Massive 1 Hour+ Camera Test: RED Weapon vs. Alexa MINI vs. Sony F55/F65 vs. Canon C300 II vs. Varicam 35 & More!

Here’s a camera test you don’t see every day – a massive 1 hour + camera evaluation that was put together by Radiant Images. The camera evaluation includes just about every major camera you can think of – from the high-end RED Weapon, RED Dragon, ARRI Alexa MINI & AMIRA, Canon C500/C300 Mark II, Panasonic Varicam 35 and Sony F65 and F55 to the more budget friendly oriented Sony A7R II, the venerable Sony A7s and the FS7. In the past here on the blog we’ve covered similar tests, which you can check out here and here (and also here) in case you’ve missed those. So grab a cup of your favourite refreshment and enjoy!

Radiant Images Camera Evaluation 2015 from Radiant Images on Vimeo.

Radiant Images put 16 of the latest digital cinema cameras to the test with the help of David Stump, ASC. Each camera was tested and evaluated for under exposure, over exposure, color rendition, green screen, and an extended low light test. Our comprehensive testing enables filmmakers to evaluate and choose cameras and lenses based on visual comparisons rather than technical specifications.

Cameras Tested:

Arri Alexa Mini (00:21)
Arri Amira (03:27)
Arri Alexa Pro Res (06:39)
Arri Alexa Arriraw (09:44)
Black Magic Ursa (12:26)
Canon C300 MKII (17:19)
Canon C500 (21:58)
Red Dragon (25:57)
Red Weapon Skin Tone OLPF (30:11)
Red Weapon Low Light OLPF (33:20)
Sony A7RII (36:48)
Sony A7S (39:41)
Sony F55 (43:23)
Sony F65 (47:53)
Sony FS7 (50:53)
Panasonic Varicam 35 (55:15)

Side by side (01:03:34)

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 19.23.59

It does take a great deal of resources, time and hard work to put such a comprehensive test together (thank you Radiant Images for doing this), which puts a few things in perspective in terms of how a camera would perform in comparison to another. However, I wish there was a more in-depth write-up of the exact testing methodology used by Radiant Images, and the reason being is that you can clearly see the A7s and FS7 in particular have more saturated tones and contrasty, which means they haven’t been tested in S-log2 or S-Log3.

I kind of also wish they’d included the good old GH4 in this test, it would have been interesting to see how (preferably with V-Log L) it would stack up against not just the Varicam 35, but also the Sony cameras and even the ALEXA Mini. The Blackmagic URSA is there with presumably the older 4K sensor, and it is not clear whether it is V1 or the Version 2 sensor.

In either case, I think the Varicam 35 in particular gave very pleasing skin tones and low-light results compared to the Alexa MINI and AMIRA. The Red Weapon for me and the ARRI sensors produced the most accurate and pleasing results. What do you guys think? Which camera performed the best? Let us know in the comments below.

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