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rarp

z6 vs XT3

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Hello community,

I have been reading this forum for some time but never posted anything. I need a new camera and I am interested 50/50% in stills and video and I have a couple of projects unfolding shortly. Main uses would be recording/documenting urban landscapes (churches, monuments, etc) and people working, mostly outside and with natural light. I am also gearing up with some audio equipment in the meanwhile.

After reading and watching reviews I am kind of stuck in the decision process. I came down to 2 candidates: Nikon Z6 and Fuji XT3. The Atomos Ninja V will be added to any of them.

Lenses are not much of a problem, as I currently have some Zeiss ZF and Nikon ais lenses (18, 35, 50, 85, 105, 180) and will use an adapter anyway (the FTZ one or some F to X mount one). I will probably buy one or two lenses for the new system and a wide angle.

What intrigues me about the Z6 is the full frame 422 10 bit output and future raw option and, having used Nikon bodies in the past, their robust construction. But the Fuji seems more equipped video wise (400 mbs max bit rate, eterna profile, etc.). Since most of the video recording will be done on a tripod or a gimbal, I don’t need ibis, which would probably turn more useful for the still images.

Sorry if this post is similar to others, but I am asking personal opinions on the two cameras, especially professionally or from someone who used both of them.

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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

Having owned both of these cancers, the X-T3 is more fun to shoot. But if I had to pick one, it would be the Nikon. It has a distinct advantage in stills. I'm not so concerned when it comes to the crop difference in video. But would miss the extra DOF in  stills. That said, you can get great results from either body.

AF works great on the Fuji, staying useful even as the light drops. The Nikon was not as capable in this department in my experience. 

Honestly, both are up to the task. 

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I'm an XT3 user and if the Z6 shot 50/60p 4K, I'd be tempted to switch to Nikon.

As it doesn't, it's an easy choice for me, - Fuji.

By the sounds of it, you might be better of with the Nikon cancer. Damn spell correct 😁

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You might need that 60p 4K from the fuji. I found it quite useful in my line of work. For shallow deph, I got a Fujinon 35mm 1.4 and a 50mm 1.4 Zeiss canon.

And for the recording I stayed with the internal recording. I didn't get any problem in Davinci as of yet and I grade heavily. So, all good with the H.265.

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Hi, Just a few days ago did a test based on Geoff Boyle's testing method - 400fc light level, which should correspond to f16 at 800 ISO. Then running exposures from f1.4 to f16, applying ND1.2, and running again from f4 to f16. Thus it is possible to find where the image breaks. We used single Arri sky panel S60 at 5600K. Tested Nikon Z6, Fuji X-T3 and BMPCC 4K to find out what's the best procedure to rate each camera and expose in order to get a more balanced distribution of the range between shadows and highlights. You could find more info at cinematography.net. I believe such testing method is much more useful for real life shooting. With highlights it's obvious, with shadows it's more subjective - depends on what kind of image degradation/noise level a person finds acceptable. In Resolve all files went through ACES process. For Nikon ant Fuji Attila Bakos' IDT where used. For BMPCC4K... well, there's no IDT for that one as of yet, so can't compare that camera for now. For the other two cameras a simple process was to find exposure with the 18% grey closest to Kodak recommended 488 setting, put the grey to that point using offset control, make white balance adjustment, and then go through the remaining clips adjusting accordingly only with offset control. I'll upload the pictures and the findings/comments somewhere and will drop a link here. And if somebody knows how to run BMPCC4K through ACES, please enlighten me.

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Courses for horses, I guess. I can't understand this obsession with 60p. It's a useful extra, but just that, extra. Color and bit depth over 60-whatever-p any time. And now we can finally have 10bit log in those tiny cameras. A bare minimum for real log. I find this the most exciting thing back from the Red One days.

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Don't get me wrong, slo mo option is nice to have. But I just feel like finally, and only now we have small cameras available which don't bring along that feeling of missing something compared to high end cinema cameras or photo capabilities of those same small cameras. I'm surrounded by Alexas and Reds though my job at a rental house, but those cameras are not meant to be carried around by single shooter without a crew. And while testing various DSLRs and now mirrorless I'm finally finding these to reach the level where they are so good as to not miss the picture from their big brothers anymore. As for the slo mo, I'd be much happier if the manufacturers would implement under-over cranking in fine steps. Right now it seems that BMPCC 4K is the only one doing this.

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The choice between the Nikon Z6 and XT-3 is a tough one. 

I would say the XT3 is superior in every way except low light performance. Of course the Z6 has the 12 bit prores RAW capability with an external recorder. 

If you want the full frame look (or even medium format) that is another point for the Nikon. IBIS is also another factor, if its something you need. 

I went with Fuji for the color. However the auto focus and high speed options were a big plus (10 bit 4k 60p, HD 120p 10 bit). I also don't like using external recorders. 

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9 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

So you Never want to shoot slo mo in 4K, or need it for sporting, wildlife, etc.? Or you don't care when you want to sell the camera down the road, or change your mind about 60p?

Slow-mo is something I almost never use. Though I understand some need it.

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On 3/6/2019 at 2:35 PM, rarp said:

After reading and watching reviews I am kind of stuck in the decision process. I came down to 2 candidates: Nikon Z6 and Fuji XT3.

I'd be leaning towards the XT3, until you said this....

 

On 3/6/2019 at 2:35 PM, rarp said:

The Atomos Ninja V will be added to any of them.

Go for the Z6! 
It makes the Z6 pull out ahead of the XT3. 
But most people might not want to use the Ninja V with their camera, but in your case you're going to do it anyway, which makes the decision easier. 

 

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7 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Go for the Z6! 
It makes the Z6 pull out ahead of the XT3. 
But most people might not want to use the Ninja V with their camera, but in your case you're going to do it anyway, which makes the decision easier. 

 

The Ninja V rocks. It's a must have imo. I am only without it when I need to travel light. It's so helpful when framing, getting good exposure. These days I rely on AF almost exclusively, though I would not trust the Nikons AF to that extent. Which makes the Ninja V an even better choice when combining with the Nikon. I think I'm done with new cameras until the next breakthrough... per/pixel gain adjustment. Once that becomes a thing I will be interested enough to explore new bodies. Cured of GAS, I am now focusing on content. Which feels great to say. We are finally a parity amongst camera manufactures. Pretty much any of the top contenders is good enough to get the job done. This leveled playing field means manufactures will need to push the envelope to rake in new sales. 2020 should be interesting to say the least.

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I agree, the Ninja V (or any quality external monitor, even something like the Feelworld) is a must for filmmaking.

At least to these 48 year old eyes. Especially in low light, I really struggle to see the LCD and if I don't have my glasses on, blurry mess at that!

I also rely heavily on AF as a 'hybrid' shooter sometimes needing to do both at the same time such as a bride & groom walking out of church down a confetti aisle etc. 

The XH1 was 'good enough' in this regard last year, but the XT3 for the one wedding I had it for and tried it out at the end of last season, was better. With the firmware upgrade in April, it should be excellent.

The fact that it also allows 10 bit 4.2.2 externally and a 500GB SSD so making the internal SD card a backup (and no Fuji has dual writing capability for video) is almost a 'bonus'!

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Thanks everybody for your replies. The idea of having image stabilization to my Zeiss 35 and 85 is kind of nice.

On 3/7/2019 at 4:35 PM, MrSMW said:

I agree, the Ninja V (or any quality external monitor, even something like the Feelworld) is a must for filmmaking.

 

On 3/7/2019 at 8:04 AM, IronFilm said:

But most people might not want to use the Ninja V with their camera, but in your case you're going to do it anyway, which makes the decision easier. 

I have tried once an external recorder and found some features really nice to have, like false color. Not to mention that, in the long run, I think it's also cheaper to use than internal recording. A good quality 500gb ssd can be found for 80 euro. Having 500gb of fast sd cards for internal video recording cost the same or even more than the external recorder itself.

 

On 3/7/2019 at 3:34 AM, thebrothersthre3 said:

The choice between the Nikon Z6 and XT-3 is a tough one. 

I would say the XT3 is superior in every way except low light performance. Of course the Z6 has the 12 bit prores RAW capability with an external recorder. 

If you want the full frame look (or even medium format) that is another point for the Nikon. IBIS is also another factor, if its something you need. 

I went with Fuji for the color. However the auto focus and high speed options were a big plus (10 bit 4k 60p, HD 120p 10 bit). I also don't like using external recorders. 

Besides the colors, what intrigues me about the Fuji is also the much higher bitrate: 400 vs 100 mbps of the Z6. But for stills, the fuji files have sometimes a kind of mushy appearance in the details, which I don't like that much. I tried to work on some raw files from the fuji and that mushy look is tricky to get rid of.

Talking about bitrate, maybe I miss something, but how can be possible to have some options like the coming z6 raw recording available from a camera with lower bitrate?

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Once you have good quality FF glass, then going to crop seems a backward step, especially now that FF full sensor video is available at sensible prices. That is not to say that there are some nice fast-ish primes for Fuji, but it is tough to get the  look of an f1.4 lens on full frame, while I already have several vintage f1.4 or f1.2 lenses for full frame.

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7 hours ago, rarp said:

Thanks everybody for your replies. The idea of having image stabilization to my Zeiss 35 and 85 is kind of nice.

 

I have tried once an external recorder and found some features really nice to have, like false color. Not to mention that, in the long run, I think it's also cheaper to use than internal recording. A good quality 500gb ssd can be found for 80 euro. Having 500gb of fast sd cards for internal video recording cost the same or even more than the external recorder itself.

 

Besides the colors, what intrigues me about the Fuji is also the much higher bitrate: 400 vs 100 mbps of the Z6. But for stills, the fuji files have sometimes a kind of mushy appearance in the details, which I don't like that much. I tried to work on some raw files from the fuji and that mushy look is tricky to get rid of.

Talking about bitrate, maybe I miss something, but how can be possible to have some options like the coming z6 raw recording available from a camera with lower bitrate?

Its possible because the the external recorder is doing all the work not the camera itself. The internal recording is a big plus for me. Internal 10 bit at 400mbps is crazy good C300 mk2 territory. That said I find 200mbps perfectly fine for anything I've ever used. Also I've found the Sandisk V30 cards handle 400mbps. I just don't like the extra bulk. 

As far as stills I've never noticed any issue of sharpness. Could be an Xtrans sensor issue if you are using lightroom. People recommend converting the files to DNG or using another program like capture one. I shoot jpegs a lot. 

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3 hours ago, BasiliskFilm said:

Once you have good quality FF glass, then going to crop seems a backward step, especially now that FF full sensor video is available at sensible prices. That is not to say that there are some nice fast-ish primes for Fuji, but it is tough to get the  look of an f1.4 lens on full frame, while I already have several vintage f1.4 or f1.2 lenses for full frame.

You are right, I like very much the look of the Zeiss 85

1 hour ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

Its possible because the the external recorder is doing all the work not the camera itself. The internal recording is a big plus for me. Internal 10 bit at 400mbps is crazy good C300 mk2 territory. That said I find 200mbps perfectly fine for anything I've ever used. Also I've found the Sandisk V30 cards handle 400mbps. I just don't like the extra bulk. 

As far as stills I've never noticed any issue of sharpness. Could be an Xtrans sensor issue if you are using lightroom. People recommend converting the files to DNG or using another program like capture one. I shoot jpegs a lot. 

So, in order to record high quality codecs like prores, the recorder can have access to a higher bitrate than the camera itself can record?

Yes, I know about lightroom and its dislike for xtrans sensors. Until some time ago, I have been using a Fuji X pro1 and switched to using capture one for the raf files. And I remember the mushy details were a little bit tricky to sharpen. But probably things have evolved also in the last few years.

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