Good camera comparisons are tough to find. Part of this is we are all looking for something a little different in a comparison. While i enjoy diving in to the technical nitty-gritty i also really appreciate when someone does a non technical comparison. A lot of people out their just want to take the camera our of the box, not worry too much about image profiles and those types of things, but still come away with great images. Here are two non-scientific side by side comparisons between the Canon EOS C100 cinema camera and a 5DmkIII DSLR. I’m a firm believer in there being an appropriate time for every tool. DSLRs are great tools that have their place. But when it comes down to getting the best quality image a lot of people don’t realize what the difference is between a 5D and a C100. Hopefully these videos will show them. Here is a great 90 second video that is mostly people shots. This video features mostly outdoor shots and does a really nice job of highlighting the dynamic range difference as well as the detail difference. Right now you can get a C100 for $199 a month for 24 months. And check out all of the Cinema EOS products at the Cascade Mt. Video Show on February 26th.
How do you think a $5,000 Canon C100 stacks up against a $50,000 Arri Alexa? Lets find out. Shane Hurlbut was the D.P. on “Need for Speed”. Before they began shooting the film he performed extensive testing on the Arri Alexa compared to the Canon C500. He did exhaustive testing on technical elements as well as aesthetic elements. Clear your calendar and prepare for a long and detailed read. A big point that i want to stress is that the sensor in the C500 is the exact same sensor that is in the C300 and C100. If you are recording 1080p onto an external ProRes recorder the results from all 3 cameras will be identical. For those who think the C100 is just a glorified DSLR please read this review and consider that the C100 is actually a stripped down C500. Read the full article here.
The Blackmagic series of cameras, the Cinema, Pocket, and Production, have put no wrinkles in the camera world. Some people see them as creating a revolutionary and disruptive force that will push large manufactures to adapt. The video in this link is produced by Dave Dugdale. His website is called Learning DSLR Video. He is a self-proclaimed “advanced amateur”. His video on the Blackmagic Pocket is an interesting watch because he takes a very “every-man” approach to the camera with out getting overly analytical or technical.
The video primary focuses on the pros and cons when compared to shooting a 5DmkIII. But he also does some slight comparison to the Red Epic. There’s a few points to keep in mind. First, almost everything he says about the Pocket is equally applicable to the other Blackmagic cameras as they all run the same menu software. Second, even though he’s using the 5DmkIII, almost everything he says could be applied to any DSLR.
The basic summary of the video is that the Blackmagic cameras have huge downsides that need to be considered but there is a high potential upside. He talks about how he’s not a professional colorist and has yet to undergo any color training and because of this he was only able to get the image quality to match or exceed his 5D about 50% of the time. But when he was able to nail the color correction he could clearly exceed the 5D image quality. Other problems, his focus was off a fair amount because of the poor quality of the LCD combined with virtually no focus assist features. You can’t reformat cards in the camera so if you forget to format before the shoot you’re outta luck. You can’t delete files in the camera so you better not have any bad takes. The battery only lasts 45 minutes, he recomends buying 5-7 of them. At $40 each that’s $280 of batteries. The camera has a high frequency audio issue when using the internal mic. There are no assignable buttons, nor any button control for ISO or white balance. Because ISO and white balance are menu driven you can’t be shooting and in real-time adjust those settings to see if they are correct. You have to dive into the menu, adjust, go back to the camera, and hope you got it right. There is no audio gain meters, the camera doesn’t display how much recording time is left on the card, and when you power off a lot of your settings are lost and returned to defaults. Watch the video here. Post by Eric C. Petrie
Our very good friends at Cinema 5D put together a test to illustrate the use of glass “beauty” filters. Glass filters are extremely valuable tools that frequently get forgotten about in today’s digital world. Alex Buono had a whole section during his workshop highlighting his use of glass filters. He said he won’t shoot a standard talking-head interview with out a glass filter. Check out their glass filter test here.
As a side test, since they had several high profile cameras assembled for the filter test, they did a quick, unscientific camera comparison. The point of the comparison was to show how well the cameras held up when they were corrected to look the same in terms of color and dynamic range. The most important take-away: for everyone who thinks a C300 is just a EOS 7D with a big body and 10x the price you’ll notice that the 7D, when pushed, falls apart hard. The level of detail it captures is so shallow compared to the other cameras that when pushed it can’t hold up in the slightest. Watch the video here. Post by Eric C. Petrie
This week we’ve got an impromptu shoot out happening. A customer of ours is deciding what 4k tool to add to his mix so we scheduled a shoot out with the Sony F55, the Canon C500, and the Canon 1DC. Then we though “why not let everyone benefit from having this gear here and ready to analyze.” So on Thursday August 22nd and Friday August 23rd we’re going to have these three cameras hooked to broadcast monitors, staged around a lit scene, and ready for critical analysis. If you’re debating any of these choice or you just like to look at fancy toys come on down and check it out. If you have a shoot out you’ve been dying to see let us set it up for you. Did you know we can arrange almost any demonstration you’d like? That’s what we’re here for. Give us a chance to earn your business. What cameras do you want to see side by side? Post by Eric C. Petrie
A big thanks to all the people that came out to see the Sony PMW-F5 cinema camera with the awesome Fujinon Cabrio 19-90mm T1.9 cinema lens with servo zoom motor. We gave away literally thousands of dollars in discounts on Sony cinema products. Of course we also gave a way a fair amount of pizza and beer as well. Check out some of our photos here. Post by Eric C. Petrie
Cinema equipment rental company Fletcher has updated their camera comparison chart. It’s not an overly scientific chart but it does make for an interesting quick look through the lens of a rental company at what the strengths of the major camera players in today’s world are. Click here to see the full chart in higher detail. Post by Eric C. Petrie