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The Most Expensive Cinema Cameras You Can Actually Own

Mike Maher

These are the most expensive cameras you can actually purchase from each major cinema camera manufacturer.

We’re talking film and video cameras in this roundup of the priciest motion picture and television cameras that you can own. Let’s look at the most expensive camera each major manufacturer makes. Also, just because they are the most expensive doesn’t mean they are the best cameras from these manufacturers because most of them have a whole line of stellar camera bodies.

No rentals or exclusives are included in this list, like IMAX cameras, ARRI’s Alexa 65, or anything from Panavision. So if you have tens of thousands to spend, snag your favorite. Then invite me to set.


ARRI ALEXA LF

Expensive Cinema Cameras - RED RANGER MONSTRO - ARRI ALEXA LF

The ARRI Alexa LF is one of the crown jewels of the filmmaking world and has been used on films and shows like Dune, Ford v Ferrari, Stranger Things, The Mandalorian, and The Righteous Gemstones. The entire Alexa line is some of the best (and most expensive) cinema cameras you can get. The Large Format (LF) happens to be the most expensive cinema camera of the bunch, starting at $98,200.

ARRI Alexa LF Specs

  • Sensor – Large Format ARRI ALEV III (A2X) CMOS sensor with Bayer pattern color filter array
  • Weight – ∼7.8 kg / ∼17.2 lbs (camera body with LPL lens mount)
  • Dynamic Range – 14+ stops over the entire sensitivity range from EI 160 to EI 3200 as measured with the ARRI Dynamic Range Test Chart (DRTC-1)
  • Recording Formats – ARRIRAW (.ari), Apple ProRes 4444 XQ, Apple ProRes 4444, Apple ProRes 422 HQ, Apple ProRes 422
  • Lens Mounts – LPL and PL
  • Recording File Image Content (pixel)
    • LF Open Gate ProRes 4.5K: 4448 x 3096
    • LF Open Gate ARRIRAW 4.5K: 4448 x 3096
    • LF 16:9 ProRes HD: 1920 x 1080
    • LF 16:9 ProRes 2K: 2048 x 1152
    • LF 16:9 ProRes UHD: 3840 x 2160
    • LF 16:9 ARRIRAW UHD: 3840 x 2160
    • LF 2.39:1 ProRes 4.5K: 4448 x 1856
    • LF 2.39:1 ARRIRAW 4.5K: 4448 x 1856

RED RANGER MONSTRO

Expensive Cinema Cameras - RED RANGER MONSTRO

RED’s RANGER MONSTRO, with its starting price of $59,950 for the body only, is currently the most expensive body in RED’s lineup. It was used to shoot films and shows like James Gunn‘s The Suicide Squad. RED is pushing its newer V-Raptor and Komodo line to potential owners, but the RANGER MONSTRO still holds the crown for the biggest price tag.

Red Ranger Monstro Specs

  • Sensor – MONSTRO 35.4 Megapixel CMOS
  • Effective Pixels – 8192 × 4320
  • Dynamic Range – 17+ stops
  • Weight – 7.30 lbs (with Integrated Media Bay, PL Mount, and Gold Mount)
  • Max Frame Rates
    • 60 fps at 8K Full Format (8192 x 4320), 75 fps at 8K 2.4:1 (8192 x 3456)
    • 60 fps at 7K Full Format (7168 x 3780), 75 fps at 7K 2.4:1 (7168 x 3024)
    • 75 fps at 6K Full Format (6144 x 3240), 100 fps at 6K 2.4:1 (6144 x 2592)
    • 96 fps at 5K Full Format (5120 x 2700), 120 fps at 5K 2.4:1 (5120 x 2160)
    • 120 fps at 4K Full Format (4096 x 2160), 150 fps at 4K 2.4:1 (4096 x 1728)
    • 150 fps at 3K Full Format (3072 x 1620), 200 fps at 3K 2.4:1 (3072 x 1296)
    • 240 fps at 2K Full Format (2048 x 1080), 300 fps at 2K 2.4:1 (2048 x 864)

Sony VENICE 2 8K

Expensive Cinema Cameras - Sony VENICE 2 8K

The Sony VENICE 2 is one of the newest cameras on this list. There are 6K and 8K versions, but you can actually swap the sensors. Suppose you are curious about its unconventional swappable sensors and Extension System that can detach the sensor and lens from the rest of the camera body. That’s because it was partially designed for capturing Tom Cruise in the cockpit for Top Gun: Maverick. The new VENICE 2 has a starting price of $59,500.

Sony VENICE 2 Specs

  • Sensor – 35 mm full-frame 8.6K sensor or the original 6K VENICE sensor
  • Weight – VENICE 2 with 8.6K image sensor (MPC-3628): Approx: 4.3 kg (9 lb 6.6 oz)
  • Lens Mount – PL Mount, E-mount (lever lock type, without supplied PL lens mount adaptor)
  • Recording – 4K ProRes 4444/422HQ Internal
    • 4K (4096 x 2160): 23.98p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 50p, 59.94p
    • QFHD (3160 x 2160): 23.98p, 24p, 25p, 29.97p, 50p, 59.94p
  • Dynamic Range – 16 Stops
  • Filters – 8 Integrated ND Filters

Panasonic VariCam 35 PURE

Expensive Cinema Cameras - Panasonic VariCam 35 PURE

Starting at $55,000, and really adds up when you add the PURE Codex VRAW recorder, which alone is around $30,000. So for their flagship Super 35 camera that only captures in RAW, you are looking at over $85,000. The VariCam has been used on productions like Better Call Saul, Crazy Rich Asians, Arrested Development, and Master of None.

Panasonic VariCam PURE Specs

  • Sensor – Super 35 mm, MOS sensor
  • Weight – 5.15 kg (11.35 lb.)
  • Lens Mount – super 35mm EF mount (exchangeable to PL mount)
  • ND Filters – 1: CLEAR, 2: 0.6 ND, 3: 1.2 ND, 4: 1.8 ND
  • Recoding Resolution – 4096 x 2160 (4K), 3840 x 2160 (UHD)
  • Max Frame Rate – 120 fps or 100 fps

Canon C700 FF

Expensive Cinema Cameras - Canon C700

Canon’s beloved Cinema EOS line is incredibly popular among documentary filmmakers. The latest flagship cinema camera from Canon is the C700 FF, with a starting price point of $33,000.

Canon C700 FF Specs

  • Sensor Resolution
    • Actual: 20.8 Megapixel (6062 x 3432)
    • Effective: 18.69 Megapixel (5952 x 3140)
  • Lens Mount – Canon EF Cinema
  • Weight – 7.6 lb / 3.45 kgs
  • Sensor Type 38.1 x 20.1 mm (Full-Frame) CMOS
  • Built-In ND Filter Mechanical Filter Wheel with 2 Stop (1/4), 4 Stop (1/16), 6 Stop (1/64) ND Filters
  • Dynamic Range – 15 Stops

DJI Ronin 4D-8K

Expensive Cinema Cameras - Ronin 4D

DJI is known for drones and stabilizers. This is the company’s first foray into its own cinema camera package. More capable than their small Osmo line, the Ronin 4D is a rather revolutionary camera that has a built-in stabilization system. Starting at $11,499, this is one of the very few cameras on this list that I’ve shot on. It’s a peculiar camera that I enjoyed using, but I couldn’t convince myself to purchase one outright at that price tag.

DJI Ronin 4D Specs

  • Sensor – Full-Frame CMOS
  • Sensor Resolution – 35.4 Megapixel
  • Lens Mount – DJI DL
  • Image Stabilization – Digital, 4-Axis
  • Dynamic Range – 14 Stops
  • Built-In ND Filter – Mechanical Filter Wheel with Clear, 1 Stop (1/2), 2 Stop (1/4), 3 Stop (1/8), 4 Stop (1/16), 5 Stop (1/32), 6 Stop (1/64), 7 Stop (1/128), 8 Stop (1/256), 9 Stop (1/512) ND Filters
  • Recording Modes
    • ProRes 422 HQ
      • 8192 x 4320 at 23.98p/24.00p/25p/29.97p
      • 4096 x 2160 at 23.98p/24.00p/25p/29.97p/48.00p/50p/59.94p/119.88p
    • H.264 4:2:0 10-Bit
      • 4096 x 2160 at 23.98p/24.00p/25p/29.97p/48.00p/50p/59.94p

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K

Expensive Cinema Cameras - Blackmagic 12k

Blackmagic is known for the entry-level cameras with a relatively insanely affordable price point. Their top-of-the-line URSA Mini Pro 12K is no exception. Originally launched at $9,995, the camera has dropped in price to $5,995. I have used this camera on several shoots and am still baffled by the insane image quality at such a low price.

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K Specs

  • Sensor – 12K Super35 HDR CMOS Sensor
  • Sensor Resolution – 79.6 Megapixel (12,288 x 6480)
  • Lens Mount – Changeable PL mount
  • Dynamic Range – 14 Stops
  • 4K Super16 up to 220 fps
  • Built-In ND Filter – Mechanical Filter Wheel with Clear, 2 Stop (1/4), 4 Stop (1/16), 6 Stop (1/64) ND Filters
  • Recording
    • 12K: Up to 60 fps
    • 12K Anamorphic: Up to 75 fps
    • 8K: Up to 119.88 fps
    • DCI 4K: Up to 119.88 fps
    • 8K Anamorphic: Up to 160 fps
    • 4K Anamorphic: Up to 160 fps
    • 6K (Windowed): Up to 119.88 fps
    • DCI 4K (Windowed): Up to 240 fps

For more on expensive cinema cameras, check out the collection below:

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