ARRI ALEXA Mini vs BMPCC 4K – Side-by-Side Footage Comparison

We have seen so many camera comparison tests lately. Apparently, the BMPCC 4K is a mandatory contender in the majority of them, but this time we have a chance to see the Pocket 4K stacking up against the very best.

Mateo Bertolli has kindly uploaded some nice test footage that compares the ARRI ALEXA Mini and the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. The footage is available here to view and learn from, so without further ado, let’s dive right in.

First and foremost, these cameras are wildly different – their sensor sizes, body styles, pictures and of course prices. Is it fair to compare them? It is certainly interesting.

The gap between top-end professional cameras like ARRI’s, RED’s and the flagships from Sony and Canon, and affordable models from Blackmagic, Panasonic and Sony and Canon’s own ranges, is closing fast.

This is, of course, fantastic news for the camera industry in general and especially for those of us on a budget that is less than Christopher Nolan’s.

Arri Alexa Mini LOG

Arri Alexa Mini LOG

BMPCC BRAW

BMPCC BRAW

These tests are interesting particularly as they relate to skin-tone in different lighting scenarios.

I am often pleasantly surprised by tests such as these, to see just how fantastically well the cheaper cameras perform. This test is no exception. There are some sharpness and focus issues which are rather distracting but beyond that, I think the BMPCC 4K looks great.

Night Test

Night Test

The framing is not identical on the images and we are not given f-stop info, though we do know the lens is the same for both cameras, a PL mount Sigma 18-35mm.

Indoor Artifical Light

Indoor Artifical Light

The highlight areas look a little hot in one image, this makes sense as the dynamic range of the ARRI is wider and the highlights have a smoother roll-off.

The biggest difference for me in these tests is the lower contrast in the mid-tones, particularly on the models face of the ALEXA Mini. When adjusting the custom LUT of the BMPCC this could be a fairly simple tweak.

It is very hard to draw a fair comparison between these cameras, even more so on YouTube, but it is encouraging that the little Blackmagic more than holds its own in the game.

Outdoor test

Outdoor test

[source: Matteo Bertoli Visuals]

Order Links:

Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 4K (B&H, Amazon)

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