January 31, 2016

RED's 6K WEAPON Magnesium Camera is Shipping

Curt Pair RED WEAPON Magnesium 1
Though we saw some Woven Carbon Fiber and Forged Carbon Fiber 6K RED WEAPON cameras hit the streets in 2015, the Magnesium took a little longer since it was later in the upgrade stage — but it's finally shipping.

If you're not caught up on RED's WEAPON camera system, they actually now have three separate models at the higher end of their new DSMC2 platform (that's in addition to the RAVEN and SCARLET-W cameras). All of the WEAPONs have 6K DRAGON sensors inside, but their bodies are made of different materials (which cost more the fancier you get). In addition, the Carbon Fiber models are the only ones capable of 4K ProRes, whereas the Magnesium model is limited to 2K ProRes. The flagship camera will ultimately be the 8K full-frame/Vista Vision WEAPON — but the rollout for that camera will take much longer. A few have gotten their hands on it already, and it's going to be used to shoot Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2

As for the Magnesium camera, Curt Pair, a long-time RED user, bought into the upgrade package, which includes a very nice laser-cut foam case:

Curt Pair RED WEAPON Magnesium Case 1

And he created what is a terrifically clever shirt in my opinion:

Curt Pair RED WEAPON Magnesium 2

The cameras all weigh about the same, but the spec difference comes at a huge price advantage. The upgrade package for Magnesium is around $30,000, with a new camera starting at $30K with nothing included. The next model up with 4K ProRes is the Woven Carbon Fiber WEAPON, which is around $50K for the upgrade, and starts at $50K for a new camera with nothing included. The internals of the Carbon Fiber models are much better, and capable of taking the 8K sensor — a side effect of which is 4K ProRes. The Magnesium may have an upgrade path to 8K (at least RED has discussed it), but it would likely cost more than going straight to a Carbon Fiber camera right away. 

It's unclear how many are shipping right now, but the images above are proof that these cameras are slowly finding their way into the hands of shooters.     

Your Comment

35 Comments

I know this post is about the 6K, but here's the first video from the Red 8K.

https://vimeo.com/153200176

It looks like 8K is that sweet spot in resolution.

February 1, 2016 at 3:04AM, Edited February 1, 3:07AM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
2000

It way too much details... Hope you have a great first AC on you next shoot with it. Seriously, who need 8k in the real world. And shown in HD by the way.

February 1, 2016 at 11:16AM

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Alexis Marcoux
Director of photography
429

just plain wow

go select the "original" download option on vimeo and see it!

The 8K super-sampled down to 4K looks amazingly life-like and smooth,
I had a bizarre desire to reach out and touch her face - it looks soo real

Absolutely brilliant for a first time use quick test w/ minimal grading

February 4, 2016 at 5:28AM

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Daniel Reed
Hat Collector
1227

So your body choices are plastic or explosively flammable metal in a camera with a reputation for overheating.

February 1, 2016 at 11:06AM, Edited February 1, 11:06AM

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February 1, 2016 at 11:22AM, Edited February 1, 11:23AM

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Some of us prefer cameras that are engineered to work well, not just look cool.

February 1, 2016 at 11:28AM, Edited February 1, 11:28AM

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We can chat about 8K as much as we like but we're all looking at it on less than 4K res screens. Anybody out there who actually owns an 8K screen?

February 1, 2016 at 11:17AM

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Jonathon Sendall
Stories
1946

Ah, but you can shoot everything with a super wide angle lens and just crop what you need!

February 1, 2016 at 11:30AM

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That's not how things work in the professional world...

February 1, 2016 at 8:34PM, Edited February 1, 8:34PM

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I think you may have missed my sarcasm.

February 9, 2016 at 7:10PM

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Bigger Sensor with same physically sized pixels means the noise patterns are much finer/smaller relative to frame size. 6k is plenty sharp IMO but I think the real benefit of shooting with this 8k sensor is low light capabilities.

February 1, 2016 at 12:10PM

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Red cameras only shoot with a minimum compression of 3:1. or 5:1. No doubt the output will be sharp, but you are going to lose some of that 8k resolution to the compression. Compare a jpeg to an uncompressed TIFF.

Aside from that I would love to see the look on the face of the talent when they see the footage and are looking at every pore, wrinkle and blemish on their aging face. So, the DoP will drop in a few diffusion filters and probably blur it in post down to less than 4k, while juggling an 8k data footprint. Isn't progress great?

February 1, 2016 at 5:48PM, Edited February 1, 5:50PM

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Way too much detail on her skin. It looks kind of gross. This is the wrong application for 8K.

February 1, 2016 at 1:34PM

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Time for my favourite quote from Zoolander again "I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!!"

IF THERE IS NO MOVEMENT IN THE IMAGE THE HUMAN EYE CANT DISTINGUISH 4K PAST 5.5 FEET ON MOST TELEVISIONS.

ADD THE SLIGHTEST AMOUNT OF MOTION BLUR AND 4K IS GONE. GONE!!

48FPS HELPS COUNTER THIS BUT NOBODY LIKES 48FPS AND EVEN IF THERE WAS 4K 48FPS CONTENT THE DATA BANDWIDTH WOULD BE RIDICULOUS.

4K and above are gimmicks for TV sales. Why can't everyone see that? Again, we saw it all with 3D, everyone bought a 3D TV but virtually never used it in 3D mode. But they were still good HD quality TVs. But if you buy a 4K TV and play HD on it it can look crap not being the TVs native resolution. Remember what it was like playing SD on a HD TV?

But at least we got better cameras out of it all. HD has never looked better.

End rant.

February 1, 2016 at 4:39PM

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Haven't you heard Simon, 2k is the new black and white. Don't you want to future-proof your videos, lol! In the future, people will loath any videos that aren't extra-crispy and everything we make today will be ignored because of it, so says the fear and misinformation based marketing surrounding camera technology.

February 1, 2016 at 5:51PM

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Derek Olson
Directomatographeditor
701

I would suggest looking up the differences between captured resolution and measured resolution. It may help clear up your confusion.

February 1, 2016 at 7:09PM

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Marcus Ian Friedlander
Co-Founder of Leading Lobos
81

What part of what I said made you think I don't know the difference?

I said two things. 1). We can't see 4K if the image moves. 2). The resulting 4K cameras that came with the push has given us better HD. We win if we stay outputting HD.

February 1, 2016 at 11:36PM

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The reason I mention captured vs measured resolution is that captured resolution is about post production efficiency, not the resolving power of our eyes in relation to screen size and viewing distance.

February 2, 2016 at 1:34AM, Edited February 2, 1:35AM

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Marcus Ian Friedlander
Co-Founder of Leading Lobos
81

Re: "But if you buy a 4K TV and play HD on it it can look crap not being the TVs native resolution" - Wrong. It's called up-scaling and it looks awesome. Like it or not the future of streaming is HEVC and all TVs are moving toward 4K with 10-bit color.

February 2, 2016 at 6:24AM

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Razor
VFX Colorist
474

Your the first person I've ever heard that likes upscaling.

February 3, 2016 at 8:05AM

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You are the first person I've ever heard that is opposed to the progress of 4K.

February 6, 2016 at 5:37PM, Edited February 6, 5:37PM

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Razor
VFX Colorist
474

Like I said. We benefit from using 4K for capture but we don't benefit by outputting 4K.

People can argue all they want but at the end of the day you physically can't see the difference between 4K and HD past 5.5 feet and nothing is going to change that.

February 8, 2016 at 9:25PM

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Same 'ol jerkfest, different camera.

February 1, 2016 at 4:46PM

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Nick Rowland
Street Bum
590

this thread is about the 6k weapon MG. Certainly an upgrade for those used to shooting with an Epic Dragon. Many many many improvements have been made on this body style which have been gone over here on this board for sometime. as far as 8k VV weapons are concerned i HIGHLY doubt anyone here will get a chance to shoot with one, maybe the reason for the obvious hatred/resentment for the concept of 8k. However most of you follow the philosophy of "the right camera for the job" Guess what? If you are shooting a MAJOR motion picture specially one that needs heavy VFX the VV 8K IS the right camera for the job. Hate it or not red gonna take things to a new level. and I have a feeling most of you will appreciate it when you go the movies.

February 2, 2016 at 7:45AM

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>If you are shooting a MAJOR motion picture specially one that needs heavy VFX the >VV 8K IS the right camera for the job.

As someone who has been in VFX for over 20 years and has pulled countless green screens I can tell you that this is a complete red herring that has been floating around the internet for may years.

Red footage is always compressed which makes it more difficult to pull green / blue screens from and suppress spill. The lowest compression available is 3:1 and often 5:1 and higher for high speed (13:1), so a lot of color information is being thrown away. RED sells this as 'visually lossless' but your keyer only sees numbers and will notice the missing data that will manifest itself as banding and edge artifacts. This makes it difficult to pull fine detail like wispy hair, peach fuzz, smoke etc. The cameras are also noisy and the color science is improved, but still odd. Highlight roll off is not exactly smooth and because of the compression tonality is thin, which again makes it difficult to key, spill suppress and in some cases grade.

And please, before anyone pulls out the Fincher-Jackson-Scott-Santa Clause RED endorsement card I'll let you know that I've worked on VFX for at least two of these people and their mere association didn't make these technical problems magically go away. Instead we put in countless hours of overtime to make shots look right.

If you want to make your VFX people happy shoot uncompressed RAW on an Alexa or Sony.

February 2, 2016 at 11:36AM, Edited February 2, 11:55AM

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We can't appreciate 8K to its fullest on our 2K monitors, so 8K cameras shouldn't used, and are not needed, you say? Ok, cars shouldn't be driven on dirt roads too.

February 2, 2016 at 7:52AM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
2000

most films are shot at high res 5k, 6k etc and then a 4k slice is extracted for the final delivery. and that is for big feature films. many projects are shot at 4k and beyond then down-scaled to 1080 HD. the fact that you don't have an 8k screen is irrelevant.
watch this video for an in depth post production work flow involving red camera settings and post production for "Enders Game" Shot on epic 5k with a 4k slice for delvery. hopefully it will enlighten everyone
https://vimeo.com/78581143

February 2, 2016 at 10:31AM, Edited February 2, 10:35AM

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The majority of major studio pictures in Hollywood and abroad are shot on the Alexa that ranges from 2.4-3.4k and is blown up to 4k.

TV is almost exclusively shot on the Alexa, except for Netflix which is the only studio I know of that has a native 4k requirement, hence lots of RED and Sony F55. In this past year we have started to see more TV shows being shot on Sony cameras though, but that number still is very small in comparison.

Most VFX are still finished at 2k, but there is a strong move to 4k.

In general the DI is performed at 4k these days.

There are very few people like Fincher who uses a 4/6k extraction process. But he is the exception to the rule.

You really should not spread such misinformation. I highly doubt you even work in the business.

February 2, 2016 at 11:45AM, Edited February 2, 11:56AM

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i should have said most films shot on red, you are correct.
main point was there are many reasons to shoot in higher res than intended for delevery

February 2, 2016 at 1:17PM, Edited February 2, 1:25PM

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It was been proven many time in pass treads on this website that more films and series are shot on Arri products. Here is one link. Check out at the end of the postings:

http://nofilmschool.com/2015/09/heres-why-alexa-so-popular-amongst-profe...

February 3, 2016 at 8:47PM

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Alexis Marcoux
Director of photography
429

Concerning DI, you'll be also perfectly fine with Arri UHD 4k and beautiful ProRes XQ. And Sony... Yes it all pretty much done in 4k now but 2k still does a great job with a solid codec

February 3, 2016 at 8:53PM

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Alexis Marcoux
Director of photography
429

"the Carbon Fiber models are the only ones capable of 4K ProRes,"

Meanwhile, I can shoot 4K ProRes on a $3K camera.

Step it up, Red.

And by the way, if you want to dick around with focus every second of your shoot, fine. Otherwise, stick with proper 35mm CINEMA-sized chips. That means APS-sized.

February 6, 2016 at 6:28AM

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David Gurney
DP
2014

Whatever. Keep the chip size at 35mm CINE size (APS), and we're fine. Go beyond that, and we're in fussy "full-frame" 5D missed-focus land.

February 6, 2016 at 6:33AM

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David Gurney
DP
2014

Its not full frames' fault that people can't focus. And theres more to the look of full frame than DOF.

Just don't shoot wide open till your focus is up to it. Tennis is a great way to practice, from the side the players are constantly moving toward and away from you.

February 8, 2016 at 9:34PM

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