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Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...

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travis heberling
Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 19, 2013 at 4:50:56 am

Hello everyone,

This summer I want to invest into a new DSLR, but I am stuck on 4 choices...

Canon 5D mk iii
Canon 6D
Sony a99
Panasonic GH3

Some notes on my background:
I mostly do video work. Montages for restaurants, testimonials, interviews, weddings, music videos, run and gun shooting...

I do want to dive more into photos though...I mostly would probably be getting outdoor portraits and live event style shoots. Not so much the indoor studio side...but anything is possible.

I currently have a Sony a33. I also have a few lenses I have invested in. 2 of them I dont use much...the kit lens and a 70-300 that starts at a 4. I also purchases a 50mm and a 30mm macro. Because of this I am digging the Sony a99. With a small selection started and a general like of the Sony dslr O.S. it kind of makes me want to stick with Sony.

The 2 Canons our on the list...well because its Canon. I have shot with a lot of the Canons for video...t2i, t3i, t4i, 7d, 5dmkii...you get the picture. I enjoyed shooting with these cameras, but I enjoy the Sony cameras the same. So with that said would it be wise for me to jump to Canon or just stick with Sony? On paper the a99 beats the 5d mkiii, but when I talk to pros they would never recommend a Sony over a Canon.

Lastly the GH3. I have shot with the GH2 for video and I was not a big fan of how the camera controlled. I was digging the menus,and the camera felt very toy like. With that said...the quality the camera gave me was just what I was looking for. Does the GH3 change up the menu system, or is that worry enough to make me stay away from it?

Thanks in advance!


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Sareesh Sudhakaran
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 19, 2013 at 9:09:09 am

Nothing wrong with the A99 for both stills and video.

Get the Free Comprehensive Guide to Rigging ANY Camera - one guide to rig them all - DSLRs to Reds to the Arri Alexa.


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Bill Bruner
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 19, 2013 at 2:13:23 pm

travis - It would be preferable to be able to use your existing lenses, but I would be concerned with the A99's susceptibility to moiré:









I would get the GH3 - unlimited video clip length, reduced susceptibility to moire, truly articulated LCD, a useful wi-fi function, plus multiple 1080p codecs, bit rates and frame rates make it the best video value for your money, in my view.

It you don't like looking for functions in menus, just program one of the 5 function buttons :)

The only challenge is that they are still sold out everywhere 6 months after the camera was introduced. If you don't need the camera immediately, you can backorder a new one for $1300.

If you don't mind paying a premium, you can get one on eBay for a little more.

Or, if you don't mind buying used, you can get one from Amazon Warehouse Deals for $1197.

Hope this is helpful and good luck with your decision!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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travis heberling
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 19, 2013 at 11:21:43 pm

Bill-How would another DSLR react to that footage though? Did they do other test with other DSLRs? The wait isnt a big deal...I wont have the money till this summer anyhow.

Also what lenses would you recommend to go with the GH3?

In general question....does the Sony a99 and Canon 5d mkiii overheat at all?


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Brent Dunn
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 19, 2013 at 3:15:23 pm

The Canon 5D MkIII has proven to be an incredible camera with audio control and a very wide range of color dynamics.

The low light capabilities let you shoot with the ISO up to 7000 with little or no noise.

Sell you sony lenses. They don't compare to the Canon L-Series.

One side note; There have been some people with issues. For some reason, some cameras have frozen up, causing loss of media, which is scary. I don't know if there is a fix yet.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

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






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charles meadows
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 19, 2013 at 7:42:06 pm

We've just spent 2 months with the 5D III and Nikon D800 shooting documentary stuff around southern Africa, both cameras were awesome, both had there weaknesses. The D800 has a slight moire issue, the 5D seems to do too much in camera correcting, leaving the image a little plasticky. If I had to make a head on the block decision between the two then it would be the D800... then again the 5D does have excellent low light capabilities.

"There's no point in filming if you don't have fun"
Charles Meadows
Creative Director
Incubate Productions South Africa
http://www.incubatevideo.co.za


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David Rehm
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 19, 2013 at 9:55:35 pm

It makes sense for you to stick with Sony.

LD


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Bill Bruner
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 19, 2013 at 11:21:45 pm

travis, one thing I forgot to mention above was price. The GH3 is the least expensive camera on your list. Since a couple of people have mentioned the 5D Mark III, I thought you might be interested in seeing side-by-sides between the $1300 camera and the $3000+ camera:

Turn the captions on to see which camera is which:







This one is labeled:



In my view, the GH3 gives you the most bang for the back.

Cheers,

Bill


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Bill Bruner
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 20, 2013 at 2:50:09 am

Sorry - meant to say, "bang for the buck" :)


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Chris Tompkins
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 20, 2013 at 5:28:36 pm

Nice job on the video, they cut together very nicely.

Chris


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Rob Manning
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 20, 2013 at 6:00:33 pm

I don't know about the GH3, usually well spoken about but if you intend on using motion tracking the Canon and Nikon designs use in lens motors and by that aspect alone, are no match for the A99.

A DP came over to test drive my D800 for that purpose, took the clips then reviewed the work.

He ended up with the A99, and the Sony glass he also bought are made by Zeiss.

The pieces I've done, with the D800 have not suffered from moire and for landscape stills, the D800 is comparable (technique being acute) to a MF design.

We have a couple of friends both with the D800 for stills.

One does advert shoots for design houses, she dumped her MK3 last June when someone dropped off a D800 to test.

The other does private client portraits (that seems to be code for the word celebrity) and only uses Zeiss or seminal Nikkor primes.

There is also (arguably) the dynamic range of Nikon as being superior to Canon but I'm not expert and will let that be championed by more technical minds.

Lastly, HDMI to SSD or HD recording, if that is important or not to your work.

The low light considerations for video past say 3200, perhaps the D4 and MK3.

Rob Manning


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 20, 2013 at 9:42:19 pm

There are lots of people who are not happy with the video recorded by the Sony A99 camera...

A99 Video a Major Disappointment


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travis heberling
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 20, 2013 at 10:04:29 pm

Oh wow...I was not aware of the problems with the video.

I guess I should try one out for myself just to see how bad it is.

Any good footage comparisons of the a99 up against the Canon and panasonic?


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Jorden Mosley
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 22, 2013 at 2:18:06 am

If you're looking for a comparison of the cameras' video quality there was a video test done by Andrew Reid with the vg900 (video output identical to A99), plus the gh3, Blackmagic Cinema camera, 5DIII, gh2 (hacked) and the FS100.

The EOSHD Blackmagic Cinema Camera Shootout - 2.5K Version from Andrew Reid on Vimeo.



As for what to pick. Different tools are going to meet different needs. I've done a lot of research on these cameras and here's how I break it down:

5DIII

Pros:
Unrivaled lowlight performance (IMO usable up to ISO 12800), full frame (easier subject isolation), moire filter, high bit rate video files (higher than the gh3, headphone/mic jack, and lots of lenses made for the EF mount.

Cons:
Costs the most, weighs the most, doesn't resolve as much detail as the GH3/GH2, limited clip length, 60fps is only at 720p and fixed LCD screen.

6D
Same as above but minus the headphone jack and moire filter. But costs $1,000-1,200 less and weighs less.


A99
Pros: In-body image stabilization (which makes every alpha mount lens you put on it stabilized), also full-frame, tilt/swivel screen (only full-frame camera that does have it), headphone/mic jack, good auto focus for video mode (but limits f-stop to f/3.5), 60fps at 1080p, also has a headphone/mic and is weather sealed and weighs around the same as the 6D.

Cons: low light performance no where near the same league as the 5DIII/6D:
Also has no moire filter, doesn't resolve as much detail as the GH3/GH2,limited clip length and video bit rates are significantly lower than the 5D/6D/GH3 which means less wiggle room when color grading in post.


GH3
Pros: Significantly cheaper than the 5D/6D/A99, unlimited video clip length (will record up to battery/SD card runs out), resolves a lot more detail than the other cameras, moire filter,tilt/swivel screen, most versatile lens mount system (which can save you a lot of money on lenses), 60fps at 1080p, with the right lens also has good rack/auto focus for video (at any f-stop), high video codec bit rates,headphone/mic jack, weather sealed, and a camera body/lens selection a lot smaller and lighter than the others:


Cons: low light performance also no where near the 5D/6D and slightly worse than the A99, and more depth of field due to smaller sensor (subject isolation more difficult to achieve, not impossible, just not as easy as a full-frame camera).


Summary: If you're shooting a lot of situations where you don't have control of the lighting (indoor events or at night) than go with the 5D/6D. If you're recording long takes/speeches and carrying gear all day long, go with the GH3. If you're doing a lot of run and gun and don't always have the luxury/time of setting up a mono/tripod then go with the A99.

Keep in mind that all these cameras could ultimately work in those scenarios but it would require different equipment/accessories in order to accommodate the weakness of each camera in said scenarios.


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Mike Smith
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 22, 2013 at 11:15:36 am

high iso gh2


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travis heberling
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 22, 2013 at 7:54:15 pm

As of right now I have a majority of interview/testimonial work. I am getting more work for live events, weddings, presentations, etc.. A lot of things that would require continual recording.

As far as interviews lighting isnt an issue, but when I am filming for a wedding or something similar...lighting can become an issue.

Would you say a GH3 with a nice low light lens will be able to provide me with what I need where I don't need to fork over the extra money for the 5D?


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Mike Smith
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 23, 2013 at 10:50:18 am

Both are lovely cameras.





Both might stress you a bit on getting good audio.

To my mind the big differentiator is the bigger image sensor, leading to reduced depth of field in focus for the 5D. This can be a great look, though reduced depth of field is also of course achievable on the GH3 through shooting wide aperture. The better autofocus of the GH3 in video mode offsets that advantage somewhat

For stills only the Canon might be the better bet. Or a good Nikon - D7000 maybe. http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d7000.htm

For video, the panasonics have big pluses.

Whether the 5D is worth the lot-of-extra money is a big call.

You've probably seen all the comparison sites like
http://philipbloom.net/category/reviews/camera-reviews/
http://www.eoshd.com/content/9214/the-eoshd-blackmagic-cinema-camera-shooto...

For the money, if it's run-and-gun event coverage, there's still a case for thinking camcorder and not stills/video hybrid, and amongst those at budget levels the Canon XF100 is still a very good piece of kit, with good zoom, good sound control, excellent ergonomics.
http://philipbloom.net/2011/07/09/video-review-of-the-canon-xa-10-xf100-and...

And the Sony NX7 or even NX5 might be worth a look ... heresy on a dslr forum i guess !


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John Frey
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 23, 2013 at 6:19:52 pm

I have progressed through the Panasonic GH1, 2 and now the 3. The GH3 has so many new and improved features, I must say it has finally reached a level of performance that excels in many different situations. Audio 'Confidence Monitoring' from the headphone jack, the addition of settable timecode, 50 Mb/sec .MOV setting, AVCHD 2.0, new OLED EVF and OLED LCD, clean HDMI out and the availability of (2) really excellent Panasonic X Vario 'Power Zoom' lenses (which I now own and use - yes, some types of video production do require power zooming!), and the list goes on. I owned/used and sold, after a year, my Sony A65 (brother to the problematic A99. The GH3 is a far more-capable camera.

John D. Frey
25 Year owner/operator of two California-based production studios.

Digital West Video Productions of San Luis Obispo and Inland Images of Lake Elsinore


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travis heberling
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 29, 2013 at 12:12:14 am

I do also want to get more involved with with photo...will the gh3 deliver well enough for photo?


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Mike Smith
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 30, 2013 at 12:05:45 pm

The GH3 stills quality is excellent, though not quite 5D mark 3 level, and the stills ergonomics on both canon and lumix probably still trail Nikon.

You'll have to decide what's well enough for you.

There's GH3 review stuff around, including http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/panasonic_lumix_dmc_gh3_review/image...

Of course a GH3 $1,298.00 and a D70000 $896.95 together would compare in cost with the 5D $2,199.00.... though lens duplication or adpator issues might haunt you. (all prices for body only, from http://www.bhphotovideo.com


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travis heberling
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Mar 28, 2013 at 11:48:26 pm

I got to play around with a Sonya99 it has some great features for video and photo, and the photos look great.

With that said the video didnt look much better than my a33 camera. It really shows that it is all about the lenses.

The video isn't as mushy as I was thinking though, also did some test with moire and it did a lot better than my a33.

Just some insight...I still want to get my hands on a gh3 and canon 5d mkiii though before making a decision.


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Jordan Westhoff
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Apr 9, 2013 at 3:09:33 pm

I am a big fan of the 5DMark iii - although you've provided a tough set of choices since theses are all reputable full frame cameras (with the exception of the dinky GH3 sensor)

The Mark iii is a huge improvement over the Mark ii and it also has a lot of vital tools for when you dive into photography some more. My favorite features are the sensor bump and the reduced moire and aliasing additions - vital to the DSLR video crowd.

-Jordan Westhoff

Rochester Institute of Technology
BS Digital Cinema/Motion Picture Science 2015



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John Frey
Re: Can't make up my mind on a new DSLR...
on Apr 9, 2013 at 3:49:34 pm

Dinky sensor? Sensor size alone does not define the final output quality of a particular camera. The final output capability of both the GH3 and the Blackmagic cinema camera easily demonstrates that.

John D. Frey
25 Year owner/operator of two California-based production studios.

Digital West Video Productions of San Luis Obispo and Inland Images of Lake Elsinore


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