Sony F55 & Canon 1DC – 4K side by side

Sony F55 camera operator - Bernhard Popovic
Canon 1DC camera operator - Johnnie Behiri

Thanks to:
Cosmos Factory Film Production
and Lee Niederkofler from VFX

Song:
Something Right - Chelsea Lankes

Sony PMW-F55cinema5D had a chance to test the new Sony F55, Sony’s new flagship 4K cinema camera. As a reference we used Canon’s most advanced HDSLR.

The F55 is an interesting camera, because it is one that ticks more boxes than any other camera over the past few years – the range of resolutions, frame rates, codecs as well as the ergonomics are unprecedented. Now it’s down to actually using it to make a judgement call.

We wanted to know how the camera performs in a normal sooting environment and took the Canon EOS 1DC 4K HDSLR with us for comparison. Some interesting conclusions can be drawn here, things you might consider if you plan on shooting with either of these cameras or would just like to see what to expect.

You can download (1GB) and watch the source video in 4K on vimeo: LINK

Canon EOS 1DCDisclaimer: Please note that this is not a scientific test. We share our subjective opinion and try to give you all the insights we have. Always try before you buy.

Aside from the sooting experience itself (more on that later) most significant to us is the footage a camera produces.
During our grading session in a professional post house some of the differences between these two cameras became more clear.

Here’s a summary of what we found:

Sony F55 (Slog2, ISO 1250)
XAVC codec = about 1h footage on 128GB, 4:2:2, 4K, mpeg-4/h.264, 10-bit
– very fine, high resolution
– very clean image
– lots of detail and little noise in dark areas
– very sharp, needed to be softened.
– rescuable: about 2.5 stops over-exposure, 4 stops under (more detailed review on that next week)

Canon 1DC (C-Log, ISO 800)
MJPEG codec = about 30 minutes on 128GB, 4:2:2, mjpeg, 8-bit
– not as high resolution feel as F55
– no detail in dark areas (Canon cuts of blacks entirely), so no noise at all in blacks
– softer image than F55, needed to be sharpened a little.
– rescuable: about 2.5 stop over-exposure, 5 stops under.

Grading at VFXBoth cameras could be matched easily in post production. Contrary to our expectations the Canon 1DC could be underexposed even more than the F55 (talking usable dynamic range). On the other hand the noise and 10-bit image of the F55 is obviously more clean and stable due to its powerful new xavc codec.

The Canon still delivers very gradable and easy to use files (According to our experienced colorist: More usable than C300 footage). The 1DC can indeed deliver a fine and filmic end-result that can be tweaked around in the process. I should also mentioned that grading the F55 seems a little more time intensive as the existing LUT’s don’t develop it so well and the xavc codec is not so established yet.

Note that the same lenses were used on both cameras (except for the last shot).

Watch it on Vimeo

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Jerrod Dole
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Jerrod Dole

It’s completely visible that the F55 has significantly more Image Quality (ie: resolution, depth, S/N ratio) than the 1DC.

Let’s be honest here. The 1DC footage looks like a bit like standard definition when viewed against the F55 footage.

Sebastian Wöber
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Sebastian Wöber

Yes, there is a lot of detail and depth in the F55 footage. But it’s not all about pixels and sharpness. If you need that and have the device to screen it then the F55 will probably serve you well.

waylon
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waylon

Sem falar também que a Sony é Global Shutter, e isso faz toda a diferença.

(Not to mention that Sony is also Global Shutter, and that makes all the difference.)

Nino Leitner
Admin

Click on the Vimeo link to download the 4K original file and to judge it accordingly. Yes, there is more detail, but the 1DC seems to have a very cinematic quality

Jerrod Dole
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Jerrod Dole

Cinematic quality? As in softer looking with more saturation skewed towards the warm side? Yeah, you are correct. The 1DC is softer. And a bit warmer looking.

It’s rather easy to warm up your tones during capture, or in post, isn’t it? Most togs would rather have as much resolution they can acquire and know they always have the ability to “soften” the image in post. Or soften the image by dialing down the detail during capture. Who would really prefer a camera that is inherently softer to begin with? Yeah, you can “sharpen” it in post, but that is not nearly the same thing as having a camera which is more resolute to begin with – and which gives you more options. Not to mention the professional features which the 1DC seriously lacks (ie: a superior lens mount over the EF mount, Global Shutter, SDI, variable frame rates, etc)

Any seasoned professional cinematographer shooting for a demanding upscale client or high-end project is going to want to have the most options available in her/ her toolkit.

It’s always nice to play and compare Hondas to BMW’s though, someone’s bound to do it if they think they can make money out of it.

burt
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burt

Amen Jerrod, glad someone else has the balls to NOT glaze over Canons’ bad points and sponsored ‘experts’.

skip
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skip

haha yeah those “canon expers” .. always the same .. Johnnie and Nino

but yes the sony looks far superior than this lousy canon footage

Sebastian Wöber
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Sebastian Wöber

What are you talking about?

sergio cassini
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sergio cassini

hey,i second you on every line.well put.i wonder they didn’t mix the bmcc in there ;-)

Marvin
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Marvin

The price of F55 is about three times higher than 1D C (35k VS. 12k), is the image quality also three times higher on F55? Obviously no.

Taking price and mobility into account, I think 1D C has totally blown F55 away.

Goofy
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Goofy

The f55 was basically used as an f5 by using only the new XAVC codec and not the full raw capabilities…
The f5 costs 14k and the 1DC 10k…

Andree
Guest

Agreed. Bring out the F5 and do some further testing. This time though, let’s test the still side. Should be interesting…

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