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Looking for a Camera and Can't Decide? This Chart Will Help

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Whether you’re looking to upgrade from your DSLR rig or downgrade from your RED, it always helps to be able to do comparisons. Sure, you can rent each one and do an epic camera shootout, Shane Hurlbut-style, but most indies don’t have the resources to pull that off. So someone took it upon themselves to do the work and create a massive camera comparison chart to help us steer through the clutter of specs and features. And it’s in a nice, handy dandy chart for all to access.


The chart comes from the rental house, and was compiled by Tom Fletcher. And considering the business they are in, it’s very cagey marketing for them to put out this chart in order to give their customers an educated view of what is out there. The cameras included on the chart include:

The chart breaks down the major cinema camera models, highlighting the sensor sizes, max ISO ratings, dynamic range, frame rate capability, resolution options, bit depth, and then nuts and bolts features, like weight and power. But it also outlines notable films and TV shows have used that particular model. That’s nice because you can then see in a real-world fashion just how it’s been used and the end result.

The chart also offers what CineVerse believes are the strengths of each platforms, and lastly, its breaks out the rental charges for bodies only averaged nationwide. I rather wish they had put in DSLRs, the GoPro, and other cameras that are very popular right now. But for evaluating ‘A cameras,’ it’s a solid tool.

And what’s beneficial is that users can see that film is still capable of hanging with digital, spec-wise, even though Hollywood is eager to leave it behind. “The thing that stands out is that 35mm film, despite the fact that it's being used less and less these days, still has a few major technical advantages over current digital cinema technology,” writes NoFilmSchool’s Robert Hardy. “[The] most important of which is dynamic range, which comes in around 15 stops, maybe 16. Only the DRAGON sensor (with HDRx enabled) offers comparable dynamic range. Even then, film still has more of its usable dynamic range in the highlights than any digital sensor…”

It’s definitely a must have chart when evaluating what camera to use and what “digital emulsion” a camera man wants to harness when achieving a set look. Then again, Shane Hurlbut is on to something that you really have to see for yourself in order to make the right choice. But at least this chart gives you an educated place to start.

Here’s a PDF of the chart.

Big tip of the hat to

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