RED is making an early push to be the talk of NAB 2015 by teasing information on its new Weapon Dragon camera in the weeks before the show.
Leading up to NAB 2015, there's a definite buzz in the industry, as camera and device makers prep their latest creations for exhibit. We're all wondering what Sony, Canon, Panasonic, Blackmagic, AJA and others will showcase and we only have a few short weeks to find out.
In somewhat of a preemptive strike, RED, through its popular user forums, has dripped out information about its upcoming camera, the RED Weapon Dragon. While there isn't much information about the body's internals, the camera will purportedly achieve improved performance from the Dragon sensor and there will be multiple Weapon bodies, according to RED CEO Jarred Land. The company typically takes a modular approach to its products, which will likley equate to one Weapon body capable of multiple configurations. However, Land also revealed that "the Weapon brain is actually almost half an inch shorter than the Epic brain, and when you add the modules there is no adapter needed and things get much more compact." The prospect of a more compact camera that actually betters Epic's Dragon performance is no doubt welcome news to RED users.
RED goes Prores
To the surprise of many, Land also revealed (albeit cryptically) that the Weapon Dragon will record Prores, in a Facebook post of this image:
This is a big deal, as RED has previously eschewed Prores recording, leading users to adopt third party solutions. Readers familiar with RED cameras will notice another teaser in the above photo: the confirmation of 1TB Mini-Mags, which were first teased back in 2013.
A word to the Epic and Scarlet Users
Epic Dragon and Scarlet Dragon users can take heart: there are no immediate plans to discontinue support for those cameras. According to Land, "the Dragon family is a family of 3 now. Best, Bester, and Bestist. ;)" And there will indeed be upgrade paths offered for Scarlet Dragon and Epic Dragon users wishing to make the jump to Weapon, although details, such as price, are unavailable at present.
MX upgrade rush?
Those with Epic and Scarlet cameras who have not yet updated from MX to the Dragon sensor have until sometime this summer to do so. Land strongly urges MX camera owners to upgrade to Dragon before NAB, to take advantage of special event pricing and to secure your place in line for the Weapon upgrade. In Land's words, waiting until after NAB to upgrade MX to Dragon "will cost you a lot more money and your spot in line [for Weapon upgrades] might be way far out."
What's in a name?
For those who may be sensitive to the rather aggressive name attached to RED's upcoming camera (or for those travelers who dread the prospect of explaining that the black box labeled 'Weapon' isn't an actual weapon), the company has you in mind. When ordering, you will have the option of purchasing a 'Stealth' unit without the 'Weapon' branding.
We'll follow-up this story as RED continues its information drip leading up to the show.
And check back with RedShark News during NAB 2015, as we'll be on hand to provide in-depth reporting and commentary on the year's biggest film tech event.