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Which Camera Do You Like Most in Zacuto's 'Revenge of The Great Camera Shootout'?

06.15.12 @ 2:23PM Tags : , , ,

Following a series of in-person screenings around the world, this year’s installment of Zacuto’s Emmy-winning series The Great Camera Shootout is finally available online. The shootout puts the Apple iPhone 4S, Panasonic GH2 (Hacked), Canon 7D, Canon C300, Sony FS100, Sony F3, Sony F65, RED Epic, and Arri Alexa through their paces in a slightly different format than previous years — this time, each camera’s respective DP was allowed to change the lighting to simulate optimal conditions for that particular camera, but they’re providing a “blind” test for the first episode. UPDATE: I’ve added a poll for those who have watched the test. Choose which ones you like the most and we’ll find out which is which in episode two!

First, watch the test. Then vote below! Part two of the shootout is live, which means the cameras are no longer a secret — which also means the poll is closed as voting is no longer anonymous.


You can see what others chose after you vote, but by default it’s formatted pretty terribly by Google. I’ll compile the results in a week and present a better graph. The answer key will be revealed in episode two, which will go live July 15th; part three will go up a month after that.

Also, be sure to read Joe’s thoughts on seeing the shootout in person (I was scheduled to see it in NYC, but got sick and would have thrown up on the screen had I gone — which, you could argue, some of the cameras did anyway).

Link: Zacuto’s Revenge of The Great Camera Shootout

Disclosure: Zacuto is a NoFilmSchool advertiser.

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We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

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  • I just can’t wait to see the footage of each camera taking the scene in without any light. Us Indie folk are going to buy a cheaper camera or DSLR so this part of the test shows us with enough skill in set design, rigging, gaffing and post color grading and effects (windows, masks, ect) one can *possibly* mask the problems of the cheaper cameras.

    But guys (and girls), that is a lot of work and MONEY! If you said, “Matt pick which scene you like best and you’ll get to have the camera” the first thing I’d ask to see is the lighting chart diagrams. Then the amount of layers in grading they had to do (which Zacuto provides). Then I’d look at the scenes numerous times looking at that left front lamp and how the cameras render the glowing color and the inside vs the bright background.

    You’ll notice only a few got everything in the scene right with that lampshade a nice pink fleshy glowing color from the center illuding out. H, F did great on this. G had it slightly pink but G was pushed in saturation. Look at the ‘beloved B’ – that lamp is pure grey! TERRIBLE! Imagine what that will do to your actor’s skin tones unless you put a lot of key/fill on them (which B had to do)

  • AD Stephens on 06.21.12 @ 7:06PM

    Did anyone else just really enjoy the answers from these amazing cinematographers? I especially liked the final segment, with these top notch guys just saying ‘go out there, experience, and take note of how it feels and can be recreated visually’.

    I can see what Steve Weiss is doing with this series, and I like it so much more than the usual ‘look at this camera and what it can/can’t do’. It’s all about who’s shooting and how they can perceive the situation and what they can do to make it contextual and emotional and enhance the message in the narrative. Yes there are technical advantages for certain camera systems, and yes there are some which aren’t up to spec, some that are better for certain circumstances and some that are better for others. In which case, it’s up to the DP to use the right camera for the narrative, budget, lighting package, costume (if the camera deals with moire badly, change the costume!).

    At the end of the day there’s going to be a situation where an iphone might be the best way of telling a story.

    This first instalment was brilliant throughout, and whilst I enjoyed looking at this range of different moving images I enjoyed more the artistic perspectives of these Directors and DP’s that were interviewed.

    Can’t wait for the next one! And whilst I took a few notes and have a rough idea what camera might be which, I would so love for a huge surprise (although let’s face it, it’s fairly obvious which one is the iphone haha).

    Fantastic work!

  • It’s very strange not to see the Nokia 808 PureView and Nokia N8 in comparison shots with other mobile phones. These are possibly the best camera-phones ever made, and can be extremely useful for indie film-makers.

  • I find if very interesting to read people poo-poo B when for whatever reason, B is coming as the the fave. The reasons you have for it not being “filmic” may be correct, but when it comes down to producing something for a general audience, I would guess B would win. (For the record, C was my fave and B my second followed by H). A lot of the details you all are pointing out would never in a gajillion years be seen by the average viewer (including moire on a lamp way to the side of the screen in the background from the main action). If you’re making something for the general audience, that should be considered.

    A lot of this obviously comes down to how each scene was lit and colored. I’m sure each one could’ve been colored and lit completely differently. So we aren’t really judging cameras here (not completely anyway). We’re judging a whole array of things. It shouldn’t even say “Camera A, Camera B, etc.” It should say “Set up A, etc.”

  • its fun to guess..
    I sure hope i’m not all wrong

    A – I think it has some problems.
    the striped shirt in the back has fuzziness and details in the dark areas are flattened.
    also, not very sharp in the back, see flowers on the left in the beginning go the shot. it does have good highlights… it may be an F3.

    B – is an exceptional camera with maybe a tiny issue in the darker corners F65? ALEXA?

    C – has amazing qualities, like the stripes, or practical in foreground, it has some issue with yellowish highlights, even slightly blurry – strange… its beautiful in any other aspect. in my top 3. ALEXA/F65

    D – very bad, my iPhone4 candidate :)

    E – decent camera, no shadow detail, could be the FS100…

    F – definitely one of the top 3 cameras, my guess for the EPIC… good image, wonderful highlight retention, feels like HDRX (could also be ALEXA or F65).

    G – strange moire in far back… 7D? not very good image.

    H – good camera, strange highlights. confusing one… c300?

    i – low shadow detail, very strange focus artifacts in final part of the shot (in window) GH2? (looks too good to be iPhone).

    hector

    prepost

  • Camera phones are really nice since you can take pictures anytime. ^

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