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Most underrated cameras?


Andrew Reid
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15 minutes ago, fuzzynormal said:

I didn't go upscale like y'all, but I'll tell anyone that listens how the low-end EM10iii is an exceptionally great bang-for-the-buck camera.

I'd believe it. I have the PL9 and an E-M1 ii. Both are great. In terms of bang-for-your-buck, I'm not sure which one is better. The PDAF in the E-M1 ii trumps even the GH5 ii if you're into auto AF. The PL9 is slightly smaller than the E-M10 iii, but lacks 5 axis stab (only 3) and a EVF. The E-M10 iii is getting difficult to find under 300 Euros, but he PL9 is around 200, probably because not many take it seriously.

On another note, I got my GH2 for under 100 Euros... when hacked, it looks great at Base ISO... just no 4k, but it gets nice colors and enough detail in camera.

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On 7/7/2021 at 12:48 PM, John Matthews said:

I'd believe it. I have the PL9 and an E-M1 ii. Both are great. In terms of bang-for-your-buck, I'm not sure which one is better. The PDAF in the E-M1 ii trumps even the GH5 ii if you're into auto AF. The PL9 is slightly smaller than the E-M10 iii, but lacks 5 axis stab (only 3) and a EVF. The E-M10 iii is getting difficult to find under 300 Euros, but he PL9 is around 200, probably because not many take it seriously.

On another note, I got my GH2 for under 100 Euros... when hacked, it looks great at Base ISO... just no 4k, but it gets nice colors and enough detail in camera.

Yeah I like the OG GH2, very nice image if you don't need more than 24p. Very nice downsampled HD. About as sharp as any native 4k sensor. 

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On 7/7/2021 at 5:48 PM, John Matthews said:

I'd believe it. I have the PL9 and an E-M1 ii. Both are great. In terms of bang-for-your-buck, I'm not sure which one is better. The PDAF in the E-M1 ii trumps even the GH5 ii if you're into auto AF. The PL9 is slightly smaller than the E-M10 iii, but lacks 5 axis stab (only 3) and a EVF. The E-M10 iii is getting difficult to find under 300 Euros, but he PL9 is around 200, probably because not many take it seriously.

For anyone with an E-M1 ii, someone has managed to modify the v3.4 firmware to remove the 30 minute video record limit and allow focus-stacking (for stills) with any lens - https://www.mu-43.com/threads/modified-firmware-looking-for-users.99804/post-1449131 

I've loaded it on my E-M1 ii and the focus-stacking certainly works with Panasonic lenses. Not yet tested > 30 minute video recording, but the display certainly shows more than 30 minutes available.

(There are also modified firmware versions for some other Oly cameras at the beginning of that thread e.g. for the E-M10 iii and E-PL9, plus earlier E-M1 ii firmware versions - see https://www.mu-43.com/threads/modified-firmware-looking-for-users.99804/post-1184700 )

I dipped a toe in the Olympus pool by getting a used E-M1 ii about a year ago (I own several Panasonic cameras as well). It's grown on me over time - relatively small, great colours, IBIS and build quality, but the differences/restrictions in how it operates in video versus stills mode get frustrating at times (like no 5x5 focus areas in video, and the single centre focus area is larger). The audio pre-amps are noisy too. It feels like there is a better video camera lurking in there but Oly have never really been interested/committed enough to video to let it out...

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1 hour ago, ac6000cw said:

For anyone with an E-M1 ii, someone has managed to modify the v3.4 firmware to remove the 30 minute video record limit and allow focus-stacking (for stills) with any lens - https://www.mu-43.com/threads/modified-firmware-looking-for-users.99804/post-1449131 

I had followed that thread before, but I've never really had the need to go with that firmware for my e-m1 ii. Also, I'm scared to do it as I love that camera too much. I might look into it again though.

1 hour ago, ac6000cw said:

(There are also modified firmware versions for some other Oly cameras at the beginning of that thread e.g. for the E-M10 iii and E-PL9, plus earlier E-M1 ii firmware versions - see https://www.mu-43.com/threads/modified-firmware-looking-for-users.99804/post-1184700 )

For the PL9, it's still limited to 13 parts of video, which just means a little more than the 29 minute cap that it currently has.

1 hour ago, ac6000cw said:

I dipped a toe in the Olympus pool by getting a used E-M1 ii about a year ago (I own several Panasonic cameras as well). It's grown on me over time - relatively small, great colours, IBIS and build quality, but the differences/restrictions in how it operates in video versus stills mode get frustrating at times (like no 5x5 focus areas in video, and the single centre focus area is larger). The audio pre-amps are noisy too. It feels like there is a better video camera lurking in there but Oly have never really been interested/committed enough to video to let it out...

There's a way to bypass those preamps in the settings. And here's a good explanation (9 minutes in):

Let me know if it helps and if you still find the pre-amps loud (of course, this works only with an external recorder like the Olympus LS-P4, but it is a workaround). I have the LS-P4 and it works fairly well for me. This guy has a lot of interesting stuff too on his channel.

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On 7/9/2021 at 7:59 PM, John Matthews said:

For the PL9, it's still limited to 13 parts of video, which just means a little more than the 29 minute cap that it currently has.

Olympus 3840 x 2160 at 24/25/30 fps is about 100 Mbit/s => 12.5 Mbyte/s. At 4 Gbyte per file and 13 files, that works out at just under 70 minutes maximum 4k recording time (and much longer in 1080p)?

The  E-M1 ii is also limited to 13 files per recording.

As I rarely record for longer than 10-15 minutes, enabling focus-stacking (on E-M1 ii) with any lens is of more interest to me, but as I don't have > 30 minute recording on any other camera I own, having it available on my E-M1 ii might be useful one day 🙂

On 7/9/2021 at 7:59 PM, John Matthews said:

Let me know if it helps and if you still find the pre-amps loud (of course, this works only with an external recorder like the Olympus LS-P4, but it is a workaround). I have the LS-P4 and it works fairly well for me.

Thanks - I'd seen that info posted on EOSHD a while back (maybe by yourself) but not yet tried it with a recorder.

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1 hour ago, ac6000cw said:

Olympus 3840 x 2160 at 24/25/30 fps is about 100 Mbit/s => 12.5 Mbyte/s. At 4 Gbyte per file and 13 files, that works out at just under 70 minutes maximum 4k recording time (and much longer in 1080p)?

My PL9 never seems to get to 4gb with my biggest original file being 3.6gb. Yes, in 1080p, it still makes a difference. Thank you for the correction.

1 hour ago, ac6000cw said:

As I rarely record for longer than 10-15 minutes, enabling focus-stacking (on E-M1 ii) with any lens is of more interest to me, but as I don't have > 30 minute recording on any other camera I own, having it available on my E-M1 ii might be useful one day 🙂

Same. For longer stuff, I plan on using my hacked GH2. It just has something special about the footage out of camera.

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On 7/9/2021 at 7:32 PM, ac6000cw said:

For anyone with an E-M1 ii, someone has managed to modify the v3.4 firmware to remove the 30 minute video record limit and allow focus-stacking (for stills) with any lens - https://www.mu-43.com/threads/modified-firmware-looking-for-users.99804/post-1449131 

I've loaded it on my E-M1 ii and the focus-stacking certainly works with Panasonic lenses. Not yet tested > 30 minute video recording, but the display certainly shows more than 30 minutes available.

(There are also modified firmware versions for some other Oly cameras at the beginning of that thread e.g. for the E-M10 iii and E-PL9, plus earlier E-M1 ii firmware versions - see https://www.mu-43.com/threads/modified-firmware-looking-for-users.99804/post-1184700 )

I dipped a toe in the Olympus pool by getting a used E-M1 ii about a year ago (I own several Panasonic cameras as well). It's grown on me over time - relatively small, great colours, IBIS and build quality, but the differences/restrictions in how it operates in video versus stills mode get frustrating at times (like no 5x5 focus areas in video, and the single centre focus area is larger). The audio pre-amps are noisy too. It feels like there is a better video camera lurking in there but Oly have never really been interested/committed enough to video to let it out...

The Panasonic G9 is underrated as well, especially since all the video firmware updates

I'll have to do a bigger video on YouTube about all the underrated and forgotten tools in the age of Sony-Fuji-Canon brand worship.

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19 hours ago, Andrew Reid said:

The Panasonic G9 is underrated as well, especially since all the video firmware updates

Definitely - especially at the price they've dropped to (currently under £900 including sales tax for a new body in the UK). The used prices seem to be rising a bit too, which is interesting - some people must have realised just how much camera you get for the money...and that there is a great selection of good & inexpensive native lenses to go with it.

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Maybe not most underrated but the Panasonic S1 is definately underrated outside of this forum. It's giving an FX9 quality image for peanuts. I would say it could compete with the C500 MK2 and C300 MK3 as well. The C500 can see into the shadows better by 2 stops or so, but it doesn't have dual native ISO. The Panasonic S1 can do 4000 iso with 4 stops of headroom in the highlights and a couple in the shadows. That punches the C500 dynamic range in the gut at the same ISO. 

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On 7/9/2021 at 10:32 AM, ac6000cw said:

getting a used E-M1 ii about a year ago ... It's grown on me over time

I know it's an impossible thing to really quantify to other people, especially pros, but it's been true in my experience as well.  I've just ended up preferring using Oly cams for some reason.  Ergonomics I think.

And it doesn't make sense because Oly's menu system is a bit of a jumble, but I guess once I learned it, it's been productive.

I don't do a lot of high end stuff, and what I do (still) do is almost always hand-held run-n-gun.  I get by easily with 8-bit.  My cheap EM10iii with a variable ND does the job.  Here's a recent thing I was hired for; half day shoot and half day editing with a script they recorded.  Basic basic basic, but got the product delivered to the client as they requested.  I'm not sure if I even used a high end camera for a gig like this it would've turned out much different.  So, you know, for me, the rather simple tool is appropriate.

 

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32 minutes ago, fuzzynormal said:

I know it's an impossible thing to really quantify to other people, especially pros, but it's been true in my experience as well.  I've just ended up preferring using Oly cams for some reason.  Ergonomics I think.

Dito.

I found a GH2 a few months back for dirt cheap and ran across this comparison:

I find it absolutely amazing that the hacked GH2 still holds up in some areas against the GX80, which is a great value proposition in itself. I'd go as far as saying the hacked GH2 still holds up in many ways to current offering by Panasonic (G100). This not a knock on Panasonic but rather congratulating the people who've hacked the GH2. Now, actually prefer working with a GH2 to working with a GX80.

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1 hour ago, fuzzynormal said:

I don't do a lot of high end stuff,  [snip]  Basic basic basic, but got the product delivered to the client as they requested.

Your video is easily better than 95% of the work that is out there --  great eye and a nicely coordinated edit.

The narrator did a great job, as well.  Did someone give her line readings?

 

2 hours ago, fuzzynormal said:

I'm not sure if I even used a high end camera for a gig like this it would've turned out much different.

I noticed that the interior shot had slight noise, but I was pixel peeping.  I would guess that you had to stop down due to the high scene contrast.  It certainly was not enough noise to warrant using an unwieldy cinema camera, although it might have been interesting to try a minor adjustment to the E-M10's "Highlights & Shadows" setting.

Your video is a superb and inspiring piece that brings life to a mundane subject.

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2 hours ago, John Matthews said:

I find it absolutely amazing that the hacked GH2 still holds up in some areas against the GX80, which is a great value proposition in itself. I'd go as far as saying the hacked GH2 still holds up in many ways to current offering by Panasonic (G100). This not a knock on Panasonic but rather congratulating the people who've hacked the GH2. Now, actually prefer working with a GH2 to working with a GX80.

I think of all the video-capable cameras I've owned, the Pana G6 (which Andrew dubbed the 'GH2 Redux' when he reviewed it) was almost perfect for me - small, light, fits nicely in the hand, mic input, FHD 50p/60p to MP4 files, a lever to control power zoom lenses (the last G series camera to have that), 'creative video' mode etc. and a simple uncluttered control layout. For stills (not video), it also had variable telephoto sensor crop controlled by the zoom lever.

It's successors gained 4k video and then IBIS, but I think they lost some of the 'only what you really need' control simplicity along the way.

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1 hour ago, tupp said:

Did someone give her line readings?

Yeah, the client wrote it, recorded it.  I edited to her script. 

This video work is indicative, I think, of my  "90% rule."  Meaning, I score shots from 1 (shit) to 100 (perfection), and often try to hit a sweet spot of 90.  Yes, you could do a bunch of other crafting to squeak out the final 10% to make the shots technically perfect, but the last 10% requires an ridiculously exponential amount of expense and effort.

So, one tries to find a balance.  I'd give myself an 80-85 on this stuff.

It's all relative to what the client demands, what you demand of yourself, and what the budget allows.

That all being said, the era of dudes like me delivering "90" is going away.  Clients are okay with 30 these days.  On the high end clients will expect 100.  Seems like people in my range of stuff are not in demand so much anymore.

p.s. I add a lot of grain in post.  My ISO never went over 800 on this gig.

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14 hours ago, fuzzynormal said:

Yeah, the client wrote it, recorded it.  I edited to her script. 

This video work is indicative, I think, of my  "90% rule."  Meaning, I score shots from 1 (shit) to 100 (perfection), and often try to hit a sweet spot of 90.  Yes, you could do a bunch of other crafting to squeak out the final 10% to make the shots technically perfect, but the last 10% requires an ridiculously exponential amount of expense and effort.

So, one tries to find a balance.  I'd give myself an 80-85 on this stuff.

It's all relative to what the client demands, what you demand of yourself, and what the budget allows.

That all being said, the era of dudes like me delivering "90" is going away.  Clients are okay with 30 these days.  On the high end clients will expect 100.  Seems like people in my range of stuff are not in demand so much anymore.

p.s. I add a lot of grain in post.  My ISO never went over 800 on this gig.

I have to say I like your approach. The last 10% is exponentially harder and harder to get, bit it would seem that computers and software are changing this with faster, more efficient computers with more and more fast storage. I'd compare it to jpeg vs raw. Nowadays, raw files can go into your workflow rather seamlessly and the benefits of jpeg are withering away. I'm still good with jpeg, but I've gone to raw because I don't see much downside to it anymore other than taking up a little more of my time in editing. In this same way, I think raw workflows will become the norm. Personally, I'm fine with 8 bit, but if I don't "feel" the difference anymore, why not? We're still a few years off from this though.

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Paid up member of the 90% club here.

The extra 50% of; time, effort and sometimes money to get that last 10%, just is not worth it to me, especially as no one but yourself really notices what that ‘extra’ 10% could have been.

Life’s too short.

Or to coin a very British phrase, I can’t be arsed.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Interesting read, and interesting to read everyone's thoughts and experiences on these different cameras! 

How about Z Cam? A huge, huge range of resolutions, crop modes, no crop modes, codecs, frame rates. ProRes in camera. 

 

The noise is very good, and the dynamic range is very good. 

Mounts - lots of changeable mounts - EF, PL, MFT, E and I think more.

It depends on which model you go for, but all of the main range could suit budgets and deliver a body that is modular, buildable and a great image. I have the F6, and while getting a kit together to make it usable cost about 5,000 (4200 ex VAT) I'm sure making a DSLR style body more filmable would cost similar. Or does it?

Thanks again!

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