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RED Komodo 6K Camera Can Also Record in 4K ProRes

RED Komodo will also have simplified REDCODE RAW HQ and MQ compressions

red komoro soderbergh
RED Komodo on set of upcoming Soderbergh film / Image by RED

Great news upcoming RED Komodo users – the Komodo can also shoot in 4K ProRes in addition to 6K REDCODE Raw

The initial RED Komodo “special colour” editions started shipping last week and some users already have theirs in hand. LA-based DP Phil Holland, who is a legend in the RED community, received one of the first production Komodo cameras (if not the first) and shared some interesting insights and findings on the reduser.net forum. 

ProRes + RED Komodo = Happy Editors 😉

Phil Holland confirmed that RED Komodo can record in 4K and 2K ProRes HQ and 422 in addition to the already confirmed REDCODE RAW (more on that a bit later).

It appears that you can record either/or, and not both at the same time.

This makes a lot of sense given the super-compact body of the Komodo. It probably doesn’t have the necessary processing and cooling capacity to accomodate the extra processing load for simultaneous recording such as DSCM2 bodies. 

Having ProRes onboard is a big deal, even though it’s nothing new in the RED camera world. Apple ProRes is easily the most popular and widely used intermediate pro codec in post-production houses worldwide. This means that having quick access to it in the most affordable RED camera (to date) will make life a whole lot easier for many. 

RED Komodo-6K-Jarred-Land-GDU-Global-Dynamics-United-S35-Redcode-Raw
Image by RED/GDU

RED Komodo RAW support in popular NLEs 

In addition, he also confirmed that REDCODE RAW from the RED Komodo is also supported in REDCINE-X Pro, DaVinci Resolve 16 and the latest Premiere Pro Beta. 

Here’s what Phil posted in this reduser thread:

Yes. ProRes. Pretty sure this hasn’t been announced yet. But yeah, RED Komodo 6K does have Apple ProRes on board. And it appears to scale the image down from the 6K to a 4K and 2K ProRes file as it should… Supported today is ProRes 422 HQ and 422. You get REDCODE RAW or ProRes, so you get to choose your own adventure…

And on the REDCODE side of things. REDCINE-X Pro, DaVinci Resolve, and the latest Adobe Premiere Pro beta already support Komodo.

Phil also posted this awesome “Jurassic Park”-vibe teaser for his new Komodo camera: 

RED Komodo REDCODE RAW MQ and HQ? 

One of the first teasers of the Komodo, which RED CEO Jarred Land shared a while back, showed a REDCODE RAW “R3D MQ” flavour icon displayed on the bottom of the top LCD screen, which many speculated could be some form of new compression. 

Well, now we have more info, again thanks to Phil Holland, as to what that actually means. Here’s what Phil said about the MQ and HQ flavours of REDCODE RAW on the Komodo: 

REDCODE RAW. The astute viewers have notices within my images and Jarred’s ‘gram’n we are looking at HQ and MQ. And I believe an LQ is planned. RED’s been the victim of “some” over complicated concepts to a degree and having REDCODE RAW being able to go from 2:1 through 22:1 has been somewhat one of those. I mean, that’s 20 settings.

Generally speaking the best way to work is always at the lowest possible compression ratio… like 8K 10:1 for a 4K finish and all that. More or less instead of 20 settings this will be simplified to 3, which is nice inside a camera like Komodo.

You’ll have some flexibility, but nothing too complicated… It’s clear RED’s looking to simplify things. I’m on board for it and think it’s a good move.

I suspect I won’t be moving from HQ much with Komodo as the 6K data rates are very reasonable, but if I needed a longer roll time perhaps.

RED Komodo Autofocus PDAF Demo
RED Komodo Autofocus/Menu/Top Screen – Image by RED

Simplified R3D RAW for the Masses!

So, from what I gather, in the RED Komodo instead of having various REDRAW compressions from let’s say 5:1 to 20:1, there will be only 2 (maybe 3 later) :

  • R3D RAW HQ (for highest quality)
  • R3D RAW MQ for smaller, but slightly more compressed files.
  • LQ is probably going to even more even more compressed. 

Some more Komodo findings that Phil shared: 

  • As of now, RED Komodo boot-up time is about 22 seconds (ouch) – this can be problematic for some (especially those coming from a DSLR/Mirrorless/BMPCC world), but after all this is a digital cinema camera. Hopefully this will improve with firmware updates.  
  • Special Edition Komodo cameras ship with Canon RF to EF adapter included. Chances are regular/Black Komodo versions will not. 
  • New OLPFs do a great job of eliminating the dreaded “magenta orbs” problem that plagued some DSMC2 sensors. 

There are of course still a lot to unfold in the coming weeks (or months) as Komodo starts shipping in larger quantities, but nevertheless, these are some very valuable insights we all got thanks to Phil Holland. You should definitely check out his website – he’s done some amazing work for big brands, and also follow him on social media. 

Will the RED Komodo Be Your First RED Camera? It may be mine

On a personal note, I really hope we get some r3d raw files from the RED Komodo soon, so each of us can do their own evaluation. I do not doubt for a second that the images out of the Komodo will be top quality, but nothing beats importing the footage in your own computer and working with it. 

There are many out there like myself, who are looking to purchase their first RED camera. As a filmmaker coming from a Canon C300 Mark II/mirrorless/BMPCC 4K/6K world, like many out there, for me getting finalized specs and official r3d raw files would finally enable me to put the final pieces of the “Komodo” puzzle together.

I’d like to also thank Phil Holland, even thought I have never met him, for taking the time to share with the RED community his Komodo experience in these challenging times we live in today. 

To stay on top of the conversation and follow Phil’s RED Komodo Diary – check out this reduser thread here.

Explore RED cameras, accessories and learn more about R3D RAW over at RED.com.

What do you think?

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