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RED EPIC DRAGON [finally a reality]

    Red Camera's bombastic CEO, Jim Jannard, says that internal testing of the new 6K Dragon sensor proves that it's the new "resolution and dynamic range king." He also claims it will be "the cleanest sensor you have ever seen, ISO 2000 looks better than MX [the current sensor] at ISO 800." The imaging chip was first outed at NAB in April, promising 15+ stops of DR and 120fps at a full 5K of resolution, with $6,000 upgrades for Epic customers by the end of the year. Owners of the $9,700 (brain only) Scarlet-X will also get the Dragon, though no price or date has been given yet for that camera. Needless to say, some independent testing will be needed to substantiate his claims, but Jannard sure does sound confident.

    I just got all tingly.

  • 85 Replies sorted by
  • Yep, far from cheap. Plus it is marketing for now.

  • It will look great. But not as good as an Alexa :)

    And for once i hope they'll get their shipping dates right.

  • Considering their credit record, this thing will be ready in three years from now in advanced beta version and it will cost three times the price. By the time of the release all other technologies quietly catchup and the RED Dragon will appear like some pink lizard. Now back to writing another awesome script, looking for the talent, spotting locations, solving audio capture issues, renting lighting and grip and most important ; hiring the food handlers. LOL

  • I want a true 18 megapixel RAW 16 bit Hasselblad size sensor camera. Then I can finally make my master piece. Oh and did I say I want it to shoot true 3D.

  • Jannard said 16 stops easy.... I guess he wasn't kidding

    dragon DR.jpg
    804 x 370 - 16K
  • It is very hart to say if it'll result in some product anytime soon.

    They already stated that you could not upgrade your camera.

    Most reasonable thing about improving DR is to add good active sensor cooling. Plus improve ADC.

  • The sensor will be ready for shipping by NAB 2013.. That's the deadline... people would mock them at NAB...

  • Want to share my experience with the Red stuff.

    I took a Red One mx out ot the $4k deal, it turns out 3500 euro, plus some used gear i'm putting together. What does this relate to this topic? I have gears enough good to work with Gh2 and Red, i'm not tne biggest Red fan on earth, but i consider the look of the Red as a one stock of film, in the same way i falled in love for Quantum9b and i use it almost everyday.

    Next Red sensor at 6k will be, in my point if view, another "film stock", a different one, almost surely a better one. If i had $80000 to spend for a body, would i buy an Alexa? Yes. If i had such money, i would buy a weisscam, a phantom, the C500, the BMCC. Since i'm not in this budget line, i will not buy the new Dragon stuff, it will take real cash to be buyed, and more editing power. For now, anyway, i can shoot with the 4k raw with the One, and with GH2 Quantum9b, and believe me if i say for me there's not a favorite between these too, that's just options and tools: more we have, more we can do as we like. It turns out this, and here there's some love for you people at Personal-View: if i hadn't read this forum for months, and took a couple of deals and tons of advices, and made my tests on it, i would not be so confident to put other money on the line and buy a Red, even for $4k. A solid community is the best tool we can have, and i'm not being an ass licker here, that's the absolutely truth.

  • my thoughts on this are: the closer they get to 8K on a Super 35mm sized sensor the closer the look will be to film due to line skipping. I'm not a sensor expert, but it seems to me that once there are 2 lines of pixels for every line of resolution at 4K the better the image will look in terms of color depth, and clarity.

    BUT they still need to crack the nut of creating a "film emulsion" look to go with that. And right now, short of transferring to film I've not really seen it done to perfection. Who knows what this new "pixel technology" Jannard is referring to really is or what it does?

    And then of course there's the skin tone issue... And I really don't know what the solution is there. I've only had a problem with RED footage giving me skin tones I couldn't easily adjust in post once. BUT I'm a pretty good colorist, so that issue never bothered me like it does other shooters with which the final grade is out of their control. Only once was I unable to be there for the grading session, and I hated the results, I swore to never ever let that happen again, so I put it in my contract now.

  • @shian

    Care to share any tips on how to get good skin tones with Red?

  • Well, my solution only really works for the stuff I normally shoot. I don't normally get asked to shoot flat boring "friendly" stuff. Most of the time I get hired to shoot odd, gritty, dark stylish stuff, and I always WB for somewhere between 3800-4800K, and then light and gel accordingly. It drives colorists nuts, but if you bring it in "as shot" it yields some interesting results.

  • Interesting. Would it be possible to post any examples?

  • I wish I could share the proof of concept footage from "Growl" with you guys. The things Sxully and I did with the M-X were really awesome. But other than the 3 or 4 stills that were released, I'm under strict orders to keep it under wraps, here's a link to a still grab that was straight out of the camera - interpreted "as shot"

    It's the image of Katee Sackhoff at the bottom, and it's not remotely full rez. Just what was compressed into the PDF of the press release.

  • I find it both funny and ridiculous that Red's crowning achievement for the year of the Dragon was a still frame extraction, when they were supposed to be shipping upgraded cameras for $6K by now...

    Oh well, even after all the misses they tend to deliver something decent ahead of everyone else at a competitive pricepoint ...

  • The technology is still evolving. Every signle day. They are late (again) because they decided to step up the game even more.. they found a way to make it even better and executed it right away.. they know what are they doing, yes they will be late by couple months but technology-wise a year ahead of competition..

  • Didn't I read on nofilmschool that the upgrade price will be closer to the $10k range? No dragon for Scarlet X, too.

    It does sound like Red is getting closer to what I want in a cinema cam.

  • @shian that frame grab look great. Goes to show you it's not all in the camera, lighting and lens go a long long way.

  • @robmneilson Thanks, man. It was a dolly shot so she is slightly out of focus at that second. I don't know why they chose that particular frame except that there's no spoilers in it. There were better frames from that shot to use. At full rez, when she's in focus, its pretty spectacular. We didn't use the most expensive glass on earth. We shot Zeiss Super Speeds - the lower contrast of the lenses really lends themselves to the RED image, this was an 18mm. We pushed the Panther dolly almost right up into her.

  • Innocent question - anyone know what "popular" or "classic" films been entirely shot on Red so far ? Not an incendiary question just fascinated ...

  • The Great Gatsby, The Hobbit, The Social Network, Flight, The Amazing Spiderman, Prometheus, Pirates of Caribbean, Contagion, Magic Mike, The Lincoln Lawyer, Knowing, Angels and Deamons, Jumper... to name a few...

  • Even Michael Bay, the biggest "I hate digital" guy out there shot his latest film on the Epic.

  • I think it's worth emphasizing that if Red does put out a camera that is consistent with the test chart earlier in the thread, then it will greatly exceed the dynamic range of moving picture camera commercially available (or announced) so far.

    That makes it of very great interest to me.

  • I wouldn't rate anything on @MarkV list very high visually. Prometheus was decent with the way it looked. But my favourite film this year was Moonrise Kingdom, and my favourite tv series was Walking Dead's third season. What piece of technology did both of these productions use? You guessed it, they used 16 mm film. Anybody know anything visually great shot on a Red? Only thing that comes to my mind is Antichrist by Lars Von Trier and that was some years ago.

  • Valhalla Rising was supreme on Red. As @shian pointed out, its a matter of putting skin tones first. I'm very preferential to the look of Arri stuff but when it comes down to it, a colorist can really break the whole thing. Hell On Wheels' skintones are nauseating.

  • Lincoln Lawyer and The Social Network were both very good looking. Those two along with Prometheus offer a nice variation in final looks. I liked the look of The Walking Dead on the BD release but thought it was quite flat looking as broadcast. At the other extreme, for RED, I really liked the look of Southland.