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Mon, 31 Jan 2022

RED Komodo. The perfect B-Cam to the V Raptor

It’s not uncommon to see a RED Komodo as A-cam on a shoot. The tiny body rigged with PL zooms or primes, matte box, v-lock rigs, a monitor, wireless follow focus and a Teradek to send video to the 1st AC or even video village. But with the arrival of the Red V-Raptor, the Komodo’s versatility and robustness has found another role as the perfect b-cam. For years the trade-off has been huge when choosing a B-cam or gimbal camera lightweight enough for small gimbals and drones. “There used to be huge disparities in quality based on price, and only the highest level productions could afford high resolution, high colour fidelity cameras. Komodo breaks that.” - Erik Messerschmidt, ASC (Mank, Mindhunter).

With the Komodo, a true RED cinema camera in dynamic range and resolution can fit seamlessly with the remarkable V-Raptor when a very light set-up is required. Offering up to 6K resolution from a Super 35 Sensor, and frame rates up to 120fps at 2K, as well as the Red IPP2 colour pipeline; matching a Komodo to a V-Raptor is possible without the compromise usually found in matching two cameras of such different footprints and specs. Additionally, the Komodo will sit nicely in a kit beside the DSMC2’s most recent cameras — the 8K Monstro and Helium, and the low-light beast the 5K Gemini.

Much like the ARRI Alexa Mini, designed as a B-cam but ultimately in high demand as an A-cam, the Red Komodo is a fantastic camera that has dual uses but shines in its new role complimenting the V-Raptor. Talking about using the Red Komodo as an action cam (and B-Cam to the RED Ranger) on The Matrix Resurrections, DoP Daniele Massaccesi described it as “a terrific camera… It’s such a small body you can place it anywhere. We used it a lot in vehicles. On a movie like this with lots of fast motion, gunfire and explosions, you want the action to be as hard and as high resolution as possible. The global shutter eliminates that rubber motion you get from cameras with conventional shutter.” 

The Komodo is also finding use as a high-end drone camera - in the commercial world, Jonny FPV operated the Komodo on a drone for brands such as Apple and Mercedes and the NFL Pro Bowl event. He then took that skill to high-end b-cam use, for Netflix’s Red Notice starring Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson; where it seamlessly complimented the RED Ranger A-Cam and allowed for lengthy sweeping camera movements not achievable previously without the aid of CGI. 

The future is bright for a camera some initially dismissed as not having a role in the RED lineup, whether that is as a fantastic small A-cam especially for solo operators or as a perfect B-cam to its bigger brothers such as the RED V-raptor.