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upgrade to a7Sii vs a7Rii from NX1?


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Canon 1DC is just way too massive (and expensive) for me as my only camera or right now as a second camera to compliment NX1. I am looking to keep the setup around 3-3.5 pounds, which is why the NX1 and a7Sii or a7Rii are good for me. The NX1 with the 16-50 S lens is already a bit large for me; but I keep it on there b/c I am shooting for 4k and the lens has optical stabilization (maybe there's some non-native + adapter option I should consider...).

Like I mentioned, my frustration with the NX1 is not lack of quality, it is lack of low light, and the bulkiness when using the S lens. And the appeal of the a7Sii and a7Rii is better lowlight, in body stabilization, some really good small light, sharp primes for when I don't want to keep a bulky soft zoom on there.

I'll probably keep the NX1 for a while, at least until I get comfortable on the Sony, once I understand which will work best for my needs. (And who knows maybe I never will; and maybe I'll sell the Sony and return to the NX1...)

Hacked Canon too massive for me and isn't 4k

Blackmagic Production Camera -- isn't that not very good in low light? A bit bulky still for my way of shooting. The global 4k shutter is appealing of course.  Eventually I might want to get some kind of cinema camera... 

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Like I mentioned, my frustration with the NX1 is not lack of quality, it is lack of low light, and the bulkiness when using the S lens. And the appeal of the a7Sii and a7Rii is better lowlight, in body stabilization, some really good small light, sharp primes for when I don't want to keep a bulky soft zoom on there, I'll probably keep the NX1 for a while, at least until I get comfortable on the Sony, once I understand which will work best for my

One thing I'd consider when running two systems, depending on your budget, your lens range will be much more limited on both sides. I was shooting with a 5d3 (faster lenses and better AF in low light) and the NX1/16-50s (4k) before moving to Sony and combining both into the A7rII - which is a much better stills camera and still shoots really good 4k. It made life a lot easier, especially with Samsung's crappy lens selection and whispers the NX line is dead. Now I can shoot with any Canon, Sony A mount or Sony E mount lens for AF and adapt pretty much every lens ever made. I've added an A7s for a backup and B cam since most of my projects wind up being 1080p. I also have the a5100 as a backup stills camera and emergency video cam, the body cost $200, a no brainier for what you get. 

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Chris -- thanks for this response directly to the question

I travel a lot so I think about every ounce/pound. Ultimately I'd also like to have 1 system for the reasons you mention. And sadly also looking towards the future which doesn't seem to include Samsung as a viable long term solution (as great as it still is in the present)

The idea of Sony 35mm + 55mm small, light, excellent primes and 1 zoom even if not as small, light, and excellent (24-70? 16-35 if I go with a7Rii since I will often shoot in crop mode?) + 1 body is very appealing.

And yea that a5100 is very interesting thing to add to the equation at 9 ounces and not a lot of coin. ESPECIALLY if I go w/ the a7Sii since the a5100 would double the megapixels for when I need stills w/ a fraction of the weight as NX1 body + lens. Great idea.

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I too was in this conundrum a couple of months ago A7sii vs A7rii. Went for the A7sii as I'm 80:20 video:stills. For me, there were 2 main points with going for the A7sii.

1. High iso ability. Not that I shoot in the dark, but to use a small aperture inside requires high iso.

2. The ability to use full frame in video with decent results - Similar to you I want a light setup. I don't want a bag of lenses to carry round. For me a 24-70 is a great focal range. If I got the rii, I'd be using the super 35 mode to avoid noise which then blows my wide angle. Sure I could use FF, but then the noise suffers. I would need a 15mm lens to keep the wide angle in addition to my more conventional zoom.

I currently only own the small Sony 2.8 35mm. I'm awaiting the new 24-70 to see how big it is and how much it costs. The current f4 24-70 receives mixed reviews. I'm sure the new one's announcement is imminent.

Both are amazing cameras. The A7rii wins hands down on stills, but the A7sii has that incredible low light ability and at FF.

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Chris -- thanks for this response directly to the question

I travel a lot so I think about every ounce/pound. Ultimately I'd also like to have 1 system for the reasons you mention. And sadly also looking towards the future which doesn't seem to include Samsung as a viable long term solution (as great as it still is in the present)

The idea of Sony 35mm + 55mm small, light, excellent primes and 1 zoom even if not as small, light, and excellent (24-70? 16-35 if I go with a7Rii since I will often shoot in crop mode?) + 1 body is very appealing.

And yea that a5100 is very interesting thing to add to the equation at 9 ounces and not a lot of coin. ESPECIALLY if I go w/ the a7Sii since the a5100 would double the megapixels for when I need stills w/ a fraction of the weight as NX1 body + lens. Great idea.

I forgot to talk about the other reason I moved from my previous setup - low light performance. I was really disappointed in the amount of noise in the NX1, 1600 was my max ISO. I was hoping Samsung would improve that with a FW update as I think there's a lot of untapped potential with the incredibly powerful internal processing, but it never happened. I was also hoping for proper back button AF with the NX1, but that never happened either. I always remove AF from the shutter button and take advantage of the AF/AEL switch, the NX1 can't do it properly. Anyway.

I shoot monthly outdoor events that a local spa hosts, they run till 9 or 10 pm, so a good portion of the party is in an area lit mostly by strings of christmas lights in trees and such, even with fast lenses I'm shooting at 6400 and sometimes 12800. The A7rII image is still really nice at 6400 and very useable for me at 12800 - and its much cleaner than the 5d3 or NX1 at the same ISO. The DR with stills is much better as well, but its well known Sony has better shadow and highlight recovery than any other sensor so that's no surprise. Its not until 25600 that the A7rII's IQ (in s35 mode) really starts to drop behind the A7s.

If you go A7rII you can take advantage of some cheaper aps-c lenses if video is your main focus - and it takes 18mp stills in crop mode. I have the 16-35/4 and the 10-18/4 - which overlap but I shoot a lot of landscapes and the FF IQ of the 16-35 is much, much better. The 10-18 will one of my gimbal lenses as I just bought the Beholder DS1. For s35 4k, the crop lenses are fantastic - light, cheap and covers a wider range than the FE line. You also have the 18-105/4 power zoom which makes a great run and gun video lens covering an effective 27-158mm range in one small/light package that's constant aperture throughout the range. Its also about $400 used. The 16-50 pancake can be found for less than $100 and is great for tracking subjects while shooting, AF is crazy fast/accurate.

The other option is what I considered as well, A7sII and something like the A6000/5100 for higher MP stills. The A7s takes really nice photos that seem to have more depth to them than other FF cameras, but at times 12mp is very limiting (for me) and for travel its just not enough as the fine detail is lacking. The AF is contrast only, compared to the PADF on the A7rII, as a stills camera is the A7rII is far superior and the AF is very good in video mode, and much better than the A7s in all but the lowest light situations.

Lastly, the a5100 is so small/light and it shares the same battery, so its really easy to always have it with you on a shoot. I mostly bought it to shoot stills and to always have a small backup with me. Though mine may get replaced by a RX100IV since that shoots 4k and great slow-mo.

Cheers.

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People often go searching around for a "solution" to all their problems by buying another camera body. 

Often that isn't wise. Especially when they've already got a very solid camera body that is recent. And they're not doing this professionally.

 

Stick with your NX1!!! Wait another generation or two before upgrading. Then get the NX3 or GH6 or whatever.

 

Until then, if you must, get things which will last longer than a camera body for a few months.

Such as a couple of redheads and an LED panel with V mount batteries. Or a Came-TV Mini 2. Or a small set of fast Rokinons in Nikon F mount. Any of these would last you longer, be more useful, won't depreciate as fast, and be cheaper than an A7s mk2!

 

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IronFilm, You obviously didn't read the thread or you would see for example that I am looking for a camera, not other gear; I don't carry or shoot with lights. 

I think everyone here understands that the camera doesn't make the filmmaker. Beyond that, I can't speak for "people" or make claims about what they search for or why. But I can speak for myself. I won't claim to be wise. I don't think it matters if what I or anyone else is doing counts as "professional" work if they are serious about it. Maybe some people outgrow cameras faster than others. Maybe the kind of work someone is doing changes. Sometimes you can wait, others you can't -- as in my case now when I am about to begin a couple of large projects and no other options are on the horizon.

...

So I pulled some triggers...

There was no way out of the mental cul-de-sac of whether to get a7Sii or a7Rii. At least not while staying on the internet, so I just bought them both -- as open box buys which makes me feel less guilty about returning one.

I found some great deals on open box 35mm and 55mm Sony Primes and the 24-70 Sony. I know there are better options than the 24-70, but it is just practical and I am out of time to devote to the proces.

I was testing at ISO 8000 on f/4 with 55mm on a7Sii and 35mm on a7Rii in crop mode.

a7Sii definitely looks better than the a7Rii for video when we're talking about indoors without much light, which is my main concern.

What people say is true; a7Sii is just a more capable video camera when the pressure is on. I feel a little more character from the camera image. Noticeably less noise, and the low light is truly astounding. There might not be much difference with adequate light, which I may try tomorrow when it is day. a7Rii is a good camera, but it won't fundamentally change what is possible for me the way the a7Sii will -- and that is what I'm looking for. On an upcoming project I have to shoot in the desert at night and in a basement laboratory in a former bunker that has terrible lighting... a7Sii should hold up.

I guess my only reservation is a7Sii autofocus capability if I wanted to use a gimbal. But you can't have it all and I guess that's something I'll have to sacrifice for now.

Until I am totally comfortable with the a7Sii, I'm keeping the NX1 -- for high res stills and video for now, as it does have a great image and solid autofocus. I will suffer through carrying both for a couple months. Then I will probably sell it to lighten my load and recover some dollars waiting to see if a year or two from now can bring a camera that pulls together the best of the a7Rii and a7Sii. In the mean time I might pick up an a5100 (or a6000) as The Chris suggested.

Cheers, and thanks all

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I would stick with the NX1 if I were you, the ergonomics are not going to be substantially different going to the Sony cameras. Quality wise you probably won't see too much difference. In terms of cost you can get an NX1 + S lens for what the Sony body will price at. No doubt in a two or three years there will be better cameras anyway, so bouncing around between cameras for minimal advantage isn't being smart IMO.

If you do go for the Sony, get the a7RII. It should be the better of the two for stills.

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