8 Tips to Get the Most Out of the RED KOMODO-X

Looking at what was upgraded with the RED KOMODO-X it seems like the perfect balance between the original KOMODO and the newer DSMC3 camera systems.

An upgraded Super 35mm sensor, enhanced ergonomics, support for the latest accessories, and more make the KOMODO-X a great, more compact option for RED filmmakers.

If you are looking to pick up a new camera or happen to be the proud new owner of a KOMODO-X then you might want to learn how to make the most of it. For that, we are again turning to filmmaker Tyler Edwards who has eight tips to help you get started or learn more about the camera.


If you are recording in raw then you probably know that you can easily change the ISO however you want in post. However, the setting you choose when you hit record will have an impact on the image since it determines the distribution of the dynamic range and how you will expose it.

What that means is that the higher you set your ISO the more detail you’ll retain in the highlights and the lower you go the more shadow detail you’ll keep. Be careful with how you set the ISO so that you make sure to capture the best image for your project.

RED KOMODO-X 6K Cinema Camera

Image Credit: RED

2. Compression Options

On the DSMC3 cameras, you have a few compression options: HQ, MQ, LQ, and ELQ. This follows a simple higher quality to lower quality progression as you would expect. If you are used to the older compression ratios this equates closely to 3:1, 5:1, 8:1, and 15:1, respectively.

Most of the time you will be fine with LQ or even ELQ, especially if you aren’t dealing with complex moving scenery. If you are delivering to web you’ll likely be fine in practically any scenario.

The only time to consider bumping things up is if it is a highly detailed scene, say like if there are trees in the background, or a low-light scene where you might need to push it in post.

3. Hot Swapping Batteries

One of the improvements of the KOMODO-X was the use of V-mount batteries. You can actually set these up to be hot-swappable. All you have to do is use the DC input on the camera.

Either plug in your AC adapter or use a separate battery with a D-tap to DC cable and you can keep the camera powered up while you swap out the batteries.

RED KOMODO-X ST Cinema Camera Rear

Image Credit: RED

4. User-Assignable Buttons

There are four user-assignable buttons on the KOMODO-X. These are on the record buttons as each one has options for half press and full press. There are tons of options to check out here so set them up with what you like.

5. More User-Assignable Buttons

The DSMC3 Monitor is a great addition as it adds four more buttons. We actually just covered why this might be the best monitor option for the KOMODO-X already and this is one of the best reasons to consider it.

RED DSMC3 Touch Monitor

Image Credit: RED

6. Audio

The preamps on the KOMODO-X are great. He has a shotgun mic plugged directly into the camera and you can set the levels easily, including phantom power.

Now, you can also unlink channels 3 and 4 so you can make regular recordings and backup recordings at the same time.

7. Pre-Record Function

For sports and wildlife where you want to make sure you capture the key moment then you should turn on the pre-record function.

This will record a set amount of time before you actually hit record so you don’t always have to be rolling the camera and filling up your media.

RED KOMODO-X Cinema Camera Side

Image Credit: RED

8. Face-Tracking AF

When you use the RED Control app you can actually enable face-tracking autofocus. This isn’t available directly on camera, but it is a good solution.

What do you think about this set of tips? Interested in picking up the KOMODO-X for yourself?

[source: Tyler Edwards]

Order Links:

  • RED KOMODO-X Cinema Camera (B&H)
  • RED DSMC3 Touch Monitor (B&H)

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