RED Just Added Face Tracking to the Raptor

RED’s self-proclaimed leader and “fire chief” Jarred Land has announced via social media that the RED Raptor will be getting face-tracking autofocus in a new firmware update. The update, which he says is in Beta, will also offer a new auto-update feature.

“Lots of good stuff and for Raptor,” wrote Land on Facebook, “the standout is the first look at Face Tracking Auto Focus which in it’s alpha form but super cool…”

The RED V-Raptor XL is one of RED’s latest DSMC3 8K camera platforms. Built around a Super 35 mm image sensor, the Raptor is capable of capturing 8K video at up to 120 fps.

It uses phase-detection AF to acquire focus, and the addition of face tracking is sure to be a welcome addition for camera operators.


The new feature has been added to the vs. 1.61 REDCine-X Pro Raptor Beta, but the feature itself is in its very early days, as Land states it’s more of an Alpha feature build.

So the feature may or may not work reliably as RED seeks to shake out the bugs during testing.

In addition to face detection, Land states that he’s mostly excited about the Raptor’s new auto firmware update feature.

“This is something that I have put on the engineering wish list since the RED ONE, and it always was pushed for more important things,” Land added, “now we finally have it in camera.”

Land admits that the auto-update feature may be a source of frustration for an assistant cameraman who will see it pop up now and then while powering on the Raptor, but he does point out that RED thought ahead and also added a switch so that the new feature could be turned off. Users can also choose to try out or omit beta releases.

Other new features of the RED Cine-X Pro update include SMPTE 2110 support through Connect along with Return Feed and NMOS.

Image Credit: RED

The Raptor also receives multiple calibration management ISO Display Mode Gain (dB) and a remote shutdown command, which presumably is done via smartphone. RED Connect is a licensed-enabled feature, so users who haven’t purchased the option may not see this part of the update.

RED has also packed the firmware with the ability to add HANC data during playback via clipname, and firmware improvements when connecting the RED Touch 7” monitor (vs. 5.5) and G10 Scope interface. That 5.5 update also allows camera operators to disable the page system and use the new edit list.

Moreover, there are a few housekeeping updates which include improving PTP locking and playback transition on the RED Touch. There are also RCP outgoing messages.

It’s important to remember that this update is in Beta, with the Face Tracking Autofocus feature as part of an alpha-type release.

Therefore, some things to look out for, are that some USB-C tethered devices may suffer intermittent connection issues, while some unapproved media and batteries could receive warning messages that they aren’t approved for use.

To update the REDCine-X Pro vs. 1,6 firmware, go to the page and select the firmware link for your model Raptor. Download it, and then copy the upgrade. Bin file to the /upgrade directory on your camera’s Type B CFExpress card.

Power up the camera and then insert the card. Go to Menu> Maintenance and >Upgrade. The camera will update the firmware and restart. Users can then go into System Settings>System Status to verify.

The update is also applicable to the Raptor VV models. Look for the applicable link in the downloads page.

[source: Jarred Land on Facebook]

Order Links:

  • RED V-RAPTOR 8K S35 Cinema Camera (B&H)
  • RED V-RAPTOR XL 8K S35 Cinema Camera (B&H)

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