How Much Better is the $40K+ ARRI ALEXA Mini Compared to the $4K Canon C100 Mark II?

Even though the video below compares the overall functionality and features of the ARRI Alexa Mini and the original Canon C100 in particular, the significant insights it brings to the table are even more important as these principles can be applied to multiple shooting scenarios and situations, especially when it comes to dealing with the practical realities of picking the right camera for the right job. So, before you go out and rent the most expensive digital cinema camera available at your disposal, make sure you first hear what Evan Bourcier of LensProToGo has to say on the topic as the outcome of this comparison might surprise you in a way.

Imagine that your next project takes place in the middle of nowhere in Africa where you need to shoot for long, exhausting days (or even weeks) in a row relying only on the gear you have in your backpack. No matter how tempting it could be to take an ARRI Alexa Mini with you just think about all the accessories you would need to keep this high-end camera up and running.

The ARRI Alexa Mini is relatively small, but still way bigger than a camera such as the Canon C100 or the Canon C100 Mark II. Once you put the PL mount lens, attach a cage and an EVF to control the camera itself along with the battery pack on the back, the Alexa Mini camera rig becomes at least twice as big and heavy.


On top of that, you’ll need to carry even more accessories such as extra batteries and more hard drives just to be able to handle the greater storage space requirements that come with ProRes and Raw files of the Alexa Mini. For instance, you can keep the Canon C100 up and running for a whole shooting day by using only two of the genuine batteries the camera comes with, whereas with the ARRI Alexa Mini you would probably need four, if not six or eight fully-charged Anton Bauer Digital 90 batteries to be able to operate the camera flawlessly on a full shooting day.

On the other hand, there isn’t a camera system in the low price range yet that can come even close to the ARRI Alexa Mini’s proprietary color science and visual fidelity along with other essential aspects such as highlight rolloff, dynamic range and the way it handles the skin tones in mix color temperatures as these are all absolutely stunning. The colors of the C100 are also great, especially if you are experienced enough in grading C-Log, but the ARRI Alexa Mini is certainly the undisputed winner in that regard.



Furthermore, the feature that makes the ARRI Alexa even more powerful and outstanding camera system is the ability to shoot mind-boggling 200fps slow motion videos in 2K resolution without cropping the sensor. The C100 Mark II, on the other hand, is limited to only 60fps at 1080p which is a bit of a shame, so you’d better look for another option when it comes to slow-mo capabilities.

It’s also worth noting that the Alexa Mini doesn’t provide a proper audio connection so you will need to use an external sound recording system. On the other hand, the C100 is equipped with two professional XLR inputs and features built-in NDs which make the package more suitable for run-&-gun situations in comparison to the ARRI Alexa.

Apparently, it’s hard to compare these two cameras as they both have their strengths and weaknesses which is entirely reasonable and expected considering they belong to completely different leagues. The main takeaway here, though, is that you don’t have to shoot all your projects with the ARRI Alexa Mini, neither with the Canon C100. Just make sure you fit the bill and pick the most suitable camera option for the given task. By carefully evaluating all the pros and cons of each camera system, you’ll be sure that you are always making the right choice for all your projects.

[source: LensProToGo]

B&H Links:

Canon EOS C100 Cinema EOS Camera (Body Only) – $ 2,499.00

Canon EOS C100 Mark II Cinema EOS Camera with Dual Pixel CMOS AF (Body Only) – $ 3,999.00

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  • Eno

    The same arguments can be said about GH4 vs Arri as well.
    I’ll take the Gh4 for situations described above any day instead of a C100 mk2. It’s much smaller, 4 times cheaper and the image out of it is better! 🙂

    • Vlady Radev

      I totally agree with you, Eno!

    • lenslens

      But, not when it comes to low level lighting or audio inputs. So, if you’re using the Gh4, pack your lighting and audio packages, and hire a sherpa.

      • Eno

        I find the 4K image cleaned and downsapled to 1080p much better than C100 Mk 2 can ever deliver and if you add a speed booster to the equation, there is no advantage in DOF or low light what so ever in favor of the Canon.
        If you need pro audio, there are a lot of options to put underneath the camera.
        GH4 can deliver pro quality video in 10 bit and 4:2:2 (with an external recorder), C100 mk2 can’t offer that.
        In the end, GH4 + all accessories is still cheaper than C100 mk2 body only and if you need small and portable, you have that option too on the Panasonic.