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Older camera comparisons and thoughts:


LloydPDX

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At the risk of getting laughed off of the forum, I’m going to ask a “What would you do?” question.

I'm wanting to add a video-centric camera to my established still images practice. The D850 is a fantastic camera for me for stills, but of course the video features are lackluster. My likely projects will be Low key personal and easy-going small client interview or educational projects. Maybe some well lit green screen. No narrative film work. Events possible but not likely. Budget is important here; hence I’m considering (used) a GH5 or 5S, or a C100ii. I like the GH5 4k, codecs and features but less keen on M43 format, af issues and DSLR ergonomics. I love the C100 form factor, features, s35 sensor and af. Picture generally looks very good but codec is thin in camera, and of course capture is 2k. Everyone’s needs differ of course, but how do some of you think about this choice in 2021? What am I overlooking?

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Personally don’t mind staying a bit behind the curve. I picked up a Fuji XT3 with the f2.8-4 kit last year and still love shooting with it. Fuji updated the AF to give us eye af tracking in video. The

The D850 is a decent enough camera for filming with (especially for your purposes from the sounds of it, a D850 might even be called "overkill"), it is a camera many of us would have killed for only a

Ditto except; Classic Chrome profile on the XH1, then Eterna profile on the XT3 and now Natural profile on the S5. Has there ever been a time I wish I’d shot log? Nope. OK, it’s the video eq

I've returned to older cameras. I don't need 4k for personal projects and don't really think it looks better, either.

I've always liked the image from both the C100 and GH5. I think V Log has +4 stops of highlight detail above 18% gray and Canon Log has 5.3 but then the shadows get a bit muddy and you have to watch your 100+ IRE super whites and recover them in post. With an external recorder, the C100's image I think is really great. But it does fall apart bit with macro blocking on leaves and flat surfaces, so I wouldn't use it for green screening necessarily. The Mk II might be better.

But after going through a bunch of newer cameras I also found the older stuff familiar and lighter in post, which I appreciate. 

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1 hour ago, LloydPDX said:

The D850 is a fantastic camera for me for stills, but of course the video features are lackluster.

The D850 is a decent enough camera for filming with (especially for your purposes from the sounds of it, a D850 might even be called "overkill"), it is a camera many of us would have killed for only a handful of years ago. 

Rather than buying a secondhand Panasonic GH5, put that money into buying a Sound Devices MixPre3 & SmallHD Focus. 

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Personally don’t mind staying a bit behind the curve. I picked up a Fuji XT3 with the f2.8-4 kit last year and still love shooting with it. Fuji updated the AF to give us eye af tracking in video. The colors are worlds better than I was personally able to get when I had the Sony a6500. Hoping to pick up a cheap viltrox af lens soon for it as well. All this to say, no shame in going behind the latest!

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Fuji XT3 is awesome for around $800 used. The 10 bit H265 codec sucks if you don't have the right computer. Though you can record in 2k or HD to ease that. Of course there is the option for H264 8 bit. 

The GH5 is great especially with a speed booster. Can't beat its HD and of course the 4k is great. 

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18 minutes ago, TomTheDP said:

Fuji XT3 is awesome for around $800 used. The 10 bit H265 codec sucks if you don't have the right computer. Though you can record in 2k or HD to ease that. Of course there is the option for H264 8 bit. 

The GH5 is great especially with a speed booster. Can't beat its HD and of course the 4k is great. 

I did buy mine new for $1k through BH but just wanted peace of mind. Kind of eyeing upgrading the body to an XT4 to get ibis but I mainly just shoot around for fun these days. My 16” MBP handles the h.265 footage pretty well in resolve. I have to admit, I love shooting 120fps and letting the camera slow it down, I know it’s not the best quality but so fun to instantly see my footage in slowmo.

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2 hours ago, IronFilm said:

The D850 is a decent enough camera for filming with (especially for your purposes from the sounds of it, a D850 might even be called "overkill"), it is a camera many of us would have killed for only a handful of years ago. 

Rather than buying a secondhand Panasonic GH5, put that money into buying a Sound Devices MixPre3 & SmallHD Focus. 

Thanks for the suggestions, and I do already enjoy a Mixpre-6. Trying to keep it simple and avoid external monitors/recorders if possible. The 2k image is not nearly as good as the 4k, but in 4k you lose peaking, stabilization and zebras. And in 2k, you can only have one at a time. No WFM or scopes either.

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1 hour ago, TomTheDP said:

Fuji XT3 is awesome for around $800 used. The 10 bit H265 codec sucks if you don't have the right computer. Though you can record in 2k or HD to ease that. Of course there is the option for H264 8 bit. 

The GH5 is great especially with a speed booster. Can't beat its HD and of course the 4k is great. 

Fuji has always been off my radar for no particular reason, will take a look at it.

Good reminder about the speedbooster for M43.

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Another vote for the XT3.

As long as you don’t need IBIS (or if you do use an OIS lens), it’s a whole lot of kit for very little money.

Last year for me it came down to moving from XT3’s to either XT4’s or S5’s.

I traded the arguably better AF if the Fuji system for the ‘better’ everywhere else Panasonic one.

It was close...very close and could easily go back to Fuji as they are the only other company that really has my spec and in my budget.

I choose to work in 4K and anything more doesn’t interest me. Certainly not 8k and 1080 is good enough for most projects really.

I started filming weddings alongside my stills work on a Nikon D7000 so your D850 is better still.

My conclusion is that unless you absolutely need another system, I would stay with Nikon for lens sharing etc.

Either what you have or maybe Z50 with adapter?

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Please watch this video from the D850 and then explain, in great detail, how this image isn't sufficient for your needs....

 

Here's the blog post outlining a bit about how it was shot (handheld with a 50mm lens): https://news.coreyrich.com/2017/08/latest-work-home-shot-d850/

Spend the money on yourself, lighting, audio, or lenses, but why upgrade?

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On 2/25/2021 at 3:03 AM, LloydPDX said:

less keen on M43 format, af issues and DSLR ergonomics.

Still, for the sake of expanded options to consider, I would advise Panasonic G80. For comparably low price you get 4k with Cinelike D and V options along with decent IBIS. For your intended usage the AF issues could be easily mitigated with back button focusing and/or manual focus. 

9 hours ago, kye said:

Please watch this video from the D850 and then explain, in great detail, how this image isn't sufficient for your needs....

On the other hand, this video sample from D850 looks really nice indeed. Thus the dilemma might be if there is a real need to search for separate video centric camera.

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If you can live with M43, then add the Panasonic G9 to the list - 10 bit video support and excellent IBIS, with 1080p and 4k video quality comparable to the GH5 (albeit without All-I codecs and limited to 30 minutes - 10 min for 4k60 - record time). It's a bargain for what you get...around £700 used, £900 new in the UK at the moment.

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2 hours ago, The Fragment said:

On the other hand, this video sample from D850 looks really nice indeed. Thus the dilemma might be if there is a real need to search for separate video centric camera.

Absolutely.  While the D850 may not be the best video-centric camera, but it's a very high-end stills camera and the video modes get the benefits of the sensor, the colour science, the full set of Nikon lenses (which you will already own at least some) and the overall benefit of Nikon, one of the largest camera companies in the world, such as their support networks etc.

Not to mention it's free because you already own it.

Free is pretty hard to beat, when that means the entire budget can go to things other than the camera body.

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My opinion is that if you are actually going to do this professionally (even as a side hustle to your stills business) you are going to need TWO video cameras. sure, you can do the things you mentioned with one camera, but having two cameras could make things easier or faster, and at the very least can save your backside when the client knocks over your tripod and breaks your camera and lens (been there, done that, got the insurance check). 

Did you budget for lighting yet?

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5 hours ago, kye said:

Absolutely.  While the D850 may not be the best video-centric camera, but it's a very high-end stills camera and the video modes get the benefits of the sensor, the colour science, the full set of Nikon lenses (which you will already own at least some) and the overall benefit of Nikon, one of the largest camera companies in the world, such as their support networks etc.

Not to mention it's free because you already own it.

Free is pretty hard to beat, when that means the entire budget can go to things other than the camera body.

Great to see the Corey Rich video; I hadn’t seen it before. Thanks for that.

The image quality @4k can be astounding, and I of course have a few lenses for it. I take advantage of dx crop mode as well. However, 4k mode doesn’t support peaking, zebras or stabilization at all, and 2k mode supports only peaking or zebras but not both at the same time. The eStabilization often looks weird, and I wouldn’t depend on it. 2k IQ is degraded compared to 4k. Internal recording is limited to 8b/420, which can be problematic in some situations. There is no WFM or scope, which I’d prefer. 

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3 hours ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

My opinion is that if you are actually going to do this professionally (even as a side hustle to your stills business) you are going to need TWO video cameras. sure, you can do the things you mentioned with one camera, but having two cameras could make things easier or faster, and at the very least can save your backside when the client knocks over your tripod and breaks your camera and lens (been there, done that, got the insurance check). 

Did you budget for lighting yet?

My thinking is to add one of the cameras I’m considering as a primary, with my 850 and LX100 as potential b-cams or backups for now, or renting a second cam as needed. This would evolve with time.
I’ve picked up some bargain second hand kino-type lights (Lowel) and have a couple LED ac/dc monolights with modifiers.

Audio of course is significant too. I got into sound-for-picture before video though, and I have some good kit already.

 

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11 minutes ago, LloydPDX said:

My thinking is to add one of the cameras I’m considering as a primary, with my 850 and LX100 as potential b-cams or backups for now, or renting a second cam as needed. This would evolve with time.
I’ve picked up some bargain second hand kino-type lights (Lowel) and have a couple LED ac/dc monolights with modifiers.

Audio of course is significant too. I got into sound-for-picture before video though, and I have some good kit already.

 

Good to see that you thinking of the big picture.

If you can live with 1080p, and since you already shoot with Nikon and have Nikon lenses, the D750 is a good B camera... if you want to stick with Nikon to swap lenses easily. No, it isn't a video-focused camera.

I don't know if Nikon has any more video focused DSLR camera.

I had been shooting on some sony APS-C cameras (a6500 for 4K and a6000 for 1080p). Very detailed image for the 4K on the a6500, but it just isn't a user-friendly experience. And since you mentioned a C100 in your first post, I guess an a6500 would be going in the OPPOSITE direction of where you want to go 😞

The only other thing I can really add that might be helpful is that (personally) I am really thankful for the 10-bit color on my Panasonic S1 because i shoot in situations where it is all ambient lighting and I have to work with mixed lighting. So I am able to do more color correction with that 10-bit footage than I was ever able to do with the 8-bit footage coming out of my Sony cameras.

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On 2/24/2021 at 8:51 PM, LloydPDX said:

Thanks for the suggestions, and I do already enjoy a Mixpre-6. Trying to keep it simple and avoid external monitors/recorders if possible. The 2k image is not nearly as good as the 4k, but in 4k you lose peaking, stabilization and zebras. And in 2k, you can only have one at a time. No WFM or scopes either.

Edit: In 4k you lose peaking and stabilization, but zebras are still available.

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28 minutes ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

Good to see that you thinking of the big picture.

If you can live with 1080p, and since you already shoot with Nikon and have Nikon lenses, the D750 is a good B camera... if you want to stick with Nikon to swap lenses easily. No, it isn't a video-focused camera.

I don't know if Nikon has any more video focused DSLR camera.

I had been shooting on some sony APS-C cameras (a6500 for 4K and a6000 for 1080p). Very detailed image for the 4K on the a6500, but it just isn't a user-friendly experience. And since you mentioned a C100 in your first post, I guess an a6500 would be going in the OPPOSITE direction of where you want to go 😞

The only other thing I can really add that might be helpful is that (personally) I am really thankful for the 10-bit color on my Panasonic S1 because i shoot in situations where it is all ambient lighting and I have to work with mixed lighting. So I am able to do more color correction with that 10-bit footage than I was ever able to do with the 8-bit footage coming out of my Sony cameras.

Thanks. Yeah, the 10 bit 422 of the GH5/S cameras is a big plus. Moreso than trying to keep it in the Nikon family. Even the Z series is lacking in the in-camera codec. And for now I do want to keep it in camera. I haven’t looked at the s1, primarily because it’s another FF camera, and max sensor size isn’t my preference right now. I’ll take advantage of my 850 as best I can, of course, because I already have it, but overall size with lenses is a factor...for what I’m currently doing. And to be clear, I bought the 850 specifically for its  still resolution while also knowing that Nikon isn’t known for leading in the video department ... because that feature wasn’t significant to me at the time.

 

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No one here will laugh at you for that question. I recommend adding an external recorder to your D850 like the Ninja V. It'll give you the additional monitoring capabilities of a cinema camera. The D850 is a fantastic camera and very capable! I'd love one. The color science is fantastic and it matches 95% of the capabilities of other cameras. I have the a7s iii, but I have been shooting on 1080P at 30fps. That what people have paid me to shoot at. I shoot 4k 24 for family stuff. However, I don't see a need to shoot 4k 60P in the near future. Very rarely will anyone with money ask me to shoot at the frame rate. Maybe for fun or on a special project, but I highly doubt it. You have all of the necessary frame rates and slow motion. I find myself delivering in 1080P for paying client. I have only shot 4k twice in the past couple of years for freelancing (which isn't much), but most folk don't seem to want to be there yet.

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