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1080P Camera Shootout: ARRI ALEXA vs Sony F3 (S-Log) vs Canon 7D

10.26.11 @ 9:59AM Tags : , , , , , ,

I’m always up for a demo of the Sony F3′s S-Log mode, especially when compared to the much more expensive but similar ARRI ALEXA. The F3 has been called a “mini ALEXA” in S-Log mode, and I suppose you could call the Canon 7D a “mini F3,” though no one’s claiming the 7D can hold up to the big boys — it’s here as a reference for HDSLR shooters. Here’s the test, carried out by Hello World Communications using Cooke Panchro lenses:

Hit the Vimeo page for a download of the 1080p source Quicktime.


To my eye, the ALEXA’s skin tones look better than all the other digital cameras I’ve seen to date. It’s not something you measure with charts, just as an emotional response. Both the ALEX and S-Log F3 both look much smoother and sharper than the 7D, which looks very video-y and a lot softer. But while the 7D gets blown out in several shots in which the F3 and ALEXA retain background highlight details, as with every test we’ve seen over the past of years, the cheap DSLR holds up very well when considered in terms of price:performance ratio. What did you guys think while watching?

[thanks, Ron]

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  • Lucas Adamson on 10.29.11 @ 3:52PM

    The 7D is clipping all over the place. If you’re an amateur and never colour correct, it might be fine.

    The Alexa is a camera with intentionally extremely low contrast and saturation for the specific intention of ALWAYS colour correcting, and getting the most post-produceable image possible. Awesome! Nice job Arri!

    The Sony falls somewhere inbetween. You can’t fault it on clipping in any of these examples, because it simply didn’t, and so after CC, it was just as nice as the Arri ( I guess adjusting settings could get them really close.) It had a more acceptably contrasty out-of-camera image for most people.

    Give me the Arri any day!

  • the 7D could have had better results with a more CC friendly shooting style. If you\re going to use the 7d for video the factory settings are your worst enemy. There are lots of custom picture styles that flatten the image and increase the dynamic range to give more information for post production.

    if you can\t get your hands on an Alexa customize your 7d to get the most out of it!

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