RED Epic Dragon 6K Footage And Dynamic Range Test

Before Blackmagic Design threw their hat into the camera making ring, Red Digital Cinema were the original “disruptive technology” camera manufacturers.

They were the new kids on the block, they announced cameras with insane specs and even more insane (at the time) price tags. They faced production problems, shipping delays, the rage of dissatisfied early adopters and internet forum pundits, but persevered.

The company and their original camera the RED One, built from the ground up by a self-made billionaire, used to be referred to by some folks in the industry as “vaporware”.

Well, almost a decade after, RED are still here, and are still pushing the limits of digital filmmaking technology.

RedDragon 6K RedLog 4K Shooters

And in many aspects, I guess they still are a disruptive force in the film industry. Pushing the resolution and dynamic range boundaries beyond the world of 4K acquisition, and at the same time putting display/projection technology to shame, RED have come a long way in sensor technology since their original Mysterium sensor “back in the day”.

The RED digital acquisition system has been validated and solidified more like by capturing numerous big budget Hollywood blockbusters as well as countless independent features, pop promos and commercials.

We posted about Phil Holland’s incredible 6K Dragon footage here a few weeks back.

Here’s an some more amazing footage (you can download it too for max quality) from the 6K Dragon from Mark Toia.

Just a couple of days ago, Jonah Rubash from Chicago-based rental/production outfit Magnanimous Media took their new RED Dragon 6K for a spin to test the low-light and dynamic range of the new sensor with the new Red Gamma 4.

Red Epic Dragon – First Look – Magnanimous Media from Magnanimous Media on Vimeo.

Red Epic Dragon – Dynamic Range – Magnanimous Media from Magnanimous Media on Vimeo.

18-stop greyscale shot with with Epic Dragon in 6K 5:1 and rendered in RedLogFilm. Download for the footage for best results here.

The 6K Dragon sensor seems to be a milestone achievement and light years ahead of the previous Mysterium-X sensor. With nearly 3 stops extra in the darks, clean 2,000 ISO, more filmic grain, and overall 14+ stops dynamic range, the creative possibilities with this sensor are astounding.

Here are the RED Dragon 6K specs for those unfamiliar with them, or those looking for a quick catch-up:

PIXEL ARRAY 6144 (h) x 3160 (v)
S/N RATIO 80db
DYNAMIC RANGE 16.5+ stops
MAX IMAGE AREA 6144 (h) x 3160 (v)
LENS COVERAGE 30.7mm (h) x 15.8mm (v) x 34.5 mm (d)
5K RAW (Full Frame, 2:1, 2.4:1 and Anamorphic 2:1) 
4.5K RAW (2.4:1) 
4K RAW (16:9, HD, 2:1 and Anamorphic 2:1) 
3K RAW (16:9, 2:1 and Anamorphic 2:1)  
2K RAW (16:9, 2:1 and Anamorphic 2:1) 
1080p RGB (16:9)  
720p RGB (16:9)
PROJECT FRAME RATES 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 47.96, 48, 50, 59.94 fps, all resolutions
DELIVERY FORMATS* 4K : DPX, TIFF, OpenEXR (RED RAY via optional encoder) 
2K : DPX, TIFF, OpenEXR (RED RAY via optional encoder)  
1080p RGB or 4:2:2, 720p 4:2:2 : Quicktime, JPEG  
Avid AAF, MXF. 1080p 4.2.0, 720p 4:2:0 : H.264, .MP4
SMPTE Timecode, HANC Metadata, 24-bit 48Khz Audio
MONITOR OUTPUT HD-SDI and HDMI with Frame Guides and Look Around  
2K RGB, 1080p RGB or 4:2:2, 720p RGB or 4:2:2  
SMPTE Timecode, HANC Metadata, 24-bit 48Khz Audio
DIGITAL MEDIA REDMAG (SSD) Module (64, 128, 256, 512GB Media)
REDCODE™ Compression choices of 18:1 to 3:1 
12 and 16-bit RAW : Compression choices of 18:1 to 3:1 
1-100 fps 6K  
1-120 fps 5K, 4.5K 
1-150 fps 4K  
1-200 fps 3K 
1-300 fps 2K
AUDIO 2 channel, uncompressed, 24 bit, 48kHz.  
Optional 4 channel, and AES / EBU digital audio.
MONITORING OPTIONS RED LCD 5″ and 9” Touchscreen Display  
BOMB EVF™ High Definition Viewfinder
REMOTE CONTROL Wireless, Ethernet, RS232, GPI Trigger
WEIGHT 5lbs. Body only
TEMPERATURE RANGES Operating Range: 0˚C to +40˚C (32˚F to 104˚F)  
Storage Range: -20˚C to +50˚C (-4˚F to 122˚F)

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