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Sorry! It's another "What camera?"question.


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Hello all, 

If you had to choose 1 camera to take both photos and videos on music artists reports which one is the best choice atm?

I have a G7 and I'm really happy with the quality of the video of course, I have a Voigtlander so low light isn't a problem for me tbh but the pictures are not that great... I can't go more than ISO 800 without getting dark areas super noisy and mushy...

I've been considering the Sony A6500 which is APS-C (that I could speedboost with the 16-35mm or not with the 18-35mm) and bump the ISO at least to 1600 or 3200 depending but is the video quality as good as the Panasonic?

What others options can you give me?

Thanks in advance :)

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GH5, no troubles with heat, rolling shutter is kept in check, tons of cool features, sweet battery life, cardslot is on the side and dual slot type, proper audio interface... ISO is now supposedly pretty solid up to ISO3200. Nice 'n grippy for handheld shooting; especially with the 5-axis B.I.S. and optional Dual I.S. (2.0). Vari-angle display with well-implemented touchscreen. Tons of compact native lenses as well, as you know. Keep it light and throw it on a gimbal. And... people seem to be enjoying it for stills as well, for which it also has numerous interesting features.

 

Like, don't get me wrong, the pixel level results from the A6500 sensor are pretty great, like, the amount of dynamic range, level of detail, high ISO noise performance, really great stuff and all. But once you look beyond that, it really falls apart. The body is just rubbish. Like, Sony... c'mon, take notice, all other crop sensor mirrorless camera flagships are pretty nice bodies. GH5, E-M1 Mark II, X-T2, NX1, even the Canon EOS M5 for Pete's sake. But no, they went for a super cute small footprint camera, because that's what Sony envisions the people want. Btw, there's not other choice, there's just one model of this generation APS-C Sony mirrorless camera, atleast the other manufacturers are giving you the smaller ones as an option, not forcing you to go along with it.

With flagship cameras you expect great things, but that's hard to realize when you've got only so little space to make it happen... so, chip infrastructure is baaaaddd. That's why you get massive rolling shitter. Heat dissipation is more or less non existent, leading to recording interruptions and camera shutdowns. They've come up with a 'solution': tripod mode! So basically you raise the threshold for overheat protection to kick in, that however renders your camera sooo friggin' hot, that you are no longer supposed to shoot handheld with it. I mean: c'mon son! Anyways, some people are willing to make that work or claim it's not that bad, all I know is: I can't just rely on it at any given time. But ok, we'll shut our eyes and pretend we didn't see anything. Still, the body is terrible.

The cardslot is co-located at the battery compartment, you can't imagine how happy I was when the G80 had gotten a dedicated cardslot on the side, rather than the G7's one that's at the battery compartment as well. The battery itself is tiny and doesn't last very long, don't you just love changing batteries all the time? Yeah, well, me neither. There's no dedicated headphone jack for monitoring. It lacks a sizeable grip for comfortable holding. The screen flips, but not all the way up, nor is it of the vari-angle type that flips up from the side so you can still mount a mic on top and still see the screen. It's a touchscreen now, but the implementation is rather limited, you'd expect more from a manufacturer who's in the smartphone game (although, I'm not suprised they're not killing it, the new XZ1 for example looks amazing on paper... just like their cameras, in reallife... they just don't win you over). Like honestly, what were they thinking here. Back to the image, atleast that's alright, right? Well, like I said, tons of rolling shutter and especially color at its default settings is appaling... even generates color channel clipping. You can make it work, but it takes you a lot of tweaking... don't know about you, but I rather get stuff done than dicking around.

That's why people love Canon so much, they're like the opposite of Sony. Don't care about innovation, about specs, how it looks on paper. They just want you to pick it up, shoot with it and find the results pleasing with the minimum effort that went into it. Their AF is on point, colors are pleasing right of the bat, light codec 1080p only on many of their cameras so NLE's slices through the footage like a hot knife through butter. But you know, for how long can you really ignore con-/prosumer need for 4K? Slowmo? Sensor stabilization? Vari-angle screens & mic-in port? Etc. So, you're kinda in between these two extremes.

And with the Sony btw, lenses. Argh, their lens philosophy. For a good 3 years now their mirrorless lens line-up has been dead (if not taken into account big bulky expensive ENG/Cinestyle zooms), no development no releases whatsoever. At this point the APS-C E-mount cameras are entry level fullframe cameras for poor souls unable to afford the A7 line-up. Atleast with the A6x00 they can start building their fullframe lens collection and wait until they have enough money to upgrade. Don't know man, not cool! For me one of the main benefits of a crop sensor mirrorless body is the fact that the lenses are small, the body itself doesn't even matter all that much, but if you can keep lenses compact, you've found the secret to a compact system! Sony fails to embrace this. Another big no-no for me!

It just all adds up... to something that's disappointing, but like, I was looking forward to the A6300 when rumors of it were leaked and it got closer and closer to launch, because I do like the APS-C performance, I think it's a sweetspot. You get a bit more dynamic range and are able to squeeze a little bit more juice out of the colors. High ISO lowlight noise performance is really respectable. Obviously the crop is less, so your options to go wide angle are better. It's easier to establish a shallow depth of field. All true. Like the occasional fullframe look? Throw on a focal reducer! Still, you have the option to keep lenses small... atleast, with those manufacturers that are willing to embrace that path. Like honestly, I'd probably pick the APS-C Fujifilm X-T2 instead (there were rumors of a videocentric X-T2s, but it has been pretty quiet for a couple of weeks now I believe) or the good ol' Samsung NX1, though, that one really doesn't cope very well at high ISO either. Both the Fuji and Samsung have a bit similar issues that make 'em less appealing. First is the less flexible lens mount option, with no electronic adapters either. No sensor stabilization is a biggie for me. And no vari-angle screen, plus the X-T2 isn't touch sensitive either. To me both Panasonic GH5 and Olympus E-M1 Mark II are what mirrorless crop sensor bodies should be all about. Like, there's hardly anything bad to say for them. You might only be able to 'blame' them for not having APS-C/FF sensor performance. But if that otherwise gives you everything you could ever dream of wanting and be compact at that as well... it's easy to find ways to make it work out just fine. So until someone comes up with something like the GH5 in terms of body and features and throws in an APS-C sensor, for me: Micro Four Thirds it is.

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A7s.

I have been shooting live music for a long time for stills and it is the camera for me for this.

I don't have to worry about ISO and I don't need to just use a fast lens/aperture.

Video is not something I have done much of but have been doing more since getting the A7s.

DSC01550.jpg

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Musicians?  Where most stuff happens in low light?  I'm with @noone  If EVER there was a camera made for that world it is the A7S.  Why?  There's only so much software-engineering (reducing noise) that one can do around small pixel sizes.  The tech is probably at its limit.  The pixel pitch of the A7s is 8.4 microns.  GH5 is 3.3.  Let me put this in perspective.  You want to race two cars with same transmissions.  Do you go with 8 Litres or 3 Litres?  This isn't to say the GH series cameras don't have their strengths, like running all night, flexible software and working with inexpensive glass (which may be more important if you're recording whole shows).   A7S...beg, borrow, or steal ;)  Otherwise, any other full-frame.

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It depends. I use both an A7s (primarily as a stills camera), the Blackmagic Pocket Camera with 0.58x Speed Booster and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera with a 0.64x Speed Booster.

No question that the big-pixel full frame sensor of the A7s performs several leagues above the 1" sensor of the Pocket and the MFT-equivalent sensor of the BMCC. But if you record internally, the Sony's comparatively weak video signal processing and low-bandwidth video codec really limits the real-world results. (External recording won't solve those issue either since it's limited to 8bit and doesn't bypass the camera's internal signal processing.) Conversely, when you shoot CinemaDNG with the Blackmagics and use Neat Video's temporal denoising in post, you can push the material up to 4 stops from 800 ISO to 128,000 ISO without things falling apart. If you add the Speed Booster, you gain an extra 1.33 or 1.67 stops to an equivalent of around 320,000 ISO.

However, if you shoot SLog2 on the A7s (to preserve dynamic range), you really should stay with the native 3200 ISO and do not go above 6400 ISO simply because the weak 8bit-Codec doesn't preserve enough information for recovery in post.

- Of course, you can also tweak things on the A7s by shooting in APS-C crop and using a 0.71x Speed Booster, by using an external recorder, and use a Rec709 profile at higher ISOs instead of SLog2 and simply put up with more limited dynamic range. 

To illustrate what I mean, here's a video I shot with the A7s in SLog2 at ISO 3200/6400 (using some Neat Video post) - on top of the general limitations of the camera's codec, I was also badly affect by the camera's allergy to blue LED light under tungsten WB:

Here are two videos shot at the same venue, under the same light conditions, with the BM Pocket and 0.58x Speed Booster:

IMHO, the BM Pocket created a better image than the A7s (without Speed Booster and using the internal codec).

And finally, an extreme example of BM Pocket footage recorded in an almost dark space (where the status LEDs of the performer's audio equipment served as practical lights), shot with Sigma 18-35mm/1.8 on the 0.58x Speed Booster with wide open aperture and pushed 4 stops to 128,000 ISO in Resolve + temporal noise reduction with Neat Video in Resolve:

So, IMHO the low-light capabilities of the A7s are overrated - not in stills mode, but in video mode. 

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11 minutes ago, cantsin said:

It depends. I use both an A7s (primarily as a stills camera), the Blackmagic Pocket Camera with 0.58x Speed Booster and the Blackmagic Cinema Camera with a 0.64x Speed Booster.

No question that the big-pixel full frame sensor of the A7s performs several leagues above the 1" sensor of the Pocket and the MFT-equivalent sensor of the BMCC. But if you record internally, the Sony's comparatively weak video signal processing and low-bandwidth video codec really limits the real-world results. Conversely, when you shoot CinemaDNG with the Blackmagics and use Neat Video's temporal denoising in post, you can push the material up to 4 stops from 800 ISO to 128,000 ISO without things falling apart. If you add the Speed Booster, you gain an extra 1.33 or 1.67 stops to an equivalent of around 320,000 ISO.

However, if you shoot SLog2 on the A7s (to preserve dynamic range), you really should stay with the native 3200 ISO and do not go above 6400 ISO simply because the weak 8bit-Codec doesn't preserve enough information for recovery in post.

- Of course, you can also tweak things on the A7s by shooting in APS-C crop and using a 0.71x Speed Booster, by using an external recorder, and use a Rec709 profile at higher ISOs instead of SLog2 and simply put up with more limited dynamic range. 

To illustrate what I mean, here's a video I shot with the A7s in SLog2 at ISO 3200/6400 (using some Neat Video post) - on top of the general limitations of the camera's codec, I was also badly affect by the camera's allergy to blue LED light under tungsten WB:

Here are two videos shot at the same venue, under the same light conditions, with the BM Pocket and 0.58x Speed Booster:

IMHO, the BM Pocket created a better image than the A7s (without Speed Booster and using the internal codec).

And finally, an extreme example of BM Pocket footage recorded in an almost dark space (where the status LEDs of the performer's audio equipment served as practical lights), shot with Sigma 18-35mm/1.8 on the 0.58x Speed Booster with wide open aperture and pushed 4 stops to 128,000 ISO in Resolve + temporal noise reduction with Neat Video in Resolve:

So, IMHO the low-light capabilities of the A7s are overrated - not in stills mode, but in video mode. 

Nice work. I love that BM look. Was that ProRes or Raw? Also, I assume you meant push the ISO 4 stops to 12,800?

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Leave it to @cantsin to throw a wrench into the question ;)  Video RAW (or ProRes Equiv) against 8bit anything (even the A7s).  If the OP uses stils only for the web (2K) then agree with Cantsin that the BM should be on the list for sure.  Looking at the question that way, then the 7D with ML RAW is another option.  

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1 hour ago, mercer said:

Nice work. I love that BM look. Was that ProRes or Raw? Also, I assume you meant push the ISO 4 stops to 12,800?

Raw, which is important because you get an unprocessed image on which you can run the highest-quality, computationally most intensive denoising (=Neat Video).

And apologies for my math black-out. It's 12,800 ISO, of course. (But it's too late to edit my original post.)

44 minutes ago, maxotics said:

Looking at the question that way, then the 7D with ML RAW is another option.  

Yes, but with some strings attached because you can't use Speed Boosters with the 7D, and the sensor pixels of that camera are smaller (and most of them are skipped in the read-out for the recording). I only have experience with MagicLantern raw from the EOS-M (which has about the same sensor as the first-generation 7D), and I'd say that it has about 2 stops less dynamic range than the Blackmagic cameras, and should be best shot at 100 ISO.

- Codec quality/lack of compression/quality of signal processing indeed plays a major, often grossly underestimated role, as Steve Yedlin's now-famous video about resolution myths demonstrates.

54 minutes ago, JordanWright said:

The BM Pocket is surprisingly clean.

Yes, but only if you max out the possibilities of raw and have a fast computer to run Neat Video at highest quality settings (temporal denoising with 3 or more frames in HQ setting) inside Resolve, directly on the CinemaDNGs, with no proxies generated in between. Neat Video really loves raw image data where all the original sensor noise is preserved.

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The thing is that for video with the A7s for live music, you can use the same high ISOs that work for stills.

Plenty of cameras will work great at many gigs but it really depends on where the gig is.    I just can shoot more often or with more choice in my lenses.

I shoot mostly in pubs and clubs these days and the stage lighting (sometimes isn't really any) varies greatly.      I typically use one or two fast primes for individuals and either 17mm or 24mm for full band shots.      I use auto ISO with it set to either 51200 or 102400 and use the same for stills and video.

I would love to try an external recorder for 4k but it isn't something I need as the full HD is nice as long as you are not using too low an ISO.

With my GX7 (and previous cameras from many makers back to film), I had to use fast lenses and worried about ISO a lot.      Each generation of digital camera got better and better which would allow me a bit more leeway in that I could shoot in slightly more situations or use a slightly slower lens (or slower aperture).     With the A7s, I can still use fast lenses but I don't HAVE to.       Fast lenses are for blurring the background or subject isolation (though FF means you can do that with f4 or even 5.6 sometimes) but the choice is mine.

My GX7 is actually ok at many gigs for this and even my previous old long sold Pentax Kx was ok for gigs (at the time I thought it was excellent) for stills and sometimes video was ok (though it over heated in seconds sometimes, other times making it through a full song or two if short enough ).

With the A7s, ISO 51600 is good (for me) and 102400 is still somewhat useable and ok but I sometimes set that knowing the camera might only go to an intermediate ISO as the camera is still pretty good between those settings (I wish it had selectable intermediate ISOs).

Video does need a slightly higher ISO sometimes in order to keep the shutter speed matching (IE with auto ISO I might be at the limit I have set and if the shutter speed drops below 1/25 at 25fps that I use, THEN I might have issues but if I reach that with an A7s (I do sometimes at some low light gigs), I doubt I would be any better with anything else.

 

I would love to post some of the videos I have of bands/singers (especially some that are at very high ISOs) particularly Sarah Mcleod (Superjesus front woman)  but I can not .

I mainly just set the camera  with all in shot and focus and hit record and let the band do the work.

If the OP can control the light and uses the camera in light that would mean never going over ISO 6400, then anything recent would be fine for stills and the GH5 would be the video choice I think but for me for live music, well I wouldn't swap for anything.      There will be a day when I would but it isn't here yet.         I am not even sure I would prefer an A7sii over my first generation camera. 

I used to have a Canon 7d and that was not a camera I would use for live music.

This photo of Sarah Mcleod is at ISO 8000 but that is at 150mm 2.8 under a light (about the brightest it got at her gig).     Imagine what ISOs I was using at that venue for other gigs and for musicians not under  light or when the lighting changed (as it did at her gig).

DSC04785.jpg

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9 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Hell no, go for Nikon D500 or D7500, better stills performance AND better video performance. 

I can't speak to stills as the Nikon VS Canon debate is like android VS iOS or Mac VS PC....but I can confirm through experience that usability wise the Canon is superior for video. The Dual Pixel AF is incredible. The flip out screen is fantastic. Obviously its not 4k but the 80D really has great 1080p. 

All these things are my opinion... but what is a fact is that a TON of YouTubers and Wedding videographers that I know shoot with and LOVE the 80D. Just shot a wedding last night with mine on a MoVI and it was a workhorse. Having a LED on the MoVI kept me at ISO 350 which really helps. The 80D doesn't do well over ISO 800. 

IMG_4244.JPG

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On 26/08/2017 at 1:45 AM, noone said:

A7s.

DSC01550.jpg

A7s has horrible lighting artifacts with led lights. You can see them here too in the left corner. It kinda is a bummer for otherwise a great lowlight cam (as a lot of low-light venues tend to use those led lights that clip horribly on the a7s)

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