Each camera you use has strengths and weaknesses, and it's common for bigger productions to use multiple cameras and formats depending on those attributes. Though many discussions often make the situation about one camera over another (especially with the recently released Magic Lantern hack), there are plenty of times where two or more cameras can be used in the same production to achieve a specific result. In the videos below, see if you can spot which camera is which (Arri Alexa, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Canon 5D Mark II RAW), and also think about how they can be used to complement each other.

Thanks to Mitch at planet5D for sharing, here is  with the Canon 5D Mark II and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera:

Same lens used - Samyang 35mm 1.4

Same shutter speed 1/200 - 45 degrees

ISO 100 on the 5D, ISO 800 On the BMCC (both native)

Same Aperture 2.8

Camera position shifted to compensate for crop factor.

BMCC in 2.5k Raw mode, 5D Mkii in 1880x1058 (highest 16:9 image currently possible on 5d Mkii)

Both Processed in Adobe After effects via Adobe raw converter using the same preset - no sharpening, no NR. The only thing different in the processing is: Exposure (to compensate for ETTR), White balance (because each camera is slightly different).

The scene was exposed for the Globe or plant pot. Any highlights were allowed to be blown on both cameras.

This is a commercial for the BOSCH Tiger, filmed in Madrid in 2013. The Arri Alexa and Blackmagic Cinema Camera are intercut many times throughout the ad (watch it in higher quality here):

Shot with an Arri Alexa and with a Black Magic Design Cinema Camera. The Alexa mounting a Cooke S4 lens set and the BMCC a set of Contax Zeiss and Leica lenses. Prores with the Alexa and RAW with the BMCC.
In the edit there are 17 shots made with the BMCC and the rest with the Alexa.

I think if I'd spent a long enough time squinting, I could probably form a guess with the Alexa and the BMCC, but for the most part, they look very, very similar. The BMCC and Canon test is a little more obvious, but what is actually interesting is that I think the smaller sensor of the BMCC gives it away more than any other aspect, like dynamic range or sharpness.

Again, I think it's a far more useful exercise and discussion to talk about not which camera is better than another, but about how you could actually utilize each one, playing off the positive attributes.

For the complete answers, head on over to the Vimeo pages, but feel free to post what you think the answers are and why, as well as how the different cameras could play into a production's needs.


[via planet5D]