Yeap, you’ve read that right and yes, I’m aware of the fact that it’s 2017 already. But surprisingly enough, the point that Simon Cade of DSLRGuide is trying to make in one of his recent videos has made me think for a while as it probably did with more than 230,000 other people thus far.
So, how an obsolete camera comparison between an outdated piece of technology like the Canon T3i and a high-end cinema digital camera like the ARRI ALEXA Mini could gain so much traction and spur such vigorous debates online nowadays? Well, I’m sure that each and every one of you has a few guesses and certainly can express a strong personal opinion on the topic, but if you’re interested in the notion that Simon is trying to convey here, take a few minutes to watch the piece below.
In terms of technical specs and real-life performance of both cameras, this comparison test showcases the quite apparent differences that most of us are already well aware of and expect to see. The lack of sharpness and detail in the T3i’s footage in addition to the limited dynamic range, poor codec, low resolution, blown highlights, nasty digital noise, aliasing and moire artifacts are evident and the list goes on. The particular shot that made me ponder on the subject, however, was the one below.
I’m pretty sure that most of you would agree with Simon that regardless of how expensive is the camera you’re using, if you can’t light your scenes properly, or even worse, if the overall acting and narrative of your production suck, chances are you won’t be able to get to the tipping point of your professional filmmaking career anytime soon.
Now, forget about the obsolescent Canon DSLRs and imagine what you can achieve these days with a device that has the features and capabilities of cameras like the Panasonic GH5, Sony A7S II or any other contemporary professional camcorder, as long as you’re experienced and talented enough as a filmmaker and have an inspiring story to tell.
And, no I’m not fooled by thinking that a $500 DSLR could look similar enough or be on par with a high-end $50,000 digital cinema camera, as I’m sure, none of you is. But if you stop thinking for a moment about how desperately you need the brand new URSA Mini Pro 4.6K to make your next project look like a multi-million Hollywood production, and focus your effort on the actual craft instead while using the gear that you already have at your disposal, the results you’ll be able to get over time probably would lead you to success.
As Simon stated, “a cheap camera with good lighting usually looks better than an expensive camera with bad lighting”. And, I truly believe that he’s absolutely right. But, how about you? Let us know what you think about this particular quote in the comments below.