Full details of the new RED Raven

Written by Andy Stout

REDThe new Raven: a lot in 3.5lbs

After a week of drip-feeding late night information via reduser.net, RED has finally unveiled the full details of its new Raven camera and aimed it squarely at the sub $10,000 market.

So, we’ve talked about the Raven a couple of times in the past weeks, and, to be honest, if you’ve been paying attention to what we’ve been writing and what else has been flying about on reduser.net as Jarred Land has unburdened himself over the past few days, then there’s not going to be much that surprises you in what follows.

However there are some headlines, the chief of which is the weight, which is listed as a meagre 3.5lbs (1.59kg) including Brain with Media Bay and Canon Lens Mount. Obviously that will scale with all the bits and pieces that are useful for shooting, such as, of, lenses, but it’s an impressively lightweight start and suggests that part of its remit will be to mount a RED flavoured assault on the drone/gimbal market.

Indeed, a RED Raven Jetpack Package is specifically designed for use with handheld gimbals, drones, jibs and cranes.

Equipped with a 4K RED DRAGON sensor the unit is capable of recording REDCODE RAW in 4K at up to 120fps and in 2K at up to 240fps, which is fairly impressive. It can also record Apple ProRes at the same time for a nice, uncomplicated workflow, but only at 2K judging from the current spec sheet.

There is plenty of mention of expander modules in the specs, but given the modular nature of the Weapon ecosystem that the company is trying to build (and the fact that the Raven is built around the new Weapon body) that is only to be expected.

Ship date is listed as February 2016 and orders are being taken now. Prices range from the Brain only, which is $5,950 ($500 deposit), to a full shooting package which includes Brain, Base I/O V-Lock Expander, RED Mini-Mag 120GB, 4.7” LCD, AC Power Adaptor, and DSMC2 Outrigger Handle for $9,950 ($1,000 deposit) – and delays shipping till March 2016.

RedShark Editor, David Shapton, provides the following from a New York hotel room at 3am.

The specification sheet provided by RED reveals a few more details about the character of the camera.

240 fps at 2K is pretty impressive. That's ten times slow motion relative to a 24p project. And 120 fps at 4K is very handy too. (When we say 4K here, it's full DCI 4K: ie 4096 x2160.)

The sensor array is a full 8.8 megapixel 4096 x 2160. No surprises here because it's a Dragon sensor. Having a one to one ratio between the sensor's pixel array and the output image is good because it eliminates any need to resize the image, although that's before the deBayering process.

Claimed dynamic range is an eye-watering 16.5 stops, although, as with any camera, this is subjective, because it depends on the tester's opinion about how much noise is acceptable in an image. Testing in the real world will probably reveal a lower figure but at the very least the Raven's claimed dynamic range is bigger than most other cameras' claimed dynamic ranges.

The new camera records in Pro Res 4:2:2 HD modes ( ProRes 422, ProRes LT and ProRes HQ) but not in 4K.

Much of the camera's I/O is via external modules, which obviously add to the cost, but probably keeps it down overall given that you only need to pick the ones you need.

Press release after the break.


IRVINE, CA – September 25th, 2015. Today, RED Digital Cinema unveiled the latest addition to its line of professional cameras, RED RAVEN. Weighing in at only 3.5 pounds, RED RAVEN is RED’s lightest and most compact camera, making it the ultimate choice for a range of applications including documentaries, online content creation, indie filmmaking, and use with drones or gimbals. With pricing that starts at $5,950 for the camera BRAIN® only, and complete packages under $10,000, RED RAVEN reflects RED’s ongoing commitment to the belief that cinema-quality creative tools should not be in the hands of a few—they should be available to all professional shooters.

RED RAVEN is equipped with a 4K RED DRAGON sensor, and is capable of recording REDCODE RAW (R3D) in 4K at up to 120 fps and in 2K at up to 240 fps. RED RAVEN also offers incredible dynamic range, RED’s renowned color science, and is capable of recording REDCODE RAW and Apple ProRes simultaneously—ensuring shooters get the best image quality possible in any format.

"RED RAVEN is a new category in our line up,” says Jarred Land, President of Red Digital Cinema.  “It’s a younger, hungrier, more ‘spirited' member of the RED family with a bit of a chip on its shoulder, ready to take on the entire sub-$10k market with images that users will be incredibly proud of."

RED RAVEN will begin shipping in February 2016, and deposits will be accepted beginning today. Customers will be given a choice of purchasing the BRAIN only and building a kit that best fits their needs, or choosing a complete package. The RED RAVEN Base I/O Package offers everything content creators need to take their productions to the next level of image quality and professionalism, while the RED RAVEN JETPACK Package is specifically designed for use with handheld gimbals, drones, jibs and cranes.

RED RAVEN BRAIN ONLY - $5,950 ($500 deposit) – ships February 2016

RED RAVEN JETPACK PACKAGE - $9,750 ($1,000 deposit) – ships February 2016
Includes a RED RAVEN BRAIN, JETPACK, Battery Belt Clip, RED MINI-MAG 120GB, 4.7” LCD, AC Power Adaptor, and DSMC2 Outrigger Handle.

RED RAVEN I/O PACKAGE - $9,950 ($1,000 deposit) – ships March 2016
Includes a RED RAVEN BRAIN, Base I/O V-Lock Expander, RED MINI-MAG 120GB, 4.7” LCD, AC Power Adaptor, and DSMC2 Outrigger Handle.

Deposits can be made online at RED.com, or through a RED Authorized Dealer.

Tags: Production


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