RED has announced the V-RAPTOR 8K VV camera. This is a limited edition Stormtrooper camera and the first new camera in RED’S DSMC3 series.
The camera is capable of recording 8K R3D files at up to 120fps. The current RED MONSTRO VV is only capable of recording 8192 x 4320 up to 60 fps.
- 35.4MP Full-Frame, Rolling Shutter CMOS
- Lightweight & Compact DSMC3 Design
- Canon RF Lens & CFexpress Type-B Support
- Up to 8K120 17:9, 6K198 S35 & 4K240 17:9
- 17+ Stops of Dynamic Range
- DSCM3 7.0″ Touch Monitor
- Right-Side Assistant’s User Interface
- REDCODE Raw HQ, MQ & LQ Options
- USB Type-C & Dual 12G-SDI Ports
Jarred actually leaked the name of the camera prior to the announcement on Instagram.
The announcement comes just days after Jarred Land posted images on his Instagram account, teasing RED’s new camera.
You can watch an upcoming Q&A on YouTube in a few hours.
The V-RAPTOR can record 8K DCI at up to 120fps, or 8K 2.4:1 up to 150fps. It can do up to 200fps in 6K 2:4:1, 300fps in 4K 2.4:1, and 600fps in 2K 2.4:1.
The camera can record in REDCODE HQ, MQ, and LQ. What you clearly need to know is that most of the higher frame rates in the various resolutions cannot be done in the HQ mode.
You also need to be aware that FF mode is not available when shooting in 2K/4K/5K/6K resolutions, you are limited to S35. This is hardly surprising, as RED has been doing this with all of its cameras. You change the resolution and you crop in on the sensor. In saying that, this is a way of not having to do any type of pixel binning.
You will notice that there aren’t any ProRes recording options listed. They are apparently coming once the camera receives ProRes certification.
The RED V-RAPTOR features a multi-format 8K sensor that has the ability to shoot 8K Large Format or 6K S35. The sensor is claimed to boasts the highest recorded dynamic range of any RED camera and the fastest ever cinema-quality scan time. RED is quoting a dynamic range of over 17 stops and scan times 2x faster than any previous RED camera. Again, these are just claims.
The sensor is a 35.4 Megapixel CMOS sensor (40.96 mm x 21.60 mm) Diagonal: 46.31 mm. These are exactly the same dimensions as the sensor that is being used in the MONSTRO 8K VV. It would appear that RED is using the MONSTRO VV sensor in the V-RAPTOR. The faster recording media and processing is presumably what is allowing for the increased frame rates.
The camera is designed in the familiar cube or box style we have all become accustomed to.
There is a 2.4″ LCD for camera control (no preview video) on the non-operators side of the camera.
Above you can see how the size of the V-RAPTOR compares to the KOMODO.
The V-RAPTOR tips the scales at 4.03 lb / 1.82kg (without body cap and CFexpress card). As a comparison, KOMODO weighs 2.1 lb / 1 kg.
The V-RAPTOR has an LCD screen on the non-operators side and the controls look to be in a similar spot to where you would find them on a RED RANGER MONSTRO 8K VV.
There is no built-in ND, instead RED is making an electronic variable ND mount where you can swap the filters in and out. This is similar to how options such as the KipperTie work. RED’s version won’t be available till the end of this year or early next year.
On the RED RANGER V-RAPTOR version of this camera that will be coming at some stage, there will be built-in ND.
RED doesn’t officially list the power draw of the V-RAPTOR, but they have said that a 98Wh battery will get you around 1 hour of running time.
The V-RAPTOR features the same Canon RF mount as the KOMODO, except it features a locking ring. This means you can use native Canon RF lenses, Canon EF lenses with an adapter, Pl lenses with an adapter, etc.
I’m not so sure about having an RF mount for a $24,500 USD digital cinema camera. A lot of people are going to end up having to use adapters.
The RAPTOR is the first RED camera to utilize CFExpress Type B cards. These cards are a lot faster than the CFast 2.0 cards that the KOMODO utilizes. CFast 2.0 cards would not have been fast enough to use with this new camera.
RED is selling its own branded RED PRO CFEXPRESS 660GB card for $959.99 USD. This card is actually being made by Angelbird. This is the only card that is currently certified for use with the V-RAPTOR.
Why not CFexpress Type A cards you may be asking? Well, I think that because that is still quite a new format there is not a large range of cards available, and currently the largest size CFexpress Type A card is only 160GB.
The new camera is capable of recording up to four channels of audio, however, two of those appear to only be available to the cameras integrated dual channel digital mono microphones. External audio is done through a 5-pin Lemo Audio input. This enables mic/line/+48V inputs to be used.
The camera doesn’t have any XLR inputs. Instead, you would need to use a breakout cable if you wanted to directly input XLR sources into the camera.
It doesn’t have a 5-pin XLR input that you will find on the RED RANGER cameras.
Inputs & Outputs
RAPTOR features two 12G-SDI outputs, a USB-C input, a 5-pin Lemo Audio input, 11-17V DC In, and an EXT connector port. Below you can see what the SDI ports are capable of:
Integrated dual 12G-SDI with 6G-SDI, 3G-SDI and 1.5G-SDI modes
12G-SDI: Up to 4096 x 2160 4:2:2 for 60p
6G-SDI: Up to 4096 x 2160 4:2:2 for 30p, 25p, 24p
3G-SDI: Up to 2048 x 1080 4:2:2 for 60p
1.5G-SDI: Up to 2048 x 1080 4:2:2 for 30p, 25p, 24p
SMPTE Timecode, HANC Metadata, 24-bit 48 kHz Audio
There is also built-in Wi-Fi for camera control via the use of an interchangeable dual-band (2.4 GHz/5 GHz) antenna mounted to a female RP-SMA connector. There is also Genlock, Timecode-in, GPIO and Ctrl (RS-232) via the integrated 9-pin EXT Port. You can also do wired control via USB-C or Gigabit Ethernet (compatible USB-C to Ethernet adapter1 required) allowing remote camera control, live MJPEG preview video feed, and remote media offload.
Price & Availability
The base V-RAPTOR comes with the following:
- V-RAPTOR ST 8K VV Body
- DSMC AC Power Adaptor Pack (150W)
- RED Logo Sticker
- V-RAPTOR Information Card (incl. registration and support info)
- 2 Year Standard Warranty
RED is stating that ORDERS PLACED TODAY ARE EXPECTED TO SHIP IN 3-4 WEEKS.
UPDATE: The initial batch of V-RAPTORs is already sold out.
Upcoming V-RAPTOR accessories include a new expander module, a top plate, a top handle with extension, an Arca-Swiss compatible quick release baseplate system, side handgrips, cage-type side accessory arms, and a 5-pin to dual XLR audio adapter.
Jarred has also said that there will probably be a Ranger version of the V-RAPTOR early next year.
I thought RED may have been slowly been trying to pivot its business strategy, especially when it comes to cameras. If you look at the KOMODO, it is by far RED’s most affordable camera, however, the new V-RAPTOR is not an affordable camera for a lot of people. In saying that, it is quite a lot cheaper than a MONSTRO 8K VV which is still being sold for $54,500 USD.
RED’s whole premise was (or used to be) ‘OBSOLESCENCE OBSOLETE‘ where the promise was users would be able to keep existing bodies and be able to use new sensors as they came out. That never really materialized in most cases. If you recently purchased a MONSTRO 8K VV then you are probably not going to be very happy.
On RED USER, Jarred said that there will be no trade-in program for DMSC2 or KOMODO cameras for the RAPTOR.
RED used to have higher resolution cameras than other manufacturers, but that is no longer the case. There are quite a lot of cameras on the market now that are now capable of recording in 8K. Not only can these cameras record 8K, but they are also available at relatively low prices. You can’t win over consumers anymore with resolution hype, you have to offer something else to be competitive.
Yes, the camera offers some pretty impressive high frame rates, but so does the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 12K which is only $5,995 USD. Are the high frame rates enough to make people want to purchase the V-Raptor? RED has always quoted, let’s say, very optimistic dynamic range figures for its cameras so there is no reason to believe that this camera will actually have 17 stops of DR.
In late 2021 it is still a little mind-boggling as to why RED can’t integrate ND filters into its cameras.
The V-RAPTOR would probably be a great camera for shooting wildlife and if you are capturing a lot of fast-paced sports. The camera does have a pre-record function which is certainly handy for both of these applications.
The biggest selling point is undoubtedly high resolution and high frame rates. However, for a lot of applications, people don’t need high frame rates or high resolution. I certainly think the V-RAPTOR is an interesting camera and it will probably sell reasonably well, but has it actually moved the bar enough?
What do you think about the RED V-RAPTOR? Would you buy one? Let us know in the comments section below.