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Best affordable camera as of 2021?


empedocles
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Hi,

I'm getting back into the world of DSLRs after a few years doing something else, and still have an old G6 from Panasonic, which I thought I might use as a B cam. Having been out of the loop for the last 5 years at least, it's daunting to sort through all the cameras that have come out since, so I thought I'd ask for your advice.

I'm looking for something versatile and reliable. Is the GH5S still among the best tools available?

And also, what's the difference between the GX80 and the GX80K?

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44 minutes ago, Matins 2 said:

Canon 5D Mark III with Magic Lantern.

Was literally sitting here at this moment contemplating my upgrade options with respect to the 5D MKIII. I have had a 1DC and 5D MKIII combo (plus easy access to a few other 5D MKIIIs owned by colleagues) for a while now with no complaints, but I've been wondering about what the prudent upgrade move would be... I want something smaller (like an XT3/4 which could become my new A cam + walk around shoot whatever camera. So do I ditch the 5D MKIII or ditch the 1DC? I think both images hold up really well in 2021 for the hobbyist/grassroots/ indie stuff I do... 

But to keep it on the OP's question I'd agree that for the current used price the 5D MKIII is still a great option, although not necessarily for the person looking for convenience as well... for that I'd say an XT3 is the way to go for sure.

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The 5DIII with magic lantern is definitely one of the best image around to this day. That's pitting it against current cameras too IMO. It also gives you a great and still very relevant EF lens eco system. 

If you are a Panasonic guy though I highly recommend the Pana S1. The GH5S is nice but the S1 is better in almost everyway. 

The GH5S has better HD and of course if you have a lot of M43 glass you wanna use it makes sense. 

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6 hours ago, Ty Harper said:

Was literally sitting here at this moment contemplating my upgrade options with respect to the 5D MKIII. I have had a 1DC and 5D MKIII combo (plus easy access to a few other 5D MKIIIs owned by colleagues) for a while now with no complaints, but I've been wondering about what the prudent upgrade move would be... I want something smaller (like an XT3/4 which could become my new A cam + walk around shoot whatever camera. So do I ditch the 5D MKIII or ditch the 1DC? I think both images hold up really well in 2021 for the hobbyist/grassroots/ indie stuff I do... 

But to keep it on the OP's question I'd agree that for the current used price the 5D MKIII is still a great option, although not necessarily for the person looking for convenience as well... for that I'd say an XT3 is the way to go for sure.

Upgrade paths are always about what you want and value in an image.

IIRC you really value the 14-bit RAW (even over the 12-bit RAW) so I'd imagine that any upgrade would have to also shoot RAW?

A friend of mine shoots with 5D+ML and apart from going to a full cinema camera, you're going to find that the alternatives all have some problem or other that would be a downgrade from the 5D.  The 5D+ML combo isn't perfect by any means, but other cameras haven't necessarily even caught up yet, let alone being improvements - it's still give and take in comparison.

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A used Panasonic s1 is like $1500. Great camera with vlog. 

Internal 6k open gate full frame 10bit, 4k 60 10bit, Prores Raw over hdmi. Anamorphic modes, amazing IBIS, great internal battery life (3 hours per battery) Full Varicam V-Log and Cine Color science. 

For what it goes for on the used market its probably the best bang for buck camera you can get currently. 

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On 4/11/2021 at 5:24 AM, empedocles said:

I'm looking for something versatile and reliable. Is the GH5S still among the best tools available?

If you want to stick with Panasonic MFT (like your G6), and you don't care about the IBIS in the GH5/G9, then yes the Panasonic GH5S would be your "best" choice. (for maximum bang for buck though, consider also the Panasonic G85)

But if you're to consider other Panasonic choices then consider: Panasonic S5 or S1 (or even S1H, if you have the cash). 

But if you're to consider other MFT choices then consider: Z Cam E2-M4 or BMD Pocket 4K. 

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On 4/11/2021 at 1:24 AM, empedocles said:

And also, what's the difference between the GX80 and the GX80K?

I could be wrong but I think the K is for the package that comes with the kit lens while the other one is body only. No difference between the cameras themselves.

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The Panny S1 is ‘probably’ the best value bit of kit available right now, just pipping the Fuji XT3, but unless size & weight is more important, S1 for the win.

However, if size & weight is a factor, Pannyboy S5 over the XT3.

That’s where my money would be going, Panasonic or Fuji.

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17 hours ago, MrSMW said:

The Panny S1 is ‘probably’ the best value bit of kit available right now, just pipping the Fuji XT3, but unless size & weight is more important, S1 for the win.

However, if size & weight is a factor, Pannyboy S5 over the XT3.

That’s where my money would be going, Panasonic or Fuji.

What in your opinion makes the S1 better than the XT3? And by the way, has Andrew reviewed the latter? Oh and what about the Fuji XT4?

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3 hours ago, empedocles said:

What in your opinion makes the S1 better than the XT3? And by the way, has Andrew reviewed the latter? Oh and what about the Fuji XT4?

XT4 and XT3 are the same IQ wise. 

Having owned both the S1 and XT3, I can say the S1 dynamic range is better, better in high ISO's. The image is more natural than the XT3, less sharpening and less noise reduction going on.

I like the Fuji color presets a lot. If you are shooting in LOG you kind of lose that edge, as the color on Fuji log isn't particularly easy to work with. Eterna is really nice though. Fujis HD 120fps is better than Panasonics. 

 

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6 hours ago, empedocles said:

What in your opinion makes the S1 better than the XT3? And by the way, has Andrew reviewed the latter? Oh and what about the Fuji XT4?

Full frame, more dynamic range, better low light, better built, better ergos, IBIS for both stills and video, plus with the latest firmware, more capable as a ‘cinema’ camera if you wish to rig it up and record externally.

In regard to the latter, I don’t, so it doesn’t make any difference to me.

Fuji wins for me on; size (but needs at least an aftermarket bracket grip which cost peanuts and in fact I have 2 to give away for the cost of postage EU) and SOOC colour science if you do not shoot log.

A better comparison is the XT4 as that has IBIS.

S1 vs XT4? I would choose XT4.

S5 vs XT4? S5 for me.

The ‘issue’ that some struggle with is the lenses...

Fuji make many, but none really float my boat. If I had to pick one, I’d go 16-55mm f2.8 ‘one and done’ giving a full-frame equivalent range of 24-83mm.

Panasonic get criticized for a lack of full-frame lenses and that most are too big and heavy and to an extent this is true...but smaller primes have begun to appear and all the Sigmas and Leica’s (budget busters for most) etc.

I’m happy with the pairing of Sigma’s 28-70mm f2.8 which is shorter in reach than Fuji’s equivalent but the Panasonic’s can all do APSC crop mode turning the 28-70 into a 28-105mm.

To conclude, the package of S5 + Sigma 28-70mm is no bigger, actually lighter and more capable than the pairing of the Fuji XT4 + 16-55mm. Just...

Couldn’t go wrong with either!

I do prefer primes but that for me means more bodies as I need multiple focal lengths at the same time so use 2 bodies (need a third) and 5 lenses.

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I think a lot comes down to what do you actually mean by affordable? I saw that as best value for money and so I would say the Fuji X-t3 gives you the best image for the price - they are going for under £600 used here, the Panasonic S1 and Fuji X-t4 you can find for about £1000 and then the S5 which is newer about £1400 used. They are all amazing cameras and represent great value with added features at different price points

And as mentioned if you are happy with HD then the Canon C100 used is also a lot of camera for little money

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2 hours ago, ade towell said:

I think a lot comes down to what do you actually mean by affordable? I saw that as best value for money and so I would say the Fuji X-t3 gives you the best image for the price - they are going for under £600 used here, the Panasonic S1 and Fuji X-t4 you can find for about £1000 and then the S5 which is newer about £1400 used. They are all amazing cameras and represent great value with added features at different price points

And as mentioned if you are happy with HD then the Canon C100 used is also a lot of camera for little money

Well I guess by "affordable" I meant less than 2 or 3K. From what I've gathered, the S5 is a pared down version of the S1, isn't it? Or is it an improvement over the latter?

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I've only used the S1 but yes from what I can see it holds a few advantages to the S5 other than size. IBIS is supposedly better, full size hdmi is priceless, the new firmware takes it close to the S1H, those with an S5 may be able to tell you what is better on the smaller model. With vlog upgrade I have to say the S1 image is hard to beat, DR and colour both are amazing

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