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Author Topic: Best DSLR/SLT for video?  (Read 3704 times)
Homer85
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« on: November 08, 2011, 05:37:15 AM »
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Apart from Canon 5D, which of the cameras would be recommended for shooting video?
Canon 7D, Sony A77 or Nikon D7000? Or maybe 60D?
I am a Sony user, but am not sure if the A77 is the best option for me (no volume gain control, low bitrate and no clean hdmi).
Any advice?
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2011, 06:45:39 AM »
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Last I knew, Michael felt the Panasonic GH2 was top of the of the combo-camera video hill.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2011, 08:54:46 AM »
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... I rarely shoot the Canons for video anymore.


Me neither.

Also use the smooth setting with 24P

just wish the fast burst mode 4K at 60fps would allow more than a sec.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2011, 09:04:45 AM by fredjeang » Logged
Homer85
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« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2011, 01:53:18 PM »
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Thank you for replying.
The Panasonic may be best for video but I can't afford 2 cameras and still need something better then micro 4/3 for photos. So the choice is still between A77, 7D and D7000.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2011, 03:04:08 PM »
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Thank you for replying.
The Panasonic may be best for video but I can't afford 2 cameras and still need something better then micro 4/3 for photos. So the choice is still between A77, 7D and D7000.

I don't want to put wood on the fire but just a thought.

This concept "better" is strange indeed. Specially when combined with "need".

I + need + better _______

But the reality is that In studio condition you won't notice a difference on a blind test with a GH2 and a 1DMK4 on a full page printed magazine.



Personaly, if you really need something better for stills,  I'd go for the Sony. IMO it has the best balance of both worlds.

Best luck.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2011, 04:36:18 AM by fredjeang » Logged
Homer85
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2011, 03:54:37 AM »
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I don't thing that the idea of "something better" is strange but rather subjective.
So let me explain what I mean by "something better".
You can take a good looking photo in studio conditions whit a compact camera, but would you really want to? I need a fast and responsive camera with reliable AF, minimum APS-C sized sensor (DOF) and wide range of available lenses. I need full control  over my camera and good performance under low light.

Back to the video, how important is bitrate, will there be a huge visible difference between video shot on Nikon D7000 B-frames @ less than 24Mbps (B-frames?) vs. 7D's 40 Mbps?
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fredjeang
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« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2011, 06:11:02 AM »
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I don't thing that the idea of "something better" is strange but rather subjective.
So let me explain what I mean by "something better".
You can take a good looking photo in studio conditions whit a compact camera, but would you really want to? I need a fast and responsive camera with reliable AF, minimum APS-C sized sensor (DOF) and wide range of available lenses. I need full control  over my camera and good performance under low light.

Back to the video, how important is bitrate, will there be a huge visible difference between video shot on Nikon D7000 B-frames @ less than 24Mbps (B-frames?) vs. 7D's 40 Mbps?

Homer,

Don't take what follows as an offense but,

If you were experienced enough, and your needs or standard would be settled and real, you won't ask those kind of questions because you'd had the answer about what gear is best for you, or in the doubt you'd know what to do, wich is testing.
You take the dilema from a spec point of view, but you really have to have the camera in hand. How does it feels in your hand. Because you'll have to deal with this object quite a lot. No spec will tell you.

Again, this is not an offense to you in particular, just that I wanted with my previous post to point a more general idea. You concerns are vastly shared over the internet.

I see really a lot of people involved in tech and specs details, they all want more, more sensor, good DR, fast reliable AF and the list is infinite, and they will never really have to use those "needs" in 99% of the cases or they do not know how to use them anyway. It's amusing to see those comments like "I want at least 20MP", things like that and then you see that they never print big and mostly upload pics in the internet at 72p.

People in general are directed by marketing and the idea that gear is never enough, they have huge needs indeed, instead of learning how to use properly the cameras with their limitations.

Only when you're very experienced and-or professional those questions legitimally enter into consideration, and then the needs are based on to real serious requirements, and you're experienced enough to know very fast what is your gear, but marketing people have managed to create pro ilusions on the masses so they can sell their buzz.

It's amusing to see that all over the internet. Each time a new camera is released with more MP, better low-light capabilities etc...the forums are in flame. I saw website with very bad overall level and you see the comments like if they where all Peter Lindberg, "I need at least this that or the other", or..."this lens is wreck, try this" and you see a pic of a leaves taken in the garden to show the incredible sharpness of the glass.

So my point is do not let fool yourself by all this noise, the fact that you have real needs might be good, ok, but just make sure they really are serious and then think of this: there is no one bad camera today.

Forget about bit-rates if you really don't need them (the differences are just subtle) and if you're not aware that it will affect all the chain (storage, post-prod etc...).

With all respect.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2011, 06:13:47 AM by fredjeang » Logged
Homer85
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« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2011, 06:50:04 AM »
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I'm not offended but do have to point out that you make some unfair assumptions.
I held all 3 cameras and took a bunch of photos with the 7D. When it comes to stills I would choose the D7000 over 60D and 7D (although 7D has better AF) but it's very close. But that's not the point. The point is that i don't know squat about video and since in therms of stills 7D and D7000 are very close, I'm asking about video modes. Hence my question about the bitrate and overall video mode on the mentioned cameras.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2011, 09:09:05 AM »
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I'm not offended but do have to point out that you make some unfair assumptions.
I held all 3 cameras and took a bunch of photos with the 7D. When it comes to stills I would choose the D7000 over 60D and 7D (although 7D has better AF) but it's very close. But that's not the point. The point is that i don't know squat about video and since in therms of stills 7D and D7000 are very close, I'm asking about video modes. Hence my question about the bitrate and overall video mode on the mentioned cameras.

I my posts I gave you in fact some answers to what I think would be the best approach in order to help you choose.
I'll stress again some ponits.

- Forget about the bit-rate. You say you're new to video, and you'll be into a learning curve during quite some time where the bit-rate will not give you better results nor be your concern, time until the camera you've purchassed will be obsolete, and then you'll have more parameters and experience to choose the next level.
So I won't consider the bit-rate an important element at first.

Also, the bit-rate influence the storage. The more bit-rate, the more expensive it will be (more expensive cards, more HD) and the codec has to come into consideration.
You can check in the Zacuto's website footage testings where featured the 7D and the Nikon and compare.
Practically the differences will be marginal.  

- In this thread, its been said that the GH2 is way ahead the 7D in terms of video capabilities, it is. But you discart the GH2 because you consider that for stills it is not up to your standards. Fair enough, it's your vision. So, no GH2.
I stressed before that you probably won't be able to see any difference in a blind test between a 7D and a GH2, because the 7D is not the 5D2 nor the 1DMK4 in terms of low-light performance. Unless you want to shoot regularly at 12800 isos, you won't notice anything. The D7000 is an excellent camera, IMO more round than the 7D.

- Then you said to possess Sony lenses. Well, Sony is doing very good video integration. I recommend you to read the articles of MR in this forum. Check "product review", letter S (Sony).
This point is important because if your camera will soon be obsolete, the lenses won't.
So, IMO, I'd see what I already have. Sony-Zeiss lenses? Perfect because Sony cameras are very involved into video. But maybe you're not convinced either about the stills of the Sony? (AF, output or whatever)

Why I was questioning some concepts before and trying to express something? Because in still, if I can make a clear difference between a P65 Phase One and a 7D, I won't be able by any means to recognise on a blind test a still image shooted by a GH2, a 7D, a Sony 77 or a D7000 in a double page printed editorial...and I bet anybody to demonstrate me the opposite. Oh, on those testings like DP review (thank god Michael Reichmann is not doing those sort of tests in Lu-La) I will see tons and tons of differences, but in the real world no.  Yes you'd have a difference with a Leica M9 in print or a 5D2 in low light, but not between those cameras.

In this forum, some of the best and most experienced photographers are actually using some Red cameras stills in commercial, and they don't have 20MP, just 4-5K.

In other words, if video is really important, choose the best video tool with the one that feels better in your hands because the IQ in stills is guarantee and won't differ.
And the best video tool is the Panasonic, and also this Sony.

If, low-light and video and shallow d.o.f is important: the 5D2 is the choice and it's not in your list, then I'd go for the Nikon.

To go further, any of those camera will give you good still+video capabilities.  So to conclude, in your case I'd just choose the camera that feels the more "right" in my hands, with the confidence that it will deliver very good still + video and if not, the faulty part will be me and not the cameras.

The AF performance, when talking about cameras of the entry-mid-range is very similar. You'd need to put more cash and go pro gear to access the best of AF and truly appreciate a significant advantage, the lenses involved the same.

Just my 2 cents words.

Good luck.


Ps: it's funny, just after writting this, I receive a message in my mobile from a known documentary photographer: " Hi Fred, do you still sell your _ ? - Yes, 100 euros - Ok, when can I come to pick-it ? "...it was a 5MP camera.

 
« Last Edit: November 09, 2011, 12:48:34 PM by fredjeang » Logged
Homer85
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« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2011, 12:57:51 PM »
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Well this is the answer I was looking for Smiley Than you.
I completely agree with you on the IQ of stills in those cameras, but ergonomics is also very important, at least for me. That is why I'm not so kin on the Panasonic. I also value real word test over synthetic tests done by dpr and pixel peeping.

Than you for the clarification on the bitrate topic, didn't get that from your previous answer. Could you maybe give me your 2 cents on the topic of aperture control in movie mode? With Canon you can change that value during recording, on the Nikon you can only change the aperture before recording.

 Thanks for the input.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2011, 01:29:54 PM »
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Yes you can.
But practically there are issues.

The sound recording (if you want to record live sound) will take those aperture changes, depending on the lenses involved.

Generally, but not necesarly, you'd shoot a lot in full manual focussing in video mode. It's a completly different world.

Some lenses feature continuous aperture, I have a couple of them. Generally or they are expensive or they belong to the vintage, like a Zeiss sonnar.
That way, the aperture changes smooth and not with brutal steps nor clic noise.

It takes practise to do it without generating a shake, even when camera is mounted on a robust tripod.

Video will force you to consider very fast the purchase of new gear, generally not cheap. Like for ex a very good tripod. Much much more critical than for stills.

You'll need a matte-box with ND filters, or screw nd filters in front of the lenses. If you live in europe, the standard speed is 1/50. (that has to do with the frecuency of the elec power), in the US 1/60. With that speed, in daylight, you'll blow everything even at the lowest isos and the closest aperture. So you need those filters. They aren't that cheap.

You'd need very fast a follow-focus too. Not cheap.

Then you'll get tired very fast of using the little lcd to work and the need of an external monitor connected to the HDMI port will be necessary.

Then the sound...this is an obligation to work with ext mic because the ones that are into the cameras are just usefull as a guide.

In the end, just to make the thing works normally and without the lcd, you'll need to double the price of the camera.


In post, if you are on a budget, here is a free pro level solution to edit: http://www.lightworksbeta.com/ (windows only)

This is the only free program that feature those performances.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2011, 01:42:14 PM by fredjeang » Logged
Homer85
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« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2011, 10:34:32 AM »
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Filters I have and know about the Light Works.
There are some rally good and affordable Samyang lenses (I have a couple of them) and they have some lenses with continuous aperture.

I do have to by a more robust tripod and put some wheels on my gorillapod.

Anyway, thanks again for your input.
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2011, 01:28:26 PM »
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The 7d is the only stills camera that puts out a decent 720px signal to a monitor (maybe the 1ds?)

Without that it is very hard to get critical focus with video

Its also a pretty good stills camera

The sound on the 7d is a non starter .. you need a recorder

The 7d is also quite a lot less painful than the 5 when recording with a monitor  the 5goes black for a week when you hit record

If I had to have one camera for stills and motion sub $5k itd be the 7d

S
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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fredjeang
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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2011, 10:24:10 AM »
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I agree,

If I can not make a difference in stills between a 7D and a GH2, yes I can with the 5D2, wich is in another league in stills, but I much prefer the GH2 for video.

The 1D MK4 would be an ideal compromise but it's an expensive camera.

I do not experience in stills the early blowing in hl you mentionned with the gh2, at least not worse than the 7D (wich is a camera I really don't like) but I never used it so far with m4/3 lenses. (only zeiss, leicas and some russian, all full-frame because I don't want hassle with lenses if changing system).
I use exactly the same setting with stills than with video (flat curve) because I'm not looking for exploitable results right-out-the-box. Maybe that have prevent me to experience this early blowing.

What really pisses-me of with the gh2 in stills is that the buffer is a joke. It's too slow when you start to stress a little bit the camera in the studio. You reach fast the limit even with extreme cards and then it's waiting.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 10:29:57 AM by fredjeang » Logged
fredjeang
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« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2011, 12:30:36 PM »
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I do too prefered the old 1Ds output.

Not surprised that you didn't like the D2 because it's really a camera that I find very very closed to the GH2 files, both in reso and render. So if you don't liked the GH2 output you obviously don't like the 1DMK2.

As you pointed, perception is very relative. I personaly liked the MK2 output and so like the GH2. (and post is just such a huge animal now)

About clipping, of course that the GH2 clips. If I find that the 5D2 clips less and has wider dr, I really don't think so about the 7D. In terms of clipping, I found both cameras, GH2 and 7D in the same league. I saw and read people saying that the 7D clips less than the GH2...mmm...
When I wrote that I didn't experience the clipping, I meant not something that I found way worse than expected.

The interesting thing would be to see if the hacked gh2 does better in retaining details in highlights. (I doubt it, it will be in all case marginal).
« Last Edit: November 11, 2011, 12:36:38 PM by fredjeang » Logged
Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2011, 01:02:32 PM »
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1Ds

I meant 1d mk4

Its a proper stills cam with good vid.. but pricey

and the video per $ is terrible !

I dont think the GH2 counts as a stills cam .. but maybe im biased

So that leaves IMO a canon DSLR

Considering the difficulty (IMO) of using the 5d for video that leads me to say 7d is the best sub $2k camera that does both

Of course there are some sony offereings that I know little of but look like they may be worth looking at

S
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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