The idea behind this test was to underexpose a neutral reference and see at what point the RED’s noise becomes too much of an issue. Using Colorista in Final Cut Pro, I put 18% gray at 50 units on the waveform monitor for each exposure, effectively “printing up” each exposure to see how much “grain” (noise) showed up. Some of this is exaggerated by compression artifacts, but I think you can get a good feel for what’s going on.
I’m not sure how this would look on a film out, but to me there isn’t a ton of difference between noise levels at 320 and 640, although I think I’m more comfortable rating the camera at 320. I start seeing reduced contrast at EI 1280, which I really wouldn’t want to try on a paid job.
Compressed via FCP Compressor, H.264.