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Suggestion for a complete DSLR camera package?

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daniel skaf
Suggestion for a complete DSLR camera package?
on Feb 9, 2012 at 11:31:10 am

Hi,

I have been using the Sony Z-1 for a long time. Although I love how easy it is to use/film with it, I need to update. Any video camera that has the closest look as DSLR? Camera on the range of $3000 to $5000? I looked at the Sony NEX-FS100u, but read some reviews that were not very positive.

Any suggestions for a complete DSLR package?

I do a lot of promotional/corporate/marketing videos. So lots of interviews...

Camera
Lenses
Tripod
Digital Audio Recorder
Camera Hand-held/grip device? (I have the glide cam HD4000)

Any thoughts or direction would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Daniel


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Steve Crow
Re: Suggestion for a complete DSLR camera package?
on Feb 9, 2012 at 9:22:24 pm

In that price range if you want the look of a DSLR then get a DSLR! I'd suggest the Canon 7D since it has basically the same video performance as the 5D Mark II and with the money saved you can put some money down on all the other gear you are going to need. Remember DSLR filming is a lot more involved than what you are used to with your current camera. Read through the forums here and you will find plenty of suggestions on specific gear items. Have fun!

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Noah Kadner
Re: Suggestion for a complete DSLR camera package?
on Feb 9, 2012 at 10:59:11 pm

I'd suggest a 60D or T3i. The 7D has solid video but the non-articulating screen is a deal-breaker for me. As for the rest of the gear- depends what you have left over. The main thing to start with is the camera body, some good glass and a decent tripod. Everything else you should get once you've mastered the basics.

Noah

Call Box Training.
Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Panasonic AC160/130.


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daniel skaf
Re: Suggestion for a complete DSLR camera package?
on Feb 10, 2012 at 8:19:25 pm

Thanks Noah!

I used it twice, and it's such a different animal. My biggest hope was a Z-1 type of camera withe the bigger sensor. Have you used any before?

Thanks,

Daniel
http://www.CorporateHawaiiProductions.com


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daniel skaf
Re: Suggestion for a complete DSLR camera package?
on Feb 10, 2012 at 8:16:43 pm

Thanks Steve!!!

I'll check the 7D and the posts. Thanks!


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: Suggestion for a complete DSLR camera package?
on Feb 10, 2012 at 6:20:00 pm

The Sony FS100 is an excellent large-sensor camcorder in its price range. However, the street price of an FS100 is closer to the top end of your budget range.

In addition to the other DSLRs mentioned in this thread, you might also research the Panasonic DMC-GH2. I recently shot the interview below using a GH2 and a wireless lav mic recorded in-camera.



I've used both of these cameras and I like them a lot -- fantastic values for the money.

---

http://www.peterdv.com


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daniel skaf
Re: Suggestion for a complete DSLR camera package?
on Feb 10, 2012 at 8:24:16 pm

Peter!

I'll check your camera. The audio is perfect. I heard before if you record audio through the DSLR camera, you won't get good audio. But for the type of marketing videos I do, the audio on your clip is great! Couldn't tell the difference.

Have you used the FS100 before? My budget is around $10,000 for the whole new package I'd like to have. I already have the glydecam HD4000, which I'm still learning how to use.

Thanks,

Daniel Skaf
http://www.CorporateHawaiiProductions.com


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Peter J. DeCrescenzo
Re: Suggestion for a complete DSLR camera package?
on Feb 10, 2012 at 10:24:21 pm

The audio recording capability of most DSLRs, including the GH2, is at best only OK. Technically it's not even as good as most older prosumer HDV or DV camcorders. And nowhere near as good as modern prosumer & pro camcorders.

Most DSLRs typically compromise audio in several ways. DSLRs don't have balanced XLR input connectors, they compress audio more than HDV & DV cams do, or they have always-on auto audio level features, and only 1 or 2 DSLRs have headphone jacks for monitoring audio while the camera is recording.

The GH2 has on-screen audio level meters, but no headphone jack. When recording sound you can't hear the audio until you play a clip back. The GH2's audio-out connector can drive most headphones during playback, but you have to use plug adapters to connect it together.

If you're shooting with a DSLR you'll get much better quality sound -- and vastly more reliably -- if you use an external device (with XLR inputs & a headphone jack) to record sound.

Camcorders such as the FS100 cost more than most DSLRs, but you get a lot for the extra money. A FS100 can record much better-looking video than any DSLR. FS100 video is very low noise, has cleaner-looking compression, and doesn't tend to have the moire & aliasing issues common to most DSLRs. FS100 video is also better looking than what the similarly-priced Panasonic AF100 is capable of. And of course, like most prosumer & pro camcorders, the FS100 has XLR audio inputs & a headphone jack.

Unfortunately, like a DSLR, the FS100 doesn't have built-in ND filters, which are a very useful convenience feature common in most prosumer & pro camcorders. This is one of the few drawbacks of the FS100, but not necessarily a deal-killer.

There are many FS100 video samples on the web. Here's oen I shot. An FS100 is used in this broadcast TV production to shoot the hostess. This clip was re-compressed by Vimeo from a relatively low data-rate copy of the camera's original footage, but it holds up OK.



---

http://www.peterdv.com


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daniel skaf
Re: Suggestion for a complete DSLR camera package?
on Feb 11, 2012 at 12:59:10 am

Thanks Peter!

I appreciate the valuable info you shared. The FS100 video quality is good.

I heard the FS100 is a bit flimsy. Would you say so? I love the Z-1 because of its sturdyness.

What about lenses? Have you used different lenses with the FS100?

I read some panasonic AF100 reviews and saw some footage. Funny looking camera but it seems sturdy.

Thanks again!

Daniel
http://www.CorporateHawaiiProductions.com


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Rob Manning
Re: Suggestion for a complete DSLR camera package?
on Feb 11, 2012 at 7:42:30 pm

Both Canon and Nikon have new machines announced, the D800 and D4 from Nikon and the 1DX from Canon.

I was on a shoot with a DP who had jettisoned his N and C gear for the FS100, because of the lens and pro features.

He also bought the crop DSLR Sony to use concurrently, he's delighted with the FS100 and disappointed with the DSLR.

You might wait until the new gear is on the market and test driven beyond the ringers hired by N and C to sex up the promos.

I am impressed with Nikons HDMI uncompressed out however as 4.2.2 and the 36MP sensor on the D800 which according to hype, has reduced moire and rolling shutter etc. because of CPU advances.

A lot is up in the air right now.

Rob


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daniel skaf
Re: Suggestion for a complete DSLR camera package?
on Feb 12, 2012 at 1:07:29 am

Thanks Rob!

I'm leaning more towards the FS100 or any new non-DSLR camera may be coming from sony or canon this year!

I watch and read a lot of the FS100 and it seems to have a solid image. I'll just have to buy the right grip gear to run/gun with it! Many of my shoots required fast set-up.

I do have a GlideCam HD4000. Anyone used it with the FS100 before?

Thanks,
Daniel
http://www.CorporateHawaiiProductions.com


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Noah Kadner
Re: Suggestion for a complete DSLR camera package?
on Feb 13, 2012 at 11:38:13 pm

Yeah just as a caveat- I never ever shoot audio directly to my DSLR. That's just a guide track for later sync. I generally use a lav mic running into a Zoom H1 recorder. Sounds great.

Noah

Call Box Training.
Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Panasonic AC160/130.


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Rob Manning
Re: Suggestion for a complete DSLR camera package?
on Feb 14, 2012 at 8:57:01 am

My pal, a DP who also is on a permanent crew shooting RED Epics around the globe, replaced his 7D and Nikons with the FS100.

If Video is the goal, that's a great choice although, he still is welcome to use my Nikon glass.

We were at Mono Lake, in the late fall, frost and fog at dawn, pink pre sunrise and sunup, also the next day at Alabama Hills and Mt. Whitney, I haven't seen the decoded takes but the files in camera, were stunning, plus all of the in/out configurations, pretty hard to beat the machine at that price.

I'm signed up for a D4 and a D800, so we'll see if the Nikon hype is real.

Have fun,

Rob


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daniel skaf
Re: Suggestion for a complete DSLR camera package?
on Feb 14, 2012 at 9:41:44 am

Thanks Noah and Rob!

About the Red DP switching to the FS100 is pretty impressive. I just hoped its body would be sturdy enough to not buy additional gripping tools.

I do have the glidemcam HD400, but for simple handheld, Im may need to find some basic gripping info.

Other than that, I'll research more about the FS100! The image quality I have seen so for is pretty good!

Thanks,
Daniel
http://www.CorporateHawaiiProductions.com


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Andrew Somers
Re: Suggestion for a complete DSLR camera package?
on Feb 28, 2012 at 5:44:30 am

I highly suggest Nikon. I wrote a few detailed posts just a week or two ago here:


Regarding the Nikon D7000 (by far the best video-capable dSLR in the under $3000 class, and at $1300, you won;t find a more capable camera):

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/280/8285


And regarding a few useful lens choices for the D7000:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/280/8316



If you have more to spend, the Nikon D4 is the best video camera below the Red Scarlet or Epic.

The D4 has superior dynamic range and high ISO performance compared to any camera (still or video) under $10,000. The D4 Body is $6000.

http://www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Products/Product/Digital-SLR-Cameras/25482/D4...




At a more modest $3000, the D800 utterly destroys the Canon 5D and 7D in terms of performance for both video and stills:

http://www.nikonusa.com/Nikon-Products/Product/Digital-SLR-Cameras/25480/D8...




See this comparative review at DXOmark, comparing the Nikon D800 vs the Canon 5D Mark II:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Reviews/Nikon-D800-Re...



Now, as to the Sony FS100 - there is a lot to be said for a dedicated camcorder instead of a dSLR. For $5000 for the body, it looks to be a solid camera - though the D4 exceeds it in terms of ISO and dynamic range.

Both the D4 and the FS100 have full res HDMI outputs (so you don't have to use the built in compression). But both are also 8 bit in terms of video.

Now there is talk that the FS100 will have an upgrade to 10 bit - and THAT would really swing in favor of the FS100. A true 10 bit camera for $5000 ? That would be a real winner.

On the other hand, THIS GUY seems to hate it:

http://wideopencamera.com/skid-row/10-reasons-to-hate-the-sony-fs100/



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Stephen Best
Re: Suggestion for a complete DSLR camera package?
on Mar 4, 2012 at 2:18:39 pm

Daniel, if it's any help what I've settled on would do well in your budget range. I use a Panasonic Lumix GH2 with hacks available from http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussions.

For sound, I use a double system. I mount a Zoom H4N on the hot shoe and connect it to the GH2 via a Sescom cable to allow monitoring. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/755857-REG/Sescom_LN2MIC_ZMGH_MON_3_5.... I have other mikes for interviews, which are connected to the Zoom with a cable or with a wireless system. Add a RedHead windscreen to the Zoom. http://www.redheadwindscreens.com/

The camera is mounted in a Trusmt cage (check them out on ebay) I have two stock GH2 lens plus a range of Canon FL primes. An old O'Connor 50D serves as a tripod, and I have light kit.

Regards
Stephen Best
http://stephenbest.ca


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daniel skaf
Re: Suggestion for a complete DSLR camera package?
on Mar 5, 2012 at 6:52:59 pm

Thanks Steve for your informative email! I'll check it out!


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