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What DSLR camera & glass should I buy?

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Mike Caruana
What DSLR camera & glass should I buy?
on Jan 28, 2013 at 4:17:20 am

Like everyone, I'm looking for the holy grail in balance between video & stills. For stills, it's mainly going to be product shots with proper lighting (for web and catalog) and recreational use. For video, I'm doing green screen work with little movement, so clean, uncompressed 4:2:2 HDMI out is a must.

Based on my research so far, these seem to be non-contenders:

Panasonic GH2/GH3 (no 4:2:2)
Canon MkIII (no clean HDMI, magic lantern places bars, Canon claims it will be offered in April, but in January that's vaporware).
Nikon D600 (bars on HDMI out, Any update on when this will be resolved?).

I'm not sure if Magic Lantern outputs 4:2:2 HDMI with no bars on the 6d or other models.

So far the only possibilities I see are the Sony A99 and Nikon D800, and I'm not even sure if those are a fit. The resolution on the D800 seems to be overkill for what I'm using it for.

Any others I should look at, and what glass would you recommend? The rig is for my own products/videos for my business, no client work. Would like to stay under 5K for everything and I already have an external capture/recording setup. Brand loyalty/existing equipment is a non-issue. I'll go with whoever has what I want that's available now, or will be within a week or two.

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Sareesh Sudhakaran
Re: What DSLR camera & glass should I buy?
on Jan 28, 2013 at 1:23:07 pm

I would say Canon 5D Mark III, with or without the HDMI out. I have yet to find a DSLR that offers an HDMI stream that is worth the trouble. - Workflow information and support for filmmakers, photographers, audiographers and videographers.

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Ralph Hajik
Re: What DSLR camera & glass should I buy?
on Jan 28, 2013 at 6:29:45 pm


I like the Canon 5D Mark III.

Ralph Hajik

Happy Travels

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Mike Caruana
Re: What DSLR camera & glass should I buy?
on Jan 28, 2013 at 7:08:31 pm

Ralph & Sareesh:

The 5D Mark III is a non-contender at this time. It can't do a clean 4:2:2 HDMI out. According to Canon, it will be available in April and Magic Lantern's current solution places bars on the feed.

ATTN Canon (If you read these boards):
Wake up!

There are people like me out there, just starting out with no significant investment in glass who will simply go to whatever manufacturer offers what we want, drop 5K right off the bat, and continue to invest money in glass, accessories, updates, new products, etc...

I WILL NOT purchase your significantly more expensive line of products just because you have decided to hold back technology and force us to that path. I have been able to get a clean HDMI feed out of my 2 year old $500 Vixia Camcorder, there's no reason why it shouldn't be available on every other product you sell with an HDMI out port.

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Brent Dunn
Re: What DSLR camera & glass should I buy?
on Jan 29, 2013 at 8:21:53 pm

If you are shooting mostly for keying green screen, then DSLR's are not a good choice. There are many cost effective quality video cameras that now shoot 4:2:2 color space. You can use some DSLR shots for cut aways.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
Video Marketing

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro
with Final Cut Studio Adobe CS6 Production

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Rob Manning
Re: What DSLR camera & glass should I buy?
on Jan 30, 2013 at 10:16:37 pm

The Canon has Technicolor picture controls, but DR is not (never has been) on the same level as Nikon (according to many) BUT we are talking about 2MP files, which makes the stills argument moot. Plus Canon, has luts (I think?)

Translated in 1880p or 10801 MPs, the Nikon versus the Canon is arguably, a fine point.

Another question for you, will you be shooting with AF following?

If so, neither Canon or Nikon do well in that regard, the technology in lens cannot compare to the A99/Zeiss(Sony) package which as I understand it, cost Sony when they purloined it (the in sensor AF) from Minolta, but I digress.

The A99, has settings to reduce the area for subject following into zones, say the subject is moving in frame, but only on one side of the shot, that can be selected as a zone.

The D800 serves well for stills, and HDMI output but I shot the D3S at the NAMM show, simply for varying light on auto ISO, some clocked at well above 6400. Video, I shot the D800.

The A99 though, as I see it, is a refined tool if one is set on HD enabled DSLRs for capture and is kitting up from scratch.


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charles meadows
Re: What DSLR camera & glass should I buy?
on Feb 5, 2013 at 3:16:56 pm

I can only suggest the D800. We've been using it with the Ninja 2. As a combination, they are fantastic. The D800 is also an awesome stills camera, we've used it all over Africa and had no problems. Either go with the Nikon lenses or if you have deep pockets then get some Zeiss lenses. I've also heard some very good things about the new Tamaron and Sigma ranges.

"There's no point in filming if you don't have fun"
Charles Meadows
Creative Director
Incubate Productions South Africa

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