Enter the Red Dragon: Footage from new 6K sensor for Red camera shows amazing dynamic range


posted Monday, August 5, 2013 at 3:05 PM EST


The California-based Red Digital Cinema Camera Company has always done a good job of hyping its products -- some might say "overhyping" them -- but the proof, as usual, needs to be in the pudding. Red began touting its new 6K Dragon camera chip back in 2012 as the "single most significant sensor in the history of image capture," but only recently has the imager ended up in the hands of filmmakers.

One of the earliest cinematographers to test out the Red Dragon sensor is Mark Toia, and he's produced some remarkable footage with the 6K chip. Toia positively gushed on Vimeo about the results he got while using the new sensor in a Red Epic camera, saying the Red Dragon chip can produce three f-stops more dynamic range than Red's previous sensor, the Epic Mysterium-X (Epic-MX).

"Red Dragon now has the best highlight fall off I have ever seen from any digital camera. Beating film!," he wrote. "Big call I know, but after shooting film and pushing it around in telecine chains for more than a decade, I can categorically say that this new sensor has a better range than film ever had."

Toia also compares the Red Dragon, favorably, with the results from the Sony CineAlta F65, which is widely regarded as one of the best digital cinema cameras on the market. While he's clearly a Red fan already, Toia's test footage stands on its own. In particular, we like how it shows how well the Dragon-equipped Epic camera performs in capturing scenes of high contrast, with the light and shadow areas of scenes showing impressive amounts of detail.

As Toia puts it: "It's the first camera ever that I have used that captures exactly what I see with my own eye."

(Via Engadget and 1001 Noisy Cameras)