RED Komodo Exposure + DL!

The RED Komodo LCD showing the histogram, the traffic lights (to the left of the histogram) and focus peaking (cyan). The underexposure traffic lights are all on, indicating that shadow information in the red, green and blue channels is being clipped. We pulled focus using the RED Control app on our iPhone until peaking appeared on the eyelashes.
False color tool. Purple indicates textureless black, green represents 18% gray.
The highlights (excluding the extents) in the waveform monitor of DaVinci Resolve reach 708 nits prior to lowering the ISO from 800 to 400 and using the global wheel of the HDR tools to reduce exposure.
The maximum brightness (excluding the extents) after grading is 128 nits. The extent at 800 nits represents a strong specular highlight on the edge of the eyeglasses.

In SDR, highlights refers to things like the white fabric of a wedding dress or a lace doily where detail is still present, while in HDR, it refers to specular highlights and light sources typically exceeding 203 nits. There is no highlight roll off in HDR as there is in SDR, and while it can occasionally be used to powerful effect, clipping is usually revolting and best avoided. You can judge for yourself how well the Komodo handles highlights by examining the featured image at the top of this post.

And here’s some R3D sample footage (6K 17:9 40fps LQ) you can download and drag and drop on the timeline of the NLE of your choice. If you’re new to the R3D post workflow, head on over here and scroll down to the bottom of the page for some pointers.

15 thoughts on “RED Komodo Exposure + DL!

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  1. With the Red control app, you can see the Red screen on your smartphone?
    If so, you used it with which kind of cable?

    1. Yes, you have access to all the controls in the Komodo, and you can see the feed full screen. It’s wireless and can use either the camera’s own wifi (like a hotspot) or the existing wifi in your location.

    2. Also, if so, is the Ninja or any other more simple external screen better than a good and big smarphone like an iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max?
      (I mean if you have access to the tools like focus peaking, and so on on the smartphone)

      1. A smartphone like the iPhone 13 is perfectly fine, and is ideal for gimbal work or just recording yourself for YT. I forgot to mention earlier that if you are just making YT videos or if you’re in a studio, you don’t need to pick up batteries, which are expensive. The camera comes with a power cable you can just plug into the mains.

  2. Cool.
    Why do you think an smartphone like an iPhone13 would not be the good solution for shooting outside (with the camera on a tripod for example)?

    Ok, not getting batteries at first can allow to spread costs at the beginning.
    However, I would be interested for outside of course in the end (documentary style, not for recording myself).

  3. You said we can pull focus from the application. How can we change that (iris) without touching the focus ring of the lens or without having any follow focus wheel that makes it move?
    Is it possible with every lenses?

    1. First of all, there’s a digital focus wheel in the app that you can even use to set the start and end points and the Komodo will automatically rack focus for you, just like my old GH5! To change the aperture, you just tap on the aperture displayed in the app and you’ll be taken to another screen where you can adjust the iris using a slider. I’ve made screen shots for you.

      1. Thanks for your answers and uploads John.
        Giving a min-max distance range for the focus may help the Komodo AF?

        Can you display the image of the video full screen on the smartphone and have the focus peaking enabled?

  4. Hi, what do you recomend for low key lighting, like really dark scenarios or like “caravaggio” scenes where you need pure black in scene?

    Should I lower mi ISO to 250? Any tip?

    1. The reason I tried out ISO 250 in the first place is because that’s what CVP uses for studio work where they want the cleanest possible image and have complete control over lighting. RED themselves recommend exposing with an ISO of anywhere from 640 – 2000, though many believe anything above ISO 1600 is too noisy. RED also says that because lower contrast scenes don’t need as much highlight protection, you might benefit from ISO settings as low as 320. When shooting at ISO 250, you’ve really got to be careful with exposure because you’ve got much less latitude in the highlights. It also boils down to your tolerance for noise. Because of its high contrast, HDR increases the appearance of noise, so if you’re a PQ ST2084 kind of guy, you might find intolerable what the low dynamic range world finds acceptable. I would just run a couple of tests, but for myself, I would probably stick between ISO 400 – 640 for the kinds of scenes you describe. A final note: DPs say that they don’t like to mess around too much with ISO when shooting a feature film because the changes in texture (ie noise) can be jarring.

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