Back in 2005, I talked about the vague announcement of an upcoming a 2540p camera based on a full frame 4K CMOS from a company founded by the founder of Oakley. The camera, RED ONE, was launched in 2007 and was viewed by many as a game changer in digital cinematography.
Now RED is changing the game again. They've just announced a new modular system that separates out the sensor, lens mount, I/O, recording module, battery, viewfinder, remote, etc all as separate components you can mix and match. They also announced a line of sensor modules (what they call 'brains') that I'll talk about in a moment.
I'm blown away just like I was in 2005 and there is some nice tech pr0n at http://www.red.com/epic_scarlet/ for you to look at to see what I'm talking about.
In addition to the modular approach, which I find very compelling, the other thing that blew me away is a couple of the 'brains' they offer and their sensors.
I've talked about sensor sizes before. Most consumer video cameras have 1/3" sensors. Professional video cameras are generally 2/3". Even Star Wars Episode II was shot on 2/3" cameras capable of 1080-line resolution. Remember the 1920x1080 is 2 megapixels. Video was a fair way behind digital still cameras, which was why the announcement from RED back 2005 was so tantalizing. A typical DSLR has an APS-C sized sensor (or similar).
But look what RED has done now. They have sensors designated S35, FF35, 645 (medium format) and 617 (large format panoramic). I've shown all the sensors sized I've mentioned below for comparison (done in the same scale and style as my previous post on sensor sizes). Yes, that huge rectangle is (roughly, depending on your screen resolution) the sensor dimensions in actual size.
The full-frame FF35 is 24MP. So it's already as good as any professional DSLR and it can shoot video up to 100fps!!
The 645 is 56mm x 42mm and 65MP. The 617 is...wait for it...186mm x 56mm with 261MP. And both these shoot video at 50fps and 25fps respectively.
Finally, the dynamic range on the FF35, 645 and 617 are supposedly 13+ stops. That is incredible (although admittedly the larger pixels sizes of such large sensors make that possible)
Simply mind blowing!