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Author Topic: Sub $10K 4K video camera for landscape videos?  (Read 656 times)

spotmeter

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Sub $10K 4K video camera for landscape videos?
« on: December 17, 2017, 11:19:10 AM »

I am planning on doing landscape videos in addition to landscape photos, and am looking for recommendations for a sub $10K 4K video camera.

My main criteria are excellent resolution to pick up fine detail, excellent color, and ability to use Canon or Nikon lenses.

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Chris Sanderson

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Re: Sub $10K 4K video camera for landscape videos?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2017, 11:38:34 AM »

Interesting question to which I believe thare are a large variety of cameras as answers. Here are but two

I shoot with a Panasonic GH5 with a Metabones adapter for Canon lenses. The quality is superb but it is still a stills-based body with excellent video capability. A fully kitted out bag with the add-ons that your shooting may require would come in subtantially under $10K

However, I think if I had your budget and wanted a true video camera, my choice today would be the Canon C300 which comes in at $1 less than US$10K )). There are large ergonomic and practical advatages to shooting with a body designed for video rather than a hybrid - with the notable exception of size & weight which may not apply in your situation since you already are lugging around Canon glass ))
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fredjeang2

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Re: Sub $10K 4K video camera for landscape videos?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2017, 06:35:42 PM »

There is also the Blackmagic Production Camera
In EF mount flavour. (Super35 sensor)
It is crucial for Landscapes, arquitecture etc... That you
Get a wide DR and Raw workflow. (Cinema DNG 3840x2160)
And it fits in your budget. You still find those.

The Ursa mini is now the current BM that could fit your needs/budget.
I beleive it provides 15 stops. (46082592)

The GH5 Chris uses is an amazing camera, the best in its class.
For not much more cash, you get access to Raw workflow.
In post, it is crucial.
For colors you need bit depth.

Considering the extras to make those cameras operatives, (video assit, ext rec, rig...)
You stay comfortably/just under 10k.

Ps: as a personal evaluation, I'm not a big fan of the Raw DNG color science nor implementation in post.
And you may want to download test footage first to see by yourself.
The ideal may be to try to find some second hand Red ready-to-shoot under 10k if you're lucky.
It happens from time to time.

Ps: keep in mind the requirements for 4k in post. To avoid like
The plague most consummer codecs because their compression
Require calculations and it's not strange to find yourself with better
Performances in post with Raw workflow than with AVCHD and Co. Fragrances.
Don't expect real time playback with 20 nodes of CC and roto masks in 4k.
From 6k, I might get an average of 6 fps playback!!

As Chris pointed also, a proper cine/video camera is to be prefered over
Hybrids for a vast number of reasons. (ND filters are expensive
And irritating to manipulate so if you can get them in-camera better).

Ps2: one of the reasons I pointed towards Red is in the case that you are not familiar with
Log footage, Red Cine X acts just like a Capture 1. If you come from a photographer
Background, this is a big advantage as you are already familiar with the workflow.
It is an important point. DNG workflow on the contrary is more "video oriented', so to say.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2017, 07:39:54 PM by fredjeang2 »
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vulture

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Re: Sub $10K 4K video camera for landscape videos?
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2017, 07:33:05 PM »

Strong support for Chris's statement about the Panasonic GH 5.
Shooting with Canon lenses and Metabones adapter on GH 5 body is giving me superb results.
With Pana/Leica lenses even better when considering weight and size.
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Joe Towner

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Re: Sub $10K 4K video camera for landscape videos?
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2017, 01:51:36 PM »

So many different options, Fred just gave a huge starting point.

Next up is how portable do you need the kit to be?  Static tripod stuff or doing movements on a motion head?  How weather/dirt/sand/salt resistant are you looking for?  What current bodies are you currently shooting with?

Anything from a A7SII or URSA Mini to a used RED setup can be had.  Are you looking for embedded audio?  Higher frame rates?  Are you looking for out of camera files, or are you going to do color grading?

Hope this adds confusion & help at the same time.

-Joe
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bcooter

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Re: Sub $10K 4K video camera for landscape videos?
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2017, 05:38:23 PM »

So many different options, Fred just gave a huge starting point.

Next up is how portable do you need the kit to be?  Static tripod stuff or doing movements on a motion head?  How weather/dirt/sand/salt resistant are you looking for?  What current bodies are you currently shooting with?

Anything from a A7SII or URSA Mini to a used RED setup can be had.  Are you looking for embedded audio?  Higher frame rates?  Are you looking for out of camera files, or are you going to do color grading?

Hope this adds confusion & help at the same time.

-Joe


Very good post Joe.

Not knowing what the answers to Joe's questions are, if I had to stay below 10 grand and wanted a good camera, I'd look at the Canon c200.

On paper it seems a little under spec, with 8 bit but Canon's 8 bit is good, at least with the 1dxII.

The good thing about the c200 is if you have Canon glass your all set and it shoots a semi raw file called raw lite and the bit depth is reported to be 1 Gig a second.  That's a hefty file.  Also you don't have to add a whole bunch of monitors, viewfinders, arms,

My second choice would be the 1dxII that shoots 800 mbs and is the sharpest motion file I've seen. 

But everybody has different needs and uses, workflows, etc.

Best thing is to find a good dealer that will let you rent and test in your style then apply the rental to the purchase price. 

One other suggestion I would make is if you decide to go with a camera that accepts PL mounts, look for a set of used RED primes (they don't sell them new anymore).  You can buy a full set of clean RED primes for 9 grand, which will be over your budget, but PL lenses never go out of style and we bought a set years ago, they are sharp, have beautiful roll off and I consider them the prettiest lenses we use, except when we rent an angeniuxe zoom, though that is a very expensive lens.

IMO

BC
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 05:57:04 PM by bcooter »
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fredjeang2

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Re: Sub $10K 4K video camera for landscape videos?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2017, 10:35:00 AM »


My second choice would be the 1dxII that shoots 800 mbs and is the sharpest motion file I've seen. 

IMO

BC
But James,
Stricktly talking about video, the 1dx mk2 will not bring an advantage over the GH5
Except for skin tones and maybe AF. However it is significantly more expensive.
Both are weather sealed and both are still bodies that deliver solid footage.
But they are aimed to different users.
I'd take the Canon if I was shooting people, fashion, journalism...
Where it excells.
As you shoot fashion and advert, it makes sense. Canon colors
And skin tones are good right out the box.
However, for landscapes, I don't see any advantage to put the extra
Cash over a GH5. For the cost of the Canon, one can access true
Cine camera from BM with raw files, global shutter etc...
As for DoF, the GH5 can be improoved with the speedbooster.
At 1/3 the cost of the canon, if it was with still photography in mind, I'd
Have no doubt:Canon! But for video only I'd choose the GH5.
Numbers...numbers....

Probably your first choice C200 or Chris C300 seems a better option in what Canon is concerned. IMO.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 10:55:32 AM by fredjeang2 »
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chapel

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Re: Sub $10K 4K video camera for landscape videos?
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2017, 01:46:30 PM »

Plus one on the Blackmagic production camera. I have the 2.5k Cinema camera and the raw files are amazing to work with.  The 4k production camera also has a global shutter and huge DR. Davinci Resolve also does a good job with the files and the free version has plenty of features.
Greg
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bcooter

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Re: Sub $10K 4K video camera for landscape videos?
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2017, 01:59:50 PM »

But James,
Stricktly talking about video, the 1dx mk2 will not bring an advantage over the GH5
Except for skin tones and maybe AF. However it is significantly more expensive.
Both are weather sealed and both are still bodies that deliver solid footage.


Fred,

I agree.  The Gh5 is the best bang for the buck, though get's a little expensive if you go crazy on glass, especially the f.95 Voigtlander's I bought, though they let you do selective focus easier.

The GH5 is probably the only camera, regardless of price that is hobbled to move you to a higher end camera and shoots one heck of a good file.   A little harder to color for skinniness, as you mentioned, but with some presets it looks good.

Happy Holidays

IMO

BC

John Brawley

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Re: Sub $10K 4K video camera for landscape videos?
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2017, 05:40:17 PM »



The GH5 Chris uses is an amazing camera, the best in its class.
For not much more cash, you get access to Raw workflow.
In post, it is crucial.
For colors you need bit depth.


Resolution and bit depth yes.
The GH5 shoots 10 bit, but it's a pretty compressed codec and "only" 4:2:2 chroma sampling. 

Ps: as a personal evaluation, I'm not a big fan of the Raw DNG color science nor implementation in post.
And you may want to download test footage first to see by yourself.

How odd.  DNG colour science or the Blackmagic colour science itself ?  I strongly disagree with this view.

Here's some of my DNG's from a recent test I did using the Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K.
http://bit.ly/2BTJF7e

They are only single frames but any stills / photo application should be able to open them up.

Here's my grade of this footage.  Not really a grade, just a single LUT applied from a show I'm working on right now.

By the way there are three lenses, with a label, A, B or C.  They are lens comparisons between SLR Magic APO Primes, Zeiss CP2 primes and the mighty Panavision Primo primes.  Can you guess which are which ?  You can link through to vimeo and download the source file if you like too.



If you really want to make your computer cry you can download these shots (folders of DNGs)
https://johnbrawley.digitalpigeon.com/msg/w1dD0AitEeehZgbtG5M1VQ/xqtpYQ7dYibPXK8JjM4AQg/file/c360e0c0-08ad-11e7-a166-06ed1b933555
http://bit.ly/2ksCKeb
http://bit.ly/2j5eHlz
http://bit.ly/2j5e63j

Beware that being DNG's it's possible to get a crappy looking preview generated by a web browser like chrome or even from the finder in Mac OS, but you have to open the file to see what they're really like. 

Attached are some 4.6K frames from a recent series I did. Just "LUT" graded but they are very hard to pick form the more expensive camera we used on the show.  In fact the one way you can tell they aren't Alexa is that they're generally much SHARPER because of the lack of OLPF and the Alexa is a lower MP sensor.

DNG workflow on the contrary is more "video oriented', so to say.

Well that I just don't understand.  Can you be more specific ?  Seeing as DNG came from Adobe as a stills format, cDNG (cinema DNG) only came later.

You have a DNG RAW tab (just like ACR) and then you work on files after that ?

To the OP, I think the Ursa Mini 4.6K or Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K would be worth considering.

Neither camera has an OLPF so it's very sharp. Perhaps even with the fine detail of landscapes you may not like some of the false colour aliasing that can occur.  There are some post solutions for this, and you can also get after market OLPF's as well.

The Pro has internal NDs and interchangeable mounts (EF, Nikon and PL).

It also records higher bit depths than almost any camera in this bracket. 

DNG's are 16 bit linear / 12 bit log and UNCOMPRESSED. That's what the files are above.

They also offer compressed versions of DNG at 3:1 and 4:1

They also offer the very well proven and established production friendly ProRes formats, in 12 bit, 10 bit and 8 bit varieties.  All build in.

JB
( I am an unpaid consultant for Blackmagic design)
« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 05:43:58 PM by John Brawley »
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bcooter

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Re: Sub $10K 4K video camera for landscape videos?
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2017, 09:36:10 PM »

the Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K.


John,

Shame on you.  Now I want an Ursa Pro and I don't really need it.    I haven't had the chance to really review your images, but I respect what you say and honestly think BM is a real force in the industry.

Our biz is a strange group.   We all think we're open minded, but I know dip's that wouldn't touch anything but an Arri, the strongly dislike RED and Black Magic, but few have tried them, so . . .

Anyway, when I return to LA, I'm going to try an URSA mini pro and see what shakes loose.

Thanks, unless this costs me money.

BTW:  how would you compare the BM to the REDs (any RED), especially in range and iso?

IMO

BC

John Brawley

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Re: Sub $10K 4K video camera for landscape videos?
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2017, 10:17:32 PM »

John,

Shame on you.  Now I want an Ursa Pro and I don't really need it.   

Well they're cheap enough you shouldn't have to think about it too much !

Our biz is a strange group.   We all think we're open minded, but I know dip's that wouldn't touch anything but an Arri, the strongly dislike RED and Black Magic, but few have tried them, so . . .

Indeed.

I like to think I'm camera agnostic.  I use many cameras, even within the same scene to get shots done.  Sometimes its the same camera built in a different way.  Sometimes it's a different camera altogether because it gets me a shot I can't get any other way.

On the series I'm now we carrry

Alexa Mini
Alexa Classic
Ursa Mini
Ursa Mini PRO
Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera
Olympus OM-D EM1 MKII
DJI Osmo

They all have their uses


Anyway, when I return to LA, I'm going to try an URSA mini pro and see what shakes loose.

PM me and I'll make sure it gets' done right.



BTW:  how would you compare the BM to the REDs (any RED), especially in range and iso?


Well, a little bit of a piece of string.

I haven't shot much RED of late.  I am bound by a negotiated confidentiality agreement, but let's just say I haven't been a fan for a while.

I actually tried to test Dragon recently but the card didn't make it out of the test bay at Panavision.

My experience is old and perhaps not relevant, but the last real shoot I did RED was with a RED EPIC MX.  Back then I found it to be "truly" ISO 320.   My thinking with RED then was that it was wonderful as long as you had it in it's very narrow sweet spot, but it could fall into a cliff very quickly.  I say this as the first DP to shoot an episodic TV series in Australia using RED and someone that was an early champion.  But recently, because of the alluded too issues above and the simple fact that there are better options for what it does mostly have lead me elsewhere.

I saw some extensive in-house DXL tests recently that had me thinking a corner had been turned.

I think the true power of RED is actually REDCODE and not the cameras. Those R3D files that have their embedded metadata along with the brilliant compression system make it useable.  The uncompressed DNG's of an Ursa choke even the most robust of post systems.

In my line of work the resolution angle is moot (Fox still air in 720 and insist on only 1920 deliverables)

I have a lot more experience using the Ursa Mini PRO against Alexa and, they really are very close, especially in DR and look once you have a colourist who knows how to work with them.  As alluded to here, sometimes the process can be something that takes a while to land with some, but if you recall, RED went through the same kind of thing.

I shoot almost always at ISO 800 but when shooting RAW it's possible to go a few stops higher without too much grief.  I never really need to.

As I say, hit me up when you're ready and I'll bring the Pony.

JB








« Last Edit: December 22, 2017, 10:20:38 PM by John Brawley »
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fredjeang2

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Re: Sub $10K 4K video camera for landscape videos?
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2017, 06:25:59 AM »

Resolution and bit depth yes.
The GH5 shoots 10 bit, but it's a pretty compressed codec and "only" 4:2:2 chroma sampling. 

How odd.  DNG colour science or the Blackmagic colour science itself ?  I strongly disagree with this view.

Here's some of my DNG's from a recent test I did using the Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K.
http://bit.ly/2BTJF7e

They are only single frames but any stills / photo application should be able to open them up.

Here's my grade of this footage.  Not really a grade, just a single LUT applied from a show I'm working on right now.

By the way there are three lenses, with a label, A, B or C.  They are lens comparisons between SLR Magic APO Primes, Zeiss CP2 primes and the mighty Panavision Primo primes.  Can you guess which are which ?  You can link through to vimeo and download the source file if you like too.



If you really want to make your computer cry you can download these shots (folders of DNGs)
https://johnbrawley.digitalpigeon.com/msg/w1dD0AitEeehZgbtG5M1VQ/xqtpYQ7dYibPXK8JjM4AQg/file/c360e0c0-08ad-11e7-a166-06ed1b933555
http://bit.ly/2ksCKeb
http://bit.ly/2j5eHlz
http://bit.ly/2j5e63j

Beware that being DNG's it's possible to get a crappy looking preview generated by a web browser like chrome or even from the finder in Mac OS, but you have to open the file to see what they're really like. 

Attached are some 4.6K frames from a recent series I did. Just "LUT" graded but they are very hard to pick form the more expensive camera we used on the show.  In fact the one way you can tell they aren't Alexa is that they're generally much SHARPER because of the lack of OLPF and the Alexa is a lower MP sensor.

Well that I just don't understand.  Can you be more specific ?  Seeing as DNG came from Adobe as a stills format, cDNG (cinema DNG) only came later.

You have a DNG RAW tab (just like ACR) and then you work on files after that ?

To the OP, I think the Ursa Mini 4.6K or Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K would be worth considering.

Neither camera has an OLPF so it's very sharp. Perhaps even with the fine detail of landscapes you may not like some of the false colour aliasing that can occur.  There are some post solutions for this, and you can also get after market OLPF's as well.

The Pro has internal NDs and interchangeable mounts (EF, Nikon and PL).

It also records higher bit depths than almost any camera in this bracket. 

DNG's are 16 bit linear / 12 bit log and UNCOMPRESSED. That's what the files are above.

They also offer compressed versions of DNG at 3:1 and 4:1

They also offer the very well proven and established production friendly ProRes formats, in 12 bit, 10 bit and 8 bit varieties.  All build in.

JB
( I am an unpaid consultant for Blackmagic design)
John,
Thanks for the links you provided in all threads. I'll dig into them.
My point on BM footage was not by any means discreditive.
When I wrote, "more video oriented" I didn't have in mind a log workflow but in
The context of someone who comes from a still photography background.
As a personal preference I like better Red's implementation.

RLF is Cineon. I have some references I lack with DNG.
You gave some answer in your post on the strengh of Red. I like also the fact that the RMD
Is a separate file and RedCineX, IMO, helps a more "photographer
Background" approach to get familiar with.
But it's all about getting used of a workflow.
I'm currently on Mistika. Not sure yet if I'd go for a certification course
As the company is Madrid based and I'll see if digging into DNG in it brings me
a fresh approach. who knows. 

I've seen that often. Colorists (even experienced) who do not have solid experience
With DNG sometimes screw it easier.
It comes from the fact that here, the major player being Arri, by far,
Everybody is used to Arri feel, think Arri, and when they got something else
It's like the muscle memory on the wheels just does not
Work. Don't know if you see what I mean. Die hard habits.
As for the player, I tend to use Scratch play for reviewing DNG.
To be honest, I still don't have the feel with DNG.

However, I'd like to hear the Cooter experience when he will
Dig into DNG, if he finds the same as me in the color
Area or not compared to Red and Canon.

Now, that said, I would also recommend BM cameras to the OP.
There is nothing close in the current offer that brings so much for so less cost.
Blackmagic does great products at much friendlier prices than Arri or Red.
In fact, BM made a huge revolution in this business and I have respect for
this company products.

Cheers.

PS: in the video I like B and C best. (I prefer the roll off). But they are very close.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2018, 05:07:29 PM by fredjeang2 »
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BJL

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Re: Sub $10K 4K video camera for landscape videos?
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2018, 10:49:04 PM »

Interesting question to which I believe thare are a large variety of cameras as answers. Here are but two

I shoot with a Panasonic GH5 with a Metabones adapter for Canon lenses.
I suppose that a new contender is the Panasonic GH5S, an even more video-oriented update of the GH5: https://www.dpreview.com/news/4183659664/panasonic-announces-video-focused-lumix-dc-gh5s

The "multi-format" sensor is a bit wider than the standard 4/3" format when used in its Cinema 4K (4096x2160) mode, which it offers in addition to the more common 4K UHD format of 3840 x 2160. DR is supposedly improved too, with the help of a "dual gain" method and slightly fewer, bigger photosites than the GH5. (US$2500 body only.)

Will you be reviewing it Chris?
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Chris Sanderson

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Re: Sub $10K 4K video camera for landscape videos?
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2018, 09:58:16 AM »

Will you be reviewing it Chris?

Probably not but Michael Durr might. The loss of in-body IS makes the GH5S less desirable for me. If I shot a lot of very low light footage, then it would be a good choice. However I would rather spend the money on better faster lenses...

Now if the GH5S low-light features and marginally better IQ were in a GH6, I would be first in line ))

Some interesting examples and opinion on ProVideo Coalition
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 02:20:36 PM by Chris Sanderson »
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Christopher Sanderson
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