Field of View Comparator – Epic, Arri, Canon, F65

Ever wanted to know what the field of view of different cameras are and be able to compare them … well now you can.

Able Cine has made this great tool and they have recently added all the new cameras from NAB 2012. The new cameras include the Canon C300, C500, and 1DC. The C300 and C500′s sensor is almost exactly the same size as Super 35mm film; at 24.6×13.8mm it has a 28.2mm diagonal. The 1DC can record in both HD modes and in a 4K mode. The HD mode uses the full frame sensor area just like the 5D Mark III, however the 4K mode uses a smaller APS-H mode, like the 1D Mark 4. All these options are now available in our tool.

Additionally, they’ve added the Blackmagic Digital Cinema camera to the list, which has a sensor size somewhere between Super 16mm film and a 4/3rd sensor like on the AF100. At 15.8×8.9mm it has a 18.14 mm diagonal, which leads to a fair bit of cropping when compared to Super 35mm and full frame sensors. The Blackmagic Camera can record in both HD (ProRes, DNxHD, and uncompressed) as well a full 2.5K 12-bit Raw format. The Raw data is captured in Cinema DNG format at a resolution of 2432×1366, however the captured image area is the same, so you should get the same field of view in either mode.

Alexa, RED MX, 35mm, F3, Canon D1 and 16mm side by side

Check out this video. Its a camera test of six cameras, Alexa, RED MX, 35, F3, Canon D1 and 16 side by side. Its a great test because they have shot the same short film with each of the six cameras  under varied lighting conditions.

See if you can pick which camera shot which version. At the end it lets you know which short was shot on which camera.

The Cameras used –
Aaton 35-3
Arri Alexa
Red MX
Sony PMW F3 (was an engineering sample)
Aaton XTR PROD (Super 16)

Cooke S4’s were used except for the 1D, which had CP’s

This test was done by John Brawley. John has racked up an impressive and diverse range of credits working extensively in the United States, Europe and Asia. You can go to John’s web site and find out more about him.

Alexa Vs Epic

Alexa Specs verus Epic Specs

Now I think this may get a few people talking. The specifications are from the Arri and Red.

I must admit the DTE, Direct-to-Edit, i.e. the Alexa’s number one feature is not mentioned. It’s still the one area Epic can’t touch (though 3rd party solutions are coming soon that will close the gap a lot, and of course RED will have a module of their own some day).

Oh, and the Alexa is also available today to anyone with the $$$, with all options and full kit. The Epic-M is still unavailable to most. The Epic-M also regularly ships without all of the parts — missing EVFs, REDMotes, etc.. This is not RED’s fault (Japan crisis, etc.) but it’s still a point of comparison today.

When Epic finally gets widely available with full firmware, it’s definitely going to be the camera to beat. I’m certainly waiting for mine. If I can’t wait any longer, I’d consider buying an F3/S-Log/Cinedeck over an Alexa at this point.