Definition February 2021 - Web

PRODUCTION K ITS

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SPECIAL IST OPINION

WHAT DOES THE RED HELIUM 8K MONOCHROME OFFER THAT A COLOUR SENSOR DOES NOT? SAM MEASURE TECHN I CAL SPEC I AL I ST

So, the resolution, sensitivity and tonal range are the key benefits of Red’s monochrome sensor compared to shooting on a colour sensor and desaturating in post. Another great element to the Helium 8K Monochrome ‘brain’, as Red calls it, is the packages it comes in. There are two different bodies: the DSMC2, which is the small, modular one, and the Ranger, which is larger. The DSMC2’s size makes it extremely versatile. You can build it up as a perfectly good main camera, or you can strip them down and use them on gimbals and even drones. The Ranger is a larger and more robust system. It’s really what a lot of cinematographers were asking for in the early days of Red. As a rental camera, the DSMC2 requires a little more precision or pre-planning to avoid difficulties. For example, a rental house might have the camera, but may lack the accessories. With an all-in-one system like the Ranger, it’s not just easier for a crew to rent, the system also has less components, meaning there’s less chance of failure. It’s got a larger fan and can run on 24 volts, so there’s more manageable power and better heat management. While the DSMC2 is a great customisable body, the Ranger has many commercial and technical benefits, too.

hen you’re looking at a monochrome sensor compared to a colour sensor, the most obvious difference is that the former doesn’t incorporate colour filter array (CFA). It’s not going through

any filtration, so there’s no loss of light. As a result, the sensor becomes significantly more sensitive. With any kind of increasing sensitivity, there’s also an increasing total range – known as the dynamic range – because the sensor is just better at gathering light. In addition, there’s an increase in resolution, because you don’t have to put it through the de-mosaic algorithm in post. At least, that’s how the Red works, meaning there’s no loss in the process. Generally, you see more technically pleasing imagery with an 8K sensor like this one. That doesn’t mean a gain in the raster size and it’s not about being able to crop significantly more compared to a sensor with lower resolution, either – it’s more about getting a bit more detail and, importantly, smoother images. That’s the real upshot of that resolution increase. The same can be said for the tonal range. Again, there’s more to play with – for example, not necessarily having quite such harsh highlights. Of course, if that’s the desired look, you can always use light on set.

FEBRUARY 202 1 | DEF I N I T ION 35

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