Zacuto Compares ISO Noise And Sharpness Of The Best Cameras On The Market

Have you ever wondered how DSLR cameras match up when compared to film and high end HD video cameras? Last year, Zacuto brought together some of the biggest names in the movie industry to see how well the first round of video capable DSLRs compared to the industry’s standard film and HD video cameras in The Great Camera Shoot Out of 2010. This year they have started another series which compares some of the top cameras including 35mm Kodak 5213/5219, Arri Alexa, Red One M-X, Phantom Flex, Sony F3, Panasonic AF100, Canon 1D Mark IV, and Nikon D7000 (where is the D3s?), and a bunch of other professional video cameras. The Great Camera Shootout is a must watch if you are a gearhead or simply enjoy seeing how well the current crop of DSLR cameras are at video. In this video they goal was to compare the overall noise sensitivity and perceived sharpness of different cameras. You might easily got lost in the technical talk used in these discussions (unless you really study this sort of thing) but nevertheless it's pretty interesting to watch as a photographer or film maker. You can also watch other Zucato Shootout Episodes Here.

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David Lee Tong's picture

Nice collection... Any plans of testing the new Sony SLT cameras with the group? Thanks
Dave from David's Simple Photography

Patrick Hall's picture

I'm sure they will next year when all the new toys are out.  It's impossible to conduct a series like this with every new camera.  

it's just....WOW! Amazing! Thanks for posting such a nice video! Now I know that my Canon 7D sucks in shooting video :) 

Doug Levy's picture

Without the D3s (I know the video sucks, but the low light is awesome), this is hardly a comparison of the "bets on the market."

I think the reason why they left our the Nikon D3s is because they only chose all the 1080p hdslrs.

The Nikon D3s was done in the previous Zacuto shootout series, though.

This is the equal to pixel peeping on photos. The fact still remains DSLRS from canon are good, very good. So good they used them on the final episode of House, Iron Man 2, and  Captain  America. The problem is that most people that own these cameras are not cinematographers and don't know the proper settings to get the camera to react in the way needed to produce an image on the big screen.  The people in these videos do, but most of the viewers here I bet don't.

Fact of the matter is, for industry cinematographers the canon has limits, for BTS shooters and wedding shooters, your canon is MORE than enough and you should be happy with what you own because its a very powerful too.  Is a Ferrari a great car? Yes. Is it anything close to a Pagani Zonda R? No. Is a Ferrari too much car for the average person? Yes. Your Canon is a Ferrari. The film industry cameras are Zondas. One viewer said his 7d sucks at video. If it sucked, Shane Hurlbut wouldn't be using it so much. He's an ASC and was the director of photography for Terminator Salvation. 

We are at a point where film industry cameras and consumer cameras are becoming closer in abilities but the huge margin is knowledge of your tools. 

These videos are cool for pixel peeping but I bet many of you can't see the difference between the scenes of Iron Man 2 shot with the 5dmk2 and those shot with another format.

@themsquaredgroup....hmm i dunno if the ferrari vs zonda analogy is accurate...maybe zonda vs. a 911 turbo....depending on what ferrari you're talking, very close to a zonda.... :-)

If budget wasn't a problem, I think the camera that stands out the most overall is the Red MX. honestly, in every tests, it's always on the top 3. REsolution/sharpness, noise details, color details, it's always there... when you look in the shadows, the "noise" is superb. When you look at the red dress, the details are amazing, when you look at the dynamic range, it's TOP... so this is really in my opinion the best camera overall camera of the bunch... Now is it the most expensive one? I don't know... Is it the most versatile? I don't know... 

On the low end of budgets, the Panasonic stands out.