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RED Monstro - Resolution vs Frame Size

The RED Monstro is drowning in combinations of resolution and shutter speed. But more confusing than that, it also crops into the sensor as you begin to step down from the full 8K that it is capable of. RED cameras don’t do any fancy down-sampling in the camera; if you want a 4k image, it will record with exactly 4096x2160 pixels from the center of the sensor. Knowing this, let’s look at what different resolutions get you on the RED Monstro

8K - Full VistaVision

This is pretty much equivalent to the full-frame we are used to from our DSLRs. It is only achievable in 8K mode, as you are pulling in every pixel on the sensor.

5K - Super35 

Moving down to 5K brings you to about a Super35-sized section at the center of the sensor. This allows you to make use of a large variety of cinema glass, as well as DSLR lenses created for APS-C sensors if that’s your thing. 

4K - Close to Micro Four-Thirds

At a 4K crop, you can expect a 1.87x crop from the full 8K sensor. Every MFT camera has a slightly different crop factor, but 1.87x puts you right in that ballpark. For most use cases, you would be better off shooting in 6K or even 8K and down-sampling in post production, so that you can keep that huge field of view that the Monstro is known for. 

3K - Super16mm Film

Shooting at 3K resolution creates a field of view fairly comparable to Super16 film. If you are shooting with Super16 lenses, or are trying to mimic that look, then this might be the resolution for you. As an example, Kathryn Bigelow shot Detroit on ARRI Alexa Minis, but cropped to a Super16 format that evoked a rough-around-the-edges period feel.

Other Intermediate Resolutions

If you want to know exactly what you’ll get at any of the other dozens of settings at your disposal, RED has a handy-dandy tool on their website that allows you to quickly assess the crop of any resolution on any sensor. 

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