August 15, 2012

Pixel Peepers Rejoice! Empirical Test in Part 3 of the 2012 Zacuto Shootout Reveals Best Cameras

Part 3 of the Zacuto Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout 2012 is finally here after parts 1 and 2 were released in June and July. In those two parts, there was a very strong emphasis on the creative choices for each camera and the way each scene was lit. Since the directors of photography and the colorists were all given equal time to do what they needed to do, the final product relied just as much on the the shooters as it did on the cameras. The original lighting setup, however, was kept consistent in order to achieve an empirical test that would show off the true capabilities of each camera. We already know who you picked in the subjective test, but who will be the winner in the objective test?

From the Zacuto website:

We put each of the nine cameras through three different shots with the same rigorous lighting designed by Bruce Logan, ASC. We’ll give you glimpses of the RAW ungraded footage side-by-side with the graded, to show you what each camera is natively capable of. You’ll also see two brand new shots that better illustrate the differences between each camera. We’ll also give you a comparison between the original lighting and how each DP changed their shot for their creative version.

Here is the trailer for part 3:

You can watch part 3 by clicking on the image below or clicking on the link at the bottom:

If you missed them, here are parts 1 and 2 below (though downloading them right from Vimeo will certainly yield better quality):

The purpose of the test this year was to finally put to rest the notion that one specific camera will make your scene look better. Judging by the audience reactions and the results from our poll, this conclusion is pretty clear. When you know the limits of the format you're working with, it's far easier to play to the strengths and create an exceptional image.

After you watch the test, come back and let us know what you think of each camera. I've already seen the empirical results, so I know what to expect, but it will be interesting to hear the thoughts of those who picked a camera like the GH2 in the subjective test, but not in the objective test.

Link: Revenge of The Great Camera Shootout Part Three: Pixel Peepers

Your Comment

36 Comments

This one makes it pretty clear that, of all the entrants, the GH2 added the most fill light in the creative test, which could explain why it was so popular in our poll. Once you get to the higher-end cameras they pretty much just use the empirical lighting scheme -- and in the case of the F65, they didn't touch it at all.

In the camera technical details PDF, they list relight time; most of the cameras spent half an hour to an hour relighting, and then 90 minutes in postproduction. The F65 crew chose to spend 0 minutes relighting and just half an hour in post. Thought that was interesting...

August 15, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

That's funny :) I wonder what others were thinking on set when they saw it. If feels weird to just just being able to put the camera on set hit record without any relighting and then go straight to colour correction.

I also noticed that the GH2 had so much more fill compared to the other cameras. I assume this was just lit in a way that many people found pleasing.

August 15, 2012

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What I found most interesting was how much I preferred Bruce Logan's color grading to that of the different directors in the side by side empirical/creative portion. He dealt with the highlights and gave everything a more natural/pleasing (to my eye) warmth. And I found that most striking on the Alexa and the F65 where the lighting was Identical. But even further down, his C300 shot had much more pleasing workable hightlights than the creative's version.

August 16, 2012

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I thought the big three (Arri, Epic and F65) all looked amazing with the F65 shading it for me. Was also really impressed with the FS100 for the price point. Huge difference between that and the 7D for example.

Shame the Black Magic Camera didnt make it in time, would have been REALLY interesting to see how it held up. Always next year

August 15, 2012

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Peter Kelly

In the empirical tests the FS100 definitely outdid the 7D and the GH2, especially in the low light settings. But in the creative test, not so much (I'm not alone in thinking the FS100 was worse than both the 7D and GH2 in the creative). I wonder why that is; did they make "bad" choices (or choices I didn't like, at least), or does the FS100 just fail to capitalize on better lighting?

August 15, 2012

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cows

In the creative tests people simply picked the camera that was more lit. FS100 wasn't lit as well as others. That's why it scored lower in the poll. That's all. The part 3 clearly shows FS100 is much better than 7D and GH2

August 16, 2012

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Art

Well, there's a difference between "more lit" and "well lit," and in the creative test I thought F and H were the best by far, so the reasons I thought the FS100 looked ugly weren't just because it had less lighting. I thought the aliasing on the window grid was absolutely terrible, and it's much more noticeable than the 7D or the GH2. This is clearly a real problem and it's not just the lighting. The highlight roll-off is also pretty unpleasant on the FS100. It's also worse in resolution than the GH2, though better than the 7D.

In short, no, the lighting is not "all" that made it seem worse in the creative test.

August 16, 2012

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cows

I'm with you, I choise the FS100 below 7D and GH2 on the creative side (even though it was a blind test, I knew most of the cameras because I pixel PEEP! yaya). Anyway, part 3, for sure, FS100 is heads and shoulders above the GH2 and 7D.

Another thing, I feel the GH2 was better than the 7d, even though I've been a Canon fan (knowing the softness and moire). I thought the GH2 would of been more sterile in the natural light, it did decent. Slightly less DR than 7d.

August 16, 2012

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It did seem that the GH2 and the Red Epic benefited the most from the changes to the creative edit. Empirically they did seem sorted by price, with each more expensive camera looking just slightly better.

August 15, 2012

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Casey

fanboys!

August 15, 2012

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Yepi

I'm a little confused here. I might be misunderstanding what exactly happened. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

- crews were given the same amount of time to light their scenes, with the F65 crew foregoing their time.
- the GH2 was a handful of student filmmakers.
- the other crews were professional ASCs & company reps
- the GH2 was lit in the most pleasing manner (according to voters)

That can't be right.

August 15, 2012

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Brett

It looked nice, and that's exactly what this text was for.

August 16, 2012

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Tyler

I love these tests and I went to one of the London showings which was awesome but it does seem slightly counter intuitive to show a mostly HD pixel peeping comparison video... in highly compressed 720P. Aside from the documentary aspect of it I don't think it's possible to take much away from the episode until it's available for download in actual HD with less compression. Unless I'm missing where to download it?

August 15, 2012

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It's in 1080, not 720p, in the stream, but there won't be a download link or an embed for some time - just the way they've been doing it.

August 15, 2012

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Joe Marine
Editor-at-Large
Shooter/Writer/Director

Cheers Joe, was 720P when I watched, must have been as soon as it was up, before Vimeo had made or they'd enabled a 1080P version. Will have another watch now that I can see it's 1080, I guess Zacuto want people to go to their site rather than Vimeo which is fair enough but a lack of download ability for a while slightly defeats the ability to properly compare for most people who couldn't make the showings. They did a great job though so musn't grumble.

August 15, 2012

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One thing Im curious about and I was hoping someone could answer is: If the knock against some of the lower end cameras is the high noise they produce, why were certain cameras (FS100) set to a higher ISO and then brought down with an ND.3?

Is there some sort of advantage that the higher ISO has over (what I thought) was the native ISO on the camera?

August 15, 2012

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Mitchell

The ISO setting -- at least on RED cameras -- can affect where the midpoint gray is and therefore how many highlight gradations you get. See "HIGHLIGHT PROTECTION & ISO SETTING" here:

http://www.red.com/learn/red-101/exposure-with-red-cameras

"even when highlights become clipped, these often appear smoother at a higher ISO since the roll-off from highlights to clipping occurs over a broader tonal range."

August 15, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

It is fun to see all of these results side by side. The devil is always in the details, so I decided to run some numbers based off of the published info in the PDF provided by Zacuto, and at least for this test, the F65 was the cheapest to shoot - even cheaper then the iPhone and the GH2 when everything is taken into account. (Or at least taking as much into account as I could from the provided documentation.) If you want to see my numbers, they are about 2/3 of the way down on my second write up about the experience: http://www.ryanewalters.com/Blog/blog.php?id=4955533891225329768

(I hope it's ok to post that link. If not, Koo or Joe, feel free to delete it. :) )

I'm a firm believer that in the end it is about the story, not the tech. However, it is also foolish to think that you can just shoot on a cheaper camera system without incurring extra cost else where ...

August 15, 2012

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Ryan, of course you're free to post that! And should you ever want to post articles to NFS, please let us know!

August 15, 2012

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Ryan Koo
Founder
Writer/Director

Thanks Koo. :)

August 16, 2012

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Exactly. The F65 crew took the less time which means cheaper to shoot with. They basically just set up the camera and let it do it's stuff. The results were great and done with 0 setup time.

August 15, 2012

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Hard to say there was "zero setup time" for the F65. It's not like they walked into some random living room and shot. The setup time was done by a large crew and may have taken days, the F65 simply decided against modifications to the base setup that had been exhaustively planned and optimized beforehand.

My final feelings on this test is you get what you pay for with last years' cameras. Will there be exceptions this year? We'll see. But while the value gradation may remain constant, each year you get more for your dollar. The $700 GH2 10 years from now may well best today's F65, but there will be a high-end camera by then that may well shoot this well in any random living room with truly zero setup time.

August 15, 2012

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Peter

Setup time was only calculated for the lighting Setup, as per the PDF. At the test there was a well qualified and experienced 1st AC who prepped all (? or most of anyway) the camera packages. Unfortunately that time was not measured- so it cannot be compared. I will say, that from personal experience, I have found it faster to setup a camera like the Alexa then it is to setup a DSLR like the 7D or the GH2. Only becuase the DSLR's have a lot of extra parts (Cages, Risers, H4N's, etc.) to configure to make them work in a similar manner as an Alexa.

August 16, 2012

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That's interesting...it's funny I was actually talking to someone at Koerner in Seattle, and they said no one rents the F65...only the Epics and Alexa go out. Of course that doesn't mean your calculations aren't valid, just that people's perceptions don't reflect it yet.

Although I have to wonder (as far as low budget filmmaking goes) how easy it is to work with F65 footage...I know I can edit Red footage on a pretty inexpensive computer (even my $700 laptop can thanks to it's Nvidia CUDA card). I don't know if Premiere has F65 support yet, or if it would run as fast...certainly storage speed becomes a critical factor.

August 15, 2012

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Gabe

Up here in the NW there are A LOT of TV shows shooting, and the cameera of choice is the Alexa- they are hard to come by and there are a ton of them in town. I think you are right about the F65 footage- it does take more processing time in post, which will not lend itself well to TV schedules. I think that camera will be religated more to feature work, just like the Red cameras are, unless something is done to make life as easy as the Alexa workflow is ...

August 16, 2012

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I agree with Ryan on the F65. It's a great camera - the dynamic range appears to be comparable to the Alexa. But with 4K resolution recording and large file sizes - it just has too much horsepower and cost for most projects outside of feature films. TV shows only need 1080P delivery. Why pay for more resolution (camera costs, recorder, hard drives, and down rez time) when the project will be down rezed to 1080? I think that the ability to crop and reframe have been overstated as a necessary advantage - especially on a TV series with a tight post schedule. They would only find time to reframe shots in very special situations. Hire a good DP or camera operator, and the issue is moot 99% of the time.

August 17, 2012

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Thanks for posting those numbers. It's a very interesting exercise. But I think your assumptions and therefore conclusions have some major flaws.

You don't take into account all the time spent before any of the camera's started shooting setting up the base lighting scheme. One could argue that that's the same for all the camera's. However, if I were shooting on a 7D or GH2 I would never spend any time setting up a scene with some 14 or so stops of dynamic range. So the time spent on "fixing" that light for those camera's doesn't exist. Also, a smart filmmaker is going to plan their light's accordingly for the strengths of the camera they are using. The lesser camera's generally need more light, but more light does not necessarily mean more lighting instruments. Often it can mean less, units, more general lighting. Which can lessen a lighting budget. And personally if I have 5 more stops to work with I will want to use them to my advantage which means spending more time sculpting more details in the light. Again all of that works into what look the filmmaker is going for.

Also, the higher bit rate cameras, I bet will tend toward longer editing and color grading times. A smart filmmaker is going to bake as much final picture into the higher compression formants to save from having to grade too much, thereby running the risk of exceeding the capabilities of the compressed codecs. With the raw cameras you need a better rig to handle the bit rates, and even then it takes longer to encode and export and everything, This all translates to more expense. I also find that the more I can do with a picture, the more I play around with it to get exactly what I want. This takes longer and means more money.

Now someplace where the raw footage helps and makes things cheaper is when a shot is screwed up. If you can't afford to re-shoot or that's simply impossible, the raw footage gives you much more latitude to fix the footage without having to spend too much time in aftereffects or God forbid exporting individual frames to photoshop to fix one by one. I think I remember one of the DP's in the crowd in episode two (or maybe it was last years shoot out) saying that they try to convince their producers to invest in a good camera up front instead of saving on a 5D, per se, because it saves them lots of headache on the back end in post. While this goes along with what I just mentioned, and headache generally translates into more time (money) it could just mean more pain and having to settle for a lesser product and cutting time out of a budget since doing the extra work might not be worth it.

Also if you are shooting a whole story not just a single shot the disk space requirements for the larger cameras expand very fast. And if you don't have a rig that can edit the Raw natively on the fly you have to encode additional files to do an offline edit. That's more disk spaced needed. There was an article about the quickly expanding HDD needs for Raw 4K footage right here on NoFilmSchool a month or two ago.

Next - And this starts to get into a lot of subjectivity - It's nice to use Angenieux lenses on every project, but are they really necessary for 7D or GH2 project. With what those camera's resolve, is the bump in quality really noticeable? Personally If I'm not shelling out for a camera that can really resolve the image, why should I spend the extra money on the lens and the added rig and support necessary for that equipment and added weight.

Then there's the idea that I could buy two 7Ds for the rental price you quoted from the F65, which makes every subsequent project cheaper and give me a back up camera, if the sensor over heats or the ability to shoot a scene from multiple angles at once. which can save tons of time on set.

All of this said, I'm not trying to say any one camera is better than the next. I think its irresposible to make a statement implying that 'these bigger cameras are actually cheaper all told.' When they are not. They just aren't.

I think if there is anything this year's shootout has shown its that you can get great results from a wide variety of camera's when you know what your doing with them. Personally my pics from episode 1 were the Alexa, F65, then the Epic and C300 (can't remember the order of the last two). I was not fooled by the GH2's extra lighting. But after one viewing of episode 3 I am aware of how much I was swayed by the choices the different artists made, that had nothing to do with what the camera's were capable of. In general I liked Bruce Logan's color grading better than any of the 'creative' options. I cant' think of a camera that didn't look better to my eye when he color graded it. That's all subjective choice.

Anyway, I'm excited about telling stories and hope that on my next project I can get one of these 'better' cameras. Cause they'd be fun toys to play with, and I honestly think would give me more options for telling my story. And that's what it all comes down to. Can you tell the best story you know how to tell, the best way you know how to tell it.

August 16, 2012

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As I stated in my write up, the numbers are based off of the published PDF. Camera setup time was not recorded / documented, so there is no empirical way to measure that and take it into account. My own personal experience with cameras puts the Alexa as quicker then DSLR's or the Epic, as there is less to put together. I have no clue on the F65 as I've never used it. However, form looking at the body I would hazard a wild guess that it might be longer then the Alexa, but not quite as long as the Epic or other DSLR's that require a lot of extra parts to make them work.

In regards to the lighting setup, while you wouldn't light a situation so that it had 14 stops of range in it, we do encounter it all the time when working on location. Anytime it is a sunny day and we have to shoot through a window, there is a good chance that the range exceeds what the camera can capture. So in that respect, it is a valid exercise to have a set lit like that. The time spent lighting to fix that happens all the time. I can't count the number of times I've had to shoot corporate interviews that inclue a window becaue the view was important to the client, shooting short films on location in interiors, or following someone around for a documentary, just to name a few situations where this comes up. I would LOVE to always shoot on a stage and NEVER have to worry about lighting for this situation. But sadly this is just not reality ...

Yep- you are right to point out that a SMART filmmaker will bake as much in to the final image with the lesser cameras. However, in practice, I haven't always found this to be true. Speeking in VERY general terms, I have found that with cheaper cameras, comes people who have less experience, and then the image is not shot well and nothing can be done. Where as with the more expensive cameras, more experienced people work with them, and they yield images that can be processed really well. (This is not always the case, of course- I know plenty of Red owners who do not shoot compelling images, and other 5D owners who do ...)

As far as porcessing time goes, my numbers represent the recorded times that were documented in the Zacuto PDF. So the processing time has been taken into account. And it seems that the oposite is at least partially true. Cameras like the Alexa and the F65 took less time to "clean up" in post then the other cameras did... Then there is who is touching an image in post. The more experience someone has, the quicker they will get to where they need to be, and the less playing around that will happen. I know that the professional colorists I work with are 1,000x faster then I am, and I am 100x faster then I was when I first started playing around with color grading. My personal approach, and what I recommend, is to get the image 80% - 90% of the way there in camera and then polish it in post, regardless of the camera system. Basically, get as much of the look in the camera without digging yourself into a hole. :)

As far as disk space goes, you are correct- the more expensive cameras cost more money. I made mention of this, and I detailed it out in the costs that I put together. (I'm getting the feeling that you did not actually read what I wrote, or that you missed that part as you read, as the total cost I posted take into consideration the cost for 3 backups of 1 hour of footage for each camera.)

In regards to the rental price and the lens choices, I encourage you to go back and read what I wrote, the rental prices assume that the same accessory package is being used for all of the cameras, which means that the only difference in price will be the camera body. Please check out the part where I explain the assumptions that go into what I wrote. It begins right unter the title "The Real Costs".

As far as being "irresponsible" as you stated, I disagree with that statement. If you had taken the time to read what I had posted at the start of the section of "The Real Costs" you will see that the numbers are based off of the published numbers in the PDF. I took into account everything you mentioned and this is what the numbers yielded. As I stated at the begining of that section, these are not hard as fast budgeting numbers, but just another comparison that is interesting to note. In this context, which is what we are taking about, when the numbers are ran, yes, the bigger cameras where cheaper to shoot. Are they always cheaper? No. But they do not yield the same image quality either ...

I do agree with you that it all comes down to telling the story the best way you know how with the tools you have access to. :)

August 16, 2012

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I have to say I was excited that you took the time to go through these numbers in this format, especially that it was something that I never would have thought to do. I did read your post and even reviewed the basic assumptions as I was writing my response as I didn't want to speak out of turn. It was many of those assumptions which i was arguing with, not the results you got from them.

Clearly the numbers you used were taken from the tech pdf that Zacuto provided. I just felt that some of your assumptions about how the camera were/are used was flawed. Particularly the set up time and equipment used. Yes in this test that was the time they used and the lens and rigs were virtually identical, My points were that the camera you have often dictates the expense and size of the rig around it which are factors that didn't play into this test but do play in the real world. As well (thought I didn't make this point directly) in the creative test the operators were operating under the goal of showing off what the camera can do. So the people from Sony chose to leave the 14 stops and just shoot it. And you can see this in the attitude of many of the DP's when they are talking about how they approached this test. Which is antithetical to the real world situation of "how do I tell this story" or 'illustrate this subject' not "how do I show off what this camera can do." Similarly, did the Alexa and the F65 take less time to grad in this test because the first goal was to show off the camera, or because thats how these artist would tell the story of these people who live in this room? And did those operating the lesser camera's (7D, GH2) take extra time cause they were trying to 'compete with the big boys'? Yes I'm making an assumption in posing the questions in this manner, but I feel's it's as valuable an assumption as the ones you made which I think draws questions about the value of the results you arrived at.

Because of the nature of this test, and simply the fact that it was a test situation, the numbers in their PDF are not really applicable to a real world situation. Between that . . . Oh damn it. I'm not even sure why I'm continuing this. Thanks for beginning the discussion, and for taking to time to put your thoughts out there so clearly, and kindly (whether I agree with your conclusions or not).

On a side note. Your reel looks fantastic. You are right, I couldn't even begin to pick individual cameras out of it, that's a testament to your work. I'd personally feel blessed at the opportunity to work with someone of your caliber.

August 16, 2012

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Yep- assumptions have to be evaluate very carefully. And I can't fault you for disagreeing with my assumptions. :) I appreciate your response, and I'm glad to hear that everything was read. :) I think I may not be understanding you correctly, or I may not be expressing myself clearly enough. I'm confused about your point here:

"My points were that the camera you have often dictates the expense and size of the rig around it which are factors that didn’t play into this test but do play in the real world "

I have found in my experience that full featured cameras like the F3, Alexa, etc. require less rigs, and thus less expense, and less setup time then other camera systems, especially DSLR's. Nothing was documented in this regard, so we can't comment directly, but I can't help but wonder if the extra time it takes to setup a DSLR doesn't negate at least part of the cost savings you get by using the cheaper system. Then there is the issue of using SLR lenses and missed focus pulls, cameras overheating halting production, all which add extra expense that is rarely calculated. I would love to see some actual numbers around these issues. One thing that is always a big player in this area, is that a lot of time the biggest asset that a lower budget / indy production has is time. So they may not be has hard pressed to get things correct on the first pass under a tight deadline as a higher budgeted production may be ...

In response to your point:
"As well (thought I didn’t make this point directly) in the creative test the operators were operating under the goal of showing off what the camera can do."

If I am understanding you correctly, I think that we are in agreement, :) as I stated on my blog:
"This test is a unique experience that I have never encountered before, nor will it be likely that I encounter it again. When I light and use a camera system, it is in service to the story and the project; the goal has never been in making the camera look good. This is a subtle and nuanced difference, but an important one to make. I may choose to completely blow out the highlights of a particular shot to create a dramatic silhouette that underlines an important beat in the scene. That choice is made in service to the story, not to the camera. But in the end, if the image supports the story then the images I've created with camera end up looking "good" even though they may be technically incorrect."

Thanks for your comments on my reel, and for watching it. :) Those were all projects that I enjoyed working on, and chose the camera system that suited each project the best when combining budget, post, schedule, and end delivery,

I'm aslo glad that we can have a good conversation and not have to get our feathers ruffled if we have differing opinions. :)

August 21, 2012

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And I can't agree with this more ---

"With all things being equal (and they rarely are), on any project I work on, I would much rather have a solid story, with solid production design, solid acting, solid directing, solid crew, and a lesser camera, then a great camera with everything else being weak to nonexistent. So instead of putting your money into a better camera system, put it into the story, what is in front of the lens, and the crew behind the lens - you'll get a much better return on investment in the end."

August 16, 2012

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Ryan & Michael, first let me say how much I appreciate the way you both presented your arguments powerfully and yet very respectfully! You both set an excellent example of how a subject can be debated in a civil manner without getting personal. This is how forums like this should work. Respectful discourse leads to growth and the possibility of learning. The other way just leaves people angry and more entrenched in their own opinions - and no learning takes place. You both made good points. Marcus, I agree with you that assumptions must be questioned to determine whether or not the conclusions have validity. Also, test scenarios do not always equate with real world situations. Ryan's study was very interesting - I would not thought of it either. The take away that I got from Ryan is that renting or a more expensive (higher dynamic range) camera for a production could save time and money. It's important for DP's to consider budget when making their recommendations or requests. It's important to consider the good of the film as a whole - not just your department. Sometimes sacrifices must be made. With Ryan's example I believe that there is another assumption at play. We are assuming that the film budget can afford a more expensive camera and that the producers care strongly about the quality of the image. If that's the case, then according to Ryan's argument, it may be a false economy renting a cheaper camera. It may take more time to light and color grade to get a great image. I agree with this. However, there are some projects with very low budgets who just can't afford a high camera rental or much color grading time. And yet everyone involved may be committed to achieving a good image. It's up to the DP and other creatives to be very creative and do the best they can with the tools they can afford. It's very comforting to know that the quality gap between the high end cameras and the low end cameras has shrunk significantly. There used to be a huge quality gap between film and even the best analogue SD video. The Zacuto empirical tests definitely showed quality differences between expensive, medium cost, and low cost cameras when it comes to shooting scenes with high contrast range. However, subjectivity and color grading still played a roll in camera favorites. Part II of the Zacuto tests clearly showed that with technical knowledge of a camera and with experience and lighting skills, it's possible to make images with cheaper cameras that can compete with more expensive cameras. We are a more discerning audience and our subjective choices were quite mixed. Most of the film going audience does not pay $10 to see technically perfect images. They want to give themselves over to a great story that is well crafted enough not to be distracting.

August 17, 2012

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Thanks Michael. :) To add to that comment, as much as I LOVE great images, I'd rather watch a good story with mediocre / medium visuals and GREAT audio, then a poor story with AMAZING visuals and POOR audio. I'm always amazed at how much "better" my visuals get when there is great sound and a good story to accompany them. Just goes to show, I'm only a small part of the puzzle. :)

For some reason I can't respond to Randolphs reply below. (Made on 08.17.12 @ 5:53PM) So here is my reply-

I agree that audiences don't case about technical precision. I made just that point here: http://www.ryanewalters.com/Blog/blog.php?id=146758789678178101 . However, I do worry about producers hearing the statement from Mr. Coppola about the GH2 being his favorite, and then seeing the price, get excited about the cost savings, so why not shoot on that camera? I think that is a false economy. If it were true, then I think more TV shows would be shooting on the GH2. But they are shooting on Alexa's. Why? Because the workflow is so easy, and that camera handles light so well that the G&E packages and crew sizes are shrinking which saves a lot to production. (And this has been true in the conversations I've had with the ASC DP's who are shooting TV Shows- they love what this camera has allowed them to do.) Before you laugh too hard that producers are pushing the GH2 because Mr. Coppola "said so", I've already been made aware of situations of that happening. Don't get me wrong, I'll gladly shoot on the GH2 if it is right for the project. (And I have even recommended it for a couple of projects.) But I don't think that it is as cheap to shoot on as producers may think that it is- some (maybe all?) of that savings gets eaten up in other areas like G&E.

I'm all for using the right tool for the job / project. I think it is foolish for someone to think that only a better camera will yield a better image. Crap is crap regardless of what you shoot on. And I think it is foolish for someone to think that one camera can fit every situation project - especially when they happen to own that camera system. No camera fits every situation. Hopefully, producers & productions will hire and trust their DP's to suggest & use camera systems that are appropriate for the project- sometimes that means a more expensive system, and other times it means less expensive.

Anyway, I think I'm rambling now, so I'll just stop there. This has been a great conversation. Thanks Michael & Randolph. :)

August 21, 2012

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I think this shootout was cool but I would have like to have seen more technical footage of how the footage behaves in post as well as detailed work flow options and methods. That aspect plays a lot into what cameras people decide to use.

August 16, 2012

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FS100 did well in the shadows, badly in highlights which is what I expected. But I was surprised just how much better the F3 was, with S-Log on (I believe) the same sensor. Would have been interesting to see the FS700 as well since it seems to have better highlight handling than the 100.

The F65 still looks strange to me; there's a pinkness to the highlights that I strongly dislike.

August 16, 2012

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Luke

I am not sure what others think, but damn those people that were handling the FS100 and Canon C300 for the creative shot!! The FS100 and C300 Empirical Shots look much better than their creative shots for some weird reasons.

And kudos to the GH2 team who managed to bring up the camera to its best quality using their creativity.

As for my choice of camera, the WINNER is ARRI Alexa and F65!! and if I don't have enough money, I will settle with the FS100 or FS700 (once it is really out there with the S-Log & 4K enable).

Thanks Zacuto for making this and sharing with the rest.

August 16, 2012

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