There’s lots to celebrate about the various sensor options offer from RED, but low light performance has never been a touted feature. Well, with the help of a well-known space pioneer, RED has a new box to tick with its recently announces GEMINI 5K S35 sensor for the RED EPIC-W camera.

Following a trend from camera makers like Panasonic and Kinefinity, the new sensor features a dual base ISO sensitivity (800 & 3200). When in low light mode, RED promises images at 3200 that are as clean as its 800 ISO base. You can also expect to see about 2 more stops of detail in the shadows at the price of highlights clipping about 2 stops early.  This really isn’t an issue, considering that maintaining super bright highlight detail is not typically the challenge of low light photography. In standard mode, the retention of highlight detail is better than some of RED earlier sensors. In low light mode, you do lose a bit of dynamic range, but according to RED, Its only about 1/2 a stop.

All in all, I happy to see RED tackle the low light issue. The Gemini 5K S35 version of the EPIC-W promises to a popular tool among commercial and indpendent filmmakers.

 


INTRODUCING THE NEW GEMINI 5K S35 SENSOR (Press Release)

Today, RED introduced the new GEMINI™ 5K S35 sensor for the RED EPIC-W camera. GEMINI 5K S35 leverages dual sensitivity modes to provide creators with greater flexibility for a variety of shooting environments. Whether capturing with GEMINI’s Standard Mode for well-lit conditions or its Low Light Mode for darker environments, RED EPIC-W 5K S35 delivers incredible dynamic range and produces cinema-quality images.

The GEMINI 5K S35 sensor provides exceptional low-light performance, allowing for cleaner imagery with less noise and better shadow detail. Operators can easily switch between modes through the camera’s on-screen menu with no down time and experience an increased field of view at 2K and 4K resolutions compared to the higher resolution HELIUM sensor. In addition, the sensor’s 30.72 mm x 18 mm dimensions allow for greater anamorphic lens coverage than with the HELIUM or RED DRAGON sensor.

Built on the compact DSMC2 form factor, the RED EPIC-W 5K camera and sensor combination captures 5K full format motion at up to 96 fps, boasts incredibly fast data speeds of up to 275 MB/s, and provides in-camera support of RED’s enhanced image processing pipeline, IPP2. Like all cameras in the DSMC2 line up, EPIC-W 5K is able to shoot simultaneous REDCODE RAW and Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD/HR recording and adheres to RED’s dedication to OBSOLESCENCE OBSOLETE—a core operating principle that allows current RED owners to upgrade their technology as innovations are unveiled without having to purchase all new gear.

“While the GEMINI sensor was developed for low-light conditions in outer space, we quickly saw there was so much more to this sensor,” says Jarred Land, President of RED Digital Cinema. “In fact, we loved the potential of this sensor so much, we wanted to evolve it to make it have a broader appeal. As a result, the EPIC-W GEMINI now sports dual-sensitivity modes. It still has the low-light performance mode, but also has a default, standard mode that allows you to shoot in brighter conditions.”

Beginning at $24,500, the new RED EPIC-W with GEMINI 5K S35 sensor is available for purchase online and through select worldwide RED Authorized Dealers. Alternatively, WEAPON Carbon Fiber and RED EPIC-W 8K customers will have the option to upgrade to the GEMINI sensor at a later date.

Gemini 5K senosr performance comparison

Features:

  • Low Light Optimized 15.4 Megapixel 5K S35 sensor
  • Dual sensitivity sensor
  • Seamless switching between Standard and Low Light modes
  • Same RED Cinematic image
  • 16.5 stops Dynamic Range
  • 5K up to 96 fps Full Format
  • 4K up to 120 fps and 2K up to 240 fps Full Format (no crop)
  • Simultaneously record REDCODE plus ProRes or Avid
  • Up to 275 MB/s write speeds
  • Interchangeable lens mount
  • Full modularity and a small, lightweight design