Imagine a Hollywood-caliber camera so portable you could schlep it up the Dawn Wall in a backpack and capture Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson struggling through the crux of pitch 15 while it dangled next to them. With Red Digital Cinema’s 6K Weapon, that camera now exists.
Red has been a game changer in adventure filmmaking since Oakley founder Jim Jannard launched the company in 2005. His vision: create a digital camera with quality superior to industry-standard 35mm film—at a fraction of the cost. The Red One did just that, wowing Hollywood auteurs like Peter Jackson and Steven Soderbergh in the process. Subsequent generations were smaller, enabling cameramen to shoot in spectacular new places. The Weapon is the latest iteration. It’s faster and lighter (just 3.3 pounds for the camera boday), has fewer cables, and tops out at 6K resolution—with an 8k upgrade available later this year.
But don’t think it will guarantee you entry into the film-festival circuit. “Even if you get drop-dead-beautiful footage, you still need to understand how to shape a narrative,” says filmmaker and professional climber Jimmy Chin. “There are a lot of talented people who can shoot incredible imagery. Telling a compelling story is the hard part.”
This story has been updated to correct the camera resolution.