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jase

Capturing once-in-a-lifetime moments: to raw or not to raw?

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First of all, i am more of the run&gun lx100 / rx100 type of shooter and i am happy with that.

BUT: over the next 5 years i am planning trips that i would call once-in-a-lifetime trips - the first one this year will bring me to Peru, doing a backpacking trip with my brother. Now, my aim is to capture the best quality that i can get without carrying enormous amount of gear. I am a frequent reader here and therefore I regularly see those awesome 5d Mark III Raw clips and now I am asking myself whether I should take this step and invest in something like that, e.g. a 5D Mark II(I) or something like a BMPCC - just in order to be able to capture those moments in the best quality i can get in a decent travelish package. I have no hurry at all in post-processing, at the same time I am not a colorgrading expert. Still, the 5D seems to deliver quite stunning quality without putting as much effort in something like slog2 to get it right.

I love my RX100 IV, but I would like to have sth with nice colours, (very) good DR and some nice control over DoF. My aim would to create stuff like this (less the grade, more the overall clip):

It should not be a replacement for my RX100 but more a (hopefully) long-term investment that complements it - so a more shallow DoF, better DR, ... - you name it. I know that I need for both the 5D and the BMPCC quite some accessoires, be it tons of batteries or tons of CF cards, but as i said i would treat it as a longterm investment, that gives me a good backup within the next years (well, until the GAS strikes back of course). 

What do you guys think? Is this just "too much"? Any suggestions or similar situations / way of thinkings?

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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

How long are you going for and do you have any way to offload the files during your trip? That would be my biggest question.

I'm in the same boat. Already thinking about which camera to take on my next trip. Last time I took the GH2. This time I can take the BMPCC, but I have the same concerns you have. I think I will opt for the BMPCC. 

One thing about RAW and file sizes, is that it sort of forces you to be a more disciplined shooter. Last time, I shot sooooo much random and repetitive stuff. It was a bit of a slog to go through it all. I went overboard. Aimlessly rolling. I find when I take the BMPCC out to shoot RAW, I know I only have so much on the card, so I'm much more careful with framing, getting a good shot and not wasting it on nonsense. The extra latitude really comes in handy on those sunny exteriors that you'll be encountering.

As for size, I'd say there's probably going to be a big difference in weight between carrying around a BMPCC package vs a 5DMIII, so that's a factor. 5DMIII RAW stuff looks absolutely stunning though, so I don't blame you for wanting one. Plus it doubles as a really nice photo camera. I think that's a plus on a trip. 

A lot to think about. BMPCC can still do high quality pro res too if you really find RAW is killing your card space. I'd say upgrade to either, and b ring the RX100 along too, just in case. Can't add that much weight, and it'll be a handy back up so that you don't miss anything.

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I've traveled around the world and back.  As long as you have a competent camera, you'll be fine.  

I'm not ashamed of any of the footage I captured via SD, neophyte HD, mature HD, or UHD.  Although I will say, on some shots it would have been nice to have more DR, since controlling the lighting was never an option.

From my experience, I'd say a good long lens can be a cool tool to have every once in awhile.  Otherwise, shorter and standard focal lengths are fine.  The smaller and assuming the camera, I've found, is the best bet as it lets you move around people without being too ostentatious.  Also, who's to say it's "once in a lifetime?"

 

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If i would capture something like this i would film a "future proof" format like 4k or uhd. The Gh4 with the 14-140, a 25mm 1.4 and VLOG would be my choice of a travel camera. Very efficent and nice 100mbit codec, good DR, sharp imagek, awesome battery life and easy and quick to us.

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For a trip like that as well as future projects I would get a used C100. They go as little as $1700. Then all you need is basically a lens.

Great lowlight, built in NDs, Clog, card runs for ever, long battery.

Keep it small with a Rode Micro or big with handle and shotgun.

And its a good investment, you can freelance with it for many years to come.

 

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If your main purpose for traveling is filming then go for 5D, C100 - or Arri Alexa for that matter :-) - and a bunch of glasses and lots of batteries and so on.

On the other hand If your main purpose for traveling is to have great experience while you are there together with your brother, the local people you meet and so, I would choose less  - in all aspects - demanding equipment. It could well be a Panasonic G7, a vari ND and a couple of good lenses. You will get fine quality footage, you don-t attract much attention to your filming -most people will think you are just taking a picture - , your back will love you, - should you, I hope not , loose  your camera, you can afford to buy another one, batteries will last long. The list goes on.

I live in Scandinavia and went to California, - SF, Yosemite, Big Sur and more - for 2 weeks equipped with 2 friends, my son and a Panasonic G6, the before mentioned vari ND and a couple of lenses. I would have hated to walk around with more gear than this. I got splendid footage that cut me a film I will love to see in 25 years from now.

 

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I think budget, whether you will have daily access to power outlets, and whether you need to capture HQ audio, are key things to figuring out what's best and affordable for you.

Based on a `once in a lifetime' 10-day trip I took a couple years ago where I didn't need HQ audio, I'd recommend:

5D Mark III with ML Raw

Canon 28mm f/2.8 IS

Canon 100mm L f/2.8 IS

72mm ND Filter

58 to 72mm step-up ring

67 to 72mm step-up ring

Zacuto Z-Finder Pro 3.0x

NEXTO DI ND2901 portable storage: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1061096-REG/nexto_di_nese_nd2901500g_nd2901_with_500gb_hdd.html

(I'd buy the 500GB one and replace it with a 1TB SSD)

NEXTO external battery (although it looks like these are discontinued????): http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/588817-REG/Nexto_DI_NENA_21112_ND_External_Battery.html#customerReview

2x128GB Lexar 1066x CF Cards

2x64GB Lexar 1066x CF cards

4xCanon batteries

1xCanon charger

CarrySpeed Sportsling strap system (allowed me to switch lens without putting the camera down): https://www.amazon.ca/Carry-CS-Sport-Camera-System-Mounting/dp/B0095M789A/182-0140037-4406003?ie=UTF8&*Version*=1&*entries*=0

2TB My Passport Ultra (you can connect this to the NEXTDO without a laptop): http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1140711-REG/wd_wdbbkd0020bbk_nesn_2tb_my_passport_ultra.html

And it all fit snugly into a ThinkTank Retrospective 5 (this bag's look does not scream EXPENSIVE GEAR INSIDE :-) : http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/847336-REG/Think_Tank_746_Retrospective_5_Shoulder_Bag.html

Of course you're constantly offloading from CF card to portable storage to external drive, then repeating.... all while shooting.

Also you have to remember to charge everything at the end of the day or you WILL be screwed the next day.

This might be too tedious of a workflow for some and I don't know where it falls on the affordability spectrum but it served me well for what I needed.

I got amazing footage, had no regrets, and would probably do the same thing again.

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c100 mk1. This was probably shot with like 4 charged batteries and a 64gb SD card. Haha. I would never bring stacks of CF cards/hard drives, etc… 

I would probably shoot it on something small and light, with minimal support needed. I think a GH4 with a nice microphone and some stabilized glass would probably do really well. I guess it all depends on the situation, but having to worry about offloading raw files sounds like it would kill the vibe a little...

 

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17 hours ago, dbp said:

How long are you going for and do you have any way to offload the files during your trip? That would be my biggest question.

As for size, I'd say there's probably going to be a big difference in weight between carrying around a BMPCC package vs a 5DMIII, so that's a factor. 5DMIII RAW stuff looks absolutely stunning though, so I don't blame you for wanting one. Plus it doubles as a really nice photo camera. I think that's a plus on a trip. 

A lot to think about. BMPCC can still do high quality pro res too if you really find RAW is killing your card space. I'd say upgrade to either, and b ring the RX100 along too, just in case. Can't add that much weight, and it'll be a handy back up so that you don't miss anything.

Good ones! I need to check whether i will have some power on each night, because if not that kind of rules the whole RAW thing out... imagine being not able to free up the cards..

Indeed another factor is that the 5D also takes images, which the BMPCC does not (other than caps). I will for sure bring the RX100 anyway, be it just as backup since it weights nothing.

15 hours ago, BrorSvensson said:

If i would capture something like this i would film a "future proof" format like 4k or uhd. The Gh4 with the 14-140, a 25mm 1.4 and VLOG would be my choice of a travel camera. Very efficent and nice 100mbit codec, good DR, sharp imagek, awesome battery life and easy and quick to us.

Thats indeed another interesting thought, going down the 4K route. Maybe something like the GH4 or NX1 wouldnt be so bad choices after all..

14 hours ago, Mattias Burling said:

For a trip like that as well as future projects I would get a used C100. They go as little as $1700. Then all you need is basically a lens.

And its a good investment, you can freelance with it for many years to come.

 

Seems valid, but for my purposes this is a bit of an overkill, I am doing this just in my spare time, it is not something I make a living of.

12 hours ago, bluefonia said:

On the other hand If your main purpose for traveling is to have great experience while you are there together with your brother, the local people you meet and so, I would choose less  - in all aspects - demanding equipment. 

This. Probably you guys are right. In the end, the primary goal is the trip, not the film. Maybe i need to reconsider...

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2 minutes ago, jase said:

Seems valid, but for my purposes this is a bit of an overkill, I am doing this just in my spare time, it is not something I make a living of.

Then definetelly dont raw.

Not because raw isnt good for Hobby, but if a c100 is overkill it sounds like the lx100 is a better fit.

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1 hour ago, jase said:

 Probably you guys are right. In the end, the primary goal is the trip, not the film. Maybe i need to reconsider...

My advice is to take as many pictures as you can, as these will be timeless & you'll always have them to pull out to show your kids/grand kids etc...

Whatever resolution you film something in now, I guarantee you that in 20yrs or so time, you'll show some friends (or whoever) & start by saying "Look sorry guys, but this was filmed in HD/2K/4K (8-bit). Yeah, I know, but its all that was available back then!" Nothing is future proof, as things are changing all the time.

The trip is the most important thing, so take something you can just whip out of your bag & quickly take something. The one thing you don't want to do is spend all your time filming etc. and then miss enjoying the holiday - not sure what your Brother is like, but my guess is that he'll get really pissed off with you in the end.

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The rx1004 is ideal as an in-the-pocket do it all for travel - i love mine. And a bmpcc for the more pre-planned moments? Again, I love mine (slr magic 12mm lens albeit quite heavy). Same cards - cheap and widely available. Cheap batteries. Possibly a cheap slider for the pocket (the baby Ratrig is ideal for travel). Who cares if they don't match precisely... It's a "once in a lifetime" holiday film you're making not a business necessity. In situations like this I think the almost negligible differences in image quality between the various option is irrelevant - which will be more fun to use? 

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Thanks for all your responses. I think will stick with to my rx100 iv despite not being able to control DoF as much as on APS-C yet alone FF. Instead I am thinking about a small gimbal which should complement walking scenes and hikes. will see :)

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If you are going to stick with the awesome RX100, why not use the spare money for a drone? Would be great fun and certainly give you extraordinary travel videos. I have never used one, so not sure if they can be packed away small though? We hired a GoPro Hero 4 yesterday- very easy to use, 4K video, fun for underwater, 120fps 1080p Slow Mo and super wide view. We have all seen photos and video of Machu Pichu in Peru, but it is so much cooler from the air. If you could find a compact-to-pack and fairly lightweight drone it should be a good alternative. If not maybe get a Go Pro anyway if you plan on snorkelling and/or scuba diving.

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Good one. However I have never operated such a thing... Did technology advance in such a way that you basically can throw them in the air and they follow you, maybe based on gps or whatever? I need to research that.

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On 3/19/2016 at 6:12 AM, dbp said:

GH4 with 14-140 would be an excellent choice too. Maybe one low light prime and you're set. Really light to carry around too.

GH4 and 14-140mm II needs a tripod. It has so bad OIS that no hand held system can remove the constant vibrating and jittering. The result is still good with post stab.

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6 hours ago, jase said:

Thanks for all your responses. I think will stick with to my rx100 iv despite not being able to control DoF as much as on APS-C yet alone FF. Instead I am thinking about a small gimbal which should complement walking scenes and hikes. will see :)

Keep it simple and enjoy the trip!!! 

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