Many people may be unaware, but there are actually two types of RED Epic Dragon’s currently out in the wild. Those that are equipped with the original Optical-Low-Pass-Filter, and those with a newer generation OLPF. What’s the difference you might ask?

1. Black levels and noise levels. The low pass filter is responsible for filtering the light before it hits the sensor to get rid of things like IR frequencies etc. It’s the first thing that touches the light (besides the lens) before it hits the sensor itself, therefore it’s importance is hard to understate. The original OLPF was tuned to give you the most dynamic range but was criticized for strange magenta orbs that would appear around certain highlight sources in the image. Some users also reported higher than expected noise in the blacks, especially when shooting at higher ISOs.

2. So RED went back to the drawing board and came out with OLPF ver. 2.0. In general this new OLPF gives cleaner, more accurate colors without any chromatic aberration or blooming effects. It also seems to help the noise levels by a good degree. Most all situations would benefit from the new OLPF over the old.

This excellent thread has some great demonstrations of the differences this upgrade makes.

This is why BrainBox Cameras EPIC Dragon cameras all come with the new OLPF installed.

Eventually we may get other flavors of OLPF’s suited for specific situations, and RED has announced an OLPF module allowing users to swap OLPF’s at will in the field. An exciting development that we look forward to following as RED continues to improve the creative possibilities with the DRAGON Camera.