The epic Zacuto Shootout is finally here! Part one is live

I have seen the SCCE test but not the documentary that Zacuto have built around it. The SCCE test made me go out and get an F3 (Alexa was too pricey!)

I will be sharing my thoughts with you on this documentary once I have watched it! So watch and enjoy by clicking the image below and tell me what YOU thought!

Oh yeah one last thing…despite this being all about comparing cameras remember that old phrase…it’s not the camera!


  1. Fantastic as always. F3 in the lows and Alexa all around impress.

    The head scratcher for me was the 5D vs the 7D. If a larger sensor is supposed to give you more latitude how did the 7D outperform the 5D in both shadow test and highlight test? I mean it was very obvious in both especially the over exposed test. 5D was a white blob out the window and 7D you actually see the tree.

    Can you explain this one?

  2. OK im really confused!

    why there is not an epic tested? First off I know that Vincent Laforet actually owns an Epic M as announced through the RED website, and yet he was there at the testing. Couldnt he just brought his along?

    Also there are a few rental houses that Rent them, In London there is the Post Factory and there is OFF Hollywood in the states.

    Would of loved to seen the epic tested, that really would of made it for me 🙁

  3. You mean they gave you an F3 at discounted price because if you played with an Epic for 5 minutes (like you did) you know there is not another camera out there that touches it… wish people would stop even saying the word Alexa.

  4. Should have shot with the cameras native iso’s. the fact that RED MX (natively 800iso) came out with only 11.9 DR compared to DSLRs 11.2 shows something went wrong here. its a glaring oversight giving misleading results, to people who will regurgitate these tests as gospel.

    lets hope the rest of the tests are more on the ball, and give some results that actually tally!

  5. Been looking forward to this for a long time now! What the test really gives me is a sort of “pick-chart” for when to use what camera and how to work that camera to the best of its performance.

  6. Very well done and very interesting.

    What I come away with is all these cameras are great for the price. The key is to shoot using the strengths of your particular camera, and help it out where it needs it, like with an AF100 avoid blown highlights by working on lighting your scenes for the look you want.

    We have come a long way from Beta SP days of maybe 5-6 f-stop DR.

  7. Great Documentary, congratulations to ll involved… huge amounts of knowledge to be gained from watching the pro’s test the tools of the trade. Looking forward to episode 2!

  8. Great shootout – little surprised that the Nikon D7000 was sharper than the Canon 7D and 5D and had more detail in almost all the shots. Sometimes the Canons had more latitude but it doesn’t really matter if the image is “mushy.”

    In the low light studio shot, look at the lamp and the ladies coat in the back – the Canons look horrible.

  9. Panasonic AF100 was the best camera. If you know how to handle your expose in the scenery while your filming I think Panasonic gave us here true colours and the most important for me it was the noise at the shadow areas and how well the camera performs on those shadow areas. The black colours of the dress was very good as well and the white. On the density test look how well holds detail on the well expose points.

  10. These tests always just remind me that as much as I’d like to shoot on a Red or Arri, the bang for buck on DSLRs is off the chart, and the tens of thousands of pounds difference would really make a bigger difference spent on lighting, sets and talent.

    1. You are absolutely right on. It’s nice to have a few bars of dynamic range but in that environment, you bring in a bit more light, slap a couple layers of ND .9 film on the windows and you have the picture you want. At the end of the day the client would not be able to tell the difference between the Alexa, F3 and a DSLR. The last shoot I was on they were actually mixing 7D footage with an Alexa.

      The Shoot Out documentaries are great and have good information but they really show what extremes you have to go to get a test to show the differences between the cameras. Before this documentary if someone said the 7D would outperform the 5D no one here would have believed it.

      Personally the biggest issues I have on shoots is the overheating and that is certainly enough to motivate me to purchase an AF100 or FS100. But probably not enough to shell out $13k for an F3 or $60k for an Alexa.

  11. Hi There,

    and thanks for the post.

    Thought it was nice to see a test like that although a test like that isn’t really viable. Be like taking 5 great microphones and setting them up in equal distance to the source they are about to record. If you did that, then the test would be void. One would have to incorporate the characteristics of the individual device. Same goes for each and every camera I have ever held in my hands.

    The most interesting part for me, though – was the, when the price of the Fujinon is taken into consideration ($85,000), disappointing image quality.

    Just goes to show that the Film industry is still super-charging its clientele. Because it can 😉

    Been infatuated with optics since I had my first camera in the hand, about 25 years ago. AS I saw that they were using the Fujinon which I have never personally tested, I was really excited. And just as disappointed as I had expected way more from it.

    The best comment, IMO, came from the Moulin Rouge Person, who said – it is all a matter of preference.

  12. All the Zacuto test told me was, compared to even three years ago, things are absolutely great in the camera world.

    There is no problem getting a good image out of any of these cameras, and with a good and native 11 stop range on a DSLR, a f3 that costs a third the price of a junky old Betacam, and the high ends eliminating the hassle of film…. well, mostly we’re mostly getting in girl slap fights about bezier patterns and such when we need not to.

    The Zacuto test, so far, told me everything is absolutely great right now, also it said, “light it professionally, and you’ll have a tough time figuring which cam you shot it on.”

    In short, have a beer guys, it’s all good.

  13. What puzzled me the most was this:

    In the over Exposure test the 7D performed way better than the 5D. Only, the way the tree branches looked outside the window to me seemed fake on the 7D. Then what was really funny was that after the Over Exposure test, one guy says “What really surprised me…. was the 7D” and then they start blending in the 7D again, only THIS time the tree branches in the back have almost NO detail.

    So – in this “strange” test – the 7D outperforms the 7D 😉

  14. Interestingly enough, Nikon did very well. I’d go on a limb and say that it even looked better (sharper) than the Canons. Have anyone notice that?

  15. So what was it about the F3 in this test that made you purchase? Im sure it will be explained in the later episodes but i cant wait 2 months!!

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