The thoughts I shared about the camera here are all still valid as pricing will start at $6,000 for the brain/media bay/Canon EF mount, but go up to nearly $10,000 for a bare minimum shooting package (which includes only 1 Mini-Mag SSD). There really weren't any surprises left except for the fact that the camera also has 2K ProRes up to 60fps that is scaled down from the full sensor. It's also capable of 4K RAW up to 120fps, 3K RAW to 160fps, and 2K RAW to 240fps (the latter of which are crops of the sensor).


RAVEN shares basically the same body type as the WEAPON, and uses all of the same modules, except it's slightly lighter at 3.5 pounds. This camera uses a 4K area of the 6K DRAGON sensor, which gives us a 20.48mm image area that's between APS-C and Micro 4/3. 

The video isn't terribly enlightening but it does give you a quick sense of the camera's 3D shape. As far as specs are concerned, here's what we're looking at:

  • 8.8 Megapixel DRAGON Sensor
  • 20.48 mm x 10.8 mm (Smaller than APS-C, Bigger than Micro 4/3)
  • Fixed Canon EF Mount
  • Standard OLPF (Roughly 800 base ISO, maybe less)
  • Same Dynamic Range as WEAPON (safely in the 14 stop range though it's listed at 16.5)
  • RAW: 4K (4096 × 2160) up to 120 fps
  • RAW: 3K (3072 × 1620) up to 160 fps
  • RAW: 2K (2048 × 1080) up to 240 fps
  • 3:1 maximum available REDCODE for 4K (4096 × 2160) at 24 fps
  • 7:1 maximum available REDCODE for 4K (4096 × 2160) at 60 fps
  • 13:1 maximum available REDCODE for 4K (4096 × 2160) at 120 fps
  • Apple ProRes 422 HQ, 422, LT: up to 2K (2048 × 1080) and up to 60 fps
  • Audio: Integrated dual channel digital stereo microphones, uncompressed, 24-bit 48 kHz (Optional 2 additional channels with Expander Module, uncompressed, 24-bit 48 kHz)
  • Monitoring: works with current RED monitors with appropriate adapters (if necessary)
  • Shoots with RED Mini-Mags
  • Built-in Wireless Control (Not for Monitoring)
  • Ethernet, RS232, and GPI Trigger with Expander Modules.
  • ~3.5 lbs (BRAIN with Media Bay and Canon Lens Mount) for this Alluminum Alloy Body
  • Availability: February 2016 for Brain and Brain/Jetpack Package, March 2016 for Base I/O Package
  • Price: $5950 Body Only, Brain/Jetpack Package: $9,750, Brain/Base I/O Package: $9,950


RAVEN, at least at first, is going to ship in three different packages, with the two more expensive kits including the 4.7" touch monitor. You'll be able to buy the camera with the Brain/Side SSD/Canon EF Mount for a little under $6,000, but as I said in my previous post, the camera costs much more to get going. While I was hoping they might have significantly discounted kits, you save only a few hundred dollars by getting one of the nearly $10,000 packages (instead of buying those accessories separately).

Brain Package

Jetpack Package

Base I/O Package


These packages will mostly get you going, but strangely they don't include a media reader at the moment. Let's hope that's just a little bit of oversight because it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to go to these lengths and put these packages together without giving people a way to transfer footage (without buying the reader separately).

You do save a little bit of money going with one of these packages if you were going to buy these exact accessories anyway. With RED (as really with any camera), it's not all that safe just shooting with one card, so I'd add another $850 120GB Mini-Mag as a minimum just to make sure you're able to offload and still shoot. 

RAVEN is Not Really a Budget Camera

RAVEN actually packs some pretty amazing stuff into its package, and it does a lot of what WEAPON does with a smaller 4K sensor. However, this is not a cheap camera. As I wrote in my post, you're absolutely going to be in for more than $10,000 if you want to have a realistic shooting package, likely closer to $12,000 if you want something that has all of the the ports, media, and batteries you need to shoot all day.

It seems like they have come up with a new module that includes some basic ports as well as a built-in V-Mount adapter, which is important since the Jetpack Expander module doesn't have any physical way of connecting a battery and doesn't let you attach more modules — you've got to go through the power port just like with the old RED EPIC/SCARLET bodies. 


The biggest thing I want to make clear about this camera is that you're not going to buy it for $6,000 and shoot with it for that price. This also is a camera in a bit of a different class. This isn't really a run-and-gun shooter, and comparing it to Canon or Sony cameras isn't really that simple or even make that much sense except purely based on shooting 4K and price. There are no built-in ND filters, and it's not going to be all that sensitive ISO-wise compared to a Canon or Sony cinema camera in this price range (it's base is around 800, but could be slightly less as no one has tested the Standard OLPF yet).

Why RAVEN is Still a Big Deal for RED


There are some huge positives for RAVEN, including the fact that it works with all WEAPON modules, and has built-in ProRes (which unfortunately is limited to 2K). While it would have been nice to have had 4K ProRes as we get with Blackmagic's cheap cameras, at least the 2K ProRes is a full scale of the sensor. This camera also technically doesn't need to be attached to any monitors to change settings, as WiFi is built-in. Another advantage is the fact that black shading isn't necessary as often. Proper black shading would ensure less noise in the dark areas, but it was a huge pain in the RED system and something I have never experienced with any other camera body. It's good that they've basically found ways around needing to constantly do it in the newer WEAPON-style bodies. And since it shares the WEAPON body, the fan situation is greatly improved.

You're also getting much higher frame rates than you've ever gotten on a RED camera in this range. Yes, 3K and 2K are crops of the sensor, but 4K at 120fps is more than most people need, and it's far better than anything the SCARLET MX had. That camera really should be retired in order for the RED camera system to make a little more sense.

SCARLET DRAGON is kind of the odd camera out in terms of frame rates, as it's limited to 2K at 120fps, half of what this camera can do, yet the brain price alone is triple. You might be able to shoot at 5K, but I think more people would take the frame rates and features over the slightly bigger sensor area. Let's hope RED makes this product line a little more clear as there are too many older camera bodies in the mix that aren't the best options at their price.

Bottom Line

Comparing this to other cameras is difficult because RED has often done things their own way, and this is a compressed RAW camera with variable settings, something no one else has really done for the prices RED has managed. That said, this is not a cheap camera.

You're going to get stellar image quality with the DRAGON sensor (and great dynamic range), but be prepared to spend well over $10K. If you're looking for an inexpensive camera with EF lens compatibility, there will be other options out there — though there's always a give and take, and other cameras sacrifice ultimate flexibility for cheaper media and highly compressed recording. 

It comes down to what you need a camera to do. If you are in more controlled environments, RAVEN will be a fantastic option, especially as a B-camera to EPIC or WEAPON, but if you're shooting a lot of run-and-gun or you're constantly working with minimal lighting or uncontrolled lighting, you're going to want something with built-in NDs and good low-light, neither of which the RAVEN has.


RAVEN is available to pre-order right now, though as seen above you must put in a deposit. These should start shipping next year, but as with anything RED, don't expect these in any great numbers early on. If this camera is popular enough you may even be looking at Summer 2016 before you can actually just purchase one outright (so plan accordingly).


RED RAVEN Jetpack Package

RED RAVEN Base I/O Package