$50 Camera Vs $50,000 Camera


So a fair fight can be fun to watch but sometimes you just want to watch a competitor get completely destroyed so today we’re going to compare a fifty dollar camcorder to a $50,000 cinema camera, not only will the differences and similarities be surprising, but they’ll also help you understand what makes a camera good. This is a Sony Handycam HDRCX 405 I got off of craigslist for fifty bucks This guy, this is the Red Epic Dragon. It’s a cinema camera It’s been used in films like the Hobbit, the Martian, Prometheus, and a whole bunch of other films. The brain alone on this camera is around $30,000. So we upgraded from the scarlet to the epic We upgraded from the epic to the dragon –
basically over three years ten thousand dollars every year to get to this camera It’s not exact but for the sake of the title of this video 50 dollars versus fifty thousand dollars sounded a lot better than fifty dollars versus Forty-seven thousand two hundred and Twenty nine dollars So the first comparison we’re going to start with is resolution so resolution is where the two cameras show their biggest differences at first we put the camera side-by-side with the same field of view at a glance they generally look the same And I think it’s a testament to modern camera technology that they do But once we start zooming in we’ll start to get a different picture here. The camcorder is actually very blurry and somewhat noisy compared to the Red. Also all the tiny fine details in the red really pop: for example the grate on the air-conditioner You can see the individual bars Versus the blurriness in the camcorder, or in the distance a security camera is clearly a security camera on the Red but a white blob on the camcorder also the bricks are another interesting thing that to take note of, because in the camcorder all that fine detail of the individual bricks gets blurred into one Smooth flat color because of the compression and finally cameras tend to encode different resolutions for color Versus black and white, so basically what we refer to as luma and here looking at the two images side-by-side We can see how the Red is getting much better color resolution on the blue gutters and red beams of the train station building Versus the camcorder where those just get blended into the same color. Is that real Wasabi It must be. So I love Wasabi peas and stuff and so I saw these, they’re wasabi rice crackers And I had one today, and I had the most violent Reaction to it ever. It’s not spicy you’re just like you like get paralyzed, and you can’t breathe. Nick, try one. You haven’t had one yet Do it. Just, you gotta chew it up, and eat it I’ll do two – you want to try two – I’m gonna try two, all right ready – if you suffocate just remember to keep breathing Mmm, Ooo! It’s hitting me right in the top of my palate …do this again. If you do two, I’ll do two, you ready? Three two one go. Yeah why? *intense sniffing* *cough* Why do I do this? [pained laughter] It’s like the… [laughter] No, come on Maybe you’ve been recording with the camera And you couldn’t really see the screen because it’s too bright outside, and you dialed in the wrong exposure settings, and everything’s really overexposed So we wanted to do a side-by-side test of the two cameras and see which ones could handle Overexposure the most gracefully, so starting off here’s the camcorder overexposed by a couple stops We can see that everything’s going to a very hot white versus the Red everything is relatively the same brightness, the same overexposure But it’s handling those hot whites a little bit differently and side by side You can start to really see the differences for example on Nick’s forehead or on the light on the camera and especially on the roof. Now if we try to correct these two images We can really see the difference between two cameras. The Red actually looks like a normal camera with correct exposure when we bring it down but the other camera the camcorder you can see that the white highlights on Nick’s forehead for example, or on camera’s little mounted light, They don’t gain any color back. His forehead stays white and just becomes a grey, basically, as we pull it back down Verses on the Cinema camera, there’s still detail there, and there’s still color data there So overall the cinema camera is handling the overexposure much more gracefully, as of course is to be expected But what it really shows you is that the camera is much more forgiving So if you make a mistake when you’re recording something you’re not going to get fired. So just like with overexposure, sometimes we have accidents, and we make our footage too dark So how do these two cameras hold up when we accidentally under expose our footage? Let’s take a look. At a glance here’s the camcorder and then here is the cinema camera. They generally look the same, side-by-side. Same kind of colors same kind of brightness. I tried to dial them in to be about equal by eye But once we start brightening up footage to recover it the differences will start to become apparent So for example here with the camcorder, now we can see that’s a lot softer than the Red and the noise in the grain is a lot larger. The cinema camera Isn’t really a low-light camera either but at the same time we can see how the Image on the cinema camera is holding up now here if we take a look at the dark shadows in the leg we can really See some examples of how the codec, or the compression being used on the camcorder is impacting the footage. We can see these large green blocks which are a byproduct of h264 h264 is trying to minimize the amount of detail It has to encode because more detail means more data So it’s taking spots of the image where there isn’t detail and trying to just average those out to basic flat colors So on Nick’s leg we’re getting large blocks of Green whereas in the cinema camera with a much better codec It’s still trying to retain a bunch of information and Data which generally is leading to finer bits of noise and grain here And uh, it’s just Drew Christian is the- do we have a last name on this guy? Lehman? Something caught my eye from across this video actually no It didn’t catch my eye from across this video, it caught my eye from our instagram because I didn’t even see it come in. Look at that That’s pretty cool Drew Lehman sent us some art inspired by our videos. There’s one in particular that I thought was really really really cool It’s this one right here. It’s a Peter 42 design. If you follow us on Instagram you might have seen this and what is Peter 42? I think he’s the forty-second iteration in a long lineage of Peters But I like this rendition though. This one’s like a lot larger than life this is even further than we’ve ever done We’ve got the cyborg arm. We’ve got bio-implants We have a ragged Tank Top – long wavy hair in the wind – A tuft of hair being swept away by the wind. Honestly there’s some really cool compositional stuff going on But any interest in maybe a shirt like this let us know if you voiced your support you might turn this into a shirt We might turn this dream into a reality. Vault’s kinda empty There’s a lot of white space in this area here if you have any art of your own feel free to just Dick Butt is already taken. Maybe uh send it to us, physically in the mail I don’t really need to… do I really have to tell you where our address is? [Auto-Generated CC from here on] The next test we’re going to do is that of color resolution we’re often referred to as color depth for the camcorder It’s an 8 bit camera So 8-bit footage means you have 256 values to describe your Red channel, your Green channel, and your Blue channel. Now the cinema camera is 16 -bit, meaning it has 65,000 individual values for the Red channel, the Green channel, and the Blue channel So we’re going to do a stress test here for the cameras First we’re going to show you side by side the camcorder and the cinema camera just looking at the blue sky and Honestly side by side without any change to the color they kind of look the same not bad to the camcorder but now we’re going to add some contrast we’re going to make that sky as Contrasting as possible to pull out as much color detail in the middle as possible. This is where things get interesting So I also pull up the contrast in the sky on the camcorder We can start to see is that there’s not a whole lot of colors to work with and in fact We’re dealing with a lot of the noise well you basically you step from a white to a Cyan to a medium blue to a dark blue a very dark blue and in the black now when we start to add contrast cinema camera with its 65,000 values of color for Red Green Blue Suddenly the sky looks much much nicer And we don’t see any stepping see a lot of subtle gradients a lot of detail is very much being preserved by the cinema panel So you may have heard the term dynamic range before? When talking about cameras what that means is it’s the total range of brightness that a camera can take in on a sensor from getting Detail in the darks to not flowing out and clipping the highlights So what we are going to test here is the dynamic range difference between the camcorder and the cinema camera in the way? We’re going to do it is by filming in a darkened room and then turning on a bright light so here we have the camcorder With a light turning on and in the moment it turns out to see nick skin blowing out on the cinema camera and the light Turns on it skin kind of blows up We see a lot more detail side by side you can really start to see the difference also note How the color is handled on the border between the shadow and the blown out highlights on the camcorder you see detail in Nick’s Mustache you can see detail on how the highlight rolls off your nose And that’s another important aspect of these cameras is how they handle that roll off to a highlight and your bright highlights You still want a touch of color in them, so on the bright side of Nick’s face on the cinema camera You can see detail. We can still see tonality. It’s very very close to white, but it’s not maxed out the sensor isn’t screaming I’m at a hundred percent whereas in the camcorder definitely maxed out There’s nothing you could do to fix that you’re doing it you’re doing your double drop it at a single one yet Give me that Chris. You can’t be pressuring me. If he hasn’t done it you guys I hate your solitude It’s fine for Mommy Somehow I know I’ll be three Your left you have to have a won games of the real tanks green ones with their extra stick Wasabi on them. Oh, oh, okay? Oh, you feel it a villain top my brain Feel it right here, and then it back right between your eyes literally right in my brain I don’t get real notable you get a close-up of that that the dank nug. That’s good it Takes a minute yeah, most kind already This is actually one of the biggest differences between high-end cameras and low-end cameras the camcorder is according to h.264 that’s a codec That’s used to basically take video Data and compress it So it doesn’t take up a ton of data on your computer so for example all the videos you’re watching in Youtube this video Right now is encoded as h.264 and what that’s doing is. It’s trying to minimize the amount of data it takes to describe a frame of the video for example as are sitting here this wall isn’t changing so H.264 isn’t spitting out new Data for this wall for every single frame of this video It’s basically spitting out the data once and then telling your computer. Hey this wall stays the same for the next 10 seconds I don’t need to read ascribe to you for every single frame and that saves data now the downside of that is if I were To start changing things every single frame, h.264 codec is somebody struggling to keep up because every single frame is different So I haven’t really ever seen anybody try this test before what I did is I took each camera I raise the shutter speed, so there is no motion blur And I shook the camera as fast and as hard as I could So here we are looking at a highly detailed wall and without much motion if we just look at this grass and this wood here On the camcorder we can actually see there’s a fair amount of detail and as we saw on the resolution test earlier the the cinema cameras certainly has more resolution But you can see the wood grain we can see the individual blades of graphs So all in all not that bad of an image now as we start moving this camera We look back at the same spot Suddenly We see compression rearing its ugly head all that fine detail in the wood grain all that fine detail in the grass it’s suddenly getting blurry that wood grain is basically becoming one flat orange color the rashes becoming kind of a blurry mess of Green and A lot of those fine details are being lost because to describe all the details for that one-frame fresh require more data for that frame in the camcorder in process and also we can start to see a bunch of compression artifacts or Waffles as nick likes to call them bunch of little squares all over the place waffle town population 30 Now going to do the same with the red. So here. We are with minimal motions. Look at this wall We can see plenty of wood grain. We see all the grass just fine detail the individual hairs and the little fuzzy On the grass now with a bunch of motion we come back to the same spot, and it looks almost identical We still see all the wood grain so see all the graphs We still see the individual hairs with seed Potholes So this cam core is the mayor of waffle town whereas the red just it’s more of a pancake I guess no awful’s in sight anywhere Hopping kids like me go Thank you a time. They’re really cool at a time You know it have to go for two that would be tank one hates bad no Come on How does it really disappointing reaction? I nearly died? The chest I should call color accuracy. We’re going to throw a bunch of different colored lights at a subject We’re going to see which camera can handle all these crazy wonky color lights so here We have the camcorder footage straight from camera we have a red light of the left blue light on the side and actually kind of a greenish light from the front and then We have the cinema camera footage and at a glance once again. They actually look pretty similar just right out of camera There’s actually a testament to all the engineering bullion to that camcorder. It’s being Precisely engineered to give you that one image as best as possible two cameras side by side without any manipulation Generally look pretty decent orange to red light is a little bit blown out on the camcorder versus a cinema camera But beyond that it look pretty good, but once we start color grading this we begin to see some issues We can see on the bright red side of Sam’s face a lot of detail and tonality is actually being lost The border between his beard and his skin is looking really wonky and then that blue side, we’re having issues the highlights and right We’re having issues with how those highlights transition into the other colors the border between the blue highlights and the orange is Really weird looking and kind of wonky and has some weird Dark Lines compared to the cinema camera And this is an example of once we start combining a bunch of these weird colors we start to stress out What this camcorder can process? Hopefully what we’ve done here is help illuminate what you should look for in a camera and whether you’re shopping for a 50 dollar camera a 100 dollar camera a thousand dollar camera ten thousand Dollar camera now You know a little bit of what you should look for in a camera, and what helps it get a good image also I want to give the camcorder some credit a little sony handycam It actually held up really well when just side-by-side without any processing it actually kind of stood up to the red It’s still a little beast. It’s trucking along you went back in time 20 years and drop that on from these desk You blow their minds thanks for watching and if you want to learn more about Cameras tech and all that kind of stuff. We’ve made a little playlist here of all the other kind of educational videos We’ve done
you know how to tell a story how to film an action theme how to make guns look real for an action scene and a Whole bunch of other crazy stuff. I hope you enjoy and I hope this helps you capture better images

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