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Bob Cole
best forum for camera talk
on May 14, 2017 at 8:54:08 pm

There are COW forums for various camera brands. I'm in the market for a 4k camera, and would like to ask questions that cover several makers, specifically Blackmagic, Canon, Panasonic, and Sony.

Which forum would be most appropriate?

Bob C


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Gary Huff
Re: best forum for camera talk
on May 15, 2017 at 12:02:23 am

[Bob Cole] "I'm in the market for a 4k camera, and would like to ask questions that cover several makers"

What are your questions?


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Bob Cole
Re: best forum for camera talk
on May 16, 2017 at 1:45:22 am
Last Edited By Bob Cole on May 16, 2017 at 2:56:35 am

Hi Gary,

Thanks for asking. I think I've narrowed it down to the obvious three cameras (Ursa Mini Pro, C300 mk2, FS7ii). If you've used all three, great; if you've used even just one, I'd like to benefit from your experience, and learn why you chose your camera. The criteria that matter most to me, in order of importance:

Lens Need a parfocal zoom; would also like one or two fast primes. Willing to compromise speed for affordability/light weight (e.g. Sony 18-110, Canon 18-80). Need to assess E-mount vs. PL vs. EF.
Price/resale value
Viewfinder(s) (1) Need visibility in bright sunlight. (2) Option to focus at 1:1 pixels.
Ease of use while shoulder-mounted Balance, weight, access to controls without looking.
Recording media (1) Reliability and robustness. (2) Cost.
Codec - universal appeal I edit about half of what I shoot; I need to be able to hand off material in a variety of formats, from 4K log to efficient, ready-to-edit HD.
Low-light capability Is this the Ursa's weak point? With Sony or Canon, the best solution might be two cameras, one of them a DSLR that could share a lens with the video camera.
Power consumption

Finally: appropriateness. I do a large variety of jobs: environmental docs, corporate web videos, LOTS of interviews, run-and-gun b-reel, some broadcast. I would like to have a camera which the networks find acceptable but it's not a necessity for my livelihood.

All three of these cameras are fantastic. Thanks for your insights and perspectives.

Bob


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Gary Huff
Re: best forum for camera talk
on May 16, 2017 at 2:06:14 pm
Last Edited By Gary Huff on May 16, 2017 at 2:06:40 pm

[Bob Cole] "Lens Need a parfocal zoom; would also like one or two fast primes. Willing to compromise speed for affordability/light weight (e.g. Sony 18-110, Canon 18-80). Need to assess E-mount vs. PL vs. EF."

Both are good parafocal lenses, but only the Canon is optically parafocal. The Sony is faked via AF.

Price/resale value

Canon generally holds its value well, but the FS7 is trending pretty well on eBay as far as holding its value (C300 Mark I owners got screwed in this regard due to the massive price cut). BMD is probably the worst at holding value.

Viewfinder(s) (1) Need visibility in bright sunlight. (2) Option to focus at 1:1 pixels.

All of the viewfinders are pretty similar between those three cameras, though BMD's is a separate purchase of $1500. Canon's placement of theirs means it makes more sense with an Easy Rig as opposed to a shoulder mount, but for $6k you can add the one from the C700 and it is suitable for shoulder mounting.

Ease of use while shoulder-mounted Balance, weight, access to controls without looking.

Both the BMD Ursa Mini Pro and the FS7 II are good to go out of the box in this regard basically. The C300 Mark II is not well suited to shoulder mount operation without a lot of added accessories and weight, instead it's better for an Easy Rig setup.

Recording media (1) Reliability and robustness. (2) Cost.

CFast is used by both the Ursa Mini Pro and the C300 Mark II (along with Alexa cameras). Sony uses proprietary XQD media, but it is currently in a massive price drop that has it nearly $200 cheaper than CFast.

Codec - universal appeal I edit about half of what I shoot; I need to be able to hand off material in a variety of formats, from 4K log to efficient, ready-to-edit HD.

BMD Ursa Mini Pro wins this hands down as it shoots ProRes in all flavors/modes. You can't get much more universal than that. The FS7 II and C300 Mark II both shoot Intra H.264, which is a nicely compressed codec over ProRes (better quality, less space), though the FS7 II will record 1080 ProRes if you add the $2k XDCA unit.

As far as "ready-to-edit HD", the BMD's default Rec.709 look is okay, and the FS7 II could use a lot of picture profile tweaking. I have been very pleased with the straight out of the camera Rec.709 preset on the C300 Mark II and shoot in it a lot.

Low-light capability Is this the Ursa's weak point? With Sony or Canon, the best solution might be two cameras, one of them a DSLR that could share a lens with the video camera.

The Ursa can introduce unwanted banding and fixed pixel noise issues at anything over 800 ISO. The C300 Mark II is the best in this regard, probably about 85-90% of the A7S up to 12,800. The FS7 II is probably half as clean as the C300 Mark II at higher ISOs.

Power consumption

The FS7 II wins as far as battery cost. C300 Mark II's batteries put it on par with V-mount/AB battery costs, albeit much smaller. All of them seem to be good with power, especially given how hungry higher-end cameras like Red Epic-W and Alexa are.

"Finally: appropriateness. I do a large variety of jobs: environmental docs, corporate web videos, LOTS of interviews, run-and-gun b-reel, some broadcast. I would like to have a camera which the networks find acceptable but it's not a necessity for my livelihood. "

All of these cameras are suitable. Networks will buy whatever they want, they may have a camera spec sheet, but if you have something they want, they aren't going to suddenly turn it down because you didn't shoot on the right camera.


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Bob Cole
Re: best forum for camera talk
on May 16, 2017 at 8:12:56 pm

Thanks Gary. Very helpful!

And to think this all started with the Instamatic my big sisters gave me for Christmas when I was ten.... Loved that camera!

Bob C


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