Thread: Komodo REDCODE RAW and Media F.A.Q.

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  1. #1 Komodo REDCODE RAW and Media F.A.Q. 
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Hello all!

    With Production Black bodies getting out into the wild I thought I'd wrangle up some of the many questions I've been getting since May regarding recording media.



    CFast 2.0 Media Briefing

    RED Komodo utilizes off the shelf 3rd party CFast 2.0 cards. Nice as they are readily available around the world. However, not all CFast cards are created equal and you do want in general to use RED approved media that have gone through the testing they have done. I'll be sharing that info as well as some of my own experiences here.


    What CFast 2.0 Media is RED Approved

    So far what RED has approved is:

    - Angelbird 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB (*RED's branded media is indeed Angelbird and is what I'm personally using as seen above)
    - ProGrade 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB
    - Sandisk Extreme Pro 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB
    - Sony 128GB High Performance G Series

    * I'm betting more cards will be added officially once they are tested.


    What happens if I use unapproved CFast 2.0 Media

    Whelp, first you'll get an error message saying the media is not approved. Not necessarily a bad thing and you likely will still be able to record if the card has the performance to do so.

    However, the DANGER of using slower CFast 2.0 Media is dropped frames or even a lack of ability to record in certain compression ratios.

    Your livelihood and footage being on the line, I'd strongly recommend investing in good media.


    Can I use a CFast Cable Adapter to record to SSD

    Yes! This is possible. You'll get the unapproved media message, but it does and can work. Do 100% test this thoroughly before deploying on a project to ensure it's working as expected.

    *side note - The Media Bay Door on Komodo is actually removable which is ideal for exactly this setup. Make sure those cables are securely plugged in if you are doing this. When in doubt, gaffer's tape is your best friend or some sort of cable clamp system.


    REDCODE RAW and Data Rates?!

    Komodo records compressed RAW in the form of REDCODE RAW or ProRes 422 HQ in 2K or 4K resolutions. If rolling in ProRes 422 HQ the camera scales down the footage appropriately, i.e. 6K->4K.

    REDCODE RAW is currently available in three compression ratios: HQ, MQ, LQ. Those have an impact on your maximum recording time as well as image quality.

    Generally my recommendations for selecting REDCODE RAW is:

    - HQ = Cinema Grade, High End TV/Streaming, VFX, Detailed Scenes, Still Extraction
    - MQ = Cinema Grade and High End TV/Streaming
    - LQ = General Television, Online Delivery, Documentary, Interviews, Long Takes

    * I personally roll HQ or MQ most of the time, but I'm also mainly creating work that fits in those categories above.


    Here's an example of approximate record data rates for a 24fps project with 512GB cards in 6K 17:9:

    - REDCODE RAW HQ = 30 minutes
    - REDCODE RAW MQ = 45 minutes
    - REDCODE RAW LQ = 75 minutes

    Double this for 1TB, half this for 256GB. Generally I'd recommend 256GB cards and up. I use 1TB cards at the moment.

    For a similar concept, if you are rolling with ProRes 422 HQ in 4K about 90 minutes of roll time.


    Hopefully that's enough info to get you up and rolling.
    Phil Holland - Cinematographer - Los Angeles
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