In today’s showdown, we have two RED Digital Cinema cameras lining up against each other to take home the title of the best affordable RED camera for film and video professionals.

Okay, that might be a bit dramatic, but to many video pros, the Komodo has proven to be a great entry point for getting started with RED cinema cameras. And this new Komodo X looks to give that legacy a punch up.

But what makes the RED Komodo different from the RED Komodo X? In-person and on paper, they do indeed look quite similar. While obviously the latest version, the X, is going to be a bit more advanced, it’s worth asking if its extra features are worth the price bump as well.

So, without further ado, let’s compare and contrast these two RED Komodo cameras to see which one might be right for you and your video needs.

Red_komodo_2The Red Komodo.Credit: RED

RED Digital Cinema Komodo 6K

Let’s first take a look at the RED Komodo and its specific specs and features. With an all-in-one design that’s both quite lightweight and modular, the Komodo is really defined by its 19.9MP Super 35 sensor and its 6K video capabilities. As with any RED camera, you’re going to get lots of dynamic range and great global shutter technology as the Komodo boasts 16+ stops and eliminates rolling shutter artifacts.

With a price point that rivals the likes of flagship mirrorless cameras from Canon and Sony, the Komodo has proven to be one of the most affordable and accessible cinema cameras on the market. Even if it wasn't quite designed to be used as an indie film or commercial project A-cam (it really was designed to be a B or C-cam on bigger shoots).

Here are the full specs and price:

  • 19.9MP Super35 Global Shutter CMOS
  • Compact, 2.1 lb All-in-One Design
  • Canon RF Lens & ARRI CFast 2.0 Support
  • 16+ Stops Dynamic Range
  • Up to 6K40, 5K48, 4K60 & 2K120 Recording
  • REDCODE RAW HQ/MQ/LQ & Apple ProRes
  • Integrated 2.9" 1440 x 1440 Touchscreen
  • Wireless Control & Preview via Wi-Fi
  • CFast 2.0 Card Slot; RED IPP2 Support
  • EF-to-RF Mechanical Adapter Included

Price: $5,995.00

Red_komodo_xThe RED Komodo X.Credit: RED

RED Digital Cinema Komodo X

Now, onto our new contender. The new RED Komodo X is really just an updated version of the Komodo which aims to be the A-cam for smaller budget filmmakers which they thought they were getting with the Komodo. The X version still has a 19.9MP Super 35 sensor, but with boosted 6K at 80p recording and overall more sophisticated connection options — in particular a USB-C connector designed for multicam setups, IP-based workflows, and live streaming.

You can check out the full specs and price here below as well:

  • 19.9MP Super35 Global Shutter CMOS
  • Compact KOMODO Line Design
  • Locking Canon RF Lens Mount
  • Up to 6K80p & 4K120p Video
  • 12G-SDI, USB-C, 5-Pin Audio Ports
  • 6K Streaming via RED Connect License
  • Wireless Control, File Offload via Wi-Fi
  • Integrated 2.9" Touchscreen

Price: $9,995.00

The Differences Between the Two

As we covered in our original write-up on the Komodo X, you might be hard-pressed to find the differences between the two at first glance. They’re actually the same exact height and width, with the Komodo X coming in just a little bit longer in length. Why you ask? Well, that’s where RED put in that extra I/O and the few extra network features which really define the differences between the two.

The other biggest difference between the two has to do with the sensor. While technically the same by specs (both are Super 35 and have the same 19.9MP layout), the Komodo X has received a completely new sensor architecture with an updated pixel design which RED promises will improve image detail and color in the shadows.

The other differences are more modular and include a connector for an SMC3 7” touchscreen monitor, a native V-mount battery plate, a locking Canon RF mount, and all-new assignable buttons. The I/O has also been bolstered to include a full-sized 1B DC-in connector for power, a 5-pin audio connector for audio, UCB-C, 12G SDI with 4K60 output, and live stream capabilities that should help for more diverse live or broadcast projects.

Which is Right for You?

Ultimately, though, the question as to which camera is right for you is going to come down to a few factors. The first is the price.

While the Komodo X is still certainly a very affordable camera in the grand scheme of things, at ten thousand dollars versus the Komodo at six thousand dollars, we’re talking about a four thousand dollar difference in monetary investment. While your additional add-on gear might be the same, this still might bump your production budgets up a bit.

Still, while it certainly seems like the Komodo was popular, it was arguably popular for the wrong reasons. Designed as a B or C-cam, it was often used as an A-cam for productions.

The Komodo X should be the superior A-cam and will probably be the better bet for most video project types.

The Komodo will still have its time and place, but this new edition should reset it back to its intended purpose as a crash cam or add-on for your bigger productions. Still, at the end of the day, it’s really up to you and your production needs — and your budget at the heart of your investment.

Which camera do you look forward to using? Let us know your thoughts between the Red Komodo and the Komodo X in the comments below!