RED's Epic to get Variable HDR mode

The web is buzzing with the teaser that RED's fearless leader Jim Jannard has just announced. He has posted several times on the Reduser forums that they have just completed a test using the not yet shipping EPIC. The test was on the just activated, "Variable HDR mode". The test charts they shot were not stills, but shooting 24fps and 1/48th shutter and Jim claims it encompassed 18 stops (per frame). Knowing the users on the forum would want proof, Jim invited over Michael Cioni, Founder of Light Iron Digital so that he'd have a third party to confirm the tests.

Michael Cioni's comment he posted on Reduser reads:

"Today I saw more stops from a captured R3D than I could with my own naked eye. No exaggeration. I've long talked about a world in which digital technology-driven dynamic range exceeds what the human eye can render. I am dangerously close to being speechless."

Michael Cioni, LightIronDigital

Jim then went on in later posts to say that it is unlikely they will have the Variable HDR mode enabled when EPIC starts shipping. It will likely be something that can be activated later (as has been the case with their current REDOne offering).

It will be interesting to see if RED gets out of the gate before Spheron ships any camera with their HDR video technology. Spheron was tight lipped at Siggraph and said they don't yet have any target dates for a working camera to buy. Regardless, Spheron's needs to be tethered to storage whereas it would seem RED already has figured out how to do this in R3D files. Interesting times in HDR Video!

In perspective, the Spheron camera promises 20 f-stops, current Top-DSLRs range around 13 f-stops, and human vision can make out 14 f-stops in a single view. So the RED EPIC's 18 f-stops are a pretty big leap for a mass market product, which the Spheron is probably not aiming for anyway.

The gossip started on Reduser in this thread.
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