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Jenn Lindsay
New Canon camera purchase question
on Jan 25, 2017 at 8:30:00 am

Hello there!

I've been shooting doc footage on a Canon T5i and I've been pretty happy with it, although I'm ready for an upgrade to better image quality and full HDMI out. I'm trying to make a decision between a Canon 7D Mark II and a used 5D Mark III. I've shop at Hunt's Photo in Boston and I trust them and have had a great experience in general.

If I go with the 7D I can keep my lenses from the T5i ($1500 total), and if I go with the 5D I'll have to get at least one new lens ($1300 + 800=$2100 total). I also have a lots of SD cards I shoot on and I'm not sure if I can keep working with those. The price difference is manageable for me, but I'm a little nervous about getting a used camera.

Do you have any thoughts to share? What sort of questions should I be asking.
Thanks so much!
Jenn

http://www.JennLindsay.com
iMac 27-inch, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7. 4GB GPU.
FCPX


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Blaise Douros
Re: New Canon camera purchase question
on Jan 25, 2017 at 6:06:31 pm
Last Edited By Blaise Douros on Jan 25, 2017 at 6:07:26 pm

For video, the 7DII will not give you an appreciable change in the quality of your imagery from the T5i.

What's your budget? What kind of work are you trying to do? Are you getting paid to do it? Is audio important to you? Do you really need the HDMI out (i.e. are you investing in an external monitor/recorder like Shogun or similar) or is that just nice-to-have? What is your current lens load-out?

It would help to know your goals, and then we/I can make better recommendations. Just asking which one is better is going to get you a bunch of spitballed opinions that aren't based on the goal, which is to recommend a tool that will work best for the job you're trying to do.


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Jenn Lindsay
Re: New Canon camera purchase question
on Jan 25, 2017 at 6:19:49 pm

Yes, thank you so much for your help!

I am getting paid to do this work; I work as the documentarian for a research institute and once this contract is over I'd like to continue making short ethnographic films for classrooms and pursue video journalism. I've also been acting as DOP for a start-up that is making commercials for web apps. We did alright with my T5i in the last shoots, but I'll look forward to having something nicer to work with.

The reason I want HDMI out is that I have a Black Magic recorder/monitor with focus peaking and it will only record the audio with full clean HDMI. The T5i allows me to use it only as a monitor now, but not as a recorder.

I already have a Sennheiser boom mike that I plug into the T5i but if I need something cleaner/closer I use my Rode lapels with my H4N Zoom audio recorder. The setup is efficient but a bit cumbersome, and I would appreciate more ability to get decent audio with "run and gun" situations.

I have three EF-S lenses compatible with the T5i's APS-C sensor. If I went with the 5D Mark III, I think I would not need to replace my nifty 50, and the full frame sensor of the 5D Mark III can buy me some time replacing my wide-angle lens, but I'd certainly need to replace my 70-300 Tascam zoom.

My current budget is $3500 (which is why I am jumping at the used 5D Mark III for $1300, though I'm unsure about buying used).

I look forward to hearing your thoughts! Thank you again!
Jenn Lindsay

http://www.JennLindsay.com
iMac 27-inch, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7. 4GB GPU.
FCPX


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Blaise Douros
Re: New Canon camera purchase question
on Jan 25, 2017 at 7:34:42 pm

Hey Jenn,
Great, this is very helpful in making some recommendations.

I am getting pretty tired of Canon's DSLRs for video. I have the 5DIII, and let me tell you, the video situation on it is ancient compared to what's out there today. The audio integration situation is lousy, and they don't have good codecs or gamma spaces for color correction. So I'm going to suggest you consider a radically different direction.

Take a look at the Sony mirrorless cameras, and specifically at the a6500. The a7s and a7sii are your full-frame options, but they are expensive, and the a6500 is more affordable and is a great APS-C/Super-35 solution.

This camera, with a Metabones adapter, can use and control your EF-mount glass, and the shallow flange depth means it can take almost ANY adapted glass--everything from vintage rangefinder glass to EF to PL, with the correct adapters. It can shoot 4K internally at 100mbps if you care about that (I don't), but more importantly, it records an XAVC-S codec which absolutely trounces the bitrate of the standard h.264 codecs in the Canon DSLRs (unless you want to hack them with Magic Lantern to shoot RAW, in which case they'll overheat a lot). And even more importantly, you can shoot in Sony's stellar Slog-2 and Slog-3 gamma spaces, which give you a wider dynamic range for color grading.

It also has clean uncompressed HDMI out, even in 4K, which means that Blackmagic recorder is useful if still want to use it instead of the XAVC-S codec.

There's an accessory called the K2M and/or the K1M that adds a dual XLR input on the camera's hot shoe, allowing you to record audio internally in most situations.

With no lens, the a6500 is $1400. Which means you have a BUNCH of money left over to pick up the Metabones ($400) adapter, the K2M/K1M (whichever you prefer, the K2M is $500 and comes with a little shotgun mic, bonus!), and some extra batteries. Then, you've still got $1100 to pick up extra camera support gear, maybe even an inexpensive gimbal since the rig will be so light.

I have turned into a complete Sony fan over the last couple of years. I keep my Canon DSLRs for still photography, but my video work is ALL done on Sony gear now. They've paid attention to a lot of the things that working pros need, while keeping the bodies small and the gear affordable. Honestly, with this setup, you'd be looking at a rig that can compare favorably with a C100 mkii, in a smaller footprint. Granted, not all the ease-of-use of the C-series is there--you'll have to navigate some menus to make certain things happen, and that's just the way it is. But for those of us that need compact rigs for run-and-gun at reasonable prices, Sony is not to be dismissed right now.


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Warren Eig
Re: New Canon camera purchase question
on Jan 25, 2017 at 6:20:15 pm

Jenn,

I miss Boston!

That being said, it depends what you want to accomplish. The 5D Mark III, which I use, has a shallower depth of field. The 7D is similar in size to a super 35mm sensor (film frame), the 5D is like VistaVision.

As for glass, EF L series are much better than the EF-s, but they also cost more, but you can find used. CF cards are faster at the moment and hardier. But this can change in the future. Also the 5D has two slots, an SD and CF slot. You can install Magic Lantern on the SD card and shoot RAW 14bit to the CF card.

Also take a look at B&H in New York-- great prices.

Feel free to touch base if you have more questions.

Warren Eig
O 310-470-0905


email: info@babyboompictures.com
website: http://www.BabyBoomPictures.com



For Camera Accessories - Monitors and Batteries
website: http://www.EigRig.com



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Al Bergstein
Re: New Canon camera purchase question
on Jan 25, 2017 at 9:03:55 pm

Hi Jen. I would agree with most of the folks here. Here's some more food for thought. I have owned a 7D (older model) and a 5Dmkiii. I agree that the video quality of the 7Dmkiii won't be much of an upgrade, nor will the 5D video. however, if you are doing as many stills as video, want the least painful way to go (budget wise) and you are doing ok with your current setup and clients, just buy the 7Dmkiii. It's cheap, it accomplishes most of your goals. It does NOT do 4k, which means that Canon designed it for mainly still photog. (wildlife and sports shooters) and newbie video people not needing state of the art. I would *NOT* spend the money on a 5Dmkiii for video. Very soft video quality. Has a certain look but one I don't favor anymore.

Video wise, for the price, it is an ok camera, but for example, I now own GH4 which has 4k and HDMI out clean. It has far more video capability than a 7D or even a 5d (!) and you can buy them on Ebay used for under $1000 (body only). You would have to buy a couple of new lenses so would be able to change over for your budget. Only downside is low light. The GH4 gets pretty grainy pretty fast if you aren't lighting it well. I would *much* prefer shooting with a 7D mkiii at 1080p if I was primarily shooting low light videos. And the 5dMkiii is the best in low light with it's full frame.

But if you light it well, and only need 1080p, then the 7D or Gh4 both would be fine. Oh, and right, the 7D now has two slots for cards. That might be a feature worth having.

So easy way, just buy the 7Dmkiii and keep doing what you are doing, with the same lenses, and the new ability to use HDMI out with a better low light sensor (to some degree). You won't get 4k but I don't ever have a client ask for it. I do use 4k to do a lot of punch in's to pretend I'm getting two cameras. That is a good reason to shoot it, but you likely might also need a new computer.


Hope this helps.

Al


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Al Bergstein
Re: New Canon camera purchase question
on Jan 26, 2017 at 3:48:28 am
Last Edited By Al Bergstein on Jan 26, 2017 at 3:53:07 am

Hi Jen. I would agree with most of the folks here. Here's some more food for thought. I have owned a 7D (older model) and a 5Dmkiii. I agree that the video quality of the 7Dmkiii won't be much of an upgrade, nor will the 5D video. however, if you are doing as many stills as video, want the least painful way to go (budget wise) and you are doing ok with your current setup and clients, just buy the 7Dmkiii. It's cheap, it accomplishes most of your goals. It does NOT do 4k, which means that Canon designed it for mainly still photog. (wildlife and sports shooters) and newbie video people not needing state of the art. I would *NOT* spend the money on a 5Dmkiii for video. Very soft video quality. Has a certain look but one I don't favor anymore.

Video wise, for the price, it is an ok camera, but for example, I now own GH4 which has 4k and HDMI out clean. It has far more video capability than a 7D or even a 5d (!) and you can buy them on Ebay used for under $1000 (body only).

So easy way, just buy the 7Dmkii and keep doing what you are doing, with the same lenses, and the new ability to use HDMI out with a better low light sensor (to some degree). You won't get 4k but I don't ever have a client ask for it. I do use 4k to do a lot of punch in's to pretend I'm getting two cameras. That is a good reason to shoot it, but you likely might also need a new computer.

One other thing you might be able to do to get better video quality, is to use an Atomos Ninja Blade to output your video HDMI to an external monitor. That would still keep all your lenses in play and get somewhat better video out of the 7Dmkiii. All this are simply steps to avoid a major camera/lens upgrade.

Here's a video I found that compares the output between the 7Dmkii and the Blade.








Hope this helps.

Al


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Jenn Lindsay
Re: New Canon camera purchase question
on Feb 2, 2017 at 9:09:25 am

Thank you so much to all of your for pitching in with your advice.

I have to work too quickly to handle a whole brand changeover right now but I am convinced by now that at this point the 7D Mark II makes the most sense.

Someday hopefully I can move toward better Video brands or maybe Canon will come up with a really great video DSLR with full HDMI out that justifies the lens changeover. It seems like getting the 5D Mark III or even making a huge plunge into a 5D Mark IV is hard to justify.

But it seems pragmatic to go with the sensible 7D right now ☺

Thank you again to you all for taking the time, I learned a lot looking at all your suggestions!
Jenn

http://www.JennLindsay.com
iMac 27-inch, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7. 4GB GPU.
FCPX


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Blaise Douros
Re: New Canon camera purchase question
on Feb 2, 2017 at 11:38:27 pm
Last Edited By Blaise Douros on Feb 3, 2017 at 12:13:21 am

I want to mention one last time--there is NO XLR audio available on the 7DII, and you'll be working in an outdated h.264 codec that doesn't handle much grading. The a6500 has HDMI out, higher internal video bitrates and a modern codec, log gamma, and XLR integration possibly. And again, it can control your lenses on a Metabones adapter so you don't have to buy all new glass--just an adapter that you leave on the camera.

Just throwing it out there one more time, because frankly, the 7DII just isn't anywhere near as capable a tool, and I hate to see someone giving up capability for familiarity. Sorry if I appear strident--I've just been so pleased with the capabilities of all my current Sony video rigs, and so disappointed in the lagging capabilities of Canon.


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Jenn Lindsay
Re: New Canon camera purchase question
on Feb 5, 2017 at 7:17:33 pm

Okay, you guys have emboldened me!!

I'm meeting with my camera guy and he is going to show me the Sony and Panasonic you all recommended. I am totally up for doing what it takes to get the best video and all the gear I need for $3500. A little scared about changing stuff over and working fast but, if I figured out the T5i so quickly, how hard can it be?

Thanks again for all your input ☺
Jenn

http://www.JennLindsay.com
iMac 27-inch, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7. 4GB GPU.
FCPX


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Blaise Douros
Re: New Canon camera purchase question
on Feb 7, 2017 at 7:59:46 pm

Awesome--be bold! You'll spend a little time learning the Sony menu system, and be sure to read up how to best expose Slog2 and 3. But otherwise, everything will feel pretty familiar.

And come back and post your results, as well as questions!


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Craig Alan
Re: New Canon camera purchase question
on Feb 5, 2017 at 6:42:33 pm

in case u haven't spent all your budget yet.

try this
Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens B&H # CA5018EFSTM MFR # 0570C002.
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1143787-REG/canon_0575c001_es_68_len...
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/756810-REG/B_W_66_1066103_49mm_XS_Pr...

Its not an L series but its a great lens for the price. EF lenses on a canon is a step up in image quality. If you only care about video and not stills listen to the others - the sony
Sony Alpha a7R II Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only) B&H # SOA7R2 MFR # ILCE7RM2/B
is a huge step up for film. Its designed for it and gets a LOT of BUZ even more than the black magic cinema at the moment.
Hell moving to FCP X 10.3 is a learning curve and worth it.

if you love Canon DSLRs for photos then get the

Metabones T Smart Adapter Mark IV for Canon EF or Canon EF-S Mount Lens to Sony E-Mount Camera B&H # MEEFEBT4 MFR # MB_EF-E-BT4

and get the EF series lenses - and in the future when possible get an L series lens.

Mac Pro, macbook pro, Imacs (i7); Canon 5D Mark III/70D, Panasonic AG-HPX170/AG-HPX250P, Canon HV40, Sony Z7U/VX2000/PD170; FCP 6 certified; FCP X write professionally for a variety of media; teach video production in L.A.


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Jenn Lindsay
Re: New Canon camera purchase question
on Mar 21, 2017 at 9:41:13 am
Last Edited By Jenn Lindsay on Mar 21, 2017 at 9:48:34 am

Hi everyone! I just wanted to thank you all again for emboldening me to try out every single camera recommended in this thread and more at my fave camera store Hunt's Photos in Boston.

The more I started frankensteining together all the DSLR options and accessories, the more unwieldy everything seemed. And then my trusty camera guy said, "Ummmm, can I show you something?"

And about two hours later I walked out with the Canon EOS C100 Mark II.

My credit card balance is a little worse for the wear, but my rig, flexibility, weight, speed, and general level of excitement are way higher. I think this camera is going to really alleviate a lot of the issues I was having with tons of gear. I really only shoot video, and if I need stills I've got the little T5i in my bag, good to go with a nifty fifty.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank everyone for recommending I think outside the box. Even though I stayed with Canon, my segue to a cinema camera seems like the right option and I'm really excited to get out there......

Happy shooting, all! ☺

Jenn

http://www.JennLindsay.com
iMac 27-inch, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7. 4GB GPU.
FCPX


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