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Canon 1D X Mark II review part 1 - why superior colour means it's game over for my Sony A7S II


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Andrew, do you film professionally? It's just that you speak authoritatively but I don't think I've seen anything other than what you post here. To me the skin tones (especially on the train trip) loo

I'm not sure that wether or not someone commercialises their work is particularly relevant, if that's what you meant. I have seen low quality output from people who charge for what they do, high quali

I kinda agree with DPC, that comparison is really weird. I agree that canon has great colors, but that profile with crushed blacks is pretty extreme. I mean, it's ok as a 'look' I guess, but not reall

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I kinda agree with DPC, that comparison is really weird. I agree that canon has great colors, but that profile with crushed blacks is pretty extreme. I mean, it's ok as a 'look' I guess, but not really something you can deliver to every client.

 

I'm also pretty curious about work or a reel, this site (especially the forum) is a great resource, but your opinions can be quite harsh and I don't see the actual knowledge and creative skills to back it up, except for a few music vids from a long time ago. This is not meant as a bash or to bully you, but I think it's too much spec talk and not enough filming.

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I'm a fan of Canon skintones and especially it's auto WB which i find superior to the competition. I actually switched over from Nikon for this.

Andrew makes some valid points most of which I agree.. however to be fair to Sony, the comparison is an odd one since.. he compares Standard Sony profile to his custom Vivid profile.. which is rather intense! If one wanted to make a valid comparison about Canon colors vs Sony.. one really should have compared BOTH standard profiles (like TCS did in their Jpeg shootout). An interesting comparison would have also been Sony S-Log vs EOSHD C-Log.

For what it's worth I do own and sometimes use Andrews film looks (for stills never video) but they do totally alter the infamous Canon color science.. so again odd conclusion, although I get the point for him personally it's just a more favorable custom look then what Sony may offer SOOC..

Anyways no doubt 1DX2 is a beast of camera (and it should be at that price!) but I still find the A7SII is still damn desirable for it's class-leading low light abilities, FF zero crop 4K, IBIS, EVF, Slog..etc

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The good things first :

1.finally an article about a camera comparison with a video, haven't seen that in a while here.

2. Seems like a good combo (good stills camera with decent video, however lacking resolution.) thought for the price it should be, and that's about it with good points.

the bad :

1. PRICE, for real ? are we seriously even considering to compare a 6000+ camera to a 2400 one ? the price is just astronomical (people buy cars for their families for this price)

2. easy pleasant COLOR - :D this made me laugh. So you are saying that this camera gives you awesome color straight out of the box, no need to edit, yeah perfect, the thing is I dont know any pc (under another 5000)  that would even be able to edit that mjpeg 500mbps shit. AND this is a subjective matter. Andrew you forgot to mention that Chris and Jordan specifically said that many many times over in the view that this is purely subjective. Moreover they are testing sub 2000 cameras with some being much less. Honestly i disliked the color in that video, oversaturated, punchy, crushed blacks, frankly this video is far from pleasing on account of colors and DR. bleh but that is just me. some may love unnatural red over saturated punchy color. 

3. DR - do you honestly think that this footage with the edit you did has better DR than a7s ... suddenly it's no issue ? the footage looks like it's from a 7d.

4. Crop factor 1.3 IS NOT full frame. Everyone being disappointed  by 1.6-1.7 on 5d IV and 1.3 on a 6000 body is okay ? please.

The awful:

5. That thing is enormous. good luck stabilizing that. (another rise in costs)

6. No articulating screen

7. No focus peaking on a body for 6000 ? lol

8. 8bit for 6000 ? lol

9. Codec

I mean, if anyone is doing sports photography and can justify the price, go for it sure, for video ? you'll be back to ILCS or real 10bit cameras in few weeks after using this dinosaur 

oh and i forgot , the ugly :

10. EF mount

Cheers, meant no offense :) thanks for taking time to review, keep them coming !!! 

mickey

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"Likewise when I invested – key word invested – in the A6300, had I known Sony would roll out the A6500 a few months later I would never have spent money on it. One should rarely wait to buy the tool you need, because there’s forever something newer round the corner, but it seems like every 6 months Sony make your last purchase a complete waste of money."

1) Oh COME ON. For two years you were yelling at Canon for not innovating. Now that they finally update your yelling at Sony for innovating to much with fast refresh cycles?
2) Cameras are not an investment in terms of resale value, camera's are in an investment into your art/business.

I've grown very tired of base Canon profiles ( C-log is excellent however). They are excessively warm, not true to life at all. Which is great if your shooting weddings all the time, but not all subjects are served with that type of color.

I find your comparison completely false. The Canon is using your custom profile GRADED and the Sony is using Standard, ungraded, and obviously underexposed!

But most of all, no mention of the IBIS and excellent viewfinders on the High-end Sony camera's?? I could never go back to only using the rear LCD, a non-tilting one at that!

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The picture comparison made me laugh! For your home scrap book, the canon is fine, its a complete mess, but fine. However, if you showed them to a client...they'd tell you to throw away the Canon shot & boost the saturation on the Sony.

If you do a comparison between 2 cameras, then you really need to level the playing field (use standard profiles on both cams, as was said above). I'm with you on Canon colour, but between the 2 pics, i'd go for the Sony (with some tweeking) or just take another go at the Canon one, so it looked better. The other problem, is that at the moment people are edging towards that neutral look (as in the Sony pic) - doesn't make it right, but if you want to make a living.....

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6 hours ago, liork said:

There is a problem with this statement, as Nikon that won number 1 in the "JPEG shootout" also use Sony sensor...

Not necessarily. It may be a Nikon design and Sony's factory just built it.

The one in the X-T2 might be a Sony design, Sony built. Sensor looks very similar to the one in the A6300 to me.

Who knows... All I can say is that the X-T2's colour isn't as nice as I expected it to be, with rather waxy skintones compared to Canon and Panasonic.

It seems the few people who are getting crazy high saturation and crushed blacks on the comparison shot really need to dial down their displays, calibrate them to S-RGB or just plain upgrade.

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2 hours ago, Geoff CB said:

"Likewise when I invested – key word invested – in the A6300, had I known Sony would roll out the A6500 a few months later I would never have spent money on it. One should rarely wait to buy the tool you need, because there’s forever something newer round the corner, but it seems like every 6 months Sony make your last purchase a complete waste of money."

I feel your pain. I think the A6500 launch was botched. It should have been in 2017. Between Sony and Apple, we can see the extremes of product timing. I'd actually prefer the Apple method to the Sony one. Sony needs to perfect their current features, get their cameras to run reliably, and invest in pro-level help. Unfortunately, I don't believe Sony is built that way... it's just the way it is.

As for color, I think @Andrew Reid is simply saying he likes Canon's colors best. Don't feel bad if you have a Sony and you like the colors- it's all subjective anyway, as was clearly stated in The Camera Store TV video.

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From a hobbyists perspective, I don't see how anyone could make a decision on purchasing a camera that doesn't shoot raw when considering the incredible variance in peoples subjective preferences for color aesthetic. The high degree of difficulty in controlling a scene's color reproduction during acquisition using 8bit color is much more limiting than other variables, such as focus, lighting, composition, etc. In my opinion, the next lasting technology advancement in video will come from HDR, and even a 10bit codec will leave very little leeway for correction in post.   

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I've been saying for the past year and a half that the only thing preventing me from going Sony is their color science. It just looks bland. Canon looks very nice, though it is a certain look, and I've reached a place with my Samsung where I can get good stuff out of it. I'm also really liking the color science coming from Fuji, I may be tempted to go that route in the future especially if 4K medium format becomes a thing.

4K 60fps is the next thing I need out of a camera. Electronically variable ND would be very welcome too.

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In all due respect, I think this is one of your weaker articles.

The comparison is weird (as the A7SII does look better) and this newish stance regarding Canon contradicts many other previous articles written on the site. 

I looked into the Canon 1DX II - although the entire package is nice, the file sizes are very large, you need a hotshoe monitor for serious work (exposure tools, tilt viewing angles etc), the highlight roll-off is steep, and finally we are back to the Franken-rig for steady hand held... so having a more video focused hybrid or a dedicated video camera will be a better option in a lot of cases. 

Plus, while Sony images are much harder to get a pleasing look - with skill, you can get some magnificent results. Many users are uploading very poorly graded S-log videos with horrendous white balance, exposure and lighting. Get it right, and you have lovely dynamic range, lovely colour and detailed image. No auto modes required! 

I can see the DPAF having huge value in many situations. I'm glad you are enjoying the benefits. However, I wouldn't throw out theta A7S II just yet, it serves a very different purpose and will be very useful. 

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I agree with most people saying the video is garbage and doesn't back up the post at all. I have been following this blog for awhile and appreciate the various insights into to gear. Having said that this post seems very strange. Andrew has been a huge advocate for innovation, yet this post would say otherwise. All of of sudden he's against Sony? Andrew did you not get invited to participate in the FS7 Markii event and this is your way of expressing your anger? 

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12 hours ago, BenEricson said:

Good color is subjective, but the Canon seems like it gives the most solid base. You could get that Sony desaturated look if you wanted. GH4 seems like an odd duck, color seems good enough but have never heard anyone say they prefer it to the Canon.

yeah it's totally subjective. canon color is often praised for the skin tone, and i shoot a lot of people. having used both canon and panny for years, and sony more recently, i've seen a progression in how panny evolved their color. the gh2 and gh3 were much worse for skin tone, but the gh4 with my custom profile looks amazing in natural light. when i first got my a7s ii the skin tone was very underwhelming, but after tinkering with the profiles it's now spitting out images that are just as pleasant as canon, but not as overdone. i'm sure in post i can get the canon shots to match the sony in color, but there are other things that can't be matched, such as dynamic range and level of detail. so if i don't tend to use the canon cameras for a gig anymore.

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11 hours ago, DPC said:

Andrew, do you film professionally? It's just that you speak authoritatively but I don't think I've seen anything other than what you post here. To me the skin tones (especially on the train trip) look pretty awful. No client I have would ever approve that. The blacks are crushed to death and faces are red and over-saturated.

i registered just to like your comment. my thoughts exactly. 

i own the 1dx mark II as well (like many, i normally shoot on sony a7s, a7s2, fs700 etc). a couple of Andrew's pros made me giggle a bit. color flatter talent? you mean to say that a colder grade would be unflattering? lighting, make-up and distortion free focal lenght flatter talent. p.s. i even think the sony looks better in the first example for instance. 
next, it's 1,38x crop, which is closer to 1,4x than 1,3x, making it more similar to super 35 than full frame. also, it's far from having good dynamic range, it's decent at best, and there is no way any third party "log" profile made in canon's picture profile editor could come close to genuine canon's c-log. flattened neutral profile isn't log, it just lifts shadows, you cant make log with a curve in a rudimentary pp editor, it offers zero highlight gain.  the a7s is the one with impressive dynamic range, AND it has proper log. you can overexpose it 4 (!!!!) stops before it falls apart. canon is a goner at 2 stops over. 

it's a great camera with great straight out color, just like sony is way better at other things. but the fanboyism is strong here. especially seeing how you initially bashed the camera without even having had tried it. nobody forces you to update your sony gear, it's an investment in your creative nature, not in your resale value. just because there is something newer, doesnt mean you gonna get shot if you dont get it. i still use the original a7s and it's more than enough if you dont shoot high end commercial stuff + (and even then you could manage with an external recorder). 

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Love the Canon 1DXMkII. Anyone that doesn't love this thing has probably never spent time with it.  Check out these shots from my website (mostly 1DXMkII and a few Sony shots).

This thing is simply amazing. Video in 4k looks great.  Granted not as much dynamic range as a dedicated cinema camera,  but better low-light performance, and built like a tank.  Plus you can take it places without need of a permit. Blows away my A7RII. And I'm happy it's E-mount. Why not?  It is first and foremost a stills camera.

Many a pro has used this camera with great results.  If you can't get great results with this... Well,  maybe what needs upgraded isn't the camera,  but your skill set.

Andrew, happy to have you aboard. As noted,  with this camera you can spend time worrying about content... not worrying about getting the next model.  Canon doesn't pop a new model of their flagship cameras out every other week. 

For stabilizing,  use the Letus Helix Jr, a jib,  or a slider. Hand hold with a shoulder rig. All work fine.  

The 1DXMKII is the real deal. A proper professional tool that should serve it's owner well for years to come. 

DBOUNCE APPROVED!

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12 hours ago, DPC said:

Andrew, do you film professionally?

I'm not sure that wether or not someone commercialises their work is particularly relevant, if that's what you meant. I have seen low quality output from people who charge for what they do, high quality output from people who do not, and a lot of stuff in between. So I'm not sure that commercialising your work is a necessary pre-condition for being able to express an opinion. Nor is it necessarily a good indicator of quality. Hence, not particularly relevant.

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Richard Bugg, I asked because I'm interested to know who's opinions I'm reading. It's getting a bit weird having so many of them and so little work to show. Apparently Andrew owns the camera and says "What a shame the 1D X Mark II is a pros-only affair." That made me ask. It can't be very hard to answer. It is relevant in that professionals have a skill set that clients are willing to pay for and the most to lose if their judgement turns out to be wrong. 

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