Alexa vs C500 Camera Tests

Alexa vs C500 Camera Tests

Camera Tests

Posted By  on Oct 24, 2013

Alexa vs C500

Arri vs. Canon


In this corner, weighing 13.7 lbs. and a height of 13 inches and boasting 2.8K imagery, The Arri Alexa!!!!!
In the other corner, weighing 6 lbs. and a height of 7 inches displaying 4K capture, The Canon C500!!!!

When we started prep on Need for Speed, the Director Scott Waugh wanted me to do an extensive camera test of all of the possible players on the market so that we could find the visual voice of Need for Speed. This was a daunting task to pull off. Zacuto had done the Great Camera shootout. I loved the in-depth tests that the experienced cinematographers had put them through. However, when you are going for a specific look, these tests need to be done internally so that you can personally see which camera sensor responds best with the specific way that you expose.

Arri Alexa – shot with Arri RAW 2.8K and Codex S Recorder
Canon C500 – shot with Canon RAW 4K and Codex S Recorder

“Digital Emulsions”

I compare digital camera sensors to film emulsions. The reason a cinematographer selects a specific camera for their film is the look and feel of the sensor and their lenses, not because they are under contract with them. The choice is made based on the fact that they love the way the sensor delivers their vision, which helps create their art.

My favorite film stock to use is Kodak. Out of the 17 films that I have shot in my career, 15.25 were shot on Kodak film stock. I embraced Canon back in the spring of 2009 because it was the right tool to tell the story on Act of Valor. When viewing our tests, the Canon color space on the big screen felt like Kodak. For the first time, in my opinion, the digital image looked organic. It looked cinematic. I believe you choose whatever sensor is best for the story and that may mean incorporating multiple cameras. One thing that I pride myself in is the integration of using multiple formats to tell your story and with that using what each digital sensor does best. This is paramount. It is not one size fits all!!

In this blog, you are about to embark on a journey of my discovery, not someone else’s. That is as unbiased as I can be. I will describe the subtle details in narration so that it is a much more immersive experience. I know that these images are not in 2.8K and 4K for your review, but we are limited by the internet. I think the details that I am pointing out still shine in HD. These extensive tests between the Alexa and the C500 were conducted over three days with seven other cameras.  — read entire post at:



You can be the first one to leave a comment.

Leave a Comment


CommentLuv badge


Follow me on Twitter

Facebook login by WP-FB-AutoConnect