Thread: Helium or Gemini?

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  1. #31  
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    I have a feeling it will be
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  2. #32  
    Senior Member Sean Keen's Avatar
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    Im in same boat, Gemini or Helium? I use vintage lenses most
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  3. #33  
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    Sean I’d say Gemini, as it’s great with lomo anamorphics: taller sensor /3200 iso lowlight mode for shooting T4 at night is great.

    Super versatile camera.

    Craig Lees
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  4. #34  
    Senior Member Karim D. Ghantous's Avatar
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    I'll say it again: RED should really advertise the Gemini as a camera for commercial DPs. Those who do music videos or features or documentaries will still use it, but it must have a purpose. You can't sell spec sheets alone, you need to sell purpose.

    "What's it for?"
    "Commercials."
    "Why?"
    "Not only is it 5K and Super 35, but it can see in the dark when you can't. It can shoot in any conceivable type of lighting environment."
    "Huh. You know, that sounds like a camera I can use for my upcoming feature."
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  5. #35  
    Junior Member Trenton Massey's Avatar
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    I own a Weapon Helium 8K and I have colleagues that own the Gemini. Though the Gemini has a "Slightly" larger sensor (29.9 x 15.77 vs 30.72 x 18) and image circle (33.80 vs 35.61) and it seems like you're getting more bang for your buck, there are other factors you'll want to consider here. The gemini was built to perform well in low light and that was the focus, but if you primarily shoot with controled lighting and/or a lot of outdoor during the day, you're not going to see an obvious upgrade in the image or highlight to shadow rolloff. If fact when properly exposing to your highlights in outdoor or controlled situations, the blacks seem to be more crushed with the Gemini as opposed to milkier shades of black that you'll get with the Helium in the same lighting scenario. The people that say the Helium doesn't perform well with low-light are clearly experienceing operator error. I've seem amazing results in low light and if you know what you're doing, your imgae will have little to no noise. If you primarily shoot in low, available light situations at night/dusk/pre-dawn -- I would go with the Gemini as well. If you're shooting a lot of 120fps which you can only do in 4K with the Helium anyway, consider the crop factor with the Helium which is not ideal and seems to have been addressed with the Gemini. Yet if your exposure is on point, you won't get much noise visible with the Helium unless you're in super, super low, available light situations at 120fps and even then, it's minimal and fixable. I hope this helps with anyone debating between the two and good luck. Another factor to consider are the upgrade options available with each brain, I would call a rep and have a discussion about it before purchasing.
    Last edited by Trenton Massey; 03-24-2020 at 02:10 PM.
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  6. #36  
    Senior Member Blair S. Paulsen's Avatar
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    If I had no idea what kind of bookings I might get in the next year or two, I'd pick Gemini for its versatility. OTOH, if your regular gigs would take advantage of what Helium does well...

    There are certainly situations where mo' resolution is mo' bettah. That said, for the vast majority of projects, a Gemini with sharp glass will deliver all the detail you'd want.

    Cheers - #19
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  7. #37  
    Senior Member Zack Birlew's Avatar
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    If I were choosing a camera for my next feature, which I plan to film with anamorphics, and I only had the RED lineup to choose from, I would most certainly go with Monstro, then Helium, and then Gemini in that order. From filming my first feature with the RED One MX in 4K 16:9 HD mode, I got to experience various lighting scenarios from outdoors, to night time, to practicals, and controlled lighting situations and all from jumping back and forth between ISO 320 and 800. I had initially thought to film the movie with a Sony A7S and Atomos Shogun specifically to take advantage of its low light capabilities but we needed RAW video for VFX purposes as half the film is green/bluescreen. I was expecting to have a harder time without being able to go up to a clean ISO 6400 and with a full frame sensor to boot but, in all actuality, ISO 800 served us very well with our minimal lighting setups and we only have a handful of shots that we'll have to push in post for effect and simply because things were a little too dim at times, all perfectly salvageable too! In my case, even though the Gemini might sound like the best of both worlds with its great low light capabilities, cinematic RED camera image, and RAW video, I know that I would find more use with extra resolution from the Helium and Monstro cameras even though I might only get an extra bump or two of clean ISO performance over my RED One MX and that's if I really needed it. If I were doing other work besides narrative filmmaking, I might choose the Gemini as an all-in-one camera but then again, 8K is the next step so it really starts to get into specifics at that point. Ideally RED will come up with full frame sensor cameras for DSMC3 that are not only resolution champs but also have superior low light capabilities of the Gemini built in but only time will tell.
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  8. #38  
    Senior Member Blair S. Paulsen's Avatar
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    FWIW, if Monstro is an option, it's not even a debate.

    If you have a particular clientele with known requirements, then pick the camera that best caters to that production style.

    If you take on a wide variety of projects, I would opt for the versatility of the Gemini. YMMV.

    Cheers - #19
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  9. #39  
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    If you are a production company with a lot of help (not a solo operator / small film crew) and typically shoot outdoors in good light or commonly in controlled studio environments I would say Helium all the way. Resolution is the future and is king in terms of adding that extra "special sauce" to your images. If any of you own a 5DSr or A7R series or are into medium format photography you understand why resolution matters. Also there are large benefits in terms of post-stabilization, VFX, re-framing shots / interviews, and also the fact that down-scaling from 8k-4k or even 2k deliverables (reduces noise), etc. Helium definitely produces more noise than Gemini when stressing the camera in the shadows with underexposure but overall in controlled lighting environments I would rather have a Helium for the resolution (and I own Gemini personally). Similarly, for captivating drone or heli-aeriels, landscapes, nature docs, time-lapse, etc. extra resolution really cannot be beat. If you shoot a lot of soft vintage glass, again resolution cannot be beat and provides wonderful textures in this combination. However, the reason I went with Gemini is that I am a solo operator and have a small freelance crew. A lot of my jobs do not have large budgets with countless days in studio with gaffers and perfect lighting all the time. Almost all of my work / current niche market in my region is medium budget ads (Commercial DP), which a lot of the time I am finding requires a run-and-gun approach with a small team with limited days of production to accomplish what we promised them for their budget. This means low-light scenarios due to limited time to perfect exposures as sometimes we dont have the funds or time to keep adding light until its perfect or have an extra body on set specifically for that purpose. Also I get a lot of high frame rate work (extreme sports, table-top, etc.) where I felt that the crop factor is too much to deal with. I like that I can shoot an entire feature in 5k WS while still getting up to 120fps resolution and deliver at 5k H.264 or Pro-Res HQ and everything just works with Gemini and there is minimal lens changes and need for super wide angle lenses (to make up for the crop). I have also been able to use the Gemini up to 3200 ISO which was realistically usable for me and can look damn near perfect with a little bit of noise reduction. It has allowed me to get shots (campfire scene) that would have not been usable with Helium without adding more light. As mentioned above, RED needs to do a better job at explaining a purpose for each of their cameras. I feel that Helium is for larger budget crews where resolution is king and there is time and budget available to do everything properly. I believe Gemini is for smaller crews or single operators, or traveling DP's who have to be more flexible in the situations they deal with due to limited budget/time/available resources. I think the ultimate and most overlooked combo is the two cameras working side by side, where Helium is targeted towards resolution/controlled lighting (8k/60fps with no crop) and Gemini becomes B-cam in those scenarios. The reverse, low-light and high frame rate scenes the Gemini becomes the A-camera (anything over 60fps or 1000 iso). Just my 2 cents...
    Last edited by Andrew Reese; 03-18-2020 at 09:06 AM.
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  10. #40  
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    Here's how spectacular the Helium can look in different lighting situations:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ecrESKwh_Y
    Sérgio Perez

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