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Older camera comparisons and thoughts:


LloydPDX

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5 hours ago, LloydPDX said:

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. 

I don't know much about them, but I assume that much of that functionality (peaking, zebras, a huge amounts more) could be added using an external monitor, if not an external recorder.  I know these are expensive, but the features / codecs you'd get from a good monitor/recorder would be hard for almost any camera to match.  It would add size and weight of course, but would also mean investing in something that could benefit you several upgrades down the track.

Electronic stabilisation is almost always better done in post, because in post the software can 'see' into the future, whereas the camera can't do that, plus it can be tweaked from shot to shot.  Also, if you're adding a monitor, and maybe other rigging, your shots will get more stable due to the weight.

People seem to have very strange and often illogical ideas when talking about investing in equipment, but I'd suggest that a camera body is one of the investments that lasts the least amount of time, with people often re-buying their camera body every few years, when things like lenses can last many body upgrades, external recorders last until the next resolution bump,  audio equipment can last until your quality expectations are no longer met, and lighting basically lasts forever.  Oh, and none of that makes basically any return-on-investment compared to educating yourself and making better content.

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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

14 hours ago, kye said:

People seem to have very strange and often illogical ideas when talking about investing in equipment, but I'd suggest that a camera body is one of the investments that lasts the least amount of time, with people often re-buying their camera body every few years, when things like lenses can last many body upgrades, external recorders last until the next resolution bump,  audio equipment can last until your quality expectations are no longer met, and lighting basically lasts forever.  Oh, and none of that makes basically any return-on-investment compared to educating yourself and making better content.

I think you make good points.

The only issue is that buying a camera can "lock you in" to a certain set of compatible lenses. 

And then, once you have bought those lenses, you are kind of married to the system.

Certainly metabones / sigma / viltrolx adapters make it easier to have affairs with other camera brands.

I say this because I am shooting Panasonic L Mount now and about eight times an hour I have an existential crisis over the availability and cost of L Mount glass and wonder if it might not be better to give up being a photographer / videographer and take up painting in watercolors as a profession 😱

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19 hours ago, LloydPDX said:

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.

Well... the two things that stood out to me in your above elaboration are overall size and 10-bit color, which to me are totally legitimate concerns. Apologies if I am placing too much emphasis on those points. Also I know you had mentioned previously that you didn't want to blow a hole in your budget.

So I guess if it were me I would be looking pretty strongly at the X-T3 and the G9 - used / refurbished if possible. Stretching for the GH5 would be tempting since around here they go for about $1,000 used with the V-LOG update. I don't know about adapting Nikon lenses for those cameras though.

Be warned that a camera like the GH5 will have 108 different video parameters that you will want to adjust to your preference. Setting up my Panasonic S1 took a couple of hours, and in the middle of shoots I find myself cursing out loud and wondering why I didn't set parameter X to a custom function button / quick menu / my menu and have to dig in through the main menu to change it.

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49 minutes ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

I say this because I am shooting Panasonic L Mount now and about eight times an hour I have an existential crisis over the availability and cost of L Mount glass and wonder if it might not be better to give up being a photographer / videographer and take up painting in watercolors as a profession 😱

Only 8 times an hour?

I reckon I’m more like 9 or 10 😉

Nah, not really...

Yes, slight concerns in 2 regards and these are:

A: Not had the opportunity to shoot a wedding yet (for obvious reasons) with the system. However, 4 commercial shoots bodes well...but ain’t nothing like a wedding shoot to test your skillz + any kit!

B: I’m still toying with getting an S1H instead of the second S5, but whichever way I look at it, it’s relatively low priced kit (that I have or am looking at other than the S1H) compared with the comparable Sony or Canon kit and if I get ‘only’ 3 seasons out of it, the investment vs the return negates even zero resale value. I’ve done the maths and it’s a lifetime cost of between 4-5% vs turnover.

There has been a lot of talk about Panasonic and Nikon shutting shop but I can’t see it being any time soon.

Unless Panny do not pop out a GH6 and don’t sort their video AF out!

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17 hours ago, kye said:

I don't know much about them, but I assume that much of that functionality (peaking, zebras, a huge amounts more) could be added using an external monitor, if not an external recorder.  I know these are expensive, but the features / codecs you'd get from a good monitor/recorder would be hard for almost any camera to match.  It would add size and weight of course, but would also mean investing in something that could benefit you several upgrades down the track.

Electronic stabilisation is almost always better done in post, because in post the software can 'see' into the future, whereas the camera can't do that, plus it can be tweaked from shot to shot.  Also, if you're adding a monitor, and maybe other rigging, your shots will get more stable due to the weight.

People seem to have very strange and often illogical ideas when talking about investing in equipment, but I'd suggest that a camera body is one of the investments that lasts the least amount of time, with people often re-buying their camera body every few years, when things like lenses can last many body upgrades, external recorders last until the next resolution bump,  audio equipment can last until your quality expectations are no longer met, and lighting basically lasts forever.  Oh, and none of that makes basically any return-on-investment compared to educating yourself and making better content.

Helpful point about stabilizing in post! 
True observations about gear lifetimes, I think. Good mics can last a career, and beyond, as can lenses. My 2008-released Panasonic HPX170, bought used, has great features and taught me lots about video. As problematic as the sensor limitations/ image quality look now, I’m loathe to sell it. But I won’t use it for any client work, so it’s time to move to better image quality with good features, on a used, new-to-me camera. Which I’ll probably squeeze every last pixel out of, too.

Though a Ninja can be very useful, for now compactness and minimal rigging is a priority. And, max quality out of the d850 is still only 8 bit. (Nikon, what???) The increase to 422 can be marginally useful, but seems like a minimal return on investment.

I appreciate your experienced and considered comnents.

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8 minutes ago, LloydPDX said:

True observations about gear lifetimes, I think. Good mics can last a career, and beyond, as can lenses. My 2008-released Panasonic HPX170, bought used, has great features and taught me lots about video. As problematic as the sensor limitations/ image quality look now, I’m loathe to sell it. But I won’t use it for any client work, so it’s time to move to better image quality with good features, on a used, new-to-me camera. Which I’ll probably squeeze every last pixel out of, too.

I agree with what you are saying, but if you are going to be doing client work, then there comes a point where you need to look at the gear and say, "Can I either 1) make more money, or 2) spend more time with my loved ones" with this new gear.

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13 hours ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

I think you make good points.

The only issue is that buying a camera can "lock you in" to a certain set of compatible lenses. 

And then, once you have bought those lenses, you are kind of married to the system.

Certainly metabones / sigma / viltrolx adapters make it easier to have affairs with other camera brands.

I say this because I am shooting Panasonic L Mount now and about eight times an hour I have an existential crisis over the availability and cost of L Mount glass and wonder if it might not be better to give up being a photographer / videographer and take up painting in watercolors as a profession 😱

I agree about lock-in, but look at how many thousand/million posts there are online that basically distill down to "hi, two years ago I spent $3000 on a camera body that has 5-bajillion pixels, and now I can't sleep at night until the brand I worship with my all my heart and will fight to the death online to defend releases a camera with 5.2-bajillion pixels that I can spend 150% of what I spent on my current camera body on a new camera body that will give me a 2.4% improvement over the performance of the one I already own".

and if you want to talk about existential crisis', then don't get me started about vintage lenses....  

9 hours ago, LloydPDX said:

Helpful point about stabilizing in post! 
True observations about gear lifetimes, I think. Good mics can last a career, and beyond, as can lenses. My 2008-released Panasonic HPX170, bought used, has great features and taught me lots about video. As problematic as the sensor limitations/ image quality look now, I’m loathe to sell it. But I won’t use it for any client work, so it’s time to move to better image quality with good features, on a used, new-to-me camera. Which I’ll probably squeeze every last pixel out of, too.

Though a Ninja can be very useful, for now compactness and minimal rigging is a priority. And, max quality out of the d850 is still only 8 bit. (Nikon, what???) The increase to 422 can be marginally useful, but seems like a minimal return on investment.

I appreciate your experienced and considered comnents.

8-bit vs 10-bit is an interesting topic.  I'm a big fan of 10-bit and I bought my GH5 over other options specifically because it had 10-bit.

However.....  a large (very large) percentage of the time, that difference doesn't matter.

You can shoot in one of two ways.  
The first is to shoot LOG, which is best done by shooting fully manually, using technical methods to expose correctly (eg, grey cards, or even light meters), using a view LUT probably on an external monitor, and then spending significant time in post to colour grade the image to get the absolute most out of it.
The second is to shoot in a 709-style colour space, where you can expose using in-camera tools like waveforms or zebras, and then the time spent in post is minimal, and you're just tweaking the existing colour science that the camera has already given you and you were seeing on-set.

The first method will give you the greatest DR and best results, if you know what you're doing. However, the second method can basically be paraphrased as "Nikon has optimised the exposure tools in your camera to work optimally with the colour science that the Nikon colour scientists spent decades developing and optimising".  
So, the first one will only give you better results if you want something very different to what the Nikon colour scientists predicted you would want, or if you are a better colourist than the Nikon colour scientists.

I swallowed the hype online about shooting with LOG and using LUTs and colour grading in post, and I spent years shooting and creating images that weren't as good as the default colour profile in the cameras I had.  I now shoot in 10-bit, but I use a 709-style picture profile to give me a great starting point, and I adjust from there.

Almost all the arguments online about shooting 10-bit are really about shooting LOG, and more than half of the discussion about shooting LOG is coming from hipster YouTubers who just want to sell you their LUT pack.  

Obviously you're free to do as you choose, and there's more to a new camera than just 8-bit vs 10-bit, but I would highly encourage you to dig a bit deeper into each aspect of the camera, each specification, and to really challenge the idea that you need it or that it will even help you.

Shooting LOG requires colour grading in post that takes considerable time and effort.  Most professional videographers I've seen who talk about productivity and efficiency and keeping their clients happy and *gasp* running a profitable business, rather than endlessly talking online about specifications, use an 8-bit codec and a customised 709-style colour profile, and either don't colour grade at all, or apply a preset look they've developed that just tweaks the image a bit.  Their focus is on getting final videos done and out the door, rather than shooting LOG and arguing about DR on camera forums.

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1 hour ago, kye said:

I now shoot in 10-bit, but I use a 709-style picture profile to give me a great starting point, and I adjust from there.

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 equivalent of shooting Jpeg vs Raw, but for me and my needs, I’m comfortable with it and all about getting kit and process (ing time) out of the way as much as possible.

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Unfortunately for someone like me who shoots real estate, I have found 10-bit LOG to be really useful 🙂

When you are trying to capture a dark bedroom with a beautiful, sunny view of the Pacific Ocean, that extra dynamic range comes in handy.

And the color casts from mixed lighting are a lot easier to deal with in 10-bit footage. I mean, people are paying stagers $8,000 to $12,000 to have furniture brought in for the photos and videos, and the stagers are putting in bulbs of different color temperatures in the same small room 😞 

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12 hours ago, kye said:

I agree about lock-in, but look at how many thousand/million posts there are online that basically distill down to "hi, two years ago I spent $3000 on a camera body that has 5-bajillion pixels, and now I can't sleep at night until the brand I worship with my all my heart and will fight to the death online to defend releases a camera with 5.2-bajillion pixels that I can spend 150% of what I spent on my current camera body on a new camera body that will give me a 2.4% improvement over the performance of the one I already own".

and if you want to talk about existential crisis', then don't get me started about vintage lenses....  

8-bit vs 10-bit is an interesting topic.  I'm a big fan of 10-bit and I bought my GH5 over other options specifically because it had 10-bit.

However.....  a large (very large) percentage of the time, that difference doesn't matter.

You can shoot in one of two ways.  
The first is to shoot LOG, which is best done by shooting fully manually, using technical methods to expose correctly (eg, grey cards, or even light meters), using a view LUT probably on an external monitor, and then spending significant time in post to colour grade the image to get the absolute most out of it.
The second is to shoot in a 709-style colour space, where you can expose using in-camera tools like waveforms or zebras, and then the time spent in post is minimal, and you're just tweaking the existing colour science that the camera has already given you and you were seeing on-set.

The first method will give you the greatest DR and best results, if you know what you're doing. However, the second method can basically be paraphrased as "Nikon has optimised the exposure tools in your camera to work optimally with the colour science that the Nikon colour scientists spent decades developing and optimising".  
So, the first one will only give you better results if you want something very different to what the Nikon colour scientists predicted you would want, or if you are a better colourist than the Nikon colour scientists.

I swallowed the hype online about shooting with LOG and using LUTs and colour grading in post, and I spent years shooting and creating images that weren't as good as the default colour profile in the cameras I had.  I now shoot in 10-bit, but I use a 709-style picture profile to give me a great starting point, and I adjust from there.

Almost all the arguments online about shooting 10-bit are really about shooting LOG, and more than half of the discussion about shooting LOG is coming from hipster YouTubers who just want to sell you their LUT pack.  

Obviously you're free to do as you choose, and there's more to a new camera than just 8-bit vs 10-bit, but I would highly encourage you to dig a bit deeper into each aspect of the camera, each specification, and to really challenge the idea that you need it or that it will even help you.

Shooting LOG requires colour grading in post that takes considerable time and effort.  Most professional videographers I've seen who talk about productivity and efficiency and keeping their clients happy and *gasp* running a profitable business, rather than endlessly talking online about specifications, use an 8-bit codec and a customised 709-style colour profile, and either don't colour grade at all, or apply a preset look they've developed that just tweaks the image a bit.  Their focus is on getting final videos done and out the door, rather than shooting LOG and arguing about DR on camera forums.

This response reflects where I'm at right now... asking myself if for now, i really need 10 bit, how much can i do with 8bit and existing profiles (and I have Andrew’s z-log profiles to experiment with further.) Chromakeying is still a question, but some focused trials will shed more light on workability. I can also rent a Ninja recorder to get me to 422  in that specific case.

Your observation about Nikon’s history of r&d was helpful reframing!

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1 hour ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

Unfortunately for someone like me who shoots real estate, I have found 10-bit LOG to be really useful 🙂

When you are trying to capture a dark bedroom with a beautiful, sunny view of the Pacific Ocean, that extra dynamic range comes in handy.

And the color casts from mixed lighting are a lot easier to deal with in 10-bit footage. I mean, people are paying stagers $8,000 to $12,000 to have furniture brought in for the photos and videos, and the stagers are putting in bulbs of different color temperatures in the same small room 😞 

Your HDR use-case is helpful in reminding me that for now I’m not in this situation! In my location, I can rent if needed, until I understand better what works for me most of the time. And mixed bulbs, especially now with LEDs, can be all over the color map! 

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1 hour ago, newfoundmass said:

I agree that maybe the Ninja V might be an ideal solution instead of buying a new old camera, but if you're set on buying something perhaps the GH5/s with a focal reducer/adapter to use your Nikon glass might be the way to go? 

Yes, this, today, would be the most likely direction. But I’m going to push myself a bit more with the D850 in real life for now. Used Gh5s’ and other choices will be around for awhile, after I have more informative successes and failures.

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1 hour ago, LloydPDX said:

Your HDR use-case is helpful in reminding me that for now I’m not in this situation! In my location, I can rent if needed, until I understand better what works for me most of the time. And mixed bulbs, especially now with LEDs, can be all over the color map! 

Are you in Oregon?!

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12 hours ago, LloydPDX said:

This response reflects where I'm at right now... asking myself if for now, i really need 10 bit, how much can i do with 8bit and existing profiles (and I have Andrew’s z-log profiles to experiment with further.) Chromakeying is still a question, but some focused trials will shed more light on workability. I can also rent a Ninja recorder to get me to 422  in that specific case.

Your observation about Nikon’s history of r&d was helpful reframing!

🙂

12 hours ago, LloydPDX said:

This has been a really helpful thread with thoughtful responses. Thank you. For now, I’ll be pushing myself with the D850 for a better real-world understanding of its capabilities. And maybe borrowing/renting another cam to feel the difference in similar situations, and in the edit.

Good plan.  I find that by using what you have and then seeing what doesn't work for you in real-world shooting, doing the projects that you do, in the way that you do them, with your own particular expectations and tastes, then you'll end up spending the money on what actually matters to you.

There's lots of times when something is needed by someone else, but that doesn't mean you should upgrade.  There's also lots of people recommending extra features "just in case" which can create a kind of spec inflation that's not based on reality, especially when people read the just-in-case recommendations and then pass them on to others with their own just-in-case inflation added on.

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23 hours ago, MrSMW said:

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 equivalent of shooting Jpeg vs Raw, but for me and my needs, I’m comfortable with it and all about getting kit and process (ing time) out of the way as much as possible.

I capture Raw almost exclusively for all my still work, but I have to remember that good event photographers (and others) might have their sRGB jpgs dialed in so well that their workflow is simplified. And it looks good! Maybe time for an old dog to learn new tricks.

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15 hours ago, LloydPDX said:

yes, and you?

Dang, that would make at least for of us on this board. I'm kinda shocked. It's a pretty small place, taken from a global perspective.

You can probably find/rent a Ninja V pretty easy up in PDX. I've got two down here in Eugene. If you were close enough to make it worth while, I'd let you play with one for a few hours to see if it is something you'd be interested in using and/or rent you one when you needed it. I use them with Fuji X-Ts and definitely appreciate all the pro features they add to the camera, plus the much bigger screen to monitor and capturing in ProRes.

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