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Always Changing--Which DSLR NOW?

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Mike Thomas
Always Changing--Which DSLR NOW?
on Jan 20, 2011 at 1:04:35 am

I've been researching Canon dslr's for a few months now and everytime I think I know which model to buy something new comes out--new filmware, new models, competition (Panasonic af 100), etc.

I'm a feature filmmaker planning to shoot my 2nd film (1st was shot on Sony EX3). My next movie is an adventure story which will have a lot of forest scenes and action scenes. Am I kidding myself believing that I'll be able to shoot a great picture with a dslr with all their known issues--moire, aliasing, etc??

I was sold on the 7D...until I realized that new filmware is coming out all the time for all the models EXCEPT for the 7D. I don't have a lot of time to scour the internet trying to keep up with the latest updates and the "which camera is best" debate.

And what's the deal with the Panasonic af 100? I mean is it really a "DSLR Killer" or should I stick with my original plan of using a DSLR? Does anyone have any insights to offer me??? Thanks!


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Noah Kadner
Re: Always Changing--Which DSLR NOW?
on Jan 20, 2011 at 2:20:17 am

After shooting with the AF100 I'm a little spoiled- much more ergonomic camera to work with than any DSLR out there. Costs more of course. So it comes down to:

DSLR- great images, not optimal ergonomics, relatively cheap ~700-2500
AF100- great images, optimal ergonomics, more expensive. ~4995

If I had to pick a camera that wasn't the 5D Mark II- I'd go with the 60D. The swing out monitor seals the deal.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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Alberto Solano
Re: Always Changing--Which DSLR NOW?
on Jan 20, 2011 at 2:25:09 pm

No new firmwares updates for the 7D? ever? where did you read that? I'm curious because I'm seriously considering buying one soon.


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yuke ward
Re: Always Changing--Which DSLR NOW?
on Jan 20, 2011 at 2:39:49 pm

Lots of details (forest) and fast (action) movements? Aren't these DSLR cameras' weak spots due to rolling-shutter and line-skipping?

Hugely popular feature "Monsters" was filmed with an Ex3 and a 35mm adapter (and still lenses?).

chack out the making-off :

http://www.slashfilm.com/how-gareth-edwards-shot-monsters-on-an-incredibly-...


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Michael Sacci
Re: Always Changing--Which DSLR NOW?
on Jan 20, 2011 at 8:11:29 pm

[Mike Thomas] "until I realized that new filmware is coming out all the time for all the models" Unless you are talking about Firmware HACKS this is such a non-issue. Some of the Firmware that has come out is normally to fix something not to add features to the camera. The 5D needed a firmware update to change the frame-rates to something that was actually usable.

Magic Lantern Firmware is good, I may try it on my 60D by they are hacks and have a level of risks to use. Although the risk seems to be small there is a risk.


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Bill Davis
Re: Always Changing--Which DSLR NOW?
on Jan 20, 2011 at 8:38:17 pm

Camera = piano.

If you can play one piano, you can play ANY of them. More importantly, if you aren't yet a highly skilled piano player, the quality of the instrument to which you sit down at is always going to be a a pretty insignificant consideration.

Every single camera mentioned in this thread is capable of making a GREAT movie - or another in the ever increasing series of home made digital movies that goes nowhere. It's a harsh reality - but it IS reality.

Pick a camera - any camera - whatever you're currently leaning towards - knowing that in the end, what really matters is the EXPERIENCE you gain making your movie. NOT any sort of magic that the particular device will impart. There IS no magic in devices. But smart people CAN develop magic in themselves. But only after the hardware stuff is BEHIND you and the process of creating has started.

FWIW.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Conner


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Sohrab Sandhu
Re: Always Changing--Which DSLR NOW?
on Jan 21, 2011 at 12:29:44 am

[Bill Davis] " There IS no magic in devices. But smart people CAN develop magic in themselves"

Nothing but THE TRUTH!

These bloody expensive cameras are still easier to get but the Magic....ah!

2.66 GHz 8-core, ATI Radeon HD 4870,
FCS 3, AJA Kona Lhi



"The creative person wants to be a know-it-all. He wants to know about all kinds of things: ancient history, nineteenth-century mathematics, current manufacturing techniques, flower arranging, and hog futures. Because he never knows when these ideas might come together to form a new idea. It may happen six minutes later or six months, or six years down the road. But he has faith that it will happen." -- Carl Ally


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Eric Nicastro
Re: Always Changing--Which DSLR NOW?
on Jan 20, 2011 at 9:55:26 pm

I have a 60D and love it because of the swing out monitor. Same sensor and guts as the 7D, just not as rugged of a body and not as fast for stills. I used my 60D on a Glidecam 4000. Being able to move the monitor and keep it angled towards me was wonderful and made my life so much easier! I even put it on a monopod and held it above my head, pointed the monitor down so I could keep my shot framed. And it's extremely inexpensive; only about $1,000 for body only.


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Mike Thomas
Re: Always Changing--Which DSLR NOW?
on Jan 20, 2011 at 10:46:35 pm

I was referring to hack filmware as Michael pointed out. Apparently the 7D is the only model which won't accept them.

Thanks for the replies.


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Michael Sacci
Re: Always Changing--Which DSLR NOW?
on Jan 20, 2011 at 11:16:35 pm

I would not make my decision on what has hacked firmware available.


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Malcolm Matusky
Re: Always Changing--Which DSLR NOW?
on Jan 21, 2011 at 5:37:44 pm

You did not say what your "budget" is for camera equipment. Perhaps you should rent? Buy? That's a business decision you have to make first, then you can figure out what equipment you can get for the money you have. See Philip Bloom's website about the af-100, he just bought one, and has a GH2 to go with it, and a 7D, 5D, piles of lenses etc etc.

What do you want to accomplish? Do you need 2 cameras? The af-100/GH2 combination is great, as long as you are OK with completely manual lenses, PL mount, etc. The m43 lenses are consumer stuff, slow, not constant aperture, not too useful for filmmaking. Berger is just coming out with an adapter for Canon EOS to m43 with IS, aperture control, etc. If it works, and is available, should be very interesting. I think this would be a great combination for "feature" filmmaking at this point. Not a "vista-vision" sized sensor, but just shy of Super-35, the feature film standard.

Or should you rend a Red? $ 1,500~2,000/day not including data storage issues, etc, etc. Do you have a fast enough computer to edit on, 10~20 TB of storage???

I'm shooting with the 7D, I like it, and it works for me. I hand hold a lot, but very short scenes, so the front heavy nature of my rig is OK, I also use a monopod when I have longer takes, or go to the tripod. Not as easy to use as a "video camera" but I like the look and find the light sensitivity very useful in the uncontrolled environments I shoot in. I usually shoot ISO 640 and up so I can shoot with an f4~5.6 to keep things in focus, I shoot alone! I have been thinking of getting a HMC-150 to complement my rig, but have not needed it yet, so I'll wait or rent when I do.

Regards,

Malcolm

Malcolm


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Eric Nicastro
Re: Always Changing--Which DSLR NOW?
on Jan 21, 2011 at 6:52:37 pm

There's always a post about which camera is best. And this seems to fall into that category. But what I think people should be asking themselves is "Which camera is the best for THIS project/film?" Every single camera out there has strengths and weaknesses, every single one! There is no one perfect camera because we always need a camera to do something different. A big thing to factor in is price too. Sometimes we have to buy a camera with less features because it's all we can afford. Other times, for the lucky few (which is not me) price doesn't really play a huge role and they can buy the high end gear.

I bought my Canon 60D kit for $5,001.40 (that's the exact price). What I got with that kit was two Sigma lenses (because I couldn't afford Canon lenses). I have a 24-70 f/2.8 and a 70-200 f/2.8. Batteries, memory cards, LED light (from Alzo Video not Light Panels), Zoom H4n, cheap Genus LCD screen viewfinder, Rode Video Mic, Igus slider, Manfrotto monopod and HDV head (great for shooting video), Lowepro backpack, lens filters, accessory cables, as well as some items for taking stills with it (external flash, light stand, reflector, etc.)

The point I'm trying to make is I bought that stuff based on my budget and for what I'll be shooting. I primarily shoot wedding films, some short films and some local commercials. Would I rather have Canon L glass or Zeiss primes? Of course! But my budget didn't allow it. I had to sacrifice some features because of my budget and take into consideration what I'll be doing with the camera. I can rent lenses as I need them for cheap and factor that price into the quote I present to my client. There are all kinds of online places to rent from.

Base this decision on your current project or the projects/films you want to do. It's not always about what everyone else is using, it's about using the right tool to make your idea or vision work and work within your budget.


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Mike Thomas
Re: Always Changing--Which DSLR NOW?
on Jan 21, 2011 at 9:50:56 pm

My camera budget for this next project is 12K or under...though preferrably under. I would never rent. My last film I bought a Sony EX3, shot the movie then ebayed the camera 2 months later for only about 1K less than what I bought it for. That's what I plan to do again.

I suppose part of my indecisiveness is that I'm unable to try out a camera before I commit to buying one (no funds right now to rent even for a day). So I'm trying to figure out what'll work best for me based solely on internet word-of-mouth. I already follow Philip Bloom's blog btw. He's the guy that convinced me to buy a EX3!

Questions:
I understand that the moire problem with DSLR's shows up when shooting things such as roof shingles and the like. I plan to shoot a lot in the forest. Will all the leaves and such give me grief should I shoot with a DSLR?

I understand that the Panasonic af 100 doesn't have focus assist. Is this true? My production will be a one man show and I'll be running the camera myself. After using the EX3's amazing focus assist...I think I'd be lost without it. How is it focusing with the Panasonic?

I appreciate the replies! Here's a scene from my first movie if you care to see--





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Noah Kadner
Re: Always Changing--Which DSLR NOW?
on Jan 22, 2011 at 5:17:59 pm

[Mike Thomas] "I understand that the Panasonic af 100 doesn't have focus assist. Is this true? My production will be a one man show and I'll be running the camera myself. After using the EX3's amazing focus assist...I think I'd be lost without it. How is it focusing with the Panasonic?
"


It has focus assist- and a very sharp, bright screen. I find manual focusing about as good as any camera I've used. Far far easier than stock DSLR cameras.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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Malcolm Matusky
Re: Always Changing--Which DSLR NOW?
on Jan 23, 2011 at 8:35:18 pm

Sounds like you need to rent a DSLR rig for a day and test it for yourself!

Malcolm


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Noah Kadner
Re: Always Changing--Which DSLR NOW?
on Jan 24, 2011 at 1:02:11 am

Yup- or if you're in L.A. or NYC check out one of the camera shops like Abel Cine to play around.

Noah

Unlock the secrets of 24p, HD and Final Cut Studio with Call Box Training. Featuring the Canon 5D Mark II and 7D.


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Ryan Orr
Re: Always Changing--Which DSLR NOW?
on Jan 27, 2011 at 6:30:50 pm

Panasonic GH2 or the AF-100...hands down.

The GH2 because it is comparable to the Canon 60D, but it has a clean uncompressed HD signal coming out of the HDMI, so an external recorder can take that beautiful sensor video and get a higher quality video out of it.

The AF-100 because it's cheaper then the large sensor Sony camera coming out, and it's more like a video camera then a camera that can do video. In all honesty, the AF-100 isn't THAT expensive...but I do realize there are others out there where the GH2 would be more in their price range.

Whichever camera you're trying to get, in general, the Nikon lenses are the best. Just get the right adapters, and you should be good.


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