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Camera upgrade to shoot mountain biking

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I want to video mountain biking (video and riding are a hobby but riding became to high risk so i'm focusing on video for my enjoyment).

My first attempt this weekend went well using a Sony A6300 with 18-105 on a DJI Ronin S. However, the camera struggled massively with colours.

I already have on order a blackmagic pocket 4k but i didn't intend to use it for MTB'ing (FWIW i have owned the BMPCC and BMMCC). I already owned a GH5 and the autofocus was hopeless so i'm not looking to buy another one even if they claim it's fixed.

 

I narrowed down to 3 camera choices. The Fuji X-T3 or going to a Canon C100ii or C300. 90% of shots are filmed 16mm-18mm at f2.8-f4 up on subjects doing 40km/h-60km/h. 10% of shots using 30mm-50mm. I don't require shallow DOF.

The autofocus on the Canon is great. The autofocus on the Fuji was said to be better than Sony initially but now i'm seeing videos on youtube saying it's worse. My worry on the Fuji is here.

The colours on the X-T3 look awesome in footage i have seen. The Canon will also look great. My concern for the Canons are buying an older camera which doesn't produce a better image than a smaller package like the X-T3. So i have a chunky camera for nothing so to speak.

Audio - i mic the bike itself for the main sound source. XLR inputs isn't a necessary thing, i plug in my Rode mics to the camera and it's fine.

 

Is a 2018 X-T3 with 10bit 4k enough to rival the image of a 2011 C300 or a 2014 C100ii ?

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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

The pros that do videos for mountain bike companies use zipline systems to get a lot of the shots. Or they run like a madman through ankle breaking terrain with a 2 handed gimbal. It can get pretty advanced making these kind of videos commercially. I have ziplined my 1dx ii & the autofocus worked perfectly. You can also use a tablet to pull focus if you dont use tracking. The 4:2:2 8 bit actually looks decent; camera is just heavy & expensive new. I know pros like Jimmy Chin use the 1dx ii alot for shots the cinema cameras are too hard to use. 

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Since the environment seems like the biggest determining factor for getting great shots here (shooting a fast-moving subject in a natural environment) I would suggest focusing on cameras and gear that work best for those kinds of shoots, like Snowbro recommended.

BTM_pix posted this info about the Wiral LITE wire rig that looks like it would be great for mountain biking:

 

I recently bought a GoPro Hero 7 black and would definitely recommend it for the new hypersmooth stabilization (check out the many YouTube vids / comparisons) if you're doing any POV stuff or ride-along shots.

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Yeah i already have a hero 7 and i have done POV to death. I've also got a couple of hero 4s with gimbals, chest plates, ronin s, zhiyun v2(for a lighter setup), gimbals with remote control panning. I already have the wiral lite cable cam which just arrived. I also have 10 race drones mounted with a variety of hero 7s, session 5s, insta360 one, insta360 one x (i don't use DJI drones as you can't send them through trees and expect them to live). I've got a fair whack of toys lol.

It's the A6300 colours i wasn't overly liking. The supporting gear i have is pretty cool.

 

FWIW this is my POV footage using gopros -

 

 

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The footage looks cool, I like what you have done with it, but I would suggest one thing. The jump cuts seem too quick and into about the same thing. 

 

Check this out, this is how they do it

1:33 & 2:11 of this video

 

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Cheers snowbro i hadn't seen that clip. It's awesome.

Their image looks crystal clear and the colours very natural to the eye. I can see the bloke with the ronin running with a Sony A7*** but i'm not sure what other cameras they used. Do you know?

 

I was looking at the highsight system which you can mount a DJI Ronin M to but i'll get a new camera before i spend bucks on one of those.

Found it, filmed with a RED.

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Any of those cameras will give you a really solid image - solid enough that no-one will watch it and think of the image quality as a bad thing anyway.  

It sounds like your lens requirements and other things that normally are big issues in camera selection aren't a problem for you and any of those options would do the trick, so in that case I'd suggest focusing on the things that are going to really stretch the camera.  I'm guessing that AF and perhaps slow-motion might be important to you.  AF would be especially important if you're expecting to track a rider who is coming towards you - it might be that even the best system can't keep up, although you might just pre-focus and then pull it manually when the rider appears so maybe it's not an issue at all unless you're flying the camera.

My suggestion is to make a list of things that are critical, things that are highly desirable, and things that you would like but aren't a big deal, then rank each option against those and see what that looks like.

Most people seem to choose cameras by walking up to the buffet and being overwhelmed by what's available, instead of working out what they're actually interested in first.

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2 hours ago, Flogbox said:

Cheers snowbro i hadn't seen that clip. It's awesome.

Their image looks crystal clear and the colours very natural to the eye. I can see the bloke with the ronin running with a Sony A7*** but i'm not sure what other cameras they used. Do you know?

1DX ii at 0:17 & a RED camera on the zipline at 1:17

 

Also; you should check out Jimmy Chin's work. He is in that specialized video and just won an oscar for 'Free Solo', they used the 1DX II, C300 etc. I believe. The man is amazing at outdoor/adventure docs & promos. 

 

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15 hours ago, Snowbro said:

1DX ii at 0:17 & a RED camera on the zipline at 1:17

 

Also; you should check out Jimmy Chin's work. He is in that specialized video and just won an oscar for 'Free Solo', they used the 1DX II, C300 etc. I believe. The man is amazing at outdoor/adventure docs & promos. 

 

 

Hey thanks mate. I appreciate your responses.

I have gone back over my original list of wants the input here and revised the cameras down to 2 models. Autofocus really is something i want over all things. The Sony A7iii and the Canon 1DX ii have that and i shouldn't try and convince myself a different camera is going to magically do the same job.

Given i have a BMPC 4k on order, a major benefit with getting the Canon is i can just buy the 1 set of lenses which helps ease the price. If i pickup a used 1DX ii body then there would be not price difference for me going one way or the other.

 

So from the perspective of purely shooting video, between a Sony a7iii and a 1DX ii,it would be daft of me to not go with the 1DX ii yeah?

I'd be running it on the DJI Ronin S.

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I would go a7iii, unless you want to do it for a living. The 1dx ii even used is at least $2,000 more; it is very smooth and has excellent shadow recovery in 4:2:2 4k etc. I think it is the best hybrid 8 bit camera. If i didn't do action, I would probably use the GH5, that camera produces amazing results for the size/cost.  

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4 minutes ago, Snowbro said:

I would go a7iii, unless you want to do it for a living. The 1dx ii even used is at least $2,000 more; it is very smooth and has excellent shadow recovery in 4:2:2 4k etc. I think it is the best hybrid 8 bit camera. If i didn't do action, I would probably use the GH5, that camera produces amazing results for the size/cost.  

It's just a hobby and will remain that way, i'm fortunate to afford good gear for my hobbies.

I'm in Australia. There is a used IDX ii with 140k shutter count for sale which is US$1.1k more than a brand new A7iii. Being able to use Canon lenses for 2 cameras balances out that difference. Although i'm not to sure about buying a used one......

So costs being equal you'd still suggest the A7iii route?

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I am keep repeating myself, but have you thought about the Panasonic FZ2000/2500? It seems like a great and straightforward option that matches your project.

Internal ND is huge when you have to control motion like you do, and 24-400 is huge for an allarounder. Also, 2 or 3 types of stabilization helps.

The 1" sensor can match great with Mavic 2 pro and other similar equipment, and it is a big difference to GoPro and mobile phone's sensors.

If you are "destined" for another mirrorless, the X-T3 and the stabilized 10-24mm is a great combo and much better than anything Sony has to offer in crop sensors. It seems like an a6xxx camera going right.

The C kind of cameras are quite big for such a project, I am not sure it worths all the hassle when we have great mirrorless options these days that rival the cinema cameras of yesterday, or even tmrow!

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For my work at a US based cycling company in Waterloo Wisconsin our team uses the X-T3 for pretty much all of our road cycling and cyclocross shoots since it came out.  I don't even remember the last time any of us picked up the C100 mkII, even as a back up to the back up NX1 (we also use an X-H1). 

The X-T3 is what I would recommend, especially if you're looking for great color out of camera and minimal grading.  Kisaha had another good recommendation for the Panasonic if you don't want an interchangable lens system.  The big downside is the smaller sensor.  

I could see the Canon 1dxii if you're going to be doing a ton of bad weather and mud shooting because that thing is a beast that just won't quit.  Otherwise, save some money on the body and get the X-T3 with the 10-24 for wide shots of riders coming over the crest of a hill, the 50-200 or 50-140 for tight zoomed shots and maybe even the 18-135 if you need the best stabilization Fuji offers for OIS lenses.

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Just to close this off, the 3 options i considered were A7iii, Canon 1DX ii, Fuji XT3.

I went with the Fuji XT3. It's a nice size. Cheap. I figured worst case if it can't do the job i'll buy a 1DX ii on top.

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Take a look at Bryn North's youtube channel. He has one video with Matt Hunter in Madeira. Pretty sure he used a GH5 and his parter a 1DX ii. They used to do a bunch of videos for Specialized's athletes. I know cause my better half is one, so I hung around Bryn and Etienne for a while. They would always go light and stealth with a GH5 & 1DX ii and do amazing stuff

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