There’s never been a better time to buy a camera. Nearly every price range has a camera that can produce “cinema-quality” video and even brands like RED are coming out with relatively affordable options.
We are talking 4K at a minimum with large sensors and decent slow-motion capabilities and many of them can be easily operated handheld.
Loud&Clear took a look at just four of the most popular compact cinema camera options out today – the Canon R5 C, Sony a7 IV, RED KOMODO, and Blackmagic Pocket 6K – and put them up against each other. Can you tell which is which?
To set the scene, they are coming from the perspective of shooting Sony and RED. Sony in this case refers to their mirrorless cameras which are great for stills and have impressive video specs. However, the R5 C came out and showed what a true hybrid mirrorless/cinema design can pull off.
Wanting to get a good look at how the Canon performs in relation to some other cameras they felt you might as well just compare them all.
All these cameras can actually easily adapt the same lens, so to make the test more evenly matched he used the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L.
For lighting he used a couple Genaray LEDs, one to serve as key and one to illuminate the room overall. Then he metered it to make sure things were lined up in terms of white balance and exposure.
The test was simple. It featured him, a color chart, and a lamp in the background for a range of different things to check out. All the cameras were matched up as much as possible. All the footage is then just shown one after the other with blind labels so you can guess.
All of them look great, so it does come down to the subtle differences between the bunch. Those difference can matter if you hope to use these cameras with each other in the same project as A and B cams.
Now for the reveal of which is which along with some commentary.
A is the Blackmagic and it clearly looks a bit different from the rest. The biggest identifier here is that it doesn’t handle the black shirt all that well. You could pick up some artifacts/noise due to what appears to be IR pollution. This isn’t an unheard of issue with Blackmagic cameras.
Besides that issue it was hard to tell all the other cameras apart.
B is the Sony a7 IV and it looks good. Neutral color throughout and not much really serving as a distinguishing feature.
C is the RED KOMODO and if you are familiar with RED cameras and colors you might be able to pick up a slight green tint in the shadows. But even that is very difficult to pick up on.
And D is the Canon R5 C which looks great. All in all this is an impressive lineup and shows just how good modern cameras have gotten.
What were your thoughts on the comparison? Which would you pick?
- Canon R5 C Mirrorless Cinema Camera (B&H, Amazon)
- Sony a7 IV Mirrorless Camera (B&H, Amazon)
- RED KOMODO 6K Cinema Camera (B&H)
- Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera 6K (B&H, Amazon)
Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate partner and participant in B&H and Adorama Affiliate programmes, we earn a small comission from each purchase made through the affiliate links listed above at no additional cost to you.
Claim your copy of DAVINCI RESOLVE - SIMPLIFIED COURSE with 50% off! Get Instant Access!