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jasonmillard81

C100 MK II + 5D MK II RAW? Goodbye GH4

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10 hours ago, jasonmillard81 said:

My question about getting a single DSLR is how do you get decent sound without needing a rig of some sort, which for an amateur like me is not wanted at all.  I want to plug a mic into my camera and capture audio that is of acceptable quality to the majority of viewers, I'm not doing narrative work where I want to make a movie but basic interviews etc.

That's also one of the reasons why I got the 80D ?

I made the mistake to not think about preamps and bought a EM5II first which is so damn noisy that I flat out don't want to use it with any microphone. The 80D + Rode Videomic Pro combo on the other hand works really good when set up with the +20DB option. Crisp audio, no syncing, happy user. 

Alternatively, since I wasted a lot of time on researching this stuff, get the Shure Lenshopper vp83f. Similar to the RODE but has a built in flash recorder. You will have to sync in post but you will never run into problems with shitty camera preamps. Just clip it on the hotshoe, hit record and you're good. 

Dual Pixel AF and good preamps were for me the main trigger to get that camera. But from what you posted in your price range I would be very surprised if any of the cameras you mentioned have shitty preamps. 

3 hours ago, estarkey7 said:

Some f/.95 SLR Magic or Voigtlander's might do you a fair it of good with the GH4, or upcoming GH5. If the GH5 has a stop better noise performance, will these ultra fast lens fit the bill for you?

These lenses are pure joy and a high recommendation from me as well. They are so well built, I think I could use it as self defense weapon if someone were to attack me.

Especially the new 10.5mm F0.95 is a big reason why I hope MFT will stick around and the coming generation of flagships be good, just so I have a excuse to buy that lens. 

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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

I bought a C100 and a 5D Mark III right after they came out. Sold the 5D pretty quickly although the RAW looked good (not as good as the C100 other than its shallow depth of field "FF" look, which was impossible to pull focus with so whatever). The idea that the 5D III's RAW is technically a better image is a misconception fueled by people who are incompetent on set or in post. Both have great images, though, and the quality is really pretty close.

I've used almost everything on the market and it's the combination of great ergonomics and a good image without much work in post that's led me to not replace the aging C100. I feel like nothing else on the market has an image that's better in a meaningful way without some sacrifice. Sony is technically a bit better (a stop better highlight detail, a stop faster native ISO) but the ergonomics and workflows are dodgy and the color is hard to work with on the high end and on the low end it's a real nightmare with overheating and SLOG 2 having awful color (the Kodak emulation LUT on the F5 is decent, however) and the ergonomics are awful. The Red is expensive and difficult to work with on set and in post, awful in low light, and actually had slightly less dynamic range than the C300 etc. until the Dragon and the new color processing. The Red M had like 8-10 stops of DR, MX about 11-12, and color wasn't great then. And still it's behind Canon and Arri but it does become subjective because its looks is digital, not film emulation. The GH4 is not bad IMO but its 1080p is surprisingly soft (the 4k is fine but you get a bit of crop) and the ergonomics I don't love and it's not super reliable. But it's not bad at all.

But they're all fine. I guess for me if I want a better image the next meaningful step up from the c series is renting an Alexa, but that's also a pain to use. I sort of worried about minor differences until I tried something that was actually different and now for me it's Alexa or bust (though the C300 Mk II look pretty nice after the firmware update–haven't tried it with the new firmware though!).

I don't care for the "FF" look, but if you want shallow depth of field get some f1.4 or f1.8 lenses and an 80D to go with the C100 I'd say. The 80D is easy to use for video and the autofocus is useful for close ups (where sharpness isn't important) and you can get APS-C lenses like the new Sigmas that are sharp and fast enough to match f2.8 on FF and for cheaper. And the DR is RAW is good on the 80D for stills.

Also the Canon RAW workflow is the exact opposite of the cinema series workflow–a nightmare, and that's really why I abandoned it. The 5D II is nice for stills, but has poor DR in RAW compared with the 80D. I'd get an 80D and a C100 Mk II, but I think part of it is that I'm lazy and I do care about color more than most people (consistently score off the charts in color vision tests).

I wouldn't bother with a 1DXII as a video camera. Same very limited dynamic range as other Canon dSLRs. 1DC could be nice, but it lacks the efficient low bitrate codec.

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The 1DX II isn't a video camera? It shoots video. It's a video camera. We're past the time when a dedicated camera necessarily means a better image capturing machine. As far as dynamic range, most of the good dslr's have about 11-12 stops (s-log3 is problematic for sony's 8-bit codec). Blackmagic does give you more usable dynamic range, and they have excellent noise control/grain structure. But some people have their issues with them.

Now does the c100 II have a better image? Well, no.

The 1DX II gives you high quality 4K with low rolling shutter and great out-of-the-box color. Also, the best video AF w/ touchscreen. And the c100 would not give you any practical advantage in dynamic range, color, low light, noise, etc. Even the 1DC's advantage is way overblown here...c-log has limited use because of the 8-bit codec, and you need to shoot at native iso, in many/most situations you'd probably be using a different picture profile. 

 As far as audio, yes the C100 does give you XLR inputs, but the quality of the preamps aren't even as good as the consumer Sony PCM-10 (<$250) or the newer Zoom products, which give you far more options in a compact package. Unless you absolutely need the super low bitrates of the c100.

Also, the 1DX II is a world class stills camera. 

Why would you be investing in an old video camera and an old stills camera when their combined price is pretty much the same as the 1DX II? 

The 1DXII is both a quality 4K video camera + top stills camera. 

 

 

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The C series has a different over/under (favoring highlights by two stops) from the 1DX and just generally far more DR, on par with the 1DC. The 8 bit argument is wrong, the gamma and color space are appropriate to the codec for Canon Log 1.

Also, the C100's pre-amps are way better than a Zoom, even the newer ones. Not as good as Sound Devices, but shockingly good. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, but I would recommend everyone do their own research. I'm not going to argue with you anymore because it's boring to hit my head against a wall, I just want to state something actually true to provide a counterpoint to such blatant misinformation–simply to encourage people to do their own research (and discover that I'm right).

I don't want to argue about this, just to encourage people to do their own research because competent people will agree with me and incompetent people can work with whatever tools suit their incompetence best.

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The challenge you'll find with the 1DX II is that if just want good 1080p, you have to shoot 4K and downscale in post. The 4K files are of course gorgeous (as is the 4K60p), however they are also huge, and even with very powerful computers NLEs like PP CC have trouble playing these 4K files in real time (not an issue with FCPX on the same hardware- even 4K60p plays like butter). For short interviews/shots and/or when you can frequently offload to hard drives, it's not really an issue. However if you need to shoot a live event that is long, you're out of luck unless you can afford to miss some footage when switching cards (and don't run out of cards).

As for stills, the 5D3 has higher resolution and I haven't seen any DR advantages during real-world shooting giving the 1DX II an advantage (I'm sure it's there I just haven't seen or tested it). For sports style shooting, absolutely the 1DX II is a better choice.

I haven't shot on the C100 II, however the C300 II is a superior video camera to the 1DX II. The 1080p is gorgeous and the files are small. The 1DX II 1080p is soft and aliased, barely OK for closeups but too soft and aliased for wides. The C100 II 1080p is also gorgeous and the files are tiny. A really good fit given the OPs original specs. The C100 II is S35 and lenses like the Sigma 18-35 1.8 and Canon 17-55 F2.8 (used extensively in Cartel Land) are great for low light and run & gun.

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Interesting take all!  So far I'm thinking the 1dX II is out due to the difficulty it would be for me as an amateur and single person to capture decent audio and manage file sizes.

So far the C100 Mark II is jumping out at me.  

I'm curious what everyone's thoughts were on the Sony A99II videos.  The color seemed to blow away their a7x models and were pleasant enough to be on the same screen as Canon colors.  Unless the GH5 delivers color equal to Canon and ISO performance too then it is a non-starter for me.

Regarding photography counterpart to the c100 II does that 6D seem like a better fit here than the 80D due to ISO and DR?

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Remember the C100 II has PDAF which is the best AF on the market. The 6D is FF, the 80D is APS-C crop. Unless you're a shallow DOF junkie, the 80D is newer with the latest PDAF and could also work as a B- video camera, allowing you to use all the same lenses on both cameras.

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11 minutes ago, jcs said:

Remember the C100 II has PDAF which is the best AF on the market. The 6D is FF, the 80D is APS-C crop. Unless you're a shallow DOF junkie, the 80D is newer with the latest PDAF and could also work as a B- video camera, allowing you to use all the same lenses on both cameras.

Is it fairly easy to match the video from the 80d with the c100 clog? I have an XC10 and I love it but it lacks shallow depth of field for close ups, so I was thinking the 80d could fill that gap, but I'm afraid I won't be able to get them to match. 

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1 hour ago, mercer said:

Is it fairly easy to match the video from the 80d with the c100 clog? I have an XC10 and I love it but it lacks shallow depth of field for close ups, so I was thinking the 80d could fill that gap, but I'm afraid I won't be able to get them to match. 

If I can match an A7S II to the 1DX II and C300 II (actually all to each other), I'm sure it would be fairly easy to match the XC10 and 80D using similar/same picture profiles (and maybe even no post work needed).

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4 hours ago, Policar said:

The C series has a different over/under (favoring highlights by two stops) from the 1DX and just generally far more DR, on par with the 1DC. The 8 bit argument is wrong, the gamma and color space are appropriate to the codec for Canon Log 1.

Also, the C100's pre-amps are way better than a Zoom, even the newer ones. Not as good as Sound Devices, but shockingly good. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, but I would recommend everyone do their own research. I'm not going to argue with you anymore because it's boring to hit my head against a wall, I just want to state something actually true to provide a counterpoint to such blatant misinformation–simply to encourage people to do their own research (and discover that I'm right).

I don't want to argue about this, just to encourage people to do their own research because competent people will agree with me and incompetent people can work with whatever tools suit their incompetence best.

Far more DR? Let's not get carried away here. And I'm talking about practical advantage. Unless you're shooting at 850 all the time and properly exposed, you won't take advantage of the C100's dynamic range in c-log. There's also usable dynamic range. It's codec is 8-bit and the bitrate is low. The recording levels are stretched thin if you're shooting in c-log. There are also artifacts such as vertical stripes and horizontal banding. These are well-documented. Even the 1DC suffers from it. C-log on 8-bit cameras is overrated.

On the other hand, the 1DX II, while not having a very efficient codec, gives you a lot of information. It's a thick image. Dynamic range is one consideration, but so is recording level. And on top of that, if the 1DXII's 4k footage were downscaled to HD, how would it compare with the c100's HD? Detail, color information, etc.? Well Andrew himself tested the 1DC 4k downscaled compared to the c100, and it was WAY BETTER in your words. The 1DX II would benefit from the same advantages. 

Bottom line: the 1DXII will have better downscaled 1080 than the c100. And there is no 4K comparison, of course.

Sound - What's the blatant misinformation here? Personal experience: last year we used c100's for a shoot. We had an SD mixer/recorder for the schoeps on a boom. But despite the tight budget, we wanted the best possible safety/guide tracks directly into the camera. We tested an ancient Fostex recorder and I believe a Marantz 661 - both were noticeably cleaner even to me - and I'm not particularly sensitive to sound. The Sound Devices is rated an EIN of 130, Fostex, 129, Marantz, 125. I have no idea what the c100's rating is, but shockingly good? It wasn't, not compared with "decent" affordable recorders. But maybe we have different standards and professional expectations.

(And sorry, it's not way better than Zoom's new recorders...the F8 was rated at 127 and their H6 at 120. They've leveled up since their h4n. Talk about misinformation)

I like the c100II a lot, but it has its limitations, including that it doesn't shoot 4K - and it's $4k. It's long in the tooth...but it's a great HD doc camera. 

Just don't misrepresent misinformation...it's just your opinion. Enjoy the c100's WAY BETTER dynamic range and SHOCKINGLY GOOD sound. Just know you didn't back it up with anything. I'm not going to make any assumptions about your competency, because I'm sure you make SHOCKINGLY GOOD wedding videos.

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Fair enough, the F8 and F4 do have better pre-amps. I thought you meant like an h4n or something, because you referred to low end recorders. My bad though, the F8 is still low end relative to industry standard recorders. I just meant leagues better than the h4n, not better than the F8. That's fair, I must have just misunderstood you.

I disagree about the image completely, though. But it's a matter of opinion. I've never needed to deliver 4k and have never had a client who demanded it. Most of my clients who have the option to shoot 4k don't even have the budget to manage the additional expenses in post, which can add many thousands of dollars per project so they just shoot 1080p or 2k. But image and business needs are more subjective and individual. Yours are yours. That's fine.

The stuff about banding and DR is simply wrong if you have a clue how to expose, though. But whether you care about clipping highlights is again subjective. I still don't know how you got banding with the C300. What were your settings? Maybe exposing 320 ISO two stops over while shooting a flat blue sky and pulling it down in post or grading badly with a noisy key? While I see it in Canon dSLRS and at A7S all the time I haven't been able to find it with the C100 or C300 and I've shot many hundreds of hours with those cameras and done a lot in post with them, too, as they're our Alexa b cameras of choice. I understand the 1DC exhibits more banding, but it's still minimal. Canon Log 1 is not that flat; it's not true log.

To complain about banding because it's possible under extreme circumstances if you expose terribly with the wrong settings and use the wrong post workflow to get a bit (and even then nothing like any dSLR) is like complaining about the Alexa's aliasing and equating it to a 7D. Sure, I've seen aliasing on the Alexa. In fact, I've seen MORE aliasing with the Alexa than banding on the CX00. But I would never complain about either problem with either camera.

I respect your opinion and your business needs, but I don't think they're representative of most people's. So to everyone, rent or borrow before you buy. But mind your super whites with the C series.  99% of the reason people think that camera has worse dynamic range than it does is because they people don't know how to expose on set or manage their super whites. The dynamic range is closer to an Alexa or F55 or Dragon than it is to a Canon dSLR, and superior in most cases to an Epic MX, even. 

But to be fair, the 8-9 stops of DR in the 1dX II, for instance, is enough for most situations. And if your clients need 4k they need 4k. They won't mind the occasional blown highlight if it's within spec. But other than Netflix I can't think of another client that requests 4k and that's only for Netflix-produced, not acquired, content.

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2 hours ago, Policar said:

Fair enough, the F8 and F4 do have better pre-amps. I thought you meant like an h4n or something, because you referred to low end recorders. My bad though, the F8 is still low end relative to industry standard recorders. I just meant leagues better than the h4n, not better than the F8. That's fair, I must have just misunderstood you.

 

HEAPS are better than the Zoom H4n, that is not just low end, it is woefully out of date. Even the Tascam DR60D mk2 (which can be got for merely US$135) is HEAPS better than the H4n.

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While the new Zooms are much cleaner than before, Sound Devices still sound better, and more importantly, have a killer analog limiter that sounds pretty great where other devices would produce a ruined take. For slight clipping it's transparent.

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My opinion is CanonC100mkII and 80D/the new M. 

I do not know about absolute DR numbers and the such, but this seems like a very convinient combo for someone with the OP's experience and line of work.

As of the sound, "ancient" Fostex/Marantz/Sound Devices are waaaay better than anything Zoom had in the near past. The Zoom' ssuccess, was a similar to 5Dii's "accident", doesn't mean that a Black n Decker is the only drill available, or a Hoover, the only..well..hoover!

I haven't tested F8(4) yet, but I wouldn't buy anything from them without. For me, Zoom is like the cheaper Sony solutions, everything looks good on paper, but real life ergonomics/usability/performance leaves a lot to desire. 

Having a dedicated video camera such as the C100 offers ergonomics, battery life, no overheating, ND filters, good audio (I am not sure if it is the best, definitely not, but a good start, or else you need a sound man) and you take it out of your bag and shoot. Having a 80D/latest M, is a good way for a B-Cam/photo machine with same lenses (saving money there too).

..and I do not own any Canon cameras at the moment, but I am sure that they will be there soon!

Soundman since 1999 Tip: just take your microphone further of your camera and closer to your sound source, a better sound placement can make a 500$ sound kit sound better than a 5000$ one, and I am pretty dogmatic about it!

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Question:

 

What is everyone's take on buying refurbished or used vs. brand new?  Any basic guidelines/thought processes you use to determine which avenue is best for you?

 

Also, if I were to buy used/refurbished are there any reputable dealers as I am not sure I would use craigslist or eBay.

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+1 for the Marantz PMD661! 

I just mentioned it in a thread a month or so ago. It really boggles my mind how overlooked the PMD661 has been amongst video people for so many years (even when it first came out). I'll admit I'm coming from a radio background where sound is everything and the PMD661 is a standard portable recorder at places like the CBC and I think NPR (definitely used by This American Life).  What Zoom and other options do have is features like timecode and 3+ XLR inputs (I'll give them that) but there's really no competition when it comes to the actual sound and preamp quality of portable recorders in the sub $500 range with the Fostex being a bit better than the PMD as far as overall sound goes tho (although the PMD wins with basic ergonomics and stuff like headphone levels).

I prefer the possibilities that come with a 5D MKIII/1DC+portable recorder (like the Marantz) combo. It might be a bit more work, but if you pick up a Sescom cable and plug into the DSLR's mic-in (while turning the in-camera level to -1) you get great dual audio recording that's much better than anything the C100's internal recording would give you. But most importantly (imho) you have the option to break down and go stealth or build it up for more elaborate recordings (I've put a dual bracket  mount on the hotshoe and added a Wooden Camera cage to the mix of my setup).

You don't have that type of flexibility with a dedicated video camera. Plus for someone like me that does video and radio docs, this combo allows me to be completely interchangeable between mediums.

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The Fostex is built like a piece of shit MyFirstSony. But it records some clean sound. And it's dirt cheap used, as is the marantz. Sound Devices are excellent, i own a mixpre-D, but they're heavy and relatively expensive. If you need everything on the camera for handheld, you can easily attach a high quality handheld recorder such as the aforementioned sony pcm10 and/or one of the newer zooms..the u-series look pretty good. And that will capture better sound than your C100 or any other video camera. I'd do it even for safety, can't even count how a secondary track saved a shoot - batteries crapping out, levels, etc.

Funny, I've been through a lot of cameras, but lenses and sound gear have stayed with me. Loyal like dogs. Cameras are bitches.

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On 04/10/2016 at 6:59 AM, Policar said:

The idea that the 5D III's RAW is technically a better image is a misconception...

Also the Canon RAW workflow is the exact opposite of the cinema series workflow–a nightmare, and that's really why I abandoned it...

Well 'technically' the 5d RAW is better than a C300. Also, a DNG workflow is a not a nightmare, lots of films for cinema (and narratives in general) are starting to shoot RAW.

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