July 28, 2017

Watch This Epically Unfair Battle Between a $50 Camcorder and a $50K Cinema Camera

This camera comparison video is totally unfair, but it does teach us a little about why expensive cinema cameras cost so damn much. 

Usually when you watch cameras battle it out in a comparison video, you're looking to see which one has the best image quality, color, and dynamic range. However, the team over at Corridor Digital put two contenders in the ring, a $50 Sony Handicam and a $50,000 RED Epic Dragon cinema camera, knowing full well that one would utterly clobber the other, but also knowing that such a drastic difference in image quality could teach us all about why the cost of pro-level cinema cameras is so high.

Okay, the Dragon is better than the Handicam. (Where's my award for excellence in cinematic journalism?) That's obvious, but that's kind of the point of the entire video. It's not about figuring out which camera performs better, it's about figuring out where cinema cameras out-perform consumer/prosumer cameras specifically and explaining why they do.

The team tests resolution, overexposure, underexposure, color depth, dynamic range, compression, and color accuracy, and of course, the Dragon dominates in every category. However, it's incredibly helpful to listen to Corridor Digital explain exactly how and why the Sony camcorder falls short, as well as when you're most likely to see these less than stellar results, because many times the side-by-side doesn't look all that different (at least not "$49,950 different"). It's when you zoom in, add contrast, or apply a color grade that you're really able to tell that, yep, there's a ginormous difference between a dinky little camcorder and a hulking cinema camera that has been used on some of Hollywood's biggest movies. 

But let me get one thing straight: it doesn't matter if you've got a $50 camcorder or a cinema camera worth $50K. Whatever camera you have access to is the best camera you can have, and things like low resolution, poor dynamic range, and wonky color science never stopped history's greatest filmmakers, so don't let it stop you!     

Your Comment

15 Comments

Why are you wasting our time with those in-between bits about masturbatory hipsters trying wasabi?

July 29, 2017 at 3:58AM

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The definition of hipster has become – has maybe always been? – so vague. To me, this seems much more like a wasabi gathering of bros, rather than hipsters...

July 30, 2017 at 1:26PM

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Did I miss a joke somewhere - where do the wasabi rice crackers at 1:50 fit into the picture (literally) ? And notice the Sony's - cough - refined film grain after the underexposed footage is corrected, proving the Sony blows away the Red.

July 29, 2017 at 9:01AM, Edited July 29, 9:02AM

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Saied M.
1411

Meh...The tests are somewhat interesting, but those 'bits in between', my god man...

July 29, 2017 at 10:06AM

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Jeroen Rommelaars
Animator - Videographer - Motion Tracking
1014

Unless this was made 3 years ago, you can pickup a dragon for like $14k, not $50k. Maybe they should have used the Weapon Helium.

July 29, 2017 at 11:48AM

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Matthew Miller
Director of Photography
147

Sir I recently bought a Red One MX for $65,000 last week. I can see you have an Alexa in your picture. That's cute. Why don't you graduate to Red with me and the boys

July 30, 2017 at 2:00PM

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Julian
Director
355

You don't graduate to Arri or Alexa, you work with one, the other or both. I am a Red owner and will work with Alexa any time. And you paid 65k for a Red One, that's cute.

August 1, 2017 at 7:24AM, Edited August 1, 7:24AM

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Pol
175

Is someone spending their time watching such stupid tests?

July 29, 2017 at 2:53PM

6
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I'd sure like to see a video showing which car is faster, a Lamborghini or Mini Cooper.

July 29, 2017 at 3:13PM

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Kaster Troy
Director, DP, Editor
885

So does RED pay for all of these stupid comparisons...keep the name out there... you never see Arri in these .... or being the industry leader, the fracas happens below your perch on the food chain.... seems interesting

July 30, 2017 at 9:53AM

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You voted '-1'.
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Actually last time was an Alexa vs Iphone... but I just don't understand who keeps making these videos...

August 1, 2017 at 8:13AM

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Pol
175

Dragon pronounced Draygon. did I hear that correct?

July 30, 2017 at 1:32PM

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John Stockton
Filmmaker, Editor.
362

Loved that video. Thanks.

July 30, 2017 at 1:45PM, Edited July 30, 1:45PM

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John Stockton
Filmmaker, Editor.
362

I applaud the wasabi storyline. It injects much needed levity into an otherwise excruciating nerdgasm. But haters gonna hate....

July 31, 2017 at 10:49AM

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Jason Grimste
Writer / Actor / Producer
81

V Renee... is that the best you can post ?

August 5, 2017 at 10:08AM

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