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mercer

Narrative Filmmaking - Best Camera Options

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I thought it could be fun and informational to get some thoughts about what cameras are good for narrative filmmaking at different price points. 

• Up to $500

• $500 - $1000

• $1000 - $1500

• $1500 - $2000

• $2000 - $3000

• $3000 - $5000

• $5000 - $10,000

• $10,000 and above...

Obviously, most of us believe that a great film could be shot on a used EOS-M for a hundred bucks, if the idea and filmmaking is good, but I am curious to hear, from a technical standpoint, what everybody thinks is the best at those price points?

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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

Think up to 3000 bucks gives you a nice camera to own and lens & accessories selection (which doesn't even really matter on what exact camera you spend it, depends on your style, could be anything from a G7 to an A7S with external recorder). Everything upwards from that I think is better off spent on some kind of rental package and then more money towards the production and including more people to help you out: like someone dedicated to the lighting or sound, actors, craft services, getting everything and everyone to a special location to shoot at, maybe hire a aerial video specialist, that sorta thing.

For me, if I wouldn't be restricted by a strict budget, the ARRI Alexa Mini would probably be the way to go. Such a cool, flexible cinema camera. That's my jam.

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Mercer,

XC10 will the best in 1000-2000 range if it wasn`t for the ghosting, so sad Canon is not doing anything to fix it, XC15 is a little expensive, when that camera go bellow US$2000 will be a killer, if that happens.

GX85 for cameras between 500-1000 is the best by far, even is better than several in the 1000-2000 range.

I would like to hear others about they though for best cameras in these ranges ether

 

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6 minutes ago, hijodeibn said:

Mercer,

XC10 will the best in 1000-2000 range if it wasn`t for the ghosting, so sad Canon is not doing anything to fix it, XC15 is a little expensive, when that camera go bellow US$2000 will be a killer, if that happens.

GX85 for cameras between 500-1000 is the best by far, even is better than several in the 1000-2000 range.

I would like to hear others about they though for best cameras in these ranges ether

 

I have both of those cameras...

But I agree that the GX85 for it's price is a great narrative tool. I am kinda glad I haven't sold it. Up to $500, I think the D5500 is really good. The XC10 is a great camera, but I think a 5d mkiii with ML (especially with current developments) is the better pick. 

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1 minute ago, mercer said:

I have both of those cameras...

But I agree that the GX85 for it's price is a great narrative tool. I am kinda glad I haven't sold it. Up to $500, I think the D5500 is really good. The XC10 is a great camera, but I think a 5d mkiii with ML (especially with current developments) is the better pick. 

5d with ML is a powerful machine, but to process the files from it is suck a pain, and the price is in the next range from 2000 to 3000, so it will be competing with the URSA mini 4K, the XC15 and others

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One think that really amaze me, is the fact how low is the depreciation of Canon cameras, C100 mark I have kept the same price in the second hand Market for almost a year, and also the skintones are so great in all Canon lines, the only think keeping me to get one is that I love to shoot in 4K, WHY CANON YOU SCREWED UP THE XC10?

4 minutes ago, Grimor said:

Advantages are weather sealing, IBIS 2, and Cine profiles.

Better ergonomics too.

did you get a better picture?, any comparison in a video?

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No, sorry.

I only own a G85 and Gh4 to compare.

I was looking at youtube and nobody seems to be comparing both colors/skin tones.

If you find a Gx85 vs G85 colors comparison, please post it here.

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Second hand 5d3 with ML plus cards and hard drives is probably do-able for below 2000. The pliability in grading the image is amazing and will knock any 8 bit image into a hat in that regard. And I think this is important for narrative work, to be able to create a stylised look that suits your film.

A C series camera will be sharper and less noisy, but a well exposed 5D3 image is a dream to work with in post and, as this guy says, 1920 x 1080 is enough for a 2k DCP.

http://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=18286.0

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• Up to $500  nikon 5200 - Sony a6000

• $500 - $1000 BMPCC - BMMCC

• $1000 - $1500 GH4 - FZ2000 (to be proven) - Samsung NX1

• $1500 - $2000 Fuji XT2

• $2000 - $3000 Digital Bolex (not built anymore)

• $3000 - $5000 Panasonic HX1, Sony A7S II

• $5000 - $10,000  Red Raven, 1DX MK II, 

• $10,000 and above... Panasonic Varicam LT - Arri Alexa - Red Scarlet W - Epic - ...

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the most important think in my opinion is be careful that the video file is strong enough that you can color correct/grade without problems (reject everything else). and then if possibile choose a camera that doesn't suffer aliasing and vertical stripes.

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Putting the BMPCC/BMMCC in the 1500-2000 dollar bracket because it needs to be paired with at least an external monitor. I kind of want one for my main personal camera... is that weird? I feel like working with raw will help me learn a lot as a colorist. Idk. It just seems weird to consider a drone camera for passion projects.

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12 hours ago, hyalinejim said:

Second hand 5d3 with ML plus cards and hard drives is probably do-able for below 2000

it sure is i did it!! ?

12 hours ago, hyalinejim said:

a well exposed 5D3 image is a dream to work with in post and, as this guy says, 1920 x 1080 is enough for a 2k DCP.

http://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=18286.0

tru tru. i watched that guys trailer and it looks great! if you didnt know better, woudnt you think that it was shot with a MUCH more expensive camera? i would ?

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Rapid fire response off the top of my head just because it is fun:

I'm only considering large sensor ILC here, thus I'm ignoring quite large markets and notable cameras such as GoPro or a Sony PXW-X70 or Panasonic FZ1000 or Panasonic LX100, which are all great cameras themselves and worth considering for many people. 

And now onto the answers:

• Up to $500

Panasonic G7

• $500 - $1000

Panasonic G80 or BMPCC

• $1000 - $1500

Sony a6500 or Nikon D500 or Nikon D750 or BMMCC or secondhand Sony F3

• $1500 - $2000

Hold off and wait for the Panasonic GH5

• $2000 - $3000

Sony a7S mk2 or a7R mk2 or secondhand Sony FS700

• $3000 - $5000

Sony FS5 or Kinefinity Terra 5K or BMD URSA Mini 4.6K

• $5000 - $10,000

Sony FS7 mk1 or FS7 mk2 or Kinefinity Terra 6K or secondhand Sony F5 if you're lucky

• $10,000 and above...

This is a very very broad category as the sky is the limit! Thus it covers anything from a Canon C300 mk2 to Panasonic Varicam LT to an Arri Alexa Mini to a Sony F65, and lots more between those listed, and lots more both above and below! 

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