The New RED Helium 8K Sensor– Michael Bay’s Custom RED

by Bret Hoy1 Comment

The guys at RED are always busy. If you’re in the business of following their updates, it always seems like, not only are they selling their cameras, they’re making totally new bodies. Now they’re in the business of making custom bodies for those lucky enough to have the right connections.

A while back, the team at RED announced their collaboration with David Fincher. The custom body was called the Xenomorph and it was to be used on Netflix’s Mindhunter. Now it’s Michael Bay’s turn to get a custom body, but he didn’t stop at a custom housing. He gets a whole new sensor.

The new 8K RED Helium Sensor squeezes the 8k resolution into a Super 35mm sensor. And it’s not surprising that this was desired. Super 35 has been an incredibly popular size for as long as cinema has been around. It’s a bit surprising that it’s taken this long for 5k+ resolutions to find their way to this image plane size.

In addition to the new sensor, the body has been given an upgrade. With it’s neon yellow side panels and custom ergonomic grip, it looks like an imported Tuner. Built for speed. Seems correct for Michael Bay, right?

Whether you like the look or not, the Helium is definitely an interesting and forward thinking addition to the RED line.

New RED Helium 8K Sensor and Michael Bay’s Custom Camera

Via cinema5D:

Image courtesy of Matthew Tremblay, Jarred Land and RED Digital Cinema. Source: cinema5D

Image courtesy of Matthew Tremblay, Jarred Land and RED Digital Cinema. Source: cinema5D

This time it’s not “just” a custom bodied Dragon. Michael Bay gets a new sensor too in the form of an 8K super 35mm sensor known by the moniker “Helium”. What makes this sensor different from the 8K VistaVision sensor, is its size. To squeeze 8K into a smaller super 35mm chip necessitates new (smaller, denser) pixels. I’ve been told that smaller does not mean any compromise in imaging performance, quite the opposite, these are “better” pixels.

Image courtesy of Matthew Tremblay, Jarred Land and RED Digital Cinema. Source: cinema5D

Image courtesy of Matthew Tremblay, Jarred Land and RED Digital Cinema. Source: cinema5D

It goes without saying that RED have a lot of secrets, and despite nudging the right people for more information, this is all I’ve got so far.

Read full article at cinema5D “New RED Helium 8K Sensor and Michael Bay’s Custom Camera”

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(cover photo credit: snap from cinema5D)


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