FULL DISCLOSURE: I am partner in a company called Master Cinematographers along with Jared Land, president and co-owner of Red Digital Cinema.


            Late last year I did what I said I’d never do and bought a Komodo.  It’s nothing against the good folks at Red.  I love Jim Jannard, Jared and Lia Greist and think their products rank with the best.  It’s just that owning technology is a pain in the ass.  With reasonable maintenance, an Arri III would have lasted twenty-five years or more.  Digital cameras have a lifespan equal to that of the Nehru suit.  You’ll understand that I’ve been a little suspect from the start.

            The good news is that the Komodo’s performance rendered any misgivings moot.

            A ton of technical information is available on the web, so I won’t bother listing the minutiae.  But as a camera used for action sequences, B-roll or a last-minute bonus shot, its compact form factor, versatile menu choices and easy set-up offer many creative options.  Though a number of after-market accessories are needed in order to get the most out of the Komodo, this does not relegate it to lower status.  By my experience, it could easily work as an ‘A’ camera in most situations.

            The Panavision DXL2 served as my primary on a recent pilot, shooting R3D files in 6K.  In every case the Komodo’s 6K specs matched perfectly with the PV footage; this was the most important detail of all.  Of course, credit must also go to the beautiful work done by DI colorist Katie Jordan and dailies timer Bill Stokes at Light Iron NY.  But as a jump-off device for fast, convenient, high-quality image creation, the Komodo truly distinguished itself.

            Don’t get me wrong.  Though it’s not perfect (what camera is?), it represents a huge step in that direction.  I might be a bit late to the rail, but I would enthusiastically recommend the Red Komodo to anyone looking to raise their game with a minimum of fuss – and even less aggravation.


3 thoughts on “KOMODO A GO-GO”

  1. I love the RED Komodo! I bought one last year as well and it’s been a while since I was happy to enjoy a camera. It has its flaws like every camera, but it has some of the most amazing perks, like the global shutter, that are remarkable.
    I’d love to see a next generation of Komodo with the add on features like variable ND in camera, dual ISO (at least 3,200), maybe a bit of slomo (240fps at 6K?) and a better touch screen (or even not a touch screen, but one similar to the V-Raptor).
    The Komodo I found it very useful on stabilizer, small jibs and handheld. It’s a great B-cam, indie cam, documentary cam.
    This time RED did a very great job!

  2. Luigi – As per your wish list for the next-gen Komodo, it already exists. It’s called the V-Raptor…! 😉

  3. Yes, the V-Raptor is great and more advanced, but it doesn’t have global shutter, no dual ISO and no variable ND (except the XL version coming out).
    I’ve never used the Raptor though, only DXL2 and Komodo and I agree they match perfectly.

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