We are big fans of RED here at Prelight and wanted to share some of the highlights of the Red Raptor. To get started the RED V-Raptor is a multi format camera that delivers 8K VV and 6K S35. It has the highest dynamic range of any RED camera with over 17 stops allowing “ultimate exposure protection and smooth highlight roll-offs”. This also provides clean shadows and great low light performance. Being able to shoot at such high resolutions allows productions to capture to as much detail as possible. This also allows great flexibility in the edit; more frame space for resizing shots and the highest possible quality when downscaling the video to 4K.
The improvements over DSCM2 are substantial and with DSCM3 the annoyances and difficulties of using earlier RED models have been resolved. RED have integrated an easy to navigate control display into the Raptor that allows easy access to a redesigned menu system with much better operator usability. Combined with the DSCM3 RED touch 7.0” monitor both operator and AC have easy access to the menu system to make on the fly changes. The most remarkable difference is how quick the playback is on the camera. High frame rates and 8K footage playback quickly, with little delay and there are no more awkward waits for the camera to power up. The camera only weighs 1800g and with accessories such as the Dual XLR Adapter, being modular means the camera can be built to suit all productions.
The V-Raptor allows operators to shoot with a wide variety of frame rates. Starting with 8K you can shoot at 120 frames per second in a 17:9 aspect ratio. The camera delivers 240 frames per second at 4K in a 17:9 aspect ratio and if you want to slow it down even more, you can shoot 2K (2.4:1) at 600 frames per second. Having this range of frame rates expands the flexibility of this camera making it incredibly versatile and suitable for a wide range of shoots. For the new DSCM3 cameras RED has streamlined the myriad of compression choices that were present on the DSCM2 cameras, replacing it with REDCODE HQ (up to 360 MB/s), MQ (up to 300 MB/s) and LQ (up to 180 MB/s). Another welcome addition is the ability to add baked in colour to ProRes proxies, a feature that has been well received by editors. For more information on the available frame rates for this camera please visit the RED page.
The V-RAPTOR 8K VV utilises the same Canon RF mount as the KOMODO, but adds a PL mount-like locking ring. The camera can use Canon RF lenses, PL lenses with an adapter and several other mount adapters are available, so it’s great for lens choice flexibility. We are fans of the Kippertie lens mounts and use these are available on our Raptors. Autofocus is rapidly becoming a needed tool for many filmmakers. While we always prefer to work with a first AC for focus pulling when we can, sometimes the space is too small or the shot poses a particular challenge that autofocus needs to conquer. Using either RF or EF lenses both deliver great AF results with the Raptor and again provide further flexibility to this camera.
The RED Raptor allows a great deal of flexibility for a wide range of productions. Being a modular build means it can be easily set up on a gimbal, flown on a drone, rigged to vehicles or used to shoot fashion, music videos, documentaries and films. The footage from this camera is fantastic and there is a clear improvement over previous models.
Here at Prelight one of our favourite combinations is the RED Raptor with our Leica R lenses. The ability to shoot VV with the Leica’s makes them a perfect option for the Raptor and if you don’t want to record 8K, you can record ProRes 4K whilst still using the whole sensor. Alternatively the DZO lenses work really well with the Raptor but can only be used shooting at 6K S35.
If you would like to delve deeper into the RED Raptor there are some great online resources available. CVP have done an extensive review of the camera which can be found here and of course RED’s website is a great source of information.