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Z6 - full frame budget hybrid king?


lebigmac
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Hi,

the price for a Z6 in virtually virgin condition hovers around € 900/1000 in the moment (if seen it for 1250 with the kit zoom), which might make it the best full frame hybrid option on the planet, in terms of quality/price ratio.
What do you think? While the stills quality and the ergonomics are certainly not disputable, what about the video experience? Is the internal 8bit with the flat profile usable? Does it hold up against, let's say the A7iii + it's log? How bad is the user interface on the video side? There have been quite a few reviews reporting an overly populated lcd screen and the inability to display key meters like focus peaking and zebras at the same time.
What are your experiences, especially when working in and non controlled environment w/o a tripod and with natural light? Would you recommend buying the z6 for that price (and a50/50 video/stills environment)? 
Thanks

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The flat picture profile of the D750 was always very nice (although only 1080p and it didn't have any focus peaking or zebras). I would imagine the flat picture profile of the Z1 would be equally nice.

And the D750 was a great stills camera, so no doubt the Z1 is a great stills camera, too.

As for the 8-bit SLOG on the a7 III, some people think it is pretty good (or at least usable), some people hate it. 

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4 minutes ago, zerocool22 said:

I think the panasonic s5 is the best price/quality hybrid atm.

Me also, followed by the XT4 at a slightly lower price point and then I’d go XT3 over Z6 unless IBIS is a must, but for everything else, the Fuji.

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16 minutes ago, MrSMW said:

10 bit internal, 4K 60p in the case of the XT3.

Extra battery life, bit of extra grip/heft and IBIS with the XT4.

Great picture, video and stills.

All true. But I still think, full frame makes a difference. I walked with an A7 mark I, - limited to stills obviously - man, but I loved the idea of that camera, tremendous IQ with old analogue lenses, incredibly small and lightweight and easy to handle. Felt like a toy in the hand but with grown up results. Apparently, the Z6 comes quite a bit in that spirit - much more than the A7iii.  But if you're after APSC, Fuji is certainly the way, esp. the S10 looks compelling.

Regarding the S5, haven't seen it under 1700 used and if you're not flocked to 10bit internal, it's the question wether it's worth it to spend 700/800 more.
 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Maybe, the Z6 is not everyones priority here, but I'll leave my evolving observations here to whom it may concern:

- Surprisingly bulky and quite heavy, the weight is distributed towards the left side, which makes it outspokenly unbalanced and difficult to hold it with one hand over an extended period of time. Moreso with manual lenses & adapter.
- The hand grip is not not thought out designed. It's not 'high' enough for a normal sized hand. That is why you'll find a lot of used models where the coating is damaged next to the grip. It's because you find yourself clawing your fingernails into it.

Grip and weight distribution is MUCH better on the A7 or the NX1.

- Focus peaking works very well, esp. in the great EVF. However, there is no way to toggle it on and off with the press of a button. You are entitled to assign the focus peaking menu to a function button, but you'll have got through this menu every time then, which results in about four clicks to put it on or off. This is quite annoying.
- You can't use zebras while focus peaking is on.
- The on screen spirit level is placed in the center on the screen, with a huge fat black ring around it. You literally don't see anything else of the picture, when it's on.

There is a dedicated video mode on that camera, however:
- Exposure lock only works in stills mode, but not in video mode! There is - however - another way to lock exposure, which also works in video mode, by pressing and holding the jog dial (or a function) button. This might be convenient for stills, but not while filming
- The only way to set the shutter speed in video mode is "M", in all others, the camera choses 'something' that can't be altered.
- There is 24p but no 1/48

 

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On 12/16/2020 at 7:23 PM, lebigmac said:

All true. But I still think, full frame makes a difference.

Not in cinematography. Photographers are conditioned (especially the older ones) to think that FF=better because of stupid bokeh photography but in cinematography colour science will always be king. Along with framing and staging your pieces of course...

 

Regards

 

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39 minutes ago, josdr said:

Not in cinematography. Photographers are conditioned (especially the older ones) to think that FF=better because of stupid bokeh photography but in cinematography colour science will always be king. Along with framing and staging your pieces of course...

 

Regards

 

I‘am sorry, that was a too simple statement. It is certainly judged from a hybrid perspective.And  Iit is matter of taste, not a matter of facts, these days, where esp. Fuji is set to outperform the market in terms of quality and flexibility. 

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On 12/16/2020 at 12:23 PM, lebigmac said:

All true. But I still think, full frame makes a difference. I walked with an A7 mark I, - limited to stills obviously - man, but I loved the idea of that camera, tremendous IQ with old analogue lenses, incredibly small and lightweight and easy to handle. Felt like a toy in the hand but with grown up results. Apparently, the Z6 comes quite a bit in that spirit - much more than the A7iii.  But if you're after APSC, Fuji is certainly the way, esp. the S10 looks compelling.

Regarding the S5, haven't seen it under 1700 used and if you're not flocked to 10bit internal, it's the question wether it's worth it to spend 700/800 more.
 

I see the S1 regularly for $1500. It’s obviously a more dedicated video camera but you get way more lens choices and of course phase detect AF with the Nikon. I don’t think the video IQ on the S1 can be understated. Throw a decent LUT on (emotive color) and you just get a really stunning image. I wish Nikon would give an internal 10 bit recording option. 

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8 hours ago, josdr said:

Not in cinematography. Photographers are conditioned (especially the older ones) to think that FF=better because of stupid bokeh photography but in cinematography colour science will always be king. Along with framing and staging your pieces of course...

 

Well... yes and no. One of the two main reasons I moved from my aps-c Sony a6500 to the full frame Panasonic S1 is because of dynamic range, which is better on the S1 than the a6500 (the other reason was 10-bit color of the S1 compared to 8-bit color of the a6500, which kept me from buying an a7 III with 8-bit color).

I really don't care too much about the shallow dof, although I find the dof and rendering of the Panasonic 24-105 f/4 very nice. Guess I could get the same DOF on an aps-c sensor at f/2.8 too. 

Of course, two things: 1) Cinematographers may or may not have lighting to negate the need for higher DR, and 2) the dual gain output of the Canon aps-c sensor in the C70 looks pretty amazing. If they put that in to an R body (R7 anyone???) I would be all over it.

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Cinematography has never or will continue to rely on fullframe.  Fullframe helps with noise, and depth of field in tight spaces with wider lenses, but S35 still delivers great IQ when used well. 

I appreciate hybrid users will favour fullframe, its where many of the camera choices are based and popular for Photography, but if you're dedicated to video, S35 is still the preferred format option in camera choice.

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11 hours ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

Well... yes and no. One of the two main reasons I moved from my aps-c Sony a6500 to the full frame Panasonic S1 is because of dynamic range, which is better on the S1 than the a6500 (the other reason was 10-bit color of the S1 compared to 8-bit color of the a6500, which kept me from buying an a7 III with 8-bit color).

I really don't care too much about the shallow dof, although I find the dof and rendering of the Panasonic 24-105 f/4 very nice. Guess I could get the same DOF on an aps-c sensor at f/2.8 too. 

Of course, two things: 1) Cinematographers may or may not have lighting to negate the need for higher DR, and 2) the dual gain output of the Canon aps-c sensor in the C70 looks pretty amazing. If they put that in to an R body (R7 anyone???) I would be all over it.

You have hit upon the crux of the matter, lighting. We would all like a magic sensor (me included) that would lift shadows for 6 stops and lower highlights for 8 stops but really if you are in that situation, you should either light your main point of focus (not the whole scene if you do not have the means to do it) or you are possibly going for artistic, high contrast effect .  Don't get me wrong I have had similar thoughts but at the end of the day I think that the FF argument is a bit animal-farmish (FF good, aps bad). Masterpieces have been filmed with way lesser sensors than we have. It is in the nature of the age to rush through things I suppose. Sony has the best sensors for low light ( I have had them in my Fuji's for years now) and I bet that my X-t3 at 3200 iso  is cleaner or as clean  than the C70 with its ridiculous price tag. Day By day I am getting disillusioned by the frankestein rigs surrounding a DSLR in order to shoot. the c70 is the right idea at a very wrong price 🙂

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11 hours ago, josdr said:

You have hit upon the crux of the matter, lighting. We would all like a magic sensor (me included) that would lift shadows for 6 stops and lower highlights for 8 stops but really if you are in that situation, you should either light your main point of focus (not the whole scene if you do not have the means to do it) or you are possibly going for artistic, high contrast effect .  Don't get me wrong I have had similar thoughts but at the end of the day I think that the FF argument is a bit animal-farmish (FF good, aps bad). Masterpieces have been filmed with way lesser sensors than we have. It is in the nature of the age to rush through things I suppose. Sony has the best sensors for low light ( I have had them in my Fuji's for years now) and I bet that my X-t3 at 3200 iso  is cleaner or as clean  than the C70 with its ridiculous price tag. Day By day I am getting disillusioned by the frankestein rigs surrounding a DSLR in order to shoot. the c70 is the right idea at a very wrong price 🙂

Sure, I agree with your points. For me, personally, I use my FF camera for real estate videos where there (quite literally) isn't a budget for lighting (agents are only willing to pay about $300 or so for the videos and you often only get an hour of time on site, so not really feasible to try and light).

I think that the a7S III would be a great event / travel hybrid camera (if they can get away with the 12mp stills). The S5 has the POTENTIAL to be really strong in that area (if we ever figure out the secret sauce to getting the AF settings optimized or if a new firmware helps to upgrade the AF system significantly).

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12 minutes ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

Sure, I agree with your points. For me, personally, I use my FF camera for real estate videos where there (quite literally) isn't a budget for lighting (agents are only willing to pay about $300 or so for the videos and you often only get an hour of time on site, so not really feasible to try and light).

I think that the a7S III would be a great event / travel hybrid camera (if they can get away with the 12mp stills). The S5 has the POTENTIAL to be really strong in that area (if we ever figure out the secret sauce to getting the AF settings optimized or if a new firmware helps to upgrade the AF system significantly).

your best bet is definitely the A7Siii. I would not hold by breath in improving Panasonic's AF. It is not easy and it is not cheap. Even Canon cannot quite catch up to Sony, no matter what the payed shills write and say. Estate agents are idiots. Lighting sets the mood and sells. 

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3 hours ago, josdr said:

your best bet is definitely the A7Siii

The a7S mk3 just seems stupidly overpriced!
You could buy a secondhand URSA Mini 4.6K, or Canon C200, or Sony FS7, or even a Sony PMW-F5 for the same price (OR LESS!!) 
You may even have enough money left over to pick up a secondhand Nikon D750 / D500 / Sony a7R / etc as a terrific stills camera!
Or if you must go with just a single hybrid camera, the previous a7Smk2 is now a steal on ebay for around US$1K or less. 

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Grab a used Lumix S1 with VLog update for 1500 squids. Best image to price ratio by a large margin that it should be forbidden. Plus exellent 24Mpix images and some extra highres 80MPix mode for tripodshots. @IronFilm Wouldnt you want to inspire to spent a bit more money, since you pleased yourself with an unplanned purchase just recently. We still wait for the big reveal. 🙂 A7s2 is a total super stinker compared to a S1. I did some event filming with it this summer in rec709 400-800 iso, codec fell arpart like a card house in the wind of an elephants fart. That camera is a stinker unless you need night vision with fugly artefacts.

For S35 lovers- you can shoot with the S1 in quasi S35- APSC mode, just like a XT3 but with superiour noise appearance and mucht better processing. Beautiful IBIS. Colour...

 

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5 hours ago, PannySVHS said:

Grab a used Lumix S1 with VLog update for 1500 squids. Best image to price ratio by a large margin that it should be forbidden. Plus exellent 24Mpix images and some extra highres 80MPix mode for tripodshots.

Indeed! That would be another great option. Just tonnes of other great choices out there other than the a7Smk3

5 hours ago, PannySVHS said:

@IronFilm Wouldnt you want to inspire to spent a bit more money

I just tend to be an advocate for "maximum bang for buck" / "best ROI", and at US$3.5K it doesn't seem like the a7Smk3 is that. 

5 hours ago, PannySVHS said:

A7s2 is a total super stinker compared to a S1. I did some event filming with it this summer in rec709 400-800 iso, codec fell arpart like a card house in the wind of an elephants fart. That camera is a stinker unless you need night vision with fugly artefacts.

True, but if someone is looking for a compact low light monster for sub $1K then it isn't too shabby. (especially if someone has a strong bias towards Sony)
Their prices have fallen surprisingly low thanks to the a7Smk3 (lower than I expected! As the a7Smk3 was priced so high, I didn't think it would have so much influence on secondhand a7Smk2 prices?).
On eBay today I got offered an a7Smk2 for US$800 (came with a Metabones too, so essentially it was US$700 for an a7Smk2? If you could sell the metabones for even just a hundred bucks)

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