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syrcular

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    syrcular got a reaction from Parker in Finally selling my 5D Mark III...what next?   
    Getting back to the original topic, I have done some exhaustive research and renting of cameras, to figure out what my next move was and after careful study, I've decided to wait a little longer.  It seems there are a few options in the Canon and Panasonic camp that might be relevant to what I'm looking for, and I feel like I don't want to commit to a specific camera yet, so I'm planning on renting in the meantime...but...I hopped on another discussion thread from a user that had similar question of what camera next, and I shared some of the my conclusions on there, so I thought I'd copy and paste my response to here.  This will give a litte more context too my findings/assessment of the cameras we've been talking about.  One note:  Sorry ML users.  I love the idea of going Canon ML, but just didn't have the reliability as you guys experienced, so I can't see myself going that direction.
    Anyway...here's my thoughts...
    "It's been really interesting reading through this thread.  I started a similar one, after ditching my Canon 5D Mark III to pickup a dedicated video camera, since I now shoot stills mostly on Fujifilm X camera and wasn't satisfied with the quality of the 5D Mark III in comparison to other video cameras I was renting and shooting with for video projects.  The 5D Mark III was brilliant in it's day and still to this day shoots amazing stills, but because I shoot a lot of street photography needed something smaller and Fuji really helped replace that function in more compact package, so my 5D sat in the closet a lot.  I did consider using ML on my 5D to sort of resurrect it as my dedicated video camera, but felt like ML was way to unpredictable for my liking, contrary to the fact that it DID produce much better video and stunning footage in RAW.
    So that started my search for the new camera, and it really came down to either Canon or Blackmagic simply for the color science and ease of grading.  I found both cameras to be the easiest to grade.  Sony is an impressive package, but I find their footage to be a little too sharp and green and because there color science is a bit different in it's approach, I found that it took more time to grade, and although my results were positive, I felt there were a lot of challenges, with using the camera from color to exposure.  I'm sure after some mileage one could get used to it, and make it into an amazing camera, but I felt in comparison to the Canon and Blackmagic packages, it seemed to not make sense to me.  Then there's the Panasonic.  Also same deal with Sony.  Except the footage looked more magenta cast, then I prefer, and very sharp in a video sort of way.  Where Sony is hard to expose but has good low light capabilities, I find the Panasonic can accurately expose more through it's built in tools, but is not ideal for low light.  I think there cameras have gotten better and better as they progress and even there skin tones have improved from footage I've seen with their G7 and most recently the GX80/85, but again the footage is a bit more hard work to make filmic or skin tone friendly, at least to me.
    So then we move onto the Canon C series.  In the theme of this conversation, I think the ultimate camera package that seems to do everything, from experience shooting with it, is the C300 Mark II.  It has the filmic quality of an Arri Alexa, making it a more than adequate B Camera for it, for commercials, films and TV, but also with all the features needed on the exterior to make it an amazing run and gun tool for the Doc and otherwise applications.  It has 4K internal recording capability, Canon Log color, 1080p60 for slow motion, built in ND filters, etc......I feel this is the most versatile camera package out there, with the most appealing image quality to match.  However it exceeds the price of the cameras discussed in this thread, by a good chunk...SO...we have to look at alternatives, and this is where things get a little weird....
    The Canon C100 Mark II is definitely not a C300 Mark II.  But it offers a ton in it's price class.  It has all the bells and whistles of the C series cameras making it a very capable all in one system, with everything you need.  This is a camera that you can pickup and go.  No question.  The image quality is not as filmic to me, as the C300, but is a very capable and elegant look, compared to a lot of cameras out there.  Personally I think this camera is a must for the professional videographer, doing a lot of doc, or commercial style shooting and I'm sure you've heard similar assessments in this and other forums.  The Dual Pixel Autofocus is a revolutionary feature as well to this camera!  
    However from a narrative film perspective, I prefer a more filmic look, which I feel this one doesn't produce inherently, lets say compared to a Blackmagic camera or C300 Mark II (or Alexa, if you want to go there).  But of course, with work, can probably be accomplished with grading.
    The other missing feature to this camera, is 4K.  I know...everyone says we don't need 4K now...and that's totally true, and if I were buying a camera for 1000-1500, I'd say don't worry about the 4K now, just get something when you need it...but when you're looking at a camera, specifically like the C100 Mark II, priced at around $4500, it becomes an investment, which means having something a little more long term, and as 4K emerges into a standard, you want to make sure that your camera at that price level is at least a little future proof.  And that's where I hesitate with moving on a C100 Mark II.
    Then we go to the mighty Blackmagics!  Now I've spent a lot of time drooling over the footage on these cameras.  esthetically, these cameras produce the closest look to what I look for in this price category, but I do have to say each of them has a bit of a different look to them, so lets break that down for a sec.
    BMCC, BMPCC - These were the first ones.  I feel these are the best ones.  They seem to have the least amount of issues on the image side, from what I've experienced and seen.  It's not the best at low light, compared to the Canon's but totally use-able.  I even had a BMPCC for awhile, and did a natural/available and low light test with it.  Here's the link if you want to check it out...  
    It's not scientific at all, but you can see what can be done with this camera in a number of available light situations.  At the time I didn't know that the native ISO was 800, so I was changing ISO settings based on the scenes I shot.  But as you can see, it's filmic and the grain is organic looking enough.  Depending on your tastes of course!  The draw backs to these specific cameras are with the BMPCC, it's only HD, and with the BMCC it's 2.5K sensor not 4K.  However at this price point, I don't think it's as much a show stopper.  And these cameras just produce amazing filmic image quality.  They also record RAW, which is another plus to these cameras.  Offering a load more dynamic range.  So from the image perspective, I think all the characteristics of these cameras, are a plus.  These cameras have often been used as B cameras for Alexas as well.  Especially the Pocket, which can be rigged in places where a camera might not normally fit.
    The not so great challenges of these cameras are the crop factor, especially with the EF version of the BMCC, not being able to use speedboosters which of course changes the crop factor from 2.3 to 1.5 (Super 35), because of it's mount type, which severely limits lens choices, especially in wide options.  The BMCC MFT though offers more lens options, but if you own a lot of EF glass, you won't be able to control aperture since it's a passive mount.  Which makes the BMPCC the most flexible option with an Active Mount, and MFT compatible, so you should be able to control aperture on EF glass as well as autofocus.
    Another challenge is getting all the necessary accessories to these cameras, which has been discussed thoroughly already so I don't have to get into that, but there are some ideal accessories, and there are other things, where you'll have to get more creative to kit it out, depending on your needs.  But all in all it's basically a sensor, that you have to build into a camera.
    The last downside, I think with this camera, is no slow motion.  It does a maximum of 1080p30.  For folks doing more filmic work, you would think that would be a feature more of interest, but I'm guessing it's a technical limitation to the camera's hardware.
    BMPC4K - This camera was the next in line.  I"ve been reading a lot of mixed reviews on this camera.  Basically a 4K version of the BMCC.  So it has all the features and issues of the above camera with two exceptions.  It has 4K which is great!  And it's got a Super 35 size sensor, so no crop factor issues.  And it comes in EF or PL.  No MFT, which is a bit of a bummer, but if you have EF or PL glass you're all set.  But how's the image?  From what I can tell...not as good as the 2.5K BMCC.  I found the BMPC4K footage to not look as filmic, for starters, but most importantly I saw two big show stopping issues.  One is that highlights were not as detailed on the BMPC4K as they are in the BMCC.  They seemed to blowout as easily as a DSLR.  Second issue...when I was playing around with one, I noticed that the camera only goes at 800 ISO (please correct me if this is something I'm mistaken) and the BMPCC and BMCC can do 1600  and at lowlight exhibited some pretty major fixed pattern noise.  Those issues alone make this camera to me, un-usable.
    Ursa Mini 4K and 4.6K- Now we come to these gems.  The answer to all of our gripes on the camera limitation front.  Good ergonomics, same image quality, built in audio, 4K or 4.6K options, good sensor size, high frame rate options, professional lens mount capabilities, Super 35 sensor size.  All we've been asking for.  But here's why this camera is a no go for me, at least for now....  It seems that these cameras have a number of issues in both image quality and hardware.  Things like the dreaded magenta cast, which I hear is improving with firmware upgrades, more of that fixed pattern noise from the BMPC4K!  Audio noise in the audio inputs, is another issue.  And many other weird issues here and there, which I hear maybe as easy as swapping the camera for another at the store as a solution, but still!  It seems they rushed this camera to ship, and are now paying for it.  So it seems that we need to wait for about as long as it took the BMCC and BMPCC to mature.  Promising but not ready...today.
    BMMCC - So this camera to me is the most frustrating and exciting from the batch, because it sounds like a totally functional camera, but lacks in the user interface.  It's got 1080p60 and the flexible size of the Pocket camera, and It sounds like the image quality is great, but like the other posters have mentioned, it sounds like a nightmare to operate.  Even at controlled filming environments, we want to be able to access operations on the camera quickly.  It sounds like the buttons and menus and overall operations of this camera are non intuitive and slow.  With the same theme of the earlier cameras.  It's a great naked sensor and brain that needs to be built into a camera.  I don't think I would mind as much, with that factor in mind, but if the buttons are hard to hit and it's hard to access the menu options quickly, controlled shooting environments or not, this poses a real challenge, that might not be worth it.
    So this is sort of my take on the cameras discussed on this thread, from loads of time operating the cameras, or researching heavily on footage examples and reviews.
    I still haven't replaced my 5D.  I felt given all the factors I laid out, I'd rather rent camera bodies for now, for specific projects, rather then invest in a specific camera since I feel like we're close to hitting all the marks, but not quite.  I also want to wait because I've heard there are some new things being announced in both Canon and Panasonic camps this fall that might be worth waiting and taking a look, so I'm planning on getting something probably this fall or winter.
    If I had to make a choice today, given that I do mostly music videos, short films, and some commercial work.  I'd probably get a C100 Mark II.  It works with my existing Canon EF glass, has 1080p60, great dynamic range, low light, built in audio and ND filters.  I can work with this footage, and with a combination of even more filmic glass, can make the image more filmic, if I need to.  I think I would rather work harder in that avenue then have to work with hobbling a camera together with many parts and stuff to get it to a place, where it's functional.  I don't even feel I have to do that with a Arri Alexa even though you have to kit that camera out, I feel like the camera itself is still intuitive and functional.  I love the BM image quality, but it's really not a camera, in the sense of how Arri, RED, and Canon cameras are.  If I had to get a BM camera today, I would probably go back to buying a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, and rig that up as best I can.  I think the button positions are more accessible than the BMMCC, and feels more like a camera, and I don't need to put a monitor on it, to control it's functions.
    That's just my 2-cents."
     
  2. Like
    syrcular got a reaction from Lintelfilm in C100 MkII vs Ursa Mini 4K   
    Lintelfilm - Did you end up buying a new camera, and if so, which one did you end up getting?  I"m in the same boat now, and was curious to hear what you concluded on!
  3. Like
    syrcular reacted to andy lee in Wide lenses on the GH2 that won't vignette?   
    Panasonic 14mm f2.4 lens is very good and NO vignetting and NO corner distortion on my gh2 or G6
    I use this lens alot , yes its 14mm not 12mm but it has aspheric elements and is RAZOR Canon L series sharp.
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