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Nikon D5300 vs Sony A6000

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Hey there - I'm wondering if anyone can give me some advice.  I'm gearing up to buy 2 cameras (identical for multi-camera shooting set-ups) and need them to be under 1000.  I've done the research and I think I've narrowed it down to what seems to be the best 2 choices:  Nikon D5300 and Sony A6000.

I've read all the specs and even checked them out at the stores.  I tend to use manual lens, primes and extra features like touch screen focus on the upcoming 5500 isn't really a need for me.  One thing about some dslr's I'm wary of is the "jello" effect - that I've seen some of the higher end sony's show.  I've been using a T2i w/ magic lantern for quite a while with some good glass - and is still an amazing camera - but is really noisy in low light and its long overdue to move on.

Please share any of your filmmaking experiences shooting with either of these cameras in the field - any specifics that you've noticed would be greatly appreciated.  thanks!

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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

Well, both cameras offer similar quality in many areas, but I would go for the A6000 or even A5100. Video quality is similar, but the Sonys have peaking and zebra, which help a lot especially with manual primes. The E-mount is very "adaptable", allowing you to use not only Sony lenses, but also Canon and Nikon (with adapters) plus a very wide range of legacy lenses form different mounts. The A6000 doesn't suffer from terrible rolling shutter jello, it is much better than the T2i, but I suspect the D5300 is also much better than the T2i in that regard. Don't discard the A5100, though the body lacks as many buttons and dials video is recorded in the better XAVC-S codec...

I've used the A6000 with speedbooster and vintage Nikkor primes and the combination works great. Also with Rokinon primes. Working at around f1.4-f4, you shouldn't need to go too high on the ISO, which I'd say is a little better on the A6000/5100 than on the Nikon.

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I've used the A6000 with speedbooster and vintage Nikkor primes and the combination works great.

That's great to hear - thats exactly what I was planning on doing.  I have some Nikkor primes that I just love the look of.  I was initially thinking the D5300 would be the most obviously choice but then starting hearing lots of great things about the A6000.  Thanks.

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I have owned the d5200 and a6000 and also tried out the d5300. I found the a6000 has tons of aliasing/moire and poor dynamic range. Other people have had different experiences though, with Phillip Bloom stating it's the best budget APS-C video quality he'd seen. But he based that on a video of a cat. Andrew Reid also said the camera was great initially but rescinded the statement in a later full review.

If you want the best image quality I'd go with the d5300. The peaking on the Sony cameras is very useful but if you're willing to stick a loupe or a HDMI screen on the d5300, you won't have any problems focusing. 

I've heard the a5100 is better than the a6000 for video quality but don't know it compares to the d5300. 

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"Tons" was a bit of an overstatement, but it does have noticeably more than the GX7. And the GX7 has slightly more than the d5300.

Download the uncompressed video through Vimeo below. In the first shot check out the bricks and see how much more aliasing and moire there is on the bricks. And look how blown out the sky is.

 

 

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One thing that many people don't put enough emphasis is colour or what most of us call colour science now. Look at all the Sony endless thread (mainly A7s because of its popularity) here and on other website because the Sony colours are not that good ( On my part it is just horrible). Look at all the talk about getting not good but descent colours out of it. It is like going to a science class with all type of settings and recommendation etc etc. What all these people don't tell you is that grading takes time, a lot of time when you have to correct most shot to at least get a decent image. I have experiment this bitter pill lately as I have had my cousin shooting video to make some highlight reel for beach wedding as I had some Tiffen ND that brought a green cast to the image. I got to grade it quite well getting rid of the cast but it soon turn out to be a real pain having grade nearly all the shots except the ones that did not have the ND. Believe me the first thing I have done is buy some Hoya proNd filters because it was so annoying to do. Colour is one of the least talk about characteristic but believe me having nice skin tone is much more important than 1 stop more DR or 4k.

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Inazuma - thanks for posting the video and Danyyyel - couldn't agree more.  I've been a Canon user and have found their colors to be pleasing - from C3000 to 5d.  And even my T2i - shooting as flat as possible - I think still holds up.  Of course, grading is key and taste comes into play.  But at this price point I'm looking at a 70D, and I guess I'm putting out this thread because it seems (I could be wrong) that the D5300 or A6000 is more bang for the buck than a 70D.

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Inazuma.. thanks for the video..there is moire but not "tons" :D
Sony records in superwhite as you said . If you try to record in portrait mode with contrast dialed down you can get more dynamic range..I havent had any problems with aliasing on the A6000..the bad thing with the camera is the placement of videorecording button..lets hope for better codec with the A7000

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This video is the perfect example of colour science, when the author posted it he said A7s and D5200 and most where saying how nice it looked, how did he grade the A7s like that. In fact it is only the first shot of the girl in the mirror (that I did not like, too green for my taste) that was from the A7s, everything else was from the Nikon D5200. It does not mean that you can't grade a look to the image, but it is always better to start from a good natural colours. I just saw the video below that I find fabulous out of the D5300

 

 

 

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I know I've been advocating the Nikon in this thread, but the one thing I cant agree with is the issue of colour (which has been all the rage in this forum for the past few weeks). IMO it's been completely overblown. Yes the Canons/Nikon do delivery natural colour, but so do broadcast cameras. Most videos I see from those cameras just look quite stale. However colour can be changed to a fairly high degree while things like dynamic range and resolution can't be. 

These are examples from the A7s. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the colours.

Please note Im not saying you should buy the Sony a6000/a5100. I still think the Nikon is better in all respects except for usability.

 

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Ok, so I have been comparing these two cameras (and A7) lately and the conclusion is simple:

  • if you want to use camera ONLY for video, then buy D5300
  • if you want to use camera for both stills and video, think more...

I have watched dozens of videos shot with D5300 and A6000 and Nikon has better image. Less moire, less aliasing, nice colors and decent dynamic range. For video use, I would totally buy D5300, but only if you're not concerned with video functionality, which is pretty limitied. You need to change aperture mode in Aperture priority mode, then go back to manual. You don't have any extra features, such as focus magnification, focus peaking, zebras etc. 

Overall, D5300's video quality looks more "detailed" thanks to better codec, especially on wide scenes.

However, I'm looking for video and stills and that's why I can't buy D5300. Don't get me wrong - the image quality is great. But functionality is not. The OVF is terrible - small and dark. Its hard to tell if something is in focus or not. A6000's OLED EVF is WAY better. Brighter and bigger. Video functions on A6000 are cool and everything "just works". It is a really nice camera, but Sony failed to deliver decent video quality, unfortunately. 

 

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oh man, you didnt have a battery inside the d5300, without the battery the ovf turns dark and out of focus... 

​You mean: same fact that camera does not have a battery or the fact that when turned on, the OVF gets brighter? Because if you are talking about the later, I don't know how it could be physically possible. I asked my friend who has D3100 and she said that turning on camera doesn't do anything to OVF in terms of brightness.

Pardon that I didn't believe you in the first place. I checked online and indeed, Nikons go dark when out of the battery. Sorry!

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without battery its totally useless, they would never sell something like that. Anyway, if want to use manual glass its still far from perfect, but it can be done, just try before buy.

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So, lately I've noticed that Nikon D7100 experienced a price drop and if I'm going to sacrifice EVF in Sony, then I would choose D7100. For me, its just hard to even think that on D5300 I cannot see 100% frame coverage in OVF. This is 2015.

Do you have any experience with D7100 in terms of video? How does it compare to D5300? I know that D7100 lacks [email protected], but it doesn't bother me much. From what I saw on YouTube and Vimeo, image is quite similar.

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The d7100 is like the d5200 in terms of video. I remember reading that it had some strange banding in the shadows like the d5200, but you will have to search that for your self,

The d7200 is going to be announced in a week or so, expect some mayor price drops.

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Because the viewfinder has an lcd screen inside (or whatever screen type that is) which normally handles grid lines,etc... if you take out the battery it goes black darkening and blurring the path between your eyes and the ground glass.

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