Want to get the best sensor money can buy? Well, you’d have to spend a cool $50K to do it. That’s the price of the RED Weapon 8K with Helium 8K S35 sensor, which DxOMark has just given its highest overall score ever. The score of 108 knocks another RED camera off the top spot—the RED Epic Dragon—which received a score of 101. Both cameras are ahead of Sony’s a7R II (98) and Nikon’s D810 (97), third and fourth, respectively, in the rankings.
According to DxOMark, the 35.4-megapixel Helium 8K sensor represents a “solid upgrade” over the Epic Dragon’s 6K sensor, with improved dynamic range, color depth, low-light ISO, and noise ratings. DxOMark measured the Helium 8K’s dynamic range at 15.2 stops, better than the Epic Dragon’s 14.8 stops but less than the 16.5+ stops claimed by RED. Both cameras use the Super 35 format, which is 29.90mm x 15.77mm, somewhat smaller than a full-frame DSLR sensor, which measures 36mm × 24mm, making the high scores all the more impressive.
“To achieve the best imaging technology on the planet, it starts with building the best sensors on the planet,” said Jarred Land, President of RED Digital Cinema. “This score from DxO validates all of our efforts and I could not be happier with our Helium sensor.”
Neither the Helium 8K nor Epic Dragon will make it to DxOMark official rankings, since the tests were carried out on prototype devices rather than production models.
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