Back in June, we wrote about the surprising conclusions that seasoned filmmakers such as Francis Ford Coppola came to after viewing Zacuto's Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout 2012. The contest made many think again about video camera capabilities. Well, now the final piece to the documentary has been revealed, those same viewers might have to think AGAIN about thinking again.
Part 2 of Zacuto's Shootout left it to individual cinematographers to adjust lighting in order to get the most out of their assigned camera. Viewers were shocked to see how well a cheap camera like the Panasonic GH2 performed against heavy-hitters like the Arri Alexa. But in part 3, each camera filmed the exact same shot under the exact same lighting conditions. In other words, pure objectivity. Watch it here.
So, what to take away if you are a budding filmmaker in search of the best bang for your buck? The sweet spot of cash-to-quality seems to land on the Sony FS100. At around $5600 with a kit lens, this camera gives a solid combination of sharpness and dynamic range without creeping into the over-$10,000 territory.
The resulting scale of image quality pretty much followed the coinciding prices of each camera: the iPhone 4s at the bottom, beasts like RED Epic, Arri Alexa, and Sony F65 near the top. And thus, the surprising results of part 2 turned out to be much more a referendum on the prowess of the cinematographers than they were on each camera's ability.
Of course, there are those that will argue that the Panasonic GH2 is under $1000 and will give you great quality. But a camera like the FS100 offers a significant enough bump in quality and controls to warrant the price for a true video camera. But the whole reason the Zacuto documentary exists is so you can watch yourself and come to your own conclusions, without forgetting that it is the person behind the camera that counts the most! [Zacuto's Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout 2012 viaNo Film School]
Image: Screen Grab from Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout 2012