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I shooting a little narrative film on the Arri Alexa camera. We don´t have the time to shoot a test before we start shooting and I watched some test online about how high you can go with the ISO in the camera in low light locations.


Do anyone in here have good experience with the Alexa camera? And how high can I put the cameras ISO with out seeing to much noise in the blacks?









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Don't have any personal experience shooting low light with the Alexa but you might want to check out Zero Dark Thirty shot by Greig Fraser. They were shooting in some very low light and it seems to have held up very well.

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A buddy of mine brought over an Alexa a few months back, and I took it out @ 800asa on my street with a T2 50 mil lens and I was thoroughly impressed. There was some noise in the footage, nothing major at all, but so much information. It was only a quick and impromptu test; but for it to resolve ambient city light at 800/24/T2 was quite a thing. Though honestly I'd not mess with the ASA too much; it's a 800 ASA sensor from what I know, and no amount of pushing or pulling will change that, it will just redistribute your latitude (in fact the higher ASA you go, from my understanding of most digital cameras, the better the Highlights and worse the Shadows).

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Seeing "too much noise" is partly a matter of taste, it's very subjective. One person may think the noise at 1600 ISO is fine and another may not like it at all. And how large the image will be seen affects how distracting noise will be, and how much the blacks or overall image, or certain colors, will be lifted and/or lowered will affect noise. The higher the ISO, the less latitude you have to make changes in post to levels before the noise gets visibly increased, in other words, you may find it usable at 1600 ISO in tests only to find that you slightly underexposed the scene or didn't use enough fill light and once you make the correction in post, the noise goes up because you are more or less rating it even higher in one or more of the color channels.


On the other hand, you can apply some noise reduction in post-processing, though it may impact sharpness.


800 ISO is a good starting point for low-light work, I use that all the time on the Alexa and occasionally switch to 1000 ISO without that jumping out too much, but lower ISO's are definitely cleaner. If you want a very clean look, then 400 or 500 ISO is good.

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Its hard to tell on the internet, but I shot this whole video at 2000 ISO with digi cons and Hawk anamorphics wide open. We did it for a look, but the "noise" isnt excessive even at this ISO. All the Night INT/EXT and Day INT/EXT are at 2000ASA



Hope this helps


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