The third and final episode of The Great Camera Shootout 2011 is finally here!  On September 27th, 2011 The Great Camera Shootout 2011 was nominated for two Emmy awards (Midwest Chapter). One nomination was for Outstanding Achievement in Informational Programming and the other was for Zacuto Senior Editor Karen Abad’s, skillful editing work. 

Episode 3, It’s Not So Black & White, completes the three part Great Camera Shootout 2011 series but also has an unexpected announcement that will leave you salivating for more!  In this episode, the cameras are tested on motion artifacts, color and skin tone.  The tests were administered by Robert Primes, ASC and conducted as an unbiased test through the SCCE (Single Chip Camera Evaluation).  Some updates to certain cameras such as “S Log” on the Sony F3 and “CineStyle” for the Canon cameras were not available at the time of these tests.

The motion artifacts test is designed to study the camera’s ability to render motion as close to human eyesight as possible.  Many cameras deal with rolling shutter issues because of their sensor design, processing power and price point. A motion controlled “drum test,” built by General Lift, was used to show vertical lines moving across the frame as well as the amount of skew generated by a camera’s sensor.  Another test, designed by Clairmont Camera, uses a wheel spinning at 48 fps to show the differences between the ways these cameras render motion.  A global shutter in a camera like the Phantom Flex will render the lines similar to the way your eye would see them.  The rolling shutter in the 5D mkII shows much more bend and skew.

The color test was designed to show the subtle differences that are too difficult to quantify on a subjective chart or numbers scale.  You could compare the process to a painter choosing colors from their palette. The opinions and descriptions of the viewers at the color calibrated screenings were invaluable while deciphering the results of this test.

Richard Crook says, “Every one of those cameras looked great…and they all provide different looks, and I guess it really just depends on the applications [in which the cameras are used].”

Skin tones are a very important thing to consider when choosing a camera.  The “Three Faces” test placed three actors with varying skin tones in the same lighting conditions and challenged the camera’s contrasts. 

“A lot of cameras that had faults, like the 5D, still did look quite pleasing to the eye,” says Justin Raine. 

After the screening, Raine went on to emphasize that the real difference between the cameras in this comparison was how much information they record and whether or not the cheaper cameras could hold up to substantial color correction in post.

Come watch and learn as this Emmy award nominated web series takes you on an informational adventure that explores which camera is the right fit for you!

Commentary: Rodney Charters, ASC, Chris Cooke, Solomon Rogers, Franc Biffone, Den Lennie, Kimball Carr, Jerry Hyman, Patrick Longman, Michael Hauer, Shawn Nelson, Ben Eckstein, Peter James, ACS, ASC, Bruce Logan, ASC, Jon Connor, Simon Sommerfeld, Dave Kittredge, Oliver Rush, Dan Rubottom, Justin Raine, Richard Crook, Chris Jones, Grigorij Richters, Karen L’Aiguille, Don McClpine, ACS, ASC, Mike Chenoweth, Neil Smith.

CAST & CREW The web series documentary features two different independent crews. The SCCE Crew: Administrator: Robert Primes, ASC, Station Chiefs: Michael Bravin, Stephen Lighthill, ASC, Nancy Schreiber, ASC, Matt Siegel and Mike Curtis, Line Producer: Josh Siegel. The Shootout 2011 Crew: Editor: Karen Abad, Graphic Designer: Chris Voelz, Producers: Daniel Skubal, Scott Lynch, Jens Bogehegn and Eric Kessler, Web Series Director: Steve Weiss.

Additional SCCE Testing Methodologies All of the camera manufacturers were invited to be involved with the tests and provide a technician with their camera.  In cases where the manufacturer declined to send a representative, Bob Primes assigned a camera master who was an expert with that particular camera to manage it as it rotated though all of the series of tests. Each test also had a station chief who kept the tests consistent across cameras.

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104 Responses to “The Great Camera Shootout 2011: SCCE ~ Episode Three”

  1. Stunko on September 20th, 2011 3:50 pm

    “Amazing” comments so far, wow!!!   :-$

  2. Anonymous on September 21st, 2011 1:39 am

    Someone must of been high when they thought the idea of a trailer for episode 3. Funny but awesome. 

  3. Stunko on September 21st, 2011 11:55 am

    With comments like “film is dead,” we sort of know already what there is to look forward to in the final episode.  8-)  

    Anyhow, the test was done in February, and by now, there is a whole different camera landscape out there. On the upper-echeclon digital film camera side of things, savvy folks are probably a lot more interested in the Sony F65 CineAlta, Red Epic, and the upcoming Canon 4K camera and their performance. And on the DSLR side of things, the new all-digital Sony SLT Alphas and the Panasonic Lumix cameras (like the hacked GH2) probably shine where the flipping mirror Canikons fumble. So let’s hope that the 2012 Shootout will be done quicker and include all of these real-contender new cameras. It’s an amazing landscape out there this autumn, for sure.   

  4. Steve Weiss on September 21st, 2011 12:47 pm

    You’ll find that the specific cameras is not so much what this episode is about.  Watch it and see.  We are already working on Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout with all of the cameras mentioned and it will be discussed in this video.

  5. Andrés Fernando Sanclemente on September 21st, 2011 1:16 pm

    What do you guys think about HDV formatt, I really think it holds up nowadays and gives a superb cine-like quality not found in Mini DV or cannon 7d like cams.

  6. Travis on September 22nd, 2011 8:10 pm

    HDV is more or less, glorified miniDV, same data rate. If superb cine-like quality is mudled colors, sharpness like looking through panty hose, low data rates, and a compression type older than me, then idk. Not to mention it lacks a shallow depth of field, which is a major factor in achieving a “film-look”. If I where to buy a new camera today, HDV is one of the last places I’d look. Not to burst your camera bubble, but if I were you I’d be looking elsewhere for a new camera too, then again I don’t know what you’re doing with it. So HDV may be just fine for you.

  7. Travis on September 22nd, 2011 8:11 pm

    I can’t wait to smudge up my Epic touch screen with some greasy fingers…. *DONT_KNOW*

  8. James on September 24th, 2011 2:48 am

    So that’s why the final episode took so long. You were cutting the trailer….

  9. Daniel Natzke on September 24th, 2011 5:27 pm

    YEAH 10 DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Hey, I had a Question concerning the Panasonic AF100. Did you film with the Dynamic Range Stretch Feature on or off? I know that you measured about 10.3 Stops of Latitude in the Test, But I have been wondering what it would be if the DRS was turned all the way up.


    Can’t wait to see 3.
    Dito with “Revenge on the Great Camera Shootout”

  10. Daniel Natzke on September 24th, 2011 5:31 pm

    Just looking at the Specs of the Red Epic, it is the first Camera to truly pass up Film in Quality, Resolution, and Dynamic Range. I can’t wait to see some Feature Films come out filmed on this.

    That being said, I don’t wish to see Film go, not completely. It does offer an aesthetic that Digital just can’t give, the way the chemicals react to different light waves, it’s organic look. It would be ashamed to see it truly die. Here’s hoping we still see a little of it here and there in the future.

    But in the mean time, I’m exited about the Digital Revolution!

  11. Steve Weiss on September 24th, 2011 9:18 pm

    Yeah, that’s why.

  12. Steve Weiss on September 24th, 2011 9:20 pm

    Specs mean nothing.  What makes a great image is the person not the camera.  You will see this in “Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout”.

  13. Halsu on September 25th, 2011 5:53 am

    HDV may be “glorified DV”, with data rate of 25 mbps, but as such it has BETTER data rate than the AVCHD etc. cameras which use 17 or 24 mbps.

    HDV uses anamorphic 1440*1080 raster (same as HDCAM etc., which is plenty to store the actual resolution most prosumer cameras can produce), and as such the per pixel compression ratio is actually 25% better than the data rate would indicate. Also, the XDCAM EX cameras are bit for bit compatible with HDV in their SP mode, AFAIK.

    As far as sensor size goes, well, shallow DoF isn’t the end of all…

  14. Brianwlittle on September 27th, 2011 6:41 pm

    I would like to know this info also…

  15. Scott Lynch on September 28th, 2011 3:18 pm

    Hi Daniel and Brian,
    I looked through the all of the notes from the shoot and DRS was not listed as being on. 

    The other settings for the AF100 were:

    Gamma = Cinelike-D
    Matrix = Normal2


  16. Daniel Natzke on September 28th, 2011 11:00 pm

    Do you by any chance know how much latitude the DRS adds to the camera?

  17. Scott Lynch on September 29th, 2011 10:18 am

    I don’t have that much experience with using DRS in a lot of situations, but from what I’ve seen is that it can add noise to an image, since it gains up dark shadow areas. Here’s a thread on DVX user that explains it a bit more.

    I think it’s a tool that can be used, but it shouldn’t necessarily be used on everything. 


  18. Mark Fry on September 29th, 2011 8:02 pm

    Steve,….just wanted to say thanks to you and all the crew and volunteers  for doing  this …. Funny all this build up makes feels like early christmas to me

  19. Steve Weiss on September 29th, 2011 9:27 pm

    Thanks Mark, we love making programming and we had a great time making this one.

  20. Stunko on October 1st, 2011 12:13 pm

    Wow, what a huge difference that is in the recording bitrate — superior 25Mb/sec vwersus lowly 24Mb/sec.  Wow!!  Anyhow, AVCHD 2.0 (Sony SLT Alpha 65 and Alpha 77 HDSLRs) is at 28Mb/sec maximum, so that trumps HDV’s 25MB/sec recording data rate.  

    I agree that shallow DOF has got nothing to do with “cinematic look.”  Shallow DOF is shallow DOF, period. Ther have been plenty of major movies and TV series over the daceds that shot on 35mm film, and yet were captured in more or less “deep focus” — i.e. just about everything in the frame was in focus.  “Citizens Kane” and “The Streets of San Francisco” are two prime examples.   

    Having 75% or more of a frame out of focus and 25% or less in-focus gets boring pretty quickly for an audience. Bothers the eyes somewhat, too. 

  21. Stunko on October 1st, 2011 12:20 pm

    Red Epic has can allagedly capture at 5K rez, whereas you can scan in 35mm motion picture at up to 8K rez, and even higher resolutions are attaninable with Imax and 65mm negatives.  5K resolution (Red Epic) is totally non-standard, I mean, you shoot at 5K rez, then what are you going to do with it, how are you going to show it? Even with 4K, probably 1 percent of those folks shooting with a Red can do everything in post at Full-4K rez, and then also watch the final results on native 4K resolution LCD monitors and projectors. 

    Maybe according to Jim Jannard of Red, this here is now a 4K World or a 5K World, but for the rest of us little folks, it certainly isn’t yet.

    Most folks lamenting about the impending death of film are probably the ones who never shot anything on film lately, anyhow. 

  22. Steve Weiss on October 1st, 2011 11:37 pm

    This is all a bit rediculas.  4K, 5K, 8K, at a certain point it’s just not noticable and not neccessary anymore.  Our next show is going to prove this “Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout”.  We are shooting in early Nov. and it’s going to show in a blind comparison how good each camera can look.  in worldwide screenings viewers will be asked to jot down which number scene they like the best not knowing which is which.  The DP’s (specialists on that camera along with our administrator Bruce Logan ASC) will be allowed to alter the lighting of the same scene to compensate for the weaknesses of their camera.

  23. Omar on October 2nd, 2011 4:53 am

     Yes Thank you Steve

  24. Josué-Joshua Owens on October 2nd, 2011 6:53 am

    Yay! I can’t wait!

  25. Kyle on October 4th, 2011 11:25 am

    One More Day!!!!!!!!! : )

  26. Oliver Walker on October 5th, 2011 6:32 am

    this sounds really interesting im looking forward to those !!
    5 hours to go!!! :)

  27. Mário Matos on October 5th, 2011 10:39 am

    Almost there… the final evaluation on my next acquisition, AG-AF100!
    This show really help me chose it… having my budget in mind, the kind of wok I do, the adaptability factor and the available options across the EU. Waiting here, from Portugal…
    <img src=”extra/tiny_mce/plugins/emotions/img/smiley-cool.gif” title=”Cool” border=”0″ alt=”Cool”/>

  28. Daniel Lowe on October 5th, 2011 12:08 pm

    Thanks so much, Zacuto, Kessler, and the whole team.. amazing high end camera comparison .. lots of information here .. this will go well with the course I’m taking in November .. the video looks great, watching the opening titles, I was asking, “what is this, Avatar 2?” ;-) 

  29. Jim Palmer/Siemens on October 5th, 2011 12:25 pm

    Many thanks to Steve, his staff and sponsors for spending the time and money to fund Camera Shoot Out tests.

    Hands down they are the most interesting camera tests I have ever seen, whether at SMPTE,
    IEEE, etc.  I really hope these tests will be repeated again in 2012.

    I am sure the future “Revenge” series will also be most interesting and valuable.

    I would like to suggest (if it hasn’t been suggested already) to log the amont of *time* taken with each camera
    setup to converge on an optimal setup and likewise the amount of *time* taken in post.


    I am film oriented and have a strong bias in that direction.  Part of the digital capture sell is economics.
    Having said that, I believe it is film capture is much faster (particularly in post).

    I would be most interested to hear “revenge” feedback from those who have different opinions.

  30. Scott Lynch on October 5th, 2011 12:46 pm

    Hi Jim,
    Well in my opinion the “time” for each camera is a wild variable. There are a lot of things to consider, such as the talent of your crew, your familiarity with the camera, the demands of the shot, etc. In my experience way more time is spent lighting a scene and working with the talent then tweeking the camera menus and such.

    With post production the cameras fall into two categories, ones that shoot RAW and ones that don’t. If you are shooting a RAW format it will take more time to grade your footage, but how much time this takes depends on how much experience your colorist has with that particular camera since each camera reacts slightly differently. 

    If you shoot a non-RAW format you have to do less grading, BUT if you mess up a shot and have to fix it in post it will probably take longer then if you had a RAW format to work with.


  31. Anonymous on October 5th, 2011 2:06 pm

    I was so suprised at the difference between the 5D II and the 7D on the skin tone test. The 5D looked so much better!

  32. Brian Little on October 5th, 2011 2:44 pm

    I was actually really shocked at how poor the Canon 1,5,7D looked on the skin tone test… I thought for the price point, the AF100 looked a lot better.  I have always felt Sony Cameras (F3) over saturate the colors (mostly in the red channel) – I guess I really just like the look of the Panasonics better.  I am really excited to see the revenge episodes to see how the GH2 does… I am planning on ordering one next week…should I wait and see the test???? nah…

  33. Jonathan Hunter on October 5th, 2011 4:20 pm

    Wow the Canons did POOR in the skin tone test.


    Fantastic test – fantastic effort by everyone!  Many thanks!  See you next year!

  34. Josué-Joshua Owens on October 5th, 2011 4:34 pm

    What a great test! Thank you Zacuto and all that were involved! My tentative verdict: For the price point, I really liked the AF100. It seems you get the most “bang for your buck”, technically.

  35. Jessica nolan on October 5th, 2011 6:08 pm

    the rolling shutter test was very creative.  well done.

    canon skin tones were so poor.  the tone and dynamic range was not smooth at all.  very videoish and pasty. I guess the canon dslr camers are not suited for videos  of people .  arri alexa was the champ for skin tones .  alexa was natural and looked the closest to the organic look of film.

    great  test steve.  be proud.

  36. Anonymous on October 5th, 2011 7:31 pm

    Here’s the lowdown. If your budget allows shoot 35mm. It is still the king. The second step down is the Alexa and next in line is the F3.  

    On a second note: Red One skin reproduction was crap. Much too artificial looking (like all films shot on RED). The 5D skin tone was not that good. Much too “poppy” and saturated. However all DSLR’s lacked Technicolor profile so its kind of irrelevant anyway.

    If budget is a ciritcal issue the F3 seems like its really going to deliver.

    Hell of a good program and thanks for all the work.

  37. Mark Fry on October 5th, 2011 8:22 pm

    Wow that 12 bit 444 film color is beautiful.3 diff shades on the bottles plus reflections…everything is real looking….. All the digital looks flat by comparison Alexa definitely best digital overall  ,then probably Sony F3 S-log then tie  Af-100 panasonic and FA-100 sony both 422…(right Barry!) …DSLR 422 except maybe GH2 external  external. Nex 7? guess will see …But as they say all budget driven…..

  38. Jason on October 5th, 2011 9:21 pm

    Finnaly Episode 3,  :)

  39. Jj Kim on October 6th, 2011 3:29 pm

    .@zacuto solid episode (& the whole series). can’t wait for the “revenge” video. great work, everyone! Very well done!

  40. Robbin Groot on October 6th, 2011 6:02 pm

    Great job you guys. I did expect the dslrs to be bad with rolling shutter but the 5d mkII was just horrible. People are saying the nikon d7000 is performing better with rolling shutter, but in my opinion it’s just as bad as the 7d’s. It performed noticeably better in the skin tone though. Can’t wait for the revenge series. Canon with technicolor cinestyle, nikon with Tassinflat. All used in their own best way. My best friend used to shoot with his 7d and i with d7000. Looking forward to it.    

  41. Joel Kaye on October 6th, 2011 7:23 pm

    Another very well made test. Thanks to everyone.

    Don McApine had a level headed reaction regarding film:
    “In actual fact, our audience comes from a whole other color space. They’re coming from the digital color space. We’ve got to begin to accept that… our audience doesn’t appreciate it [film] one iota.”

    To me, cost, workflow and ergonomics (and stealth) are as large a factor as picture quality.

    Is film pretty, yes. It it worth the cost difference? You tell me. If you had to take the money out of your bank account to pay for it would you? Is it really going to make you an extra dime on your project in the end?

  42. Grigorij Richters on October 6th, 2011 7:55 pm

    Great work! I still dont think film is dead;-)

  43. abas fly on October 6th, 2011 9:45 pm

    Wonder if the gh2 will be on steroids with its hack

  44. Nick Royer on October 6th, 2011 11:48 pm

    I think these tests show that the cost barrier has really been broken.  Yes, the high end cameras were better, but for most applications I think that the difference is minute.  I think the biggest factor now is the optical quality of the lens in use.

    Would be interesting to see Zacuto do a series on the why’s of cinematography – why choose a certain lens or a certain lighting set up, and how does that contribute to the piece?

  45. Martini Hong on October 7th, 2011 1:03 am

    can’t wait for the revenge episode to come out. gotta see the Epic’s performance. Perphaps you guys can get the F65 and alexa studio included as well?

  46. Bryce Olejniczak on October 7th, 2011 1:48 am

    I hope so… the GH2 at GOP1 175mbps is a beast.

  47. Ikonoskop on October 7th, 2011 2:52 am

    please use the Ikonoskop A-cam dII camera in your tests!

  48. Scott Lynch on October 7th, 2011 8:41 am

    Hi Ikonoskop, the shootout this year was exclusively testing 35mm sized sensors. Since the A-cam Dll is closer to 16mm sized it would have not fit in well with these particular tests. We’ve thought about doing a 1/2 inch 2/3rds test. If we do that we would definitely consider the A-cam dlll.


  49. Bumki Cho on October 7th, 2011 9:27 am

    Great shootout once again! Thank you Zacuto and everyone involved!

  50. Ricky on October 7th, 2011 9:28 am

    The great revenge i think is sony f3 with the s-log 4:4:4 upgrade.
    I know hos much more detail you get with the insane gamma curve, breathtaking…
    /Ricky from sweden

  51. Bumki Cho on October 7th, 2011 9:30 am

    BTW, I think the revenge series will be even sweeter!

  52. Christian Jadot on October 7th, 2011 1:15 pm

    I would like to see the Ikonoskop A-cam DII in “Revenge”? Very informative series as I am looking to purchase a camera around this time. What about the Sony VG20 and the Red Scarlet (I believe both are going to be released in Nov.)? 16mm Film?

    I was a believer that film is dead, but after seeing the video, digital still has not reached that point. I would give film another decade.

  53. Christian Jadot on October 7th, 2011 1:24 pm

    PS. Maybe show what good DP can do with a low end consumer camera as well. Like a Cannon HF R20 or something like that. Just to show how important a DP is, and show how a good DP can make even the lowest of cameras look. (AKA how import is the tool vs. the artist.)

  54. Scott Lynch on October 7th, 2011 2:24 pm

    Hi Christian,
    As far as revenge, we won’t be able to include every camera, if we did that we could easily have 100 cameras which would make the show impossible to make. What we’ll be doing is choosing only about 8-9 cameras that represent a good spread of what’s available in the market, so we’ll have a wide range of camera classes and price points. We’re also trying to have as many different manufacturers represented as we can. The purpose of Revenge will not be to show you if you have an HV20 how to use it or light for it. If we did that revenge would be outdated in three months.

    What we really want to show is that if you really think about the limitations and strengths of your camera and you play up its strengths and downplay its weaknesses, you can create a good film. As of now, we’ll be limiting the cameras to only ones that have 35mm sized sensors. After doing 4 comparisions like this over the years, we know that every camera that we add to a test creates major logistical problems. If you start adding wildly different cameras that makes it that much more difficult to compare.  Perhaps we will do another shootout in the future that included the scarlet and A-cam, maybe the 3700 Varicam and other cameras that are in the 1/2 inch or 2/3rds inch class. But we’ll have to see if it’s a real need that the industry is looking for and if it will be worth us investing in.


  55. Hank den Drijver on October 7th, 2011 3:24 pm

    The “sun”light from the right in the fruit shot was panned away to the back wall in the Arri Alexa shot. Not very scientific.

  56. Scott Lynch on October 7th, 2011 3:46 pm

    Hi Hank,
    Yes, we were aware of this mistake, we address it in episode 2 of the shootout. 


  57. Remedy on October 7th, 2011 5:29 pm

    It’s unbelievable how unaware, how clueless, how far behind current technology those viewers are (those in cinemas where You showed this movie). It’s 2011 and they JUST found out what rolling shutter effect is and how it looks like. This is so sad. And one more thing: NO film was NOT perfectly free of motion artifacts, Sony F35 looked better!

  58. Scott Lynch on October 7th, 2011 6:02 pm

    Hi Remedy,
    I think you’ve missed the point. Everyone in the theaters knew what rolling shutter was (we even had people that engineer camera sensors in our audience), but this was the first mesurable objective test that could reliably measure the differences in rolling shutter between the cameras. Further, the F35, Film Stock, Phatom Flex and Weisscam all have global shutters and do not have rolling shutter artifacts.


  59. Scott Lynch on October 7th, 2011 8:31 pm

    Actually, I should point out the film doesn’t have a global shutter in the same way that the digital cameras do, obviously a mechanical shutter is a bit different then an electronic shutter. But because the shutter exposes the entire frame of film for a portion of its rotation, the film doesn’t exhibit rolling shutter artifacts. 

  60. Tom on October 8th, 2011 5:31 am

    Curious, after skim reading the color subsampling wiki page – the differences between say 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 – would the digital cameras at some point get 4:2:2 ? It seems from the page that you just need post capture compression on a better say 4:2:2 subsampling than using 4:2:0. 
    It really does seem that if dSLR’s could get past the subsampling, and go beyond a somewhat artificially created bottleneck of capacity (through use of Compact Flash/SDHC cards) and bandwidth, maybe move to SSD for example or better tethering to a dedicated storage device, it could rival even more the higher end. Rolling shutter being still one of the main achille’s heels.

    Also – given the notes about softness for the dSLRs – what was the f stop being used? What was the guidance on maximising the area in focus? 

  61. digitalcinema on October 8th, 2011 12:17 pm

    even than the A-cam from Ikonoskop is only a 2/3″ sensor camera, the fact that it records uncompressed RAW and has a CCD sensor makes it so interesting that could compete with all the other digital cameras, except of Alexa and Epic. I would definately consider it for a test!

  62. Anthony Wood on October 8th, 2011 12:41 pm

    I notice the groups don’t comment on delivery systems. it’s great to view and critique on camera quality in a 2K theatre. But how much of our work will be seen that way? 99% of us will deliver to HDTV and the web, where the nuances and supposed “short comings” of the cameras for the most part become moot.

  63. Larry Wright on October 8th, 2011 4:20 pm

    Seems like those arguing that “fim isn’t dead yet” are either delusional or just have a nostalgic, affectionate attachment to it. Or they’re just so used to seeing film that they can’t let it go.

    Film is dead for anyone even remotely on a budget. Not only is it non-sensical from an economical standpoiint, but there’s just isn’t really a point to using it in this day and age. Many cameras in these tests either matched film’s performance or even surpassed it (low light, for example). Sure some tests really highlighted the flaws of the lower end cameras, but most of the flaws are either able to be worked around or are an acceptable negative when you consider how much money you’re saving.

    Basically, if money is literally no object… sure, shoot on film. Otherwise you are wasting your time and money for the ego boost of being able to say you did it.

  64. Ola on October 10th, 2011 1:09 am

    def learnt a lot

  65. Brianwlittle on October 10th, 2011 9:23 am

    Can I make a suggestion! Can you put this out out on Blu-ray, so we can see the footage in higher quality on our large screen HD TVs?  No, not all of us can be at the screenings, but I am about to make a camera purchase and I would love to see the footage to help me make my purchasing decision – OR – Make parts of the footage available for download so we can see it for ourselves.  THANK YOU so much for putting these test together, I can’t wait for the revenge episodes! 

  66. Scott Lynch on October 10th, 2011 10:11 am

    Hi Brian,
    If you go to our vimeo pages for the videos you can download a high quality mov. Episodes 1 and 2 are available for download now and episode 3 will be available in a couple weeks.


  67. We all Japan on October 13th, 2011 5:28 am

    The Great Camera Shootout 2011: SCCE ~ Episode Three | Zacuto USA

  68. EJ Roy on October 14th, 2011 9:49 am

    what about the glass?  lenses have so much influence on color and sharpness yet this important aspect is not addressed.

  69. Scott Lynch on October 14th, 2011 10:20 am

    Hi EJ Roy,
    We understand that glass can play a big part in the “look” of a shot. To mitigate this in the still life and 3 Faces scenes we used the exact same Fujinon Premier 18-85 PL Zoom Lens for all of the cameras except the Nikon D7000, because it did not have a PL mount. So, for the Nikon we used a  Zeiss ZF Prime.

    For more info on the Fujinon lens check out:


  70. Derrick van Niekerk on October 15th, 2011 9:30 am

    Thanks for the series, to me, some cameras were better than others, but none of them bad. I mean no one is gonna storm out a movie going, “Those skinetones are horrible, I’m leaving”.

    WHAT is the cool iPad slate app they used in this? seems useful?


  71. Stu Kawowski on October 15th, 2011 7:01 pm

    A bunch of HD cameras are tested for motion artifacts, color and skin tone.

  72. Lee Berger on October 16th, 2011 7:30 am

    Can’t open the movie in Vimeo.  Would be nice so I can go to full screen and see it in HD.  No full screen opton in embeded player, and when you go to Vimeo it says the video is private

  73. Zacuto on October 16th, 2011 12:36 pm

    The full screen option is availabe but not until after you start the video, I just tested to make sure and it went to full screen.

  74. Lee Berger on October 16th, 2011 5:43 pm

    Looks like it may be Google Chrome issue.  Full Screen available in Firefox.

  75. Scott Lynch on October 18th, 2011 2:02 pm

    Hi Derrick,
    The app’s called Movie Slate:

    It seemed to work pretty well for the crew, it allowed us to put a lot of information at the head of each shot which was really useful in post.


  76. Anonymous on October 19th, 2011 2:11 am

    The golden rule is know thy camera and shoot accordingly and no doubt the next series will be all about proving this as key to the process of any production.

  77. james wood on October 19th, 2011 2:21 am

    The golden rule is know thy camera and shoot accordingly and no doubt the next series will be all about proving this as it’s key to the process of any on set production.

  78. Brian little on October 19th, 2011 5:30 pm

    Wow, thank you Scott! You guys are doing a wonderful job…

  79. Jason Keane on October 24th, 2011 7:52 am

    It would be nice to be able to download episode 3 from Vimeo as my connection is too slow to stream, but when you go to Vimeo it says the video is private. I’ve been able to download the previous two episodes so this is quite frustrating. Any ideas?

  80. Mandy on October 24th, 2011 9:25 am

    Hi Jason, 
    We will be changing the settings on vimeo today. We always release first on for some time and then allow them to be downloaded. Thanks! 

  81. Jason Keane on October 24th, 2011 2:46 pm

    Got it…thanks! Great series!

  82. Jorge on October 26th, 2011 1:36 pm

    Okay, this is absolutely wonderful, folks!!!  In just 30 minutes of time, we had learned that:

    1. Global shutter cameras have no rolling shutter artifacts, whereas rolling shutter cameras do have rolling shutter artifacts.


    2. The more expensive, professional class digital film cameras have better overall color and skin tone reproduction capabilities than the cheap DSLRs recording in low-class 8-bit color space do.

    Good to know these things, I suppose.

  83. Stunko on October 26th, 2011 3:05 pm

    Hey, larry, I bet if someone would give you a 1000-ft of 35mm negative film and an empty mag, you could not even load/unload the film in a changing tent, could you? What makes you such an eggspert on film, I wonder? 

  84. Stunko on October 26th, 2011 3:09 pm

    The “performance” of the three Canon DSLRs here were nothing short of grotesque. Neither of them could record quality video worth dried kaka, frankly. The single Nikon D7000 outperformed all three “competing” Canon DSLRs in color, skin tone, and rolling shutter artifacts. I guess when you want to shoot video, a video camera instead of a digital photography camera might still be the better way to go. And maybe something that can record better than 4:2:0 chroma and 8-bit color in a seriously over-compressed codec, hmmm?

  85. Jorge on October 26th, 2011 3:20 pm

    And for that reason, the mechanical shutter and electronic global shutter cameras should not have even been tested for rolling shutter artifacts.  By definition, they cannot have any.  While electronic global shutter is great, variable angle mechanical shutter is even better. Which is why the Sony F65 will employ it. In fact, it will be the least expensive mechanical (global) shutter D-film camera when it comes out early next year. 

    I was surprised that nobody really pointed out that the ueber-pricey Arri Alexa Blue Kraut-cams use the el-cheapo rolling shutter design, instead of the professional global variant. So does the Red One and Red Epic, of course, but from them, that is less of a surprise. 

  86. F. Carver on October 26th, 2011 3:22 pm

    A really good Director of Photography would probably prefer to work with a really good film or digital camera…. instead of something really cheap. 

  87. Stunko on October 26th, 2011 3:30 pm

    It’s enough to include only those cameras that actually exist in the physical space and material world. No reason to “test” cameras that have been announced like a dozen times already over the years, but as of yet do not even exist for real. 

    I would not recommend the inclusion of any 1/2-inch and 2/3-inch sensor video camcorders, however, since nobody is actually buying these types of cameras any more, AFAIK. Not even the TV stations. 

    Regarding HDSLRs and HDSLTs, I hope we do not have to suffer through any more existing model Canons and Nikons. Please! In fact, I hope you would only test these two new camera models in that group:

    1.  Sony Alpha 77 HDSLT ($1,400)

    2.  Canon 1D X HDSLR ($6,800)

    Both of these particular casmeras have features and specs that blow the existing posse of Canikons right out of the water. Thanks, Scott!

  88. Jorge on October 26th, 2011 3:45 pm

    Shooting on film can actually be cheaper than shooting high-end digital. For starters, some of the D-film cameras rent for more than double that rate of a 35mm film camera’as rental price. You can shoot on Fujifilm (much cheaper than Eastman stock), and buy short ends as opposed to full rolls. Labs are bending backwards to help you and give you a good rate. If you are shooting at a 10:1 shooting ratio or below, going with 3-perf or 2-perf 35mm film, and especially S16 film, is worth the pecuniary consideration.  

    Also, when you shoot on film, you are extending the shelf life of your footage by decades. 

  89. Jorge on October 26th, 2011 3:47 pm


  90. on November 8th, 2011 7:20 pm

    Fantastic! On the web the F35 looks sharper than film! And is the only one that doesn’t have rolling shutter problems (actually phanton and weisscan don’t have either, but those are special effects cameras).

  91. on November 8th, 2011 7:20 pm

    Great work guys!

  92. Conrad_III on November 25th, 2011 2:52 am

    Execellent! Appreciate the efforts and comments from all involved. I learned alot.  Of course, I only gleaned the depths of expertise from those whose acyronms of descipline are unfamilar to me.

    While it is only a tool, part of the story-tellers palet, I walk away wanting to mod my dslr to export 4:4:4.

  93. Steve Weiss on November 25th, 2011 12:46 pm

    4:4:4 has noting to do with a story-tellers palet.  I’ve seen shit 4:4:4 stories that looked lovely and great stories told with the iPhone 4s.  Stories have nothing to do with image quality with all due respect.

  94. Mark on December 10th, 2011 4:13 pm

    Nicely put together, as are all your test videos. Any chance the 2012 edition will include the Ikonoskop dii? With a super 16mm CCD sensor and full 12-bit raw capture in CinemaDNG format for ten grand, I’d think it may well be the most underrated camera around. Unfortunately, no one is actually providing decent comparisons of it to other cameras.

  95. Andreas Hellebust on January 9th, 2012 1:34 pm

    Wondering how the Nikon D4 would fare in this company. Seems all DSLRs in this shootout had slightly more blurred video. Wonder if the D4 manage to change that…

  96. writtenbyrob on January 24th, 2012 12:20 am

    Wow! What a series! Amazingly informative. If you need camera homework, this is the number one webseries to watch. It’s easy. It’s super smart and extremly easy to follow. A must see!!!!!

  97. alex on February 1st, 2012 8:09 pm

    I hope to see next series of Great Camera Shootout whith comming nikon d4

  98. Steve Weiss on February 1st, 2012 10:08 pm

    We’re trying It’s up to Nikon

  99. Anonymous on February 2nd, 2012 6:56 pm

    Hi I just want to know what is the name of the iPad’s app that they use as a slate ..

  100. Anonymous on February 23rd, 2012 8:12 pm

    Great series!  Well done!

    Amazing how poor Canon DSLRS did with skin tone.

    Thanks for running the tests!

  101. Monty on February 27th, 2012 1:40 am

    Amazing series! i’ve watched everything 3 times already.  Please include a hacked GH2 with the driftwood’s new Orion v4 patch on the next one.

  102. Anonymous on March 4th, 2012 12:01 am

    What does image quality have to do with then? I’d agree with you if we were talking about the written word, but photography and photography in motion are a different sort of communication mediums altogether.   


  103. Dave on April 3rd, 2012 12:09 pm

    So then Steve, why don’t you and your crew lose the fancy gear, and shoot your shit on the I-phone then?? No? Why not?? Besides, tell me how any single-chip camera is recording an image at 4:4:4? It ain’t possible!

  104. Steve Weiss on April 3rd, 2012 10:29 pm

    It’s not Dave, what we are saying in this test but moreso in Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout 2012 that is going to be screened at NAB and around the world staring a week from Monday is that 4:4:4 doesn’t mean shit unless you have mastererd your camera, know how to light for that camera, know how to grade for that camera and have the artisic ability in general to know how to moviate light to create mood.  No 4:4:4 in the world will help with that, it’s all the DP.  When the audience watchs Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout, what they are going to see is DP’s that are masters of their specific cameras and know the total ins and outs of that camera pre through post.  The audience will watch the scenes blind meaning that the cameras will be labeled a, b, c… and they will write down which camera is which, it will be interesting to see what is liked best.  The shootout page will be launched in the next few days watch at

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