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Tomda

Sony vs Canon vs Fujifilm

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Hi all !

First, a little presentation... I'm a longtime reader of this website, from back in the days the 5d mkII came out, and always enjoyed a lot the info. I always found some of the most precise answers here for my cinematography.

But now comes the time to ask for some precise info I can't clearly find.

I want to upgrade my gear and I kind of wonder if I folks could help me figure out what would be better suited.

My main wish is to find a camera that could both use either 35mm or 16mm glass. I happen to have a small collection of both formats, and I would love to have a camera that lets me use 35mm prime lenses when I want shallow depth of fields and high quality or a 16mm zoom lens when I want a more "run and gun" set up. And more importantly I'd like to be able to output in both formats 1080 4:2:2 10 bit for my pro work.

Now from what I've been able to find, only a very few cameras allows this. The Sony FS5-7 or the Blackmagic URSA would be perfect but are out of my budget. Much more in my price range, only the Sony 6400 seem to have a 2x "clear image zoom" function that would in theory allow the use of Super 16 lenses (has anyone here tried it ?). But its major drawback is that it can only record 4:2:0 8 bit internally, so I'd need an external recorder for more pro stuff. In my price range too the Fujifilm X-T3 would be absolutely perfect except it doesn't seem to have a 2x "clear image" zoom like Sony... Can anyone confirm this ? Why such a simple feature is absent... If someone has Fuji's hears... Then at last, on a much cheaper level, I've heard about the Canon EOS M raw capabilities with magic Lantern. But as I understand it (tell me if I'm wrong, but I tend to often get mixed up with ML stuff), I don't think you can shoot with it on a 16mm frame with a near FullHD resolution. Then there's the M50 but I see ML progress on it is at a too early stage, and it seems only 4k resolution is available at a crop (and of course without any 4:2:2 sampling).

So what do you all think ? What option would be better suited ? Am I missing something ?

I wonder if I should take a Blackmagic pocket or micro and only use 16mm glass but I would so much like to use my vintage 35mm cine lenses too !

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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

There is very few 16mm lenses that even cover APSC, and some not even m4/3. If you want to use both use a early OG BMPCC, BMCC. Most every Mirrorless camera can be adapted to just about any lens, 35mm or even Medium Format stuff. Same with the OG BMPCC. A lot of people used old MF Nikon glass on them. Most of the old Speedboosters for the OG BMPCC were Nikon to m4/3.

As to the 2X Clear Zoom, that is done electronically. So that has nothing to do with being able to use 16mm lenses.  Yeah it sort of makes it crop into s35 but that is not 16mm. I could not even get 4/3 lenses to work on a a7 without vignetting from hell. Maybe a zoom half way up it's range would work, but that is silly. All the FF A7 cameras have Clear Zoom, not something new on the A6400 by any means. And yeah, it is a killer feature to have.

I know your post was long but you really have to state what you really want to use the camera for. Not every camera is good for everything. If you need AF, IBIS or not, etc. Wanting to use 16mm lenses is pretty damn limiting camera choice wise.

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Have you looked into the Z Cam E2? It has a multi-aspect M43 sensor like the GH5s, and it has a S16 crop mode. With a speed booster, you can get full frame or S35, or you can use the crop mode for S16. And it shoots 10 bit 4:2:2 internally. It's $2k for the body, so more budget friendly than an FS7 or URSA. The downside is that it requires an external monitor, though you can use a smartphone for wireless monitoring and control via wifi. I do not have first hand experience with one yet, unfortunately.

I can't think of anything else in the price range that can go up to 35mm with a speed booster, and has a dedicated 16mm crop mode, and 4:2:2 10 bit internally.

I would stay away from ML for pro work. It was too finicky when I used it extensively  on the 5D3. It was a phenomenal image, but I wouldn't be confident in it working 100% of the time (even due to user error, cards filling up too quickly, etc).

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Thanks KnightsFan ! It's a little over budget but it's definitely worth considering, I knew there could be more cams with such feature :) Sadly, I can't use the speed booster as my s35 lenses are old style Arriflex cine lenses, with rear lenses going quite close to sensor. But m4/3 is not much smaller than s35, I could work around...

webrunner5 I think I was maybe not clear enough sorry, I happen to have some cine lenses designed for s35, and some other for the 16mm movie format. I like to use them for different projects, using prime s35 lenses for clips or fiction where I can spend some time working on my cinematography, and using lightweight and more versatile 16mm zoom lenses for a more "documentary" style of project where I have to frame and focus more quickly. Those last zooms cover effectively a very small area (as 16mm films were rather narrow). But it happens that having a 2x "clear zoom" on some APS-C/S35 digital sensors lets you record just the area these lenses can cover. I've done it with a Sony FS5 for a short, letting me use a Zeiss 10-100 vario Sonnar. Without the "clear zoom" option, You'd only get a small image circle on your frame. So yes, "clear zoom" let you use 16mm glass on a s35 sized sensor.

A lot of people used 24x36 or s35 lenses on their BM because most people don't know much about vintage 16mm lenses. But some were far better suited to the camera than anything made for still photography. Another problem is that BM cams have a Super16 sized sensors, slightly bigger than standard 16, but big enough for some zoom to vignette, especially wide open and wide angle. The Sony FS5 at least cropped ideally. But this is a problem I could live with, as they do 4k there's way enough place for cropping in post.

The Sony a7 indeed has a "clear zoom", but it has 24x36 sized sensor and the clear zoom only crops to APS-C, so way too big for 16mm :)

I hope this is all much clearer to you ?

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 You talk Sony FS5 but only can afford a A6400. Both being a s35 sensor on paper. But the A6400 doesn't have IBIS and is pretty bad for rolling shutter as usual for that grade of cameras from Sony. But the AF is pretty killer on them. But you are not going to get 4.2.2 out of it, not without a external recorder.

I just think in this day and age, unless you are married to the OG BMPCC, BMMCC, or BMCC I would get rid of the s16 lenses. Even the BMD cameras are a pain in the ass if you go Raw. They are just way too limiting. Why bother? The ML Canon cameras are a big, unreliable pain in the ass overall. You can't really depend on them shot after shot, and you have to be pretty talented grading wise to use them.

I am a big fan of the old BMD cameras, but unless you are Really into the old school look, times have moved on. A camera like a Fuji XT-3 is just so much easier to use. I don't see how a person can pass up a GH5 for what they cost used. Not maybe the best Hybrid but surely among the best for video. Just buy my favorite, a C100, cheap ass lenses, cheap everything once you have it. I have learned having a camera that is reliable and easy to just pick up and use is better than having a Arri Alexa.  How often do you need that good of output? You want to be tied down to a tripod, have back surgery often, stand out like a sore thumb? Hell this stuff is suppose to be sort of fun, not a ball buster.

 

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10 hours ago, Tomda said:

Thanks KnightsFan ! It's a little over budget but it's definitely worth considering, I knew there could be more cams with such feature :) Sadly, I can't use the speed booster as my s35 lenses are old style Arriflex cine lenses, with rear lenses going quite close to sensor. But m4/3 is not much smaller than s35, I could work around...

Ah, I see now, I wrongly assumed 35mm to be FF since you mentioned the 5dII days. I'm jealous of your lens collection for sure!

With that budget, I recommend the XT3. It's a phenomenal camera, I got to use it quite a bit earlier this year. I don't think you'll find anything else in your budget that has 10 bit. Unfortunately it doesn't have a crop mode. But as for the competition, none of the Sonys output 10 bit even over HDMI, and the GH5 and P4k both have <s35 sensors. And then maybe wait a year to pick up a used OG BMPCC for peanuts just for your 16mm lenses.

There is actually also the Z Cam E2c, the $800 little brother to the E2. It can record 10 bit 4:2:0 to an SD card, or 10 bit 4:2:2 via USB C. It's M43 and I haven't heard about a 16mm crop mode, so not ideal sensor size--but it's affordable for 10 bit and ProRes. Again I haven't used it, but you can try the Z Cam E2 facebook group for info if you are interested.

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On 5/16/2019 at 7:38 PM, Tomda said:

My main wish is to find a camera that could both use either 35mm or 16mm glass. I happen to have a small collection of both formats, and I would love to have a camera that lets me use 35mm prime lenses when I want shallow depth of fields and high quality or a 16mm zoom lens when I want a more "run and gun" set up. And more importantly I'd like to be able to output in both formats 1080 4:2:2 10 bit for my pro work.


A BMPCC4K has a sensor in between S16 and S35

A focal reducer will take it to S35 easily (and even beyond! To nearly FF). 

And if you put S16 on the BMPCC4K you will get a bit less than 4K resolution after a crop in post, but still plenty more than 2K. 

 

Otherwise, just buy a JVC LS300 :-)

18 hours ago, Tomda said:

Thanks KnightsFan ! It's a little over budget but it's definitely worth considering, I knew there could be more cams with such feature :) 

I wonder if maybe maybe the new and very cheap Z Cam E2C has a S16 mode?
 

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10 hours ago, KnightsFan said:

There is actually also the Z Cam E2c, the $800 little brother to the E2. It can record 10 bit 4:2:0 to an SD card, or 10 bit 4:2:2 via USB C. It's M43 and I haven't heard about a 16mm crop mode, so not ideal sensor size--but it's affordable for 10 bit and ProRes. Again I haven't used it, but you can try the Z Cam E2 facebook group for info if you are interested.

 

2 hours ago, IronFilm said:

I wonder if maybe maybe the new and very cheap Z Cam E2C has a S16 mode?
 

I'm going to investigate this, I really do hope so, it seems to me to be the best compromise I've seen so far given my budget. I admit I never heard of this brand before, at least here in France no renting company has them. I have to admit when I first saw the pictures I was a little worried by the build quality, but I know I may be asking too much :)

Anyway a big thanks to you all for this suggestion !

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I use both ML on a 5D3 and a Fujifilm X-T3 at the moment. I haven't used Sony mirrorless. Here are some observations. 

As far as ML on the 5D3 is concerned, I capture 1920x1080 25fps 12-bit raw with lossless compression, which is 40Mb/s (more on this later*). This bit rate is significantly lower than the uncompressed formats, and in my experience this has significantly improved the reliability of the camera when writing to the CF cards. In a recent project I have captured 200GB of interview footage over a couple of days with zero errors. I rotate on four 64BG cards and one 128GB card, which me gives ample time to empty them as we go. And as earlier commented, "oh, that image." Never moiré or stair-stepping. Note: no continuous autofocus on the 5D3.

I got the X-T3 to replace my Canon 70D, which has great auto-focus, but has a really pronounced moiré and stair stepping problem. I recorded 1280x720 raw with ML, and it was a bit of a problem child. Nothing like my experience the comparatively-reliable 5D3 on ML. Don't go for Canon mirrorless for these reasons, but do go for a used 5D3 if one presents itself!

The X-T3 is my first mirrorless camera. I like it, but the continuous autofocus isn't as good as Canon's DPAF. At 4k and highest data rate, it's pushing 4:2:0 10-bit footage at 50Mb/s onto an SD card. It requires a good card, but not necessarily a UHS-2. A Sandisk Extreme UHS-1 card also works. I have one of each, both 128GB. *That 50Mb/s is a higher data rate than the 5D3 raw, but it's actually the 10-bit color, which is kind of the big deal for this camera. If you capture at 4k and downsize to HD (which is what I do) the potential advantage of capturing 4:2:2 externally is diminished. Some have written that if you downsample 10-bit 4k 4:2:0 footage into FHD, you wind up with 10-bit 4:2:2. I don't know if this is 100% true, but I can tell you that whereas grading 8-bit 4:2:0 is way harder than 8-bit 4:2:2 (like internal 8-bit 4:2:0 versus an external 4:2:2 recorder) Grading the X-T3's 10-bit 4:2:0 has been pretty rewarding, and the detail is good. It's a lot of data to work with. Note: 30-minute recording limit on the X-T3.

The X-T3 is better as regards moiré and stair-stepping than the 70D, for example. It has better rolling shutter performance than the full-frame 5D3. OTOH, the 5D3's low-light performance is far superior to the X-T3. Also note that if you shoot in F-Log (I find it to be very good) you have a minimum ISO of 640, so be prepared with ND filters if you want to shoot wide open outdoors.

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53 minutes ago, andrew_dotdot said:

40Mb/s

 

53 minutes ago, andrew_dotdot said:

50Mb/s

This is a bit nitpicky, but these numbers are for are MB/s, not Mb/s. The XT3 goes up to 400 Mb/s which is equal to 50 MB/s.

54 minutes ago, andrew_dotdot said:

10-bit 4k 4:2:0 footage into FHD, you wind up with 10-bit 4:2:2

You should wind up with 4:4:4 actually, so even better!

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I see there's a kind of cliffhanger here ;)

I'm not decided yet, I've just ask on the Z cam forum about the possible feature and waiting for an answer. But the cam doesn't seem to be available for sale yet, it seems it still is in a beta phase... If I have a clear view on its features and release date, it may be my final choice. If I don't, I may go for a BM Micro Studio. I think all things considered, I may prefer the flexibility and lightness offered by a smaller format. With my Angenieux T1.8/9.5-57 I can almost do almost anything with a single, rather small and lightweight lens. When I shot actual 16mm film it's my weapon of choice.

But wether I go BM or Z cam, I'm pretty annoyed by the ergonomics we have in this price range. It would be so cool to have at least a more elongated form to fit in a palm, I mean the dirtiest cheapest camcorders are better designed than those things, I'm sure it wouldn't cost much more...

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3 hours ago, Tomda said:

I see there's a kind of cliffhanger here ;)

I'm not decided yet, I've just ask on the Z cam forum about the possible feature and waiting for an answer. But the cam doesn't seem to be available for sale yet, it seems it still is in a beta phase... If I have a clear view on its features and release date, it may be my final choice. If I don't, I may go for a BM Micro Studio. I think all things considered, I may prefer the flexibility and lightness offered by a smaller format. With my Angenieux T1.8/9.5-57 I can almost do almost anything with a single, rather small and lightweight lens. When I shot actual 16mm film it's my weapon of choice.

But wether I go BM or Z cam, I'm pretty annoyed by the ergonomics we have in this price range. It would be so cool to have at least a more elongated form to fit in a palm, I mean the dirtiest cheapest camcorders are better designed than those things, I'm sure it wouldn't cost much more...

The BM Micro is really nice. I have the original Pocket camera. The internal prores 10 bit is really nice to have. Its not a low light performer though and of course no auto focus.

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On 5/19/2019 at 8:18 AM, Tomda said:

But wether I go BM or Z cam, I'm pretty annoyed by the ergonomics we have in this price range. It would be so cool to have at least a more elongated form to fit in a palm, I mean the dirtiest cheapest camcorders are better designed than those things, I'm sure it wouldn't cost much more...

Square ish is better than longer if you want to put it on a gimbal, or even rig it up in general. 

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11 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Square ish is better than longer if you want to put it on a gimbal, or even rig it up in general. 

So so true..better than longer, and better than "wider"(=Pocket 4K).

I found the XC10/15 form factor very promising for a small video camera, but that went nowhere also..

I am still delaying my P4K purchase, but as the Z cameras are not readily available in Europe, and the bigger sensored ones are not available at all, and nothing under 4.000 comes from Canon/Sony/Panasonic, I have to bite the bullet and order the Pocket sooner or later..

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1 hour ago, Kisaha said:

So so true..better than longer, and better than "wider"(=Pocket 4K).

I found the XC10/15 form factor very promising for a small video camera, but that went nowhere also..

I am still delaying my P4K purchase, but as the Z cameras are not readily available in Europe, and the bigger sensored ones are not available at all, and nothing under 4.000 comes from Canon/Sony/Panasonic, I have to bite the bullet and order the Pocket sooner or later..

Yea - an XC15-style camera with a Super35mm sensor would be great for so many uses. Hoping Fuji or Panasonic (with GH5 or GH6 abilities in it) launch something like that. 

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