by Ollie Kenchington | 12th January 2017
RED’s 8K Helium Sensor wows DxOMark with a whopping score of 108, which is the highest score the camera and lens image quality review site has ever awarded. It is quite staggering when you dig in to the details of this review and you see just how good this sensor is according to them. In particular, its score of 4210 in the low light test was so good, that the authors of the review were stumped as to how RED had achieved it. To pack so many photosites (about 3.65 microns each) onto a 29.90mm x 15.77mm sized wafer (only 2/3 the size of a full frame sensor) is amazing. To do that and still produce clean images, with a dynamic range that is “higher than the best of the full-frame sensors in our database”, is just mind-boggling. We can’t wait to put the Helium 8K sensor through our own lab test as soon as possible, and of course we will share all the results with you. Over the past few years, Sebastian Woeber’s lab tests at cinema5D HQ in Vienna have received a widespread reputation of being completely unbiased, and we do not shy away from putting ourselves in hot water when manufacturers’ claims don’t live up to our results. You may wonder why a stills camera review like DxOMark would bother to test a digital film camera at all, particularly one that costs $49,500. Indeed, a quick look at the comments section of the review itself reveals several disgruntled readers who want to know why DxOMark have found the time to review a non-stills camera like the ‘Weapon’ and yet haven’t got around to scoring the behemoth that is the Pentax 645Z, which would surely be a shoe-in for a 100+ score. Still Photography from 8K Video I know several RED owners who use their cameras to capture high resolution stills, opening up incredible flexibility and new creative options to them. The very fact that a camera designed for film capture can churn out sixty 8192×4320 16-bit raw stills every single second is frankly a massive slap in the face for Canon, Nikon and Sony. RED used to be perceived as a pixel pusher who considered image quality of lesser importance to raw power, but with the Helium sensor, even the most ardent ARRI fan must admit that RED have come a long way with their sensor technology. Read the full review by clicking here. Specifications for RED WEAPON 8K S35 35.4 Megapixel CMOS 29.90 mm x 15.77 mm (Diagonal: 33.80 mm) 60 fps at 8K Full Format (8192 x 4320), 75 fps at 8K 2.4:1 (8192 x 3456) 16-bit REDCODE RAW + Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR/HD 16.5+ stops of dynamic range (DxOMark pegged it at 15.2 Evs in their tests) 300 MB/s data speedsRead more
by Richard Lackey | 8th July 2016
Image courtesy of Red Digital Cinema The mist is lifting on a brand new RED Helium 8K Sensor, this time in a super 35mm format. RED Digital Cinema’s CEO, Jarred Land and Chief Design Officer, Matthew Tremblay have released some pictures on social media of their latest creation for none other than Michael Bay. Back in May, RED shared details of a custom housed Dragon sensored beast of a camera, the Xenomorph, built for David Fincher. This time Michael Bay gets the royal RED treatment with an out-of-this world camera for Transformers: The Last Knight. Image courtesy of Matthew Tremblay, Jarred Land and RED Digital Cinema. New Super 35mm RED Helium 8K Sensor This time it’s not “just” a custom bodied Dragon. Michael Bay gets a new sensor too in the form of an 8K super 35mm sensor known by the moniker “Helium”. What makes this sensor different from the 8K VistaVision sensor, is its size. To squeeze 8K into a smaller super 35mm chip necessitates new (smaller, denser) pixels. I’ve been told that smaller does not mean any compromise in imaging performance, quite the opposite, these are “better” pixels. It goes without saying that RED have a lot of secrets, and despite nudging the right people for more information, this is all I’ve got so far. If you aren’t following Jarred and Matt on Instagram and Facebook, you’re missing out some cool updates. What is clear is these guys have way too much fun building cameras. UPDATE: Jarred has confirmed in a recent Reduser post that “Helium” is in fact an entirely new 3.65 micron sensor line, the first of which will be the 8K super 35mm sensor, which will also soon be available for Weapon sensor upgrades. Oh, and it looks like there will be a new Epic-W, which will also be Helium equipped. All images courtesy of Matthew Tremblay, Jarred Land and RED Digital Cinema. Image courtesy of Matthew Tremblay, Jarred Land and RED Digital Cinema. Image courtesy of Matthew Tremblay, Jarred Land and RED Digital Cinema. Image courtesy of Matthew Tremblay, Jarred Land and RED Digital Cinema. Image courtesy of Matthew Tremblay, Jarred Land and RED Digital Cinema.Read more
by Nino Leitner | 22nd February 2015
In typical RED fashion, the camera manufacturer has announced their upcoming camera upgrade for their DRAGON system in their REDUSER forum. Not many technical details have been shared about the new system at all, other than it will be called WEAPON and that upgrades can only be done from Dragon sensors – Weapon seems to be a body upgrade. Like many replies from people on their REDUSER forum, I can’t help but wonder why on earth they picked such a name. As usual, the name will be engraved on the side of each body in huge letters … imagine the discussions with airport security personell around the world explaining something in your hand luggage called “RED WEAPON”. Telling them that you will only use it to “shoot” won’t help either. All joking aside, RED’s Jarred Land replied that people shouldn’t worry and simply put some gaffer tape over the name if there is a concern about getting into trouble purely because of the camera’s name. However that won’t really help with carnets and other import paper required by most countries around the world. If you haven’t upgraded to DRAGON yet, Land recommends doing that before NAB as the upgrade path will end mid-summer for MX users, and also become significantly more expensive after NAB (however no prices were announced). That’s supposed to be the first image out of the Weapon camera: As for the actual technical enhancements in the new upgrade little is known. Our friend Joe Marine over at NoFilmSchool speculates about the shape of the body changing and says that RED might be introducing better electronics to enhance the sensor output (which allegedly is limited by the processing power of the current camera body). He also makes a good point about RED’s modular approach which really never got where they wanted it to be in the beginning – only requiring shooters to purchase accessories to actually be able to use the camera at all (audio and monitoring modules, etc.). They indeed should take a lesson from the competition for once and give users more out of the box performance. Personally I love the image coming out of RED cameras, I have shot with EPIC and DRAGON as well as the RED ONE on various higher end commercial productions. However the cameras are definitely more prone to malfunctions (than others), which can spoil your shoot – as can the massively fanboy-ish attitude of many RED owners and the company itself – but the price/performance ratio is still great if you compare to other high end cinema options. Another teaser image of the camera tweeted by our friend Shane Hurlbut, ASC: They have definitely had a huge impact in making cinema quality affordable, but it’s not 2006 anymore. It’s really time to do things differently and more professionally in both business and technical terms. Once again, not a single movie nominated for this year’s OSCARs was shot on a RED camera … It’s really Arri Alexa everywhere, with the odd Canon C300 and C500 as well as some movies shot on 35mm film. Clearly time for RED to change some of their practices. I also read an interesting comment by “HOUSE M.D.” Director of Photography, Gale Tattersall on Facebook, in which he mentions that he was forced to shoot on Red Dragon instead of Arri Alexa in a recent shoot for Netflix “because of their 4K mandate”, adding “and for me … it just didn’t cut it.” Ouch. via RedUser, NoFilmSchool & IndieWireRead more
We only send updates about our most relevant articles. No spam, guaranteed! And if you don't like our newsletter, you can unsubscribe with a single click. Read our full opt-out policy here.