Red says the updated sensor boasts significant improvements in image quality by enhancing the dynamic range, or range of light the camera can capture. Red says the new sensor hits 17+ stops of dynamic range, which means more detail in the shadows.
Along with the enhanced dynamic range, the Monstro is capable of capturing 35.4-megapixel stills. Full quality shots hit frame rates of up to 60 fps or 75 fps with the 2.4:1 wide aspect ratio. Stepping down the resolution allows for 120 fps for slow-motion effects that are still recorded in 4K.
“RED’s internal sensor program continues to push the boundaries of pixel design and MONSTRO is the materialization of our relentless pursuit to make the absolute best image sensors on the planet,” Jarred Land, President of RED Digital Cinema, said in a press release. “The Full Frame 8K VV MONSTRO provides unprecedented dynamic range and breathtaking color accuracy with full support for our IPP2 pipeline.”
The new sensor also offers fast data transfers at up to 300 MB/s, along with the ability to shoot in Redcode RAW and Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD/HR simultaneously.
The Weapon camera system with the Monstro sensor will retail for $79,500. Red’s Weapon system is modular, which means owners of earlier Red Weapon carbon fiber cameras can upgrade by buying the “brains” or sensor system for “only” $29,500. New orders for the camera system will start in 2018.
Like other RED cinema cameras, the Monstro is both high-end and high-cost, which means few actually ever get their hands on one but many will watch the results in the form of the latest Hollywood hits. The closest the company is getting to the consumer market is the upcoming Red Helium smartphone with a holographic display.
Red also launched an enhanced image-processing pipeline for all Helium and Monstro sensors with the release of firmware 7.0, bringing factors like better color management, smoother highlights, and improved demosaicing. Finally, Red also announced a new extended warranty Red Amor-W with expanded protection and one sensor upgrade each year.
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