The digital film look on a budget – 10 years after the Arri Alexa, what gets closest for cheapest?

Comment on the EOSHD Forum

Hard to believe it, but EOSHD is nearly 10 years old!

2010 was a big year for digital cinema. The 5D Mark II was in full stride kickstarting DSLR filmmaking. Arri’s first proper digital film camera the Alexa was released and revolutionised filmmaking at the highest levels. Now all these years later I’m still looking – not for the sharpest, highest K, most featured packed modern camera but for a camera costing less than $1000 which has the most Alexa-like image.

Not on a technical level, of course, but in terms of the feel of the images and how cinematic the end-results are when viewed on the big screen.

Read moreThe digital film look on a budget – 10 years after the Arri Alexa, what gets closest for cheapest?

You can now get an Arri Alexa for £4900

Comment on the EOSHD Forum

Fantasies do come true for people willing to work hard over many years but sometimes, a dream can be realised simply by sitting down for a very long time and doing nothing, until the object of your desire becomes a bit old and tatty.

Yes, now is your chance to own an Arri Alexa.

Read moreYou can now get an Arri Alexa for £4900

Alexa Mini timing suggest C300 Mk II announcement at NAB

Arri Alexa MINI

Due to feedback from filmmakers in favour of smaller cameras Arri has introduced the Mini – but the timing is very interesting.

We are just over 1 month away from NAB in early April. The Alexa Mini is still a prototype and it isn’t due to ship until May. Clearly in the long term development process of this camera Arri aimed for NAB 2015 – so why rush out an announcement and a rough looking prototype at BVE in February?

This is the clearest signal yet that new Cinema EOS cameras are coming at NAB and Arri wanted to avoid having their announcement drowned out by a glut of other cameras.

So let’s look ahead just 1 month and predict what the C300 Mark II will look like…And whether a new 4K DSLR is coming from Canon too.

Read moreAlexa Mini timing suggest C300 Mk II announcement at NAB

Panasonic GH4 gets Arri film look

Test footage shot by Frank Sauer and Andrew Reid

Something I have discovered while editing all this GH4 4K material is that the 8bit codec Panasonic uses is quite complex and requires more power than ProRes. I have also found that the sequence settings and video proxy settings in Premiere are a good thing to pay attention to this time… the default ones no longer cut it.

Along the way I have found a few tricks to get the colours in GH4 footage to absolutely sing with Film Convert and Premiere using the Alexa Rec 709 profile.

Read morePanasonic GH4 gets Arri film look

Calling all colourists – Grade Panasonic GH4 4K ProRes next to Arri Alexa 2K ProRes

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The GH4’s internally recorded 4K files can be converted to a chunky 2K 10bit ProRes 4444 image which grades extremely well.

To test this theory I call on colourists to have a go at it.

Arri Alexa ProRes files are available from their FTP server. Details below.

Read moreCalling all colourists – Grade Panasonic GH4 4K ProRes next to Arri Alexa 2K ProRes