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Camera recommendations


MattW
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Hi all,

I'm looking for some recommendations for a step up from my Sony RX10 Mk 1 which I like but things have moved on a bit and I'd like to take advantage of the last few year's technology improvements.

I'm UK based and only a hobbyist and like to shoot docu style things rather than 'films' (although I fancy the idea of making a little short at some point).

Some 'nice to have's' are:

Solid 1080p performance with ideally full sensor readout (although I appreciate it's here to stay, not too bothered about 4K yet)

Reasonably well controlled rolling shutter effects

Reasonably well controlled moire / aliasing (I guess full sensor readout at 1080p will help with this)

If a fixed lens bridge / camcorder style unit, then a reasonably fast lens with reasonable low light performance

One final thing is that I'm going on holiday to the USA in June so something PAL capable with a global warranty that I could buy over there and take advantage of the favourable exchange rates would be a good option.

Any ideas greatly appreciated.

cheers

Matt

 

 

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Ok.

No one has replied to my ramble (which I entirely understand) so I'm replying to my own post - bad form I know :)

After a weekend spent reading a load of threads on here and elsewhere, I've considered all sorts of possible options including the RX10 mk II, the RX100 mk IV and a load of other dslr / compact possibles but I've just about decided to get the inescapable  option - the GH4 (probably in conjunction with the Panasonic 12-35 as a starting point).

Given this, if anyone is reading, I've just a couple of questions:

Is the stills capability of the GH4 ok? (I'd like to be able to travel light and take it away with me as an around video / stills camera)

I edit in FCPX and while I've never done any serious grading, I'd like to use Resolve lite - will my 2013 MacBook Pro (2.3 GHz Core i7 Retina 15", 16GB Ram, NVIDEA GT750M 2048MB) be up to the job of processing the Gh4’s 4K output? I know I'd need plenty of extra external storage - I currently use G-Drive USB3 external drives.

thanks

Matt

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Stills will compare favorably to the RX 10 that is for sure. In Resolve that Macbook will not be enough for 4K. Keep in mind you cannot output anything over 2K in the free version.

Thanks for the reply Geoff. 

I'd be intending to work with the 4K in an HD timeline (I've no need to output 4K as yet). I guess I'll have to leave any grading until I upgrade my computer setup.

Thanks for taking the time

Matt

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I'm confused. The RX10 Mark I ticks every box on your list. Still an excellent camera. What are you looking to gain from this upgrade? 

You're right - there's a lot to like about the RX10 Mk1, however there are a few things that I'm looking to improve on.

The lens, while pretty good optically, has a few features which for me get in the way of usability - it's fully fly by wire and has a ring shared by zoom and focus.  When zooming it has a really long endless throw and while recording its zoom is incredibly slow. The servo nature of the zoom means I nearly always over or undershoot and need to narrow down on focal length, all of which takes time and is an irritation (I come from an slr stills background and I guess I'm just used to the direct, precise feel of mechanical lenses!).  When in manual focus, the ring becomes focus (and has the same less than precise feel) which means zoom is delegated to the rocker around the shutter release.  This has the same focus speed issues as the ring and on my camera, I've had two camera body upper sections replaced under warranty due to this rocker sticking and refusing to stop zooming.

Even with careful attention to exposure, low light performance is at best mediocre but is OK up to ISO800 and useable with noise reduction to ISO1600 - I know that the GH4 is not known as a great low light performer but at least there is the option to use fast primes and gain a stop or two.

I'd also like to be able to get a slightly more 'cinematic' look to some of my stuff - the lens / sensor combination of the RX10 is limiting in this respect. The GH4 seems to potentially provide much more flexibility in this respect (albeit, at a cost - an endless lens buying fetish!)

So, decisions, decisions - the Mk2 RX10 addresses a few of my reservations with the Mk1 but its main selling point seems to be its great high frame rate performance - this isn't a big draw for me and it's expensive. For not an awful lot more than a Mk2 RX10, I could get a GH4 / 12-35 combination, together with it's still excellent performance / codec and flexibility.

Thanks again for the input and making me properly think about what I need (and want!).

Matt

 

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If you are considering the GH4, the GX8 (with a newer, higher-res sensor and 'hybrid' stabilisation capability, but no headphone socket) ought to be on your shortlist as well. Or even the G7, which has nearly all of the GH4 capability (no headphone socket is the main downside) in a smaller package and is so much cheaper that you could buy another secondhand lens or two with the difference...e.g. the 'pancake' 20mm/F1.7 for low-light work and the 45-150mm zoom are both usually around £120-£150 used.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Sorry noone replied. Welcome to the forum Matt


Some 'nice to have's' are:

Solid 1080p performance with ideally full sensor readout (although I appreciate it's here to stay, not too bothered about 4K yet)

GH4, D5500, RX10II, a7s all deliver solid 1080p (d5500 being larger sensor, cheaper, better lowlight, GH4 being 4K, a7s being FF). 

Reasonably well controlled rolling shutter effects

GH4 at 4K and a7s have high RS. D5500 has well controlled RS. ALL 4K cameras in 4K mode have bad RS from G7/GH4 to 1DC)

Reasonably well controlled moire / aliasing (I guess full sensor readout at 1080p will help with this)

All of these have no moire issues. No worries.

If a fixed lens bridge / camcorder style unit, then a reasonably fast lens with reasonable low light performance

No fixed lens camera or a small senor chip will give exceptional lowlight. For this, APS-C D5500 is a beast with a fast lens and FF a7s is the beast of the beasts

One final thing is that I'm going on holiday to the USA in June so something PAL capable with a global warranty that I could buy over there and take advantage of the favourable exchange rates would be a good option.

All do PAL
 

 

   -If you want to stick to fixed lens for some reason go with the rx10II, its the best fixed lens camera. Will let you discover 4K and S-LOG and Slo-mo vs your camera

   -Want to dive in cool intrchangeable lenses world? 

   D5500 + Nikon lenses for low budget and original a7s with FE or Canon glass or higher budget. 


   ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------

   I personally suggest:

   D5500 + 18-140mm. A combo as an rx10 style general purpose, but with better low light and much much better stills and cleaner sharp 1080p.

   + A cheap 35mm F/1.8 for shallow depth of field/portraits and extreme lowlight.

   Very cool prices on these so you can get a lot of lovely Nikon Glass.
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If you are considering the GH4, the GX8 (with a newer, higher-res sensor and 'hybrid' stabilisation capability, but no headphone socket) ought to be on your shortlist as well. Or even the G7, which has nearly all of the GH4 capability (no headphone socket is the main downside) in a smaller package and is so much cheaper that you could buy another secondhand lens or two with the difference...e.g. the 'pancake' 20mm/F1.7 for low-light work and the 45-150mm zoom are both usually around £120-£150 used.

Thanks for the reply. I've taken a look at the specs and some reviews for the GX8 and G7.  As you say, they both have some great features and do a lot that the GH4 does.  However comparing them to the GH4 I think there are enough differences to make me favour the GH4 (especially compared to the G7 - no zebras etc is a deal breaker for me).

But thanks for taking the time to reply and suggest options for me to consider.

 

,

Thanks very much for the detailed reply.

However, I'm really sorry but as far as DSLR's go (at least for photography), I'm a Canon guy :) 

I did consider a video capable Canon DSLR but the cost of the really good performers is beyond what I want to spend (although I think I could adapt some of my old FD and EF glass to a MFT body such as the GH4...

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The G7 has Zebras and peaking, it just lacks the 10bit hdmi, v-log, weather sealing, headphone and high bitrate Full HD (thats a bit annoying and i dont know why they did it, but downscaled 4k always look good). Its a great performer, specially for the price. But as you said, these things that the G7 lacks are fair enough to someone with the budget to buy the GH4 do it haha In any case both are good performers, they just need good glasses, what i think you already have. For the Canon EF, stick with the metabones, its worth the price, but for the Canon FD, the Roxsen you find at Ebay gets close enough for much less money, just run away from the fotodiox one, it sucks haha

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You didn't talk budget, or I missed it ;-)
The problem with the GH4 (and all the Panasonics) is it only used 70% of the pixels to make 1080p, so you get some moire/aliasing (high contrast edges do not tend to stay where they should, but pop around a bit). You get a much better result shooting 4k and downscaling. It's not awful, the GH3 was much worse, but it can be annoying/distracting.
The A7s or sII will give a cleaner 1080p and the II has a built-in stabiliser (although I think I'd rather have Panasonic's 12-35 stabilised lens on a GH4). Also any low light issues disappear instantly. The GH4 is a better video camera though, just the moire isn't optional in 1080p. (Edit) Oh, forgot to say, the GH4's 4k is cleaner than the A7s', not sure about the mk II.
All IMHO.

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Thanks for the replies guys - very helpful.

I did think about Blackmagic but by the time I'd built a functional rig based on a Micro Cinema camera or Pocket, it would bust my budget (lens, monitor / recorder, cage, sound recorder, etc).  I'd also probably have to upgrade my software, computer and storage to cope with the BM file sizes and learn about grading :)

You're right - I didn't mention budget - somewhere around £1.5k (UK) to get me a body + lens, with Speedbooster etc to follow.

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Since you wrote about perhaps buying in June, and since you're already using Sony...

There are rumors that the replacement for Sony A6000 is finally coming: http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sr5-the-new-a6100-looks-just-like-the-old-a6000/

That camera is likely to feature S-LOG, 4k and possibly IBIS, and will most likely be priced to fit inside your budget.

 

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Since you wrote about perhaps buying in June, and since you're already using Sony...

There are rumors that the replacement for Sony A6000 is finally coming: http://www.sonyalpharumors.com/sr5-the-new-a6100-looks-just-like-the-old-a6000/

That camera is likely to feature S-LOG, 4k and possibly IBIS, and will most likely be priced to fit inside your budget.

 

Thanks Dahlfors,

Although I use a Sony now and do like my RX (mostly...), I'm not necessarily wedded to them as a brand - and I'm not sure I can wait 'till June :)  The June thing was just because we have an upcoming trip to the States planned and I wondered about getting a camera over there to save some money.  However it looks like none of the manufacturers I'm looking at do international warranties (I guess I've been spoiled by the Canon 'L' series international warranties).

The more I think about it, the more I'm leaning towards a GH4 / 12-35 combo (it's a shame no one does this as a 'kit' purchase)

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