Video quality charts – February 2014


This chart is an overall look at the whole spectrum of video and cinema cameras from the Arri Alexa right down to the Fuji X series of stills cameras.

The thing you have to know about this chart is that it only takes into account the ‘overall’ image, the way the end result looks. It is also partly subjective and emotive – as filmmaking should be (not outright specs-based).

If you rearranged the rank based on a single attribute such as resolution or low light performance it would look quite different.

Then there are cameras like the Nikon V1 which have less moire and aliasing than, say, the Nikon D800, but ranks lower – why? It’s simply because I’d rather shoot with the D800 because of the aesthetics of the much larger full frame sensor. But in reality I’d shoot on neither – and that’s where I hope this chart is useful. It gives you an idea of the better options available for the same money.

League 1

  1. Alexa Studio
  2. Alexa / Amira
  3. Sony F65
  4. Red Monochrome
  5. Red Dragon
  6. Sony F55
  7. Canon C500 (4K with external recorder)
  8. Canon 1D C (4K internal – lightly graded only)
  9. Sony F5
  10. Red MX

League 2

  1. Canon 5D Mark III (Raw Video)
  2. Blackmagic Cinema Camera (2.5K raw)
  3. Blackmagic Cinema Camera / Pocket Cinema Camera (1080p ProRes)
  4. Sony F3 (10bit SLOG)
  5. Digital Bolex and Ikonoskop (well lit scenes only, ISO 400)
  6. Canon C300 (Jumps Digital Bolex for low light)
  7. Canon C100 (External recorder)
  8. Canon 5D Mark II (Raw video with Mosaic Engineering anti-aliasing filter)
  9. Sony FS100 (Internal AVCHD)
  10. Sony FS700 (Internal AVCHD – slightly more aliasing than FS100)

League 3

  1. Canon 5D Mark III (stock ALL-I codec) and 1D X
  2. Panasonic GM1 (only below 5D Mark III due to smaller sensor)
  3. Panasonic GH3 (falls below D5300 in low light, ditto for GH2)
  4. Panasonic G6 / Panasonic GH2 (hacked)
  5. Canon 7D and 50D (Raw video with Mosaic Engineering anti-aliasing filter)
  6. Nikon D5300 / D5200
  7. Olympus OM-D E-M1
  8. Panasonic GH1 (hacked)
  9. Canon 5D Mark II (stock video mode) and 1D Mk IV
  10. Sony RX10

League 4

  1. Nikon D800
  2. Sony A7R
  3. Olympus OM-D E-M5
  4. Nikon V1 / J1 (less moire and aliasing than others but small sensor)
  5. Sony RX100
  6. Sony NEX 5N / 7
  7. Canon 6D
  8. Nikon D610 / D600 / Sony A7
  9. Canon 70D
  10. Canon 60D / 700D / other Rebels

League 5

  1. Sony VG900
  2. Sony A99
  3. Sony RX1
  4. Samsung NX series
  5. Fuji X series (X100s, E-M2, X Pro 1)

Have I missed anything significant? Help fill in the gaps on the forum