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RED reveals a 5K camera sensor designed for outer space

The Gemini dual-ISO sensor is now available for the $24,500 Epic-W.
Steve Dent, @stevetdent
March 29, 2018
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In a bit of a surprise, RED Camera unveiled its most light-sensitive Super 35 sensor to date for the Epic-W cinema camera. The 5K Gemini sensor, much like the one on Panasonic's GH5s, has a dual-ISO mode that lets you choose between dynamic range and light-sensitivity. "Images exposed at ISO 3200 in low-light mode will be just as clean as images exposed at ISO 800 in the standard mode," said RED in a YouTube video (below) explaining the tech.

RED actually released the Gemini sensor earlier this year, but said at the time that it was specifically designed for use in outer space for "a very special customer" (Elon Musk, many folks believed). At the time, RED said that the production run was limited to exactly five, but it's now offering the sensor on the Epic-W to anyone with $24,500. You can still get that camera with the 8K Helium Super 35mm sensor for $29,500.

At 30.72 x 18mm, the Gemini is taller than RED's regular Super 35mm sensors, making it ideal for shooters who use anamorphic lenses. In RAW mode, you can shoot 5K video at up to 96 fps, and 2K video at a stellar 300 fps. As with other RED offerings, shooters can also shoot ProRes, though resolution is limited to 4K at 30 fps.

With 5K rather than 8K resolution, the Gemini has larger, more sensitive pixels. There is a trade-off with the low-light mode, however. When shooting with the setting on, you lose some dynamic range, so RED recommends staying in standard mode (which offers 16.5 stops of dynamic range) for most situations. The Red Epic-W with Gemini 5K is now available online for $24,500, and RED says it will offer an upgrade option to current Red Epic-W 8K and Weapon Carbon Fiber owners at a later date.

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