Red Digital Cinema has been slowly releasing glimpses of its upcoming Komodo 6K camera for about a year now. The seemingly endless teasing has ratcheted up everyone’s anticipation for what we are hoping will be something incredible.
They’ve been rather shy in sharing the details about the full capabilities of the camera and with good reason; the marketplace has a lot more competition than when they first release the Red One in 2007. Red is no longer the maverick, disruptive tidal wave it used to be and companies like Blackmagic, Z CAM, and Kinefinity are chomping at the bit to one-up them.
But today, we finally have another glimpse of what will be! Phil Holland has a raw clip to share for us nerdy pixel-peepers to tear apart. Let’s have a look.
“The Medium is the Message,” Marshall McLuhan famously said that in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, and this sample clip is a comical illustration of that concept. Though we’ll just look at the image, and not worry about how this evolution of technology will impact the future of humanity.
Phil delivers this sample clip to us as a piece to camera with teasing that he is going to unveil the full resolution sample clip for us to download, but it ends up really being the clip that we’re already watching. My apologies if I spoiled that for anyone.
Now on to this clip!
- Codec: REDCODE RAW HQ
- ISO: 800
- Shutter: 180
- Kelvin: 4886
- Tint: 3.303
- Frame Rate: 24fps
- File Size: 2.51GB
In the description, Phil tells us that this was shot in 6K using the native REDCODE RAW HQ codec at 24fps and that is really all the information we get about what we’re seeing here.
There is no mention of ISO, Shutter, Lens, or anything we can use to evaluate this against the competition. But just like Mr. McLuhan said, the content is less important than the message itself.
When we dig into the metadata in REDCINE-X, it reveals it was shot at an 800 ISO, and the color temp settings are 4886 +3.303, and this speaks volumes about this camera. The short version is, the colors and quality of the image it creates is absolutely stunning.
Its beautiful skin tones remind me of Canon colors but with a little extra something that seems to make the subject pop.
In previously released videos, you can see a massive green shift in the highlights when compared to a Helium 8K camera. Red has clearly done a lot of work in developing this little guy.
Any properly exposed image can be corrected in post, so when I’m looking at a camera I like to see how well it handles underexposed images as well as slightly overexposed shots when I’m back in the edit suite. Unfortunately we don’t have that to test at the moment, but just playing around with the sliders, I’m totally impressed.
It seems like there is endless amounts of data in the highs, and the very little noise in the lows.
I’m all around rather taken with the Komodo after seeing this shot, and I can’t wait to get my hands on one.
Let’s talk about the marketing maneuver RED is making with the Komodo 6K. Frankly, it’s kind of annoying. Since about this time last year, I’ve been hearing about this camera on blogs. It started out as surgically placed whispers, then a shot of a name plate.
They followed that up with a shot of the headphone inputs.
And then, we heard Steven Soderbergh was testing the camera. *That was in August of 2019.
A shot here. A clip there. Pictures of it colored orange, and white. And now, here we are with something we can sink our teeth into, finally.
Red has so much to offer as a company and I’m sure this camera will be fantastic, but this attempt at viral marketing has been a real dud. It didn’t work with the failed Hydrogen One, and I don’t feel like it is working now.
The specs that I’ve heard are a little lackluster when you compare it to a feature-packed camera like the Z CAM F6 or an all-in-one like a C300 III but the quality of the image is going to be pretty hard to beat.
What I like about this camera is the global shutter, and integrated RF mount. This will allow you to adapt this camera to a fair range of lenses, use Canon’s Drop-In ND filter mount with EF glass, and even attach a focal adapter for a Full Frame look.
There is a serious lack of inputs on the body, however, for 2020. It doesn’t appear to have TC-IN, audio is a 3.5mm Jack (no XLR), and the power is maxed out so it can’t provide power to an external monitor from the body. That is easily solved by using a V-Mount plate or potentially Core SWX Nano batteries which have D-Tap and USB power.
All around, though, this clip leaves me hungry for more. RED, if you’re listening, we all want this to be the greatest camera ever. Please make them and release them as quickly as you can. I’d be ecstatic to be shooting with this camera. RED is still at the top of their game.
Here are a few other sample shots I found online if you’d like to take a look.
And, you can find our complete coverage of the Komodo 6K here.
[source: Phil Holland]
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