Tom Lowe (of Timescapes and Dreamcore fame) is someone you could call a fan of RED cameras, being a huge advocate of their system and producing some truly jaw-dropping work with their beyond-HD capabilities. Over the past week Tom has been using a prototype RED Dragon camera on location in Sri Lanka to see what it can do with regard to dynamic range. Tom has been sharing his results so far with the RedUser forums, and we’re sharing some of that information with you; head on past the break for more.
When RED called up Tom Lowe and said “Hey, wanna tame a Dragon?” I would imagine it took all of one nanosecond for him to say yes. Anyone would. The Red Dragon sensor is the latest endeavor from Jim Jannard and his crack-team at RED, it is a 6K sensor capable of shooting full-resolution at 100fps and capturing an excess of 15 stops of dynamic range which is truly incredible. Needless to say, Tom had a truly exciting task before him to see what it could do in the real world, and had this to say about his test:
“..my main goal was to push the sensor to the absolute of extremes of what it could handle, in terms of dynamic range. The sun is actually in this shot, between those two clouds, and the elephant is completely back-lit. I did not use any bounces or lights of any kind. This is 100% natural light. And remember, elephants have rather dark skin, so all of us on the crew were staring at our monitors, kind of amazed that we were able to hold the sky, and still see the elephant’s face and skin. On most cameras, we would have been looking at basically a silhouette. This frame was shot at ISO 1000, 6K resolution (6144×3072), RAW, 85 frames per second.”
After grading by Ian Vertovec (The Social Network, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), the image becomes rather incredible, and something I can’t wait to see in final production on an IMAX screen.
Suffice it to say, it’s looking pretty good for the Dragon, and I for one can’t wait to see some films get produced with this thing once it’s more widely available. Tom Lowe has shown us a taste of what it can do, and I want more.
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