RED V-RAPTOR [X]
Image asset courtesy: RED

RED has announced the latest cameras in its DSMC3 range. The headline feature is that the RED V-Raptor [X] and RED V-Raptor XL [X] feature an 8K Vista Vision sensor with a global shutter.

RED V-Raptor [X]

The V-Raptor [X] has a lightweight and compact DSMC3 body design similar to the original V-Raptor. It also features a locking Canon RF lens mount and two 12G-SDI monitoring outputs. The V-Raptor [X] records to dual CFexpress Type B card slots that support up to 8K 120 fps capture. In addition, the camera has enhanced phase-detection autofocus with all-new face detection. Improved in-camera audio preamps should deliver better quality audio as well.

RED V-Raptor XL [X]

The V-Raptor XL [X] has a larger, purpose-built unified body design with an interchangeable PL lens mount. It also has a built-in electronic ND filter which provides from two up to seven stops of ND.  With the larger body, the V-Raptor XL [X] has four SDI outputs and offers wireless timecode, genlock and camera control. In addition, the camera’s integrated V-mount battery plate supports both 26V and 12V batteries and provides multiple auxiliary power outputs.

Large format sensor

The V-Raptor [X] and V-Raptor XL [X] feature a new Vista Vision 8K sensor which measures 40.96 mm by 21.60 mm. A still photography full-frame sensor is around 36 mm by 24 mm in comparison. This means RED’s new sensor is a little smaller vertically but slightly wider. In addition, a full-frame sensor has an aspect ratio of 3:2 whereas RED’s Vista Vision sensor is 17:9.

Video resolutions

RED V-RAPTOR XL [X]
Image asset courtesy: RED

The new Vista Vision sensor can capture video in 8K 17:9 resolution (8192 x 4320 pixels) at up to 120 fps and 8K 2.4:1 at up to 150 fps. Lowering the resolution to 4K means you can record up to 240 fps in 17:9 and 300 fps in 2.4:1. In addition, if you shoot at 2K then the frame rates go up to 480 fps in 17:9 and an incredible 600 fps at 2K 2.4:1. You can choose between recording REDCODE HQ, MQ, LQ and ELQ depending on the resolution. There are also a range of ProRes recording format options available.

Global shutter

The V-Raptor [X] and V-Raptor XL [X] Vista Vision sensor also feature a global shutter. Most cameras use a rolling shutter sensor as they are cheaper to manufacture and traditionally offer a greater dynamic range. However, rolling shutter sensors capture the image for each frame one horizontal line at a time. Although this happens very quickly (usually under 25 milliseconds) it can cause distortion with moving items. However, a global shutter captures the whole image for each frame at the same time. This is the same way celluloid film works and there is no rolling shutter effect when the camera is moving.

Dynamic range

The V-Raptor [X] and V-Raptor XL [X] Vista Vision sensors offer more than 17 stops of dynamic range. RED says that the sensor delivers a smooth highlight roll-off and unmatched low-light performance. There is also an Extended Highlights mode which gives you over three stops of additional dynamic range. This will help maintain color and detail even in extreme highlights.

Other features

The V-Raptor [X] and V-Raptor XL [X] feature Phantom Track for virtual productions. When shooting green screen footage, this means you can record the final image as well as the green screen image as two separate clips. You can also monitor the two images over SDI. In addition, you can use the RED CONNECT module with the cameras to live stream 8K full-resolution, cinematic video over an IP network.

What we think

The RED V-Raptor [X] and V-Raptor XL [X] have impressive movie making specifications. The Vista Vision sensor should also deliver very film-like images with its global shutter. In addition, the range of high-speed frame rates is truly impressive. The RED V-Raptor [X] and V-Raptor XL [X] are professional cameras intended for big budget movie making with prices to match. However, with all of the upgrades, these cameras are going to be very popular.

Pricing and availability

The RED V-Raptor [X] and V-Raptor XL [X] are available to order now with availability scheduled for the beginning of February 2024. Pricing for the V-Raptor [X] starts at $29,999 and V-Raptor XL [X] starts at $44,995.


Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.