$500 Camera vs $50,000 Camera

I’ve always said that it doesn’t really matter what kind of camera you use But I’ve never really tested out the high end ones So I went to Video Europe in London Because they said I could spend the day with an expensive camera So we started setting up the Arri Alexa Mini which costs tens of thousands And has been used on all kinds of mainstream films Then right next to it my Canon T3i Which is generally regarded as a beginner’s camera and costs a few hundred The question is: How much worse is the cheap one? So this was shot on the expensive camera and unsurprisingly it’s very detailed image And I really like how it handles the color Then we move the Alexa out of the way
and set up the same shot on the T3i with the same lens in the same light And this is what it looked like It’s definitely softer, almost looks out of focus in comparison. Also I think the Alexa’s red looks richer than the kind of flat crimson of the DSLR But filming static objects in a close-up
is not a very good test So this wide shot will be much better
at showing the difference On the left is the T3i And on the right is the Alexa Which very clearly has more detail especially if you look at that chain-link fence Now I should point out that the way I color graded these was to make the Alexa footage look as good as possible and then afterwards I graded the
DSLR footage to match it So it’s not a truly scientific test more of a comparison of
what’s possible with each camera Ok so the DSLR is definitely softer than the 4K Alexa footage but what I am more interested in is how they handle difficult lighting situations For this shot I stood under an over-hanging building so the background was much brighter than I was But then we opened the aperture on the Alexa until we could actually see my face properly Now this is an example of what
traditionally bad lighting looks like The background is way too bright and the light is mostly on the edge of my face But even so with the Alexa we can see what was going on in the background it’s just very bright whereas the T3i in the same lighting completely clips the white on the building Especially here on the road It goes from gray to complete white in a very unnatural way So the Alexa definitely has a nice highlight roll-off It makes the bright bits look more natural But if I was shooting this for real and
I wanted to brighten my face I would just move away from
whatever is blocking all of the light So we just turned everything around And now the background was much darker and the light was coming from in front From just spinning around, both cameras
look much better even though it is the same location and still natural light the DSLR can handle it at no problem at all So a cheap camera with good lighting usually looks better than an expensive camera with bad lighting So then we got some other random test shots and what I’ve noticed is that the colors a fairly similar I’d say the main difference is the sharpness and it is most noticeable when we do side-by-side comparisions like this Next is probably the highlights On the the DSLR I do have to watch out for bright spots whereas the Alexa can usually handle it fine And if we look closely we can see that the DSLR occasionally has trouble with aliasing like you can see in my eyebrow here whereas the Alexa obviously doesn’t And lastly, if you move the DSLR very quickly there will be a slight skewing from the rolling shutter But it has never bothered me too much But I should also point out that the Alexa records higher frame rates for slow motion has built-in ND filters and plenty of other little features that are really helpful on large scale productions On the other hand it is much bigger
and heavier than the T3i and literally one hundred times more expensive So I can totally understand why a multimillion dollar film would rent a camera like this and during the shoot, I won’t lie the Alexa was a lot of fun to film with seeing how crisp the image was and appreciating that carbon fiber design but once I color graded the footage I was actually pleasantly surprised by how similar the T3i looks so as long as we’ve got half decent lighting That’s my opinion but if you want to download the original test footage before I color graded it there is a link in the description so you can play around with it and decide for yourself So thanks again to Video Europe for letting me borrow the equipment My name is Simon Cade, this has been DSLRGuide and I will see you next week. [outro music]

Comments 100

  • What tripod you are using please share!

  • I only get sad, if I watch this… to expensive… to good… I have no chance.

  • If thats a mini, then………….

  • The $50k camera is better, but is it really 100 times better? No. I don't think indies necessarily need to spend that kind of money on that. If you have the cash and have high hopes that your project is going to hit it big (face it, this is rare) then rent the thing.

  • you are compare 1080p to 4k that both has different compression. now compare 100 buck 4k video camera that use same compression that 50000 buck camera use. see different. your wallet

  • Can anyone tell me which lens did he use?

  • Even 500 is too much money to spend on camera crazy freaks

  • Not even attempting to use pounds when you are from the UK. That's a bit lame.

  • Gracias por el vídeo y la traducción al español eso me ha e suscribirme al canal Saludes desde colombia

  • I received footage from multiple cameras and one was the Alexa. I hadn’t heard of it prior, but noticed that the footage from that one was superb. $50K? Now I know why.

  • I like t3i's skin tones much more

  • que objetivo utilizaste?

  • This is good to know. I film with my iPhone and instead of buying a new camera I’ll just buy good lighting!

  • I have nikon d5600, im interested in making videos, what lenses will be suitable for good video quality in night aswell as for short films.. pls help

  • morale of the video , get a nikon and focus manually .

  • I'm sure you'd not used even 0.1 percent of what's possible with alexa in this video

  • You can’t compare a camera shooting in 4K to a camera shooting in 1080 and call the 4K one better. Not a very good comparison.

  • well this comparise is bad make movie in the same resolution 1080p

  • So basically there is a difference but at the same time is it 500,000 better looking?

  • i like the concept man! It would be interesting to compare a cheap 4K cam vs ARRI 4K (e.g. Sony a6500) since the sharpness bit might be in part simply because its HD and not 4K processing of the sensor's image.

  • Maybe a more fair comparison would be a 5D or a 1D, you're also using a L lens on a lowerend body that also has its technical difficulties.

  • Pixel 2 camera looks better than both lol

  • I get your point, is amazing, but i keep challenge you to make an “Peter Mackinnon” style vídeo 😉

  • What camera did you use to film this video? It looks very nice!

  • Some keep talking like unless you are using and promoting an Arri Alexa 4k 4:4:4, your are shaming yourself. This is ignorant, as he said there are times where you need 4K, and certain budgets yes, any time saving is worth it. He dismissed RAW & greenscreen as not required for small budget projects. Once you process that reality, you would also think Arri Alexa is wrong tool for the job. Its certainly not discrete and not going to sit well with small budget gear and lenses. So unless you have small budget solutions, then an Arri Alexa is really not helpful.

  • Which is the lens used on the alexa?

  • Anyway I don't have 50,000 dollars

  • Great video showing that equipment doesn’t matter that much. Of course there are a lot of stupid comments here like there’s so much f…ing difference that these two things should not even be compared. Such comments are miles away from the truth: Pro equipment is simply nicer to work with and you get similar results but you get them faster. It’s that simple. Okay, a crappy DSLR is too crappy – I’m not arguing that point. You can’t even get a decent footage out of it but at a push even a DSLR can give almost tolerable results if you can avoid rolling shutter. (I would not tolerate any event being shot on a DSLR, even a simple sit-down where the camera and focus can be “frozen” – it’ll be too boring). The rest is non-equipment related. And of course, a camera per se is something not even secondary but tertiary as you have to focus on lighting, sound, editing and other technical stuff, which as I said, is just technical stuff; it won’t get you anywhere without your ideas, script etc. So, I guess all the negative comments here are just because people think that a 100,000 dollar camcorder yield much better results vs a 1,000 dollar camcorder. Yes it does, but the difference is not that great any more. The technology has brought stellar image quality within the reach of everyone. It’s just that people who neither can shoot video, nor stills — they whine a lot about how f…ing important it is to have a full frame DSLR with super-expensive lenses because if you don’t use the f…ing expensive things, you are not cool enough or you are not a good movie maker or whatever. I even remember the time when the DV format was called inferior to Betacam SP because it was much cheaper (actually it is a much higher quality format) and not truly professional and therefore not cool enough. So, we should all shoot top of the line Panavisions and Hasselblads. But wait; what about all other stuff (sound, lighting, script, story, actors, editing ….)? Just great cameras won’t do sh..t, no matter how much you monkey around with them. Most people will actually get worse results out of them because they don’t know sh…t about how heavy-grade equipment is supposed to be used. So they are better off with simpler cameras. But no, they need to monkey around with FF cameras and produce crappy footage and crappy photos and tell everyone how important equipment is, and how you should get primes, superfast lenses, or creamy bokeh lenses and all the sh….t to produce even crappier sh…t. XD. And how they are worried about corner sharpness – like corner sharpness is the most important thing (in fact no serious people give a flying sh..t about corner sharpness). And the last point: This frenzy with DSLRs for shooting video is crazy. There are camcorders out there to choose from TOO. All you can do with a DSLR is a mediocre video and nice photos. No way! — You ain't getting the shallow depth of field they have in Hollywood. Oh, yes, I’m indeed wrong here because you can blur the background into sh…t and think you are getting a Hollywood level footage – okay, agreed – very intelligent – just blur everything into sh…t and you are a James Cameron or an Ansel Adams. Sorry for my French and for venting out here.

  • thank you for this video I will never use canon instead alexa because any pro eye sees thick difference

  • I have been at a few shoot with my Nikon d3300 and the amount of times it worked so well in low light situations compared to much more expensive canons. Lol

  • id like a new camera. but i dont want it to be that expensive

  • All this did for me was prove that if you want to make something with a great camera, rent an ARRI! I used one in a certification class and it was pretty easy to use– its just the price tag. I'll rent on my second feature! 😉

  • Great video. Thank you for posting this. I always wondered how much a prosumer cam lacked vs a top of the line cam.

  • It's about time you got yourself a Canon 80d …don't be stuck in the past!
    The quality of digital cameras are becoming more and more advanced, you are not proving much by denying yourself a good starting point when it comes to quality.
    Oh.. and if you shot in RAW with the Alexa.. your t3i would have looked worse than a potato in comparison!

  • Honestly the difference looks so small, it’s not worth 50,000

  • sir r u a film maker r cameraman ..can u workwt me a short film r film..as ur new idea..and i want a group who works for name r new idea creating..not for money..if y cal me +91..8073527972

  • now make a diference between the samsung s3 camera and Red cam

  • it might be a better camera. but your story telling youtube skills is priceless

  • So 1080p vs 4k… unfair comparison. On top of that, the lens… unfair comparison. At least grab a DSLR that films 4k and use a half decent lens. That's a video worth watching.

  • my amazon echo is going crazy!

  • can't afford both of these lol


  • look the same to me

  • omg the tiny difference is it really worth it i baught the t3i because its still a great vid cam in 2018

  • wow so many haters lol because the diff is very small and can be fixed in post lol

  • Thank you for convincing me that I don't need a new camera

  • thank you for making this video

  • Nice comparison. Especially noteworthy is the comparison result of a 1k vs. 4k imager. Dynamic range issue you found (white saturation) is probably the result of insufficient analog to digital convertor chip bits. For example, a 12 bits vs. 13 bits convertor chip which processes the CCD analog data. 13 bits would have double the dynamic range.

  • Which one is better
    Nikon b700
    Nikon d5500
    For personal photos

  • I would try comparing it to a g7 or Sony 6300 instead. It isn't soft because of the low bitrate of Canon t3i. Also Davinci Resolve do have a highlight control that let you fix a blown out window without affecting the rest of the image too much.

  • beautiful works are done with dslr and it is very good everyone has this opportunity to make their films due to the advent of digital cinema because in the past it was almost impossible due to the costs of producing in film, but even having many beautiful works on youtube with dslr or other cameras , when talking about professional cinema and important to use red or arri because it is a professional work that will be displayed in a 2k or 4k screen cinema or 3d and since we pay tickets we deserve the best, so the industry does dslr and various camcorders for other purposes and make red and red and other professional movies, I think it was well explained, I love both ordinary camcorders and dslr as the top and red tops.

  • lindos trabalhos sao feitos com dslr e e muito bom todos terem esta oportunidade de fazerem seus filmes devido o advento do cinema digital porque antigamente era quase impossivel devido os custos de se produzir em pelicula, porem mesmo tendo muitos lindos trabalhos no youtube com dslr ou outras cameras, quando se fala em cinema profissional e importante usar red ou arri pois se trata de um trabalho profissional que vai ser exibido em um cinema em tela 2k ou 4k ou 3d e ja que pagamos ingressos merecemos o melhor, por isso a industria faz dslr e filmadoras diversas p outros fins e fazem red e arri e outras p o cinema profissional, acho que ficou bem explicado, enfim amo tanto filmadoras comuns e dslr quanto as tops arri e red.Brazil, Brasil

  • you should compare a DSLR that can record in 4k (around $2000) to a $50,000 camera.

  • Medium vs Ultra High Graphics

  • I always liked the analogy of casey neistat; moving from a 50 dollar camera to a 500 dollar camera will give you massive improvements, but the further you go up the less improvements you actually see. A t3i with good cinematography, lighting, and story/editing will always beat a 50000 one without all that.

  • What do you use to edit your videos?

  • have you tried to grade high contrast (like sunny sky with clouds) shots and project this "vs." tests on a big cinema screen? that would be a good thest between 500 and 50.000 dollar camera. if quality is similar, then who would buy the 50.000 dollar one after that?

  • The major difference is the "dynamic range". If you are able to correctly (exactly the way you want) expose for a scene in camera, you can use any camera for filming. If you need to grade in post, you will need a camera with wider dynamic range.

  • what about canon 5d 2 marks with good lighting good story charismatic unknown non actors and of course with an anamorphic lens lol

  • I have a canon t5

  • Better, but not 100 times better 🙂

  • They both look good.. Kinda makes you wonder how we got good movies before all these new super 4kkkk mega fps cameras.. Its all about story .. Composition.. And knowing the balance of lighting.. Camera is nice but not the end all piece of the puzzle 😉

  • You should do the same comparison but both at 1080p, most of the sharpness issues with the t3i probably was related to the low resolution

  • At the end of the day isnt it about context. I havent seen a film worth watching since idk when. The difference in film quality on this level is irrelevant to people that really care. Being this is the age of the independent artist i say by all means grab that 500 dollar camera and make your film. Lord knows the ones with the big budgets arent doint it.

  • Poor guy do poor thing. That’s it.

  • Hi, sorry if this is not the proper place to ask this since the vid is a year old but I've been bothered lately on what kind of camera should I go for next. Right now I have a 600D (probably a T31 I don't really know because these models are named depending on where they are made if I'm not mistaken) plus a kit lens, on occasion I get to use a Prime lens and a Wide angle lens but I've been wanting to get a camera that can shoot more than 60fps and based on what I've found out even the camera I wanted to buy (a 5D or a 6D) can only shoot at 720p 60fps as well. Now my initial plan got even more expensive as I'm still setting to buy a 6D mostly for the full frame sensor it has (probably not a good move if that's the only thing I want to get from it tbh) and another camera for slow motion purposes. I've only seen sony products so far, any advice?

  • most interesting to compare Alexa VS gopro 😉

  • Thank you soooooo much for sharing this 👏👏👏🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

  • You made me feel very thankful.. Thanks for the video man! I really appreciate it..

  • I've been told that 80% of your filming activity is lighting and composition. But we all just love the tech and gear don't we!

  • this is like the comparison videos between GTA 5 on ps3 then GTA 5 on ps4

  • this isn't fair. get a cheap 4k to go against the alexa!

  • I would just rent a 35mm camera if I had that kind of budget

  • I LOVE your videos, and I’ve learned a lot. I made my first short this year, and entered it into a local film festival. Everyone loved it! Thanks for helping us, and creating these videos!

  • Is that you Harry?

  • Digital Video is garbage, so who gives a shit?

  • 4K vs HD ?

  • Im not gonna buy Alexa so that my Acne will not that noticable.

  • Well doesn't the fact that you are using prores format as opposed to h264 make the difference…if t3i doesn't do prores then you should have done h264 for arri to make the comparison no? I don't understand. There is no way i can use prores, the file sizes are huge and I don't have bandwith to sit there and let a 2min video upload overnight….

  • its just a question of 1 setup, 2 lightning, 3 colour corr. and: HANDLING / WORKFLOW

  • Dude… Canon and that T3i in particular, has terrible dynamic range and color depth. Even the tiny GH5 sensor whoops its ass. Canon doesn't even use the full sensor and downscale the image. If you care about these sorts of things, you'd probably be shooting Sony mirrorless (or Canon C-series, Sony FS, for more money). Anyway, the differences between a better affordable mirrorless and the Alexa aren't in the sensor. It's that big box that houses the sensor. If you compare your T3i to a decent Sony mirrorless it would also pale in comparison.

  • You dont know how to reap the benefits of a cinema camera.
    Very unprofessional video.

  • Great video as always! So, any recommendations for a $500 besides Canon T3i? Even a used Panasonic GH3 or 4 ?

  • thanks, for the good video, seems like you know alot about film, good videos,.

  • https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjt9HqSeMspB-aA9mHmoW4A

  • Not the kit lens on T3I Though, not 500$

  • Martin scorsese has summed all that has been said below, into one sentence ? IT IS NOW POSSIBLE TO MAKE A GOOD MOVIE WITH A CAMERA THE SIZE OF A DOORKNOB,AND SHOW IN A 1500 SEATER, ALL THE ODEONS HAVE GONE. ie with a DSLR.

  • On 2:34 your hair look like after not so clean chromakey 🤔🤔🤔

  • Arri and those Hollywuzz people are always trying to intimidate and scare and keep the products and themselves as distant and out of reach as possible. Remember this knowledge and opportunity is power and access. They will jack up the price of a piece of metal exp "French Flag" can cost $500.

  • I use a panasonic gh5 with some add ons

  • You have a very soothing voice

  • they look the same to me

  • If you put on better lenses on T3i will make better images. It great to see that you can use T3i on any project and can be seen on the movie screen. Everyone keep on saying that we need 4K but really you just use what you have access to. Second invested in good lighting is a way to go as well good audio too.

  • Watch a 30 mins video in 3 mins. The BEST extension in google chrome store. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/threelly-ai-for-youtube/dfohlnjmjiipcppekkbhbabjbnikkibo
    Plus,the state of the art Artificial Intelligence algorithms automatically analyzes videos to locate and pull the precise location of key points of interest like – topics, scenes, people, sentiments, brands, expressions, labels and much more. Allowing you to rapidly gain intelligent insights from any video.

  • Great video, man. Thank you very much!

  • Wow… I’m surprised as a video maker… not gonna lie… all that logic breakdown you said makes sense…. on a small 10” iPad screen…. the T3i footage actually looks better….

  • im on 30 seconds into this video and i can tell you right now the camera you used to record this video in general is amazing.

  • Yeah there’s a small difference but not a £50,000 difference.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *