RED V-Raptor sensor
Image courtesy: RED

Last week, Cinematographer Brandon Peterson posted some RED V-Raptor footage on his BP40 Creative Vimeo page. At times the clip shows a vertical line artifact down the center of the image. The issue appears to be caused by the camera’s stitched sensor design.

Sensor stitching

Sensor stitching is the manufacturing process whereby the manufacturer places two image sensors together to form a larger sensor. It is a common practice in the design of large-format sensors. RED stitches the RED Vista Vision (VV) sensor in the RED Monstro camera, just link in the RED V-Raptor. Arri also uses stitched sensors in their Alexa 65 and Alexa LF cameras.

You can see the vertical line artifact going down the center of the frame. Image courtesy: Brandon Peterson

Backlit

Most of the time, the stitching between the two sensors will be invisible. However, there are certain circumstances in which the image can be affected. The clip shared by BP40 Creative shows a subject in profile backlit by the sun. The sensor stitching line becomes more visible as the camera moves and the lighting changes.

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Along with the video, Peterson posted, “I’ve shot a lot of footage on my V-Raptor already, much of it shooting into the sun because I love flares, and this is the only time I’ve seen this issue.”

RED’s response

RED CEO Jarred Land responded to the concerns on social media and confirmed that the RED stitched the sensor in the V-Raptor. While downplaying the issue, Land also revealed that the company is investigating the issue. “This most likely is not actually a sensor stitching issue. Every VV sensor we have made has been stitched. It seems to be an optical issue with the adapters, but that analysis is a bit premature, we are still exploring.”

Lens flares

Land went on to say, “The actual line is not optical, but flares from very rare stray light at extreme angles bouncing around the adapters sweeping across the sensor which highlights the split.”

If you want to see the issue for yourself, you can download the clip from BP40 Creative Vimeo page in up to 8K resolution.

Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.