November 26, 2013

6K RED DRAGON Goes Airborne for These Gorgeous Aerials

Video thumbnail for youtube video RED DRAGON 6K Goes Airborne in These Gorgeous Aerials - No Film SchoolWhile 6K from RED DRAGON is going to make for better-looking 4K footage because of resolution loss due to debayering, there will likely be times when it's overkill for the project you're shooting. Aerial footage is not one of those situations, however. Dynamic range and resolution are both important, as is the rig you're actually using, but the results from the following videos speak for themselves. Luke Neumann recently got the chance to test the GSS C520 Gimbal along with Doug Holgate and Nathan Garofalos, and they've posted some DRAGON samples for us to drool over.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wE5zA7FlAeQ

And there are also some new shots mixed in here as well from :

http://vimeo.com/79894884

Here's what Nate said on REDUser (Luke also mentioned he's trying to post some R3D files soon as well):

First off, the camera has more dynamic range than I can comprehend... Its hard to clip your highlights, and a pretty amazingly low noise level... For the first time, I am seeing more detail, clearer sharper images, than I am with my own eyes... 

GSS worked with me and my company, Horizon Cinema to integrate my carbon fiber Red Epic Dragon delivered on November 12, 2013. The moment I received the cam, the GSS engineering team integrated the Dragon within hours and had it ready to fly in less than two days. Angel City Air provided use of their Fujinon Premier 18-85 and Canon 30-300 for the aerials. Helicopter Resources provided use of their Angenieux Optimo 24-290mm lens as well. We flew one day in Grass Valley November 18th with Doug Holgate and Neumann Films. I saw a storm was coming through Lake Tahoe, my back yard, its very rare I get to work where I live, and thought it'd be fun to go fly around for a couple hours after the fresh snow later that week, and this is a teaser of what I came up with...

The shoot went amazingly well... I really tried to push the camera to the limits, shooting in very low light, into the sun, high contrast, etc... As you can see, it looks great!! 

If you guys want, I can get a 4k version of everything up here with Jarred's help ;-) 

Ask away on any questions you have about the cam and gimbal, Ill put some r3d's up here at some point as well for everyone to check out... 

All of these shots were with the Canon 30-300mm and Fujinon 18-85mm, so this setup is certainly at the upper end for a rental, but the images just amazing. While some have argued about image quality when it comes to shooting people, there really is no question that RED has produced some jaw-dropping aerials, where resolution is important for capturing the full detail of a scene. With more dynamic range, resolution, and sensitivity, there are going to be even more amazing aerial videos coming from setups like these.

To read more about the C520 5-axis gyro-stabilized platform, head on over to the site here. The whole setup can be rented from Horizon Cinema with Halcyon Visuals, which includes the RED DRAGON camera that can be rented separately.

Links:

Your Comment

46 Comments

They need to post 4K and 2.5 samples too. In 1080p, it still looks good but as sharp as it is capable of.

November 26, 2013 at 6:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

Hard to evaluate the sharpness at 1080p. Does not look better than cineflex Alexa footage(which Luke already filmed). Still useful for crops of course (which I would love to see).

November 26, 2013 at 6:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Haroun Souirji

Dynamic range though...that blew me away. A 4K version of this should be online soon.

November 26, 2013 at 7:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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I can imagine that :-) Looking forward to using one.

November 26, 2013 at 7:41PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Haroun Souirji

5 axis gyro, it only gets better and better I guess. Beautiful scenery, what's not to love.

November 26, 2013 at 8:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Marino

The fact that I can't and most likely will never own one. But seriously - beautiful work. Jealous.

November 26, 2013 at 9:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Well, 4K (if not 6K) cameras in a prosumer price range are around the corner. The gimbals based stabilizers are available for as low as $1K (in kit form). The choppers are indeed pricey but the mini drones can provide a reasonable facsimile of these shots. Red will have a temporary edge in the sensor area until the next big development though.

November 26, 2013 at 10:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

4K tvs are well under $1000.00 now too, for black Friday I think. Seiki 4K 50" tv for $759.99

http://www.sears.com/seiki-50inch-class-4k-120hz-led-ultra-hdtv/p-057715...

Seiki 4K 39" tv for $482.99

http://www.amazon.com/Seiki-Digital-SE39UY04-39-Inch-Ultra/dp/B00DOPGO2G

You just need a 4K resolution video card and you're peas and carrots.

November 27, 2013 at 12:57AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1O9bdQ_AyY&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Saw this the other day Gene. It's lookin good.

November 27, 2013 at 9:42AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Marino

There are also plenty of (relatively) inexpensive 4K cams soon to be released, both in the DSLR/DSLM and camcorder formats. As to the dynamic range, there are software companies claiming to deliver 20 stops to a "regular" cameras. Hypothetically speaking, using the exposure bracketing and a high FPS, one can play with the ISO in every frame in small or even fairly large increments. The concept runs into problems at the outer edges of the spectrum but, given the reasonably correct exposure settings, a powerful processor can run the entire scale within the 24 frames.

November 27, 2013 at 9:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DLD

The 50" is now at $749.99 at Sears com. $10.00 lower than it was this morning.

November 27, 2013 at 11:15PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

What's up with the spam about TeeVee's? This is the second comment in recent articles about this..

December 9, 2013 at 8:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Daniel Mimura

I say forget ownership at this level. Unless you're that commercial guy that's hired out 200 days a year, or a full service production company, imho it's best to rent this this jewel. Look how easy these guys at horizon make it, they have everything you need and more, including the helicopter :)

November 27, 2013 at 9:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Anthony Marino

On something this big how do you still manage to get your mattebox in the shot ><

November 26, 2013 at 10:12PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Michael Solomon

I hope you're kidding. If you saw the rig, there is no matte box on it. That's probably part of the gimbal or the bottom of the helicopter.

November 26, 2013 at 10:53PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Harry Pray IV

Regardless of what it is. I'm curious how something like that gets by so many people and still makes it into the final product. They were shooting 6k, you could crop it out. Hell, you could even easily color/comp it out.

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

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Michael Solomon

It's actually the vignetting from how big the sensor is. It was cropped quite a bit as is. You should see the original 6K files when the lens is at it's widest...crazy vignetting.

November 27, 2013 at 12:26AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Well that explains it. And brings up the interesting question of what glass will actually cover the full sensor. Regardless, it was something extremely distracting for my OCD self despite being a beautiful display of the cameras dynamic range.

November 27, 2013 at 12:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Michael Solomon

What shots did you notice it in? At most I see soft vignetting...

November 27, 2013 at 12:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Here is an uncropped look at how much the lens we used was vignetting on the wide end.

http://neumannfilms.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/11.jpg

November 27, 2013 at 12:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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So, basically the so called "game changing 6K Dragon" is not actually a "6K" camera...

Company that manufactures the sensor for Red could not do standard Super35 sensor with 6K resolution. So they were forced to make it bigger. This combined with non-mature process resulted to vastly inferior yields, with huge amount sensor silicon having defects.

Sony F65 is what, two years old ? It took all this time to Red get camera that has about the same final rez than F65, with slightly more DR.

If you were to put F65 there in the heli instead of that Dragon, would anyone notice any REAL difference with final 4K product ?

Of course if you asked that "certain sunglasses salesman" there is HUGE difference.

It is just that reality and fantasies are completely different things...

November 27, 2013 at 5:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Juhan-i

Of course it is. Same thing happens when you put a Tokina 11-16 on a 5D Mark III. It's the closest thing on the market to a medium format digital cinema camera and that's something that is sought after (other than the medium format Phantom).

November 27, 2013 at 6:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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@Juhan-i

Wow, I guess Imax must really suck since it's way bigger than Super 35.

November 27, 2013 at 6:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gabe

I love the smell of 6K in the morning.

November 27, 2013 at 12:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gene

same old

November 27, 2013 at 1:29AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DIO

(bites fist)

November 27, 2013 at 2:04AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Yeah. Lot of idiots about today. Schools out?
Have you heard from Vantage lately? Told them to drop you a line re the Hawk 74s.
Great looking footage BTW.

November 27, 2013 at 5:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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marklondon

Whoa thanks! I called them and they were still in the same boat, everything they have is tied up 6 months out.

November 27, 2013 at 6:07PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Well yeah, bite it instead of use it. ;-)

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

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Gene

Impressive the Dynamic Range...
excuse me Luke m you have work with Alexa and for you Dragon is more in highlight ?

thanks

November 27, 2013 at 4:41AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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ALexiss

Again, didn't do any tests but it was pretty obvious just by looking at it that it has more highlight room than the Alexa.

November 27, 2013 at 11:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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November 27, 2013 at 5:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DIO

Hey nice video, but you can't be implying GoPro at 720p looks as good as the 6K Red Dragon.

Surely you jest.

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

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Gene

On Youtube I watched it at 720p and it looked good but not "super-tastic" as such. Demo video to demo video at 720p, the Sony PXW-Z100 looked as sharp to my eyes, but I guess the Dragon has fire breathing ability at more other levels.

November 27, 2013 at 12:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Saied

I can barely see any landscape detail on the rocks. I could say more, but I mean it's pretty obvious.

November 27, 2013 at 3:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tyler

Newport!!!

November 27, 2013 at 11:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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with all due respect, i think you guys see what you wanna see. i don't see anything spectacular about the dynamic range. resolution, i can't judge, but i believe it is great. (by the way, how did you watch the full res video? did you build a projector for it?)

November 27, 2013 at 4:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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visualbassist

"i don’t see anything spectacular about the dynamic range."

Really? Not even the fact that the only thing blowing out is the center of the sun, or the way the camera can also clearly make out the contrast of the town lights at night?

I mean these are clearly difficult lighting conditions, what isn't visible that makes you think the dynamic range isn't special?

November 27, 2013 at 4:09PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gabe

maybe i see a different video. or a different sun... even if you look at the first shot, a very large area around the sun is clipped. shadow detail (the trees on some of the darker shots, or the evening shot of the town that you mentioned) is very nice indeed, but as i said, i see nothing i haven't seen before from an alexa or (and i don't wanna start a flame)...film.

November 27, 2013 at 4:29PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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visualbassist

I can say with almost 100% certainty that there would be clipping around much more than the center of the sun on the Alexa. The clouds surrounding it in that situation would be blown out. I don't know HOW much more it has than the Alexa, I just believe it has enough to be noticeable...which is an improvement over the MX.

November 27, 2013 at 5:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Well, I don't know what to say...I personally can't find any Alexa footage that looks this good. Would love to see some examples.

Film definitely can't hold shadow detail in those twilight shots though...not just because of grain muddying the shadows, but because of the physics involved...there's a threshold where low amounts of light don't activate the chemicals, so there's a much quicker fall off in the shadows. So film would definitely not do as well here. I've seen this myself shooting 35mm stills.

November 27, 2013 at 5:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gabe

no arguments there. digital sees better in the shadows, and has been for many years now. the remark about film was only about highlights, i didn't make myself clear about that. pre-exposure (flashing) is somewhat of a solution for that, but has side-effects.
i don't have any alexa footage to show you, my experience comes from assisting the alexa on several films, and seeing the footage either on the on-board monitor, or checking the dailies on a laptop. i don't have numbers, or anything. most of these projects were shooting pro-res anyway.
my point was, that i don't really get what all the fuss is about over this video (other than the fact, that it is very well done). we cannot judge the resolution, even if we could, there really isn't too much (if any) practical advantage of 6k, and dynamic range doesn't seem revolutionary either.
i quess we just have different impressions. maybe you saw graded alexa footage, maybe i only saw log-c.
it always tha cameramen that make the difference anyway...

November 27, 2013 at 7:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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visualbassist

Well most of my experience is on the other side of things in vfx. So typically working in linear, but footage usually comes in as log, and leaves as log. But typically shots need sky replacements because of limited DR, and what I'm seeing here is footage straight from the camera that retains all the information that's typically replaced because of low DR. I can't wait to see what the new season of Game of Thrones does with this camera.

November 27, 2013 at 7:25PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Gabe

Dynamic range is best I've seen so far. Would like to see side by side comparison with the F65 which blows the Epic out of the water.

November 28, 2013 at 10:39AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Peter

The reason why some people may not be impressed with the dynamic range is because they might be used to seeing hdr nature time lapses form dslrs or something that shows similar scenes in a very high dynamic range. You also need to work on raw r3d files to really see the value of the resolution or DR. Btw still this is very early in the creative process of the dragon people are still finding ways to use mx or alexas better and getting the most out of these cameras, its going to take time to really see the value of such cameras.
btw great video and thanks for uploading and sharing with us.

November 29, 2013 at 2:22AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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red dragon = enhanced video….this tech…6k..8k..etc. should cost under 1,000 (the tech is cheap) (marketing is expensive)

November 29, 2013 at 2:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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DIO