$2,500 Sony a7S II vs $50,000 ARRI Alexa Mini: Can you tell the difference?

Brent Barbano—co-founder of camera rental community ShareGrid—recently took a trip to Flashbox Films in Hollywood to meet up with co-owner Will Kamp and do one of those “affordable camera vs crazy expensive camera” tests the internet seems to love (and hate) oh so much.

So what did they test? They put the $2,500 Sony a7S II, an affordable filmmaking favorite, up against the $50,000+ ARRI Alexa Mini, a professional-grade filmmaking monster. Here’s how Brent introduces the comparison:

The Sony a7s II has been a game-changer for filmmakers and creatives across the world. Cinematographers and photographers have been creating amazing images with this mirrorless camera that can rival some of the best. So, we thought we’d put it to the test and do a side-by-side comparison of the Sony a7S II and the ARRI Alexa Mini. Can you tell the difference?

Well… can you? Check out the video above to watch the footage, or scroll through the slides in the gallery below:

Brent and Will were obviously impressed by just how similar the final footage turned out to be, and if you’re curious how you did on this ‘test,’ you’re in luck: ShareGrid was kind enough to give DPReview readers the answer key early.

The initial plan was to update it in the video description on YouTube this Friday, but if you’ve made your picks, you can scroll down and see which slide was which down below.

Answer Key

Some of you may have noticed, others may not, but the cameras didn’t actually switch sides between shots. The Sony was always on one side, and the ARRI was always on the other. But… which was which? It turns out A was Sony, and B was ARRI:


A: Sony a7S II

B: ARRI Alexa Mini


A: Sony a7S II

B: ARRI Alexa Mini

SLIDE → continue…

From:: DPreview

Atech’s Blackjet UX-1 Cinema Dock might just be the ultimate memory card reader

It’s not often a memory card reader turns heads, but the Atech Blackjet UX-1 Cinema Dock might just be that card reader. Using a 40Gb/s Thunderbolt 3 connection, the UX-1 can transfer data from SSD, XQDm CFast, CF, SD and MicroSD cards at blistering speeds from one of its seven media slots.

The reader is compatible with Mac and PC systems, and if 7 media slots isn’t enough, it features dual Thunderbolt ports to allow up to four more UX-1 readers to be daisy-chained to the same computer.

The speed of the reader allows users to download files from all seven media slots at the same time, and heavyweight content can be worked on directly from the cards. Users can load drives into both 2.5-inch SSD slots and choose RAID-0, RAID-1 or JBOD configurations, and the reader can be mounted in a standard 1U rack system.

The Atech Blackjet UX-1 costs $500 and will ship this quarter. For more information visit the Atech website.

Press Release


Atech Flash Technology (AFT) manufacturers of industrial and professional media card readers and storage solutions will be launching their new premium line of products under the Blackjet brand. Their latest media reader named the Blackjet UX-1 Cinema Dock features dual SSD docking solution plus five multimedia card slots supporting media cards XQD 2.0, CFast 2.0, CompactFlash, SD, and microSD.

The Blackjet UX-1 is designed to be used in any standard industry rack mount system.Blackjet UX-1 utilizes the large bandwidth 2,750 MB/s of Thunderbolt™ 3, which allows you to ingest, edit and archive your creative content simultaneously from all six media formats at their maximum speeds.

Blackjet UX-1 is compatible with existing Mac® and Windows® Thunderbolt 3 computers, but → continue…

From:: DPreview

Huawei’s Mate 10 Pro is finally available for pre-order in the US

AT&T and Verizon may have pulled out of selling the Huawei Mate 10 Pro in the US—under a little bit of political pressure—but luckily, you can still get your hands on Huawei’s latest flagship smartphone and it’s well-reviewed “co-engineered with Leica” dual camera.

The Chinese manufacturer announced that pre-orders for the unlocked version of the Mate 10 Pro are starting in the US today, in-store and online at electronic retailers including Amazon, BestBuy, Microsoft, Newegg, and B&H. The phone will initially be available in Midnight Blue and Titanium Grey. A Mocha Brown variant will make it to the stores in the near future. In addition, the souped-up Porsche Design version of the Mate 10 Pro will be available online starting February 18th.

We spoke to a Huawei spokesperson to confirm, and even though you won’t be able to purchase a Mate 10 Pro through a carrier, the unlocked device will operate on GSM networks in the U.S., including: AT&T, T-Mobile, Cricket, MetroPCS, Simple Mobile and Tracfone. As an added bonus, customers that pre-order between now and February 17th will receive a $150 gift card from the retailer from which it was purchased.

If you are contemplating replacing your current device, the Huawei Mate 10 Pro is definitely worth a closer look. Its Leica-co-engineered camera performed very well during our testing, and it’s a great device is general use as well. The regular Mate 10 Pro in its various colors goes for $800 unlocked, while the special Porsche Design version will retail for $1,225 when it starts shipping in 12 days’ time.

The ‘Best Smartphone at CES’ Now Available in the U.S.

Award-winning HUAWEI Mate 10 Pro now available for pre-order → continue…

From:: DPreview

The ‘Kill Bill’ Crash: How Safety Mistakes Can Be Avoided While Staging Practical Action

By Chris O’Falt Quentin Tarantino took the blame for Uma Thurman’s accident, but most film sets have a protocol to avoid endangering the cast and crew. → continue…

From:: Indie WIRE Filmmaker Toolkit

2018 MPSE Career Achievement Award Winner John Fasal on His Passion for the Art of Sound

By Artisans PR

Studio City, CA

On February 18th, the Motion Picture Sound Editors will present John Paul Fasal with its annual Career Achievement award at the 65th MPSE Golden Reel Awards. Fasal has worked in sound for more than 30 years as a sound designer and field recordist. His many credits span features, television and…

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From:: Shoot OnLine

Deal: Fall in Love With New Gear, Save 15% at Lensrentals.com

By Canon Rumors Lensrentals.com has started a new 15% off promotion for Valentines day called “Fall in love with new gear”. Order between February 6, 2018 and February 14, 2018 and receive 15% off your order by using the coupon code RENTLOVE. It’s that simple. Visit Lensrentals.com → continue…

From:: Canon Rumors

A Minor Update on What’s Coming from Canon at NAB 2018

By Canon Rumors NAB 2018 begins on April 7, 2018 and is the next big “announcement show” after CP+ in March. Canon more often than not announces at least one significant product for the show, and some years make a big splash. What does Canon have in store for us for NAB 2018? A replacement to a current … → continue…

From:: Canon Rumors

Camera makers continue to ignore photojournalist pleas for encryption

Photo by Markus Spiske

In late 2016, more than 150 professionals sent a letter to camera makers requesting that they add encryption to their camera products. This encryption, as it does with other devices like smartphones, would help protect content on the camera and its media cards. “Without encryption capabilities,” the letter explained, “photographs and footage that we take can be examined and searched by the police, military, and border agents in countries where we operate and travel, and the consequences can be dire.”

More than a year has passed since the letter was circulated, and major camera manufacturers have largely failed to introduce encryption-based security on their camera products. Tech website ZDNet recently quizzed major camera manufacturers about potential plans to introduce encryption, and the response was underwhelming.

Fuji failed to respond to the site’s request for info, while Sony declined to discuss any product roadmaps related to camera encryption. Canon declined to talk about “future products and/or innovation.” Both Olympus and Nikon gave more extensive answers, though neither indicate any real progress on the topic.

Nikon, for its part, gave a canned response that it is listening to photographers and “will continue to evaluate product features to best suit the needs of our users.” Olympus’ response wasn’t much better, with a company spokesperson saying that the maker will “continue to review the request to implement encryption technology in our photographic and video products, and will develop a plan for implementation where applicable in consideration to the Olympus product roadmap and the market requirements.”

While photographers and filmmakers aren’t entirely without encrypted options, those options (mainly smartphones) are far less capable than the professional gear they’d otherwise use. Apple and Samsung have both focused heavily on encryption-based security for their mobile products, and Android users in → continue…

From:: DPreview

Canon U.S.A. Welcomed Filmmakers to the Canon Creative Studio as a Sponsor of the 2018 Sundance Film Festival

By Canon Rumors MELVILLE, N.Y., February 6, 2018 – Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, returned as a Sustaining Sponsor to the 2018 Sundance Film Festival (January 18th–28th in Park City, Utah). Canon celebrated filmmakers working behind the camera with daily programming at the Canon Creative Studio, located at 592 Main Street. At least 63 of the 239 … → continue…

From:: Canon Rumors

Stun, An Award Winning Entertainment Industry Content Studio, Ad Agency, and Production Company, Announces Significant Expansion

By Asbury PR


LA-based Stun, an award winning entertainment industry content studio, ad agency and commercial production company, has announced a significant expansion to a new, larger, headquarters. The agency has also acquired its first soundstage, bolstered…

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From:: Shoot OnLine

Landscape photography: Don’t miss the moment for the photo

In the pursuit of timeless landscape photography, it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees. That is, to miss the moment for the photo.

Too often, photographers—myself included—focus on tiny imperfections in their images, yet miss the grandeur of the scene before their eyes. We can scrutinize over every pixel, while neglecting the people who are there with us sharing in nature’s spectacle. We search and yearn for perfect sunsets, only to set ourselves up to feel dejected when our idealized expectations fail to meet ‘mediocre’ realities.

Yet, over time, we begin to discover that the endearing value of landscape photography lays not in the final image itself, but in everything behind it and beyond it. In the effort—the literal blood, sweat, and tears—we exert to capture the image. In the memories forged along the way; the memories preserved decades later through the photo. The lasting value lies in the process itself.

In landscape photography, the means do not merely justify the end. The means are a worthwhile end in and of themselves.

Natural beauty, appreciated

The pursuit of capturing stunning landscapes exposes photographers to moments of wonder the majority of the population will rarely if ever have the privilege of experiencing. It grants us opportunities to witness scenes ignorant observers may dismiss as being ‘photoshopped’. Little do they know, these views do exist beyond the wallpapers of their desktop computers—should they have the curiosity and desire to look for them.

Once bitten by the landscape bug—and for those of you who have been, you know what I mean—the unscratchable itch encourages us to get out there as often as possible. To see the sun rising over Sydney Harbour while the city sleeps. To brave freezing winter nights and gaze up at the tapestry of stars in the → continue…

From:: DPreview

DJI Zenmuse X7 Review – Testing the New Drone Camera in the Field

By Chris Boyes

DJI Zenmuse X7 Review - Lens Assembly

This is a guest review by drone expert and cinema5D reader Chris Boyes from 5kdigitalfilm, who had a chance to work with DJI’s new high-end camera on a job. He created some beautiful imagery and made this DJI Zenmuse X7 review for you. Enjoy! (Intro by Sebastian Wöber)

DJI Zenmuse X7 Review

We have been using the DJI Inspire 2 and Zenmuse X5s professionally for the last nine months and regardless of much that I have read in the forums, ours has proved very reliable. Yes, the props are a bit loose and it’s irritating having to drive to get a connection to log in sometimes, but let’s not forget it’s a highly complicated and technologically advanced bit of kit that, for us, always delivered when it mattered.

I think many of us were excited after the press release revealed the specs for the Zenmuse X7. A few weeks after we had an offer for an ad job filming Tirol’s beautiful landscapes for the Cine Tirol Film Commission. For this project, DJI provided a sample of the DJI Zenmuse X7 along with a complete set of lenses, which led to this Zenmuse X7 review.


We were running a Beta software from DJI on the Inspire 2, with 2 CrystalSky monitors and the latest firmware on everything else.

The test flight went well with everything more or less working as it should, we filmed a few minutes in a few different formats just to check we were up and running. We decided that 4K ProRes 4444XQ was the best option for the project.

Winter had arrived a month early making our story board obsolete and planning extremely difficult as our primary brief was to capture the Autumn/Winter transition in the mountains.

Shooting in Difficult Conditions

From the next morning on, we went out daily, → continue…

From:: Cinema 5d

Just a moment of fun…Canon vs Sony

By SonyAlpha Admin

no comment 🙂 – made by Shane Doyle – #sonyimages #sonyalphasclub #sonyalpha #sonyphotography #sonyphotogallery #sonyalpharumors #sonyalphagear #SonyPhotoGallery #SonyAlphasClub #SonyMirrorles #sonyalphaphotos #canonrumors #canonwatch Ein Beitrag geteilt von Andrea Photographer-Explorer (@andrea_pizzini_photographer) am Feb 6, 2018 um 6:24 PST

The post Just a moment of fun…Canon vs Sony appeared first on sonyalpharumors.

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From:: Sony Alpha Rumors

How I built a large-format (8×10) video camera

Large format, for me, has always been the dream. Not for its ridiculously high resolutions—the 12 megapixels of my Sony a7S are more than plenty for me—but for its unique depth rendering. There is an enchanting quality to the depth of field produced by a huge chunk of vintage 8×10 glass that is near impossible to replicate on a smaller format, mostly thanks to the ridiculous equivalent aperture that would be required.

My longing for large format without the expense and and hassle of chemicals led me to build a pretty unique camera rig with very promising results.

The camera works by projecting an image from a large format lens (an Industar-37) onto a large matte white screen. The projected image is then captured with an off-axis camera (a Sony a7S) and wide-angle lens (an Irix 15mm F2.4). The 15mm is shifted upwards (using a Kipon shift adapter), which allows it to record a centered image of the screen with none of the perspective distortions that would come from simply pointing the camera up, and still be well out of the way of the light path.

I am not really sure if it should be called a ‘large format camera’ or a ‘large format adapter’—is format determined by the size of the imaging plane, or that of the sensor? Usually those are one and the same but not with a rig like this—but either way it records real large format images and just from my first results, I think they look fantastic.

Beyond just digitizing large format photography, the rig opens up the really exciting possibility of large format video. It is absolutely incredible to see the large format image come to life, and it is something the world hasn’t really → continue…

From:: DPreview

Google enables HDR+ for Instagram and other apps on Google Pixel 2

Google’s latest generation Pixel 2 smartphones come with the built-in Visual Core dedicated imaging processor that powers the HDR+ mode’s sophisticated multi-frame-stacking computational imaging functions and other camera features. However, Visual Core wasn’t activated when the Pixel 2 devices were first launched, and only was enabled for developers in November last year.

The latest Android update now brings the power of Visual Core to all Pixel 2 users, an update smartphone photographer should be very excited about.

This update mainly means that Google’s excellent HDR+ mode is now available on all apps that call the camera and target API level 26, not just Google’s own Camera App. According to Google, this includes popular examples such as Instagram, Whatsapp or Snapchat, but we hope it also covers some of the powerful third-party camera apps available on Google Play.

Previously, those apps relied on a much more basic camera API that could not produce the same image quality as HDR+.

The Android update for the Google Pixel 2 will be rolling out over the next few days, along with other software improvements, so make sure you install the newest version as soon as it becomes available to take full advantage of the phone’s camera capabilities.

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From:: DPreview