Unboxing a $50,000 8K Video Camera! Most People Don’t Shoot 4k, Do You Need 8k?

by planetMitch13 Comments

My friend Devin ‘SuperTramp' Graham published this unboxing of his new 8k video RED camera the other day and I had to laugh… 8k Video? Really? I know all about gear lust and suffer from it too… but 8k?

Is there a business case for a $50,000 camera? For shooting youtube videos?

I know a lot of you are major filmmakers and I understand the idea that filming in 8k will give you the flexibility to post cropped video at 4k, but I think for 99% of the public (which includes Devin), 8k is just pixelPeepingOverKill.

Devin says he thinks 8k will be the standard in 3-5 years. Do you?

And reading the comments is just hilarious… I mean really?

This is the top rated one LOL:

Moo Moo HD1 week ago
And I watch in 720p

Quite the debate about whether 4k is even ‘the standard' now much less 8k coming soon. But there are plenty of defenders of shooting in 8k.

The real question is this… will Devin's audience see ANY difference when his videos are shot in 8k vs 4k or even 1080HD?

I think the answer is “it is about the content!”

What say you planet5D readers?

Description of the 8k unboxing

Stoked to have finally gotten our RED upgraded to the Helium 8K S35 Sensor! Comment below what we should test with the new upgrade!

All things RED Camera: www.red.com/

Check out even more detailed sensor specs here: www.red.com/store/products/wea…

Special thanks to Phil Holland, an expert on all things RED, for creating the chart to explain the sensor differences!

Music by Dilahyo “Try”
Buy it on iTunes here: smarturl.it/Dilahyo

Want to be in our next video?! Follow us on social media!

Help us translate our videos into your language! 🙂

For business inquiries ONLY, contact me here: [email protected]

So tell me… do you need 8k video?

(cover photo credit: snap from the video)


  1. I get the allure of more pixels – I do. You can re-crop/frame your shots in post if things feel “off”, there’s more room for the FX house to play, resizing to lower res looks nice and clean, etc. The downside is MASSIVE FILES, all FX now has to now be rendered in MASSIVE FILES that will take longer (3D in particular) to render out, needing more computer muscle which costing more in the process, and long term storage just quadrupled in ongoing price.
    Seeing every little crevice and divot in someone’s skin is not flattering at all in a closeup – just sayin’.
    This is just like what was joyously referred to as the “Pixel Wars” for DSLRs. A 16MP camera shoots a larger image than a full page ad in a magazine needs – you have room to crop and move around. Coming out with 24MP-50MP cameras is nice – don’t get me wrong – but not NEEDED. This is very much a “see how hi-res we can make this camera?!?!” from manufacturers, when you can’t see the difference in the final print, and you end up with, again, just plain massive files.
    It’s NICE to have higher than 1080p cameras. Not knocking them.
    Just keep in mind MOST programming is coming to you in 720 with a handful at 1080 and a much smaller handful at 4k. Realize that’s a LOT of data to push over a cable connection, when you hear someone say, “It’s SOON to be the standard for all TV programming.”
    And if they have to compress it within an inch of its life to get it to you?
    What was the point?

    1. Author

      Gosh Lew I love you!

      “If they have to compress it within an inch of its life” HAHAHA Right on bro!

      Let’s not forget that if you’re further than 6-8 feet away from a 4k TV your eyes can’t resolve it and see 1080 anyway!

      1. 6-8 feet away from the TV – ALSO if the TV is smaller than 40″, especially when sitting at that distance.
        How many people wear glasses…?
        The pixel wars is mainly a manufacturer’s push – same with the stills world – “we CAN, so we DID.”
        Again, high pixel count HAS its uses – just not sure it’s gonna be the standard norm for broadcast anytime soon.

  2. not a waste of time decided I don’t need it
    saved me 60k worth of setup money
    I like Red gear though

    not all shots require HI res

  3. Mitch, since you do not shoot video professionally, it’s probably hard for you to see why a professional would want to shoot 4K or even 8K video even if the end deliverable is 1080p. I’ve shot video with the Red Weapon with 8K Helium sensor. Have you? I’m currently editing get 8K footage from this very camera. It’s astonishing the flexibility 8K and 4K gives professional filmmakers. You can make fun of us all you want. A business case can indeed be made in a number of commercial applications. If you listen to episode 227 of my podcast, you can hear just one such business case. As a pro, I’ll continue to avail myself of the extraordinary tools and palette afforded to me in creating content. Kudos to Devon for upping his video and content production game.

    1. 8K does HAVE its uses – again, not knocking it. Down-scaling to 1080 delivery is very clean. To have the room to smooth out shots in post is fantastic.
      I think I speak for ALL of us when I say none of us have or will “make fun” of 8K shooters.
      There’s a good reason large format film was a useful thing in still photography – it just wasn’t for weddings and bar/bat-mitzvahs – more common use, basically.
      And that’s the general conversation here – “majority usage” – meaning versions of “home video” end-user delivery, whether it’s cable TV, streaming, or online videos, etc.
      For 2K delivery, downscaling from 6K-8K looks the same. For 4K delivery, any difference is so subtle that by the time they compress it for cable-delivery (or online) all that subtlety is gone – and like I said, MOST content delivered to your TV ends up 720.
      I’m paying a LOT per month for high-data connection, and Netflix STILL has that little notice at the top corner of my screen that tells me what I’m GETTING is 720 delivery.
      Lisa Wiegand – the DP for the “Chicago” series of TV shows flat-out calls the pixel wars bullshit when it comes to TV. She shoots it all in 2.7K on an Alexa, knowing how it’s going to look when broadcast. She (and MANY DPs) is after better color science, rather than pixel-count.
      8K does HAVE a place – I just don’t believe it’s going to be “the standard” for TV or the web anytime soon.

    1. Author

      That’s a very compelling video – thanks for sharing. But I’ll also stick to my guns in that video is aimed at folks who have major big budgets and shoot ALL the time. Maybe it will help with Devin’s workflow and ability to re-frame, but if it does, he’s still the exception I think. Most people don’t need that gear because they’re not shooting that type of product and the end viewer still doesn’t care.

  4. Had some time to play with an Epic-W 8K and I was somewhat disappointed. This thing is so ridiculously overpriced and overhyped. I don’t get the Hype! The menu system is somewhat sluggish. They don’t even implemented a focus peaking with color option. On Reduser they said it’s not possible with current hardware – WTF? Only usable is edge focus.
    Also the camera itself has some quirks – while shooting the preview image on the touch display suddenly stops. You can really compare it to Magic Lantern just much more sluggish badly implemented and with less options and super expensive. And now RED wants to release a smart-phone? Are they nuts? They should fix their overpriced cameras first. In my opinion this Epic-W is not more worth than 18K USD.

  5. Do people still watch Devin? His obsession with YouTube seems like such a waste of potential talent.

    1. Author

      Let’s see… he grew himself from nothing to a youtube star in 4-5 years. He’s now living in Hawaii and just got married. I think youtube is serving him well 🙂

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