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mercer

Old Cameras Still Shine Today

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Don't confuse creativity with camera capability. You can still shoot interesting stuff with an obsolete system, but your options and discretion is so much greater with a newer system. 

Stills shooting is pretty mature at this point, new cameras offer fairly minimal technical improvement (as in 97% versus 98% for example, so why bother upgrading), but IMO video is still in its infancy and has a long way to go.

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6 minutes ago, Mokara said:

Don't confuse creativity with camera capability. You can still shoot interesting stuff with an obsolete system, but your options and discretion is so much greater with a newer system. 

Stills shooting is pretty mature at this point, new cameras offer fairly minimal technical improvement (as in 97% versus 98% for example, so why bother upgrading), but IMO video is still in its infancy and has a long way to go.

I couldn’t agree more. 9 out of 10 times, creativity will trump technology.

And although I agree you will have more options with a newer camera, I enjoy the creatively cost effective possibilities that older cameras afford.

And some of those cameras can be had for peanuts now. The 1DC and C100 are still fairly expensive but are cheap compared to their original MSRP.

A GH2 can be bought for less than $200.

These are serious cameras that may not hold up against the best cameras available new today (except for the 1DC... that camera is as good as the best 4K DSLR/DSLM on the market) but they are also amazing tools and anyone on a budget could make an amazing film with one.

I’m just using the GH5 as an example, you can insert any camera, but for the same money you can get a near mint condition C100 Mark I with DPAF... I think if I was forced to choose... I’d take the C100. Or if I was really strapped for cash and I had to choose between a GH2 or a GX85... or something similar... I’d take the GH2 everyday of the week.

So my point being... there are some great cameras on the used market that are 5 years old and there are some great films shot with those cameras... and I thought this could be a fun place to remember those cameras and draw some attention to those films. 

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I tried my G7 this weekend, which I bought a year ago and have never used ever since due to my purchase of the GX85 a few weeks later. Guess what, that form factor is hard to beat when it comes to DSLMs. Didnt miss the IBIS, as the G7 must have a much faster sensor readout than the older G6. I was able to do some steady walks with it. I think it is the prettiest of the Lumix cams, just the buttons are a step backwards from the G6. Color mojo after grading. Love it. My recommendation! Woulndt call it an old camera just yet though. Sensor and pipeline are pretty sweet.

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6 hours ago, PannySVHS said:

I tried my G7 this weekend, which I bought a year ago and have never used ever since due to my purchase of the GX85 a few weeks later. Guess what, that form factor is hard to beat when it comes to DSLMs. Didnt miss the IBIS, as the G7 must have a much faster sensor readout than the older G6. I was able to do some steady walks with it. I think it is the prettiest of the Lumix cams, just the buttons are a step backwards from the G6. Color mojo after grading. Love it. My recommendation! Woulndt call it an old camera just yet though. Sensor and pipeline are pretty sweet.

Maybe not old but there have been two generations since the G7, so it is a little long in the tooth. The G6 is another great example of old tech that still holds up today, thanks for mentioning it. I’ve never used one but I always liked the rounded design of the camera, it looks like it would fit well in the hand?

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For me the winner here it's the C100. I love the footage from that camera. My only issue with the original C100 it's the lack of any kind of slow motion. I know you can do some slow motion shooting at 60i and slow down in post (i used it and works nice) but it's not the true 60p and sadly the C100 MKII it's not a big upgrade to consider.

My next camera will be a C200, but if I someday I have the opportunity to buy a cheap C100 I will not think about it. I just need to check how it intercuts with the C200.

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21 hours ago, Django said:

..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?

Digital Bolex has an incredible analogue look and fantastic CCD skin tones.

1D C produced amazing thick files, chunky 500Mbit 4:2:2 4K, with Canon's trademark clean low light and great colour in a small body with a massive sensor. I recently saw one go for under £2000 for first time. It's a steal.

C100... Meh

BMCC 2.5K is a cinematic beast, I am still amazed by the dynamic range in 2.5K raw it produces even today. The huge touch screen was nice too. Rest of the camera not so much :)

Special shout out to the Samsung NX1. Canon colour in a high-end mirrorless camera, with an image that completely floors whatever the C100 can do.

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Yeah i can safely say the most epic cinematic project i've directed (art video shown in national museums around the globe) was shot on a BMCC 2.5K! if the upcoming BMPCC4K is anything like it, we'll be in for a treat!

I can see how C100 IQ can seem 'meh'.. it doesn't stand out in a wow factor way today.. it's 1080p.. tiny 8-bit internal codec etc. Hell IQ can seem dated. But to me it just nails that Super35 look for peanuts (compared to other cine cams) with the Canon skintones. especially when shooting ProRes with an atomos. of course it comes with other benefits such as dual pixel AF, waveform display etc..

I've never used an NX1 but doesn't it suffer from in-cam  oversharpening? i got a problem with cameras that do this (cough *GH5*). others may appreciate it. i guess this is where personal preference may crall into play..

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3 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

 

1D C produced amazing thick files, chunky 500Mbit 4:2:2 4K, with Canon's trademark clean low light and great colour in a small body with a massive sensor. I recently saw one go for under £2000 for first time. It's a steal.

 

Where did you see that? Just checked ebay and the prices on there are still delusional for the most part. :( ie - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Canon-EOS-1DC-Bundle/162733235550?hash=item25e3a81d5e:g:xBIAAOSwXaRZ-PCG 

 

Saw one for 2350 the other week but I messaged the guy after it went down quickly and he had cold feet and decided to keep it. :grin:

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I made this so so long ago on the Canon 50D with ML raw and I remember it had a very cinematic look to it. 

Also...I know some of you guys saw I was selling my 1DC....well the eBay buyer flaked on me and now I still have it. Im never doing that again. I almost had a heart attack thinking about saying goodbye to it :)

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Sony VG-10

I absolutely love this camera and hate it at the same time.  The image is great, the rolling shutter is astonishing, but this is a camera that got me into the interchangeable lens world.  I still have my VG-10 and when I do that it out, it's fun to use.  I would never use it on professional job, but for recording a conference or presentation longer than 30 minutes it would work out great (provided you have access to a power outlet).

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On 20.4.2018 at 5:48 AM, mercer said:

Maybe not old but there have been two generations since the G7, so it is a little long in the tooth. The G6 is another great example of old tech that still holds up today, thanks for mentioning it. I’ve never used one but I always liked the rounded design of the camera, it looks like it would fit well in the hand?

Hey Glenn, G7 even fits better. Just the buttons are worse regarding size and clicking. Colors are great to grade. And it works well at iso 1600 in lowlight, better than G6 at 800.

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On 19/04/2018 at 8:19 PM, mercer said:

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.

I think they both have a GH5. One does marriages and some ads, one does non film stuff mostly and both are dabbling in drone videos for businesses. 

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I think we hit the high point or the “golden era” of imaging technology a long time ago. Between the limitations in the human eye and in display technology the bottleneck has always been in the display tech available to us today. 4K is cool but you can only see its benefits from extremely close distances because of the finite resolution of the human eye. HDR and wide color gamut allows the display to render billions of colors but on average the human eye can see 10 million of the 16 million colors available in rec709 color. Point is cameras were more than capable of exceeding the capabilities of our human eye years ago so the advantages of newer camera tech is becoming less and less groundbreaking in comparison to the dslr revolution if that makes sense. 

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@kidzrevil well said! I also think the desire to shoot with wide angle and ultra wide angle lenses hindered the lasting power of earlier cameras in the DSLR Revolution. I knew within minutes of shooting my first DSLR (t2i) that wide angle shots didn’t render detail very well, but with shallow depth of field, the image looked beautiful.

I’ve been watching some a7ii videos lately and for close ups with shallow depth, it has a brilliant image... but anything wide angle with any pattern, the image turns fast. 

Point is, we’re not shooting with Alexas or Reds, so instead of complaining about the limitations of these older cameras, for a very cheap price, many could just work around those limitations and get beautiful imagery for next to nothing.

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@mercer yup ! As a rule of thumb I generally avoid lenses under 35mm especially with vintage glass because of the inherent limitations of wide angle lenses. 24mm is the widest I’ll go but it has to be a well designed lens. Point is we’ve already had a lot of tools neccessary to make these old cameras shine. even the t2i is dope when treated right in post

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