Gear Breakdown: RED Komodo 6K Digital Cinema Camera
Here at Foundation Digital Media, we are constantly searching for the best technologies available and comparing gear breakdowns to deliver our customer’s the highest quality product for their budget. We’d like to begin passing these evaluations on to you, our customers, and to our colleagues in Washington D.C. video production and elsewhere. We’d love to help elevate your next project to a professional video standard, but we hope these breakdowns will provide you with the tools to get started today in developing your own incredible video content.
Today we’re taking a look at a gear breakdown of the new RED Komodo 6K Digital Cinema Camera body. This new offering from the industry titan RED line has shown that, time and time again, RED is constantly finding new ways to create higher performance cameras in smaller and smaller packages. Fixed at $5,995 for the body alone (with optimized packages for more robust kits priced at $7,200-8,200), it’s slightly pricier than its close competition, but it packs some interesting innovations that make the price tag a potentially worthy investment.
Let’s Look At The Specs
According to RED, the Komodo unveils “production-tested innovations” including a “breakthrough global shutter sensor that maintains RED’s high standard of image quality and dynamic range.” With these technologies, RED hopes to have produced a body “designed for professional filmmakers and content creators who want high-end visuals in an easy-to-use, compact, and versatile camera.”
Starting with that impressive shutter, it is officially a 19.9 MP Super 35mm CMOS Global Shutter that is purportedly able to achieve “16+ stops” of dynamic range. This kind of shutter is distinctly resistant to issues with rolling shutter artifacts, leading to more pristine footage in fast, tracking scenarios and at higher framerates.
Moreso, it boasts resolution and framerate options anywhere from 40 or 50 fps at 6K to 120 fps at 2K with other fps options as well. All three major formats (17:9, 2:4:1, and 16:9) are supported at 6K as well, with a crop option for all other resolutions.
Featuring the latest edition of RED’s RAW Codec, REDCODE, the camera elevates your image capture potential even further featuring situational preference settings for optimal footage at different production levels. This allows you to easily adapt the camera for shooting anything from high-end cinema to web content or even impressive stills.
Much like recent RED releases, the Komodo makes use of RED’s new Image Processing Pipeline 2 for color management. This technology has been claimed to facilitate better management of challenging colors, smoother highlight roll-off, and improved shadow detail among other benefits. The Komodo also supports 3D LUT’s and CDL imports for an easier workflow in post.
How It’s Built
Built with a lightweight aluminum alloy, this compact body comes in at only 2.1 pounds by itself and makes up only 4 cubic inches in form. Its minimal bells and whistles are typical for your standard box camera that is meant to be built around, but there are a few noteworthy features to discuss.
First and foremost, the camera comes standard with an RF mount allowing for compatibility with a wide variety of classic lenses but lacking electronic control for things like focus and iris causing somewhat of an inconvenience. It can also support Canon RF adapter mounts for EF and PL lenses that do support electronic control.
Like many of its recent predecessors and competitors, RED opted to go with CFast 2.0 technology for its storage. Using RED’s Pro CFast cards or other qualified cards, the camera can reportedly achieve up to 280 MB/s in max data transfer rates. The Komodo also contains two slots for BP-9XX series batteries allowing moderately high runtime but can support “+7 to +17 V DC” via the integrated 2-pin DC-IN port for external power supply.
Interestingly, one of the most prominent build features is the rather useful, built-in high-resolution LCD touchscreen for “navigating menus and reviewing footage, phase-detect auto-focus, 4K output, and compatibility with the all-new RED CONTROL app for wired or wireless control.” Still, you may opt for an external monitor for most shoots.
While the RED Komodo is an extremely impressive technological marvel in its capacity to deliver maximum performance in one of the smallest possible bodies. The sensor specs and build quality make it an ideal choice for high-intensity shoots, slow-motion videography, and challenging tracking shots. However, as exceptional as it may be, it finds itself entering an already crowded market for mid-tier cinema cameras at a somewhat unsavory price point.
One need only look to rivals like the Canon C70 and the Blackmagic Design Pocket to find arguably suitable alternatives at better prices, even if the Komodo does make several strides over both. Still, if these conditions sound acceptable for your shooting situation, such as high speed or action shots, you may find the upgrade to be worth every penny.
If this exciting product seems appealing for your next video content or digital media project, you can find it available for purchase now on websites like Adorama, though it is on back-order. If it seems beyond your needs or budget right now to invest in something like this, there are still resources for you! Get in touch with us now to discuss what our years of video broadcasting experience and technological expertise have to offer your next campaign or project.