Five Things We Hate (& Love) About the RED Komodo
It's been over a year since we starting using the RED Komodo in our commercial productions, and while there is plenty to love about this little camera, there's still some things we wish were better. So without further adieu, here are the top five things we hate and love about the RED Komodo:
What we hate about the Komodo:
1) The screen. To be fair, there's not a great place for it anywhere else, but depending on your configuration and rigging for a specific shot, it can be incredibly difficult to reach and adjust your settings.
2) The form-factor. It's a tiny cube, and with tiny cubes come great responsibilites. Specifically, mounting lenses to the tiny cube that are much (much) heavier. It can be difficult to balance properly, and the fact that you need a separate audio pre-amp and monitor create extra bulk and weight distribution challenges.
3) The RF mount. While the RF mount is prefectly fine in its own right, it leaves us juggling more dongles than a 2018 MacBook user. Don't get me wrong, switching between EF and PL mounts isn't particularly difficult, but it adds more time to your prep, and more cost as an owner.
4) R3D options. They took them away! While RED used to provide tons of RAW compression options, they've limited the Komodo to low, medium, and high (along with the newly introduced ultra low) settings.
5) The wi-fi is bad. Like, really bad. Not much more to say here except that you should invest in an aftermarket antenna to make it more serviceable.
What we love about the Komodo:
1) The form-factor. Yes, I know this is complaint listed above, but it's a double edged sword. The tiny cube provides infinite modularity and the ability to work on smaller, more cost effective gimbals.
2) The sensor. This camera punches way above its price point. It has solid dynamic range, great skin tones, and solid highlight and shadow retention. An even bigger plus is the global shutter, which is fantastic for tons of commercial applications that traditionally cause flickering, such as welding or computer screens in slow motion.
3) Software stability. We had a number of projects that required anamorphic lenses that forced us to install beta software from RED to make everything function. To our surprise, we didn't have a hiccup. It was a gamble on a larger production, but it paid off. Every firmware update we've installed has been smooth sailing on our end, and we appreciate the reliability.
4) The RED control app. Aside from the bad wi-fi mentioned above, the RED control app is pretty awesome. While it does support camera monitoring that can work in a pinch, it isn't what you want to be showing clients on a regular basis. Where the RED control app really shines is compensating for the on-camera screen location. Whether the camera is on a gimbal or jib, it makes life much easier to change your settings from the comfort of your phone.
5) The price. It's almost a steal at this price point, especially compared to other cameras in the same price bracket. If you're new to RED cameras, it's the perfect entry level camera to enter the ecosystem and get comfortable with RED RAW, and best of all, the Komodo appears to be poised for a solid lifecycle.
Don't like reading? Check out our YouTube video about the RED Komodo!