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Sony Alpha mount camera? Or dump my current lenses?


mooglinux
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I am interested in doing more video, but feel very restricted by my cheap sanyo camcorder. I have a Sony a200 for still photography, and have managed to accumulate 1 sony and 3 minolta lenses. I don't have a wide angle lense, or a telephoto bigger than 300mm (35mm equivalent), but being able to use those lenses and having manual control of the camera would open the door to a great many more possibilities.

 

So: how good are current sony dslr's for video? I was eying the a57, which seemed to be able to do both still photos and video quite nicely.

 

But on the other hand, with the new blackmagic camera coming out, maybe it would make sense to save up longer and get that. Micro four thirds seems to be the lense mount of the future, and it would be nice to feel my lenses will be useful on future equipment. There is an adapter to convert the A mount to the E mount, but I have failed to find any which would adapt it to MFT..... dropping $1k for the camera alone would be a real stretch financially, I don't know how viable that option would be if I had to purchase new lenses for it as well....

 

Anyway, anyone have experience with the sony dslrs for video? 

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I used a Sony a77 for a while.. I eventually sold it though. I know some other guys using a77's and love them. This is my opinion (and I am not one of the more experienced members) I just didn't like the look of the footage and I hated that I really disliked AVCHD, it was both inconvenient and I found it awkward to grade so I never really bothered with it tbh. You might have a totally different experience, and there's a good thread on here with people making videos and grading on an RX100.

 

I used a hacked GH2 for a bit and loved it (it wasn't mine, a friend who upgraded lent it to me to try out) and I eventually bought a GH3.. I LOVE m4/3, IMO the footage is much MUCH better the GH3 records into .mov files which I also love as they are far more convenient to use and I think it works much better for me in post. 

 

Aside from that, M4/3 in general is pretty great, the video quality is pretty much unmatched (maybe it will be by the BMPCC) but still it's amazing quality. You also have access to really really great m4/3 lenses that range from extremely affordable to affordable (nothing is overly expensive compared to the camera bodies) and you have great options from all companies that are making lenses for the m4/3 mount (primarily, Olympus, Panasonic/Leica, Voigtlander) not only that though because it's m4/3 you can basically adapt anything which most people do especially for video, you can find lenses to adapt that are extremely affordable $50 to extremely expensive since pretty much anything goes. 

 

Since you don't have a ton of money, I'd look at a GH2 as opposed to the BMPCC, in terms of image quality alone the BMPCC will probably outdo both the GH2 and GH3 but a hacked GH2 is still popular because of what it can do for how much it costs.

 

Watch this, a camera shootout between the original BMCC (the BMPCC is supposed to have similar IQ but 1080P instead of 2.5k and not RAW) an FS100, 5D3, VG900 (similar to Sony a99, a77 etc) and a GH2 and GH3 (GH3 is in ALL-I format which doesn't actually deliver it's best looking footage)

 

http://vimeo.com/53821829

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Looking around online, the GH2 seems to be running $750+, which is unfortunate because I saw articles saying they had dropped the price to $500 (presumably to clear out the last of the inventory). At that price I would be thinking seriously about waiting for the BMPCC.

 

But a GH1 can be had for under $400. Is there a huge difference between a hacked GH1 and a hacked GH2? 

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Why not buy used? It dropped to $500 just before the GH3 came out, the only atores who have it new are over charging. I don't know a lot about the GH1 i think it only does interlaced im not 100% sure though. Whichever camera you buy if you're going to go about it somewhat seriously (depending on what you are shooting) you may still need an audio solution, tripod etc.. And if home movies is what you're mainly going to be shooting ad Don't have much interest in shooting anything else then a camcorder or Sony DSLR might be better for you anyway if you want/need features like AF (Sony DSLT's have pretty decent AF) you may drop1k on a BMPCC cant get possibly the best raw IQ from the camera but be frustrated by what it lacks.
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There are adapter from Sony A-Mount to m4/3. In my opinion one of the advantages of A-Mount is the mechanical aperture and there are adapter with clickless aperture-rings, e.g.:

http://www.enjoyyourcamera.com/Objektivadapter/Adapter-an-Micro-Four-Thirds/Sony-Minolta-AF-Objektiv-Micro-Four-Thirds-Adapter::3048.html

 

I still have a Sony A77 with some nice lenses (Tokina 11-16mm, Zeiss 24-70mm,...) and will give them a chance on the blackmagic. Time will tell if I complete them with faster m4/3 lenses like SLR magic, Voigtlander,...

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That IS used: http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-GH2-Interchangeable-Free-Angle-Black/dp/B0043VE26U

http://www.ebay.com/ctg/Panasonic-LUMIX-DMC-GH2-16-0-MP-Digital-Camera-Black-Body-Only-/100066244#alurl-/ctg/100066244?_clu=2&_dmpt=Digital_Cameras&_pcategid=31388&_pcatid=782&_pdpal=1&_sgz=1&_trksid=p5877.c0.m299-state-15_all_qqq_qqq

 

It's odd for used ones to be so much more expensive now that the stock is depleted o.O

 

The autofocus is a really good point though. I don't think I would want to give that up. So i guess it's either buy Sony or buy separate lenses with a GH2. It's great to see that four-thirds are nice and cheap though. 

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