPIC M cameras were right around that when they were first introduced, and this also has the newest sensor inside. One pound may not seem like a huge difference, especially when cameras fully rigged with PL lenses end up weighing into the 20-30 pound range, but that pound can mean a lot for for certain setups, like smaller copters/drones (I'm sure Steadicam operators would appreciate less weight). One pound can mean the difference between being safely within the tolerance for something, and pushing the limit. Of course, the other side of that is when you have productions like Game of Thrones spending millions an episode, they want the best of the best, and there's no reason not to use a lighter camera like this if there are no other differences.
The camera in this configuration should weigh somewhere around 4 pounds, maybe less. If you were using the side handle and touch monitor in a handhold or stills-shooting configuration, that pound is going to make a massive difference. There is only so long you can hold the camera without any support before it's tiring, but I imagine this version with a relatively light lens might actually be workable for longer periods.
While Game of Thrones will continue to be shot primarily on the ARRI ALEXA, they must feel that the DRAGON is a big enough step up in terms of color rendition and dynamic range to use them for the show. It's also possible that they will be using DRAGON for visual effects shots and other moving shots, as 6K (and really 5K for that matter) is going to give you tons of room for stabilization in post for a show that eventually finds its way back down to 1080.
It's probably going to be available from select rental houses, so even if you can't afford the price tag or don't really need one less pound all the time, it should be available for rent should you want that special shot requiring a lighter camera.
What do you think about the DRAGON Carbon? What other situations could you see for needing something like this?