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Upgrading from Canon 7D ... What to buy?

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Robert DeMaio
Upgrading from Canon 7D ... What to buy?
on Sep 4, 2012 at 8:47:50 pm

Hi all,

I am looking to upgrade from my 7D or buy an additional body to compliment it. So what should I buy? Please consider the notes below when responding.

I am looking at both Canon DSLRs as well as full fledged video cameras, like the FS100, C100 (when it comes out), etc. I am just a little worried about the price tags on some of them (particularly the C100), considering what they offer/don't offer.

My main bones to pick with DSLRs:
-Rolling shutter generated artifacts (not so much the jello-cam, but definitely the MOIRE... UGH!!! Moire is the bane of my existence).
-Dynamic range (blown out windows piss me off almost as much as moire).
-8-bit 4:2:0 (not a biggie, but it's just one more thing that would be nice to upgrade from).

Now I understand that at my price point I may be stuck with some of these probems, but there are some rigs out there where this my not be the case. For example, I'm hearing some great things about the Blackmagic Cinema Camera (BMCC). But I have reservations about the ergonomics of this camera. It looks like a great rig to shoot narrative scripted content on, but I do a lot of run and gunning for events, documentaries, etc. Plus, I don't believe this takes stills, but I suppose that's part of the reason they've been able to put this thing out with a DSLR price tag.

I would consider the FS100, but I don't like the lack of built-in NDs, and I hear the dynamic range is not even as good as Canon DSLRs. Finally, the C100 sounds like a great thing, but the more I read about it, the more I think it is just an over-priced, half-assed attempt to compete with the likes of the BMCC and the FS100/700.

Sony's recently-announced NEX EA50 sounds exciting, but again with the 4:2:0 and no NDs!!! Plus, as a decidedly ENG camera, I'm not sure it will lend itself to narrative work.

And therein lies the rub. I know it sounds naive, but I am really looking for an "all-purpose" camera. The Canon C100 and C300 are as close as you can get to that in my opinion, but they're missing some key elements and are too expensive. So I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. Either I trade in my 7D and spend a little extra on a pricier but not-that-worth-it camera (like the FS100, EA 50 or C100), or I compliment my current camera with an additional DSLR and have to put up with the same problems twice the amount of time. I do understand the 5D M3 is better with moire and other artifacts, but it doesn't seem worth it as long as it's older siblings are still getting plenty of work.

Please please help me decide, because I am lost in this crazy world of cameras!!!


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Sareesh Sudhakaran
Re: Upgrading from Canon 7D ... What to buy?
on Sep 5, 2012 at 12:23:27 pm

What you need, my friend, is the new Panasonic GH3, which will be announced soon and probably hit the shelves in a few months.

Panasonic have been twiddling their thumbs for months now so I'm figuring they have their inventories in place. I would also love to see the new AF100, whenever that comes.

I think you should revisit the FS100 again. Except for the lack of ND filters it's a solid camera with some great images and cinema curves that are as good as the F3.

I use the C300 a lot, and I'm not a fan of the Canon look. The C100 can't be any better, and the ergonomics suck.

I'd written a post a few weeks ago that might give you some ideas:

Hope this helps. - Workflow information and support for filmmakers, photographers, audiographers and videographers.

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Al Bergstein
Re: Upgrading from Canon 7D ... What to buy?
on Sep 5, 2012 at 2:05:52 pm

Ah this question raises as many questions as it answers. There is no 'perfect' choice. You have Canon lenses you have invested in, no doubt. As do I. Upgrading to GH3, even though if was starting over again, I'd likely be tempted to do so, is a an expensive option, given your current Canon investment. But for the price, it's hard to ignore the new Black Magic. But 4k files for editing on a normal run and gun shoot? I don't think so. As to shooting Pro Res files, how very Final Cut Pro 7ish. Seems almost quaint today. Just kidding.

Questions we don't know: What's your budget? What do you shoot? etc. etc.

I like the "Canon Look" and have found it much more flexible in post than using AVCHD, which I had in a HMC150 before my xf305. I also have a 7D, and use it on occasion. The C100 would really be interesting if it can get better latitude than my previous experience with AVCHD has shown (way too hot and burned out highlights, and tending to accentuate reds in woods, in places where the xf305 just is wonderful). I can usually salvage contrasty scenes like shadow to bright sunlight in a pinch with 4:2:2. I could never do that with the HMC150, for example. I would be very suspect about the GH3 in this regard. And the ability to fine tune the picture files gives you something to grow into as to tuning to the right scene. But in overcast light, and where you control light, the GH2 footage a friend has shot has been very solid.

The Sony(s) has a great look but ergonomically people aren't wild about it. However, many people I respect have started shooting with it. (Eric Becker is currently in Africa shooting with one, it will be interesting to get his perspective on it in the field). But again, AVCHD.

For my money, starting over from scratch, with budget $20k US or less, I'd probably look at the Canon C300. 4:2:2 color space, MXF files, great latitude. It can use your existing Canon lens investment. But it's pricey, and requires an investment in your future work. But wait a month or so, as the new crop will be out, Philip Bloom will have reviewed the BMCC and GH3 by then, and you can make a better choice.


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Robert DeMaio
Re: Upgrading from Canon 7D ... What to buy?
on Sep 5, 2012 at 3:56:50 pm

Thanks guys.

Sareesh, i did not know about a new AF100. I would definitely give some thought To that, though, as Al pointed out, I do have an investment in Canon gear already.

To Answer Al's other question, I mostlu shoot events and documentary stylr content, but I have shot some short films and narrative webseries as well. I would like To continue doing both, which is why.I am looking for a camera WITH a run-n-gun friendly form factor, but WITH a cinematic pictute quality, and good post (when i need it, that is). Because I do events, its also nice to snap photos from the same camera, but at a lower price point I would prabably just hang on To my 7D for that.

I suppose The FS100 is,,a good bet, and i cab get a.metabones adapter for my canon glass. But doesn't that also use,AVCHD??

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Robert DeMaio
Re: Upgrading from Canon 7D ... What to buy?
on Sep 5, 2012 at 4:22:41 pm

Excuse The typos. On my phone.

Al, To Answer yor other question, I'd like To keep it below 5,000. I'm not quite at The level yet where i can justify a bigger purchase.

Another point, yes I would not need 4k or raw for what i am doing. Proressing it is fine by me lol. And frankly im fine wit full HD for now. It works for my clients, and its easy enough To upres To 2K if need be.

And since i already have an invedtment in canon dslr accessories, im not opposed To getting another, so long as i can get rid of sone of my pet peeves. I recently, as in yesterday, read avout The 5dm3 having Little To no moire, but that The sharnesd of The picture suffers a bit. You guys know anything about this? Confitm? Deny? Debate?

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Sareesh Sudhakaran
Re: Upgrading from Canon 7D ... What to buy?
on Sep 6, 2012 at 3:05:00 am

Nothing wrong at all about AVCHD... it's just H.264 in another 'color' so to speak. The FS100 has almost everything you ask for, even an HDMI out for uncompressed broadcast quality footage when the budget allows for it.

The one thing it lacks is a good form factor, for which the EA50 is a good replacement.

The E-mount can take many kinds of lenses, not just EF lenses. The only mount 'better' than E is the Micro 4/3 mount on the GH3 - which can practically take anything you throw at it!

The EA50 is very similar to the FS100, and I wouldn't pay heed to people saying its sensor doesn't compare. If the FS100 has similar quality to the F3, and NEX-7 is as good as the FS100, won't the EA50 be good as well? I have used and/or owned Sony-JVC-Panasonic-Canon gear for 10 years now, and none of them have really failed to do what they promised. Try not to fall prey to hype. - Workflow information and support for filmmakers, photographers, audiographers and videographers.

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Bill Bruner
Re: Upgrading from Canon 7D ... What to buy?
on Sep 9, 2012 at 2:18:26 am

At less than $5000, here's another vote for the FS100. It's on sale right now for $4800 with the 18-200 lens included (if they run out at Amazon, you can get one for the same price at Adorama). It's not a perfect camera - more moire, no more 12 minute clip length limits and no more viewfinders that go blank when you're shooting video. The FS100 is the best large sensor interchangeable lens camcorder under $5000, in my view. Since it doesn't shoot stills, you'll have to keep the 7D as a still camera - something for which it's much better suited ;-)

Cheers and good luck with your decision,

Hybrid Camera Revolution

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