The RED EPIC has a 5K Mysterium-X sensor and a 27 layer ASIC processor. The EPIC can capture up to 120 fps at 14MP resolution, up to 300fps at 2K, and shoots stills and video. It was designed to give a native dynamic range of over 13 stops with a resolution similar to 35mm film.
|The Mysterium-X sensor, released early last year, measures 30mm X 15mm, or 5120 x 2700 pixels. RED has also developed the HDRx system, which may extend the dynamic range up to 18 stops. HDRx is enabled in the camera when purchased and produces an identical result to HDR capture with a stills camera.
The RED EPIC-X and M can capture up to 120fps in 5K 2.40:1 anamorphic, 150fps in 4K 2.40:1, 200fps in 3K 2.40:1, 300fps in 2K 2.40:1 and 360fps in 720p. In 16x9, the frame speed is about 20 per cent less, that is - 96fps, 120fps, 160fps, 240fps and 288fps. The EPIC-S, designed for lower-end users, has a bandwidth about half as large as on the EPIC-M and X, which lowers the maximum available frame rate.
The EPIC has been designed for multi-camera synchronization, which assists with 3D capture, for example. REDCODE will allow 1080P to 5K recording on REDMAG drives. The camera’s base sensitivity is now 800 ASA, and it is capable of operating over an ISO range of 100 to 6400ISO. The images produced at some of the higher ASA ratings show clean blacks with very little noise, important when shooting in low light.
Possible recording formats are CF card, SSD, single or multiple slot, side or rear mount. In post, native R3D format is now supported by Final Cut Pro, Avid DS, Adobe Premiere and AfterEffects, Sony Vegas, SCRATCH, Baselight, Mistika, Quantel Pablo, Da Vinci Resolve, Nuke, REDCINE-X, ROCKETCINE-X, DVS Clipster and Nucoda. Data can be exported to most formats including REDRAY 4K.
EPIC in Action
Benjamin Zadig at Red Apple Camera Rentals has been keeping up to date with the EPIC as it gradually became more available. “The actual monitoring on the EPIC is similar to any other digital camera with a HD/SDI output. When buying an EPIC-M, a Bomb-EVF & a 5in onboard monitor is included in the purchase,” he said.
Should users need more connectivity than the body provides, options are dual HD/SDI out, genlock, AUX power / GPIO, timecode and mini XLRs on the basic I/O module, among others. To shoot handheld the RED Handle Grip powers and controls the camera. For lenses, you can choose a PL Mount, RED Electronic Mount, or specific Canon or Nikon Smart Mounts, which have automatic exposure and focusing.”
RAW unprocessed stills can be extracted from motion at any time even when shooting at 5K or at 120fps. The image can be selected or you can use settings to extract images. The camera can be carried with the computer, lens, grip and monitor or configured for shoulder use with extended power and your required I/O options. You can purchase additional accessories for the EPIC including media and other displays. Ben said, “Users might find that some rigs for handheld use are similar to the HDSLR rigs, which can often be used but will need to be adapted. The battery attaches itself straight into the camera - power supply is via the DC output on the back of the camera.”
Under the Weather
For applications, Ben says the EPIC is a flexible camera. It is about one third the size of original RED ONE model. “Before the ALEXA was released, the RED ONE was pretty much our main commercial camera apart from the 435s and other film cameras,” he said. “The RED is used for everything from features – ‘Knowing’, ‘Ghost Rider 2’, ‘The Lovely Bones’, ‘The Social Network’ and numerous indie features - to music videos, TV shows, commercials and documentaries.
Damian Wyvill had an experience early on shooting a commercial for Foxtel with the EPIC. The crew was working in pouring rain, where the camera’s small size made the conditions easier to handle. They were also shooting 4K at 100fps, frequently using remote heads and tracking vehicles. Nevertheless, the footage held up and graded perfectly well.
Ben said, “The Epic’s picture quality, of what I've seen so far, is very clean and crisp with an improved dynamic range and, with the included HDRx feature, certain accessories such as ND grads are no longer necessary. It still retains the RED ONE visual look, slightly contrasty and saturated, giving it a more commercial appeal. As I haven't seen anything properly projected with it yet I can't give more detail, but it looks certain to go beyond what the original camera could do.” The EPIC must be purchased from RED directly, in US dollars. Currently the price is US$58,000 www.redapplecamerarentals.com www.red.com