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Anamatis

Camera Upgrade 4k, Blackmagic, or Not?

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Let me keep this short. I've secured $5000 funding for a camera upgrade. I've been using an FS100 for 3/4 years and have enjoyed low light and 60fps capabilities. I've been freelancing and running my small prod company for the same amount of time and my commercial is reaching new levels, and my clientele is slightly climbing the ladder. 

The big question is : Do I need to upgrade to a 4k system to be able to compete next year and the following 3? 

If so do I go the Big Ursa route? Or the Ursa Mini 4.6 k. (I may be able to acquire a Big Ursa V1 for $3800) 

Either way I'm looking at pairing with an A7s as lowlight isn't a huge muscle with these cameras. 

If 4k isn't necessary than I'm looking at an FS700 as over crank is a big component of my work and I maintain low light capabilities. 

My main concerns about the Big Ursa are flying it (gimbal, crane, slider, hand held, tripod for that matter)

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12 minutes ago, Anamatis said:

and my clientele is slightly climbing the ladder. 

The big question is : Do I need to upgrade to a 4k system to be able to compete next year and the following 3? 

If you want to attract more clients with larger productions I would say yes. 

12 minutes ago, Anamatis said:

Either way I'm looking at pairing with an A7s as lowlight isn't a huge muscle with these cameras. 

Thats great cause ursa cameras need light!

12 minutes ago, Anamatis said:

If so do I go the Big Ursa route? Or the Ursa Mini 4.6 k. (I may be able to acquire a Big Ursa V1 for $3800) 

My main concerns about the Big Ursa are flying it (gimbal, crane, slider, hand held, tripod for that matter)

No to big ursa. No reason over the mini especially if you care about size.

Other options: BM production, kinemini 4k battle tested, FS5.

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If I had a $5000 camera budget, I would raise another grand and get the Canon 1DXii. 4K up to 60p. From what I hear, clients love Canon and it will be a workhorse for the next 5 years. 

And then I would raise another $1500 and pick up the BMMCC, a screen and a cage. 

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I would not get any of the ursa's right now. They have potential problems I wouldn't want to deal with.

The 4k has horizontal noise that can appear from temperature shifts. There are work arounds but I wouldn't trust it. 4.6k seems to have magenta color casts in the corners that is pretty bad in cases. Not sure how wide spread it is but it is not an isolated case either.

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I think a used C300, Red One MX, or Battle-tested Kinemini 4K are your best options. Kinemini has the best overall IQ and flexibility; RED has brand recognition and 4K; and the Canon is super popular with clients and offers a solid image with little fuss.

The Ursas are really cool and create great images, but imo aren't quite ready for prime time yet...and that's coming from one of the biggest BM apologists out there. 

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4K is not needed just yet. The ursa mini 4.6k is great in lowlight. All the cameras listed have flaws.

So imo, get the one that suites your style of shooting the most. Do you need speed, audio, handheld? Those are the questions I would ask myself.

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I wouldn't drop any cash on a camera until after NAB... Even if you can't wait for the announced camera to ship, you might find price drops on the older cam you want.

As things stand, I'd agree with the suggestion of the 1DX II... Will be a low light beast too and seems quite future proof.

I'd also think about an fs700/O7Q combo... The transition from the fs100 will be easy and it has alot of power

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I'm in a very similar situation. Here are my thoughts so far.

Like Jimmy said, wait until NAB. Just a week away before we start seeing banner shots. 

Canon DXii is a great suggestion, but it's 8 bit. For me, that's the end of the story for this one, and basically every dslr/video hybrid. Even cx00 and FS cams you find yourself shooting 8 bit unless you shoot HD or add an external recorder, which may be a solution, but raises costs and is a little clunky. For me, 8 bit no bueno. 

I've thought about even going slightly into debt to jump up to Red or whatever. This could be good if brand rec is at all important. For me not too much. And the main deal killer is when I realize these higher options shoot prores, but only at 2k. Need an additional recorder for UHD prores. So these are out. 

So next question is do we need 4K? I don't quite have clarity here, but it could be very useful for reframing etc, and 4K does have some selling power regardless of brand. If you were an ignorant client choosing between two video companies and one offered 4K and the other didn't, who would you choose (all other things being equal)? Still don't know for sure on 4K but let's add in future proofing and say we decide 4K is necessary. 

There's no other camera that checks all the boxes like the UM46 for a price anywhere close. You have to wonder about some of the issues brought up about this cam, but the more I research, the more it seems that these are troubled units in need of a replacement and there are far more healthy units out there (but obviously still keeping an eye on this). I wouldn't at all be surprised if these wrinkles get ironed out and begin to disappear. 

I still haven't made any decisions though, for me it's quite an expense. But these are my thoughts at this point. 

Also, I'll be at NAB in a week. If you, or anyone else for that matter, want me to ask BM any questions, or take a look at another product for you, I'd be happy to do that. Just let me know. 

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34 minutes ago, Jonesy Jones said:

I'm in a very similar situation. Here are my thoughts so far.

Like Jimmy said, wait until NAB. Just a week away before we start seeing banner shots.

...

Also, I'll be at NAB in a week. If you, or anyone else for that matter, want me to ask BM any questions, or take a look at another product for you, I'd be happy to do that. Just let me know. 

Speaking of NAB, I have a prediction for BM...

I think they will do one of two things... Not introduce a new camera, since they had such issues delivering last year's models, or double down on the Ursa brand with the Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. The former will be a direct competitor to the Alexa and Red and the latter will basically be the Pocket 2. 

You heard it here first. 

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27 minutes ago, mercer said:

Speaking of NAB, I have a prediction for BM...

Not introduce a new camera, since they had such issues delivering last year's models,

They have had similar issues with delivery every year, an have introduced new cameras every year.
So my money is on new announcements. 

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1 hour ago, mercer said:

Speaking of NAB, I have a prediction for BM...

I think they will do one of two things... Not introduce a new camera, since they had such issues delivering last year's models, or double down on the Ursa brand with the Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. The former will be a direct competitor to the Alexa and Red and the latter will basically be the Pocket 2. 

You heard it here first. 

So obviously just speculation, but I feel pretty certain BM will announce a Pocket v2, or a nearly exact sized Pocket cam with the micro sensor, probably for $1200-$1500.

I really really hope we have a new camera with the 4.6k sensor in it, or a cut of that sensor, in a body smaller than URSA mini. Of course it'll take some time getting that out to market, but it'd be really attractive as b cam to UM.

I also hope they announce that they've hired a new pr guy, this is the only thing about BM I dislike. 

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6 minutes ago, Jonesy Jones said:

So obviously just speculation, but I feel pretty certain BM will announce a Pocket v2, or a nearly exact sized Pocket cam with the micro sensor, probably for $1200-$1500.

I really really hope we have a new camera with the 4.6k sensor in it, or a cut of that sensor, in a body smaller than URSA mini. Of course it'll take some time getting that out to market, but it'd be really attractive as b cam to UM.

I also hope they announce that they've hired a new pr guy, this is the only thing about BM I dislike. 

Yeah that is kinda my joke about the Ursa Minor... Basically pocket 2 that will combine the qualities from the pocket with the qualities from the mini 4.6. But a Pocket 2 and a separate Ursa Nano would be well received as well. 

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2 hours ago, mercer said:

Speaking of NAB, I have a prediction for BM...

I think they will do one of two things... Not introduce a new camera, since they had such issues delivering last year's models, or double down on the Ursa brand with the Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. The former will be a direct competitor to the Alexa and Red and the latter will basically be the Pocket 2. 

You heard it here first. 

I agree. 

I think it will be an Ursa Pocket, as the Ursa range is replacing the sensor in a box designs of before. Whatever market gap there is though, BM will be on it. 

In terms if a camera purchase, I've also been on an A-cam yo-yo. I think an investment now really does need 4K, as in two years, clients will be asking for it as standard. 

The issue I have with 4K is that most of the manufacturers have bolted on thin and brittle 4K at the expense of better HD.This is also affecting high frame rates. We get brittle 4K with mediocre to poor HFR performance. The A7SII is a good example of this. 4K is ok, yet the HD HFR modes are much worse in quality. This camera screams for HD 10-bit, but it's skipped for thin low bitrate 4K.

A major purchase must cover every required area at a high quality, and because clients in the UK don't care what you shoot on (as long as it looks high quality), you can get away with brands under the attractive RED logo.

I love the images from the Ursa 4.6k, however the camera is still pretty chunky (needing to invest in bigger tripod, slider etc) and the HD HFR is far from ideal for professional work. 

Pre-NAB, the ideal camera that could last years in a professional environment is the Kinefinity Terra (if the image quality remains high). Small, light, modular form factor. 5k 60fps. 4K 100fps. Raw and ProRes. Global or rolling. Good price. Organic aesthetic. Can be speed boasted and have any mount. LUT support. SSD's. Seems like a no-brainer that will last a long time. 

If anyone is going to NAB, please report from the Kinefinity stand. :) 

 

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I've been looking at the Kinemini stuff actually looks promising but I was bummed about being stuck with RAW 4k. If the Terra provides a pro res option that'd be the cam for me.. How much is final price?

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14 minutes ago, Anamatis said:

I've been looking at the Kinemini stuff actually looks promising but I was bummed about being stuck with RAW 4k. If the Terra provides a pro res option that'd be the cam for me.. How much is final price?

The top package is just under $9k, but if you don't need some of the other bells and whistles, you can get a package for quite a bit cheaper. 

The Terra rivals the much much more expensive Scarlet-W on paper, let's see if it rivals it on image quality. 

The issue with Kinefinity is that many of their users post awful footage that's badly graded and exposed. The decent pro stuff I've seen looks exceptional though. Very organic, thick and very pleasing. 

I'm very surprised there is no EOSHD opinion on the Terra announcement yet. 

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Andrew Reid had a great review in the Kinemini... I can't go as far as $9000. 

I've been eyeing an FS700R + Shogun Combo so I keep to my prores.. Thoughts? Low light and over crank are a huge part of my work..

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8 minutes ago, Anamatis said:

Andrew Reid had a great review in the Kinemini... I can't go as far as $9000. 

I've been eyeing an FS700R + Shogun Combo so I keep to my prores.. Thoughts? Low light and over crank are a huge part of my work..

I would go for FS700 + 7Q at a used price. Better features. Possibly the most complete, bargain deal that exists right now. Hit up Aaron Chicago, he recently got a bundle :) 

You just have to factor in the FS700 ergonomics. Not great for handheld, so you may need to budget in some support accessories. 

The FS700 is destined to be a classic. A legend. 

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1 hour ago, Oliver Daniel said:

If anyone is going to NAB, please report from the Kinefinity stand. :) 

 

I'm going and this has just become my first stop.

Oliver, what questions should I ask? Mine is going to be, "if I have a problem, who do I call that speaks English."

but I am horrendous at remembering all the good questions, please tell me what else to ask. 

Also, if there are any other booths I should visit, let me know, and questions. 

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