The RED Komodo hasn't been officially announced yet. Stay tuned for possible updates on this page.
Please note that this video contains no official information from RED. All information in this video has been collected from REDuser.com & Instagram from RED employees.
So, the Komodo has been teased by RED's CEO Jarrard Land on both REDuser.com and Instagram since before IBC last year. But over the last few months it has been looking more and more like a finished camera which hopefully isn't far away. We even now have the final mechanical drawings so that third party manufacturers can get to work on accessories. The more we hear, the more exciting the Komodo seems, so lets go over what we know.
We know it's not a replacement for RED's current DSMC2 camera lineup and is seen as a B-cam/ auxiliary camera to DSMC2, but its shaping up to a very exciting entry-level camera for the RED ecosystem.
So what do we know so far?
Our Product Demonstration Manager Carl breaks down each
piece of information we know so far about the Komodo
Super 35mm 6K sensor
We still don't know exact dimensions and resolutions, but RED have hinted that the Komodo's 6K sensor will be capable of a dynamic range that is less, but gets close to, their Helium sensor. Which DXOMark rate at 15 stops of dynamic range. So hopefully this means the Komodo's dynamic range will be around 14 stops.
From the mechanical drawings, we know the camera body itself is essentially a 10cm cube. This is essentially 2/3rds of the physical size of their DSMC2 brain's, plus you don't need to attach a module which often makes DSMC2 larger than just the dimensions of the brain itself. So Komodo will feel significantly smaller than the DSMC2 cameras, and they aren't exactly large cameras in the cinema world.
Global shutter mode
Jarrad has spent a lot of time on REDuser focusing on the global shutter mode, and rightly so, as this could be a huge step forward for the camera market. RED claims the Komodo can switch between Global Shutter and Rolling Shutter modes. In addition to this, they later updated us to say they have minimised any dynamic range differences between the two modes, which is very impressive. Because of this they are potentially making the Komodo a Global Shutter only camera, which will be fantastic for handheld work and action filming. It will be very interesting to see what the final sensor technology looks like once the camera is released.
Redcode .R3D Raw
One of RED's biggest strengths has always been their Redcode raw format. It makes an 8K 16-bit raw workflow possible, no matter the scale of your project, by offering precise control over your compression level. Large perfect files for large productions, and compressed smaller file sizes for smaller, quick work. All remaining in 16-bit raw, its an incredibly flexible and powerful system. It's confirmed that the Komodo will record in Redcode rather than some other format, but whether we get the full flexibility of their larger cameras will remain to be seen.
Canon RF Lens Mount
For many, RED's choice of an RF mount for the Komodo was a big surprise, however it makes a lot of sense. This will be the first cinema camera with an RF mount, so i'm sure third party companies will create all sorts of adapters to EF, PL etc. due to RF's short flange distance. Canon already have an RF to EF adapter, along with a second version which has a slot for a variable ND adapter. Using this will give the Komodo an EF mount, and a built in variable ND filter, a very welcome upgrade.
View the Canon RF - EF Adapter with Variable ND here
Phase Detect AF
This will be RED's first camera with full continuous autofocus with phase detect technology built into the sensor itself. This is very exciting, as for the sort of work Komodo will be perfect for (crash cameras, car rigs, gimbal work etc.), reliable autofocus is incredibly useful. However we do have to manage expectations here a little, making autofocus reliable is a software game, and this is RED's first attempt at something that companies like Canon and Sony have spent years perfecting. It might be fantastic, it might be sketchy at first and improve over time, Jarrad even hinted it might ship without AF and be introduced later, we will have to wait and see. But if RED can get this right, it will be a very useful addition to their lineup.
RED have moved away from their proprietary media format, the Mini Mag, and given the Komodo has a single CFast 2.0 card slot as its media type. This is one of the main steps which will make the Komodo a real choice for entry level users, and will open up a world of more affordable media options from companies like Sandisk, Wise, Angelbird and more. A 960GB RED Mini Mag is currently £1,850 ex VAT, while an Angelbird 1TB CFast2.0 card is currently £780 ex VAT, which is obviously a sizeable price difference.
Dual Canon BP Battery Slots
On the back of the Komodo is two Canon BP battery slots. This Canons older BP style of battery for clarification, not the newer BP-A batteries that are used on the C200 and C500 II. This means we can use much more affordable batteries, like the Canon BP-955, SWIT S-8845 and Hawkwoods DV-955.
Integrated top touch screen
This is a big design change for RED. The Komodo has a built in touch screen on the top of the camera. This will be small of course, but will show you your image preview, as well as giving full touch screen control of the menus. For gimbals, rigging the camera in tight spaces, or even lightweight handheld work, this will be really useful. For most work, it will definitely be worth using a third party monitor. The image preview will inevitably be very small and I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't the highest resolution screen to keep the cost of the camera down. So for monitoring your image, a SmallHD Focus SDI or a 7" SWIT CM-S75F would be a far better choice. This top screen will mainly be used for controlling your camera. An interesting detail we can see from this screen though is a newly designed RGB raw exposure tool on the left of the image. This is similar to the traffic lights tool on the DSMC2 UI, and is a really quick and easy way to spot clipping in your raw data.
All of this is subject to change however, as nothing official has been announced from RED yet, but as soon as we have official information, and a chance to take a look at the camera ourselves, we'll of course have content with all the relevant information.
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