The DSMC2® DRAGON® cameras are part of the second-generation Digital Still and Motion Camera (DSMC2) system. The DSMC2 family, a subset of the DSMC® family, includes WEAPON, RED EPIC-W®, SCARLET-W, and RED RAVEN®. With an ultra-high megapixel count, high frame rate, significant processing power, high dynamic range, and the advantages of a raw file format, each camera offers the ability to simultaneously capture video and stills.
The DSMC2 DRAGON system includes the following cameras:
RED DRAGON 6K
DSMC2 DRAGON (Carbon Fiber)
- These cameras were originally named "WEAPON 6K (Carbon Fiber)" and "WEAPON 6K (Magnesium)". Upgrading to firmware v7.0.3 or later changes the in-camera name to "DSMC2 DRAGON". Images of the camera throughout this guide show the "WEAPON" coin logo. For more information, see the DSMC2 Cameras and Upgrades article.
NOTE: The camera itself does not have a DC IN power port. A port expander or power module is required to power the camera. To construct a working configuration for any camera, RED recommends an expander, battery, lens mount, display, and media.
Read Before You Shoot
Read this operation guide carefully and in its entirety before assembling or operating your camera or other RED accessories. In addition to this document, RED offers the following operation guides for the camera system:
To download RED operation guides, go to RED Downloads.
R3D File Format and REDCODE
All videos and frames are recorded to the R3D® file format. The R3D file format was developed by RED to provide an efficient and manageable RAW video data format that promotes advanced post production editing capabilities. In the R3D file format, the digital image received from the sensor is formatted as a pixel-defect corrected (but in all other aspects unprocessed) 16-bit per pixel RAW data frame. Each RAW frame, or sequence of RAW frames in a clip, is compressed using a proprietary wavelet based REDCODE® RAW compression, then stored to
RAW data is recorded independently of any RGB domain color processing such as ISO, White Balance, or other RGB color space settings. Instead, color parameters are saved as reference metadata; that is, color is not burned into the recorded RAW data. This recording technique promotes flexibility in RGB color processing, which can be deferred to post production or adjusted in the field, without affecting the recorded RAW data image quality or dynamic range.
REDCODE is a visually lossless, wavelet-based compression codec that reduces R3D RAW files into a manageable size, allowing longer recording times on media. The ability to compress RAW data is one of the significant technologies that RED has brought to the industry.
For more information, see the DSMC Media Operation Guide.
NOTE: REDCINE-X PRO® can create and export .RMD “Look” files which may then be imported as camera monitor path color processing presets. This information is stored as reference metadata, so that these color processing choices can be the default values used in post production. For more information, go to Looks.
Shoot For Video and Stills
High resolution video, such as the digital footage captured by the camera, has surpassed the detail necessary to produce professional full-sized prints. Because of the ability to record at high frame rates and resolution, the camera is ideally suited to capture video and still images, simultaneously.
The camera is equipped with a Stills mode that makes it easier to capture stunning images. With presets optimized for stills and Swipe-Up Shortcuts for the RED Touch display, switching from Motion mode to Stills mode is seamless. Using REDCINE-X PRO, or other editing applications supporting the RED SDK, you can pull full resolution still images from R3D files.
NOTE: Third-party applications may have limited compatibility with R3D files. Third-party developers must use the most recent R3D SDK to offer compatibility with the latest RED firmware.
Many non-linear editing systems (NLEs) can open and edit RED footage. Each NLE version may have specific compatibility requirements, such as camera firmware version or camera type. Before shooting, check all compatibility requirements.
The following programs can be used to open and/or edit R3D files:
- REDCINE-X PRO: RED's proprietary NLE. Download REDCINE-X PRO for Windows or REDCINE-X PRO for Mac.
- Adobe Photoshop: Can open .R3D files. Requires you to download the RED Adobe Photoshop Installer for Windows or RED Adobe Photoshop Installer for Mac.
- Adobe Premiere Pro: For more information on compatibility, go to the RED Support site.
- Avid Media Composer
- DaVinci Resolve
- Edius Pro
- Final Cut Pro 7: Requires you to download the RED Apple Workflow Installer.
- Final Cut Pro X: Requires you to download the RED Apple Workflow Installer.
- Vegas Pro
Post Production with REDCINE-X PRO
REDCINE-X PRO is a professional one-light coloring toolset, equipped with an integrated timeline and a post effects software collection that provides the ideal environment to review recorded footage, edit metadata, organize projects, and prepare your R3D files. Use either REDCINE-X PRO or a compatible third-party non-linear editing (NLE) application to edit R3D files.
RED TETHER, included in REDCINE-X PRO, allows you to record footage from your camera directly to a computer or an external drive. Using tethering bypasses the need to record to an SSD and offload to a computer later, saving you time. The latest version of REDCINE-X PRO for Windows, REDCINE-X PRO for Mac, and the REDCINE-X PRO Operation Guide are available for download at RED Downloads.
NOTE: RED TETHER is included in REDCINE-X PRO build 35 or later.
NOTE: RED TETHER requires a GIG-E port, which is available on the DSMC2 Jetpack-SDI Expander, DSMC2 REDVOLT Expander, and DSMC2 Production Module. For more information, go to Input/Output Connectors.
HDRX and MAGIC MOTION
HDRX® extends dynamic range up to six (6) stops by simultaneously capturing two (2) images of identical resolution and frame rate. The first image is a normally exposed track (A-track), while the second is an underexposed track (X-track) with an exposure value that reflects the additional stops of highlight protection. These tracks are “motion-conjoined” during recording, leaving no time gap between the two (2) exposures. This is different from traditional alternating exposures, which have small gaps between tracks, producing unwanted motion tracks.
MAGIC MOTION is a post production method that combines two (2) HDRX tracks to create an image with both natural motion blur (from the A-track) and sharper reference (the X-track). MAGIC MOTION produces an image with an extraordinary dynamic range that is not available with any other motion capture camera.
Shooting at 24 fps with a 180° (1/48 sec) shutter on traditional film or digital cameras produces motion blur throughout, which is not the way the human eye observes motion. For example, ask someone to swing their arm. What you would observe in a traditional recording of this action is constant motion blur until the arm stops. However, what your eye sees is both motion blur and a sharper reference of the arm throughout the motion path. MAGIC MOTION creates an image that matches the natural motion observed by the human eye.
The following resources offer additional information about RED, the DSMC system, and the RED community:
- RED.com: Check the official RED website for the latest information about RED products.
- RED Learn Articles: RED offers in-depth technical articles about RED cameras, post-production, and digital cinematography.
- RED Downloads: Go to RED Downloads to download the latest firmware, operation guides, and post-production software.
- DSMC Toolkit: Go to RED Downloads to find the DSMC Toolkit, which offers many helpful tools and resources to customize and improve your camera workflow.
- RED Support: Check the RED SUPPORT site for FAQs, or to file a support ticket.
- In-Camera Help: Select the Help button on an in-camera screen to open up the help for that screen.
- REDUSER: Discuss all things RED on the REDUSER third-party forum.