3 Impressive Arri Alexa Alternatives For FilmmakersMarc Ehrenbold
We are sure you would have heard of the Arri Alexa. It is a camera that many a filmmaker has marvelled over in recent years, and regardless of the stiff competition it has faced in the digital film camera market, there’s no denying it is one of the most coveted producers of remarkable visuals.
However, for the majority of filmmakers, especially the independent folk out there, it is far too expensive to purchase, and rental prices can be too steep for some (although Aimimage offers some unbeatable rates 😉). With this said, many low budget filmmakers search for affordable alternatives to the legendary Arri Alexa, which can produce similar visual results at a lower price point.
To help our fellow filmmakers we have put together a handy list of 3 impressive Arri Alexa alternatives that will still render deep colours and images – check them out below and let us know if you agree:
The Canon C300 MK II excels in many departments, in particular, it impresses with deep colours. Here are some of the C300 MK II’s specs:
- 4K,1920×1080 60/50i, 23.98/25p True 24p
- Canon XF AVC H.264 Codec
- Super 35mm CMOS Sensor
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF Technology
- EF Lens Mount
- 2x 3G-SDI Output, 2x XLR Inputs
- Rotating 4″ LCD Monitor
- Timecode I/O, Genlock In & Sync Out
- Canon Log 2 Gamma
- 2x CFast Card Slots
In our experience, although they are not always the strongest on paper, Canon’s C-series cameras always seem to deliver strong images that exceed our initial expectations. What’s more, the C300 MK II now features a “Production” camera profile that is set up to mimic the important colour science of the Arri Alexa, and the resulting images that the two cameras produce are very similar. With this said, we believe that the Canon C300 MK II provides a cost-effective alternative to the Arri Alexa for low-budget filmmakers.
2. Blackmagic Cinema Camera 2.5K
When it was first released, the Blackmagic Cinema Camera was hailed by many as the “Alexa Mini”, a well-deserved title. Although the overall build, design and ergonomics of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera could not be further from the Arri Alexa, its overall image quality is one of the Alexa’s best matches.
Here are the Blackmagic Cinema Camera’s specs:
- 2.5K Image Sensor
- 13 Stops of Dynamic Range
- 12-bit RAW, ProRes, and DNxHD Formats
- Canon EF Lens Mount
- 23.98, 24, 25, 29.97, 30p Frame Rates
- Mic/Line Audio Inputs
- LCD Touchscreen with Metadata Entry
- SDI Video Output and Thunderbolt Port
- Includes DaVinci Resolve and UltraScope
- Records to Removable SSD Drives
High dynamic ranges, subtle colours, and natural textures are just a few of the reasons why the Blackmagic Cinema Camera has disrupted the industry and proven itself as a credible alternative to the Arri Alexa, despite its low price. If you are looking for something even more cost-effective, why not try out the miniaturised Super 16mm Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera at Aimimage?
Sony has an excellent reputation when it comes to 4K products, especially in the arena of digital cinematography. The Sony F55 is no exception and is one of the best 4K cameras in and around its price-point, often referred to as a filmmakers dream. The camera shoots in native 4K, has an impressive 14 stops of dynamic range along with low noise and high sensitivity and produces immaculate image quality. Furthermore, it is slightly cheaper than the Arri Alexa, both to rent and to buy.
Here are the Sony PMW-F55’s specs:
- Video Resolution: 4096 x 2160 pixels (Native 4K)
- Sensor: Super 35mm CMOS / global shutter
- Pixels: Total (11.6 MP) Effective (8.9 MP)
- Audio Format: Linear PCM (2 ch, 24-bit, 48-kHz)
- Dynamic Range: 14 stops
- Video Format: MPEG-2 Long GOP, HD 422 mode: CBR, 50 Mbps max, MPEG-2 422P@HL
- Shutter Speed 1/24sec to 1/6,000sec
- Weight: 4.88 lb (2.2 kg) (body only)
- Wi-Fi USB host, type-A (x1)
- Memory Cards SxS (x2, ExpressCard 34 slot), SD card slot (1)
- Audio In: XLR-type 3-pin with Line/ Mic /Mic +48V / AES / EBU selectable (2 female), Output: phono jack (CH-1, CH-2), Headphone: Stereo mini jack (1), Speaker: monaural
- Lens Mount FZ-mount, PL-mount (with supplied adapter)
If you are looking for a strong match for the Arri Alexa, and your budget permits, the F55 is a great option. You will find it difficult to source a better producer of 4K footage, with a great modular design and user-friendly interface at its price point.
The three cameras mentioned above are just a few of the alternatives to the Arri Alexa that will also produce stunning visuals. If you are still undecided, check out our full range of professional cameras for hire.