Camera Comparison Chart

This chart is comparing some of the more popular cameras to help you  get a side by side comparison.  I tried to keep things as standard and as economical as possible in my configurations.  All pricing is MSRP or at least close to it, this is not dealer pricing.  Also note that the price does not include a tripod and extra pan arm.  There may be more, less or different accessories available.

I believe every situation is different, and different cameras belong in different situations.  Be sure to carefully assess your situation before choosing a camera, here are some things to consider:  Current infrastructure, lighting situations, Robotic vs. Manned, Hand held vs sticks, IMAG-WEB-Broadcast, multi-use cameras (ENG & studio, multi-room),  Distances (cable and Lenses), Control room design/ layout.

Camera comparison Chart

A couple of things to think about when choosing a camera.

Chip size: 1/3” cameras tend to do good in where there is lots of conventional front light.  2/3” cameras tend to do better with theatrical lighting and lots of color and is also considered Broadcast level

CCD vs CMOS: CMOS is a new technology used as more of an economical chip design.  The technology has improved immensely over the last few years but is still not used in high end camera systems

1 mil vs 2 mil:  The signal coming out of a 1 million pixel camera is still 1080i.  Camera manufactures do a good job making the lower pixel cameras look great. By looking at cameras side by side, sure you can tell a small difference, but on their own they look great and should still be considered hi-end cameras.

Viewfinders: Through the SD world, B&W viewfinders were always used because it helped the operators to focus.  Now in HD land, Color viewfinders have been introduced, they are more expensive, but B&W are still a great way to go.

Cable Type:  26 pin multi-core is difficult to deal with and can be temperamental, It is also a hefty cable to run around with in a Hand held operation.  For fixed installs with hard camera locations in can work great, but overall can also provide head aches if not ended correctly. Triax is a 3 conductor, 75 ohm copper based cable that multiplexes the signal.  It is easy to work with, and put ends on.  It goes over long distance, is light weight and easily extendable.  Hybrid fiber is a multiple strands of single mode fiber wrapped in copper to provide camera power.  This cable is extremely durable, light wieght and can go really long distances, and longer if you power the camera locally.  However, you can’t field repair or end onsite.

PTZ:  To do robotic or PTZ cameras well, it is important to match up cameras  with the same chipset in them.  That is why if you plan to have any Robotic cameras in your facility you want to first choose a studio camera with a brick or PTZ cousin.  Brand name alone doesn’t mean it will match.

Tally & Return:  Tally and Return are 2 of the most important tools for a camera operator.  Buy cutting corners and not getting a camera/ viewfinder with this option you are doing your operator a disservice.

Manufactures:  Different manufactures have different philosophies how they design the image of their camera, please note All cameras look good outside or in controlled lighting settings.  Manufactures are different, here are some things I have noticed between manufactures: how they handle hot spots/ harsh lighting, color spectrum (colors unseen), flesh tones, image noise, and saturation/ rich image.

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About brhoda

I freelance doing a few different thing in the video and live production market. I worked for a church for 5 years directing services and designing control rooms.
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