How to Quiet a Noisy Dragon

My last post about my quick test with the new Dragon sensor had a bit of a surprise with the Dragon footage looking noisy, especially compared to the previous non-Dragon MX chip.  RED suggested that a fix was on the way, and soon.  They hinted at around a week.  That was June 21st.  My rule of thumb for RED target dates for delivering a product is: take the stated time period, double it, and add two months.  So, in this case that would mean somewhere around the first week of September. Well, RED beat the odds, while still completely missing their target of a week, and August 6, 2014, a mere 7 weeks, they released the fix.   The fix is a different way to debayer the RAW footage, selectable in their new beta release of REDCINE. The feature is called “DEB” or “Dragon Enhanced Blacks” although it could easily be called the “Anti Red Speckle Filter” as it gets rid of the red noise. it is a checkbox you select right below the Gamma settings in REDCINE.

DEB checkbox just below Gamma Settings in REDCINE

DEB checkbox just below Gamma Settings in REDCINE.  Here it is not selected, the current default.

The good news is it is retroactive and can be applied to footage you have already shot.  This is great for my purposes as I don’t have t re-do the test.  Here are some quick screen grabs.

same shot from prior test, with DEB allied and not.

same shot from prior test, with DEB applied and not.

DEB dragon Vs Epic-X

RED Epic MX on left, Lower right is Dragon with DEB applied.

So it definitely improves things. Further testing is warranted though. I hope to test it against a different camera, like Arri Alexa or Amira in the future.  RED is talking about making user swappable OPLFs but no time frame on that yet.  Once they do put a date on it, don’t forget to double it and add two months!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *