October 3, 2013

RED DRAGON 6K & Anamorphic Lenses Have Mated. Here's the Gorgeous Result

Tired of RED DRAGON footage yet? Well we've got some you've never seen before: Anamorphic. That's right, for the first time you can feast your hungry eyes on some video shot in 6K anamorphic. The Diamond Bros. -- Josh and Jason -- had only 6 hours to play with a RED DRAGON before a scheduled shoot, so they threw some Elite Anamorphics (32mm, 50mm, 135mm) on the camera and shot some available light footage guerilla-style around NYC. Check it out below:

Here's what the Diamond Bros. said about the new sensor:

The Dragon is handily 2 stops over the previous Epic MX sensor which in its own right is a stellar sensor. We found ourselves able to expose and ISO where we would not have been able to before without being in the outer limits. I say handily 2 stops over because it's actually more than that but subjectivity and personal sensitivity to noise floor is for everyone to decide on their own above that. I think one of the bigger eye openers is the slow motion. Higher fps performance at seemingly ludicrous compression ratios. We shot 6K 2:1 Anamorphic 2x at 80fps 17:1. That's right 17 to bloody 1. You can see in the piece that the compression looks nowhere near that. Also, one of the biggest leaps of all is being able to shoot lower ISO's without highlight penalties or pinky purple weirdness invading your upper registers.

About shooting and post:

There is no grading on any of these shots other than some white balance and RC3/RG3, obviously older anamorphics are softer and we were often wide open at 2.5/2.8 which is not the sharpest point of the lens but this was not a scientific test, this was an available light shoot in a public hotel with no permits or agreements with the hotel...

...I personally rate our Epics at 800 and am very comfortable w "noise" in my image as we push into the higher ISO's. I started noticing that situations we would normally shoot at around say ISO2000 we were very pleased at ISO1000/1280 on Dragon and could've prob gone lower. ISO320 outside is a pleasure, no highlight penalties for lower ISO's is so killer.

The first still image above is easily my favorite of the bunch, and it's one of those things you need to look for if you're trying to see what the sensor can do. It's holding dynamic range in both highlights and shadows, especially the lightest area near his right arm. My biggest issue with RED footage that I've seen before is still the sickly yellow that you can get from lower Kelvin lighting situations, and again I'm not seeing it in this footage -- especially in that second still where it might start rearing its ugly head.

We have talked a lot about the various potential benefits of the new sensor, but as the guys mentioned above, being able to shoot at much higher compression ratios is a huge deal. With 6K footage, your files are gigantic, so you'll need to shoot higher compression if you want to keep your data down to a much more manageable level. Obviously some compressions issues might disappear in the downscale from 6K to 4K or even 6K to 1080p (then again to 720p for the Vimeo video), so it will be interesting if the cleaner DRAGON sensor will also be able to do such crazy-high compression ratios at 5K, 4K, and 3K. I would guess you might start seeing issues more in the lower resolutions, but when people get their hands on them we'll find out.

I've always thought the anamorphic lenses were a great way to take the harsh digital edge of the RED cameras -- even beginning with the original M camera on Steven Soderbergh's Che Part 1, and it's no different here with DRAGON. If RED actually introduces a user-upgradeable and removable low-contrast/softening filter that they mentioned they were looking into, I think you'll have even sexier-looking footage.

Read more about the shoot on the Vimeo page or on REDUser using the links below.

Links:

Your Comment

62 Comments

Now show us some Digital Bolex Anamorphic...

October 3, 2013 at 5:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Alex Rednaxela

Am I right in thinking if the sensor is not 4x3, then you're not using the full 6K resolution?
I remember shooting 2x anamorphic with the Epic and it came out as 3.3K.

October 3, 2013 at 5:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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RobW

Yes you're right ! Unlike the Alexa studio or Plus 4/3, the sensor on the Epic Mx is not 4/3 but 1.9:1 if I'm not wrong. I remember too shooting 2x Anamorphic in "5K Ana" mode on the Epic Mx and the file came out, as you said, something like 3K (it's not using the full sensor in 2x Anamorphic). But I don't know concerning the Dragon : is it 1.9 too ?

October 3, 2013 at 8:03AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tom

Thanks Tom. Then why call it 6K anamorphic? I know its semantics, but that's where a company like RED puts its money.
I just re-read the article and they shot 2:1. Wouldn't you want a ratio that is more vertically biased (like the ANA mode), rather than less so?. Using a 4:3 image out of a 2:1 image doesn't sound like using the most sensor area..

October 3, 2013 at 9:01AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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RobW

Red 2:1 is a standard RED setting (not 2.39:1 to have a little breathing room to reframe as is usually done with super-35 or 4-perf 1.85:1. The ANA setting to make up for the fact that the lenses squeeze the image 2 times in the vertical dimension. So you can see it normally without having to convert in post so people aren't super skinny looking. Anamorphic lenses are designed for 4:3 4 perf 35mm.

I'm kind of amazed at RED for not doing a 4-perf (aka 4:3) sensor with Dragon they way Arri started doing the Alexa Studio.

Red has to understand this---before they disbanded their lens division, they had decided (against original intent) to start making anamorphic lenses due to overwhelming demand.

I'm curious to how much bigger the 6k delves into the vertical space cropped out of the 5K Epic/scarlet area...meaning there should be a little less loss of resolution using anamorphic lenses in 6k than in 5K (the Total Recall remake, Elysium, Haywire...all shot with the MX sensor, so they all have this loss Tom talks about).

October 3, 2013 at 10:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Daniel Mimura

I'm wondering the same thing. I think someone said (Jim maybe) that while 5K Ana mode is like a 2x horizontal crop the 6K ana would be closer to 1.5.

October 3, 2013 at 10:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I had the chance to "touch" an Epic Dragon yesterday in a camera rental company, and it seems that you have different settings and combinations for anamorphic (wether 6K, 5.5K, 5K, 4K 3K or 2K). First you can select the "squeeze ratio" of your lens : 2x or 1.3x (for example for Hawk moderne anamorphic series 1.3x). And here is something I didn't quite understood (I have to go back to this rental house and do some tests) : you can choose 6K 2:1 Ana, 6K WS Ana, and I think even 6K HD (1.78) Ana. And all these modes are available in 1.3x or 2x.
I had not Anamorphic lens I could borrow to test these different ratios but it was quite odd. You now have a new menu to make your own setting and combinations and (in anamorphic mode) it indicates your resolution of shooting (squeezed) and your final resolution (desqueezed, which is obviously smaller). I think I'll do more tests just to have reel numbers, depending on the setting you make.
But in any cases even in 6K, since the sensor is not 4/3 and the majority anamorphic lenses (except 1.3x lenses designed for 16/9 sensors) are designed for 4/3 sensors (like Daniel said 35mm 4 perf) you're not using the full resolution.
Another fun thing is that Dragon sensor is slightly bigger than original 5K MX sensor so mind your short focal lengths in some models : for example 25mm Master Prime has a little vignetting...

October 8, 2013 at 5:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tom

anamorphic ...on a arri studio...that's wow!

October 3, 2013 at 6:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DIO

Good camera, no doubt, but what boring test. Thanks for sharing though.

October 3, 2013 at 7:27AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Daniel

+1

October 3, 2013 at 9:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

Music is rotten, footage boring, dude awkwardly looking at the camera, worse than the regular girl with big tits walking around. Not helping red with this. Next time you got a spare 6hrs catch a film.

October 3, 2013 at 8:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Garry

I always just mute camera tests because nobody who is into cameras also has good taste in music

October 3, 2013 at 3:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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john jeffries

6 hours and they shot a guy walking. Stupid. In 6 hours I could of shot a short. Waste of time.

October 3, 2013 at 9:23AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mr Enis

Oh sure you could have shot a short in 6 hours if you had had time to get the equipment and actors script ect ect before hand. Get real man first of all this is about the sensor not how to make a great flick. It shows what the gear heads want to know about its capabilities and it did well. but there is no way with out any planing that you are going to shoot a good short in 6 hours when you just got the camera and only have 6 hours to use it. I'm not even a Red fan but I was impressed by the colors and look using just available light as they did.
People always want to complain about something it seems no matter if they are justified. Some people wouldn't be happy if you hung them with a gold rope I'm guessing.

October 3, 2013 at 10:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gary

Hanged.,

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

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James

But then this question arises - why six hours? Why can't a major (in show biz terms) camera manufacturer give someone a week or so to put out footage than everyone could appreciate? This isn't a $1,200 Canon 70D but a $50K big budget camera. Get it in the hands of known DP's and let them practice their craft. Shoot a scripted short, with both indoor and outdoor lighting. Why test with a couple of guys in a hotel guerrilla style? It brings own stench because you darn well know most of the Dragon usage won't be done the same way.
.
And, by the way, I don't dislike the provided video but I don't think it was made as well as it could have been made. To wit, the scripted Alexa anamorphic short linked a few hours earlier.

October 4, 2013 at 10:23AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

Thanks RED for the test, but as others have mentioned, a camera test should divulge more in a shooting condition. ARRI's videos with their Master Anamorphic lenses were featured through short films, and gives the viewer a better idea of how the qualities of the camera/lens are nuanced in a proof of concept.

I understand the usefulness/need for tests, but the proof is in the pudding as they say.

October 3, 2013 at 9:23AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Steve

Where are those Master Anamorphic test videos??

October 3, 2013 at 10:12PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtRh5hLXNBs They shot this with the the arri 50mm master anamorphic

October 4, 2013 at 3:28AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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.... didnt know the Elite lenses, they are aroung 5k, not bad for a cine anamorphic.
The test is boring.

October 3, 2013 at 10:07AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Premini

Best camera on the planet. Bar none.

October 3, 2013 at 10:08AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Carey

That does appear to be the case. It makes glorious footage!

October 5, 2013 at 12:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

Where would the world be without people who never make mistakes, would would have put together something on the level of Scarface in 6 hours? Jeez people didn't your mom teach you "If you have nothing good to say, then don't say it?"

October 3, 2013 at 10:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Buddy

one Would! :)

October 3, 2013 at 10:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Buddy

" Jeez people didn’t your mom teach you “If you have nothing good to say, then don’t say it?” "

You're correct sir. Lots of commenters on the internet could use a mother telling them that!

October 5, 2013 at 12:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

The song RULES! It sounds so familiar but I cant quite put my finger on it...
Pele? Battles? Tortoise?

October 3, 2013 at 10:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tortoise - The Taut and Tame

October 3, 2013 at 10:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I am disappointed. I was expecting more Scandinavian boobs.
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And I think lots of people will look for older lenses to soften up the Dragon look.

October 3, 2013 at 10:58AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

please to everybody, tried to be more respectful about others works.

October 3, 2013 at 11:03AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ignacio

Whatup with these guys?
CA all over the place.

October 3, 2013 at 11:47AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Sico

Man, what's with all the complaining? Footage looks great to me.

October 3, 2013 at 12:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Matt

NFS is beginning to attract some real oddballs. The footage looks great. I've also been in that hallway - its DARK. Looked good.
Re this: "user-upgradeable and removable low-contrast/softening filter"
I know what you meant but I find the Tiffen Digital Diffusion 2 filter works great when I want that (which is 90% of the time). It even works great on ML RAW to take the edge off and give a more supple image. I have screw ons in various sizes so no matter what camera/lens combo I can usually get them on (apart from very wide).
Most people on here who wax rhapsodic about the 'Alexa look' don't realise that a lot of it is being done with that Tiffen filter. Very rare I see an Alexa on set without one, and if you're shooting ML RAW, especially with actors I strongly recommend it as well.

October 3, 2013 at 1:01PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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marklondon

October 3, 2013 at 1:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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RJ Blooks

Yes, but sorry - clumsy typing fingers: I use 1/2, not the 2! http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001U88A08/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?i...
It just gives that hint of softness in highlights and on skin.
Hurlbut did a great test a year ago:
https://vimeo.com/43850631
Note his reply to a question below. I also use Glimmerglass when I want that primetime TV look on a closeup(I don't think they could make Castle/Revenge/Blacklist without that filter!)
Hope that helped.

October 3, 2013 at 3:05PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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marklondon

I'm with you on this mate, NFS needs a user rating system or something. So much trash is being thrown around on the comments section... Which is not great, because that's where some of the best information is - great anecdotes about real world experiences and experience driven responses about hardware and software! It seems lately, I really have to pick through the garbage to find something worth reading...

I like the tip about the Tiffent filter! - I had my first shoot with the Epic last weekend and hadn't heard much about digital diffusion filters! Now cutting the footage, it would be cool to have something to take the edge off.

October 3, 2013 at 7:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Lloyd

One more thing - I would pass out from pleasure putting the Hawk 74s on this cam. Can't wait.

October 3, 2013 at 3:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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marklondon

I'm still waiting for those lenses to show up in some rental houses! Haven't heard anything as of yet though, you?

October 3, 2013 at 10:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Have you checked Camtec in Burbank. They have some Hawks. Not sure if they have a Hawk 74s.

October 4, 2013 at 1:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I used a set with kit we had from AbelCine (F65), but it may have just been a loaner/demo set we had as a favour. Beyond gorgeous. You just wanted to never stop shooting. That was 2 months ago? They need to get those puppies out.

October 4, 2013 at 2:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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marklondon

The camera must be amazing but the video does a terrible job in selling it. this is a good selling video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR9KuM_dw00

October 3, 2013 at 3:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Marcus

No question that video does an excellent job of selling the Alexa. Having said that, there was a lot more than just one camera, not to mention a lot more venues, and most importantly, a boat load more time in which to plan, shoot, and edit the result.

October 3, 2013 at 4:26PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mr Wild Biker Bill

The Alexa is a much better camera than the Red Epic or Dragon. The Alexa produces much better colors

October 3, 2013 at 4:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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AlexaMan

Fanboy slim.

October 4, 2013 at 12:33AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Natt

BOT

October 4, 2013 at 5:20PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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hansd

Blah blah blah

October 5, 2013 at 11:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Nazdar

It's not all about the colors.

October 6, 2013 at 1:20AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

@Mr Wild Biker Bill . All true, nevertheless their are failing to get more people excited about this camera which I'm sure is great. I have a Scarlet and if I compare specs Dragon is way superior but comparing the images that I have with these, honestly I don't feel I'm missing out much. Wait until you have more cameras, more time and commission somebody good to impress people. Then let up for the users to do boring test videos.

October 3, 2013 at 10:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Marcus

Looks ok, but nothing better than what's currently available by other camera manufacturers.

October 3, 2013 at 4:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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AlexaMan

I don't know what your STD has to do with anything but tetracycline should clear that right up.

October 3, 2013 at 6:56PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Brian

is that the thieves from Upstream Color ??

October 3, 2013 at 7:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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It sure is. Maybe there is some sort of hidden message within that ties into Upstream Color?

October 3, 2013 at 9:21PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

or you can just buy an Alexa, and not have to deal with needing expensive tricks to avoid a harsh digital look.... this idea has worked wonders for Hollywood.

October 3, 2013 at 9:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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MarkRentin

Alexa better have a 4K camera soon. Time is passing them by.

October 3, 2013 at 10:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

Alexa has an OLP and the IR filters - one softens the look; the other cuts off the portions of the invisible - and, occasionally, the visible - red. That's your secret sauce. (plus, the software and the custom made sensor)

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

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DLD

All Red sensors are custom made too

October 5, 2013 at 11:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Nazdar

Looks great, but the opening scenes show IR contamination in the blacks. The latest in high tech and the IR problem still persists!

October 3, 2013 at 9:38PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Someone fucked up the contrast big time. Look at these blown out highlights, notice that screengrabs are fine, therefore the highlights are still there in Raw source. Good job Diamonds, you made Dragon look like original M sensor. You don't need to be a smart guy to make Alexa and F65 look like dog shit.

October 4, 2013 at 12:30AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Natt

Well done Red, that looks very nice. But,mas always with Red, the final result is only a small part of the story. The camera is a pig to shoot with and that won't change till they design a new model. Not a fan.

As for the test. If they shoot a short everyone rags on them for being crap storytellers because they don't like the direction or the writing. This was a test of banality. Most people shoot banal work. In that regard it's perfect. If you can't use your imagination to see that controlled lighting would improve something that's already very good, then you're a moron.

Maybe we need to start a guild of camera testers with annual awards so all the idiotic commenters on here have somewhere else to go. Would that make you all happy!? Go to a rental house and do your own homework.mit's really not that difficult.

October 4, 2013 at 3:11AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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RED didnt make any of these tests. That Arri video does a great job of selling the alexa but it was a promo video created by Arri, RED has done no such thing yet. These are other people shooting the camera. They had the camera 6 hours BEFORE a shoot, presumably shot on dragon.

October 4, 2013 at 4:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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carlos

Wrong.

October 4, 2013 at 5:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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ianb

Have no idea where this is, so Im intrigued. The bidluing looks as though it has a medical emblem on it, and the klong - well it could be in Thonburi? Kung Hei Fat Choy! I expect the place will be heaving with HK-ites, and others from Chinese dominated areas, including of course the PRC.

March 18, 2014 at 4:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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V= Vertical Resolution; AR = Aspect Ratio (flat); SQ = Squeeze Factor; V * AR * 1/SQ
Alexa (4:3) 2880 x 2160 (5184x2160)
@2.4 & 2x ana
=2160 x 2.4 x 1/2
=5184 x .5 = 2592 not 2880
but
@ 2.66* & 2x ana
=2160 x 2.66... x 1/2
=5760 x .5 = 2880
*=2.666666666666667 or something

sooo ... a 4:3 sensor and 2x glass results in a 2.66:1 (Super 16) aspect ratio not a 2.4:1.

This test was shot at 6K (2:1) Ana. Please correct me if I'm wrong but I believe its:
3684x3072 (7368x3072)
2x@2.4:1 =
3072 x 2.4:1 x 1/2
7368 x .5 = 3684

You get 2.4:1 stright out of the Epic Dragon with:

(6:5)
6K = 3792x3160 or (7584x3160) full height
2x@2.4:1 =
3160 x 2.4:1 x 1/2
7584 x .5 = 3792 :D
&
5K = 3240x2700 or (6480x2700)
2x@2.4:1 =
2700 x 2.4:1 x 1/2
6480 x .5 = 3240 :D

I guess if you insist on wiggle room there is always the
4K (5:4) = 3840x3072 (7680x3072) (which I belive is essentially 6K (2:1) ana used in this video)
2x@2.5:1 =
3072 x 2.5:1 x 1/2
7680 x .5 = 3840
or
4K (4:3) = 3840x2880 (7680x2880)
2x@2.66 =
2880 x 2.66... x .5
7680 x .5 = 3840
or
3.5K (4:3) 3360x2520 (6720x2520)
2x@2.66 =
2520 x 2.66... x .5
6720 x .5 = 3360
or
the same results as the Alexa with
3K (4:3) 2880 x 2160 (5760x2160)
2x@2.66 =
2160 x 2.66... x .5
5760 x .5 = 2880

SO if you prefer 2x over 1.3 for the unmistakable anamorphic look I believe the Epic Dragon has more choices, hence the title: "RED DRAGON 6K & Anamorphic Lenses Have Mated." If you disagree, please use math not semantics. And just to be fair, I'm sure that after they stopped running up and down the street screaming they had a Dragon & high fivin each other there was really only 2 hours left to film. :D

June 23, 2014 at 1:31AM, Edited September 4, 11:56AM

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