Tuesday, December 9, 2008

OK. One Last Shootout

Zacuto's Great Camera Shootout '08 from Steve Weiss, Zacuto USA on Vimeo.

Zacuto did an interesting shootout, covering pretty much the entire range for state of the art image aquisition in 2008, from 35mm to a D90 DSLR. They talk for awhile at the beginning of the clip and the actual footage starts about midway through. I recommend downloading the whole thing and then watching it in full screen HD. Again, creating this type of test is a very subjective thing, regardless of how hard you try to be objective.

What did I take from this? 35mm film is still the most elegant solution, both in the established workflow and resulting image. In the cheaper end, one of my favorites, the HVX/Letus Elite combo still looks pretty darn nice. A little soft, but pleasantly so, and as you'll hear them say in the clip, it required very little post production work. This is something that people really aren't focusing on in all of these discussions about what is the "best" camera, how much money and time you are consuming in post-production. You can also pick up an HVX used for a pretty cheap.

I thought the HPX 170 didn't look too bad out of the box, for the money. It'll make a really nice low-cost documentary camera. I'd be curious as to how it'd look with a depth of field adapter on it. I'm also curious why the color looked a little thin on it compared to the HVX, given that the image processing should be the same (if it was an HVX200A). If the HVX used for the test is the original model, the HPX should have improved image processing.

The new HPX3000 and the EX3, to me, looked the most "video." I also was a little disappointed with the color reproduction of facial tones for the EX3. I don't understand what was going on with the Red footage, it looked soft, maybe they used the stock "Red lens" (don't get angry, it's a joke).

My choices? For a feature, 35mm. For a guerilla budget, the HVX/HPX with the Letus Elite. For the "jungle documentary", the HPX 170 or the EX 3 with a Flash Nano from Convergent Designs.

OK. I promise my next several posts will only deal with creative issues. No technology.

1 comment:

Quintessential Studios said...

I liked your comments about the HVX200. Since I have one and I don't plan on doing film, I feel like I'm not too far off then. I don't own a Letus, but I plan on getting one as soon as I can.