Choosing between the Red One, Canon DSLR and Alexa

Name: Red One

Manufacturer: Red Digital Cinema Camera Corp.

Price: $25,000 (w/new M-X sensor)

Sensor/Shutter: 14 Megapixel CMOS/Rolling shutter

ASA rating: 320-2000 — 800 (typical DP rating)

Used on: “The Social Network,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” “District 9”

Pros: Low price; cinema-quality image; robust design; ability to record in both uncompressed and compressed formats simultaneously

Cons: Requires expensive add-on gear; cumbersome post-production workflow; must transcode proprietary file type

Name: Canon EOS 7D

Manufacturer: Canon USA, Inc.

Price: $1,699 (body only)

Sensor/Shutter: CMOS/Rolling Shutter

ASA rating: 100-6400

Used on: “Tiny Furniture” (Shot with 7D) and “127 Hours” (5D Mark II); “Road to Nowhere”

Pros: High-quality image; low basic price; small size handy for acquiring images in small/unusual places

Cons: Issues with fast-moving images; camera must be modified to accept standard PL-mount film lenses; size and nonrobust design makes pulling focus difficult, even with PL-mount lenses; requires great deal of aftermarket gear to replicate true filmic camera system architecture; H.264 video file type not cinema grade

Name: Arri Alexa

Manufacturer: Arri

Price: $73,000

Sensor/Shutter: CMOS/Rolling Shutter

ASA rating: ASA 800

Used on: “No Ordinary Family” (TV), “Anonymous” (upcoming Roland Emmerich feature), “Drive” (upcoming Martin Scorsese 3D feature)

Pros: Cinema quality image, simplified post production workflow; ability to record in both compressed and uncompressed formats simultaneously; uncompressed workflow delivers files ready-made for use in nonlinear editing software

Cons: Price is significantly higher than the Red One or the Canon DSLR.

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