March 21, 2015

RED's New WEAPON Camera Will Likely Get ProRes As a Recording Option

RED WEAPON ProRes
While RED has been committed to RAW, it looks like their new WEAPON camera, which is an upgrade from DRAGON, will get the ProRes codec.

Jarred Land recently posted the photo above, with just the word "ProRes." That's essentially two reveals in one, with the other being the fact that there will be 1TB Mini-Mags coming (and likely 256GB and lower Mini-Mags at some point), something that was already announced a while ago, but is now going to be official come NAB. 

[Update]: Speaking of the top of the camera, here is a look at the new monitor, which doesn't seem to have any wires (Jarred posted this photo and the words
"Wire Removal" on Facebook). It also looks like a setup that doesn't require any tools to attach (click for larger):

RED WEAPON Top of Camera

RED at one time was going to provide a Proxy Module for the EPIC and SCARLET (they killed it), which was going to give up to 2K ProRes HQ recordings:

It's unclear whether they will be creating a new module, or whether WEAPON will be able to record ProRes internally (it seems like it will be internal as their aren't any modules attached in the photo). We also don't know yet what flavors it will record, but if they want to match or exceed other cameras on the market, it should be able to do ProRes 4444 XQ, possibly up to 4K (or higher, as ProRes officially supports higher than 4K). It would also be interesting if the camera could record both ProRes and RAW at the same time, which would probably make a lot of people happy as far as workflows are concerned. 

When RED was first going to introduce ProRes with the Meizler Module (which also never got released), Jarred Land said this:

Brain cannot and will not record ProRes onboard. Not really a mantra but a philosophy. Our foundation is not only based on Resolution, but RAW as well, and we really feel strongly about it.

In the 2 1/2 years since then, ARRI has become a dominant force in the industry, and countless productions have used only the ProRes option on the ALEXA (commercials, music videos, and films). ProRes is extremely popular at this point, and it has found its way into low-end cameras like the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera all the way up to the Sony F55. With so many companies supporting the compressed Apple codec, it would make a ton of sense for RED to include this option right in the camera itself. While there are third party solutions for recording ProRes on RED, having something built-in and fool-proof is often a much better option, and there may even be additional processing to ensure a better result with this baked-in footage.

Jarred also revealed definitively that WEAPON will get slightly better performance out of the DRAGON sensor, so we could see even more dynamic range or better low-light performance. We also know for sure that there will be more than one WEAPON camera (likely Carbon Fiber and regular), and the RED lineup will be as follows: SCARLET DRAGON, EPIC DRAGON, and WEAPON DRAGON. 

As far as what WEAPON will be, we know that not all of the current modules will work, and the camera alone will be slightly smaller, but will be able to take a number of modules for external ports like HD-SDI, HDMI, etc (which will make the camera slightly longer). Phil Holland has put together a great post detailing most of what we know here. And we've got a few photos that start to bring the camera into better focus:

RED WEAPON by Phil Holland

We've also got these photos:

Phil Holland Bill Paxton RED WEAPON

When you check out all of these photos together, it's pretty clear what we've got. The only thing we haven't really seen is the top of the camera, which I imagine is where the fan exhaust is. Now that there is no longer a fan on the front, there may be a bigger fan on top or they've been able to run the camera much cooler inside. It's hard to tell in the Bill Paxton photo if that's an exhaust port on the back, but it seems like the modules would be blocking it if that's what it is (but again hard to tell). 

We know the current side handle probably doesn't work with WEAPON, but what's unclear is whether the control portion on the side of WEAPON in the Chrome Pixel photo above is going to be standard or extra. I really don't see any reason why it wouldn't just come standard with the camera, since tons of productions are going to take advantage of it.

RED is certainly keeping with their modular approach, and while I had heard some rumors about the camera being larger, it's likely that some modules were attached and made it look larger to the people who had seen it (or I had all of that just completely wrong). I'm sure more hints will come out before NAB, but for now at least we know the new camera is going to be even more modular, and it will have slightly better sensor performance.      

Your Comment

19 Comments

Is it me or is the focus of the Chromebook Pixel Photo on the USB type-C port?
Maybe also a clue for what's coming ...

March 21, 2015 at 12:14PM

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Yeah the post where that came from was about the Chromebook. Could definitely be a clue, though certainly he was choosing a sly way to show off the WEAPON.

March 21, 2015 at 12:48PM

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Joe Marine
Camera Department

This is completely ridiculous. Just announce the freaking camera already. All of this secrecy and obscured photos and "hints" is just building cheap, artificial hype that is helping nobody.

March 21, 2015 at 6:13PM

4
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Oren Soffer
Director of Photography
2195

you have a good point

March 21, 2015 at 10:58PM

0
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Caleb E. Carrow
Director of Photography,
176

i want it only because it's a big red weapon!!! just like big red clifford!

March 21, 2015 at 7:44PM

21
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Max Ciesynski
Gaffer
653

Reduced noise levels are welcome, the STH olpf is embarrassingly noisy and still a hair away from Alexa's smooth highlight rolloff. Alexa is the champion of smooth digital overexposure right now. Poor overexposure latitude might be the achilles' heel of CMOS and digital in general.

March 22, 2015 at 2:03AM

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Terma Louis
Photographer / Cinematographer / Editor
1335

Agreed. Pro res is welcome. Even more so that the dragon apparently handles different light (tungsten and others) and ir pollution better... I wonder if the slightly better performance will mean dynamic range closer to the advertised specifications on the current epic dragon? That'd be pretty neat.

March 22, 2015 at 2:42AM

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Dean Butler
Writer Director Shooter Editor
625

yes the Red Dragon with OLPF and without it is extremely noisy past 500 ASA - I don't expect Weapon to solve this - it just a redesign of the body and different chipset, not a new sensor.

the redesign looks better - the EVF port on the back is better and it seems that most cables don't fall under the battery back - but it still looks like once the camera is on a tripod or in a handheld rig it would be tough to get to the connections.

I agree, they should release the full info, instead of dribbling it out.

Also again, I wish they built cameras using user input - again doesn't look like the fan issues are resolved at this point, their achielles heels - but maybe they figured out a more efficient cooling system - so I should not bring that out. I hope that the fan thing, so between takes it not a hairdryer can be figured out.

I am loving reddrgaon color2. They are getting better!

But can they compete with the alexa mini? Only until the cameras are out, and tests are done, they we can start to see what's going on.

March 22, 2015 at 8:09AM

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Ed David
Director of Photography
1412

"again doesn't look like the fan issues are resolved at this point"

What fan issue? have you used one since 2012? I left mine on all day doing various tests and seriously had to put my ear w/in a few inches from the top to even notice it if it was on. The refrigerator compressor from two rooms over behind closed doors was the only fan that got picked up in recorded audio.

"Red Dragon with OLPF and without it is extremely noisy past 500 ASA"

I call BS

March 22, 2015 at 6:08PM

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Daniel Reed
Hat Collector
1401

Weapon...what`s next, Hiroshima?

March 22, 2015 at 4:01AM

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Gerard M.
1177

I know this has been talked to death but is there a D&D LARPing fan behind RED's naming conventions? Do they want people to sound like little kids when they call rental houses and ask "Can I have a weapon dragon please?"

March 22, 2015 at 6:15AM

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Paul Trillo
Director
74

Oakley has a huge mulitibillion dollar military contract selling glasses and boots, so I assume it continues their standard of being military-like - I think it gives the Red company a good old MERICA fuzziness.

March 22, 2015 at 8:06AM

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Ed David
Director of Photography
1412

...at least this time they offer the option to not have "weapon" engraved on the body. They weren`t as diplomatic back then with the highly intelligent naming of an EVF which went by the name "BOMB"...

March 22, 2015 at 11:24AM

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Gerard M.
1177

Woow Great new. FANTASTIC:)
I wait Nab , If Weapon write prores and raw at The same time and have super slow motion at 500 fps i buy it :)

March 22, 2015 at 8:27AM

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Alexx
255

Who are the idiots who "disliked" Alexx's comment?? Dude says he'd buy this camera if it has ProRes and Raw recording simultaneously, and wants slo-mo, which would be awesome to have, but 4 people dislike this?? This site has so many cry babies on it it's insane.

March 23, 2015 at 10:44AM

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Kaster Troy
Director, DP, Editor
759

As the matter of fact, there are tons of comments lately which have a bazzillion down votes that make no sense being there whatsoever, just like in Alexx's. I'm starting to think people get paid by each down vote, so they're spreading the hate. It's ridiculous.
Then again, it's also become pointless to have comment voting because of that, so there's no need to worry about it.
So come on, click that lower chevron!

Right.
Down.
Here.

March 25, 2015 at 10:26PM

0
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Ernesto Mántaras
Director / Editor / Animator
85

Ya, people are paid to vote down on comments on the internet. Money is easy to come by.

March 26, 2015 at 6:45AM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1071

Sounds great. I like a great new filmmaking gadget as much as anyone else. But let's remember one thing. It's the content that really matters - not the camera. No "civilian" cares what camera we shot the movie with - they just want a good movie.

March 22, 2015 at 10:02AM, Edited March 22, 10:02AM

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Ed Wright
Director, DP, Writer
420

I think you're right Ed. No one is sitting in theaters trying to guess the dynamic range of a camera. I think they're just watching the movie.

March 26, 2015 at 6:47AM

5
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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1071