RED is taking the industry by storm with its announcement its new GEMINI 5K S35 sensor for the EPIC-W camera. What’s so exciting about this new sensor is that it’s packing new dual sensitivity modes, which should increase the EPIC-W’s flexibility in various lighting conditions.

GEMINI 5K S35’s sensitivity modes look to increase the EPIC-W’s versatility

The GEMINI 5K S35 can switch between two sensitivity modes, which is where the dual sensitivity name comes from. The two modes include a standard mode and a low light mode.

“While the GEMINI sensor was developed for low-light conditions in outer space, we quickly saw there was so much more to this sensor,” said 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.”


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The sensor’s standard mode, which is the sensor’s default sensitivity, is reported to hold onto all the important details of an image in brightly lit shooting conditions. On the flip side of the sensitivities, RED says that the GEMINI 5K S35’s low light mode is “exceptional,” capturing less noise and more shadow detail over previous RED sensors.

RED’s new dual sensitivity modes are similar to Panasonic’s dual native ISO

Dual native ISO consists of two seperate native ISOs. In the case of the GH5s, those native ISOs are found at ISO 400 and ISO 2,500. When increasing the ISO from 400, the amount of noise will increase until it hits ISO 2,500. At the point, the noise ratio essentially resets and the image becomes as clear as it was at ISO.

So in comparison to RED’s dual sensitivity modes, they both give videographers the flexibility to shoot in either brighter situations or in low light with minimal noise, giving them both two base ISO levels.


When combined with the EPIC-W, the camera and sensor combo captures 5K full format motion at up to 96 fps at data speeds of up to 275 MB/s.

Here’s a rundown of the rest of the sensor’s highlights:

  • New 15.4 Megapixel 5K S35 sensor
  • 30.72 mm x 18 mm (Diag: 35.61 mm)
  • 5K up to 96 fps Full Format
  • 4K up to 30 fps and 2K up to 120 fps using ProRes or Avid
  • Seamless switching between Standard and Low Light modes
  • Cinematic image quality
  • 16.5 stops Dynamic Range
  • Ships with IPP2
  • Simultaneously record REDCODE plus ProRes or Avid
  • Up to 275 MB/s write speeds
  • Interchangeable lens mount
  • Future-proofed (accessories can be used with all DSMC2 cameras) and available with RED ARMOR-W

Pricing and Availability

The new RED EPIC-W with GEMINI 5K S35 sensor is available now for a heavy price tag of $24,500.

You can learn more about the GEMINI 5K S35 at RED’s official site.

Sean Berry is a blogger and Videomaker Associate Editor.