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Camera advice. Best image, ignore rest. $3000

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Will probably end up buying the GH5 but still, would be nice to know your thoughts on this.

If we ignore size, audio, release date, ergonomics, mount, sensor size and everything except the image coming out of the camera. What, ready to shoot minus lens, camera for around $3000 (new or used) will give the best image according to you? 

 

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There are so many good cameras with great images on all sides of the price spectrum... but if I had to choose based upon your criteria at 3000 bucks... I would say either a BlackMagic camera or a C100ii. 

Now if you were to say $1500, I would say the a6500. At 1000, BMPCC. At 800, the G80/85. 500... D5500.

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9 minutes ago, zerocool22 said:

5d III RAW

Not to hijack the thread, but I've been frustrated by the workflow of hacked RAW.  Just a bit backwards and cumbersome for my style.  Not that it's a bad image, but, man, you really need to put a huge "in depends or your production" asterisk on ML acquisition.

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22 minutes ago, fuzzynormal said:

Not to hijack the thread, but I've been frustrated by the workflow of hacked RAW.  Just a bit backwards and cumbersome for my style.  Not that it's a bad image, but, man, you really need to put a huge "in depends or your production" asterisk on ML acquisition.

It's as backwards and cumbersome of any RAW workflow. There is only added step before the .dng files.

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29 minutes ago, tupp said:

In addition to the suggestions above, you might consider a used camera:  the Digital Bolex; the Sony F3 (w/4:4:4 capability); the Sony FS700 (w/raw recorder); or a KiniMini refurb.

If I had the money, I would totally go with the Digital Bolex or the F3 (w/ 4:4:4 & slog). Just choose your sensor size and you're good to go !

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5 hours ago, Mattias Burling said:

Digital Bolex, BMPC4K , Red One MX are my top pics. Besides film of course.

1DC also fits the budget but I like the 5Dmkiii Raw better.

 

Disagree. Just because the Bolex, 4k, and Red One MX are a pain to work with doesn't mean you get much in exchange for your troubles. The 1DC does seem very good for the money. The image will be "thicker" with a nicer color palette. 

5DMKIII RAW is quite good (on par with C300 and Red MX but with FF compatibility and a tiny camera body) if all you care about is spending very little and getting a lot. The image is very nice. But the workflow is unacceptable for most professional or serious use. It's a cool tech demo for making impressive videos, not a real shooting platform. This might be fine for you. But the caveat of usability is tremendous here, if it's even 1% of your criteria, I would dismiss this option. But you say it's 0%, in which case give it some consideration if you see a used one cheap.

If you're only chasing image quality for the money, it would be a good pick. If not, the 1DC would be fine or a CX00 or FS100/F3 (easy to use and the image with those is on par with the Red MX–unless you need 4k–and with much improved low light and better color out of the box and mixed light color).

Any of these cameras (excepting maybe the BMPC4k, which has fixed pattern noise problems, the 2.5k has a much cleaner image) are great. To the extent that any problem with the image is due to user error. Or simply preference. (Resolution means nothing to me beyond 1080p but color means everything. I'll take tonality over DR. This is not the case with many people.) Anything from this generation is 95% of the way to the F35 and far better than the F900. You can get "Hollywood" results with an F3 or a C300 or even a BM 2.5k though lenses become trickier with it. But by the time you're spending that much on G&E and support gear it's trivially inexpensive to upgrade to an Alexa. But even Canon dSLRs, which are technically very poor, are intercut seamlessly (as b cameras) with top of the line content. The 7D on a techno crane was a thing for a while because it was "good enough" to replace the Red as a b camera or a camera for some ads–but easier to use. (Those days have passed.)

I would say all these options are within a 20% margin in terms of image quality and 5% for most of those listed. But in terms of ergonomics there is a vast one. And in terms of flexibility, use under mixed light, etc. also a vast one. But if you're just shooting test scenes or charts, I suppose the 1DC still wins. If part of the image quality is how in focus your footage is, how the colors look under mixed light, how the viewfinder lets you compose, how often the camera goes down on a shoot that's expensive per minute or simply if you value your time, and what kind of camera movement the body lets you use, then my answer might be very different.

But a simple question will get you simple answers: 1DC. But whatever, they're all great.

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7 hours ago, fuzzynormal said:

Not to hijack the thread, but I've been frustrated by the workflow of hacked RAW.  Just a bit backwards and cumbersome for my style.  Not that it's a bad image, but, man, you really need to put a huge "in depends or your production" asterisk on ML acquisition.

MLVFS... as easy as anything else, can't really see an issue here.

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No doubt raw IS the way to go, but it does come with some real downsides for the average person. The recording media to shoot it, the time to grade it, and the space to archive it.

Not a great recipe for a fast turnaround either. But nobody says it easy to create great stuff.

But if you can do it, I think ProRes HQ is the way to go. Much easier path for people on a budget.. 4.4.4 I think is overkill unless you have a big time project.

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1 hour ago, HockeyFan12 said:

 

Disagree. Just because the Bolex, 4k, and Red One MX are a pain to work with doesn't mean you get much in exchange for your troubles. The 1DC does seem very good for the money. The image will be "thicker" with a nicer color palette. 

I don't think they are a pain to work with at all. The D16 fo example is the least painful professional cinema camera I can think of.

The 1DC however was a real pain imo and the 5D was cheaper, easier to work and has imo a better image.

Never had any fpn issues with the bmpc4k.

The Reds only real flaw is the weight. But Im not weak.

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