Philip Bloom's Christmas Shootout

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Camera virtuoso Philip Bloom recently posted a christmas shootout he did comparing a variety of large sensor cameras including the usual DSLRs (including the 7D, 5D, and a hacked Panasonic GH2), as well as camcorders like the Sony FS100 and the Panasonic AF100, and some more expensive ones like the Sony F3 and the new Canon C300. The videos are quite long (around 50 minutes in total), but they are quite interesting if you're looking at choosing a new camera to purchase or rent for an upcoming project.

To my eye, the most revealing tests were the wide depth of field test, and the low light test.

I've already had first-hand experience with the inability of Canon DSLRs to pleasingly resolve wide shots (especially ones with a wider depth of field). Philip's tests definitely confirm this, with the 7D looking noticeably worse than the camcorders. I was quite surprised, however, how similar most of those camcorders actually looked. At 1080p on my 27" iMac, I didn't notice a huge difference between them. What really surprised me, however, was how well the hacked GH2 resolved detail in this test. I've never really been interested in this camera before, but this test really made me sit up and take notice.

In my opinion, the lowlight test had two clear winners: the Sony F3 and the Canon C300. Both cameras managed to resolve very pleasing images even when set to a very high ISO / gain level. All the other cameras looked pretty rubbish in this test (which is unsurprising, given the extreme whining situation).

What did you think of the tests? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Chris Pahlow

Chris Pahlow is an independent writer/director currently in post-production on his debut feature film PLAY IT SAFE. Chris has been fascinated with storytelling since he first earned his pen license and he’s spent the last ten years bringing stories to life through music videos, documentaries, and short films.