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SRV1981

X-T2 user seeking Upgrade Advice

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Greetings,

I am an enthusiast/casual user and originally purchased the X-T2 because I loved the video images I was seeing early on.  One of the bigger lessons I have learned for photography/film since then is that many of the skilled and professional users here and elsewhere who release photo and video are not only artistic but also highly competent in using equipment.  I, however, realize that I feel most comfortable bare bones due to level of interest and time constraint.  Therefore, trying to get lowlight video and photo or certain looks SOOC is both limited by my knowledge base and hardware, including software capabilities.

 

I'd like to find a retailer who takes trade ins and swap for a system that is more friendly for the following needs:

1. Fast-moving objects in poorly lit environments like a gymnasium or indoor stadium (I tried shooting 50-140 lens on X-T2 at 2.8 and needed the ISO over 6400 and SS at over 1000th to get a few in focus - the rest were out of focus and dark/blurry)

2. Video in similar conditions to #1

3. SOOC video that has good highlight roll-off, color, contrast, etc. (I will get crucified but "filmic" still is an adjective that I feel is appropriate when I see some of the video posts here)

I am not sure the GH5 or X-T3 suffice as maybe some of the limitations I am experiencing are due to the smaller system?

 

I am sure there are parts of this discussion I am missing but that will come up with further dialogue.  Thanks in advance for suggestions!

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1/1000 in low light - sounds like you need an absolute low light monster for that, and a faster lens than F2.8. Going to make it tricky and expensive to find something which works better than an X-T3 or GH5.

Hard to find a telephoto faster than F2.8 for any system so you might want to look at what is going to give best results at ISO 12,800 and nails AF.

I think a Sony A7 III or A9 might be a good bet.

Canon EOS R not so much, heavy rolling shutter and not as good in low light.

Nikon Z6 would be good and in some ways better than A7 III (120fps quality, better colour) but the AF in low light isn't as good as Sony's.

Sony A6600 would have way too much rolling shutter so that's out.

I would not disqualify the X-T3 if you put a speedier lens on it but depends on how much reach you need.

Is AF important or are you doing manual focus?

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2 hours ago, SRV1981 said:

Greetings,

I'd like to find a retailer who takes trade ins and swap for a system that is more friendly for the following needs:

1. Fast-moving objects in poorly lit environments like a gymnasium or indoor stadium (I tried shooting 50-140 lens on X-T2 at 2.8 and needed the ISO over 6400 and SS at over 1000th to get a few in focus - the rest were out of focus and dark/blurry)

I am not purposely trying to be overly negative, but that is the realm of professional sports shooters and a professional sports shooter could easily have $7,000 to $10,000 invested in a single camera body and lens (at least in terms of stills shooters). A Sony a9 II sells for $4,500 new, Canon 1DX sells for $5,300 new, and a Nikon D5 sells for $5,500 new. If a sports shooter could get away with less expensive gear, they wouldn't spend ridiculous amounts of money on bodies and lenses.

In short, shooting indoor sports in poorly lit conditions is probably one of the most cost-inducing types of photography there is. You need lenses that are both long in focal length, have fast apertures, and focus fast, and those all cost big dollars. You also want a camera that has excellent AF in low light and a high frames per second rate in stills to capture the action, which, again, are certainly far from being budget-friendly.

Purely from a STILLS perspective, you might be able to work with something like a Sony a6400 (or a6600) and POSSIBLY the Sony 85mm f/1.8 lens, but please don't quote me on that. I don't know how fast the Sony 85mm f/1.8 will actually focus, and secondly, don't know if 85mm on a crop body is enough reach for you, and whether you can live with the restrictions of a prime lens (as opposed to the flexibility that one would get from a zoom). 

As @Andrew Reidmentioned above, sony video has SIGNIFICANT issues with rolling shutter. And if you wanted the excellent AF Tracking features in video, you would (I believe) have to get the more expensive a6600 over the a6400, but again, don't want to swear by that.

Hopefully someone else will chime in with better news. I just don't want you to trade in all your gear and find that whatever you get isn't an improvement.

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I appreciate the feedback.  I don't need to be a pro but I am looking for a system that is an upgrade from the x-t2 in terms of low-light auto focus in photos, low-light in general, can be done handheld without the need for a gimbal and doesn't need a rig to get images in video and photo that are above the x-t2 - it doesn't need to be a $10k system; $5k and below for the body would be suitable.

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11 minutes ago, SRV1981 said:

I appreciate the feedback.  I don't need to be a pro but I am looking for a system that is an upgrade from the x-t2 in terms of low-light auto focus in photos, low-light in general, can be done handheld without the need for a gimbal and doesn't need a rig to get images in video and photo that are above the x-t2 - it doesn't need to be a $10k system; $5k and below for the body would be suitable.

I understand.

I would just kindly suggest that it might be pretty difficult to find anything that is going to be a SIGNIFICANT upgrade over your current X-T2 system for $5K or less.

For STILLS:

the Sony a6400 / a6600 body is going to have the best AF tracking this side of the Sony a9... but I don't know if you will be able to get away with the $550 85mm f/1.8 (which will probably result in LOTS of cropping in post), or whether you will need the $2,600 70-200 f/2.8 GM OSS. 

The 85mm f/1.8 will allow you to lower your ISO by about one stop - maybe more since Fuji cameras tend to expose darker at equivalent ISO values. The f/2.8 of the 70-200 won't allow as much light. The tests I have seen show that the Sony's tend to have cleaner high iso performance than the Fuji cameras, but part of that is due to built-in automatic noise reduction which means that the fujis tend to be SHARPER. But that is a generalization.

The 85mm f/1.8 has no built in stabilization. The 70-200 does. The a6400 ($900) does NOT have stabilization, and doesn't have the AF tracking in VIDEO that the a6600 ($1,400) has. The a6600 also has built in stabilization.

And again, don't know if the AF performance of the 85mm f/18 will keep up with the advanced tracking of the Sony a6400 / a6600 cameras.

FOR VIDEO

If you are going to shoot handheld VIDEO on a tele lens, then you need at the very least the stabilization provided by a Panasonic or Olympus camera, and even then you are going to need to make sure that you are very steady and strong enough that you can hand-hold the camera for the duration of the shot. 

By the way, there is a reason that people don't use the word "panasonic" and "sports" in the same sentence. (SPOILER ALERT: Has to do with their autofocus systems.)

As for video, Sony and Canon probably have the best AF performance, but both have bad rolling shutter. The 4K crop of the Canon R might actually be a benefit in terms of reach, but then it will probably be noisier than the 4K footage of the Sony a6600. 

Anyway, hoping someone else can chime in with better suggestions than mine. 

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If you're looking for very high performance sports photography gear but on a tightly constrained budget then it is hard to look past the Nikon D500. Especially as they're going for such attractive prices secondhand now. Plus the Nikon 85mm f1.8G is an exceptional buy as well, a very good lens for quite a low price indeed secondhand.

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25 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

If you're looking for very high performance sports photography gear but on a tightly constrained budget then it is hard to look past the Nikon D500. Especially as they're going for such attractive prices secondhand now. Plus the Nikon 85mm f1.8G is an exceptional buy as well, a very good lens for quite a low price indeed secondhand.

good points.

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Before buying anything new, I'd try to get the most out of the X-T2. It's a good camera and if you tweak the settings you probably get a lot more keepers.

If you want to upgrade and the focus is the main priority, the cheapest way is probably the X-T3. This will also give you the flicker reduction for photos, helping to get the most out of the little light available.

If you want to improve on noise performance, you should get a full frame camera with a f/2.8 zoom. You could go for fast primes like the 200mm f/2.0 too, but that's costly. Personally I don't know if I would go this route, as I find the Nikon Z cameras not that great with focus, same goes for the Panasonic S cameras. And sony, which has very good focusing is lagging behind when it comes to codecs, bit depth and frame rate options. 

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thanks all - some good stuff to consider; unlimited options.

 

I'll start as follows:

 

1. Get the most out of my current x-t2.  The 50-140 2.8 seems like the best for indoor sports venues and I'll have to see how to balance SS and ISO.  If that doesn't cut it..

2. What system can be used for both photo/video handheld that can do well in lowlight, shoot moving subjects (track and field), and record video $5K and under?

3. What two systems would you go for to separate video/photo with the above needs?

I am not shooting weddings or professional sports etc. but would like high quality options.  I think of this as an exercise in problem solving.

Needs:

1. Good image quality (color, rolloff) SOOC

2. low light performance

3. AF performance

4. Handheld shooting mostly (IBIS preferable but maybe OIS lenses can be adequate?)

 

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What budget?   What focal length needed?     Do you need 4k?     

A7sii might be a contender if 12mp is ok.    AFC is pretty much non existent (except if the subject only moves in a small area and not too fast) but AFS for stills works in really low light and the FE 85 1.8 (if long enough) really is a very nice lens for the price.     I still use the original A7s (just got given a new one after my original died after years of solid use) and I use it with manual focus lenses for night time sports sometimes as well as live music gigs including some very dim pubs and clubs and increasingly, night time light festivals and installations...I can even use a slow 17mm f4 tilt shift lens as walk around at night....being able to use pretty much any shutter speed is more important than AF by my experience if the light is THAT low.      First version A7s can be found cheaper these days and I find I do not really need stabilization with it.      Other than that, the A7iii might be the one for you if you have the money.

 

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10 hours ago, SRV1981 said:

1. Get the most out of my current x-t2.  The 50-140 2.8 seems like the best for indoor sports venues and I'll have to see how to balance SS and ISO.  If that doesn't cut it..

2. What system can be used for both photo/video handheld that can do well in lowlight, shoot moving subjects (track and field), and record video $5K and under?

3. What two systems would you go for to separate video/photo with the above needs?

I am not shooting weddings or professional sports etc. but would like high quality options.  I think of this as an exercise in problem solving.

1. I was thinking more about tweaking the autofocus settings to get more keepers. Do you use the whole range of 50-140mm? 

2. for photo, the cheapest way is probably to get a used DSRL and a fast lens. Do you want the camera to track the subject across the frame on its own? Then the newest Sony cameras are probably the way to go. But I can't think of a single camera that could be called "do it all perfectly"

3. Hard to say. Probably a used D750 with a third party 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. You gain close to a stop in noise performance. Not that much, but better than nothing. For video I'd go either to a X-T3 with it's beautiful IQ or A6600 for tracking autofocus. You might get the DSLR with lens for around 1500$, and the Sony with the upcoming Tamron 70-180mm for around 2500$. Owning two different 70-200mm lenses might feel a bit strange though. 

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I appreciate the perspectives!

 

What budget?   $5K

What focal length needed? up to 200m for Sports and regular 25-90 for video     

Do you need 4k?   Yes

Do you use the whole range of 50-140mm? Yes, for sports its imperative

Do you want the camera to track the subject across the frame on its own? Yes!

For video I'd go either to a X-T3 with it's beautiful IQ or A6600 for tracking autofocus - My only concern is lowlight even in video performance, for someone who won't be rigging my gear or using lighting for personal narrative, family events, sports, documentary type stuff I need more of a run/gun low light camera

You might get the DSLR with lens for around 1500$, and the Sony with the upcoming Tamron 70-180mm for around 2500$. Owning two different 70-200mm lenses might feel a bit strange though. I don't need two long lenses - just for photography; for video I think getting primes makes more sense due to getting better aperture (1.8, 2.0, etc.)

 

Question:  What would be the best single system for autotracking photo/video, can be handheld, is great in lowlight, and has good images (color/rolloff) SOOC?  What would be a great combo to achieve both; 1 for photo 1 for video?

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19 hours ago, SRV1981 said:

1. Good image quality (color, rolloff) SOOC

2. low light performance

3. AF performance

4. Handheld shooting mostly (IBIS preferable but maybe OIS lenses can be adequate?)

2. low light performance

Sony

3. AF performance

Sony

1. Good image quality (color, rolloff) SOOC

Arguably, Sony is perfectly fine. There are people who will tell you that Sony color science was created by Satan when he was having a bad day.  There are many different tutorials on youtube about adjusting the colors so they look good SOOC and of course, we have @Andrew Reid various Pro Color settings and LUTs (although i guess LUTs don't help with SOOC).

The key with Sony is nailing white balance and exposure. 

Some people love Fuji colors. Some people love Canon colors. Some people love Panasonic colors. Me? I can make the colors of ANY camera look like a Sony camera :)

4. Handheld shooting mostly (IBIS preferable but maybe OIS lenses can be adequate?)

NOT Sony, unfortunately. 

The IBIS is ok (it would be GREAT if there wasn't IBIS from Panasonic and Olympus to compare it to).

Bonus Round:

5. Rolling shutter

Again, NOT Sony. If you will be panning back and forth you will be getting more rolling shutter with Sony than pretty much any other camera out there (except for possibly EOS R).

6. Ease of use (You said, "realize that I feel most comfortable bare bones due to level of interest and time constraint")

Probably NOT Sony, again. A lot of people hate the menu system. I have my Sony camera set up with five different stored memory configurations so I can quickly switch back and forth between two different photo configurations and 3 different video configurations. But it took a while to get it set up that way.  Also the screen on Sony cameras is not as good on most other cameras. Not as sharp and it won';t allow you to navigate the menus of the camera by touch on the screen. Also, in terms of the displayed image for review (i.e., chimping) I heard that some of the new cameras give a very low resolution preview in the EVF when reviewing a photo. Although I don't know if they give a lower resolution on the LCD screen since LCD is already low.

 

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Sony A73 

although the NR is wonky at high ISO's. Not something most people notice though. A Nikon DSLR would beat out the Sony in photography but doesn't come even close for video. 

In terms of AF and low light performance nothing beats the Sony for video at this time unless you get a pro camera like the FX9 or C500 MK2

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47 minutes ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

 

1. Good image quality (color, rolloff) SOOC

Arguably, Sony is perfectly fine. There are people who will tell you that Sony color science was created by Satan when he was having a bad day.  There are many different tutorials on youtube about adjusting the colors so they look good SOOC and of course, we have @Andrew Reid various Pro Color settings and LUTs (although i guess LUTs don't help with SOOC).

 

 

 

I will never understand why Sony does not support apps like the Liveview grading app in the third version and later A7 cameras.      It allows millions of colour combinations straight out of camera for video.     The latest cameras that support it are the A7ii, A7sii and A6500.    I used to have it with my first A7s and it was more than i needed and would literally still take me years trying combinations on a daily basis.     I might just get it again soon just to play with (costs about $10).

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4 minutes ago, noone said:

I will never understand why Sony does not support apps like the Liveview grading app in the third version and later A7 cameras.

If I remember correctly, the third-gen camera systems had a major overhaul of the camera's operating system, so I know that certain apps didn't work in gen-3 cameras. (You think they would have overhauled the user interface as well, but apparently not.)

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Thanks!  It sounds like the Sony A73 is the best single camera for my needs.  I will look at some video clips and read some reviews before going to try it myself.  I would love to look into the X-T3 but worried about lowlight.  Panasonic S1H seems excellent but AF sounds terrible?

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