“The Komodo can also record in various flavours of ProRes 422, but to do so means missing out on the true strength of Raw”
the rest of the debayering is done in post. What the Red Komodo does is record compressed Raw and do all of the debayering in post. This means it’s far easier and quicker to capture in-camera, and allows the Komodo to record R3D Raw files to a CFast card. There’s a choice of three compression quality levels – low, medium or high. The Komodo can also record in various flavours of ProRes 422 for a faster workflow, but to do that means to miss out on the true strength of Raw video files – which is getting pure data right off the sensor. Switch between Raw and ProRes, but the camera has to reboot each time you change. Working with the largest 6K files puts stress on your editing workstation, but the quality is superb. The control Raw files give allows you to push and pull them around, and tweak as you like. Skin tones are smooth and natural, and the Raw capture lets you pull back a huge amount of highlight and shadow detail. There is a choice of resolution. As the camera records from the whole size of its Super 35 sensor in 6K, going down to 5K, 4K or 2K is simply a crop of the sensor, causing the angle of view to change along with the maximum frame rate. Compared to a full-frame sensor, shooting the Red Komodo in 6K gives an equivalent 1.34x crop and a maximum frame rate of 40fps. In 5K, it’s a 1.61x crop and 50fps, while
CINE WINNER Our awards once again show that California- based company Red makes top-quality kit
exposure and focusing tools to get everything right, but you will still need to input recording settings on the small touchscreen anyway. The camera comes with built-in Wi-Fi, so if you’ve put it in an awkward position then it’s best to link up your smart device and control it from the dedicated app. Purely in terms of everyday usability, Red cameras differ from the vast majority of their cinema competitors that come with useful features like built-in ND filters, XLR audio inputs and lots of buttons on the side of the camera to tweak those most-used settings. The Red has none of this. What you are buying is a small, but potent box camera that weighs just 952g/2.1lb (for the body only) and is ultimately a cube measuring 102x102x102mm/4x4x4in. Then, you are free to bolt on accessories, transforming it into the precise camera you need it to be. It’s a flexible design that offers fantastic performance, stunning R3D Raw output and zero rolling shutter issues.
4K is 2.01x and 60fps. Go down to 2K and it’s a 4.02x crop compared to full-frame, but this allows you to record up to 120fps. This is slower than many of Red’s DSMC2 range of cinema cameras, but remember, they’re more than double the price. No one’s claiming it’s the king of high frame rates. At low ISO settings (up to around 800) it’s noise-free, although you do need to give the sensor lots of light where possible. It’s a decent performer up to ISO 3200, but after that becomes a bit noisy. Getting exposure right is key, helped by what is a first for Red – a built-in touchscreen colour display. This is only small (sized 73.7x73.7mm/2.9x2.9in), but allows you to access the menus as well as seeing a small live preview. The screen has a histogram display, false colours and a traffic light system for checking exposure. It is fixed on top of the body though, so can be hard to see when the camera is at eye level. Many users will rely on an external monitor with a range of
EDITOR’S CHOICE: KINEFINITY MAVO EDGE 6K
It doesn’t feature autofocus, image stabilisation or autoexposure, but there is a variable ND filter plus Wi-Fi, genlock and timecode, with a variety of monitoring and powering options. The solid metal build does make it heavier than the pricier 8K version, but it’s still petite enough to be stripped down for gimbals or rigged up for serious cinematography. The Mavo Edge 6K is an affordable, pure cine camera for when image quality is everything.
Kinefinity’s Mavo Edge 6K is built for smaller production companies wanting a modular cinema camera with a full-frame sensor, but who can’t justify an Arri, Red or Sony Venice. High- end cinema cameras focus on image quality in terms of the incredible look of high-bit-rate files. The Kinefinity Mavo Edge 6K isn’t in the 16-bit Raw league of its most-expensive rivals, but still delivers stunning quality from its ProRes codec at a fraction of the cost (£10,968/$10,499).
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