RED Shoots for Space with the Limited Edition Gemini

Credit: RED
With only 6 units made, and one leaving the earth, the Gemini is the most exclusive product from RED yet.

In space, no one can hear you scream. They also sometimes can't see you, as it can be very dark on the shadow side of celestial objects, requiring a low light capable sensor, but space photography is frequently an area that drives image capture innovation. (Remember when Kubrick famously used f/0.7 lenses that were originally developed for the moon landing here on earth for candlelight photography.)

While RED has been going after the mass market lately with its upcoming Hydrogen smartphone, the company hasn't neglected special purpose and niche products either, coming out with a run of only 6 of their new Gemini sensors designed for ultra low light work in space.

Credit: Shutterstock

Likely named after the famous Gemini Spacecraft from the 1960s, the sensor boasts an extra 2 stops of low light sensitivity over the Helium sensor.  Coming in at roughly 30x18mm, it's larger than the Helium but smaller than the Monstro, as well as limited to 5K resolution. Of course, 5K is still plenty of resolution, and by keeping the raw K count lower, they are able to have larger photosites on the sensor, leading to better sensitivity.

Considering the popularity of the GH5S and the Sony A7SII, both cameras that sacrifice resolution for low light, it's a bit of a surprise that RED is limiting this to a run of only 6 units (which are all, apparently, sold out). Of course, RED long built its brand around ultra-high resolution, but as they expand the brand with items like Helium, having Gemini regularly in the lineup doesn't seem like a bad idea.

The initial unit was made for an unknown client, which would seem to point towards a certain South African entrepreneur who is launching a spacecraft soon, but considering how much SpaceX loves publicity, it's surprising that they would ask to be unnamed. It could also be NASA, sneaking behind Canon's back, or any of the other competitors moving into the skies.

Available for a "subsidized" $20,000 (but sold out) from RED.

Tech Specs:

  • 30.72mm x 18mm sensor size
  • 96fps at 5K max 
  • 2 stops faster than Helium
  • 6 produced
  • $20,000

Your Comment

8 Comments

The RED Bayhem and RED Xenomorph are probably more exclusive than the RED Gemini but with that said, I would prefer the Gemini if I could pick one.
/Pontus w

January 28, 2018 at 12:31PM, Edited January 28, 12:31PM

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I’m much more interested in this camera than any of their current offerings. If they could stick this lowlight 5k sensor in a lightweight body with built-in ND’s, they might win back my business. I sold my Red for a C200 and so far, I haven’t missed it one bit.

January 28, 2018 at 6:44PM

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Derek Doublin
Director, Cinematographer, Large Scale Artist
709

exactly ... but it seems that RED is just a toy for Jim Jannard... very unlikely that the company makes money ...but when you sell your sun glasses company for 2.1 billion ... you really don't have to be too serious about what you do next. Bottom line, like others seem to be doing ... there are other serious brands that want your business.

January 28, 2018 at 7:34PM, Edited January 28, 7:34PM

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Of course RED is making money. They're one of the largest cinema camera companies in the world and sell more cameras to consumers than any other Hi-end cinema camera company.

January 31, 2018 at 1:25AM, Edited January 31, 1:28AM

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Kaster Troy
Director, DP, Editor
1145

Unless you have serious connections, IRS, RED's CFO, or Janard is a buddy of yours... I would in no way assume that they make money. As they are a private company, just looking at the information you can find, number of employees, offices around the world, product lines, etc... they are a very specialized, high tech - read that huge R/D cost, expensive tooling for complex low volume production.... company, not the formula for making lots of money. Also, highly unlikely that they have anywhere near the numbers of Sony, Panasonic or Canon.

January 31, 2018 at 2:58PM

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Unless it's only going up briefly space stuff needs to be radiation-hardened. No mention of that suggests it'll perhaps be just visiting vs. staying.

February 2, 2018 at 2:59PM

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Our Gemini is here and we are doing a test shoot tonight around a camp fire - will let you all know how it goes soon. :)

March 5, 2018 at 3:17PM

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Josh Knepper
Director of Photography
102

We have a link to the test footage - it will go live at end of the day. Also, we have sent the Gemini back for a free upgrade to Dual ISO mode. Excited to see how this will create a new All-In-One 5k low light monster!

April 9, 2018 at 10:32AM

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Josh Knepper
Director of Photography
102