Most people don’t need to be told the Alexa is probably the most popular cinema camera in the world. We all know it’s good, so this video isn’t a comparison.
Instead, it’s a video for newcomers or for those looking to understand the differences between a $1,295 camera and a $50,000+ camera.
I test three cameras:
- Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K + 12-35mm f/2.8 II
- Arri Alexa XT + Ultra Primes
- Panasonic GH5 + 12-35mm f/2.8 II
We tested for two situations, interior and exterior.
Interior was tested for neutral middle grey exposure, +3 and -3 stop exposures. The shutter angle/speed was manipulated to keep colors consistent. We tested at two ISOs – 400 and 3200. This was mainly a comparison where the Pocket 4K was center-stage.
We shot both RAW and Prores for the Alexa XT and the Pocket Cinema Camera. With Arri it was 2.8K in Arriraw and 2K in Prores HQ. With the Pocket Camera 4K it was 4K DCI in CDNG Lossless and Prores HQ. With the Panasonic GH5 it was UHD in All-I 400 Mbps 10-bit 4:2:2.
For the exterior test we shot random footage just outside the rental facility, provided by GS Video, Mumbai. Everything was paid for, so no free stuff!
The Alexa obviously is easy to make out – with shallow depth of field. We were using an Ultra Prime at T2, while the other two cameras were at f2.8. But they definitely could be matched, all three of them.
I’m amazed by the image quality coming from the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. It’s definitely a game changer. Get the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K here:
Apologies for the out of focus face. I’m dependent on Sony AF Face detection. Usually it works, this time it decided the girl’s face was more important. Can’t compete with that. I would have done the same.
Don’t worry if it’s hard to differentiate between the three cameras in the outdoor test. Even I would have trouble had I not shot this myself, and even professionals won’t get it right all the time – they won’t admit to it!
Here are clips in order of presentation, starting about 17:10:
BMPCC4K, Alexa XT, GH5, GH5, Alexa XT, Alexa XT, BMPCC4K, BMPCC4K, and the close up Alexa XT, GH5, Alexa XT, Alexa XT, Alexa XT, BMPCC4K, Alexa XT
The Pocket Camera has great colors and dynamic range. It’s definitely better than the GH5 in both colors and dynamic range. The GH5 is still a great camera, with the right profile. The Alexa XT is a different class. There is NO QUESTION. Real gold vs gold plated, understood?