RED, maker of high-end modular cinema cameras, is working on getting its new 6K Dragon sensor into the hands of filmmakers. The sensor produces insane levels of detail and dynamic range, evident in this beautiful frame of video.
The still comes from filmmaker Tom Lowe (Timescapes), who has been travelling around Sri Lanka with the RED Dragon, filming amazing things like this parade of elephants for the upcoming IMAX film, A Thousand and One Nights. Here is what he has to say about the 6K sensor:
...my main goal was to push the sensor to the absolute of extremes of what it could handle, in terms of dynamic range. The sun is actually in this shot, between those two clouds, and the elephant is completely back-lit. I did not use any bounces or lights of any kind. This is 100% natural light. And remember, elephants have rather dark skin, so all of us on the crew were staring at our monitors, kind of amazed that we were able to hold the sky, and still see the elephant's face and skin. On most cameras, we would have been looking at basically a silhouette. This frame was shot at ISO 1000, 6K resolution (6144x3072), RAW, 85 frames per second.
The sensor shoots at a maximum of 100 fps at 6K. It can not only shoot amazingly detailed video, but can also capture stills at 19 megapixels.
Below is the un-graded frame, converted from RAW and scaled to HD, followed by the final graded frame, courtesy of colourist Ian Vertovec (The Social Network, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo).
And here is a bonus frame, un-graded, shot at 6k, and downscaled to 4k.
The RED Dragon sensor should be available for purchase in the coming months, at a price of around $30,000. Start savin'!
Special thanks to Tom Lowe! Learn more about his projects at Dreamcore Pictures.