RED Komodo Footage is Starting to Hit the Internet. What Do You Think?

Credit: Phil Holland
Early RED Komodo test footage is starting to surface.

RED has been delivering Komodo to early adopters for about a week now. In May, Jarred Land posted on social media that RED would start to sell "some crazy colored Komodos to my friends and anyone else who want's be a little 'different'." Since footage of the 6K camera has found its way online. 

It's important to note these early cameras are running beta firmware. The final version of the software won't be made available until RED starts shipping the standard black models. Those are expected to arrive for another month or so. The first batch that shipped included Phil HollandPhilip Grossman, Tim Daust, and Curtis Boggs

Holland has posted several videos and his initial reaction, "Some early thoughts as I continue to dive in. Komodo is super compact. I knew this, but now that I've put a bazillion lenses on there, it's very much a whoa. I have this little cloth bag that's about 1/2 size a cloth grocery bag and I can fit it rigged in there. Feels a bit like DSMC2 loaded with a lot of 'new'."

Holland also did a short camera test with Komodo in 6K 17:9 24p shooting REDCODE RAW HQ. He mentioned the captured images are "straight out of the camera" with a "wee bit of white balance." The color is straight IPP2 of medium contrast, soft highlight roll-off and no grade. The lens used was a Tokina Ciname Vista 25mm T1.5. 

Grossman compared the Komodo with Helium in an "qualitative test comparison" using both cameras maximum resolution and lowers compression. For the test, he used a single Aputure 120d MK II fixture set at 50% power, then reduced it further for the last two clips. He also did some other ISO, high frame rate, and gimbal testing with Komodo. Check out the clips below. 

Curtis Boggs uploaded an unboxing on Vimeo: 

Tim Daust shot some test footage.

He also did complete walkthrough of the menu. 

But Scott Baulkman hosted a nearly six hour live stream with Komodo owners that included Land, who pops in at the 2 hour 30 minute mark

Land pointed out that Komodo was originally conceived as a better crash camera, and has been in the works for about five years. The idea being that Komodo could fit into tighter windows and produce better RAW footage than something like the GoPro. The camera has evolved a lot since then, and is still finding its way. Land said previously the camera would include Phase Detection Autofocus, which is a first for RED.

What do you think of the camera so far? Hit us up in the comments below.      

Your Comment

20 Comments

it's a Red, what i need to told more?
many people will buy it only for name, not for quality of footage.
Anyway seems it's first firmware iteration, the real quality should be valued at december, where people use it, fight with problems, Red adjust and refine (like for every brand and every camera).

June 9, 2020 at 4:27AM, Edited June 9, 4:27AM

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Carlo Macchiavello
Director (with strong tech knowledge)
1060

The footage from these basic tests is not INCREDIBLE, but it is very nice, and with the right lighting and know-how, any camera can look incredible. I think the biggest selling point of this camera is 16-bit R3D files for $7K (or $6K if you wait for the regular black version). No other company can compete with that right now. Sure, Blackmagic RAW is awesome, but it's 12-bit. Sure, Z-Cam and Kinefinity make beautiful cameras with various sensor sizes for less or around the same price, but their raw codecs are supported by, oh yeah, NOBODY. This camera will be a game changer for people to access one of the highest levels of professional raw codecs on the market, including myself. Already on the waiting list for the next batch of colorful cams!

June 9, 2020 at 6:56AM

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Taylor Morgan
Contract Filmmaker
127

Blackmagic Raw is 16Bit Linear, 12bit Log - same as R3D.

Also the Komodo isn't using the usual Wavelet compression of Redcode, its using a different DCT compression (such as you get with Blackmagic Raw) - and one of the big selling points of redcode has always been the wavelet compression. Similarly you won't get the same levels of compression/quality with DCT Redcode so expect much larger files.

So I wouldn't put too much stock in redcode being a key selling point of this camera.

September 3, 2020 at 3:51AM

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Tom Majerski
Video Producer & Filmmaker
385

The footage from the tests above look like garbage. Not impressed, especially coming from a RED.

June 9, 2020 at 9:59AM, Edited June 9, 9:59AM

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Chris Stanley
Cinematographer
131

REDCODE RAW is, IIRC, 16-bit linear, whereas BMD's BRAW is 12-bit but is nonlinear (not sure that means logarithmic).

June 9, 2020 at 1:05PM, Edited June 9, 1:05PM

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Phil's footage is super nice. The micro shake and lack of IBIS is going to make you want to load this camera up before any hand-held filming. Def going to be a powerful ronin cam.

June 9, 2020 at 1:46PM, Edited June 9, 1:46PM

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Remember the tests John Brawley shot for the bmcc 2.5k ? that still looks better haha.

June 9, 2020 at 5:34PM

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frank apollonio
DP/Photographer
226

I have to agree with that! Frankly, in ideal lighting conditions, that bmcc 2.5k is amazing! Very, very few people are realizing this! It's just a pain to use, of course, but as soon as it hits 500 bucks in MFT, I'm buying one!

June 10, 2020 at 3:31AM

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PICKED up a BMCC 2.5 k from a director client I did a script rewrite for (not more than 3 days of work...ez)...it sat on his shelf boxed up for about 8 years. Less than 10 hours of use on it. Internal battery was left on and therefore shot...finally able to track down a brand new replacement internal battery BMD actually had unsold in their warehouse for years!! getting it in a few days. Looking at the newest 6k Z Cam...BMD ursa mini 4.6 k gpro...and probably this KOMODO...decide on which one to buy this December...have a decent large set of old manual lenses -- Nikon, Canon and some 3rd party ones...will pick up some lens mounts...have my own light kits and researching sound equipment this summer...have both FCp and Davinci fore diting and color grading...I'll be ready to rock and roll with my own indie production company after 1st of year...two docs in pre production I can shoot on my own...a few low budget indie thriller horror and crime scripts waiting...and a tv pilot in the outline stages. It was worth sitting on the fence the past 2 years..watching tech changes in our digital world...writing-rewriting...advancing my editing skills with educational media projects at work for a state agency where I stash my cash from...and leaving dirt cheap to keep saving my cash. simply cannot wait!!

June 26, 2020 at 10:47AM, Edited June 26, 10:48AM

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VERY soon, all cameras will be so technically advanced, that they will be able to mimic each other's looks. The only difference will be the interface and ergonomics.

June 9, 2020 at 11:15PM, Edited June 9, 11:15PM

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Dantly Wyatt
Writer, Director, Content Creator.
977

Total agree...and I'm gonna luv seeing RED lose their shirt if they don't drop prices with the growing market's competition...and luv seeing Hollywood unable to stop the growing success of indie filmers -- especially writer-directors like myself...who've taken the time to learn more about the tech side -- going to the global auds via different routes of distribution. No more jumping thru bullshit to get a standard industry manager, agent who don't believe in you or your own style-voice -- it's totally up to the auds...and when they're global? they're fucking-a everywhere. Just keep your budget low...use your own coin...if it take you shooting wkds only for a year while you're working a full time job to bring in the coin? So be it. There's sooooo much content everywhere now -- good and bad -- to learn from.

June 26, 2020 at 7:48PM

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Really wanna love this camera, but nonplussed with the highlight rolloff in the test footage from the two Phils. There are parts of Grossman's white plane and Holland's forehead that have very scant data. Both of those cats are accomplished cinematographers, so I'm thinking it's more likely this cam's highlight handling is less forgiving, than them both clipping their respective highlights. Wonder if they're recoverable with some tweaking in Resolve, or if they're lost for good. The look reminds me more of a Red One, Ursa Mini 4K, E2-S6, Z6/7 or S1H than a modern Red. Maybe it's something that can be fixed with a firmware update? Hopefully it won't continue to be an issue with the production model. Otherwise, for the same amount of dosh, better off picking up an EVA1 + RAW recorder, an UMP G2, or a few BMPCC 6K's for that matter.

June 10, 2020 at 3:40PM, Edited June 10, 3:40PM

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If you take Phil Holland's clip into colour correction software, you'll see highlights are hitting 85%. I'm not sure what you mean when you say 'very scant data'. I agree that some of these early tests aren't representative of what we would like to do with cameras...

June 11, 2020 at 10:07PM

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The visible loss of roll-off at only 85% confirms my hunch an experienced cinematographer like Holland would not have clipped the highlights, and secondly supports my perspective that the highlight handling on this camera leaves something to be desired. These types of tests are helpful to establish the practical versus theoretical limits of a camera. As a for instance, albeit unrelated to RED, it's recommended not to expose V-Log L beyond 80 IRE. Perhaps the Komodo has similar limitations. In looking at the side by sides, it's apparent the Komodo and Monstro handle highlights differently. It's risky trickling out off-the-cuff footage from pre-production models or prototypes, because you only get one chance to make a first impression. Canon and Sony nailed their rollouts of the C500 MK II, C300 MK III, and FX9 respectively, releasing dazzling footage only after their cameras were fully baked.

June 15, 2020 at 5:53PM

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Couldn't care less. The chances of me seeing one in real life let alone use it are 0. Next.

June 11, 2020 at 6:14AM

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Paolo Mugnaini
Director/DP/Editor
274

Can nobody expose a shot properly? This all looks like crap cause it's several stops under and unlit. Show us something that looks like something we'd want to show someone.

June 11, 2020 at 7:46AM, Edited June 11, 7:46AM

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Matthew Macar
DP
191

Red lost me when they wouldn't stop pushing me to upgrade, 2 years after I spent $20K on an Epic upgrade from Scarlet. And it was really great of them to drop the Scarlet price by 3 grand right after I bought it. Worse, they said they couldn't guarantee parts availability or repairs on a 3 year old Epic-X. Done with Red.

June 12, 2020 at 2:54PM, Edited June 24, 6:54PM

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Chris Santucci
Cinematographer
352

The quality of the footage is actually Very Disappointing, and therefore RED is deleting all comments which don't praise the footage in the superlative.
This almost looks like another Hydrogen project.

June 14, 2020 at 1:47PM, Edited June 14, 1:47PM

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sandy sandy
Filmmaker
92

Can someone with a Komodo actually film some content with the goal of making the content look good.
I want this camera to be great, but all the test footage has got me like "meh" and the test users are full of excuses like testing in extreme low light.. Testing in harsh lighting.

Just stop making excuses and try and film some inspiring footage that makes us all want to jump out our pants and buy the damn camera.

Most people want to buy a cameras so that under the best conditions they get stunning results.. Its only the few that buy a camera of the price that won't light their shots or try to film at light with the lens cap still on.

June 29, 2020 at 5:31AM, Edited June 29, 5:31AM

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David Scott
Creative Director
1

Red is dead

July 8, 2020 at 9:27PM

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Dave
1