How Much Work Goes into Zacuto's Camera Shootouts? Find out in These Production Log Videos

While I was excited to see the Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout at NAB, it was not to be, as there were some technical issues, and the screenings were cancelled for the entire week. As many of you know, Zacuto has done a number of camera shootouts in the last couple of years, and many of them have been strictly technical discussions. Their goal this time, however, is to go beyond the tech specs, and really get the most artistically out of each camera. I'll be seeing the shootout very soon -- and will share my thoughts just before it goes live on June 15th -- but if you want to see the massive amount of work that goes into producing these things, check out the behind-the-scenes production log videos below.

Production Log Episode 1:

Production Log Episode 2:

Production Log Episode 3:

Production Log Episode 4:

It's quite an undertaking to be doing a test at this scale and with this many cameras. To top it off, besides the actual camera test itself, they've also got a documentary they are shooting which will accompany the test. If you're curious about which cameras they are testing, the list is below:

  • Apple iPhone 4S
  • Panasonic GH2 (Standard/Hacked)
  • Canon 7D
  • Canon C300
  • Sony FS100
  • Sony F3
  • Sony F65
  • RED Epic
  • Arri Alexa

Some of you may recall that there was some drama with RED about the choice to project the shootout at 2K even though there were cameras in the test (RED Epic, F65), that are capable of 4K and above resolutions. Jim Jannard decided that he was going to do his own shootout projected in 4K, but then shortly after gave up on the idea. Though many have their preferred cameras depending on the job, it will be interesting to see how the 7D and GH2 stack up against heavy hitters like the F65 and the RED Epic.

If you'd like to sign up for any of the future screenings that might be in your area, check out the link below. If you're curious about all of the technical data from the test, that's also available in the link below.


DISCLOSURE: Zacuto is a No Film School advertiser.

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Your Comment


I still don't understand the whole 7D thing. Why not something like the 60D with Magic Lantern (And the upped bitrates available from that?)

June 6, 2012 at 9:13PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

You voted '-1'.

Hi David,
The choice of 7D was a bit last minute. Originally we were trying to get a 1DX which at the last minute was unavailable as it was still unreleased and we were unable to get one in from Japan in time for the test.

Michael Negrin, ASC was lined up to shoot the Canon DSLR and was comfortable using the 7D, as that was what he had worked with before. Because these things are so scrutinized by the public, at the time we did not give him a new camera with "hacked" firmware that he had no experience with.

So at that point it became a practical decision as to why we used the 7D, it was what he was comfortable with and it had a super35mm sensor. I think though, having the 7D in there gives you a good reference as to where the technology was just over a year ago and it can be used as a sort of benchmark.


June 7, 2012 at 7:34AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Is there a reason that they decided not to use the 5dmkii? Great full frame camera compared to the cropped 7d.

June 7, 2012 at 12:12PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Ben Maciejack

I'd say because whilst the 5D mk2 is full frame regarding stills, the sensor is much bigger than a 35mm motion picture frame because with 35mm stills the film is pulled horizontally, and with motion picture 35mm its pulled vertically which allows for a smaller frame size. I guess they were trying to utilise the same/similar field of view to make a better comparison. The 7D sensor size is much more comparable to a 35mm film frame size than the 5D mk2.

June 7, 2012 at 2:48PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

AD Stephens

Watch. It's kind of pointless to comment before you watch episode one, two and three to get the entire picture of what is what and why this will be the final test!!!

June 7, 2012 at 9:38PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


You are correct AD Stephens, that's why but again I think you are going to realize that all of this dialogue really doesn't matter. This is not like any other shootout or program we have ever done. Give it a change and you will see why It's not about the cameras anymore, it's about you!!! But you must watch all three episodes before you will really get it.

June 7, 2012 at 9:42PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM


Sounds like it's going to be a really refreshing take on camera comparison, Steve, I'm really looking forward to it!

June 8, 2012 at 4:46PM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

AD Stephens

Hey Steve,
I appreciate what you guys at Zacuto are doing, the Shootout looks like a huge undertaking. I'm glad to see your dedication to bringing the qualities of the tools to light. I was just wondering about the 5d mk2 because that is camera that you guys have used in the two past Shootouts and what I have to shoot with. Great job, I love stopping by to see all your awesome Webisodes.

June 8, 2012 at 8:03AM, Edited September 4, 7:54AM

Ben Maciejack