RED’s Dragon Sensor Lives Up to Hype of 20 Stops of Dynamic Range


RED has been talking about their upcoming Dragon sensor for a while; often claiming that their sensor is capable of achieving 20 stops of dynamic range. Last night in the REDUser Forum, Jarred Land posted an update on the project. It’s been one of their most difficult tasks to date, but they’ve engineered a sensor that can do it; and it apparently left one of their engineers speechless for the first time in 10 years.

RED fans are receiving the news very well too! One commentor stated in response,

“I’m sure the folks at Sony and Arri are saying “WTF” right about now (or at least they will in the morning as they nurse their collective hang-overs). Congratulations to Jim, Jarred and all the talented folks at Red! Happy New Year.”

Now we just have to see real life applications used with the sensor. As it stands, the dynamic range of film is around 16 stops of dynamic range. Look closely at 16 and beyond in this test though and you’ll start to see some clipping in the blacks. However, it is possible and with a good editor combined with the right technology the problems won’t even be visible. Now we just have to wait for monitors, software, and processors to catch up.

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.