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John D

Best Camera under $800

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Any recommendations in this price range?  I have an a7s but don't have to stay in the Sony family for this camera.  I teach at a university and need a less expensive camera for some of our department's projects.  I teach in the dance and theater area so lowlight is helpful but not a dealbreaker.  

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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´d say Panny G7. Has much, much better EVF than GX85! I´d call the GX85 EVF a pain to use due to heavy tearing, gives me a headache after

less than a minute. The display I find too small for me. G7 doesnt have IBIS but a cheapo rig compensates for handheld shooting.

In my opinion the IBIS does not replace a gimbal but is great to have for usual handheld work. But a rig is fine too.

So G7 for much better EVF, large enough display, Cine profiles as a bonus, great handling and up to 100USD less on ebay for used and new ones.

GX85 for its prettyiness, the pretty IBIS, the tactile feel of its beautiful body though a little bit too short for my taste.

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I support the above recommendation for the nature of your projects, a G7 with a Chinese speedboster will be a good combination and stays in your budget, also a basic rig will be needed, if you go to ebay probably you can even add an external monitor and still stay under $800...

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its $99 over your request but take a look at Fuji XT-20. Its pretty good in low-light and have an easier color-science than a7s. Of course native lens could be expensive (and also great) but you can always go 'cheap SB/ old fast glass' route if you dont need any IS.

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Well since you have a Sony A7s I would assume you have lenses for it so why not buy a used Sony A6300? I have seen them for 800 bucks used once in awhile. Probably better than m4/3 with low light ability.

Has 4k, really good autofocus, especially eye focus. 1080p sort of sucks on them, but if you shoot 4k and down sample they look great. And you would know the horrible menus they have, just like the A7s has. So that is a plus, sort of.  :grimace:

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I did some vlogging stuff with a G7 on a trip earlier this week and I have to say that it performed really well and the articulating screen and iPad/iphone remote controlling of it was a real boon. 

I actually wanted to take the GX80 for the stabilisation (I could've lived without the articulating screen because of the ipad/iphone remote) but the lack of a mic input made it dead in the water. 

I'm now, of course, spending loads of time stabilising everything in FCPX which is a real pain in the arse and certainly detracts from the immediacy of what I was trying to do.

Clearly, the best solution for me would be to have the G7 with the GX80 stabilisation.

So that'll be the $80 over budget G80/85

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Thanks everyone for these great suggestions.  We had some kit stolen recently (including an a7rii, a 85 batis and the 55 sonnar) so I'm down to the 24-240 that we got for general purpose stuff.  We also aren't allowed to purchase used equipment so can't go down that road.  I'll look at the g7 and the gx85 and the Fuji (for kicks - less likely).  I had hoped to stay in the aps-c arena but used to use a gh2 and can work around m43 dof and low light issues if necessary.  Does anyone have any thoughts about the Nikon 3300?  4k would be great but it's not a dealbreaker and having some extra funds to put towards a fast prime would be helpful.  

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D3300 looks ok.     Personally I would consider the Sony A6000.      You can still find them new and would be compatible with your lens and seems about the same as the D3300 for low light.      No tilting LCD on the Nikon

https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-A7S-versus-Sony-A6000-versus-Nikon-D3300___949_942_928

https://www.dpreview.com/products/compare/side-by-side?products=nikon_d3300&products=sony_a6000

 

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If you are recording dance and theater projects you will probably need to be shooting for some period of time, so avoid the cameras that can overheat if you are planning to use 4K at some point. The small Sony cameras have this issue due their limited thermal envelopes.

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I love my a7s.  It's amazing.  But I can't spend that much for another one and also would like to have this second camera potentially as a photo shooter since the a7s is good but not great in that area.  (and sorry for the delayed response - I just noticed my post didn't submit before) 

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On 3/23/2017 at 11:39 AM, hijodeibn said:

I support the above recommendation for the nature of your projects, a G7 with a Chinese speedboster will be a good combination and stays in your budget, also a basic rig will be needed, if you go to ebay probably you can even add an external monitor and still stay under $800...

Yup, agreed. Go either Panasonic G7 or G80 depending on exactly how tight your budget is.  Plus a RJ Lens Turbo or similar, plus a few older Nikon F mount lenses. 

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