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Posts posted by independent

  1. The lowlight is very good? I heard the opposite. I'm curious how it compares to the 1DX II if you still have both models. The high iso/low light on my 1DX II looked remarkably film-like and organic; the noise structure looks more analog than digital. I imagine the Sony A7S II to have the clearest image in the low light, but even then it doesn't quite shed its digital look. 

  2. Preference for either the Sony or Canon's color science is subjective. The A7SII's advantages in low light and the 1DX II's autofocus are not. Each has its pros and cons, leaving it up to the project to determine either's suitability. Both are great cameras. I'd be leery of putting too much of an emphasis on the out-of-box image for either camera. Too many factors play a role in the final image. Neither camera is going to make your movie for you.

  3. I'd say it depends on your needs and style of shooting.

    If you're in a sound-controlled room, yes you can get away with a quality mic into a quality recorder. 

    But when you increase the number of subjects/actors, or need better isolation because of the shooting environment, or meet the expectations of the client or studio, then you need more tools. in many situations a mixer would be essential - regardless of how good a cameras preamps are.

    In the end, that's why you really do need a person for location /production sound, for the majority of shoots. You need experience and the tools to capture sound in the most appropriate way.

    Can you shoot without one? Sure. But it would have to be very limited to a specific situation, or your results will be compromised. Maybe that's ok - I know eng guys often use a mic with a wider pattern and just shoot close with a wide lens. Depends on your needs and limitations.

    But for a more dynamic single operator you should have a mic with decent reach and rejection, and two sets of wireless mics. And a mixer with quality preamps.

    Even for a single subject interview in a treated environment, I would send a lav into one channel and the mounted/boomed mic into the other, for safety. Again, clipping, self-noise, batteries, too many potential problems, avoided with not much more effort.

    It depends on the project, but sometimes getting out of the way and letting the story come through means doing things right, which can mean hiring a sound guy. Even if that sound guy is your buddy you roped into holding a mic for eight hours.


  4. 7 hours ago, jcs said:

    The C300 II preamps sound pretty good, though the limiter isn't as good as Sound Devices. I would expect the C100 II to sound not too far off (who knows, Canon might even use the same parts/circuits to save cost). From what we've shot so far on the Schoeps CMC641 and Audix SCX-1HC (way lower cost and not far from the Schoeps in sound quality) into the C300 II, I'm not sure a Sound Devices would provide significantly better sound in the studio. For location shoots, Sound Devices will likely sound better, however as a one-man band most of the time, I prefer not to use separate audio to save time in post (and reduce shoot complexity). Someday I might do a dialog test with a Schoeps CMC641 into a Sound Devices USBPre2 and compare quality to the C300 II.

    You must definitely be a video guy, raw dogging a schoeps into your dirty camera's xlrs. 

    I previously owned that mic, and it's beautifully clean and transparent. But it can sound thin and it's pickup pattern is both forgiving and promiscuous. No mic can read your mind. Not a problem in a studio, but like you noted, on location it's different, you really need to maximize that s/n: mic placement, proper gain staging, etc., and you need the right tools. You really need to raise the gain if you can't boom tight enough, which is often on an indie set, where challenging conditions (lack of noise control, short crew, limited takes, etc.) calls for quality mixers and recorders. 

    And I'd highly recommend redundant audio for a one man band, for safety. Doesn't have to be complex. 

  5. The Fostex is built like a piece of shit MyFirstSony. But it records some clean sound. And it's dirt cheap used, as is the marantz. Sound Devices are excellent, i own a mixpre-D, but they're heavy and relatively expensive. If you need everything on the camera for handheld, you can easily attach a high quality handheld recorder such as the aforementioned sony pcm10 and/or one of the newer zooms..the u-series look pretty good. And that will capture better sound than your C100 or any other video camera. I'd do it even for safety, can't even count how a secondary track saved a shoot - batteries crapping out, levels, etc.

    Funny, I've been through a lot of cameras, but lenses and sound gear have stayed with me. Loyal like dogs. Cameras are bitches.

  6. 4 hours ago, Policar said:

    The C series has a different over/under (favoring highlights by two stops) from the 1DX and just generally far more DR, on par with the 1DC. The 8 bit argument is wrong, the gamma and color space are appropriate to the codec for Canon Log 1.

    Also, the C100's pre-amps are way better than a Zoom, even the newer ones. Not as good as Sound Devices, but shockingly good. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, but I would recommend everyone do their own research. I'm not going to argue with you anymore because it's boring to hit my head against a wall, I just want to state something actually true to provide a counterpoint to such blatant misinformation–simply to encourage people to do their own research (and discover that I'm right).

    I don't want to argue about this, just to encourage people to do their own research because competent people will agree with me and incompetent people can work with whatever tools suit their incompetence best.

    Far more DR? Let's not get carried away here. And I'm talking about practical advantage. Unless you're shooting at 850 all the time and properly exposed, you won't take advantage of the C100's dynamic range in c-log. There's also usable dynamic range. It's codec is 8-bit and the bitrate is low. The recording levels are stretched thin if you're shooting in c-log. There are also artifacts such as vertical stripes and horizontal banding. These are well-documented. Even the 1DC suffers from it. C-log on 8-bit cameras is overrated.

    On the other hand, the 1DX II, while not having a very efficient codec, gives you a lot of information. It's a thick image. Dynamic range is one consideration, but so is recording level. And on top of that, if the 1DXII's 4k footage were downscaled to HD, how would it compare with the c100's HD? Detail, color information, etc.? Well Andrew himself tested the 1DC 4k downscaled compared to the c100, and it was WAY BETTER in your words. The 1DX II would benefit from the same advantages. 

    Bottom line: the 1DXII will have better downscaled 1080 than the c100. And there is no 4K comparison, of course.

    Sound - What's the blatant misinformation here? Personal experience: last year we used c100's for a shoot. We had an SD mixer/recorder for the schoeps on a boom. But despite the tight budget, we wanted the best possible safety/guide tracks directly into the camera. We tested an ancient Fostex recorder and I believe a Marantz 661 - both were noticeably cleaner even to me - and I'm not particularly sensitive to sound. The Sound Devices is rated an EIN of 130, Fostex, 129, Marantz, 125. I have no idea what the c100's rating is, but shockingly good? It wasn't, not compared with "decent" affordable recorders. But maybe we have different standards and professional expectations.

    (And sorry, it's not way better than Zoom's new recorders...the F8 was rated at 127 and their H6 at 120. They've leveled up since their h4n. Talk about misinformation)

    I like the c100II a lot, but it has its limitations, including that it doesn't shoot 4K - and it's $4k. It's long in the tooth...but it's a great HD doc camera. 

    Just don't misrepresent misinformation...it's just your opinion. Enjoy the c100's WAY BETTER dynamic range and SHOCKINGLY GOOD sound. Just know you didn't back it up with anything. I'm not going to make any assumptions about your competency, because I'm sure you make SHOCKINGLY GOOD wedding videos.

  7. The 1DX II isn't a video camera? It shoots video. It's a video camera. We're past the time when a dedicated camera necessarily means a better image capturing machine. As far as dynamic range, most of the good dslr's have about 11-12 stops (s-log3 is problematic for sony's 8-bit codec). Blackmagic does give you more usable dynamic range, and they have excellent noise control/grain structure. But some people have their issues with them.

    Now does the c100 II have a better image? Well, no.

    The 1DX II gives you high quality 4K with low rolling shutter and great out-of-the-box color. Also, the best video AF w/ touchscreen. And the c100 would not give you any practical advantage in dynamic range, color, low light, noise, etc. Even the 1DC's advantage is way overblown here...c-log has limited use because of the 8-bit codec, and you need to shoot at native iso, in many/most situations you'd probably be using a different picture profile. 

     As far as audio, yes the C100 does give you XLR inputs, but the quality of the preamps aren't even as good as the consumer Sony PCM-10 (<$250) or the newer Zoom products, which give you far more options in a compact package. Unless you absolutely need the super low bitrates of the c100.

    Also, the 1DX II is a world class stills camera. 

    Why would you be investing in an old video camera and an old stills camera when their combined price is pretty much the same as the 1DX II? 

    The 1DXII is both a quality 4K video camera + top stills camera. 



  8. Depending on budget and the demands of the shoot, the 6300 could be a great option or a terrible one. Same with the 1DX II, A7R II, or A7S II. None of those cameras are bad, they all have appropriate situations.

    And resolution isn't the only factor for flattering actors. For one, talent with good skin. It's a cruel business. Next, makeup artists, lighting, focal length, shooting distance, lens characteristics, filters. 


  9. If you need video autofocus and are a hybrid shooter, then the best all rounder seems to be the Canon 1DX II and the Sony a7r II. Best bang for the buck is the a6300. No perfect camera out there. At any price. You're better off seeing what the needs are of the specific project or your own style of shooting and workflow. Do you work as a DP on a traditional film set, or are you a one-man band, are you a wedding shooter, are you a hobbyist, etc.?

    If you're looking to invest, just keep in mind the short refresh cycles for cameras. Photographers always say invest in the lenses and that's largely true for videographers too. I say largely true, because with autofocus, many of the amazing manual focus lenses are less important to you. If you don't use autofocus, then you'd still be able to take advantage of all your nice leica-R's and zeiss lenses.



  10. Give Blackmagic credit. First, they're a relatively tiny manufacturing operation. They deadlifted their chances of success in a tough market. Samsung left, for crying out loud. Digital bolex, done. A few others tried too, and failed. 

    Blackmagic brought innovative products at an accessible price point - many of us are direct beneficiaries of that. Years ago, I replaced my red scarlet with the fresh BMCC, which had a better overall image with far less fuss. And the camera was ready to shoot at a cost 1/10th of the price of the red scarlet, which itself was the cheapest real cinema camera at the time.

    And even if you don't like their prroducts, you still benefitted indirectly from that. Blackmagic is an industry disrupter. They put a lot of pressure on a lot of companies (Red immediately responded with a failed 4K for 4K campaign) and raised the quality and features of competing products. 

    Don't forget the fact that Blackmagic also offered a class grading software free with Davinci resolve (again disrupting the industry) as well as integrating a NLE into it (again disrupting the industry). 

    All their moves have helped the independent filmmaker. 

    Yes, they've had delays (not nearly as bad as RED) and some minor flaws (that other companies had too), but these are the growing pains of a small company. They don't have the resources that Canon and Sony have for QC and supply chain management. If they raised prices that would obviously help, but they're intentionally pricing their stuff very aggressively.

    They're probably operating at a loss or very slim margins to stay in the game. If they go under...that would be a painful loss. Because they are approaching products with an intelligence and practicality that are sorely lacking in the competition. 

    The ursa mini 4.6k is not for extreme low-light situations, or autofocus, or drone work, but for traditional filmmaking, there is nothing out there that provides a comparable image at its price point. 

    This forum has a lot of dslr/mirrorless users, who complain a ton about their image. What's funny, so many of their complaints are answered....with blackmagic cameras. Color science, simple straightforward menus, no overheating, motion cadence, filmic, thick codecs, etc. It's all right there. 


  11. You're one generation away from the 1dc losing competitiveness. Even the c100 ii I think is done, or they'll have to rebadge the c300 ii and shift the entire line. 1080 is over. 4K has come to the mainstream consumer pipeline; now the next step is the quality of that 4k and other feature like autofocus, low light, stabilization, etc. Next, we'll see the new sonys, blackmagics, Panasonic, etc. - even new canons, but in the c-line or xc-line.

    $5k next year will buy you a lot. The 1dc is a great camera, but the rest of the market is catching up with image quality, while surpassing it with features. There's no sacred cow in tech - everything gets left behind eventually. Always invest more in talent-




  12. I'm not surprised. Aside from the unreliable promo videos, with questionable grades, I expect the actual quality of the video to be similar to the 1DX II, aside from the difference in crop and frame rates. Then again, the 1DX II is almost double the price of the 5D IV, so it's reasonable to expect some differences.

    The 5D IV is at a similar price point to the Sony a7r II, which has its own drawbacks. Color science versus crop factor? Either will be a deal breaker for some, or minor obstacles for many others. 

    Still, the 5D IV has the best implementation of video autofocus on the market, quality 4K (despite the crop), good colors out of the box, rugged body and proven reliability, and of course the widest range of available lenses. 

    Right now, there are only two small cameras with usable video autofocus that doesn't have some MAJOR operational limitation (a6300): The Sony a7r II and the 5d IV.

    Glad to see more tools out there. 

  13. If you're shooting in an apartment, you have control over lighting, movement, blocking, etc. So your priority should be the best image quality. For low budget, I'd say it's the Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4.6K. It does have a couple issues: don't shoot past f8 to avoid magenta corners (but you control lighting so no big deal) and some reports about noisy audio preamps - but that doesn't matter, because you should be using better audio for a feature anyways. Even a couple hundred bucks will get you better audio than what's in $10K, $20K cameras.  

    Just remember, all of these cheaper cameras have drawbacks. But for a feature? The URSA Mini 4.6K will be the easiest to get a filmic and cinematic look for its price range. It does not look like "video" because of its dynamic range, motion cadence, grain structure, thick codec, etc.  

    Personally, I think even the Canons DSLR's don't quite look filmic or cinematic. Even the 1DC. It's praised for skin tones among the small cameras, but you should check out how the ursa mini 4.6k captures people's skin. Obviously as human beings, we're tuned to those details more than the whiskers of a cat. And the blackmagic just takes it to another level as far as transparency, detail, tonality - it hangs with the big boys like RED and Alexa. You should get a high quality monitor or the best 4K TV (hey you're in Korea ;)) you can find, and check out the footage. We did, and we were blown away. But it's not the best camera for any situation.

    But it comes down to your story, crew, and your own preferences. 

    In fact, I would spend a few hundred dollars to rent a couple cameras for even a weekend....Have the DP, camera op, DIT, even editor, and of course the director, to figure out what works the best for you guys.

    Go on a date before getting hitched. Could save you a ton of money down the line.

  14. Well, heavier loads are better carried on the shoulder. Even a fully kitted out red epic on a monopod gets unwieldy - been there. Some have had luck with ones with a foot to pivot or a small base for increased stability. Either way it was hard to get controlled camera movement.

    You won't get anything close to steadicam results for shoulder mounted setups, but good camera operators move with a smooth gait. A good a/c helps immensely too. Also, a properly balanced shoulder rig makes a difference, and the increased mass tends to smooth out "jitters" that one tends to see with the lightweight dslrs. I think Daniel peters had a telling video that compared a Sony a7sii with stabilization and an ursa mini (none) and the ursa looked smoother because of the mass, balance, and shoulder rig.

    A shoulder rig make a lot of sense when you want to shoot fast (practical) and/or convey an immersive/doc aesthetic. So even if might not be perfectly stable, it might be perfect for the situation. Still being used heavily from indies to Hollywood.

  15. The key difference between this and a monopod is that the monopod is fixed to the ground at point of contact. That's where it gets its stability, which is fine for photography, and for static shots in video, e.g., photo/video journalism.

    But for motivated camera movement? Then yes, you would need something like this, or an easy rig, steadicam. The latter especially for heavier loads or long takes. 

    It's a clever setup for light loads or short takes, as is the monopod on belt variations, brings back memories of stick-on-my-dick jokes that stopped being funny when you were sporting bruises in your groin.


    But I love the DIY approaches. Who cares what you look like, or how goofy it is. Christopher Doyle was running around shooting with a pillow taped to his chest to stabilize his camera.

    Jennifer Connolley was strapped with a heavy, ridiculous-looking, crazy-ass rig for her selfie take in Requiem For a Dream. And she had to perform like that. That's the talent looking ridiculous for the film, not the crew that nobody gives a shit about. 

    Get the shot. 

  16. As a former red owner and operator, be aware of the full costs of your shooting kit, outside of the brain/camera body. Almost every RED accessory is proprietary and much more expensive than its corresponding part in another ecosystem. 

    As far as the cameras being "dated," most of their features hold up, because they were really ahead of its time. Other manufacturers have caught up in some ways, but the dynamic range, redcode, resolution, etc. are all pretty competitive or even preferable. A lot of people, including David Fincher, Peter Jackson, and Steven Soderbergh, like using it. 

    Look at Red's track record as far as theatrical release and broadcast. Alexa is more common, but there's a major price difference there as well. 

    But you should treat it like a full production camera and have the budget to support it.

    You shouldn't go Red because you think it's "cheap." It won't be. 

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