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Old Cameras Still Shine Today

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I was having a discussion in another thread and like I usually do, it got off topic. So rather than step on the other OP’s toes, I decided to make a new thread.

About once a year, usually when a new camera is announced, I become nostalgic about the cameras of yesteryear and I realize how many great cameras have been on the market the past ten years... WOW... has it been almost 10 YEARS since the beginning of the DSLR Revolution or as Andrew Reid likes to call it... “the democratization of filmmaking?”

I’ve been lucky to test out a few of those cameras, but there are a bunch that have eluded me. Maybe I am feeling nostalgic as I watch footage from my 5-6 year old camera but it seems there are some gems that are still available both new and used on the marketplace. Part of me wants to test them all before the new models make those fossils extinct. 

So I figured I’d love to hear some of people’s favorite cameras over the past 10 years and maybe some videos to show those cameras at their best.

I posted this in the other thread but I can’t stop watching the first and last couple minutes of it. It was shot on the original C100 and to me looks as cinematic as they come...

And here are a couple from the GH2 that makes me smile every time I watch them...

Please share some of your favorites and if you were forced to shoot with an older camera... which one would you choose?

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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

This is not a DSLR, but it probably has the most lasting value of any: the Sony FS700R, which came out in 2012 and has been upgraded by firmware updates since then. It has the same sensor as the FS7 and FS5, and now shoots via SDI 4K DCI 12bit RAW, 4K DCI 60P , and 4K DCI 120P in burst mode via the SDI port (exactly the same capability as the FS5). No actual camera has yet best that. It is ugly and ungainly, but its innards are good and its buttons and dials work well.

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Still use my GH2 as a B camera all the time and yeah...always pleasantly surprised at the picture quality from an 8 year old camera that's worth about $5 at this point.

C100 is still killer, too. 

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3 hours ago, dbp said:

Still use my GH2 as a B camera all the time and yeah...always pleasantly surprised at the picture quality from an 8 year old camera that's worth about $5 at this point.

I'd buy a GH2 over and over all day long at $5 each!

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23 hours ago, markr041 said:

Inspired by this thread, I dug up my first clips from the FS700R and made a 4K DCI (60P and 120P) video to show its colors are still competitive. Shot in Slog2, recorded by the Shogun Inferno, and edited In Resolve Studio with no LUTs (Davinci Color Management). 

 

I’ve always had a soft spot for Sony and the FS line, and that video is proof why... really nice. 

I love how you didn’t use any LUTS. I struggle with post color, and I’ve recently stopped using LUTS all together and started watching a bunch of tutorials. It seems in the long run, it will pay off, even if it’s a more difficult process. 

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1 hour ago, AaronChicago said:

It’s funny you mention the C100 bc I was looking at an old video that i shot in 2015 with it and had a fond moment of wistfulness. 

I am... this... close... to maybe buying one. I know the Mark II is a more versatile camera... but there’s just something about the original.

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On 4/17/2018 at 4:04 AM, dbp said:

Still use my GH2 as a B camera all the time and yeah...always pleasantly surprised at the picture quality from an 8 year old camera that's worth about $5 at this point.

C100 is still killer, too. 

What do you use it as a B-Cam for? I mean, what’s your A-Cam?

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11 hours ago, AaronChicago said:

It’s funny you mention the C100 bc I was looking at an old video that i shot in 2015 with it and had a fond moment of wistfulness. 

..and it's funny you mention that because that's basically what made me re-purchase mine! ;) 

stumbled on some old C100 footage and was taken back at how cinematic it looked. 

i'd sold it shortly after jumping into 4K, thinking i'm done with 1080p. and planning on moving to C200 (before EU prices crushed that dream).

in the end though i still deliver most projects in FHD, and of course the great thing about the C100 is it's a 4K sensor downscaling to 1080p.

other cameras do that as well but with varying degrees of success. anyways there is just some mojo about the OG C100/C300 sensor imo.

what really put it back on my radar was when comparing that old C100 footage with recent footage with the same actors but shot on a Ursa Mini 4.6K (in DCI 2K).

couldn't believe it but to my eyes the SOOC C100 footage looked more pleasing than the graded UM4.6K! 

not trying to say C100 > UM4.6K but those canon skintones never cease to please..

speaking of BMD another old cam that shines was their BMCC 2.5K. 13-stops, superb fine detail, motion etc..

Digital Bolex IQ obviously and such beautiful hardware to go with it (already getting scarce, people are holding on to them!)

And of course how could we not mention 1DC & 5D3 Raw!

Any others giving filmic mojo on the lowlow?

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My main beef with the camera was the image falling apart outside of the native ISO. I would see a lot of banding, and any post exposure controls had to be micro. Other than that it has a beautiful image. Plus it's probably the most dependable camera under $40,000.

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@AaronChicago that was in camera codec, right? Did you ever test it with a Ninja? I’ve seen comparisons and haven’t noticed much of a difference but I assume it must help with banding.

I used to mess around with a D5500 as a second cam, but the lack of focus peaking drove me and my 43 year old eyes crazy. Anyway, the Flat Profile held up to some grading and worked well but there wasn’t much latitude, so I started using tints a lot more in FCPX and they worked brilliantly with the footage. I assume with C100 footage, I could use a similar approach after correcting C-Log.

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5 hours ago, TwoScoops said:

 

Caught this one recently. The story has been done plenty of time before, but it's a great effort with minimal budget/crew. 5D3 h.264 in cinestyle, going from the comments/bts. 

 

 

Dang! A great example right there. That short film would not have had any more of an impact if it were shot on a Red. I haven’t had the chance to read anything about it, but I assume that was shot a while ago and those filmmakers have moved on to “better” cameras but for small projects, I can totally see why a simple 8bit codec is all one really needs.

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I've got a Ninja with the C100 and although i've yet to really try out & compare non-native ISO footage with it, recording straight to ProRes is definitely miles ahead of the internal codec (which is already quite robust for it's minuscule bitrate). it's hard to go back to the internal codec now that i've got a taste of ProRes. I understand now why some C100 user have the Ninja permanently strapped to their cam! 

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What’s the native ISO of C-Log on the original C100... 500? I remember back in my t2i days, I would rarely push the ISO past 400 anyway, so that’s doable.

I work in the trade show industry and I recently saw a C100 II in the booth I was working at. I was talking with the shooter and I realized I never really saw one close up. I couldn’t believe how small it was. He didn’t have the top handle attached, and at a first, quick glance, it just looked like a DSLR.

So, you shoot narratives with it? Have you had any complaints about its lack of 4K?

I’ve been working on a couple short films with my 5D3 and man are they getting expensive. I’ve been selling off a bunch of old gear to fund them but I’m starting to run out of good stuff to sell... so I was thinking about doing some low key, low rent video jobs to make some extra cash.

If I do that, I’ll definitely want to have DPAF to make the process as painless as possible but I’ll also want to get a camera that I can shoot some short films with too.

Since I’d start off small, I may go with an 80D but if I need to, I may be able to swing a C100. Hell, I don’t even know where to start really. The only reason I started shooting video is for narratives... but like I said... it’s an expensive hobby.

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Native ISO is 800. I treat mine like a cine cam so i'm always aiming to stay at native with fast primes & lighting so i never need to push but i believe it handles higher ISOs fairly good..? i'll have to do some tests just for sake of it.

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11 hours ago, TwoScoops said:

 

Caught this one recently. The story has been done plenty of time before, but it's a great effort with minimal budget/crew. 5D3 h.264 in cinestyle, going from the comments/bts. 

 

 

You mention the BTS, so I assume you saw this... but for others, there are some really cool tricks in here and well worth the 20 minutes...

 

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