Survey shows the kit used to shoot and post the 30 highest-rating dramas of the second half of 2014


Confirmation that Arri’s Alexa is the camera of choice for high-end drama might not make many people fall off their chairs with surprise. But this snapshot of drama in the second half of 2014 shows the extent to which the Alexa has come to dominate the sector in the fi ve years since it was launched.

It has become so well-established with DoPs that rival manufacturers face a tough task convincing productions to adopt an alternative. But given the pace of innovation and the rate at which new cameras are launched, such dominance is by no means assured. Take Scott & Bailey, for example. Now in its fourth series, the production team shifted from the Alexa to Red Epic cameras for the most recent series, citing more creative freedom – particularly in post – and the ability to deliver in 4K.

But where one door closes, another opens. BBC drama Holby City, which shoots with Panasonic AJ-HPX3700s, is expected in March to move to the Amira, Arri’s documentary-style camera, which uses the same sensor as the Alexa. And Broadcast TECH understands that Panasonic’s Varicam has already been snapped up by a UK costume drama that will shoot in March, so it could make an appearance in the next instalment of this survey.

When it comes to monitors and grading systems, there is a much greater degree of variance. Launched in the same year as the Alexa, Dolby’s reference monitor has carved out a solid share of the market, but Sony’s range still dominates. It’s a much closer battle between Filmlight and Digital Vision in grading, with Filmlight just coming out on top in this survey.

Top 30 Dramas, 1 July to 31 Dec 2014

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Top 30 Drama Feb 2015