June 30, 2010

ARRI Looks to Steal RED's Lunch Money with ALEXA

In the battle of large CMOS-based cameras with capitalized names, ARRI is looking to steal RED's lunch money. Earlier this month, RED's Jim Jannard announced the high-end EPIC and less expensive SCARLET cameras have been delayed due to a major bug, for which "the fix could be tomorrow. Or not." Meanwhile, ARRI today announced they are shipping their ALEXA camera, which in the words of 24 DP Rodney Charters, "will probably be the [camera] that transitions us away from film and towards truly electronic capture on large features."

The ALEXA specs are certainly up to the task of killing film: 35mm sensor size (motion picture film, not full-frame), 13.5 stops of dynamic range, 800 EI speed, 3.5 megapixel resolution, ARRIRAW or ProRes codecs. However, the proof is in the pudding, and the only real ALEXA footage I've seen to date has looked disappointing, to my eye. And by disappointing, I mean it looks very RED-like: brownish, alternately murky and over-sharpened. Of course this is just one short, viewed on the web (click through for the 720p version):

Here's some behind-the-scenes video of the above ALEXA shoot:

Despite my skepticism based on this particular short, I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot of great ALEXA-shot films in the months and years to come, once talented DPs get their hands on the camera. When it comes down it, cameras are the same as guns: camera's don't shoot people, people shoot people.

[via DV Culture]

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MOstly the short is bad because it's badly directed. I don't mind the colors so much.

June 30, 2010

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Josh