Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Policar

  1. I even bet the 5D4 won't beat the A6300, but I'm not sure it needs to. It won't have more resolution (almost certainly much less) but it also won't overheat in the middle of shooting a once-in-a-lifetime BTS interview with Tom Cruise or something. I have friends who do that kind of stuff and they've had to switch back to cameras with a worse image (despite spending more to get less) because A-listers have little patience and probably don't know what aliasing is. And so.... this argument is fruitless. The 80D is a great low end "pro" camera because it's reliable and the image is good enough to sell (the 7D was used extensively on national ads and still occasionally used as a B camera on major tv series). For resolution enthusiasts, there are lots of other options, though. So are you an artist or a hack? Sounds like you're an artist. Not me. I'll take hack if the day rate is higher and it's an amicable team. Even on my own recreational projects I don't want to waste time in post or on set. But kudos to people on both sides. Just because I don't have the finances or financial freedom to up my game doesn't mean I don't want to. Artists and hacks both have valid motivations, and even Spielberg money won't bridge that gap. Good luck convincing anyone to switch sides because they won't easily.... The A6300 probably has a sharper image than the Alexa 65, forget a Canon dSLR. If what you're after is technical excellence you've found it. Sure there's tons of skew, it breaks down on set, and the color is hideous unless you control it carefully–but the resolution is breathtaking and with enough patience and care in lighting you can work around the rest. But some of us are broke and need that paycheck. And worse yet we're lazy. Living wage is $80k/year in my market. Once that's paid for, I'll consider trading up. For now... if it pays, that's what counts. So I salute the 80D guys. I even want one because it seems so easy to use I can save on crew and pay myself more. But I also think it's sort of criminal that we still put up with such a soft picture, and that Canon won't offer more. All I need is GH2 sharpness and 80D everything else and I'm sold. Weird... really weird... that that isn't available even now. It should be.
  2. 5D RAW holds up better in the grade than AVCHD, but its internal codec–no matter the settings–is a lot worse than AVCHD, you can get banding and stuff sometimes even with the higher bitrate. Highlight detail is pretty good with the C-line, but you need to know how to treat the footage. There's a lot of highlight detail (1-2 stops better than a dSLR) but still 2-3 stops less than an Alexa and a stop-ish less than a Dragon, A7S, F5, etc. so you have to be a little careful. Use your waveform monitor and don't be scared to hit 109IRE if you need to just be careful not to throw away super whites in post because they aren't visible by default and YUV to RGB conversion can destroy them. Use an incident meter until you get the hang of it or you'll tend to overexpose. Or just like don't overexpose. The rolloff looks a bit "video" but it's pretty easy to clean up. Go into Resolve, bring your 109 IRE down into legal range, then if you need to apply a hue vs saturation curve and set it so it only effects the brightest areas (brightest 1/4 of the curve) and drag the top end down to like 20% saturation or 0% saturation until the highlights clip to white instead of to a more saturated color. Looks great after that. This is assuming you shoot Canon Log, the same thing should work in WideDR. I wouldn't shoot anything either than those two and they're both fine. External recorders aren't necessarily worth the trouble but for low light they can help. For >3200 ISO or for fine detail (foliage, etc.) the C100's AVCHD can fall apart a bit but it's actually a pretty good codec unless you love torturing stuff in post.
  3. I owned both since they came out, but recently sold the 5D. The C100 is a little... boring... but the image is in a totally different league. Better than the 5D III RAW technically even but a little less "magic" to it, there's a little more tonality and pop with the huge sensor. It's my favorite no fuss image below the Alexa, if not the best technically. Be careful how you expose. There is less flexibility in post than you might get with some other cameras. The EVF is indeed unusable so a loupe is a good idea.
  4. I'm not sure anyone does. My friends did have good luck with the C300 (their feature got into Cannes, won an award there, then Sundance thereafter–but more importantly, the camera worked equally well for a traditional 30-person crew as it did for a one-person splinter unit) and I think now it's a good deal if you can rent it to other friends, too, and I just like using it–but apparently they bought it more to look cool on set, who'd a thunk it, even though they were used to shooting Alexa! But just buy whatever doesn't get in the way. If you only care about storytelling or performance just get a t2i and focus on that. That camera is great, it doesn't get in the way and the image looks good enough with the least unnecessary effort. The quest for a good story is hard, but the quest for better image quality is a sadder one because talent is free and production value is $$$$. So your holy grail quest to eek ever so much more out of that GH4 isn't worth a thing compared with a day in private equity. Whereas Hollywood is voracious for that story the millennials love and they're gonna give you five Alexas and hundreds of thousands in fees from an eight figure budget to direct it–you know, the one you shot on your iPhone.
  5. If you applied half as much passion to video as you applied to these posts you'd be the next Spielberg.
  6. Curious to read it. It's a public forum, speak your mind.
  7. I work for myself. So I'm actually a real cheapskate. Don't worry about Syfy channel. If that's not what you want to do, then you'll be lucky enough to never have to work with Syfy channel. Just ignore what they're doing if you don't like it and you'll be better off. A C300 is not that expensive–$4500 used, maybe? If you save even a week of work in post from having timecode sync or raise your wet hire rate $100/day over the competition, or book more work because producers like it, you will quickly be in the black. My friends who bought C300s made a lot of money very quickly because it's a popular rental item and a lot of places wanted to hire them really quickly ($30,000/month is a normal rate for a camera op on tv even without owning a camera). I bought a C100, I'm very happy with it and paid it back within a few months and still rent it from time to time, but I can't rent it for nearly as much as if I had spent more. In the long run, the cheaper option costs more. I wouldn't advise spending money on anything unless you have disposable income and enjoy your hobby or know you can make it back in full within six months of purchase. But if you can... go for it. Ever played Monopoly? The conservative players are always the first to go bankrupt.
  8. My friends had good luck with a C300 on their micro-budget feature. It was a compromise (the DP/director was used to Alexas) but they found the ease of use kept costs down and allowed them to get better practical effects. Their grade was very good, I think they spent money on that. It's nice because you can use it with no crew for pick ups and set it up very quickly and the ergonomics are great. It's different for everyone, but I can't say enough good things about the C300 for very low budget (under $500k) productions. Past that point you should rent an Alexa. I wouldn't consider anything without timecode sync for a feature unless you figure something out with a comtek providing a reliable guide track. The C100 Mk II is good for weddings but I wouldn't use it for a feature unless I already owned one. "Narrative" sort of implies a full team of camera assistants and a G&E crew, but I'm assuming you don't have one all the time. If you do, definitely Alexa or even Dragon is nice.
  9. Everyone is going to be a bit biased toward what they own or choose to use because it took all their research and money to get to that decision (plus the additional time and expense of buying and selling and renting and demoing everything under the sun before making the right decision). But while everyone's choice is usually eventually right for their needs–it gets pretty exhausting deluding yourself and going down the wrong path–many cameramen will then embrace the strengths of their given instrument the more they use it and their bias will only extend as their needs are changed by their choices, rather than the other way around. If you've got an A7S you're gonna shoot low light; if you've got a Dragon you definitely won't. There are a lot of talented guitarists, each using and loving completely different guitars, and to what extent choice informed aptitude and aptitude informed choice is debatable there, too. It goes both ways. Causation, correlation, and whatnot. I think the only mistake is believing everyone shares your needs and your taste (and your finances). I like just about everything if it's done well, maybe it's a lack of cultivated taste, so it's easy for me to say "do your thing," but I also think everyone is going to do their thing anyway so being too set in your beliefs won't help unless you're making your own decisions (which you don't need a forum to make). No one else's needs are your own, so every recommendation is going to vary. You seem like someone who is very thoughtful but also opinionated, and it's good to think before drawing a conclusion. But don't be too quick to dismiss those who form their opinions intuitively rather than intellectually. A lot of the greatest filmmakers operate that way when picking coverage, directing performance, etc.–choices far more important than codec. I think Paul McCartney never learned to read music. Bias is good, it shows intelligence. Intransigence isn't, it reveals solipsism.
  10. If it were a paying client, they'd almost definitely have final cut. And you'd have been fired by now. Treat this like a paying client, keep the directors' cut on your website/reel and meet them halfway with the changes (or ask to be paid for changes beyond the third revision). If it's great, great, you'll get high paying clients soon. Don't let a reputation for being difficult from a small local act hurt your potential for commercial success in greater arenas. Work this out amicably.
  11. It's sort of a matter of skill and preference. Both have strengths... Ronin can hold the horizon and handle stairs better. Steadicam has less vertical bumping and is WAY easier to operate precisely and looks more organic, which could be good or bad. Dual operator mode with the Ronin is really the only options for complex blocked work, but off-the-cuff is really cool without. With a tiny rig like that even your wireless follow focus moving the front element will upset your balance too much on most lenses so I would only use a Ronin for a lightweight rig. There are ways to mitigate the vertical bumps, a good operator will handle them okay. But you won't get the same level of control for complex shots. That said, those shots will require a wireless FF, which will throw off a tiny steadicam's balance as you focus, so I don't know about that been great. Also you have to be pretty darned good to be a decent steadicam op, whereas you can hack it as a Ronin op quite easily. I would budget in a wireless FF and wireless HDMI system, too. It gets really limiting without one.
  12. I like the 758C and there are those who rely heavily on spot meters or prefer a dual meter, but a simple Spectra incident meter will be more accurate and simpler than the Sekonic and all you really need. It's what I see most gaffers carrying. That said, if you want to learn all there is to learn, a dual meter like the 758 or 558 will be useful. I find I almost only use the indecent meter when shooting video, though, and the spot meter when shooting 4x5. The 758C is fine overall but you will want to get it calibrated, there's one place in LA that calibrates them for about $100. I think a lot of AFI guys just use a spot meter, which is weird to me. I'd argue a light meter is necessary for any serious work. Maybe you've reached the level where you don't need one, but reading ratios from a waveform monitor seems like a dubious proposition, as does pre lighting a set without an incident meter. If you have a good enough gaffer you may not need one, but I think gaffers appreciate a DP who is as informed about the lighting as he is.
  13. I'm sure we'll keep this in mind next time our clients want some shots of lens caps.
  14. That was my thinking when renting an F5 over the C300, only to find the C300 much better in every way except slow motion option. It seems the FS7 is a big improvement over the F5 and some clients are happy to rent them. Where I work the demand for C300 owner/ops is very very high and most clients won't consider other cameras in that price bracket (definitely not dSLR or C100–no timecode sync or broadcast codec). Then again a decent operator with some experience can make $30k/month without a camera and if you're a business owner the camera doesn't matter, just that the client is happy. Sounds like that's the category this poster falls into (business owner) and there are plenty of affordable options with good images and better workflows than the 5D. But it does deliver the best image for the price and any step up short of an Alexa will offer mostly just a better workflow.
  15. Sure, but the images are much better looking on the Canons. My laptop is more powerful than both, but its webcam isn't great. The above said, I wouldn't upgrade from the 5D to the C300 hoping for a better image. The difference isn't great and you lose the full frame look. I would purely for ergonomics or because clients want it (it's easy to get a $600-$1000/day wet hire rate with one, vastly more for experienced ops–the FS7 is popular, too).
  16. I've owned the C100 since it was released, used the C300 extensively, and was one of the first to use the 5D Mark III raw (also one of the first to order the camera and be disappointed by the soft image). Even used the 5D Mark III RAW and C100 on the same shoot (for an anthology produced by NCB/Universal for cable) and intercut the two. I know these cameras well. Better noise texture is subjective, but the C series absolutely has more dynamic range than the 5D raw. It's very close, but highlight recovery of the 5D Mark III in ACR loses color detail. Maybe under certain daylight-only conditions the two are tied, but introduce mixed lighting or shoot under tungsten and the raw footage begins to lose color detail as you attempt to recover would-be blown highlights. To be fair, you have to use the chroma vs hue slider in Resolve and dig into super whites to recover a stop and a half of detail from the C series and correct the look of the highlights (which preserve color detail this way, but it isn't pretty), but any competent shooter knows this. At least you can recover it, unlike the chroma clipping in Sonys (excepting the new modes recently enabled in the F5/5, kudos to Sony there). You also need to meter properly, with an external light meter, or you'll tend to overexpose on the C series as Canon Log can't be monitored as though it were rec. I'm not sure what more I can say. Noise texture is subjective, but the C series has a more random noise texture and less color noise than the 5D in any mode. If you like clumpy color noise when pushed, I can see liking the 5D more. I can understand liking the 5D's image more overall. The color looks great and the full frame look is very "3D" and smooth. It's "less video" straight out of ACR than ungraded video footage from just about anything.
  17. Canon has insisted since release that the C100 and C300 have an identical image other than codec. That said, a pro on reduser revealed that Canon admitted privately to him that the imaging pipeline on the C100 had been dumbed down relative to Canon's higher end offerings, and the image quality is objectively much worse. Having used both, I can't tell the difference. It seems like, as is often the case, the cheaper cameras have a worse image because less experienced operators have their hands on them. But I never set them up side-by-side and I don't have access to Canon's engineers as did the guy on reduser. That said, it would be an enormous breach of consumer trust if Canon had in fact lied about dumbing the pipeline down and this is the ONLY documented case of anyone making the claim that there's a difference in image quality. At their current prices, I would take the C300 over the C100, though, for sure. The ergonomics are so much better and the image definitely isn't worse. The internal codec is a lot stronger, too. Fwiw, I would consider the C300 a documentary camera and the C100 a wedding/videography camera. The lack of HD/SDI and timecode sync excludes it from anything remotely professional, except on the extreme low end and as a B cam. (That said, I own one and have shot b cam on features that were mostly Alexa and 10-20% C100. No one can tell the difference after the grade, although we had to work around the camera's limitations in dynamic range and shadow tonality by exposing a bit differently. Matching Red and F5 to Alexa proved much harder, however.)
  18. I found the C300 to surpass the 5D Mark III's RAW in every category except the "punchy 3D" full frame look: it has better dynamic range, better low light performance, more even noise texture, far more resolution, less skew, and–most importantly–incomparably better ergonomics and workflow. True anamorphic options are pretty dreadful on the C300, however. You could just rent an Alexa Mini and some Kowas and have something WAY better than both.
  19. Policar

    BM or Red?

    I work on a lot of youtube content that is shot on the Alexa (often with Master Primes, i4s, Summilux, etc.). No one is calling it out as being shot on the Alexa, but it the extra polish is appreciated by clients and audiences. The other reason is simply workflow: it's what crews what on set and it's what is easiest to work with in post. This is also why it's popular in TV. A one-man-band or camera-specific post house can get by okay with something less. One thing to consider with Red is that the cost of entry is much higher than just the camera body. The Red cameras are $30k like the Alexa Mini is $30k, and I would argue Red is much more taxing in post.
  20. Policar

    BM or Red?

    +1 on Alexa Mini if you can afford it, but the total cost will exceed $100k. You might also be able to increase your wet hire rate substantially. I don't like the Red "look" but most clients seem to like it a lot and the specs are quite nice, but their lower end cameras have rented poorly and you will face some competition from rich kids.
  21. Some of the better I've seen. Still has some plastic skin and oversaturated highlights, but mitigated on set and embraced in post rather than poorly hidden. He's got good taste. That looks fine. The video of flowers just looks pretty because it's flowers in shallow focus, but the color and tonality are... meh. The F5 is in a weird place. It's not an Amira and it's not even a Dragon. It's too inelegant to be a C300, though technically it's superior. I don't hate it, but I can't think of anything for which it would be my first choice. FS7 and C300 Mk II would take the cake for me as regards similar cameras, Alexa mini if you have more money; C300 if you have much less. Not here to hate, just here to recommend even better options given the current landscape...
  22. Show me one piece of great looking content shot with an F5.
  23. I strongly disliked the F5 when I used it, but I used it shortly (however extensively) after release. A lot of my issues with it (drifting timecode sync, weird menu options, awkward ergonomics, weird codec) have been addressed. I also didn't care for the image, but Sony has released an Alexa-emulating Gamut for it that should be much better, and if you rate it at 1000ISO instead of 2000ISO it doesn't look bad, and that's still pretty fast for base ISO. It has some nice technical stuff, good slow motion, low skew, superior DR to the C300, dSLRs, and the non-Dragon Epic. What do you want it for? For a "film" look I don't think anyone would recommend it. For doc work, I would much prefer the C300, which is what most producers request for doc work at the sub-Amira level. Rent it, you might have a better experience than I had. It's not bad, just disappointing in a very "Sony" way.
  24. When I'm using a tripod, it's not always staying still. I have noticed overcorrection in pans, etc. I've never seen an IS system in a still lens that looks completely natural in motion. What if I want to do a whip pan and land hard on an object? Are you implying that the inevitable stabilization artifacts I'll get are desirable? IS is a crutch, similar to DPAF. However, if you can't afford to do things properly, it's a good crutch. I use it, sparingly. That's not true about batteries–yes, Canon has added tripod detection, but previously their IS lenses could cause image artifacts even when the image is still from false positives in whatever algorithm they use to detect shake. Maybe the STM lenses have better IS designed for video, I have only used it in non-STM lenses. I doubt they're psychic though and know I'm doing a whip pan, etc. I don't care if their algorithm runs a million times a second, the results have an unnatural motion to them that is foreign to high end content and hiding that motion is sometimes easy, and sometimes not. The unpredictability is the biggest issue on a set where everything else is designed to be safely repeatable. Yes, I think gimbals have an unnatural motion that a good operator can hide. Steadicams have their own issues that a good operator can hide. I don't see how that's related.
  25. To be fair, the only unacceptable motion artifacts I've seen (beyond legitimately anomalous glitches with my 70-200mm f2.8 II IS, but anomalous glitches which would ruin an image) were with Tamron lenses. The IS is amazing, but it locks onto one frame...drifts...finds another: feels very much designed for stills with Tamron. Canon is a bit smoother. But you're speaking incorrectly for an audience who disagrees completely with you, and disagrees correctly. I don't care about numbers, be it 5k frames analyzed or 4k pixels captured, I care about images. And every image stabilized lens I've used has imparted a slightly unnatural motion, or lagged a bit, or self-corrected when stationary, overshot during a pan, etc. For me, in a guerrilla shoot (what 99% of people here are facing) the die roll is in our favor: it's more stable. For those with the complete control of being on set with top level gear and excellent crew members, the die roll is not in their favor: they're already getting it right, IS can only get it wrong at the worst $100,000 moment. There's plenty of middle ground, but how much of your shooting with no IS and with IS has been on studio-distributed features? On tentpoles? With the people you claim to speak infallibly for (union camera operators)? I'm guessing not that much. Every union camera op, AFI grad, etc. I've spoken with would disagree. That said, it's never bad to have the option. But I think Sigma has targeted this lens more toward portraiture and video than toward sports. And to that extent, their omission makes sense.
  • Create New...