Review : Red Epic-M Dragon

Red Epic-M Dragon – The first 6K Video Camera

What is the Epic-M Dragon?

Basically, the Epic-M is the camera from Red and Dragon is the name of its sensor. This camera quite stole the show thanks to a DxOMark sensor test ranking that gave it a high mark.

The D800E from Nikon used to be the top dog, garnering a score of 96 when it comes to precise measurements of dynamic range, noise and low-light performance. However, DxO Labs gave the Epic-M Dragon a rating of 101.

Based on the score alone, it’s quite clear that the Epic-M camera from Red wowed the people from DxO Labs. The test results were labeled with “awesome” and “outstanding” when it came to the Dragon’s features.red dragon epic review

[youtube height=”500″ width=”780″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4DUAQjZIl0?rel=0[/youtube]

Features

So, what exactly makes the Epic-M Dragon stand out?

To answer that question, it’s best to take an in-depth look at what the camera can do.

Specification

Here are the key specifications that you need to know about the Dragon:

  • Sensor: 19 Megapixel Dragon
  • Pixel Array: 6144 (h) x 3160 (v)
  • S/N Ratio: 80db
  • Dynamic Range: 16.5+ stops
  • Max Image Area: 6144 (h) x 3160 (v)
  • Lens Coverage: 30.7 mm (h) x 15.8 mm (v) x 34.5 mm (d)
  • Acquisition Formats
  • 6K RAW (2:1, 2.4:1)
  • 5K RAW (full frame, 2:1, 2.4:1 and anamorphic 2:1)
  • 4.5K RAW (2.4:1)
  • 4K RAW (16:9, HD, 2:1 and anamorphic 2:1)
  • 3K RAW (16:9, 2:1 and anamorphic 2:1)
  • 2K RAW (16:9, 2:1 and anamorphic 2:1)
  • 1080 p RB (16:9)
  • 720p RGB (16:9)

REDCODE

  • compression choices of 18:1 to 3:1
  • 12- and 16-bit RAW: compression choices of 18:1 to 3:1
  • 1-1000 fps 6K
  • 1-120 fps 5K, 4.5K
  • 1-150 fps 4K
  • 1-200 fps 3K
  • 1-300 fps 2K

Now that you’ve got an idea of what the Epic-M Dragon is capable of, it’s time to look more deeply into how these specifications help its features. Here are some of the camera’s highlights:

  • 6K resolution

There is a 19 megapixel RAW image in every 6K frame. This simply means that with the Dragon, there are nine times more pixels than those found in 1080p HD.

The detail found in a 6K image is greater than a 35mm. If you want a comparison when it comes to image density, the closest one you’ll get is a 65mm. What this means is that the Dragon is capable of delivering very precise VFX plates, re-framing flexibility and less aliasing artifacts and more.

Whether you’re filming 6K footage to 4K or HD, the images that will be produced will have a clean and crisp look, and they will look much better than those captured using lower resolutions.

This just goes to show that when it comes to resolution, bigger is always better.

  • 16.5+ native stops

With this kind of native range, the Epic-M Dragon is able to give you lots of options when you’re faced with different lighting conditions. And yes, even the most challenging ones have a solution with this camera.

Even if the lighting situation is not what you want it to be, you can still achieve great picture quality thanks to the camera’s improved signal-to-noise ratio. Put simply, you can rest assure that you’ll get print and cinema ready picture from ISO 200 to 2000.

With less filters, less issues with IR and even less noise, the Dragon clearly gives you more opportunities to achieve the perfect exposure.

  • Color science 

With Red Dragon color science, you can expect vibrant colors and smoother skin tones. Not only that, you also get enhanced tonal variations as well. What this implies is that every detail of what you film will stand out. The RAW images that you capture will have lifelike quality to them.

Capabilities

  • High dynamic range 

The Dragon has an additional 3 stops of dynamic range. There is one in the highlights and two extra stops in the darks. Although there is noise, it’s not like the ones you are used to. Even when tested with 250d 2K film, there looks to be film grain and not noise.

In other words, the Dragon has one of the most impressive highlights seen in a digital camera.

  • Very impressive sensor

The Sony F65 has been described as a production cine camera with the best sensor in the market. However, the Dragon can easily top that. Even when you compare files shot on a F65 with those shot using Dragon side by side, you’ll notice a difference, and a good one that swings in the favor of the Epic-M. With Red’s camera, the noise structure is much cleaner and it shows more range.

  • Captures exactly what you see

How many times have you captured something only to have it turn out quite differently in the end? Whether it be the colors or something else, with the Epic-M Dragon, you shoot what you see and when you go to review it, it’s as if nothing changed at all.

  • Great with low-light situations

By using an ISO of 4000, it resultsto a very clean image. Even the one shot with an ISO of 6400 looks very much usable. This simply means that the Epic-M has more resolution and color depth.

With all these features, the Epic-M Dragon is one pricey camera for sure. But if you clearly want the best, the investment will be worth it so go for the Red Epic-M Dragon today!

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