Just a some notes.
The tests were NOT done by Zacuto, but were financed by them, & Kessler Cranes. There were many other vendors that provided equipment too, but the tests were run by Bob Primes, ASC.
Zacuto made a documentary about the tests, & calls it "The Great Camera Shootout 2011".
Anyone who's tested cameras, &/or films, knows how difficult it is to be comprehensive, & Bob Primes did a great job. Many DPs have issues with the tests, as each camera could have been tweaked to look better in a specific scenario, but the tests would have ballooned in scale. The camera companies were invited to provide technicians, but some of them declined.
All tests were at ISO 800 with tungsten lighting. As someone who rarely gets to use tungstens I'd love to see other lights tested, but understand why they used incandescent.
Overall the SCCE is a snapshot of the state of digital cinema in early 2011. The FS100 wasn't on the market yet, nor was the F3's firmware upgrade, while the GH2, & EPIC were hard to come by. As such the SCCE is an amazing resource, & I wish everyone could see it on the big screen, but it's only a stepping off point, & like any medium, requires each of us to do our own testing to determine which best suits our individual needs.
As Bern knows, test in a testing situation don't always correlate to real world, though the Zacuto test was very good and informative.
In fact the Arri seems to be the best of the bunch in terms of traditional film look, at least to my eyes.
The real thing is how they work in real life, on a set, when time and budget are considered and all of these cameras fall into different markets, different projects and different styles.
We routinely use the FS100 next to our two RED Ones and the 5d2.
All have their place though as far as ease of camera use I love the FS100 (though I hate all the small fiddled buttons on the camera, because at speed they are very difficult to adjust
The FS100 would be the perfect camera, if the controls were more solid and it didn't clip highlights so easy.
Yesterday, on an overcast day in Bangkok, we were shooting in a park and wanted to have large buildings in the background as two joggers ran past.
The FS100 just wouldn't hold the sky and buildings, without making the key image of the joggers quite dark.
The RED held both, though we shot both cameras and with the Sony used led's and fill cards to open the foreground scene and not make it look over-lit.
With the RED all it took was some light natural light fill.
But past the technique, the camera use, the size, to me of all the cameras I own, including still cameras, the RED is the most filmic and I know the term film covers a wide swath of territory.
The interesting thing about the Sony is with its kit zoom lens it looks video, real video and with the Ziess A mount lenses less video, but that's probably because we shoot them wide open.
The RED always looks like cinema film though i'd love to get my hands on an Arri.
Regardless, we have to get the shot and sometimes the FS100 just is easier, faster, and does it and since we've owned the Sony, we use the Canons less and less and less.
The RED's we always use.
P.S. Sony always seems like the wildcard of the bunch. It's obvious they could do about anything they want, from high end to low end, or even the middle priced range like the FS100.
But, like the Zacuto test mentioned Sony is know for video, not film cameras and maybe that's when seems to hold them back just a little, or maybe they think video just looks better.
Early on Sony had their ENG market to protect, now their high end FX 35 (or whatever it's called) though you have the feeling that the fs100 could have 4:4:4 and with a touch screen focus, more lenses and a better overall look could just dominate the sales the way the 5d2 did.