In a time with so many options for cameras that are being hyped, pushed, and marketed to us, it’s almost odd that Red, who has been the king of digital cinema for so long, would be the underdog with the Komodo 6K. It doesn’t shoot in 12K. It can’t film an entire movie completely under moonlight. The Red Komodo 6K doesn’t even have a dual native ISO!
We don’t root for the underdog for the pedigree or because they spent years in training, they are the dark horse, the longshot that opens up our eyes to the possibilities that something different could bring. So, while the status quo has been busy adding megapixels and gimmicks to garner attention, Red has implemented features that may just change the way professional filmmaking works.
Just to clarify my earlier statement, Red has always been the underdog. They were the original market disruptors who took on the titans at Canon, Sony, and Panasonic to produce the first high resolution digital cinematography camera designed for the little guy.
Now, with competition nipping at their heels, they’ve taken their big cameras, big ideas, and amazing image quality and crammed it into a box camera that might just stir things up again.
Full Wireless Control
I know you’re thinking, that wireless controls aren’t really anything new. There are iOS apps for BlackMagic, Canon Cinema Cameras, and even some DSLR and Mirrorless cameras too, but their features are fairly limited and if they offer an image display it is usually pixelated (like the C200) and laggy (like ZCAM).
What makes the wireless control features for the Red Komodo so special is that they’re super responsive and offer very low latency, high-quality signal direct from the camera.
Connecting The Camera
Connecting to the camera is very straightforward, and a process that any computer user should be familiar with by now. The Komodo can create its own advocate network or join existing WiFi.
Red has worked overtime to design the Red_Control app to be full customizable for the user too. Any setting can be changed from within the app, quickly, and you can tailor the home screen to access the tools you use most in a flash.
Turning your mobile device to landscape, and double tapping the signal feed flips you into full screen mode – allowing you to tap select for autofocus (yes, this cinema camera has autofocus and it’s pretty darn good), adjust settings, and even quickly review clips.
Solo shooters will have a breeze lighting their sets with a live camera feed in their pocket, monitoring interviews from the comfort of a chair, and gathering broll with a compact kit. First A.C.s will noddle over layout preferences, control the camera, and maybe even pull focus from a tablet at times.
Directors can follow along and see ‘their creation’ come to life by using the app as a director’s monitor in a pinch. Gimbal operators can mount their phone in a convenient spot and access full control of the Red Komodo or an additional operator can follow close by and manage automatic focus controls and camera settings.
This obviously isn’t a new feature, but Red’s well-integrated implementation of this on a proper cinema camera tells us volumes about where this technology is going.
The Z-CAM E2-S6 is the closest competition out there with similar specs and physical size. It offers a lot of great features but doesn’t have the global shutter and is only able to record in raw at up to 4K resolutions.
- Record up to 6K60 Video
- ZRAW Recording
- 14 Stops of Dynamic Range
- Super 35 CMOS Sensor
- Canon EF & MFT Lens Mounts
- 10-Bit Color Recording
- 5G Wireless Support, Timecode Support
- Gigabit Ethernet for Data and Control
- Live Streaming via Ethernet
- iOS App for Control and Live Preview
- Price $2,499
You can also find various wireless mobile control options for the Canon C200 / C300 III, BlackMagic’s camera line, and Panasonic’s mirrorless cameras. Additionally, there are a growing number of direct to mobile wireless transmitters that offer fairly low latency for a keen price but they do not allow you to control all of the settings in the camera.
I can imagine a future world where my cinema camera is just a tiny, little box with an amazing lens, has tons of great features, produces an amazing image, and is controlled remotely by my first assistant, who is somewhere out of sight, with their iPhone. I can imagine this because it’s already here, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it and give the future a try.
[source: Robin Walberg]
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