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Andrew Reid

The digital film look on a budget - 10 years after the Arri Alexa, what gets closest for cheapest?

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Hard to believe it, but EOSHD is nearly 10 years old!

2010 was a big year for digital cinema. The 5D Mark II was in full stride kickstarting DSLR filmmaking. Arri's first proper digital film camera the Alexa was released and revolutionised filmmaking at the highest levels. Now all these years later I'm still looking - not for the sharpest, highest K, most featured packed modern camera but for a camera costing less than $1000 which has the most Alexa-like image.

Not on a technical level, of course, but in terms of the feel of the images and how cinematic the end-results are when viewed on the big screen.

Read the full article

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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

After reading this article, I was reminded that I never gave the 3.5K Raw a test on my 5D3, so I just bought your shooter’s guide.

I’ve been contemplating a second camera for a while now and am hoping that 3+K mode in the 5D3 will keep me going for another year or so before I feel the need to upgrade.

With that being said, some of my favorite ML Raw videos were shot with the Mark II, so I’ve wondered if it would be smarter to sell my 5D3, while it still has some meat on its bones, and replace it with a 5D2 and possibly something with a few extra features like a GH5.

The options we have just 10 years after the digital/dslr revolution is truly amazing and it’s truly amazing how well the earlier options still hold up.

Great article... it makes me want to pick up a used GH1/2 or D750.

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Totally agree about the 5D2

I love the 3K, such a pain in the ass to use, but really rewarding. I recently fell on my 5D2 and broke it (crunch), I could now upgrade to a 5D3, but I think I may just get another mark 2.

Also - update on the 50D - the guy who's been working on the 5D2 seems to be getting somewhere: https://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/index.php?topic=19336.msg216752#msg216752

3200x1268 resolution may be possible (!)

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Great read @Andrew Reid

To be fair, what P4K does right now to the industry, is kind of the second revolution, because back then the 5DmkII did something that was unheard before, but still was a very expensive camera for the masses. 

The P4K offers the sun and the moon for significantly less (the inflation calculator gives me something to 3300-3500$ today's money for the Canon), even a teenager can save for the P4K, or a couple of them even..

This is a very significant release with a lot of modern comforts.

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Thanks-- an interesting article, this day and age. After reading some older EOSHD articles on Magic Lantern, I am wondering if the 7D is on par with the 50D for achieving the film look being discussed. 

My particular reason for asking: I recently acquired a hand-me-down 7D--  just upgraded the CF card to 120MBs/64GB-- am considering downloading ML. Does anyone here these days recommend investing time with the 7D/ML process?

From what I understand, a good-quality loupe or monitor is usually recommended-- and, at least in the past, the $300 VAF-7D. However, I do get the impression-- after reading today's article--  that the moire issue with these cameras may not be much an aesthetic issue, as previously accepted. 

 

  

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Yes the 7D is also good.

https://www.eoshd.com/2017/06/magic-lantern-raw-video-current-camera-capabilities-updated-2017/

7D

- 1728 x 972 – APS-C (14bit 16:9)
- 2048 x 930 – 4.07x crop mode (14bit 2.2:1)

50D

- 1536 x 1056 – APS-C (14bit 3:2)
- 1536 x 864 – APS-C (14bit 16:9)
- 2000 x 852 – 3.8x crop mode (14bit 2.35:1)

https://www.eoshd.com/2013/08/canon-7d-raw-with-magic-lantern-1st-sample-footage-in-the-wild/

Disclaimer is things may have changed a bit since... development on the cheapest cameras 50D and 5D2 seem to have been more of a focus than some of the others including the 7D with it's tricky dual CPU setup.

Even some of the SD card cameras are now shooting pretty well in RAW thanks to the 10bit mode.

https://www.eoshd.com/2017/06/enabling-10bit-raw-video-mini-canon-100d/

Update:

Ah, I see the 50D now does "3744x1080 23.976fps /w realtime preview". That's in 10bit RAW.

It's a crop mode though, so not Super 35mm full width of the sensor. And the aspect ratio is whacky.

The good thing about the 5D2 is the 3K crop mode is S35-ish... around 1.86x.

The 5D3 is king with the 3.5K / 1.5x RAW crop mode but more expensive than a used 5D2, by upward of $1000 difference.

For 2K cinema like an Alexa, the full frame look is what I use most on the 5D2 and 5D3 and here there's less difference than you'd think! Both very nice!

The article wanted to focus on dead cheap stuff $200 to $1000.

Of course if you spend more, you can get a Pocket 4K, or a GH5S, Canon 1D C or even a Nikon Z6 with RAW output (coming soon)... and so on... But I still think there is a lot to be said for the down and dirty older cameras and how cinematic they are.

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I know it has its faults and doesn't get much love but, purely in terms of what I've seen people shoot with them, I've never seen much from the BM 4K Production Camera that I didn't think looked pretty good.

I saw one in the window at a CEX branch a while ago for £650 and I see MPB have got one now for £709.

Won't be long before they reach my totally arbitrary  "oh go on then" price of £500!

 

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I would almost argue that the Pocket 4K is $1K, considering it comes with a software license worth $300. The mind-blowing practicality of BMRaw cannot be overstated either. I dare say it cuts faster than h.264. 

People dock it points for having deficiencies that require it to be kitted out for serious use, but that’s just the pedigree of a typical cinema camera experience. If anything, it is easier to rig than bigger, more expensive cine cams. 

I have a cine cam now, and money left over for other things like wireless follow focus and monitoring solutions that can quickly make professional production methods a reality, even on small projects.

My plan is to get a quality cage with lens adapter support, and a positive-locking EF Speedbooster to transform the Pocket 4K into a rock solid full frame RAW sensor block.

The image quality I’ve been pulling out of this little thing without even trying is already punching obnoxiously close to Alexa territory... and we’re talking hand-held selfie vlog shots with an SSD dangling off the grip. Borderline idiocy. 

This camera gets me into the cine environment on the cheap, and there’s a whole lot more to that besides the end image quality. The UI and general handling are a whole other workflow.

I can kit up the necessary accessories, and almost all of them will be useable in the future with yet-unreleased camera bodies. Gear like v-mount batteries, Nucleus-M, Small-HD Bolt, rods, quick release systems, mattebox and filters, shoulder rigs... Sure, you have to kit it out, but once you do, you have that kit forever.

Resolve 16 is a beast. I’ve spent 10X as much time in Resolve the past month compared to time spent in my old haunt, FCPX. The NR is magical and very natural if you know how to dial it in. The wait for the new FilmConvert is agony right now. I’m ready to leave the baked in film print emulation of the current version in the dust. I’ve been using the status-m workaround lately, and while cumbersome, it makes FilmConvert pure magic, doubly so when you give it BMRaw to work with.

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Still happy with my pocket. The ability to just shoot in prores LT and get small files as well as RAW if I want it is great. Its nice that the RAW can just be put right in Desolve and edits like butter. 

The XT3 and XT30 are great though. Eterna is really nice and of course the 10 bit Flog on the XT3 is just really easy to work with. 

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These are among my favorite type of articles you write Andrew, thank you! 

I know people that still shoot with the hacked GH2! You can get them used these days for almost nothing. I still suggest it to people just starting out. 

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Andrew I'm wondering about your view on the EOS M and the latest developments with ML raw. I bought this camera as an occasion, good as new, for €100. With a speed booster it's close to full frame and without it you can also use cmount lenses. Haven't really experimented with raw video yet (still buying some lenses for it). But have seen some beautiful results. It probably won't beat the image of the 5D II, but EOS M is even cheaper and has the advantage of being really small. I think it has the potential to make it to this list! Hope you get a chance to try it out :)

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And where is the orig. BMPCC? 300USD(used) , 1920x1080 RAW Crop 2,88 ? Proress HQ,422,LT,Proxy. Orig. BMPCC should be in the top of your list. And where is BMMCC 500USD 1920x1080 60p RAW (RAW 3:1) And absolutely great colors. Very easy RAW editing in Resolve.

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Bought a used 5D3 with low shutter count (<40k) for €899 incl tax with 1 year warranty in a dutch camera shop. So it is possible to find a 5D3 below $1000 if you are patiently.

Still looking for a workhorse camera for wedding video around max $1500 with a digital film look. Unfortunately a used C100 (ii) is still too expensive. Maybe a GH5, but worry about AF and low-light performance for wedding. Anyone an idea for a good wedding video camera around this budget?

 

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1 hour ago, tonysss said:

And where is the orig. BMPCC? 300USD(used) , 1920x1080 RAW Crop 2,88 ? Proress HQ,422,LT,Proxy. Orig. BMPCC should be in the top of your list. 

Especially the BMPCC is used very often next to Arri Alexa. Apparently very few people here know that. 

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Thanks for sharing some love for the D750. I have two and they are workhorses, great image, amazing codec for the bitrate, and killer low light ability. I wish the image was slightly sharper, but the colors are worth it.

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8 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

I know it has its faults and doesn't get much love but, purely in terms of what I've seen people shoot with them, I've never seen much from the BM 4K Production Camera that I didn't think looked pretty good.

I saw one in the window at a CEX branch a while ago for £650 and I see MPB have got one now for £709.

Won't be long before they reach my totally arbitrary  "oh go on then" price of £500!

Yeah, this has an amazing image in good light. It's really an ISO 200 camera max, but it delivers. Global shutter Super 35mm sensor for that price is pretty unique now.

Will be interesting to look into what the firmware update history was like...

Ages since I used it.

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1 hour ago, Andrew Reid said:

Yeah, this has an amazing image in good light. It's really an ISO 200 camera max, but it delivers. Global shutter Super 35mm sensor for that price is pretty unique now.

 

Yeah, you've now made me up my buy it now price by a few quid.

Really nice.

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