Taking RED Helium 8K Camera Apart?

A RED camera is probably one of the most common items on filmmaker’s wish lists all over the world, and most of them would treasure it as a divine relic, not dreaming in their life to even take out a single screw. But famous YouTuber Linus Sebastian from Linus Tech Tips is on to make real one of the wildest and craziest fantasies in the tech world.

Let’s head on for an unbelievable and almost insane project. Taking a RED Helium 8K apart and implanting a water cooling system with a heatsink on the chips and a radiator outside the camera to dissipate heat. A crazy project indeed. But the real question is: “Will it be worth it?” Let’s take a look!

The basic assumption is fairly reasonable, although far stretched. RED brains are quite compact in design, but a fully rigged camera becomes quickly bulky. So bulky in fact that it may not be a huge difference if we add a radiator to the mix of monitors, V-mount batteries, matte box and such.

A radiator that could cool down the camera and avoid the roaring fans that kick up when you stop recording to cool things down. As filmmakers, it’s true that we are not so bothered, as we mentioned the fans kick in only when not recording, but still, less thermal stress on chipsets should mean a longer lifespan and less worn components.

Well, here comes the fun part. We do not suggest viewing if you’re not strong enough tough. Not having a teardown guide available Linus had to make his own way into the camera trying not to mess with ribbons, antennas, cables, and connectors.

The result is quite impressive. Once opened up the camera demonstrates the huge work RED as put inside of it, custom designing the internals. An impressive heatsink takes care of thermals in the camera and an array of ASIC supports encoding and data management. Just one of the chips inside of it seems to sell for $1,600, and there are quite a few in there

The idea of water cooling the sensor at the moment seems quite difficult to achieve from what we see in the video, let alone the fact that no filmmaker in the world would probably consider doing it, tight spaces and custom designed parts do not allow use of normal heatsinks, and custom designing one will not be a trifle operation.

In fact, Linus and his group have indeed accomplished some stunning projects so we may probably see some kind of conclusion to this project. We shall stay tuned to see if more news will come, meanwhile a tip of the hat to the bravery and maybe also a little bit of recklessness involved.

RED Helium 8K S35 Camera Highlights

  • 8K Super 35mm CMOS Sensor
  • 8192 x 4320 Recording up to 60 fps
  • REDCODE RAW, ProRes, and DNx Recording
  • High-Speed Recording up to 300 fps in 2K
  • Records to RED MINI-MAG Media
  • Uses DSMC2 Accessories
  • Interchangeable Lens Mounts
  • Aluminum Alloy Construction
  • 12/24/25/30/48/50/60 fps and Higher

[source: Linus Tech Tips]

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