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Andrew Reid

EOSHD’s top 5 cameras of the year 2014

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

Great list Andrew! Those are very good cameras with their pros and cons! The best camera will always be the one that suits you the best (your shooting style, etc...) or the camera that will help you achieve the best possible result for a specific project/job. One camera might not necessarily be the best camera for two different projects! 

The 1DC seems to be a great camera and the best one for Andrew then so be it, get over it guys.

I myself am not very fond of the 1DC mainly because of the price but, but if Andrew found a reasonable price (5000 pounds) then I think it completely justifies the purchase.

Cheers. 

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5000 pounds would have been a good price if that was for a new 1DC, it's twice as expensive as a 1DX, are the implemented videofeatures costing Canon 5000 pounds extra? I don't think so.

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Past month I spend a lot of time gathering info and thinking if I should sell my 5D III and move to Sony a7s or to wait for 5D IV. a7s have the same big advantages and disatvantages compering to Canon 5D mark III (ML RAW) and non of those camaras are perfect. Now when  ML raw work flough way more simplified, big color grading freadom and after watcing creative short movies like this I think theres no point to abandon 5D.

​Don't. I bought the A7s and it's not as nice a camera as the 5D III is (for me). Though I use ML RAW now almost exclusively as I've gotten the workflow down. The cost of Shogun buys a lot of 1000x cards and hard drive space for some real improvement. 5d with ML is like having best of all worlds. Low light is really good (not as good as the a7s but not that far off, in RAW. RAW gives the lowlight a lot of cleaning potential with neatvideo), colors are astounding and the image is really organic and robust. It has the RAW capability of blackmagic without any aliasing and the usability and color of Canon cameras.

I just shot a little short with the 5d III as main camera and the A7s as B-cam and I really hate cutting back to the a7s material. That's not to say the A7s is bad. It isn't, a7s is a great little cam. But the 5d RAW is just something else. Workflow is now pretty fast too, mlrawviewer to make the .dng files and Resolve goes through them really fast.

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Andrew can you please share the criteria of ranking the list?

Because if we are talking about bang for buck tools for the entry level filmmaker, considering the additional gear needed to operate the cameras, the 1DC comes dead last, 

and the difference between dumping that cash in the camera, and using it for your film... I'd back the guy putting more money into his film.

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Yes, the omission of the FS7 seems weird. I've got the A7s + Shogun, but the FS7 is clearly a breakthrough 2014 camera, whereas the 1DC is not.

Well I don't own an ​FS7 so for me to name it the best of 2014 would be a bit of a reach.

Review coming later in the month if I find time.

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You guys are all wrong.  The best camera of 2014 is the Arri Alexa Plus...  Excellent dynamic range. Great resolution...  Most of my favorite movies were filmed with it.  It's kinda expensive.. but I'm sure the price will go down in the future.

I partially agreed with the above. Although, the article is still a valuable contribution to this community, ​I think the title is misleading. It should be EOSHD's Top 5 DSLR Cameras of the Year 2014. The world of filmmaking is expanding so fast these days that to keep orienting the reader in only one direction, specially when summarizing a year of the best can become a misleading information.

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In the video quality charts from 2014 it's noted that the 1DC's ranking is based on "lightly graded only."  Does it not grade well or have you reversed your decision about that?

On a different note, I think I must be the only person who thinks that the a7s is the most overrated camera of 2014.  It's gotten to the point where the differences in image quality between these budget "film making" cameras is difficult to truly discern without side-by-side comparisons and really focusing on minute aspects of the image.  The a7s has some strengths in extreme circumstances (e.g. low light and high dynamic range shots), but if we're talking about bang for your buck, the GH4's image is just about on par with the a7s in most cases and shoots 4K in a more compact package for about 1/3 of the price.  Needing to "see in the dark" is a feature that I don't see as very useful for narrative film or that I'd use except in niche circumstances.  Even the BMCC, which I think is the worst for low light, can still produce fine low light shots if handled correctly.  I've rarely seen any a7s footage that I feel justifies the extra $3K over the GH4.  

In my mind, there's no doubt from the footage I've seen that the 1DC is in a different class than the GH4, A7s, NX1, or even FS7 if we're talking about making a narrative film that emulates the Hollywood look. Watch a good quality download on your TV instead of pixel peeping and most of these cameras still have some sort of indescribable lack of film-like quality to them, while the 1DC footage looks much more like something straight out of Hollywood.

I'm not a Canon fanboy and I really like my GH4, but I feel like too many people on forums and such are trying to tout some cameras, especially the a7s, as being far superior to higher priced cameras.  If price were not a factor I'd surely trade my GH4 for a 1DC.  

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In the video quality charts from 2014 it's noted that the 1DC's ranking is based on "lightly graded only."  Does it not grade well or have you reversed your decision about that?

It's quite light LOG and won't be pushed around compared to the other cameras in the League 1 top 10 like the Dragon's raw, or Alexa's raw. It would just fall apart. That's what the note means. It was the only camera in the top 10 shooting 8bit MJPEG.

You can still grade it heavily in relation to other 8bit LOG cameras, but lightly in relation to Arri raw, etc.

I can grade the 1D C as heavily as A7S ProRes with S-LOG but nothing beats raw for extreme pushes and pulls in post.

On a different note, I think I must be the only person who thinks that the a7s is the most overrated camera of 2014.  It's gotten to the point where the differences in image quality between these budget "film making" cameras is difficult to truly discern without side-by-side comparisons and really focusing on minute aspects of the image.

It's the only 12MP full frame sensor on the market, great low light performance. There's a big difference between the A7S and NX1, GH4 in low light. You don't have to focus on minute aspects of the image to see that. There's a big difference between 4K and 1080p too. D750 is only other full frame camera on the 2014 best-of list that does such nice 1080p video but flip the 4K HDMI switch on the A7S and you won't need a magnifying glass to tell the difference.

So can't agree on that, sorry!

The a7s has some strengths in extreme circumstances (e.g. low light and high dynamic range shots), but if we're talking about bang for your buck, the GH4's image is just about on par with the a7s in most cases and shoots 4K in a more compact package for about 1/3 of the price.

That's a bit of an oversimplification really sir. It really does depend on what you need to do with it and what lenses you have.

The GH4 needs Speed Booster and fast glass to look anywhere near as nice as full frame.

Then there are circumstances where the 2.3x crop recording area is actually an advantage over full frame... telephoto reach for example.

Horses for courses!

Needing to "see in the dark" is a feature that I don't see as very useful for narrative film or that I'd use except in niche circumstances.

I have a script written with a large portion of it set around a moon lit river in woodland. So I see it as very useful actually :)

Saves me having to get a generator, a truck and rent a very expensive set of lights - all just to mimic the look of natural light anyway.

Yes you have more artistic control that way but capture the right natural light and that is even better.

Even the BMCC, which I think is the worst for low light, can still produce fine low light shots if handled correctly.

Agree, especially with Speed Booster and very fast glass it is underrated in low light. Lack of compression allows it to capture a lot of subtle shading in the blacks.

I've rarely seen any a7s footage that I feel justifies the extra $3K over the GH4.

A7S body only is not $3k more than a GH4.

In my mind, there's no doubt from the footage I've seen that the 1DC is in a different class than the GH4, A7s, NX1, or even FS7 if we're talking about making a narrative film that emulates the Hollywood look. Watch a good quality download on your TV instead of pixel peeping and most of these cameras still have some sort of indescribable lack of film-like quality to them, while the 1DC footage looks much more like something straight out of Hollywood.

I'm not a Canon fanboy and I really like my GH4, but I feel like too many people on forums and such are trying to tout some cameras, especially the a7s, as being far superior to higher priced cameras.  If price were not a factor I'd surely trade my GH4 for a 1DC.  

​The 1D C does have a more organic look than all of them and the best colour. Finer grain as well and the blacks are intact.

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Since  your ranking of the A7s partly has to do with it being paired with the Shogun, would it drop below the GH4 without it?

Also, if you are including accessories, I'd definitely rank the GH4 with both BMPCC and regular speed boosters higher than the A7s with Shogun. The BMPCC booster both gets rid of the extra 4K crop and gives you a full 1 2/3 stops more light, thus almost entirely eliminating the small-sensor disadvantages of the GH4. With the Canon EF version, your 17-50mm f 2.8 stabilized zoom becomes a FF equiv. 24-70mm f 1.6! With stabilization retained! At just over 3K US dollars for body, boosters and lens, almost  2K less than the A7s/Shogun/zoom combo and a lot easier to use, this is EASILY the best bang for the buck IMO. (The regular booster would be for 1080p and stills, since the BMPCC version requires electronic shutter to avoid damaging the camera, and there is vignetting with aps-c lenses.)

Without considering price, then yes, the Canon is best...

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A7S body only is not $3k more than a GH4.

​If you want to do 4K it is.

As I am looking at a GH4 or a7s as my next camera, I'd be interested to know if you would 'generally' rather work with the a7s in 1080p or GH4 in 4K. which gives you more advantages? Again, I know there is not one camera that does everything but most of us only by one camera. I'm talking generally from IQ, to DR to options in post. Gh4 4K or A7S 1080p.

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Since  your ranking of the A7s partly has to do with it being paired with the Shogun, would it drop below the GH4 without it?

​Nope.

Full frame will always be more cinematic than 2.3x crop for me, let alone the fact it is smooth at ISO 3200 whereas the GH4 loses a ton of detail and colour info at that sensitivity.

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While the low-light capability of the A7s is very, very appealing to me, I think I'd rank the GH4 sans speed booster just slightly above the A7s sans Shogun because what 4k brings to the table for me outweighs the crop and ISO downsides. And WITH BMPCC speed booster, GH4 is for me way ahead of the A7s even with Shogun. Remember that with the almost two full stops of light gathering gain you'd rarely have to go above 1600 ISO, thus avoiding the loss of detail and color you get at 3200 and above, and, the crop is s35, which is arguably more cinematic than FF, since most movies have s35 DOF rather than full frame. For me s35 is the sweet spot and FF DOF is often TOO shallow. But to each his own..

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Well I guess its what appeals to you at a certain point.

I only own a GH4 and a couple of other cams, not the A7s...but as the A7s in full frame although smooth at ISO 3200, it is certainly not smooth when you move it, everyone knows that it has really bad rolling shutter at full frame, you really need to use it at APS-C if you want to move the camera at all.

So it depends where your smooth priorities lie...smooth movement or smooth ISO.
All the talk of cinematic full frame on the A7s really means it has to be on a tripod and still to get that happening.

Plus there are lots of posters on DVX-user that own both cams as well as the EOS-C line of Canons that really like the GH4 and appear to use it more than the A7s because its more convenient and they get good results, many of them cutting with Reds and EOS-C cams...so it doesn't really matter, maybe to Andrew, but not so much to others.
I agree with most of rygenovas post...at the end of the day no average watcher is going to go WOW!! at an A7s piece of footage and not so WOW at a GH4 piece of footage.
Doesnt mean I dont want to see V-Log on the GH4...I do, but for me, its more than I need right now and if I cant produce good results with it, then I probably need to give up.

 

 

 

 

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High speed film is certainly not smooth and certainly does not retain rich colour.

That's a certified "cinematic" aesthetic, and in the case of this one it comes out of technical imperfection/limitations....no one can deny it.

Maybe we can be a bit more specific with this "cinematic" euphemism?

 

Because when you say the GH4 loses colour information at high ISO, the same happens to film.

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