Top 3 digital cameras used in feature films today

By | Published April 19th, 2015 | in Gear

Top 3 digital cameras used in feature films today

Keeping up with the ever-changing world of digital cameras is no easy task.

There are so many that hit the market it’s hard to know who uses what. 

Especially for use in feature films.

Knowing which camera is the best and most current solution for your needs is not always apparent. As it stands right now in 2015, most feature productions have preferred using one of these three camera brands/models for several years now, marking these as the current champs in the world of cinema. 

So let’s dive into this world and see which cameras are the hottest on the market.

The Top 3 Digital Video Cameras used in Feature Films (2020)

 

RED DRAGON 6K Digital Camera

This red-cam has been used in such films as Pacific Rim, The Hobbit trilogy, Guardians of the Galaxy, and many more. 

It seems to be a favorite for movies with heavy VFX (yet there is no data to prove that integrating the two is superior to the other cameras listed below). 

This probably has something to do with the innovative 6K Dragon sensor that captures over 9x more pixels than HD. Reproduces stunning detail and native exposure eclipse 35mm in both latitude and image density. 

This camera is able to shoot in super low light situations and keep the digital noise to it’s absolute minimum. 

The RED Dragon also shoots high speed up to 100 fps in 6K, all the way to 300 fps in 2k and everything in between. 

Boasting many other valuable features that we don’t have time to discuss, this camera is a serious contender in the ring of Cinema.

Red Dragon Tech Specs 

Sensor Resolution: 6144 x 3160

Signal to Noise Ratio: 80db

Dynamic Range: 16.5+ stops

Lens Coverage: 30.7mm (h) x 15.8mm (v) x 34.5 mm (d) (5K on DRAGON is about the same size as it is now, 6K is slightly larger at a 1.173x crop)

Formats:

6K (2:1, 2.4:1, Anamorphic)

5K (Full Frame, 2:1, 2.4:1 and Anamorphic 2:1)

4.5K (2.4:1)

4K (16:9, HD, 2:1 and Anamorphic 2:1)

3K (16:9, 2:1 and Anamorphic 2:1)

2K (16:9, 2:1 and Anamorphic 2:1)

1080p RGB (16:9)

720p RGB (16:9)

Frame Rates (same as EPIC except for 6K):

1-100fps 6K

1-120fps 5K, 4.5K

1-150fps 4K

1-200fps 3K

1-300fps 2K

Monitor Output: HD-SDI/HDMI Frame Guides and Look Around

Monitor Output Formats: 2K RGB, 1080p RGB or 4:2:2, 720p RGB or 4:2:2

 

 

ARRI ALEXA XT Digital Camera

This AMAZING camera has been used in such films as Life of Pi, the Hunger Games, and many more.

The ARRI Alexa XT has been fitted with superior technology that allows it to capture organic-looking imagery that closely resembles the motion and exposure of film. 

This is partly due to the Super 35 sensor with Open Gate and 4:3 sensor modes coupled with the High Dynamic Range of exposure and ARRI’s color science that allows it to resolve mixed color temperatures and reproduce natural skin tones and color. 

The Alexa XT performs extremely well in low light situations as well as having a wide range of frame rates and options for data capture. It’s no wonder why this camera is a favorite among DPs and producers who wish to reproduce the look of film using digital technology.

ARRI ALEXA SXT PL-Mount Specs

Image Sensor

Image Sensor Size

Super35

Sensor Type

CMOS

Color Filter

Bayer

ISO

160 to 3200

Advertised Dynamic Range

14 Stops

Camera

Lens Mount

PL Mount

Lens Communication

Yes, ARRI LDS

Shutter Angle

5 to 358°

Built-In ND Filter

None

Recording Media

None

Internal Recording

Raw Recording

ARRIRAW:

3168 x 1782 

2880 x 1620 

2578 x 2160 

2880 x 2160 

3424 x 2202 

Recording Modes

ProRes 422 4:2:2:

1920 x 1080p 

2048 x 1152p 

3200 x 1800p 

3840 x 2160p 

2048 x 858p 

4096 x 1716p 

2880 x 2160p 

3424 x 2202p 

4096 x 2636p 

ProRes 4444 4:4:4:

1920 x 1080p 

2048 x 1152p 

3200 x 1800p 

3840 x 2160p 

2048 x 858p 

4096 x 1716p 

2880 x 2160p 

3424 x 2202p 

4096 x 2636p 

ProRes 4444XQ 4:4:4:

1920 x 1080p 

2048 x 1152p 

3200 x 1800p 

3840 x 2160p 

2048 x 858p 

4096 x 1716p 

2880 x 2160p 

3424 x 2202p 

4096 x 2636p 

ProRes 422HQ 4:2:2:

1920 x 1080p 

2048 x 1152p 

3200 x 1800p 

3840 x 2160p 

2048 x 858p 

4096 x 1716p 

2880 x 2160p 

3424 x 2202p 

4096 x 2636p 

Gamma Curve

ARRI Log C, Rec709

Interfaces

Video Connectors

4 x BNC (HD-SDI) Monitor Output

1 x BNC (HD-SDI) Input

Audio Connectors

1 x 5-Pin XLR Line Level Input

1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm Stereo Headphone Output

Other I/O

1 x 16-Pin LEMO 

1 x 16-Pin LEMO Monitor Output

2 x 5-Pin Fischer Control 

1 x 10-Pin LEMO LAN 

3 x 3-Pin Fischer Control Input/Output

1 x 5-Pin Fischer Data 

1 x 12-Pin Fischer Control 

1 x 5-Pin LEMO Timecode Input/Output

Display

Display Type

LCD

Screen Size

3″

Screen Resolution

400 x 240

Power

Power Connectors

1 x Barrel (12 VDC at2.2 A) Input

Environmental

Operating Temperature

-4 to 113°F / -20 to 45°C

Operating Humidity

95%

General

Dimensions

13 x 7.4 x 6.2″ / 331 x 189 x 157.8 mm

Weight

15.2 lb / 6.9 kg

 

 

SONY CINEALTA F65 Digital Camera

This robust camera has been used on such films as Oblivion, Evil Dead (2014), and many more. It’s becoming a favorite among some and for logical reasons too. 

It might have something to do with the 20 megapixel Super 35 image sensor that allows it to be the highest resolution camera on the market and is unrivaled in their ability to reproduce scene detail and texture. 

This camera’s resolutions range from super-sampled HD and 4K to 6K and 8K, allowing a wide range of options for all kinds of productions… especially ones with the future in mind. 

The F65 performs wonderfully in low light and also comes equipped with high speed up to 120 fps. 

SONY CINEALTA F65 Tech Specs 

– 60FPS in DCI 8K resolution

– 240FPS in DCI 4K resolution

– 16 bit RAW uncompressed and compressed onboard recorder 

– ProRes, DNxHD, DNxHR, AVCHD, XAVC, SR, MPEG-2, H264

– Burst mode allows for higher FPS 

Sony F55 form factor and weight

– To be introduced in early 2016

– Price point will surprise many people

– Sony FZ mount

 

 

Summing up The Top 3 Digital Video Cameras used in Feature Films (2020)

These 3 camera’s are some of the best cameras on the market right now for digital motion picture production. 

Not only that — digital cameras period have come a long way in reproducing the natural look of film and it’s exciting to see these companies working hard to give the audience what they want to see at the theater house.

Have other cameras to add to our list? 

Let us know in the comments!

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Trenton Massey