By technical editor Matt Allard:
David Stump ASC and Radiant Images have just put sixteen of the latest digital cinema cameras to the test. Each camera was evaluated for under exposure, over exposure, color rendition, green screen, and an extended low light performance.
By testing and comparing dynamic range, color rendition and other key areas, Radiant Images aims to give filmmakers access to evaluate and choose cameras and lenses based on visual comparisons, rather than relying solely on technical specifications.
Digital cameras tested included the new Red Weapon with Skin Tone OLFP and Low Light OLFP, the Panasonic VariCam 35, Canon C300 mkII, ARRI Alexa XT, ARRI Amira, ARRI Alexa Mini, Sony Cinealta F55 & F65, Sony FS7, Sony A7S, Sony A7R II, Canon C500, Red Dragon and the Blackmagic Design URSA.
It is great to see such a vast array of cameras being tested, including the new canon C300 mkII, URSA and Sony a7R II.
The color rendition testing examines how different cameras process and capture colour, and how true those shots were to real life. Instead of looking at color charts, which often seem unrelated to what is getting shot, Radiant Images uses a range of fabrics in different colors and materials for a more realistic comparison. A range of skin tones are used as well.
Radiant Images also tests and records a unique noise profile, or fingerprint, for each digital cinema camera. This effort helps in post production as the noise of each camera can be more easily removed without as much, or any, softening of the image.
Radiant performed the tests at Occidental Studios in Los Angeles. Noted cinematographer David Stump, ASC, oversaw the testing and colourist Chris Woods made sure the colour science was accurate.
Radiant Images provides innovative 2D and 3D digital cinema solutions, support and leading-edge, high-end cameras and equipment to the film and entertainment industry worldwide.