Thread: Should I buy a Gemini Ranger now?

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  1. #1 Should I buy a Gemini Ranger now? 
    Hey guys! I don't post a lot here, but I'm always lurking around to see what's up. I've never owned a RED camera, mostly because I'm not a camera buff, but a director/shooter, and I love the idea of just taking my camera out of the bag and start shooting, which means I've had a sony F3, F7, Canon C300, C500 II and even fooled around with some DSLRs like the 1DX II and the A7s III. For bigger things I have easy access to an Alexa Mini.

    But I love the RED look. I love the Fincher look, I love (LOVE) the Daredevil look. You guys know better than anyone what I'm talking about.

    Now I'm getting more and more medium range work. Can't jump in with a DSLR but maybe not worth renting the Mini. The Ranger seems like a very interesting camera to me, in the sense that it seems to be a "take it out of the bag and start shooting" kind of camera (obviously some assembly required but minimal), and in my city people just love RED, so it'd be easy to rent it a few times a year (Komodos are all the rage these days).

    My hesitation is this: The Gemini is a 3 year old sensor, even if the Ranger body is quite new. I don't want to buy it if a new sensor will come out in 3 months or something. I'm not in a hurry, I want to make a good investment for a camera that can be on top of the game for 3-4 years.

    What would you guys recommend? Just jump in the Komodo bandwagon? Wait it out? Roll the dice?
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Alex Lubensky's Avatar
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    Nov 2016
    Kiev, Ukraine
    For an owner-op I'd rather look into DSMC2 Gemini. It has a smaller footprint, and literally - you can put it in a photo bag, or something like Sachtler Dr.Bag. It's lighter also, while you're getting all what you actually need to operate alone or with a crew. Ranger has some extra benefits like more SDI ports, lemo power ports for accessories etc, but dou You actually need it while working alone? It can be fitted into smaller gimbals, even RS2 with limitation to photo lenses, but it's doable and rather comfortable to work with, while a Ranger will always require a bigger gimbal etc.

    Vastly depends on your style of shooting though. If you operate off the shouder or always with a crew - Ranger might be a better option, considering rental also. For me Ranger bodie is a normal production bodie, while DSMC2 is a more versatile style of bodie - can be grown up to a big workhorse or stripped down to a small brick with a lens.

    Gemini is a good sensor, I think it's going to be a workhorse for another 2-3 years. DSMC3 might be somewhere around, but it's better to talk to a Red rep. somewhere, maybe they'll tell or propose something if it's around the corner.
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  3. #3  
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    Jan 2015
    I think Alex makes good points in favor of regular DSMC2 Gemini. The other thing I'd say: if I were to buy a camera for small/medium projects, I'd ideally like to be able to use it as a B-cam on larger shoots. For me, a DSMC2 is better as a B-cam because it's so flexible. But then, that's exactly why I bought a Komodo!

    As for the possibility a new sensor comes out: the Gemini sensor is good enough for theatrical feature films and Netflix series now-- it won't be a less good sensor if something new comes along. (Personally, I'd still shoot serious work on the 2012 DSMC1 Epic Dragon.) As far as what clients want, if they can't pay enough to rent the hottest new camera, then they should be happy with your Gemini for years to come.
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  4. #4  
    DSMC2 is quite late in their cycle. And when next gen comes that likly cost less and has better preformance then gemini will not rent as much.

    To me a komodo seems like a better choice it compliments the alexa and is early inbits cycle and you dont have to spend as much.
    Björn Benckert
    Creative Lead & Founder Syndicate Entertainment AB
    VFX / Flame / Motion capture / Monstro
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Ignacio Aguilar's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    Madrid, Spain
    Ranger Gemini is a great camera. I happen to have one for sale (I made a feature film with it), PM if interested.
    Director of Photography
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  6. #6  
    Thank you for all the answers guys! I'll keep thinking about all of this, but I am heavily favoring the Komodo right now.
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
    Personally I'd wait. Get a Komodo if you want to jump into RED. But DSCM3 is around the corner, which will affect the market/value of DSMC2 right away. Also DMSC3 will likely have some important innovations that you'll also want to wait for, and at least understand, etc.
    Nick Morrison
    Founder, Director & Lead Creative
    // SMALL GIANT //
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