AVAILABLE NOW: red v-raptor xl
Get to know RED’s new flagship cinema camera.
The V-Raptor XL is the new top-of-the-line digital cinema camera from RED, a studio-grade sibling to the smaller original V-Raptor. The V-Raptor XL has the same 8K/6K multi-format sensor as the V-Raptor, now housed in a body designed to be an all-in-one studio workhorse. With the XL, the DSMC3 line of cameras is gaining some long-awaited features such as a built-in electronic ND system, several additional I/O ports, and a dedicated PL mount.
Internal ND System
Probably the single biggest hardware upgrade that places the Raptor XL ahead of all previous RED cameras is the integration of internal ND filters. Thus far throughout RED’s lineup, there has yet to be an offering with internal ND, instead forcing users to find an external solution, whether that be a traditional matte box with filter trays or more unique options like the KipperTie Revolva adapter for RED Komodo. RED’s internal electronic ND system operates by physically moving the ND glass in front of the center, but rather than having multiple pieces of ND glass at differing intensities, there is only one piece that moves in and can electronically increase its density in small increments (as low as ¼ stop); a kind of hybrid between ARRI’s and the Sony FX-series’ internal ND systems. Especially since Sony and ARRI have now standardized the inclusion of internal NDs in their cinema cameras, it’s great that RED has joined the club.
I/O and Power
The XL features a much larger integrated I/O interface than the original V-Raptor, or any of the DSMC2 cameras for that matter. This means you won’t need any special breakout boxes to take full advantage of the XL’s capabilities. Speaking of power– whether you’ve got 14v or 26v batteries, the Raptor XL has you mostly covered. I say “mostly” because while this camera can run on either standard 14v batteries or 26v, you’ll need the 26v in order to utilize many of the camera’s accessory ports. If that doesn’t concern you though, you’ll be just fine on the old batteries. Plus, with the Alexa 35 switching over to 26v entirely, it’s likely that this higher output option will become something of a new industry standard anyway.
RED Control and RAW Camera to Cloud
The new RED Control app is extremely dense with features and functions, so in the interest of brevity, here’s a few highlights: live multicam viewing with full camera control, advanced LUT/CDL management, live lens control with RF lenses (including setting marks), and of course Camera to Cloud recording.
And here is where we see the Raptor XL platform make a major technological leap that could affect workflows across the whole industry: the ability to send RAW camera negatives instantly to the cloud via Frame.io as you shoot, no extra hardware necessary. Previously, camera-to-cloud has been relegated to proxy-quality clips only. While that was surely a major achievement in its own right, the ability to now instantly upload RAW files takes things to a whole new level. With RAW Camera to Cloud, not only can editors, producers, and clients remotely view and download full-quality dailies right away, but can even begin putting together a real cut - no proxies - literally as soon as the camera stops rolling.
For an in-depth look at the new RED Control Pro app, check out this RED Tech Live stream where they do a deep dive. And as always, if you're looking to get hands-on with the Raptor XL, give us a call and come check it out for yourself at CineMechanics!