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Andrew Reid

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

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Why would anyone who has serious about film want to use either? The trend to try and make cameras the best choice for stills and video is not a good one. Get the tool that is right for the job. 

wait so if you use a hybrid camera you are NOT serious about film ? Oh. 

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Why would anyone who has serious about film want to use either? The trend to try and make cameras the best choice for stills and video is not a good one. Get the tool that is right for the job. 

If you want to shoot stills and video with one camera then a hybrid sounds like the best tool for the job to me!!

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If you want to shoot stills and video with one camera then a hybrid sounds like the best tool for the job to me!!

Even if the D5 had better video features, it would be terribly expensive for hybrid shooting. Back when the DSLR revolution started, there were no affordable large-sensor camcorders. That is gradually changing.

My documentary group recently got a Panasonic AG-DVX200, and it works great. Yes it's "only" m-4/3 sensor but it covers many of our needs except extreme low light and super-shallow DOF. It is way easier to use for video than a traditional DSLR. The newer video-oriented mirrorless cameras like NX1, A7 series, GH4 are sort of in-between: http://pro-av.panasonic.net/en/dvx4k/ We still use the other cameras, but for anyone shooting weddings, docs, ENG, etc, this is a good option.

You could get a DVX200 *plus* a D750 and still be cheaper than the D5.

The next big indicator will be what Canon does with the 5D4. I fear it will be an incremental upgrade regarding video, and if so, Panasonic and Sony are not standing still. Despite what their feedback tells Nikon/Canon, we obviously live in a more video-centric world than in 2008 when the 5D2 came out. 

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@joema Don't underestimate the importance of a pro body. Ergonomics and build quality are very different. While now I prefer a small body and tilting LCD I can see how for many (like photojournalists) pro bodies are a better choice. Shooting a D3 has left me with some very pleasant memories...

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Why would anyone who has serious about film want to use either? The trend to try and make cameras the best choice for stills and video is not a good one. Get the tool that is right for the job. 

I think the problem is the really different needs of different user groups. Cameras like a RED or a Sony F3/F5/... are clearly amazing video cameras but the question is how you plan to use it. I can see how these would be perfect if you're shooting commericals or narrative movies with a crew. A Canon C100 / C300 or a Sony FS5/FS7 are amazing for documentary run&gun work. But as has been mentioned before, as soon as you also need high quality pictures, that adds problems.

If we say the right tool for the job and you need movie and pics, are you willing to bring a RED One MX plus lenses plus tripod plus a Canon 1Dx/5DIII plus lenses? Then there comes the saying to "make your light", so will you bring the continous lighting for video and the strobes for the stills? I guess we exceeded the 20kg of kit already as well as the 10k € of invest. If you're not commercially making money with what you create that goes above most enthusiasts will and/or capability of spending money.

To be less generic I'll take myself as an example:
I travel a lot both for vacation and business (not related to photography/filming). I used to shoot pictures (landscape, architecture, night time long exposures, etc.) on these trips. But when I was to Thailand for example I brought a 1Ds III, 17-40 f/4, 24-70 f/2.8, 35 1.4 and 85 1.2 plus tripod, ND filters and a flash. That's like 6kg of kit which at least partially travels with you depending on what you plan to shoot that day, but it's also equivalent to a whole carry on bag when traveling by air. I think most enthusiasts can't take along another 5-10kg of camera gear for the motion picture side, after all most people can't afford a personal sherpa to come to the beach.

If you can cover both to a rather good level, I think it's way preferable to do it with one single system of equipment. That also keeps down on accessories like batteries. Currently I have 5 different types of batteries between my main stills cam, my pocket stills cam, the cam I currently test for video, my field monitor, my LED lights and then regular AAs for my flashes. Of course every batterie needs a different charger.

Do I expect D810 level stills and RED/ARRI level video in one single system? Clearly not. And most enthusiasts - and I'd argue even a lot of professionals - don't need that. But for a lot of people the GH4 stills side won't cut it while the 1080p 8bit 4:2:0 low-bitrate video of most cameras won't cut it. I think the A7r II and NX1 were currently the two most convincing cameras. But Samsung gave up with NX just when it became interesting and never built a convincing native lens lineup (in my personal opinion; I'm missing more f/1.4 glass) while Sony has prices skyrocket (A7R II and A7S II both sell for equi. 3500$ in Switzerland) and you'll easily spend 5k on the body plus two lenses while being over the top with the super high res sensor for a lot of people (between ALL the people I know who are into photography, no one actually WANTS more than 20-24 Megapixel) and therefore costing way more than actually neccessary. If the rumored A6100 would be like the A7R II but only with the APS-C part of the sensor and for 2000 €, I'd be over that like bears over honey. If you look at photography forums, you'll find a lot of people to preach that manufacturers should stop investing into video features and use that money for improving stills quality. Therefore I'm not even surprised Nikon brought the lackluster 4k video, there were probably at least just as many feedbacks about no need for good video as there were prayers for quality video.

So for someone who travels alone and light with unexpected circumstances to what he photographs/films, the choice is not so easy. A possibility would be for example a 5D III with ML plus the new BM Micro Cinema Camera (if it every comes out) so you can share batteries for example between both cameras and a SmallHD monitor plus use the Canon lenses with the Metabones SB on the BMMCC. But then Canon is a worse choice than Nikon for night photography because of the difference in DR and the heavy banding in shadows if you push the Canon image. And seeing how I like to stay light, I'd rather have a 4k image that lets me punch in as well as faking slider moves than using a B-cam and an actual slider.

So there is no perfect solution and I guess my rant gets too long to bear but I think for a lot of people it's really about finding the right compromise.

 

Tl;dr: If you are stationary or have a crew, use the right tool. But if you're alone and traveling, pick your poison.

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Maybe I'm unique, but my must-haves were pretty simple for an affordable DSLR. I would have spent up to $2-$3k for:

  • APS-C/Super 35 sensor;
  • At least 2k, pref. 4k (reframing for low-budget, 1 camera shoots and being able to pull great keys are huge for me);
  • Ability to take a wide range of glass;
  • Image with decent enough DR to be able to "light for the sensor" - I don't need 14 stops, I can light for 10.
  • Audio meters, manual audio control, some sort of usable 1080 slowmo.

I really wanted to love something from Black Magic, but those sensors meant Speedbooster, and the 2k cinema camera meant speedbooster and SDI monitoring. I really need at least [email protected] 1080, too. And freaking interchangeable batteries that last 45 minutes or so.

The NX1 really hit the sweet spots for me, and then some. I don't take a loupe to shoots anymore for chrissakes. Technically, the image is superior to the Nikons I've been shooting for client work. Aesthetically - my D7100 is still "prettier" in some ways, and it's got nothing on BMC at their best.

OK, find some tech guy to contact Samsung, license their tech, and create a reasonably priced cinema camera for pro, semi pro, corporate and enthusiast market. Give it Prores 422 to the card or an SSD, boost the DR and gives us some output options for raw or bit depth. 

There is a market - assuming it's Nikon or Canon's market is the big mistake forum posters here and otherwise make.

It wasn't the margin that killed Samsung, it was the entrenched brand loyalty that did it. Blame the people who prized the logo on the name plate over performance for that, not the company.

I live in Dallas, which has a lot of well-employed people. Not just the rich, but those with expendable income.

I'm really used to seeing the soccer-mom, the hipster dude, the dorky dad, the "I'm a big fan of live music" 20-something, all rocking nice cameras at shows or outdoor events. Look close and they have the mid-level zooms (not the 2.8 stuff but not the kit - fairly chunky F4 stuff in the $800 range). And the strap.

For this market, the strap is of vital importance and equal to the physical size of the lens. It absolutely must say Nikon or Canon. I don't recall ever seeing a Sony or Panny strap on those shoulders.

Can't tell you how many times I've chatted with such a camera owner - "Oh, I have that body" and you find they're shooting it 100% program/auto. They're getting the exact shots they'd get with a little mirrorless rig. But man, they look so legit!

This, and semi-pros concerned with lens ecosystem is likely what did Samsung in. I've yet to take a single still with the NX1, but on my third paying gig with it. I'm a drop in the bucket market-wise though.

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I live in Dallas, which has a lot of well-employed people. Not just the rich, but those with expendable income.

I'm really used to seeing the soccer-mom, the hipster dude, the dorky dad, the "I'm a big fan of live music" 20-something, all rocking nice cameras at shows or outdoor events. Look close and they have the mid-level zooms (not the 2.8 stuff but not the kit - fairly chunky F4 stuff in the $800 range). And the strap.

For this market, the strap is of vital importance and equal to the physical size of the lens. It absolutely must say Nikon or Canon. I don't recall ever seeing a Sony or Panny strap on those shoulders.

Can't tell you how many times I've chatted with such a camera owner - "Oh, I have that body" and you find they're shooting it 100% program/auto. They're getting the exact shots they'd get with a little mirrorless rig. But man, they look so legit!

This, and semi-pros concerned with lens ecosystem is likely what did Samsung in. I've yet to take a single still with the NX1, but on my third paying gig with it. I'm a drop in the bucket market-wise though.

Canon straps even say which model it is if it's a "better one" like 7D, 5D etc. I guess that automatically gives you the admiration factor from the Rebel using peasants and the right to tell them to get out of your way ;-)
I should use the "Minolta Dynax" strap that I currently have on the Nikon for the Samsung. M
orituri te salutant!

But I agree with your post... my heart would rather part with the D750 than the NX1 at the moment just out of usability reasons, which is obviously a completely different motivation than what makes most people buy cameras. Just wondering now what to exchange my SmallHD field monitor for, I kinda don't want to let that go either but I have only 1% hope that they'll actually fix the problem.

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If you want to shoot stills and video with one camera then a hybrid sounds like the best tool for the job to me!!

Yeah exactly. All-in-one cameras are incredibly convenient. And there are actually people (like me) who love both mediums equally, so to have the option to do both with one piece of kit is a godsend. On some jobs, and certainly in my personal work, I oscillate between the two mediums constantly based on how I'm feeling about the scenario.

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Canon straps even say which model it is if it's a "better one" like 7D, 5D etc. I guess that automatically gives you the admiration factor from the Rebel using peasants and the right to tell them to get out of your way ;-)I should use the "Minolta Dynax" strap that I currently have on the Nikon for the Samsung. Morituri te salutant!

But I agree with your post... my heart would rather part with the D750 than the NX1 at the moment just out of usability reasons, which is obviously a completely different motivation than what makes most people buy cameras. Just wondering now what to exchange my SmallHD field monitor for, I kinda don't want to let that go either but I have only 1% hope that they'll actually fix the problem.

I have a couple nice 70's "hippie straps" that came on old ebay film cameras. They go on my nice digital bodies when I'm shooting stills.

All of my guitar straps are from Get'm Get'm, incredible brocade and embroidered straps. And they make camera straps!
http://www.getmgetm.com/products?category_id=72

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First of all, get you facts strait, you always mess around with technical speaks in favor of a brand or another or just omit or exaggerate things. The Canon 1Dc has a 1,367x crop factor opposed to 1,465 the Nikon D5. As much as you like the 1Dc, it's not even near 4K, more like 2,5K (just a little better than a perfect FHD), it has a very inefficient motion jpeg codec and it splits the video very often because of the 4 BG limit. I'm not saying it's a bad camera, but for it's ridiculous price it's not stellar at all. As for you finding at a super deal for it, dos not automatically made it creeper. I remember you comparing it at 5000eu (second hand and only for you, nowhere else was to be found at that price) vs GH4 1700 new (wen it was 1000+ new and 800 eu second all over the place), this is another example of exaggeration.

I'm not saying the D5 is not crippled, I don't kf know what Nikon was thinking when approved the video specs for it, the crop factor and the bloody 3 minutes 4K video recording but for applications who do not need more then 3 minutes of continuous recording (let's remember the ultra praised to the sky Sony A7R2 overheats after 5 minutes of continuous recording at over 30 degrees Celsius) it's pretty safe to say it's a much better camera than 1Dc :). For the Canon you can't use APSC lenses (they vignette), only FF ones which are severely cropped also, at lest on the D5 you can use crop lenses (so you have wide angle). The Nikon is more detailed than the ultra soft 2,5K 1Dc outputs, it has so much more DR and I like the Nikon colors more (subjectively of course).

I'm very curios how is Canon going to intentionally cripple the 1Dx mk2 to protect it's over expensive C300 mk2.

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Actually the correct crop factors in 4K for those two cameras are: 1Dc  5184/3840=1,35x and for D5  5568/3840=1,45x not a huge difference as he wrote: "1D C the crop isn’t as harsh, it’s a 1.3x over full frame. On the D5 it is closer to 1.5x."

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My bad Andrew, most of the people are referring to UHD when saying 4K. You are right, DCI 4K is 4096 and 1Dc has in fact ~1,27x crop factor on that format.

Don't get we wrong, I'm not saying 1Dc is a bad camera or something, but IMO the only real advantage over D5 is the continuous video recording time in 4K. Yes D5 and D500 do not use resisting to 4K, they have a huge crop in 4K and D5 is crippled by that 3 minute time limit but compared to Canon at least they brought 4K to the masses. :). 1Dc was labeled C (cinema) and not a regular DSLR camera and costed almost two tomes more than D5 and 6 time more compared to D500 at launch.

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Don't get we wrong, I'm not saying 1Dc is a bad camera or something, but IMO the only real advantage over D5 is the continuous video recording time in 4K. Yes D5 and D500 do not use resisting to 4K, they have a huge crop in 4K and D5 is crippled by that 3 minute time limit but compared to Canon at least they brought 4K to the masses. :). 1Dc was labeled C (cinema) and not a regular DSLR camera and costed almost two tomes more than D5 and 6 time more compared to D500 at launch.

The D5 doesn't do anything better than the 1D C at all and it isn't even cheaper if you consider the used prices of the 1D C.

Also there are a few unknowns about the D5 such as how well the codec holds up. H.264 4:2:0 at lower bit rates will have to go some to beat 500Mbit/s 4:2:2 MJPEG.

The 3 minute limit is a pretty serious restriction and will be a deal breaker for many.

Anyway since we can get very good low light 4K full frame for $3k with the A7S II with a much more adaptable lens mount, the D5 is a pretty pointless endeavour altogether for video... Even if it had been full frame, it would still be poor value for money compared to the Sony's image.

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