But why would RED release a camera that can only do Black & White, you may ask? Why would I give a shit, you may also ask?
Well, the reason the EPIC-M (for “Monochromatic” in this case, which actually means “grayscale” in film photography) should be of interest comes down to the fact that virtually all claims from digital camera makers concerning resolution are a great big pack of lies. To put it as simply as possible, on most CMOS digital sensors (RED, Alexa, Genesis, pretty much every one you’ve ever heard of) the chip employs something called a “Bayer Pattern” to capture color and light (luminosity). On such chips, green photosites are what are used to capture luminosity, while red and blue capture only those specific colors. Since the chip needs as much light as possible, the pixels are arranged so that every other photosite is a green one, thus increasing the amount of luminosity the sensor ultimately sucks up. This is based, kinda sorta in-a-way on how our eyes work.
What this means is that a 5K camera still has to interpolate (i.e. “make up”) many pixels to come up with final colors, meaning it’s actually outputting 4k-worth of actual, natively-read pixels. This is true across the board. You can read more about that whole process on Wiki, or go look up Christopher Probst’s great articles on the subject in American Cinematographer.
In any event, when you don’t have to worry about capturing color, every photosite can now be reading luminosity and there’s no need to average or interpolate anything. Suddenly your 5k sensor is spitting out a very real 5k image! This RED camera has been reengineered to that its sensor does just that, so it will ultimately be generating some of the cleanest, most beautiful digital footage yet put out by any of these cameras.
So what does all this boil down to? Essentially that you’re going to be seeing some insanely sharp, gorgeous commercials, music videos, and eventually features made with this camera. I can only imagine what Fincher will tear out of this thing, and I’d love for some other director to get their hands on it soon too.
No doubt RED is working to make that happen, but B&W just isn’t loved how it should be, so it might be a while before we see a major feature shot with it. Maybe Soderbergh will perk up and give us something…
Source | NoFilmSchool