RED 8K Helium. Whoa.

Well…it’s finally here.  FME Studios’ very own RED 8K Epic-W Helium.  It took quite some time to get our hands on this camera and I must say, it was worth the wait.  After some initial tests we jumped right into a Christmas themed shoot for a national retailer based here in Indianapolis.  It turned out to be a great shoot to break in the new camera.  We had a multitude of locations, lighting setups and subjects to shoot during this project.  We shot in our familiar green screen studio, a very interesting industrial complex and an upscale home all featuring an array of talent.

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From the first shoot at the studio we could see what all the fuss was about.  Shooting full 8K in a well lit studio environment with our new Canon CN-E primes was awesome…even the raw images were blowing the client away.  The colors were rich, the blacks were smooth and pure and the skin tones really exposed nicely.

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Our next shoot was also in the studio, but this time we took the lights down and took some product beauty shots lit dramatically with an 1200 HMI.  Again, the blacks held up beautifully and the added resolution made our closeups that much more interesting.  It will be fun to get this camera fired up on the next green screen shoot and see how 8K keys…

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In the metal fabrication shop we encountered mixed color temperatures and extreme lighting from welders.  Against all odds, these shots became some of ours, and our client’s, favorites.  Being able to shoot at 6K at 120fps in a dark room and not be worried about noise in low light was a new and welcomed feeling.  We returned to the shop a few days later, this time with a bevy of lighting options and a full crew.  As expected, the Epic-W did not disappoint.  Even in some challenging ares with mixed sources our clips colored nicely in post, not degrading the footage as we pulled out unsavory tones and spills.

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Finally, we shot at our home location with a new group of actors.  In this scene we wanted a very warm and inviting Christmas morning family atmosphere.  Another nice feature that came in handy here is the ability to tint the color temperature in camera.  This allowed us to warm up the image and also mitigate a bit of a very yellow paint throughout the home.

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Shooting with this camera was really fun, but it got even more fun in post.  First, being able to edit in a 4K timeline and have the latitude to zoom, pan and reframe to the tune of 50% is amazing.  It gave us so many framing and key-framing options, helping us really punch up, and in some respects, get a two-for-one on some clips.  The new Adobe Premiere update came just in time for this camera as well.  We were able to edit in native 8K, but also create very lightweight proxies that made the initial edit a breeze.  Our suped-up Mac Pro chewed through it no problem as expected, but an entry level Macbook Pro we use for DIT did as well!  It was nice to be able to edit on the couch again…

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So, as you might have gathered…we love the RED Epic-W and the new Helium sensor.  It really creates beautiful images and gave us so much latitude in post.  Check out the aforementioned project below.

Make sure it watch in 4K: