Great question, Nick. Every camera (Alexa iterations included) utilize parts from companies all around the world. No camera company builds every component within a camera, not unlike how Ferrari integrates parts from other car manufactures when building their cars. They key differentiator is how those parts work together. Ferrari is known for their quality and have a distinct top-end target market, very similar to Arri.
RED cameras are designed for the mass market and serve a wider array of customers. Alexa65 and AlexaLF are only designed for a select group of professionals.
When we examined options for electronic partners to go with our lenses and accessories, we wanted to work with the most advanced sensor and fastest evolving electronics program. That's RED. How we optimize that is like taking the best parts and tuning them to Panavision's target market. This doesn't at all diminish how well the Arri platform is designed, rather we set out to accomplish what Arri and RED (and others) do well and elevate them to a previously unmatched level for top-end professional cinema. RED Monstro, REDCode, and RED's custom ASICs sit as the core of this mission, and once you shoot with it, you'll instantly know the difference.
I actually think this point is really excellent and appropriate! Making money is an important part of the equation because it means we can finance R&D so we can try new things and make things better! Plus, on the consumer side, it means we can invest in new technologies and use those to fill gaps in the market created by luddites which allows for entrepreneurial growth! It also means DIY groups can invest in these tools to elevate their quality levels, often resulting in charging more for their services.
In the interest of helping explain these points so you can understand them better, let me briefly elaborate:
1) Any sensor (regardless of its sensitivity) will experience a lower noise floor through the process of super sampling. Since today's exhibition formats are 4K and HD, you are forced to scale down 8K material by 1/2 or 1/4 size. This process results in automatically lowering the noise floor due to the law of averaging. Sensors that start at lower resolutions are unable to super sample and thus do not experience the same noise reduction characteristics as higher resolutions like 8K. If you want an absolute measurement, 8K supersampling down to HD is the equivalent of a noise floor reduction of -6db. You can see an example of this here:https://vimeo.com/260678147
2) The operative word here is "mapping." A sensor can only map dynamic range to what it can see. A greater pixel count means the camera can map more dynamic range in the real world to the captured image. Since a pixel can only have a single value (or represent a single stop) more pixels allows for more values (and more stops) to be mapped to the image. You can learn more about that here @ the 43min mark:https://vimeo.com/248235757
3) We agree:-)
4) Your ingredients that contribute to DOF are correct, but your assumption that you can achieve the same DOF results in large format is incorrect. Larger sensors will always have less depth of field potential and also allow for lens speeds to increase at speeds 35mm cannot achieve due to its smaller geometry. Because of spacial light mapping, 35mm sensors will always have more DOF than medium or large format (provided you creatively desire less DOF). You can learn more about that here:https://vimeo.com/253322347
5) The slide you are referencing is 8K Large Format, which is referencing a 46mm diagonal, not S35. By this, S35 lenses do not cover 46mm which means you use new lenses in order to cover the large format image circle. So this has everything to do with 8K in the context of large format. This opens up a world of vintage large format lenses, as well as a slew of new ones such as the CP3, Thalia, S7, Artiste, and Signature lenses. All of these are brand new and driven by large format cameras, mostly thanks to 8K RED since they mass produce 8K large format.
6) No, I mean magnification, which does not refer to reframing. You can learn more about that in the link I provided for #4.
I encourage a good discussion and I think your points are good because honestly, this stuff is new and that means it can be challenging and often open to some interpretation. I hope these answers help clarify these points and moreover, I'm confident if you shoot 8K large format yourself, you'll come to these same conclusions I have in my own work.
Thanks for the insight, Jeffrey. I really enjoyed your comments. I personally shot this material and would strongly say that no 1080p camera could capture these images the same way. -A variation of these images, certainly! But with this exact texture? I would say no. For example, the DOF driven by a 40mm wide sensor creates falloff that cannot be replicated using a smaller sensor (I tried to create a few shots that demonstrated this). In addition, I have not experienced a camera with photosites this small that are this quiet, which is another unique element of Weapon 8K imagery.
Some additional thoughts about 8K can be found here if you care to investigate.