Within 15 minutes of RED unveiling their limited edition white “Helium” 8K S35mm unit, every camera was snapped up. That’s not only insane – it also says a lot about the demand for bleeding edge tech in the cinema camera market.
RED recently debuted the gorgeous short film by Abandon Visuals entitled “The Underdog” that was shot in 8K WS (wide screen) and was edited and turned around in 48 hours – check it out below:
Not only does the film look beautiful (even if it’s still hard for most of us to truly see the full 8K benefit on our monitors), it’s a sign of things to come in the ever-expanding resolution wars.
While most filmmakers tend to err on the side of wanting more dynamic range than more resolution, from what I can see, Helium looks like it’s certainly not compromising on image quality, dynamic range or low light performance. Helium offers specs nothing short of impressive – 16.5 stops of Dynamic Range, and 75 fps at 8K 2.4:1 resolution (8192×3456).
What does this mean for most of us who are reading this but won’t / can’t go out and grab a Helium for ourselves? Well the incredible thing about what RED are doing (aside from pushing resolution, frame rate and dynamic range boundaries) is just how small and portable their camera range stays with each iteration.
As you’ll see in The Underdog BTS video (below), the camera gets handheld or just slung on an Easyrig and it’s pushed right into the heart of the action.
There is simply no denying that when it comes to portability and a camera you can pick up and just run with, and packs the latest bleeding edge technology into a camera body, RED continues to impress. With the trickle down effect, expect to see higher resolutions and frame rates in more camera bodies (outside of just what RED are offering) next year, with ever expanded low light performance to boot.
Will this make our films better? Never any guarantees there – but it will it provide us a greater, more expansive range of tools to better serve our story telling capability – and for that much, I’m excited.