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Andrew Reid

Best camera designs

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Nicest in hand, XH1 with grip.

Perfect size/weight/spec, but ruined by a stupid screen, XT4.

Beauty contest: X100V, Pen F or Contax G2.

Most want to like, Sigma FP or Hassie X1Dii.

Most lusted, the pairing of a Q2 with an SL2.

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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

My personal favorites (limited to those I've worked with / shot with):

Best: I'd like to put the Panasonic EVA1 as #1, as it is a small compact cinema body at a reasonable moderate price, with all the I/O & features you'd expect. It is lightweight without feeling flimsy. (one reviewer joked "Maybe Panasonic fills the bodies with helium?")  However the EF mount is just too much of a negative in my eyes, wish they'd offered a MFT version. So I'm giving the #1 spot to FS5/FS7mk2 instead (would put the FX9 here too if I could? But I've got no experience with it whatsoever. Kinda would like to give a shout out to the AMIRA too, but it is just so damn bulky/heavy)

Best hybrid stills cameras:
Panasonic GH5/G9 (wish I could include S1H/S1 here too, but I've never used them) and Nikon D500 (bit of a stretch though to call it a "hybrid"? Being perhaps the most stills focused of all the cameras in this thread)

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To be honest, I am not going to defend the Pocket4K's ergonomics. I dislike very much the body desing. They went for the hybrid desing, but on a bigger video camera? I do not know. It is not nice and practical at all. I say that since day 1, and even after I bought one for the Braw capabilities and as a stop-gap until I decide on a new hybrid system.

The first Pocket was great on paper, but in real life it was completely unusable as it was. Great image, did some projects with it, but you couldn't do almost anything without all the extras. This P4K/6K it is at least usable with just a lens. That's it, it is not great. As I see it is a video recorder which you can stick a lens and shoot something too! I

The older Sonys coming from Minolta were indeed solid little cameras with some great lens designs too, where are all those famous Konica-Minolta engineers? It seems like noone of them still works for Sony!

GH5 is 725gr and NX1 is 550gr (both incuding batteries. GH4 was 560gr with battery), with the smaller m43 lenses the GH5 feels llike a brick to my hands! Imagine that I rock one of my NX1 with the 45mm most of the times, which is 665gr in total! A lot less than only the GH5 body.

Even with the 12-100mm the camera feels heavy on the body.

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57 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

To be honest, I am not going to defend the Pocket4K's ergonomics. I dislike very much the body desing.

They way I see it is Blackmagic had two main options for when making a "very small cinema camera":
1) the design they went with, with a big screen on the back
2) a Z Cam E2 / RED / ARRI Mini / boxy design

Which is right, which is wrong? You'll get defenders of both sides, depends on your preferences. 

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2 hours ago, IronFilm said:

They way I see it is Blackmagic had two main options for when making a "very small cinema camera":
1) the design they went with, with a big screen on the back
2) a Z Cam E2 / RED / ARRI Mini / boxy design

Which is right, which is wrong? You'll get defenders of both sides, depends on your preferences. 

I think if the Pocket 4K had a smaller width it would be less of a problem, with a heavy lens it shifts the weight of holding it to the base of your palm, it's width also causes rigging issues and balancing issues with gimbals.

I honestly hated the XT-3 when I tried it, found the dials on the top useless pieces of decoration and the grip awful. Glad they are addressing the grip and movie selector issues with the XT-4.

 

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2 hours ago, IronFilm said:

They way I see it is Blackmagic had two main options for when making a "very small cinema camera":
1) the design they went with, with a big screen on the back
2) a Z Cam E2 / RED / ARRI Mini / boxy design

Which is right, which is wrong? You'll get defenders of both sides, depends on your preferences. 

2) The Pocket 4k/6k in a boxy design would be great I think. As much as I hate the buttons on the BMMCC (micro camera), I really like the form factor of it. Having a new Pocket Camera like this, with better buttons etc. would be a cool thing. In general, cameras being more modular in terms of external display, microphone, battery, recording media etc. would be a great thing.

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39 minutes ago, Mr. Freeze said:

2) The Pocket 4k/6k in a boxy design would be great I think. As much as I hate the buttons on the BMMCC (micro camera), I really like the form factor of it. Having a new Pocket Camera like this, with better buttons etc. would be a cool thing. In general, cameras being more modular in terms of external display, microphone, battery, recording media etc. would be a great thing.

Definitely there are lots of people would like it that way! (I too think I'd lean to preferring that)

But the complaints from people do not like this approach would be huge. Many want to just to be able to pop in a card and a lens on the camera then be able to go with it!

Thus my point, either which way Blackmagic went, they'd be damned for it. 

From a commercial perspective, they probably made the right choice? I bet the OG Pock sold many many many times more cameras than the Micro Cinema Camera sold.

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50 minutes ago, IronFilm said:

Thus my point, either which way Blackmagic went, they'd be damned for it. 

From a commercial perspective, they probably made the right choice? I bet the OG Pock sold many many many times more cameras than the Micro Cinema Camera sold.

1. You´re probably right, neither BMD nor Canon or any other manufacturer can satisfy their audience. May it be because of the form factor, codecs, limitations...

2. I´m okay with the Pocket 4K as it is, but I would´ve liked a box design a lot more. The original Pocket came at a time where others didn´t even think about raw/prores and it was basically 8-bit h264 everywhere. I think the Micro Cinema Camera would´ve sold a lot better without it being promoted as an drone/action camera. If they went with "the micro is the pocket v1.5" and aimed at the same audience, probably a different story. And the original Pocket had the summer sale, that boosted the sales a lot.

Still, I think if the camera is 50% Photo 50% Video, a "normal" camera design is the right way for most of the potential customers.

If the camera is primarily aimed at videography, the design should be pointing in this direction. Mounting options, integrated cage-elements etc.

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13 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

The first thing I did was buy a Vello grip for the GX85, it was a must for holding especially for my big hands. 

I've got the Panasonic original one, but will get a Vello / JJC (they looks the same). The grip in the original one looks like a lot one, but you have to remove it to change the battery or the SD card.

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On design/build quality it's pretty hard to beat Leica. 

Fuji X being the poor mans Leica, I'd have to give them number one spot for style/ergonomics.

I'm a sucker for dials, rangefinder systems & aperture rings. Ironically I don't own one at the moment (my XT2 got stolen) but XT4 is calling my name.

Nikon Z is also a top contender for ergonomics. Super good balance of size, weight, buttons & quality. Too bad the system seems to have no momentum.

Sony's are sleek.. but too many boring variations of the same body type. Menus are horrible. Overlays too. Feels like the GUI was designed by Sony-Ericsson team of 2004. Yes my FS7 remains a workhorses and imo best bang for buck cine cam, but it is clunky as hell to operate. Does get bonus points for shoulder mount conversion.

Panasonic Imaging. Zero charisma. Never been a fan I'm afraid. Fully utilitarian design. No surprise they started out making micro wave ovens and vacuum cleaners. That heritage shows. Just kidding. S1 way too clunky/heavy for a mirrorless. Not fun to use. I do love EVA-1 & the old DVX cams.

Canon. Not getting any design awards either. The whole rounded angle look inherited from DSLRs is getting dated. They do have the best grip though and clearest menu with fast responsiveness. Is that so much to ask for from other companies in 2020? Cinema line on the other hand are a joy to use, clever design all the way down to XC line. Again that grip.

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3 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Definitely there are lots of people would like it that way! (I too think I'd lean to preferring that)

But the complaints from people do not like this approach would be huge. Many want to just to be able to pop in a card and a lens on the camera then be able to go with it!

Thus my point, either which way Blackmagic went, they'd be damned for it. 

From a commercial perspective, they probably made the right choice? I bet the OG Pock sold many many many times more cameras than the Micro Cinema Camera sold.

The issue is they didn't do it right. It wasn't a pocket camera it was ginormous. And that is fine because lets face it you can't really do a small camera that has BRAW yet. The OG Pocket was pretty small but such a small body can't do 4k with the BRAW compression. Plus the OG body overheated.

They should have made it even bigger and put a decent battery in it (something that lasted an hour+) they also should have included a tilt screen. Then you'd have a very usable small camera. However when you need to add an external monitor and battery solution it becomes a pain in the ass. 

A huge benefit for me with larger bodies like the URSA is being able to get good handheld footage. I was shooting on a 50mm lens in 1080p prores and got nice footage. If I tried that with my XT3 it wouldn't be usable at all. It isn't a rolling shutter issue either as in 1080p the rolling shutter is comparable to the URSA. I was almost shocked how much of a difference it made TBH. IBIS or lens OIS is pretty important with smaller bodies unless you are always using a tripod or gimbal.

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11 hours ago, TheBoogieKnight said:

I love the S1 body.

 

Same for me !
Used a lot of dslr by the past (mostly Nikon), then Fuji (X-T1 and X-T2), a Nikon Z6 and now a S1. We read a lot of "the camera that inspires me to shoot" concerning Fuji, and this is exactly the same for my S1. I loved my Fujis, but the S1 suits me like nothing before, handling, buttons, grip... I often shoot in challenging situations (cold, snow, shitty weather...), and the S1 is the perfect tool for that. It is big and heavy, sure, but offers so much that I forgot about it !
I will soon be in the market for a complementary body, smaller and lighter if possible, to share lenses (L-mount and Canon ef) with the S1. My list is now reduced at : Fuji X-T3 and Sigma FP if I find a good deal.

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Panasonic Varicam LT. Most compact, balanced shoulder cam I’ve ever used.

RED DSMC. Started the brain/sensor in a box flexibility.

Blackmagic Pocket (OG). Cinema in your pocket. 

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I wonder if we could some day design and order 3d printed camera's with the design and functionality we want?

Personally I think there are too many menu options. I'm constantly thinking and being stressed about do I have selected the best options for capturing the fleeting scene?

For instance, I find that changing the auto focussing from area to face takes way to many actions. Maybe a leaver with a simple set of AF choices: area, face, manual would do, and an AF-lock in the middle?

Also I'm thinking about night shooting, I would love to have (red) glowing dials, or at least glow in the dark main dials.

I've a big hands, so I love to have a deep grip and pink support, and I would love to be able to use the camera with gloves.

I love mountain hiking, so 600 - 700 grams for the body is nice.

Longer battery life.

Today I'm still using my trusted G85, and what I find interesting is that I'm still changing my customisable settings in order to be ready to capture a moment. I think it is interesting to see there is a change and development curve to how I'm making images.

LOG video, HLG and compressed raw video would be great.
 

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