A few days ago, I had the privilege to shoot with the newly released RED Ranger and I want to share my experience with you.
Before I start, I want to thank the guys at the Battersea branch of Video Europe (videoeurope.co.uk) in London; they have been kind enough to hand me over a Ranger with a couple of ZEISS lenses for a day. If you need to rent gear or crew for any video, film or TV production, make sure to get in touch with them.
The Ranger is the very first RED camera that you won't be able to buy, at least not just yet! In fact, if you want to shoot with this monster, you will have to go through one of the RED approved rental houses across the world.
Also, worth to mention that while RED cameras are notorious modular, that is, they require assembling of a number of modules in order to be able to operate, the Ranger, being an integrated body, comes with lots of I/O already on board ready to use, out of the box. I really appreciated this feature when arrived at the location, it took me, an inexperienced RED user, just 10 minutes to get the camera ready to shoot, with no user manual needed!
More into technical specs, the RED Ranger is an integrated camera system featuring a PL mount and built around the Large Format 8K MONSTRO 8K VV sensor.
Top features of the RED Ranger are:
Three SDI outputs (two mirrored and one independent)
Support for wider input voltage (11.5-32V)
24V & 12V power outs (two of each)
12V P-Tap port
Integrated 5-pin XLR stereo audio input (line/mic/+48V selectable)
Genlock, timecode, USB, and control
Shimmed PL mount
Large diameter fan provides improved thermal performance
Available in V-Lock or Gold Mount variants
The kit includes:
Production Top Handle
PL Mount with supporting shims
Two 15mm LWS rod brackets
RED Pro Touch 7” LCD with 9” arm and LCD/EVF cable
LCD/EVF Adaptor A and LCD/EVF Adaptor D
24V AC power adaptor with 3 pin 24V XLR cable and 4 pin 14V XLR power cable
Compatible Hex and Torx tools.
The MONSTRO 8K VV is a 35.4 Megapixel Large Format sensor, with 8192 × 4320 effective pixels distributed on a 40.96 mm x 21.60 mm area, capable of capturing 16 bit RAW footage, with a stunning 17+ stops of dynamic range. Having a large format sensor also means that this camera has a great low light ability and can achieve a shallow depth of field.
When it comes to frame rates, the RED Ranger is up to expectations with a healthy range of frame rates, as follow:
60 fps at 8K Full Format (8192 x 4320), 75 fps at 8K 2.4:1 (8192 x 3456)
60 fps at 7K Full Format (7168 x 3780), 75 fps at 7K 2.4:1 (7168 x 3024)
75 fps at 6K Full Format (6144 x 3240), 100 fps at 6K 2.4:1 (6144 x 2592)
96 fps at 5K Full Format (5120 x 2700), 120 fps at 5K 2.4:1 (5120 x 2160)
120 fps at 4K Full Format (4096 x 2160), 150 fps at 4K 2.4:1 (4096 x 1728)
150 fps at 3K Full Format (3072 x 1620), 200 fps at 3K 2.4:1 (3072 x 1296)
240 fps at 2K Full Format (2048 x 1080), 300 fps at 2K 2.4:1 (2048 x 864)
There is much more about to say about this camera and you can further detail at the RED website (red.com).
This was my very first time I shot with a RED camera and, I must say, the RED Ranger behaved very nicely, giving me overall a very good shooting experience.
I found very intuitive the assembling of the few bits you have to put together (monitor and top handle) and the menu system of the camera is quite easy to navigate with a touch display showing current settings and giving you the ability to change any of those just by tapping on them.
While changing settings I noticed some lagging with waiting times between 3 and 5 seconds, definitely not a deal breaker for a camera meant to be used on big productions, where everything is planned ahead of time and where there is no need for sudden setting changes.
The RED Ranger is capable to shoot at different resolutions and frame rates but it is worth to mention that, as you go high in frame rates, the image size is dropping; and that is reasonable if you consider that the camera is capturing 16 bit RAW up to 240 fps!
Overall, I really enjoyed my first experience with the RED Ranger and I am looking forward to have some time to put together a nice video with the footage I shot.
Thanks for reading and make sure to leave a comment if you have any questions: I will do my best to answer!
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