RED has just released a major Beta firmware update (1.7.0) for their most accessible cinema camera, the KOMODO. Along with the anticipated .R3D ELQ setting and Gio Scope exposure tool, the update brings Camera to Cloud integration, support for gyro data in .R3D files and more.
Just a few weeks ago, RED Digital Cinema’s CEO Jarred Land posted a picture on his social platforms teasing some of the features that would be included in the next RED KOMODO firmware update. Though, he couldn’t promise a “Christmas miracle” for the update to arrive before then.
Well, right on time, Beta Build 1.7.0 for RED KOMODO is out of the oven. As a RED KOMODO owner, this is the perfect Christmas gift and I’m glad to see the company continuing to expand the camera’s capabilities, thus making it a long-term investment. So let’s take a look at the new features!
RED KOMODO Beta 1.7.0: .R3D ELQ & Camera to Cloud
Throughout the year, RED has released two major firmware updates for their flagship V-RAPTOR cameras (Lab Test here), namely v1.3.4 and, more recently, v1.4.1 beta. What’s great is that the KOMODO is now inheriting some of those features, such as .R3D ELQ and even Camera to Cloud.
.R3D ELQ is a new low-quality compression option for REDCODE RAW files, which joins the already available HQ, MQ, and LQ settings. ELQ compression should provide approximately 50% more recording time than LQ mode. Thus, it is great for documentary filmmakers shooting long interviews and, more generally, each time storage space might be a concern. I’m curious to test it and see how noticeable the higher compression actually is.
Moreover, it will now be possible to instantly upload .R3D or ProRes files to the cloud via frame.io or Amazon S3, while also sending .WAV audio files and CDL/LUTs. Of course, this will require a blazingly-fast internet connection. However, it’s nice to have the option to experiment with this technology, especially considering that frame.io depicts a future where hard-drive-free workflows will dominate.
Gio Scope, Gyro data and other features
As teased by Land, Gio Scope is making a comeback to the DSMC3 lineup. This RAW-based False Color exposure tool can help you nail your exposure, as it precisely displays each stop in the sensor’s dynamic range with a different color. The overlay is calibrated to display 16 increments, although the KOMODO only records about 12.5 usable stops (check out our Lab Test here). Each stop can be turned on and off from the dedicated Gio Scope menu, while a Tools quick-access button has also been added in the main UI.
Another interesting addition is the support for accelerometer and gyro data, which is now embedded into .R3D files. With other cameras, like the Sony FX6, this information can be used to stabilize footage in post-production. This is good news since the KOMODO’s 6K global shutter sensor lacks any sort of in-camera stabilization. However, it looks like this function will require future implementations to fully become useable.
Other noteworthy features include the ability to send external-only audio over SDI, which can be useful for streaming, new Basic and Standard overlay modes with opacity adjustments, and the addition of Internal Manual timecode.
Full list of improvements
These are only some of the most relevant enhancements that come with Beta Build 1.7.0. Also, the update brings some bug fixes and general stability improvements. Here’s a full list.
- ELQ R3D Quality
- Cloud Upload capability (Frame.io and S3)
- Autofocus improvements
- accelerometer and gyro data to R3D
- Gio Scope
- enhanced Timecode behavior
- Timecode Out
- External Only Audio over SDI Improvements
- Sensor Sync Shift
- PTP Timecode Support
- ‘Basic’ Overlay Mode
- ‘Standard’ Overlay Mode
- Overlay Opacity
- Guide Pixel Dimensions in UI
- User-assignable Low Voltage Warning over SDI
- RCP2 external lens data support
- RCP2 support for sensor time and exposure time
- Play/Pause indicators in Playback
- USB drive support for logs, presets and calibration files
- ‘Forget’ not clearing cached network password
- Lowest Lens aperture not displayed in UI
- Livestream freezing after changing format
- Playback button with button lock
- Known issue in 1.7.0beta: Low Voltage Warning over SDI will occur with the use of any BP-style batteries
- Warning message will occur with unapproved Media and Batteries
Price and availability
Beta Build 1.7.0 for KOMODO is now available to download free of charge from RED’s website. Please keep in mind that this is a Beta release and that it’s usually not recommended to upgrade your camera firmware in the middle of a production. Finally, the camera is currently listed on B&H/CVP for $5,995/€6.350 (body only).
For the full firmware release notes, please visit RED’s website here.
Have you ever shot on the RED KOMODO? What features are you most excited about? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!