RED’s 8K Monstrochrome Sensor Will Shoot Black and White Video

RED’s announced its 8K MONSTRO will be offered in a monochrome version, many people across the internet calling it “Monstrochrome.”

The monochromatic version of the sensor will offer users the ability to shoot black and white video without conversion. But why would you want a monochrome version of this 60,000 dollar sensor? RED says the resolution and light sensitivity is improved on the monochrome version.

If you need a quick rundown about the Monstro VV sensor, it offers a 8192 × 4320 maximum resolution with Ipp2 processing, 8K full format video shooting at 60 fps, .r3d, ProRes, and DNx internal recording, and 17+ stops of dynamic range.

Why shoot with Monstrochrome over the colored version?

When it comes down to it, black and white footage tends to be both clearer and have better low light sensitivity. The reason being is that many monochrome sensors, like the Monstro VV, have color filters to record color data on photosites. The Monstro VV in particular have about 4000 green, 2000 red and 2000 blue photosites. When grouped together, the create the colored image your shooting

However, when you take those color filters off, all of the sensor’s 8192 x 4320 photosites become dedicated to resolution. They become focused on light value not color.

RED claims that the sensitivity on the Monstrochrome is almost double that of the normal MONSTRO. This would be because there are no color filters in the Monstrochrome sensor and that every pixel becomes data instead of 3:1 RGB.

Additionally, RED claims has great tonal range in the mid-tones that a color sensor just can’t match.

RED has released monochrome versions of their cameras in the past, like the 7 RED EPIC Monochrome cameras. You can see what a 7 RED EPIC Monochrome camera could do in U2’s music video for their song ‘Invisible’.


The Epic Monstro VV is currently priced at up to 60,000 dollars, so it’s not cheap at all. Still, some of us may be able to rent this beast and use the monochrome version.

Sean Berry
Sean Berry
Sean Berry is Videomaker's managing editor.

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