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Digital Camera Comparison Chart

I found this Digital Camera Comparison chart over at Fletcher Camera & Lenses, and it’s handy for comparing all the different digital cinema cameras available now. Camera choice in the film days used to be either Panavision or Arriflex, but now there are so many options in the digital cinema world. At a glance you can compare camera sensor size, lens mount, base ISO, latitude, notable credits, and more with this chart. This very useful when deciding which camera can best fit your budget and can help tell your story.

Digital Camera Comparison Chart

Author: Derek Johnson

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  1. Shouldn’t the C300 be added there?

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    • Since when does the 7D/5Ds have a latidude of 9 stops? It has only 4!

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      • Allan Smithee, on Act of Valor and the correct glass, I have gotten 12.5 stops out of the camera. You are doing something incredibly wrong. How can I help?

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        • I love that you buck the nay-sayers about DSLR hate. I remember when I was assisting prep for your AC’s at Panavision Hollywood (year or two ago), and your guys came in with like 9 DSLRs for a Nascar shoot. I think that was when Panavision’s dept. heads were debating to never rent to DSLR productions again!! And, here you are showing the world what these cameras can do, and that it’s not the camera, it’s the cinematographer. I love it! I look up to you man!

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          • Drew Maw, I remember that day clearly as well. Thank you so much for your kind words and thank you for your support.

    • Hey Payton,

      The comparison chart was updated as of 2011, so since the C300 was recently released my guess is it hasn’t been added tot he chart yet.

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  2. what about the scarlet?

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  3. Unless my online source is wrong there have been well over two dozen films shot with nothing but a Canon 7D and or the 5D mark II.
    The only ones I remember are Like Crazy on the 7D and For Lovers Only shot in black and white in Paris, France shot with the 5D Mark II.
    So, om those films those would not be C and D camera’s, right?
    This was a list from http://www.dvxuser.com (sorry, I don’t have the full link).
    Another one is https://www.facebook.com/enemyofthemind
    Enemy of the Mind which is a movie that I have not seen yet which was shot with the canon 7D which is that camera that I use.


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    • Michael Sammons, that is correct, but none of them are being released on 3000 screens US and 2000 screens internationally, as well as 200 IMAX screens.

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      • But Shane, your recent Act Of Valor would make it one of the first HDSLR to make it to those screens, right? It was shot entirely with the 5D MK II?

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  4. Just curious about your above comment Shane. What’s your process for getting 12.5 stops out of the 5D/7D?

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      • One, just share one tip that we don’t already know please?

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      • Not much to add regarding this except LOL :)

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  5. @Baron:

    Act of Valor (from IMDB Tech specs):

    Arriflex 235, Panavision Primo Lenses
    Arriflex 435 Xtreme, Panavision Primo Lenses
    Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Panavision Primo, Canon L-Series and Zeiss ZF Lenses
    Canon EOS 7D, Panavision Primo, Canon L-Series and Zeiss ZF Lenses
    Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, Panavision Primo, Canon L-Series and Zeiss ZF Lenses

    Company 3, Los Angeles (CA), USA (digital intermediate)

    Film negative format (mm/video inches)
    35 mm (Kodak Vision2 50D 5201, Vision3 250D 5207, Vision3 500T 5219)
    Video (HDTV)

    Cinematographic process
    Digital Intermediate (2K) (master format)
    HDTV (1080p/24) (source format)
    Super 35 (also 3-perf) (source format)

    Printed film format
    35 mm (anamorphic)

    Aspect ratio
    2.35 : 1

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  6. Hello Shane,

    I don’t know if this is a mistake on the chart, but to my knowledge the Epic also records to 16bit.
    The Red One is 12 bit only. but Epic should do 12bit and 16bit recording.

    But thanks for posting this chart, always interesting to have all info in one view.



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  7. Hello Shane!

    Are you going to write about color correction and finishing of the Act of Valor? Maybe some before/after shots?

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    • That’s a great blog post idea. I’ll try to write one in the future.

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  8. Shane, once again, you are the cheese on my pizza! Your blog is now on my morning routine list. I even run back through posts I’ve already read. I just wanted to report back to you (doubt you remember, that’s fine) on some of the advice you gave me for becoming a good director/DP. I’ve been analyzing the lighting in my favorite movie scenes and scouring the internet for behind the scenes of them. It’s been making a huge difference! I’ve been asked to be the DP of a short film by someone who liked my work (someone experienced)! Thanks so much, Shane! Also, I’m seeing Act of Valor ads all over YouTube. :)

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    • Thanks Tom!
      For the chart and posting / updating…


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  9. Hello Shane. Congratulations on Act of Valor, I’ve heard many great things about it.

    Perhaps you’ve covered this elsewhere: Did you use Technicolor Cinestyle on the 5D while shooting Act of Valor? Does cinestyle actually give one access to more DR? I have heard many arguments to the contrary, but have not tested it for myself.

    Anyway. All the best with Act of Valor.

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    • No need, Shane, I found the answers I was seeking, in another of your posts. Cheers. And go easy on the Champagne.

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  10. Thank you Shane Hurlbut is my teacher!

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  11. What do they mean by “base ISO”? Is this a lowest ISO? What is the difference between a camera with base ISO 800 and a camera with base ISO 320?

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    • Hey Michael,

      To my understanding base ISO is the ideal ISO to use for the highest dynamic range capture on any particular camera. It is not the lowest ISO the camera can go to.

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  12. Why there is no comparison of Nikon with other models? Nikon’s larger sensors are indeed better than other and J1 is the great contender in ISO family.

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  13. Shane Hurlbut; Thank you for keeping me inspired. It shows getting 9 stops from the Canon 5D m2, that it also comes down to knowledge and experience of being a gifted cinematographer. Thank you for your continued support through the Hurlblog, from across the pond in the U.K.

    Can you please try another test adding the Sony FS700, the Canon C300 and the Blackmagic Camera, it would be very interesting to see, as to where there currently pitched. Thank you to Shane and all of the team!

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    • Guy. Thanks for the kind words and support. I was just doing a 9 camera test for my upcoming feature “Need for Speed” which had the Black Magic Cinema camera, and the new Sony F-5. I’ll try and share the footage in the future.

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      • Just listened to your Podcast you did with NeedCreative Podcast, very informative. Shane, Big Thank you AGAIN, for more inspirational knowledge. Have you thought of bringing out a book/s, going by the amount of positive feed back it’s a done deal! Thanks again.

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