RED Raven Footage Review – Lightweight, 4.5K Dragon Sensor

RED Raven Footage Review – Lightweight, 4.5K Dragon Sensor

Cameras, Cinematography

More footage from RED’s latest camera, the Raven, has begun to surface.

The RED brand has become quite a heavyweight competitor in digital cinema over the course of the past ten years or so, gaining the respect of professional filmmakers as they go. The Raven further diversifies their product line and takes aim at the indie filmmakers who desire to add a RED camera to their arsenal without draining their savings, starting at under $6,000 for the brain.

In a recent article at No Film School, DP Eric Thayne describes the camera as “incredibly small and lightweight,” and says that working with the Raven “felt just like working with any of the RED cameras,” which is good news for both current devotees of the brand as well as potential converts. Check out the article and the footage Eric shot here.

Right now, the camera is looking like a safe bet for indie filmmakers, sporting the 16.5+ stop Dragon sensor, built-in ProRes recording, and up to 300 FPS overcranking. The size and weight of the Raven should also help make it ideal for drone and gimbal applications in the same way that the Alexa Mini fills this gap for Arri’s line of cameras.

Of course, RED still wants to give users a reason to upgrade to the Scarlet or the Epic, so the Raven will be able to capture a max resolution of 4.5K—slightly less than the Scarlet-W’s 5K and the Weapon’s 6K—and uses a smaller version of the Dragon sensor that will demand shooters to adjust to a rather large crop factor in the range of 1.87x (though someone in a forum claims it is closer to 1.76x). This will probably prove to be troublesome for many filmmakers who do not currently own lenses on the super wide end of the spectrum; the popular 24-105mm Canon zoom, for instance, will become 42-185mm on the Raven’s sensor.

The other caveat of the RED Raven is that it can currently only be ordered with an EF lens mount. For the indie filmmakers who already own the typical range of canon glass, this may not be cause for much concern, but users should not expect to shoot with any professional cinema lenses on this camera until third party adapters hit the market or if RED decides to add a PL mount option to the camera. The absence of this option may be enough to give some people cold feet, but will probably not affect the target market for the Raven too greatly.

While the base model of the Raven costs just $5950, the various accoutrements needed to actually shoot with the camera will bring the total to around $10,000, evidenced by the packages being offered by RED for preorder. The modular nature of RED’s cameras means that the Raven will definitely not be the most affordable camera of this quality on the market for most people, but the inclusion REDCODE and RED RAW plus the RED name itself may very well make the purchase worth it for a number of shooters.


Check out the music video we did below for The Heavens. All footage shot on the RED Raven.

Article by
Ethan Johnson