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Camera Question

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Tom Laughlin
Camera Question
on Nov 20, 2013 at 4:53:27 pm

Hi,

I'm looking to step into the world of actual camera ownership, and while I rent cameras and stick to only a few flavors, there are so many cameras to choose from, so many options, formats, codecs, resolutions, etc. My budget is about $2-5K, I've used EX-3s and EX-1s for 'run and gun', like them both but lots of noise in the blacks and footage is slightly grainy, (Canon 5D's much more clearer image), I've used Canon 5Ds for doc work, but not for run and gun, and they are decent, and I've used DVX & HVX stlye Panasonic cameras, that are decent, and a few JVC cameras.

I just want to get everyone's opinion on brand, price, quality, your short term and long term experience with cameras, and why you like them. I've edited multiple shows using footage from different sources and it's amazing how size of camera doesn't mean a thing. A small tiny 4K JVC camera's image quality versus a Canon XF, maybe it was the way it was shot, but I've editing all sorts of things using mixed formats and codecs, so I'm not concerned about that, it's mostly an image quality question.

I'd love to hear what rigs you've shot with, what you like, why, and any suggestions on future purchases for current or future camera brands, makes, and models.

Thanks Creative Cow Cinematographers Forum!

Cheers,

Tom Laughlin
Producer/Editor
Digital Chop House
Salt Lake City, Utah


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Bill Bruner
Re: Camera Question
on Nov 21, 2013 at 1:40:57 pm
Last Edited By Bill Bruner on Nov 21, 2013 at 1:44:55 pm

Hi Tom - I'd probably stretch a little and step up to the $5449 Canon C100 and save up for the new dual-pixel sensor upgrade, available in February 2014 for $500.

As a former Canon shooter, this camera fixes almost all of the limitations I found so frustrating with Canon DSLRs - it has no clip length limit, it has a real video viewfinder, it's moire-free, and now, with dual-pixel, it will have fast video autofocus.

It still has no power zoom, and it's limited to an 8 bit codec, but it is a real shooter's camera and produces high quality Canon 1080p video:

Five Minutes Till Noon by John DeVries

If you need higher bit depth or resolution on a $2-5K budget, your only real choice is the $1995 2.5K 12-bit RAW Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Blackmagic cameras are nowhere near as good ergonomically as the C100 (you'll need an external viewfinder, external batteries for power and XLR adapters with external preamps for sound, for example) - but 2.5K is good enough for theatrical projection and shooting RAW gives you much more flexibility in post. Results from this camera look very good on the screen.

now - Short Film by Louis Mayo (shot in 10 bit ProRes)

The Baseball Card by Michael Boylan (shot in 10 bit ProRes)

Ostium - Short Thriller by Sergey Zavarykin (shot in 12 bit RAW)

Pigeon! (Turkey's first Blackmagic Cinema Camera film) by Muratcan Gokce (s...

I just bought a $995 Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, and it is really liberating to push 10 and 12 bit images around in post and not worry about "breaking" them. It doesn have the 2.5K resolution of its big brother, but this little camera produces some pretty amazing 1080p 12 bit RAW video:

First RAW video from Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera by Ron Stratton

Hope that's helpful!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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