RED EPIC Dragon 6K

EPIC Dragon

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RED EPIC Dragon 6K large sensor digital film camera

RED EPIC Camera with Dragon Sensor and 400fps slow motion capability and 6K images with the streamlined RED workflow.

A streamlined package specifically designed to maximise shooting options with upgraded accessories from Element Technica and Anton Bauer.  A 35mm PL lens mount allows you to take advantage of beautiful film lenses - choose from Cooke S4, Cooke Panchros, Zeiss Compact Prime, UltraPrime or SuperSpeed lenses. 

Amazing 400fps Slow motion

Shoot up to 120fps in 5K or up to 400fps in 1K - note that by shooting in 1K mode, you will have a crop factor of around 50%, so a 24mm lens will act like a 50mm lens for example.  The example below shows a 300fps 2K shot of a hotshoe mount being dropped into a glass of water. If you are careful, you can see a perfect still of the hotshoe mount.

Up to 18 stops of Latitude with HDRx

The original EPIC was called EPIC-M, as it used the Mysterium Sensor shared with the RED MX and now upgraded to the Mysterium X sensor.  This is a 14 Megapixel chip (5120x2700 pixels) with 13.5 stops of latitude and up to 18stops with the HDRx mode whereby the camera effectively takes a dual exposure and you have the ability to decide how best to take the best information from the fast and the slow exposure at either end of the latitude spectrum.

RED Dragon Lens Coverage, 6K and crop factor

The RED Dragon has a larger sensor than regular Super-35 cameras and significantly the previous RED EPIC camera.  

This is important due to the way that the RED cameras crop the enlarged sensor depending on the resolution that you are shooting at, so shooting at 2K, 4K, 5K or 6K will use more or less of the sensor and this will affect the degree of crop factor - see Crop Factor with RED Dragon.

Consequently, vignetting can occur with some lenses - see the Additional Information Tab for details on individual lenses.

It is actually quite a lot simpler than it sounds really, as IF you are using a RED Dragon camera and choose to shoot at 4K or 5K, then the same lenses and crop factor with the Dragon will match that of the previous EPIC camera.  Things only change if you choose to shoot at the enhanced 6K resolution.


I stated above that the RED workflow is very well established but the truth is that sometimes, the quality of the RED codec is too good for small screen productions and it can sometimes be easier to bypass the on-board record function using RED codec and RED post production route if you are shooting for TV or even the internet!

If this applies to you, then do consider that the Ki pro mini external recorder and Soundevices pix 240 shoots onto Compact Flash cards and will record a high end HD at very high qualities.  As with the RED, the quality recorded is adjustable and you can set the external recorders to shoot from 50Mb/s up to 220Mb/second in 10 bit 4:2:2!.

In English, this means that you can record up to 400fps and immediately play back the material from the camera and record onto an external recorder with no rendering; then insert this media into Final Cut Pro for immediate use with no rendering - very easy!  The 'usable proxy' setting allows the camera output to be recorded and include such metadata information such as the clip name and timecode for later online conversion and de-bayerning if you want to.

It is important to mention that if you use the above approach for high speed, then since the Ki Pro does not support high speed, then the high speed material would be laid off as a regular 24 or 25fps slowed down recording and that you will lose the metadata from the RED camera, so this will only be useful if the proxy file is the final version used in post.  The advantage though is that it greatly simpifies post production for you.

VMI Epic Dragon Camera Systems

  • EPIC Dragon Brain with titanium PL mount
  • Bomb EVF® with cable
  • Bomb Noga support arm
  • 5in Touchscreen LCD  with cable
  • DSMC Side Handle
  • DSMC Side SSD Module
  • Side handle plate
  • REDmote
  • Mains power with iec
  • AB battery bracket with speedy clamp with built in cable
  • 4pin Canon to mains cable
  • 4pin lemo to 3 x bnc sync cable
  • DSMC Tactical top
  • Action Products bottom plate with 2 x mini jack to XLR cables
  • Top Bracket with 3 inch short bar for Anton Bauer bracket
  • Small bracket with 2 x screws
  • Spare speedy clamp
  • Arri BP8 Plate with sliding plate
  • 4x 128GB SSD cards
  • 2x REDVolt batteries and travel charger
  • Redmag 1.8” redstation with mains adapter (Firewire 800, USB 2.0 and eSATA)
  • Firewire 800 cable
  • Mini USB to USB Cable
  • USB to power cable
  • 2 x Anton Bauer TM-4 4 way charger
  • 8 x Anton Bauer Dionic HC batteries

Suitable rigs available for hire are the Mantis shoulder kit which works very well if used for long periods with the Easyrig Cinema 3.

DIT Operator and Mac - loaded with Final Cut Pro, Red cine, Red_alert and also Red cine-x available if you book a VMI DIT.

RED EPIC Dragon 6K large sensor digital film camera.


Optional Accessories

RED Courses

RED Epic and Scarlet Camera Familiarisation and Basic Data Handling Course


RED Courses

RED Epic and Scarlet Camera Familiarisation and Basic Data Handling Course

Everything you wanted to know about 4K but were too afraid to ask...


RED EPIC Dragon Lens Coverage


Super 35mm Cinema Glass Dragon Coverage:


Expanded notes on the Leica Sumilux-C Primes:

18mm - 6K Wide Open usable w/ vignette until T5.6.
21mm - 6K Wide Open usable w/ vignette until T5.6.
25mm - Uneven corner illumination at 6K wide open.
35mm - 6K usable Wide Open but vignettes
40mm - 6K usable Wide Open but vignettes
50mm - Covers 6K, vignettes when iris at T22 and focused past 9 feet.
75mm - Covers all Epic Dragon Formats
100mm - Covers all Epic Dragon Formats

What can be discerned from this? In one way or another they are usable wide open until about T4 on Dragon at 6K and 6K WS. However, the initial graphics involve "clean coverage". This is why Jim is right and the numbers are right. It is a very noticeable vignette roll off however. T1.4-T2.8 and up until T4 you may find success and lovely images.

Leica Summicron-C Primes
All lenses cover Dragon 6K FF cleanly.

John Marchant who has one of the first Dragon cameras out in the wild has just shared his notes on Cooke Mini S4i coverage.

Cooke Mini S4i

18mm - Covers 6k 2:1 / HD / 2.4:1 - 6k FF OK above F4 - a small hard vignette at the corner below f5.6 @ MOD, f8 @ infinity
25mm - Covers 6k 2:1 / HD / 2.4:1 - 6k FF OK above F5.6 - a tiny hard vignette at the very corner below f8, only @ infinity
32mm - Covers 6k FF
50mm - Covers 6k FF
75mm - Covers 6k FF
100mm - Covers 6k FF

Dedicated Full Frame 35mm coverage lenses:

  • Zeiss CP.2 Primes - All lenses cover Dragon 6K, except for the 18mm. That does cover 5.5K however.
  • Zeiss CP.2 Super speed Primes - Covers all Epic Dragon formats.
  • Schneider Xenon-FF Primes - Covers all Epic Dragon formats.
  • Canon CN-E Primes - Covers all Epic Dragon formats.
  • Leica M Primes - All Cover Dragon. Optically speaking Summilux-M 24mm and longer look great!


Zoom Lens Coverage!

** UVI stands for Uneven Vignette Illumination. The "highlight glow" that sometimes contaminates the expected roll-off to darkness a Vignette produces. Sometimes extremely noticeable on zoom pulls and iris pulls.

** Worsening Vignette is described as an inconsistent Vignette during a zoom pull.


Red Pro Zoom 18-85mm T2.9
@32mm 6K FF vignette, clear at 40mm
@25mm covers 6K WS
@22mm covers 6K HD


Canon CN-E 14.5-60mm T2.6
@14.5 - covers 5K clean, hard vignette porthole at higher resolutions
@35 - covers 6K FF with UVI
@60 - clean


Canon CN-E 15.5-47 T2.8
@15.5 - 6K HD covers with vignette
** be cautious of UVI during zoom pull and stopped down
@30 - Covers 6K FF with soft vignette


Canon CN-E 30-105 T2.8
@30 - Covers 6K HD nicely. 6K FF wide open pretty good, stopped down port hole
@75 - Covers 6K cleanly


Canon 30-300mm T2.95-3.7
@30 - Portholes 6K - 5.5K WS soft vignette
@85 - vignettes, but covers 6K FF
@300 - Clean 6K FF


Angenieux Optimo 19.5-94mm T2.6
@19.5 - Portholes at 6K FF, 6K WS slightly but covers 6K HD with vignette
@30 - soft vignette at 6K FF
@94 - Clean 6K FF


Angenieux Optimo DP 16-42mm T2.8
@16 - 6K FF Porthole, 6K HD w/ soft vignette
@19 - 6K FF covers w/ slight vignette
** really doesn't work with the Motion Mount!


Angenieux Optimo DP 30-80mm T2.8
@30 - 6K FF Porthole, 6K HD covers with slight vignette
@65 - vignette 6K FF worsens 
** be cautious of ring type UVIs
** really doesn't work with the Motion Mount!


Angenieux Optimo 15-40mm T2.6
@16 - porthole 6K FF and 6K WS, 6K HD vignettes. Better use at 5.5K
18 - 6K FF covers with vignette.
** exhibits similar vignette worsening as DPs


Angenieux Optimo 28-76 T2.6
@28 - 6K WS covers cleaning, porthole at 6K FF
@32 - 6K FF covers
** exhibits similar vignette worsening as DPs


Angenieux 45-120mm T2.8 
- Covers 6K HD


Angenieux Optimo 24-290 T2.8
@24 - No way sees front mask
@75 - Covers 6K FF.


Angenieux Optimo 28-340mm T2.9
- Covers 6K HD


Arri Fujinon Alura 15.5-45mm T2.8.
@15.5 - 6K WS covers with vignette and potential coloful UVI
@18 - 6K FF covers with soft vignette
*** - Be careful of iris pulls, UVI


Arri Fujinon Alura 30-80 T2.8
@30 - Covers 6K FF w/ vignette


Arri Fujinon Alura 18-80mm T2.6
@18 - Portholes 6K FF, covers 5.5K WS 
@40 - 6K FF covers


Fujinon Cabrio 19-90mm T2.9
@19 - 6K FF vignettes, portholes as iris closes, which eventually encroaches on 6K WS coverage, 6K HD works fine
@70 - covers 6K FF nicely


Canon 17-120mm T2.95

6K Full Frame - Hard corner clip @17mm. By 40mm, soft vignette and usable
6K 2:1 - Practically same as above
6K Widescreen - Soft vignette @17mm, ok by 20mm
6K HD - Covers well, very minor light falloff (expected) at 17mm
Anything less than the 6K HD frame size on the Dragon and you're all good.

(Notes courtesy Matt Duclos)


Angenieux 25-250 HR T3.5
Covers 5K :)


Zeiss CZ 70-200mm T2.9
Zeiss CZ 28-80mm T2.9
Zeiss CZ 15-30mm T2.9

- Covers 6K FF


Focus Optics RUBY 14-24mm T2.8
- Covers 6K FF

As more focal lengths, sets, and zooms are tested we will add to this list and update the graphics.

This is the "simple" version of these tests and I have taken additional notes. If you have any questions regarding coverage and performance post them here and I'll do my best to answer your questions.

Some of the basic notes on coverage that everybody should keep in mind:

  • Any lens designed for Full Frame 35mm or VistaVision formats cover Dragon at 6K
  • If you have a lens that covers Mysterium-X at 5K today you will cover Dragon at 5.5K safely
  • All lenses designed for Super 35mm will cover Dragon at 5K


Crop Factors and Format FOV Calculations:

Okay. So we have to keep in mind relative crop factor here. Meaning if FF35 is your starting point that's 1X, and if S35 is your starting point that's 1X. Here's the info for both with the aspect ratio of Dragon's sensor taken into account:

For people who visualize FF35 as their starting point......

Epic Dragon Crop Factors FF35 Relative to Full Frame 35mm:
6K Full = 1.17x
5.5K = 1.28x
5K = 1.40x
4.5K = 1.56
4K = 1.75x
3.5K = 2x
3K = 2.33x
2.5K = 2.8x
2K = 3.50x

and for S35 as a base.....

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