Secret of arri
I have made it my goal to find out what is so special about the software that arri uses to look so good. Please refrain from answering its due to their wonderful parts they are not any different from any mid level camera. If anyone has a sustanable answer it would be highly appreciated and obviously helpful to other filmmakers in order to make a 1000 bucks camera work the same as the rip off 60000. Note that you re takking to someone with lectronics background so any justification coming from lobbyists will be disregarded.
An understanding of light would be an essential start to develop that knowledge.
You could also use the information gained by scanning trillions of frames of various film types, in a wide variety of locales to understand not only Gamma, Density and Colorimetry but how local climate factors can affect image acquisition.
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I dont think you understand the question, I am not asking how to light properly, I am asking what is that isblocked in other similar cameras that couldnt tunr them into even better contenders. Think of magic lantern for 5d mark ii or iii, so again software speaking.
ill take a stab at it, this should be fun.
first off, expensive glass... you get what you pay for. Some glass cost more than the camera. that's why there was a shootout with the
iphone 6 with a $100,000 lens and it looked comparable to some better cameras.
most cheap camcorders can record 8 bit or even 10 bit, but that is still h.264 or even prores. RAW(12, 16 bit) is not just playing back at RAW speed, it is full debayering, denoising, color processing and compressing a huge digital stream into RAW(a compressed format) in realtime. yes, you read that right, its basically a super computer in a small box.
for example: final compressed codec size. each larger size is geometrically more cpu intensive
The GH4 data rate is 100 Mbps.
Prores 422 4k 503 Mbps
Sony F5 1 Gb/s
Blackmagic 4k 1.4 Gb/s
if you can do all this for $1,000, good luck!
btw, even the coming soon GH5 with internal 4:2:2 10 bit will be $2,000.
and now, of course, I'll eat my hat and post this...
iPhone 7 + Video vs $50,000 RED Weapon Footage
So if a 1000$ iphone can make such images, what is for example Black magic or any such cheap camera missing not to reach the homogeneous look that the red still achieves better than the iphone?
I am by no means an expert in this, but I'll put my two cents here.
I think it comes down to the size of the sensor, the amount of fine control (down to interchangeable OLPFs), file management, and the operator. Blackmagic Design's cameras have carved themselves a new place in the market; a higher end camera at a lower end budget. You can get that large sensor, less compression (it's not RAW by any means, but it's not H.264 either) and a large amount of expansion, and that makes it a very appealing camera to indies.
On large productions, however, the reason that REDs and Alexas are used is because of their even larger sensor (Alexa 65 has a S65 sized anamorphic sensor), the ability to record a VERY flat image for grading, and the street cred that the operators get. Arri has developed the PL mount for a reason: it's a very secure mount capable of handling heavy lenses, and can handle anamorphics without vignetting. Operators instantly get more street cred when they say "Yeah, I've worked with the Alexa" versus "I've worked with an URSA."
On the technical side of things, I think that Arri has developed a very compelling camera. The massive dynamic range, ability to under- and over-expose the image and still be usable if not outstanding, and the lack of any compression. RED has done the same, especially with the release of their new Helium 8K sensor, which scored the record highest on DxOMark with a score of 108. The technology crammed into these advanced sensors allow them to have an incredibly high color depth (Helium has 27.5 bits of depth), dynamic range (15 stops) and ISO (4210).
For comparison, we'll take a look at the Sony A7s II, a highly regarded camera. It cannot record RAW at all, and the external RAW recording ability is still lacking. It's "fake" RAW, since the signal has to be compressed as it's sent to the recorder. It only has 23.6 bits of color depth, 13 stops of dynamic range and a maximum usable ISO of 2993. The DxOMark score is only 85. This doesn't make it an inherently "bad" camera, just a different camera. The form factor is shocking. The price tag for this much tech is stunning. I've seen film and TV sets with 4 or 5 of these cameras. If you break one, they can just go to the store and buy another one. (You probably don't want to throw your Alexa and Cooke lens down a hill, but line a bucket with foam, shove an A7s in and let it roll down the same hill). The former Discovery TV show, Mythbusters, used a combination of BCTV cameras from Sony (>$10000), Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema cameras, BMD Micro Cinema Cameras and URSA Minis. How can they compare a >$10000 camera and a $997 camera? The answer is how the camera is used.
In the end, it's not really a matter of what camera you're using. It's how you're using it. What use case scenario will you be putting the camera through? Is it going to be going to hell and back or will it be used as the primary camera in a scene for a scene with many different, interestingly pointed light sources? If you're going to be shooting bullets at a target right next to the camera, you probably don't want to put a RED Epic there.
Remember, "the best camera is the one on you."
There's a lot of things that go into Arri's image production, but, at a base level, I'd say it's mostly about the color science and the math behind how that sensor interprets light.