New Red Dragon Footage

Posted: October 6, 2013 in -
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phfx_DragonClippedHighlightRollOffTest

Plus a fun makeup job.

Red Dragon changes the game and makes digital much more film like at the extremes — where brights clip.  Now 16+ stops of dynamic range are captured, making the brights roll off much more convincingly than most digital systems in use today.

Thread from cinematographer Phil Holland.

phfx_DragonHighlightRetentionTest

Bad digital highlight clipping looks like the stone sidewalk at the bottom right here:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Perhaps a more obvious example would be to just clip the levels from one of Phil Holland’s Dragon still frames (cropped area):

Red Dragon SensorA002_C021_10036V.0000201--crop

What most other sensors would captureA002_C021_10036V.0000201--crop--WITH CLIPPING

PS

One of the main problems with sensors clipping is that the three color channels do not clip equally, depending on the color of the light.  So you may get green channel or red channel clipping, but not the others.   This leads to ugly color shifts on faces in very bright hard highlights, such as noir styled lighting (Battlestar Galactica, anyone?).  High-contrast situations such as bright sunlight hitting actors’ faces, or bright sun through windows coming into a room, as well as through car windows and dense forests, can be torturous.  Also color gels and tungsten lighting are ways that the color shifts and can cause peaking on one channel but not the others.

Here is where a sensor like the Dragon is preferred, as it will not botch the image the way lesser sensors would perform.  This is more like film which naturally looks smoother as it flares to white.  In terms of really competing with film and even outperforming it, the Dragon is a milestone achievement (despite the claims of manufacturers and hardcore fanboys).

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