News is still developing, but here’s what we know thus far about the latest chip improvements from RED. First the release and availability detail.
- Available late 2012 for EPIC (top-level camera line) and 2013 for SCARLET (entry-level line)
- The upgrade will NOT be available for RED ONE (the legacy camera which is built on a different platform and thus not completely compatible).
- Price for the upgrade on the EPIC will be $6,000.00 — no price set for the SCARLET upgrade as yet.
Specs are still being ironed out, but this is what we know so far. We’ll update this article as more news comes in.
- 6K maximum resolution (for comparison, the 1st generation RED ONE shoots up to 4K — roughly 8 Megapixels — and most video cameras shoot a maximum of 1080P resolution video which is under 2 Megapixels). 6K would be upwards of 15 Megapixels.
- The frame rate is yet to be locked down, but right now they have it rated at 85 FPS for the full 6K resolution. They hope it get it faster before release. Shooting at 5K resolution will allow up to 120 FPS. These higher frame rates are used primarily for shooting slow motion, in camera. Normally slow motion effects would need to be simulated by software in post-production.
- Because of a larger sensor and smaller pixels compared to the Mysterium-X (the last chip upgrade), lens compatibility could be an issue for some. Most lenses will work however. As with most changes like these, it will likely take extensive personal tests for folks to know if their lenses are still as performant. Sensor size is 30×15.8mm. Pixel size is 5 microns.
- The most welcomed improvement is the Dynamic Range (how much detail is retained in extreme shadow and light areas of the image). The exposure range will be over 15 EV (exposure value). By comparison, the previous upgrade was around 11 EV (not all useable due to the noise level on higher ASA/ISO settings). Doesn’t sound like much; it is. The top of the line Canon DSLR (1Dx) and Nikon (D4) cameras have a range of about 12 EV.
Also announced was a digital film projector that can handle the 4K resolution output from these new breed of cameras. The REDray Cinema projector will be too expensive for most of you to own, but may find its way into a film theater near you someday. Film theater resolution is typically 2K btw so, this is a decidedly better picture than most are used to.