Thread: Most footage from the Komodo looks... really bad?

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  1. #1 Most footage from the Komodo looks... really bad? 
    Maybe I'm going crazy but for some reason most of the footage I've seen coming out of the Komodo doesn't look all that great.

    Is the camera just not that great or... the low price point causing user error?
    Last edited by Stephen Ford; 03-02-2021 at 02:50 PM.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Dominik Muench's Avatar
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    when you say most footage....are you referring to footage you have shot or footage you've seen from others ?
    Cinematography in particular and the the various elements that go into film making in general are highly subjective and vary from every individuals taste. Ive met people who think that Roger Deakins is highly overrated, does that make him a bad DP ?

    Why should the low price point of anything be a factor necessarily ?
    One of the most stunning feature films I have ever seen was shot on a Panasonic GH4 with the standard kit zoom lens.
    If footage that comes out of the camera....any modern day camera for that matter...looks bad then unless there is an electronic issue with the gear, its usually your fault as the user or the circumstances were unfortunate.

    Most cameras whether it be a mobile phone one or a large format Arrri or Hasselblad are capable of producing appealing visuals but if the user doesn't understand lighting, composition, more lighting, choice of lenses and post-production....then you cant expect much.

    See a camera as a race car....you can give an F1 racecar to your neighbor and Michael Schumacher, both have a license to drive but the outcome of the driving performance is vastly different between the two. Why should a camera be different.

    Just because a camera like the Komodo has many functions that make your life as filmmaker easier, doesn't mean its easy to create stunning images.
    If you find footage that other people shoot unsatisfying then this is your subjective opinion that cant be used as judgement towards a particular camera system in general.
    And if the footage you create doesn't look good...well then you have a lot to learn...no shame in that. We all start somewhere and this forum is a great resource to gain more knowledge and experience to improve your visuals.
    Dr. Dominik Münch D.O.C.A
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    Senior Member Christoffer Glans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Ford View Post
    Maybe I'm going crazy but for some reason most of the footage I've seen coming out of the Komodo doesn't look all that great.

    Is the camera just not that great or... the low price point causing user error?

    Am I just having buyer's remorse?
    A camera is never better than the cinematographer using it.

    There have been years of newcomers, amateurs, and plain bad cinematographers and photographers dreaming of getting a cinema camera, but the gear has always been very expensive and only available to those who already got the gigs and experience to wield it. But when cinema cameras go down in price and people start buying into systems that they are first, not technically prepared for and second, don't have the artistic experience to fully utilize, it opens a flood gate of really bad footage.

    It's probably the case that the best material to find does not really exist online because projects with those budgets probably do not exist for the sole purpose of being posted online as "shot on Komodo", those projects do not need to brag about the camera they used. On top of that, true artists and great cinematographers just don't give a shit about posing with their camera, they focus solely on the art of cinematography, the images, the result of the craft, not the camera. If Komodo happens to be the gear for the job, great, no one cares.

    The core of all of this is that Komodo is more than most can handle. If they don't have the lighting skills, an eye for composition, knowledge of lenses, knowledge of color grading, it will most definitely look like shit. The camera itself is enough for masters of cinematography to create truly stunning images, but most users of Komodo, due to its price point, aren't even close to those levels of the craft.

    Imagine Hasselblad releasing a $2000, 100mp medium format camera. Do you really think that we will see just stunning masterful shots online? Or do you think there will be a tsunami of amateur images, regardless of the quality of the camera?

    I've said it numerous times, if people can't create good images with Komodo, it's not the camera that's the problem.
    "Using any digital cinema camera today is like sending your 35mm rolls to a standard lab. -Using a Red is like owning a dark room."
    Red Weapon 6K #00600 Red Komodo #002397
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  4. #4  
    Gentrification reduces everything to a mundane perspective.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Christoffer Glans's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Ravens View Post
    Gentrification reduces everything to a mundane perspective.
    If you mean that cinema camera elitism among those who can afford expensive gear makes things mundane and that more democratization through lower prices on high-end tech opens up for more interesting outcomes I'm agreeing with you. But it doesn't change the fact that cinematography is a complex art form and talent and craft skills are what creates a general sense of competent art. The general notion that flat unnatural lighting, smeary motion blurred, underexposed, weird hard shadow footage with poor post-processed and sloppy color grading balances, is considered bad cinematography is not in my opinion anti-mundane. It is good that camera gear democratization gives more people the chance to reach great talented levels and train their cinematography craft, but in terms of the amount of footage showing up being awful and ugly, it will still increase since there are far more amateurs and bad artists than there are good ones. If the idea is to look for good looking material, this has to be the reality check.

    Far more great cinematographers and masters use Alexa LF and 8K Monstro than Komodo. So naturally the notion among those who think a camera is more important than skills will be that Komodo is bad. Which is just bullshit.
    "Using any digital cinema camera today is like sending your 35mm rolls to a standard lab. -Using a Red is like owning a dark room."
    Red Weapon 6K #00600 Red Komodo #002397
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  6. #6  
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    The Komodo was my first Red camera when I got the ST 6 months ago. I applied much of my traditional ISO / non RAW workflow methods to shooting with this camera and the original stuff I shot was horrible looking. You can't treat this camera like a Sony A7s shooting a flat profile. After 2 months I discovered the Komodo stop lights, Black Shading Calibration and setting the ISO at anything else than 800 is pretty much useless. Raw is really powerful in post and I am amazed how far you can push it and how much hidden detail there is. But in order to really use RAW in post, I started to learn Resolve and still learning new things months later. Lighting and shot composition is the same regardless. Also if your shots look noise, many other camera process out this noise in camera. If I understand it right, Red does not but that allows me to reduce the noise in post. But if you are exposed correctly, calibrated and the stop lights are where they should be, you should not have a lot of issues. But if this is your first Red camera, it will take time.
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    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    I don't understand these posts. So you mean you don't like the footage you've seen on Youtube?

    We've been shooting with a Komodo for a while now, and I can tell you it's as good as all RED cameras are - for only $6K. In fact, it's better than an Epic Dragon (we can verify that). It's been intercutting perfectly with Geminis.

    I mean what else do you need?

    Given that this is a RAW camera that is so gradable - what does it even mean that a camera has a look? You can make Komodo "look" like anything really.
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    It is the same issue which goes right back to the old 35mm groundglass adaptors for 1/3" and 2/3" video cameras. A lot of rather poor to average footage was shot with them. This tended to downgrade the worthiness of the devices as so often they were not shown at their best. The same economics which drove the use of these adaptors also drove pinchpennying in other aspects of the production value-adding such as production design, sound recording, lighting and post-production. It showed.

    In the hands of good practitioners and with good production values, productions which used the old 35mm adaptors worked. Some examples are "Merantau", "Dear Wendy", "Monsters" and another which was shot in the tribal regions of Pakistan, the title of which now eludes me. Production value "subtraction" is the by-product of the so-called democratisation of film craft AKA affordabiity. A camera can only record what it has been "given" to see and hear. These days, modern affordable equipment can do it faithfully.

    The good or the bad or the plain ugly is up to the people who use it.
    Last edited by Robert Hart; 03-02-2021 at 01:22 PM.
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Steve Sherrick's Avatar
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    There are cinematographers out there that can outperform a camera (I don't consider myself one of them, just to get that out of the way). Meaning, they could take an iPhone and despite its shortcomings use their cinematography skills to overcome those shortcomings and deliver an inage that maxes out that cameras capabilities and in many ways looks better than a lot of peopke could make it. The same is true of just about every camera on the market, those who are at the top of their game can make them all look good because it's lighting, composition, lenses, filtering, production design, photogenic talent, etc. We mere mortals who are still learning, still trying to achieve that top shelf artistry and craftsmanship have access to amazing tools these days but one thing we are not guaranteed when we buy something like a Komodo is the ability to make great images right away. I've shot with Komodo. There are limitations with that camera such as limited frame rates but all of the other limitations are mine.
    Steve Sherrick
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  10. #10  
    All awesome takes
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