This was some test footage shot for another party's purposes that I have re-cut into a comparison between Arri and Red. How exciting! First, here are the settings of the two cameras.
Alexa Classic: 2880x1620 in both ARRIRAW and ProRes 4444. Record Speed: 29.97FPS. ISO is 800 unless otherwise noted. Color Space is LogC. Lenses were Zeiss Super Speeds.
Epic: 4800x2700 10 bit. Record Speed: 29.97FPS. ISO is 800 unless otherwise noted. Color Space is RedColor 3. Gamma is RedLog Film. Shot with EF L series lenses: 24-70mm and 70-200mm.
Because of frame differences, the focal lengths of the lenses don't match between the two cameras. It also became evident after a few shots that the Red required an extra stop to reach the same exposure as the Alexa (womp womp). The client requested that we compensate for this using the shutter angle because that is what mattered least for their purposes. Sorry! Because of the many discrepancies, this test is definitely imperfect. But there is plenty to see nonetheless. The most obvious thing to my eye is the noise in the blacks in the Red footage. I also see more detail in the highlights on the Alexa. Unfortunately, the Vimeo compressor really conceals these differences, so if anyone is interested, message me with your address and I'll mail you a DVD with a Quicktime file.
For those who would like the arduous details about the post process, I'll write that out as well. The Red footage went into RedCine first where I applied the color space RedColor 3 and the gamma curve RedLog Film. I didn't touch anything else. Then I created proxies and sent them over to Avid MC7. For the ArriRaw footage, I started in Resolve, created proxies, and sent them to MC7. The Arri ProRes stuff just went straight into Avid. (Yes, I know the ProRes footage can serve as ArriRaw proxies but it seemed easiest on my brain to just keep them separated). Then I sliced and diced this video together. Next I exported an ALE back to Resolve when I found that none of my amazing split screens would carry over. Nonetheless, I relinked the sequence to the RAW media in Resolve. Then I transcoded it all to DNxHD 220 and sent the ALE back to Avid. There, I exported it in 1080p with an H264 compression. And then, finally, many times degraded, it appears here on Vimeo. Post sure is complicated!
Arri Alexa Mini
Arri Alexa Mini
Tilta Camera Rig
15mm bridge plate
4 256GB CF cards
4 V140 batteries w/charger
AC power supply
All Items : $1000/day. When owner is DP $666/day
Support, AKS, and Monitors
O'Connor 2575A Mitchell Mount
Standard Sticks w/spreader
Baby Sticks w/spreader
Handheld Grips w/shoulder pad
FF2 follow focus
MB12 Matte Box
4×5.6 filters ND3 & ND6
138mm Circular Polarizer
TV Logic 7" On board monitor w/Israeli arm and Ultra Lite Arm
Panasonic BTLH1710 Director's monitor
All Items : $500/day. When owner is DP $333/day
Alexa Classic vs. Red Epic MX
Alexa Classic vs. Canon 7D
Unfortunately, this is a rather small screen and Vimeo does compress the original files. So the difference isn't as clear as would be apparent on a television or theater screen. But nonetheless, several difference are here to note. Take the first side-by-side shot and look at the tires, the grass behind the car, and even the car itself. Compare it to the 7D where the black in the tires is muddy, the grass is less colorful and crisp, and the silver car has escaped into white. Sorry the next shot doesn't match better. In the shot of the car driving through the fog, the differences are subtle, but look at the trees on the right side of the frame. On the Alexa, you can count them, on the 7D you can't. The shot with the couple sitting under a tree is a great example of the difference in latitude. While both cameras have exposed the shadow areas, the Alexa was able to captured areas hit by direct sunlight which the 7D could not. Hence on the 7D, those areas are blown out and zero information was captured. When no information exists, it is impossible to fix in post. The shot through the windshield of the car has the best example of color strength. From here on out, keep an eye on the sky. As we get into the couple in the field, you can see that the Alexa will get you a blue sky, while the 7D will lose it into white. Colors and definition play a big part in the rest of the video. Note especially the definition in the grass during the wide shot of the couple looking at the sunset. The flares are different as well, though I don't want to make any claims about them since they are mostly dependent on the lenses that were used. Going back a few shots, watch the motion in the handheld shot of the girl picking flowers. Look at each camera individually and note the difference in the way the camera moves. All the shots at the beginning and end of the video were shot on the Alexa. As I note, the only color correction I did was because the 7D came out looking warmer in the magenta-y way. It was hard to notice any other differences before I compensated for that. Feel free to comment if you have an questions or would like to see something else!
CAMERA SETTINGS Resolution: Alexa - ProRes 444 1080p 24; 7D - 1080p 24 Color Space: Alexa - Rec709; 7D - standard ISO: 320 on both Color Temp: 5600 on both Shutter: Alexa - 180 degrees; 7D- 1/50 Exposure: ND filters and aperture matched on all shots Lenses: Alexa - Zeiss MK2 super speeds; Canon 18-135 zoom
Explaination of Rates
RATES WITH OWNER: Rates are lower when equipment goes out with the owner. But please note, equipment rates do not include DP services.
WEEKLY RENTAL: Weekly rates are charged as 2 days. Note this is different from most rental houses that charge for 3 days.
WEEKEND: Weekends are charged as a single day.
EXTENDED RENTAL: Contact Olivia directly if you have a long term rental to discuss. Such things are determined on a case by case basis.
Insurance and Transport
INSURANCE: Insurance is required to rent equipment with very few exceptions. The replacement value will vary based on what you rent. If you are in the market for short term insurance, Frankel & Associates offers a rented equipment policy for $285 for the first 2 days and $65 for each subsequent day. Note that this policy does not cover anything other than damage to the equipment you rent. They do offer full production insurance as well.
PAYMENT: Unless otherwise explicitely agreed to, payment is due before the rental begins. Olivia can accept check, cash, or for a 3% fee, PayPal or credit card.
TRANSPORTATION: If Olivia will be shooting your film, she will take care of the equipment transportation for you, unless your location is outside of Los Angeles county or requires the use of an unpaved road to get there. She'll bring the gear to set every day, and take it home every night unless it can safely be left on location. If you are renting the camera on its own, you will need to provide your own transportation.
CHECKOUT & PREP: You are encouraged to send your AC to do a prep the day before your rental. Olivia is happy to host in West Hollywood. But you are also welcome to pick up the gear without a prep.
RETURN: Barring any specific agreement, returns must be made before 10am on the day after the rental. The gear will be inspected shortly after and you will be informed of any loss or damage.
LATE FEES: Just please don't be late!