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Best photo/video hybrid?

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All the options discussed are relatively expensive. I think when you’re a bit more experienced you’ll know exactly what you like and what you don’t like. This is of course very different with different people. 

Usually the most important thing is handling. That was always the advice I was given. I have found it to be true and it is the advice I now give: choose the camera which feels best, the one that’s the most intuitive, that puts a smile on your face.

Everything else is secondary. You need to tell a story with whatever you use and so you need to use something that puts you at your best. If that’s an iPhone then the iPhone is the best camera, far better than any Hasselblad. 

Forums like these tend to be spec oriented. I see few discussions of how fun a camera is to use. Makes sense too if people are working in teams, with scripts et c. Then the “fun factor” matters less. If I am on a job the picture that needs making is usually known, and then the cameras feeling isn’t so important. I can use anything. Then technical parameters become more important as there often needs to be a certain quality.

If I am working in my own practice then it’s paramount that I like the thing I’m working with.

That has been many different things over the years. The most favourite camera ever is the Hasselblad 500CM so I’d say buy that if you want killer stills. You see? There really isn’t a camera that is best. On techy corners of the world like this we often get nerdy with specs. But doesn’t necessarily matter at all. I know so many absolutely amazing artists that exhibit all over the world that use a something like a Nikon D3300 or similar Canon. I used to use 135 format Nikon but lenses are so heavy and expensive I switched to APSC and Fujifilm. I make large prints and I found APSC sufficient. APSC feels like the new 135 to me as all 135 cameras and lenses have got way bigger than they used to be when they were film cameras. I can make bigger prints from an APSC sensor then I ever could from 135.

I can’t advice you without knowing your practice. 

 

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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

We have an A7III at the office, terribly underwhelmed by it.. aside from the slight body changes, it feels like the same old Sony experience.. emperor's new clothes imo.

The EVF hasn't evolved since the II series, same 100mb XAVC-S codec,  it's got an AA filter. LCD is a cluttered mess, convoluted menus with no touch support nor gestures.

Yellow cast on every mixed lighting shot requiring fixing in post. Cherry on top is is our unit has the bottom blinking pixel issue others have reported. So much for Sony QC!

Hence my vote goes to XT2/XH1. For stills, the X-Trans sensor, color science, film simulations & classic dedicated dials/ring control take the lead. For video, the 4K just has some SOOC mojo just like the JPEG engine.

XH1: The body/grip enhancements feel great. The new soft shutter & excellent  IBIS allow new levels of low shutter speed shots. DCI 4K. 200mbs codec feels solid in post. Eterna is a joy & needs minimum grade. . Top sub-monitor display. Customizable gesture support. Silent movie mode (bypasses aperture ring, dials etc).

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On 3/13/2018 at 1:36 PM, dbp said:

This has been my number one fear of Sony cameras. Admittedly, it's more based on what I've heard than what I've personally experienced. Edited one wedding where the second shooter had an A7S, that's the extent of me working with the footage. It was a bit lacklustre, color wise.

Honestly, I've never been terribly impressed with Panasonic's color either, so to take a step even further back in that category is not enticing.

In my experience the A7rii had very good color and shooting with A7riii I find it has improved even more and I am guessing the A7iii as well. The a7s had the worst color of all the A series but the new cameras are miles better. 

The fact is that with picture profiles you can adjust the colors to your liking, something you can't do with any of the other consumer cameras. Imagine that one of the reasons I am unwilling to leave my Sony is the great color. Take it from an actual user. 

If you have the GH4 and you find that it does not give you the still performance you need, then my suggestion would be the A7III. It offers amazing quality both in stills and video, very long battery life and AF performance.

 The GH5/s would be my obvious suggestion but the stills are not much better than with the GH4. 

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3 hours ago, Lux Shots said:

And if he decides to shoot sports, there isn't a full frame camera made that will meet the requirements of that genre. That's where 14 fps and the extra reach of the APS-C Nikon D5 best full frame every time.

Eh?

The D5 is a full frame camera. 

As is the other de-facto standard for shooting sport, the Canon EOS-1 DX Mark II

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8 hours ago, Lux Shots said:

You must have never shot with the guy or GH5 to say something that simple minded.

Do I own one? Nope. But I have no problem recommending one for the OP over anything else.

I rest my case.

15 hours ago, dbp said:

You're probably right. My possibly controversial opinion is that it's better to go for higher stills IQ and mediocre video, rather than the other way around. Even if you are doing video primarily.

 

I kind of thought this Forum was Mostly geared towards Video. Hell I don't even care if the camera I buy can Even shoot stills!  Or if so very well. I surely didn't buy my Sony A7s in the hope as using it as a stills camera. Interesting suggestion on here .

But your viewpoint is represented by the vast majority of people in the world to be sure. But to say that if Video is your main thing, hmm. You are aware of what little MP it takes to shoot video, and what little MP most of the high end Cine cameras even have in them?

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3 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

I rest my case.

I kind of thought this Forum was Mostly geared towards Video. Hell I don't even care if the camera I buy can Even shoot stills!  Or if so very well. I surely didn't buy my Sony A7s in the hope as using it as a stills camera. Interesting suggestion on here .

 

Thing is, that I DID buy the A7s as a stills camera and the video is secondary for me but I love it for the little I do (mostly recording live bands a song or two at a gig on occasion).

Just shows we are all different.

I don't need tracking AF or fast FPS or more than 12mp often but I do need what the A7s does well and I love its smaller size (to fit into a smaller bag with a couple of lenses).

I doubt very many would share my opinion/uses but I don't think I am alone.

That the Sony cameras are getting better at high ISO all the time makes me question if there will even BE an A7siii (I think there will be but the "s" line might not live as long as the other two).

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15 minutes ago, noone said:

Thing is, that I DID buy the A7s as a stills camera and the video is secondary for me but I love it for the little I do (mostly recording live bands a song or two at a gig on occasion).

Just shows we are all different.

I don't need tracking AF or fast FPS or more than 12mp often but I do need what the A7s does well and I love its smaller size (to fit into a smaller bag with a couple of lenses).

I doubt very many would share my opinion/uses but I don't think I am alone.

That the Sony cameras are getting better at high ISO all the time makes me question if there will even BE an A7siii (I think there will be but the "s" line might not live as long as the other two).

Well I must admit I have not used it much for Photos, my son has, and it does look damn good. One of my Favorite cameras of all time was the Original Canon 5D, and they were 12 MP also. It takes less MP than you think unless you are doing landscapes and going big.

One of the main reasons I bought the A7s was to me it has a grungy look video wise, even photo wise. I like to shoot women a lot both video and photo, "Dirty Old Man Syndrome", I have lots of subjects here at the College Campus, and it makes them look more natural, not just show every wrinkle, flaw they have. I am not a big lover of super sharp stuff. I doubt I will ever even shoot 4k with it. Now if someone wants to send me their old Atomos Shogun I would be more than willing to try it LoL I just can't seem to bring myself buying a Recorder that cost damn near as much as I paid for the camera!

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I should've clarified, I meant mediocre video relative to the competition, not actually mediocre. So many offerings these days, even the middle of the road stuff is great. A C100 for instance.... it's a bit aged now, but I know I can produce stuff with it that will make my clients happy.  Ditto the GH4, even though that's getting older.

Had a photography gig the other day. Shooting candids and a few posed shots of a CEO in a classroom with a bunch of kids. Tons of daylight streaming in, so lighting was favorable. Honestly, I was pleased with how the GH4 fared. I know it's considered blasphemy to use the GH series on paid gigs, but it looks pretty decent to my eye. Not as good as a higher end full frame I'm sure, but pretty solid. I'll be surprised if the client has any objections.

I do worry a bit about 16MP when everyone seems to want 30+ MP.  The GH5 at least boosts it up a little. Low light was said to be an issue, but I dunno.... lighting/flash seems to mitigate that. Even DOF doesn't seem to be a huge issue with the right lenses. A fast workhorse zoom is notably absent though. The 12-35 / 35-100 are great, but 2.8 is a little slow for M43.  Works great with full frame. I suppose there's the Sigma 50-100 f1.8 w/ speedbooster. Not sure how autofocus would fare, but I've been manually focusing for so long that I'm not sure I would even care. Might be more important for stills though. This is all new to me.

A lot of times I'm speaking more for what I think my clients will care about, rather than what I care about. 

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I should have known better that this was going to spark a my camera is better than your debate. 

8 minutes ago, dbp said:

Had a photography gig the other day. Shooting candids and a few posed shots of a CEO in a classroom with a bunch of kids. Tons of daylight streaming in, so lighting was favorable. Honestly, I was pleased with how the GH4 fared. I know it's considered blasphemy to use the GH series on paid gigs, but it looks pretty decent to my eye. Not as good as a higher end full frame I'm sure, but pretty solid. I'll be surprised if the client has any objections.

Don't get caught up in specs. If you've taken a good shot, its a good shot regardless what camera took it. The horse goes before the cart here. 

There's nothing inherently better about full frame in the context of good or bad photography. If that were the logic, then simply owning a medium format camera would make you the "best" photographer in the land.

At the end of the day crop factor is entirely arbitrary when you speak in terms of talent and message. The differences in field of view to shallow depth of field ratio is physical, but not creatively insurmountable.

A lot of clients hear things said about this or that camera, but don't really know or understand the difference between them. All they know is that their buddy had a recent shoot and the photographer used XYZ camera and they liked the result and thought it looked professional to them. What they don't realize (because they are uneducated) is that in the right hands there's a bunch of other cameras that could also deliver this. In other words, it's the photographer not the camera.

The camera simply captures the frame. But what is your frame communicating? 

 

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1 hour ago, Matthew Hartman said:

I should have known better that this was going to spark a my camera is better than your debate. 

Don't get caught up in specs. If you've taken a good shot, its a good shot regardless what camera took it. The horse goes before the cart here. 

There's nothing inherently better about full frame in the context of good or bad photography. If that were the logic, then simply owning a medium format camera would make you the "best" photographer in the land.

At the end of the day crop factor is entirely arbitrary when you speak in terms of talent and message. The differences in field of view to shallow depth of field ratio is physical, but not creatively insurmountable.

A lot of clients hear things said about this or that camera, but don't really know or understand the difference between them. All they know is that their buddy had a recent shoot and the photographer used XYZ camera and they liked the result and thought it looked professional to them. What they don't realize (because they are uneducated) is that in the right hands there's a bunch of other cameras that could also deliver this. In other words, it's the photographer not the camera.

The camera simply captures the frame. But what is your frame communicating? 

 

100% with you here! Exactly how I feel. With video, I'm much more confident in my opinions and work since I have more experience. Photography, I'm more prone to insecurity, but that will change with time. 

On another note, photography is a whole lotta fun. Similar in some aspects to video, but different enough to make it interesting. I feel like doing both keeps each discipline from feeling stale..... and not worrying about audio is a DREAM sometimes.

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5 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

You lucky dog! :grin: You been holding out on us. :astonished:

No I haven't! I posted a link to some straight out of camera GH5S footage here just for you! It's rather uninteresting footage, but it's outside at night with high ISO in V-Log and HLG so you can see how it grades.

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8 hours ago, Lux Shots said:

No I haven't! I posted a link to some straight out of camera GH5S footage here just for you! It's rather uninteresting footage, but it's outside at night with high ISO in V-Log and HLG so you can see how it grades.

Pictures or it never happened! I guess Links on here apply. :grin:

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On 3/18/2018 at 11:14 PM, BTM_Pix said:

The D5 is a full frame camera. 

 


All Nikon FX cameras (unlike Canon...) have a DX mode. 

 

On 3/19/2018 at 9:32 AM, dbp said:

I feel like doing both keeps each discipline from feeling stale..... and not worrying about audio is a DREAM sometimes.

haha

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I'm probably the rare ones that shoot better photo on a 200D (my own camera which I used a lot) than 5DIII, which is a work camera i only use for timelapse and bcam when other c100mkii's are out shooting.  My brain is not used to 5DIII as ''photog'' camera lol
 

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Interesting thread, and a topic I've come at from a different perspective.

I bought my XC10 partly as a stills camera.  I'm sure that will come as a surprise to many, however for my needs it does make sense.

Firstly, I'm a rubbish photographer in terms of 'the decisive moment' and even sports photographers don't rely on hitting the shutter at just the right moment.  In this sense video is constant 25 FPS burst mode, so I should be able to pick the perfect frame in post.  Even sports cameras don't offer anything much more than 25fps burst modes.  One of the camera manufacturers (is it Red?) has a page on their website for magazine cover images taken from video.  I remember watching a video of headshot photographer Peter Hurley trying uncompressed 4K instead of still images, and he said there were too many frames to go through, so video is the 'ultimate' burst mode in a way.

Secondly, if a singular moment of fun is about to happen (it's my kids birthday and they haven't seen the cool cake yet, someone is receiving an award, etc) do you video it, or take still images?

Thirdly, building on point #1, the quality has to be sufficient.  Taking a stills frame from an ageing Canon DSLR will likely not be sufficient.  Therefore I wanted a 4K camera with a high-bitrate, which the XC10 fit the bill for.  In preparation for this I posed a few key questions to myself:
Q: What is the most demanding use I will have for still images?  A: printing at 8x10.  I'm not likely to print larger than this, and online won't go larger than this for a long while.  There's an argument that no-one needs more than 5MP because the larger you print something the further back you stand from it when looking at it.  That might not be 100% true, but it's worth taking into consideration.
Q: What is the most demanding user I will be putting these in front of?  A: these are photos of family and friends, so no-one who will be super-picky, and no paying clients.
Q: What is the minimum level of quality that I will require (in line of above)?  A: I did tests - 1080 frames were captured as still images from a point-and-shoot video, processed in LR, then displayed on the computer screen at varying sizes.  I found that 2MP isn't quite enough, that the codec was quite fragile and anything other than slight brightness/contrast/sat adjustments 'broke' it - this is worse in low-light.  This created my requirement for a 4K, higher bitrate codec, high DR camera with decent high ISO performance.

One compromise in the above was that shooting for stills requires a shorter exposure time than the 180-degree-shutter-rule, but that's life.

My tests from the XC10 were that still images taken from the 4K and then re-compressed were at a level of quality equivalent to about JPG quality 11 out of photoshop.  This is the equivalent image quality of higher-end compact point-and-shoot cameras with full manual controls that lack RAW capture and only support JPG image formats.  Obviously RAW would be better (!), but if you think of this as being an infinite 25fps burst mode of 12MP quality level 11 JPG images, that's a pretty decent level of performance and would suit many non-critical applications.

I only have personal experience with the XC10, however the above logic should apply to all current high-bitrate, high DR, 4K cameras, and those with 10-bit instead of 8-bit will of course be higher quality again than what I have from my setup.

I guess the question to ask is - how good is good enough?

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On 3/18/2018 at 7:54 AM, Mark Romero 2 said:

Thirdly, if you ever want to use your flash guns in conjunction with bigger strobes, the Godox / flashpoint system has several flavors of bigger strobe lights that are compatible with the same radio transmitter system as their smaller flash guns. I don't believe at this time that yongnuo has larger strobes (i haven't checked in a while), so if you wanted to use yongnuo flash guns in conjunction with larger strobes, you would need to use two different radio systems, which can be a hassle (and a half) to work together.

 


Thanks Mark, lots of solid points there for Godox

2 hours ago, ntblowz said:

I'm probably the rare ones that shoot better photo on a 200D (my own camera which I used a lot) than 5DIII, which is a work camera i only use for timelapse and bcam when other c100mkii's are out shooting.  My brain is not used to 5DIII as ''photog'' camera lol
 


Illustrates how time and experience with a camera can matter even more than the camera itself. 

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