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Andrew Reid

Nikon D5 versus Canon 1D C for cinematic 4K video - which wins?

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What I can't understand is that a whole big feedback chain exists here, it is not just some engineer at Nikon deciding to cripple things!

What I think is really wrong is the quality of the feedback.

Take for example, a wedding shooter, who has a relationship with Nikon. Is he going to put that relationship on the line by being negative about their cameras and saying with some urgency in a rather blunt manner how they MUST be improved? It's more likely they will put this kind of criticism in the small print at the end of their glowing endorsement of the camera. More likely they will soft-punt it through the door after the gushing praise has entered. More likely they will sweetly soften the criticism and say things like "GREAT camera but hey it's not perfect, MAAAAYBE you could improve the video mode, but no rush!"

This is the REAL problem.

Take for example the fact the live-view display in video mode has audio meters on the picture and not outside the frame.

This is a basic problem, so basic it probably takes two X / Y coordinates in C++ code to change, since Nikon already has room top and bottom of the 16:9 image on the 3:2 LCD display for these audio meters!

Yet NOBODY has FORCEFULLY pointed out to Nikon in MEANINGFUL NUMBERS that this is completely SHIT AND WRONG.

And for as long as this situation continues, Nikon will continue to lose sales.

smh sounds about right. No one is objectively analyzing feedback on prior existing cameras and listening to the many filmmaking communities such as this one. Hell I don't even think they analyze what their competition is doing or taking time to look at the rise of companies like blackmagic and even crowdfunded cameras. I think in Nikon's head there isn't even any competition. Their once rival Canon has a cinema line and in their head that's fine, Nikon doesn't need a cinema line. I think they truly believe that the name sells itself (which it does because of brand loyalty) and any decline of sales is because less people want camera's which certainly isn't true. These old dogs like Nikon will be put down sooner than they think...

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I was told at NAB last year that Sony is VERY carefully about who they sell their image sensors to and what cameras they are installed in.

He told me that Sony writes contractual limitations into the sale agreement. Sony demands these sensors will only be installed into a competitor's camera with specific X,Y and Z limitations. If the buyer doesn't agree, they don't get the Sony sensor. They can negotiate with Sony but will pay a higher price for it. Supposedly Sony is VERY agressive on these legal contracts. Sony doesnt want is own technology fighting toouch against their own cameras and camcorders.

I dont know if Nikon is buying Sony chips on this new model but if they are, this crippling stuff might not be their fault. They literally could have their hands tied on what they can give their customers and what they cant.

This could be another reason why there are Nikon/Samsung rumors going arround now. I'm certain Nikon wants to get away from Sony at all cost.

Nikon does not own a sensor plant so they MUST buy from a third party supplier. Anybody know if Nikon is buying Sony on this?

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I have to disagree here. I think that would be actualy worse for us because I'm not sure that traditional Japanese managers would think about camera making and pricing in the same way as BM ones. I think that's already proven so far.

Perhaps not Sony, but Panasonic is pretty good price-wise. Not as great as Blackmagic, but certainly affordable, and they're pushing the edge of technology/$ very nicely, and have been for a while now.

I was told at NAB last year that Sony is VERY carefully about who they sell their image sensors to and what cameras they are installed in.

He told me that Sony writes contractual limitations into the sale agreement. Sony demands these sensors will only be installed into a competitor's camera with specific X,Y and Z limitations. If the buyer doesn't agree, they don't get the Sony sensor. They can negotiate with Sony but will pay a higher price for it. Supposedly Sony is VERY agressive on these legal contracts. Sony doesnt want is own technology fighting toouch against their own cameras and camcorders.

I dont know if Nikon is buying Sony chips on this new model but if they are, this crippling stuff might not be their fault. They literally could have their hands tied on what they can give their customers and what they cant.

This could be another reason why there are Nikon/Samsung rumors going arround now. I'm certain Nikon wants to get away from Sony at all cost.

Nikon does not own a sensor plant so they MUST buy from a third party supplier. Anybody know if Nikon is buying Sony on this?

I was actually wondering if that was the case. That, at least, makes sense for Sony. Unlike the case with Canon trying to protect sales of their Cinema line, but instead losing sales to other companies.

This would've made a purchase of Samsung's photo technology a coup for Nikon. Missed opportunities...

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Now that I've had over a years use of 4k 8 bit 4:2:0, I find very little benefit to overall image quality compared with true 1080p. Images seem to be getting more and more digital, artificial, brittle. Lacking in soul. Even TV's are set by default to take out the magic with those horrible "True Motion" settings. 

Point is, what on earth happened to 1080p? The camera companies can't be finished with it yet. 4k is still very much an infant, screaming at customers for market share. 

Canon and Nikon have the most "pleasing" images, but progress in video features is slow. Oh well. 

If Nikon had released: 

- 2.5k compressed raw video and 10 bit ProRes, full readout.

- 120fps HD on an 8 second buffer (decent bitrate).

- Articulating LCD. 

- Peaking, zebras, log (standard video stuff)

..... it would be very very very very popular. Probably. Likely. I'd get one. 

4K smoke and mirrors. And XAVC s-log is the emperors new codec.

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It depends on the 4K though doesn't it...

On mirrorless cameras it certainly beats all the 1080p internal stuff, even if you don't need the resolution there's more in the file because of the lack of pixel binning.

4:4:4 sampling and 10bit luma in theory when you squash it down from 4K to 1080p, although compression muddies that picture, quite literally :)

XAVC SLOG does fulfil a purpose... file sizes, longer recording, cheaper media.

But we need to start having more choice in our codec from the major manufacturers. No reason every mirrorless camera can't have ProRes like a BM Pocket Cinema Camera is there?

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I think Samsung merely miscalculated how long it takes to break into a new market, especially one with products that are pricey. I wish they had sucked it up for another couple of years, came out with an NX2, an NX600, and a crap-ton more lenses, and they would've had a pretty good shot, especially if they had set up a pro support network. Half-hearted efforts won't cut it against competition like Canon, Nikon and Sony. Even Fuji & Olympus have made decades of experience in the field. It's the height of hubris to think they could just jump into the photo game and success in a short amount of time in anything other than the point-n-shoot part of the market. The deep end of the pool requires you to be able to swim and defend yourself against what else is in the water.

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I've long since given up on being angry at Nikon for ignoring video shooters. Once upon a time I thought they'd note the 5D II revolution and fire a quick dart back with the next iteration.. Almost 8 years later it's pretty clear they don't give a damn and never will. I stuck with them for years for video thinking they'd finally figure it out. We shouldn't even discuss them when discussing video. 

You mentioned RED's compressed raw codec.. what's the bitrate on that?

 

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Can't agree enough to this article!  D5 is a huge disappointment!  With 4k 60fps they could have become #1 overnight and they blew it.  Releasing 4K feature Demo videos at 720p also clearly shows they don't have no clue what's going on out there.

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Yes absolutely, they should have stuck it out. Good post.

They had NX on the market for about half a decade, trying to do what it took the rest the best part of half a century to achieve.

Sony's been remarkable in this regard. Their stills camera division was a distant third for a decade. They just kept chip chip chipping away, adding more features than the competition, iterating and modifying their designs radically until they found a way into the future (mirrorless). People who were paying attention switched a few years ago with the NEX-7 era. Now I see a huge sea change happening with a majority of filmmakers I know switching and lots of photographers taking Sony seriously as well. Nice to see the hard work and patient approach pay off.

Their consistency approach is smart, too. They built an array of product categories and packed each with category leading features, so you can confidently move between the levels. I can use my A7s, RX100 IV on most standard shoots, and rent the FS5/FS7 when I need something more capable, knowing I can shoot S Log on all and have a color matched solution. The idea of adding pro codecs on the RX100 IV especially, was genius. I've picked up B Roll for major shoots when I'm just walking around and pull it out of my pocket. to grab something in 4K S Log. 

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Sony's been remarkable in this regard. Their stills camera division was a distant third for a decade. They just kept chip chip chipping away, adding more features than the competition, iterating and modifying their designs radically until they found a way into the future (mirrorless). People who were paying attention switched a few years ago with the NEX-7 era. Now I see a huge sea change happening with a majority of filmmakers I know switching and lots of photographers taking Sony seriously as well. Nice to see the hard work and patient approach pay off.

Their consistency approach is smart, too. They built an array of product categories and packed each with category leading features, so you can confidently move between the levels. I can use my A7s, RX100 IV on most standard shoots, and rent the FS5/FS7 when I need something more capable, knowing I can shoot S Log on all and have a color matched solution. The idea of adding pro codecs on the RX100 IV especially, was genius. I've picked up B Roll for major shoots when I'm just walking around and pull it out of my pocket. to grab something in 4K S Log. 

Keep in mind they also jump-started their ILC division by acquiring Konica-Minolta, thus gaining access to tech & people with decades of experience.

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I use (2) Samsung NX1's mostly in 1080P mode, either at 24FPS or 120FPS.

If I shoot in "DR" Mode on the NX1 and then transcode the footage to Pro Res using Rocky Mountain Transcoder the resulting files look very similar to the Canon C100 Mark II in "Wide DR Mode", however the Samsung NX1 files are much sharper than the C100 Mark II.

Cameras such as the Sony A7S Mark II have great dynamic range and amazing low light abilities, but at the expense of color - even after color correction A7S MK II files are rather dull color wise.

If I shoot with the Samsung NX1 in low light, I'll use one of the Sigma ART lenses wide open at F/1.4 (and never set the NX1 above ISO 1,600) -- the resulting files look amazing with no noise and unbelievably great color fidelity - colors pop the way a Red Scarlett does.

I wish someone would have made an active EF mount for the NX1 because other than the tiny Samsung 30mm prime I don't use any Samsung lenses.

That's Samsung's weakest link - even they're expensive 16-50mm F/2-2.8 zoom at F/2.8 is not nearly as sharp as my Canon EF-S 17-55mm F/2.8 IS Lens and the Samsung 16-50mm is useless for zooming while shooting video because even if the lens is set to manual focus it does crazy things when you zoom - goes in/out of focus in horrendous ways that make the footage unusable.

 I shoot a lot of 120FPS/1080P slow motion footage on the NX1 and it looks very good.

The attached images are still frames from video - Canon C100 Mark II vs Samsung NX1 both shot at 24fps/1080p.

I used the Zeiss 50mm Makro-Planar F/2 ZF Lens at F8 on both cameras and made sure to focus the C100 Mark II accurately using the punch in feature.

Both cameras have a 1.5X crop factor, but I noticed that the C100 Mark II produces a slightly wider image.

The Canon C100 Mark II was set to "Wide DR" mode at its native ISO of 850 and a shutter speed of 1/48th while the Samsung NX1 was in its "DR" mode at ISO 800 and 1/50th shutter speed so we should expect a 10% brighter image from the Canon because of these unequal settings. The Samsung video was transcoded to Pro Res using Rocky Mountain Transcoder.

I'll also include a frame grab from the Canon 70D just for fun.

001 Canon C100 Mark II ISO 850 48th Sec Wide DR.JPG

002 Samsung NX1 (1080P) ISO 800 50th Sec DR Mode - Converted to Pro Res wRocky Mountain.JPG

003 Canon 70D ISO800 50th Sec Standard Picture Setting.JPG

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Dirk Jesper, Product Manager at Nikon Europe on 3min limit:

 - Due to heat during processing 
 - D5 is not about video. Feedback from journalists and sports photographers that record very short clips. 

http://www.thevideomode.com/news/nikon-speak-about-3min-4k-record-in-nikon-d5-1915/

 

fck ALL of those "journalists". Makes no sense because as a journalist wouldn't you be able to cover broadcast ready news stories without the need of a crew ? I am lost

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Seems a little presumptive to think that no one is giving Nikon any feedback or that the people who do are just corporate whores.

None of us have a single clue what feedback was given and subsequently ignored or decided to be too difficult or not cost effective.

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Point is, what on earth happened to 1080p? The camera companies can't be finished with it yet. 4k is still very much an infant, screaming at customers for market share. 

Canon and Nikon have the most "pleasing" images, but progress in video features is slow. Oh well. 

If Nikon had released: 

- 2.5k compressed raw video and 10 bit ProRes, full readout.

- 120fps HD on an 8 second buffer (decent bitrate).

- Articulating LCD. 

- Peaking, zebras, log (standard video stuff)

..... it would be very very very very popular. Probably. Likely. I'd get one. 

If memory serves me well, there was an article in American Cinematographer few years ago where a representative from Arri or one of the camera makers complained that at the industry meeting where the were trying to push to high standards of 1080 distribution (high color accuracy, representation of whites, dynamic range, to summarize - true picture quality) they were pushed aside by the very producers of the cameras that we all rave about (Sony, Panasonic, Samsung) because they were invested in production and marketing of television sets and believed that resolution (being quantifiable) is what consumer can understand and is already has a point of reference (SD to HD).

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It is very difficult to be fair on a still camera, talking only about video.

As a reminder, the Dx (D1, D2, D3, D4, D5) series at Nikon as always aimed journalism photography for sports and outdoor photography. Its aim is, first, being the more unbreakable possible, secondly, with the most robust pixel/velocity ratio to achieve the more stills per second for, works on sports and "hurry" photography. 
This type of build doesn't aim studio / fashion / movie set / portrait photography. It's price as always more been about the way the body is constructed to last as long as possible. On photography, I found my D2 less enjoyable than my D200 at the time, but I must admit that I had much more velocity in "run and shoot" with a D2. 
It learned me that if you want the more possible quality in picture at the time it comes out, a Dx is not your right gun.

For example, I shoot now with my D800 and am much more pleased than if I chose the D4, because I need the more quality possible in my picture, and if it is a bit more breakable" than a D4, I don't care, a Dx costs more than two Dxxx . But if I had to shoot in mudd, sand, tropical forest, I would go for a Dx in addition without hesitation, taking all my pictures on my Dx and making the best possible pictures in terms of resolution with my Dxxx when time would allow me to be a bit less in a hurry.

Making a video is about having a lot of time even in the run and shoot game for videographers. It has nothing to be compared with hurry photo journalism. 

Saying that D5 is crapp and that nikon doesn't understand what they are doing is misunderstanding why they construct a Dx line each time.

After that, it is obvious that nikon isn't a video company, I mean it isn't yet, it could be, but it is not. 
Canon , panasonic, Sony, Blackmagic, clearly are video companies. They need this market.
For nikon, it is not their full point, they go to it slowly but it is not their market as the others. 
If they produce good video  bodies, they will sell a bit more, but they are mainly on a still photography market and they really put wonderful products for that purpose.

On that order, for the D500 it is a renewal of the D300 and it has to be firstly a renewal on the photographic side. 

Now if you look to D5500, D810, D750, they pushed a bit more their effort on the video side and maybe the renewal of these models could be more video oriented.

If Nikon bought or could use the samsung technology, time is still too short for them to have included it into these two new bodies D5 and D500.

 

Another thing about feedback and new photo/video products that seems not to be taken in consideration, is that for a looooong time body technology was about accuracy responsiveness and not about color. Color was left to illford, kodak, fuji etc...

Now a new body is two things: 

-first the color and power of pixel technology

-then the body responsivness to use this power with as much as velocity as possible.

That's why Nikon kept this tradition of producing wonderful bodies, wonderful lenses, but whith partners for processors. They still don't see it as their main purpose and concentrate on what they do so great. It is very difficult for them to change this way of working. Mitsubishi is working a lot on processors and when they'll decide, they'll change this way of working inside nikon.
 

I think that canon and nikon and all the others are starting to get used to that but they have a whole lot tradition of thinking about the way the body made their necessity. So, it must be very contradictory inside their own companies to handle research and production of a new body in a better way.
Old habits are quite difficult to change. That's why we can feel that even if DSLRs are quite a wonderful idea, it is very difficult for them to dive fully into filmmaking products achieved properly.
Kodak had the best chemists around the world to produce new products every day on celluloïd, Nikon, canon, panasonic, fuji, samsung, red, arri, blackmagic, etc... they need to get the best ingeneers possible for color in order to offer trully professionnal products satisfying us.

Clearly, it is not yet the reality, they seem to look for the best commercial developpers, Nikon isn't still accepting to enter into the filmmaking bodies, canon doesn't really know how to produce DSLRs without ruining its video isolated market, panasonic tries the most it can and produces marvelous products for cinema and video but clearly lacks quality in the photo market, sony starts to reach for both photography and video for now but it really looks like a long run for everyone. And they all need to satisfy their initial market to keep the market away from a huge crush and renewal (which will happen sooner or later, it is a technological fact to come).

 

So, for me, it looks very difficult for these companies to understand to be as responsible for all the color, compression, depth power and all the body velocity at the same time because they are not used yet to this full idea. Seeing how each companies have their implantation and menus so different to do exactly the same thing says a lot about that too. 
The whole pakage is not yet considerated, not by developpers, but by marketers from these companies. 

 

A good signal that came from Canon was the "C" line, but they clearly made it as a test so it hasn't changed much yet.

The A7 line from sony grows stronger and the F5 kind of show the possibility of other types of products allowing raw bodies at a very "DSLR" price.

But, above all, the BMPCC was trully the best try ever from this possible cinema technology and that another body like that, more modern, more achieved that we all are waiting for. 

So, yes, D5 is still made for photographers, yes Nikon is not yet a video company and of course it is kind of a disapointment for us FOR FILMMAKING. 

 

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