There are quite a few options when it comes to grabbing a RED camera. What kind of body do you want/need? What sensor will work with it, what are the specifications of those sensors? What about the Komodo? The new RED Arsenal website will help you through the process.
RED cameras are popular with both indie filmmakers and big Hollywood DPs. ARRI still has the edge here, but nevertheless RED cameras can be seen on many sets. Choosing the perfect RED camera isn’t always easy, however. They offer different bodies, which can then also be combined with different sensors. And then there’s the new one, the Komodo, which stands a bit by itself here.
RED Arsenal website and new RED Tech videos
Let’s get it straight from the start: RED Arsenal is not a new camera, just a new section on red.com. All current RED cameras are listed there, complete with sensor options and specs. The Komodo is there too, of course, and there are also a number of RED Tech Videos.
This first video is about the different camera bodies you can currently get from RED: Komodo, DSMC2, and Ranger. These are three completely different bodies and also sport very different form factors, so which one should you choose?
Komodo vs. DSMC2 vs. Ranger
RED’s latest camera, the Komodo, is the smallest and lightest body RED has on offer. But if you need just that: a small crash cam, a compact setup for shooting interviews, or to rig a drone with this thing, the Komodo might be a good choice.
Its bigger brother, the DSMC2 system, is all about modularity. At its core, it’s just a box with not really much to it (keep this in mind when buying one of these). But you can add modules and add-ons at will to customize your camera to what you want to shoot on a particular job. The DSMC2 is easily the most versatile body in the RED lineup.
At the top of the RED ecosystem, you’ll find the full-featured Ranger camera. This is a beast in terms of connectivity. It was originally designed by RED for rental only, to give crews around the world the confidence of renting a RED Ranger and knowing exactly what they were going to get. But now, if you have the funds, you can buy one of these Rangers as an owner/operator as well.
Gemini vs. Komodo vs. Helium vs. Monstro
When it comes to sensors for RED cameras, things get a bit trickier. First things first: the Komodo is a bit special here once again. It has a 6K s35 sensor with global shutter, and the sensor is specific to the Komodo body. There is no mix’n’match here.
The three other available sensors, the Gemini 5K s35, the Helium 8K s35 and the Monstro 8K VV can be combined with either the DSMC2 or the Ranger body. Helium and Montro are availabe as monochrome only versions, as well.
All in all, the RED system is quite versatile or, in other words, it adapts to what you need. However, keep in mind that the term ecosystem applies here. So once you invest in the RED system, you’re kind of stuck and even though you have a wide variety of options, you can only use what RED offers you, at least in terms of the core camera system. Honestly, that’s what you get with most brands and models anyway.
The newly launched Arsenal section on red.com is a great place to learn about all the options RED has on offer and to build your perfect camera system from scratch.
What do you think? Is the RED ecosystem something you consider buying into? Sahre your thoughts in the comments below!