12 Cameras Blind Test: BMPC 4K, BMPCC, GH4, ARRI Alexa, RED Epic/Dragon 6K, Sony F55, FS700, KineRAW Mini, Canon C500, 5D Mark III & 1DC

A few weeks back, we featured some KineMINI 4K ISO, Rolling Shutter and Colour-Grading tests done by Polish production/rental house Film Cyfrowy.

They’ve been putting their KineMINI 4K through its paces recently, and earlier this week they released a massive 12 Camera 4K/2K/HD Blind Test done by Film Cyfrowy at Plaster Studio on Warsaw.

This blind tests features graded footage of the same subject under equal lighting conditions and lenses from each camera without revealing which camera shot what, puts film and TV production heavyweights such as the ARRI Alexa, RED Epic/Dragon 6K, Canon C500 and the Sony PMW-F55 are put against the new entrants Blackmagic Production Camera 4K, its miniature sibling – the Pocket Cinema Camera, the GH4and the Canon 5D Mark III & Canon EOS 1DC

Check out the 12 Cameras Blind Test below:

12 CAMERAS TEST – PART I – “THE RIDDLE” from Film Cyfrowy on Vimeo.

Cameras were tested on 21 MAY 2014 in Warsaw by Tomasz Wolski & Szymon Lenkowski PSC for FilmPRO magazine & FILM CYFROWY portal under the auspices of The Polish Society of Cinematographers PSC.

DoP: Szymon Lenkowski PSC
Cooperation: Adam Palenta, Patryk Jordanowicz
Test was shot in Plaster Studio, Warszawa
Actress: Maria Patykiewicz, IQ ART
Styling: Ania Iwaniuk-Zakrocka
Lightingr: Film Illumination
Gaffer: Dariusz Lisowski
Postproduction: Chimney Poland
Postproduction manageri: Hania Sawicka
Color grading: Wiktor Sasim

Arri Alexa XT – EBH
Red Dragon – Miracle Worker Sp. Z o. o.
Red Epic – Horizon Films
Sony F55 – Fixa Film
C500 i 1DC – Canon Polska
Sony FS700 – Film Cyfrowy Rent
Blackmagic 4K – Szymon Lenkowski
Blackmagic Pocket – EBH
Kineraw Mini – Prolite
Lumix GH4 – Panasonic Polska
Canon 5d Mark3 – OmProduction
Lenses Carl Zeiss CP2 – Horizon Films & Fastmedia

Ok, so the idea here is to take a pencil and write down which camera shot each of the 13 tests. There are 13 parts, despite only 12 cameras, because the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera was tested twice – one time with a PL adapter, and then a second time with a Metabones Speed Booster adapter, hence why there are 13 shots above.

The results may surprise you. See the video below for the answers to the blind test and compare your answers.

12 CAMERAS TEST – PART II – “THE ANSWERS” from Film Cyfrowy on Vimeo.

If any of you guys got all of them correct – let us know in the comment section below, as that would be quite a feat. I did get most of them wrong, but the one I nailed was the GH4. It’s overall sharpness gave it away, still pretty decent, but compared to the more natural images of the F55, and the Alexa the image out of the GH4 felt a bit lacking in dynamic range and overtly sharp.

The BMPC 4K and the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema camera held pretty well I think and produced vivid and pleasing images.

The Kinefinity KineRAW Mini despite shooting in 2K CinemaDNG raw mode here, held pleasing skin tones (given the grading of course, which was very well done to match the cameras as close as possible) which earlier models were something criticised for lacking.

The biggest surprise for me was the 5D Mark III shooting ML raw, which shouldn’t have been surprising at all, but I was expecting maybe a bit more drastic drop-off in the highlights on the left and the darks towards the top right of the model. Very solid indeed, especially compared to the RED Epic/Dragon and the C500. The 1DC I felt was a bit underwhelming in terms of skin tones rendition and dynamic range.

I think this test puts a lot of things into perspective, and it is good to see lower end cameras put against the highest end digital cinema cameras and how they perform.

For more cool footage and tests visit Film Cyfrowy on Vimeo, and like/follow them on facebook and twitter.

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