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Size Matters: Tantalizing New Details Emerge About the RED KOMODO 6K

Landing somewhere between full-frame and Super35, RED’s hotly anticipated 6K digital cinema camera boasts a sensor with a nearly 2:1 aspect ratio.

RED has been particularly coy about the specs for its newest camera, the RED KOMODO, which is expected to ship sometime in early 2020 with a surprisingly affordable price tag rumored to be somewhere in the $5,000-$6,000 range. Easily one of the most highly anticipated digital cinema cameras of the year, RED has continued to tease users about the KOMODO, trickling out tantalizing new details in the REDUSER forum and on Instagram.

First unveiled in mid-July on RED president Jarred Land’s Instagram account with a close-up image teasing a headphone jack, microphone input jack connector and a CFast LED indicator, the RED Komodo has been the source of endless speculation. Since then, RED has unveiled a number of truly exciting things about the KOMODO 6K, including anamorphic support, global shutter mode, touchscreen, and now — finally resolving one of the biggest questions for users — its sensor size.

The highly anticipated RED KOMODO 6K digital cinema camera is expected to arrive in 2020.

First, Land dropped a small clue about the sensor in the REDUSER forum, writing:

“You don’t need to fear the crop factor like you did with Raven or (black magic 6k or the Z2 6k ) and the other ‘smaller’ s35 sensors… Komodo has a whole new pixel remember and the physical sensor is much wider than all of those, 27.03mm x 14.25mm. So if you do need to crop to get to where you need to go, you are starting with much more width to get there which will be kinder to your optics.”

Then, in the same thread, cinematographer Phil Holland provided additional details:

“What you get with Komodo 6K is as Super 35mm Plus format size (wider) that is slightly larger than Dragon/Monstro at 5K FF format/resolution, slightly smaller than both of those in 5.5K FF. Interesting stuff. When I was filming mainly on Dragon 6K (all the stuff I shot for Absolut, BMW, Sharp, etc) I was using 5.5K FF as the main format as the general image circle for S35 lenses was/is designed around the typical spec for S35 4-perf. Komodo kinda lives in there. So glass-wise, you can use whatever you want on it when it comes to larger format coverage, but S35-wise and APS-C or whatever you can put some really small glass on there.​”

So, what’s the verdict — is KOMODO full-frame or Super35? According to Land and Holland, No Film School reports, the KOMODO’s sensor lands somewhere in the middle: Super 35mm Plus with an almost 2:1 aspect ratio.

  • Format Size:03mm x 14.25mm (30.56mm image circle)
  • Format Resolution: 6144 x 3240 (19.91 megapixels)
  • Format Aspect Ratio:90:1

“The RED Komodo 6K is not a Full-Frame, or Large Format, camera but the sensor is larger than Kodak’s Super 35mm 3-Perf film,” notes the ProVideo Coalition. “Additionally, the 6K Komodo boasts a nearly 2:1 native aspect ratio making the camera a near-perfect match for the 2:1 player we all carry around, our smartphones.”

While we await the official specs from RED, which will hopefully arrive before the end of the year, 4K Shooters has created a list of all of the features and other details that have been confirmed about the KOMODO to date:

  • Fixed Canon RF mount
    • RF to EF (and PL) adapters available
    • many more adapter options
  • Phase-detect Autofocus support
  • There will be some sort of Global Shutter Mode
  • 6K/40fps full-sensor; 6K WS at 50fps
    • in Global Shutter Mode
  • REDCODE Raw recording options
  • Anamorphic support
  • CFast 2.0 recording media
    • first RED camera to use non-proprietary media
  • Komodo is both the name of the new sensor and camera body
    • Komodo is not DSMC2 or replacement for it
    • Not DSMC3 either: it’s an auxiliary camera in the lineup
  • 4K SDI output (can be 6G or 12G-SDI, that’s TBD)
  • 3.5mm audio in, headphone jack
  • 2 x Canon BP style battery slots, hot-swappable
  • Top touchscreen menu and live-view display
  • Wi-Fi for remote camera control and monitoring
  • Cube-like form-factor, smallest RED camera to date
  • Release sometime in 2020
  • Price: $5K-6K or slightly more
    • Hydrogen gets you some sort of discount
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