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Author Topic: For Video, Sony vs. Canon  (Read 184 times)

JoeKitchen

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For Video, Sony vs. Canon
« on: September 13, 2018, 05:48:08 PM »

Hello Everyone, 

I would like to get more into video, even though I am not completely sure how I am going to integrate it into my business yet.  However, I do think it is the future and can not ignore it anymore.  Ultimately I would like to do more stories, not straight up videos of architecture (my speciality).  

I am considering purchasing either a Canon 5D IV or the new Sony A7R III.  Which would you recommend?  

Obviously I know the Sony is mirrorless and I like the idea of being able to use any lens with it plus being able to attach it to my tech camera.  But I do have other concerns that I really don't know anything about when it comes to comparing the systems.  

First, I would probably be using this camera for more B-roll and would rent a professional cine camera for any interviews.  Obviously it would be best to keep the brands consistent between the main camera and the B-roll camera for color and file similarities.  I have used the Canon C300 Mark II and found that to be a very nice cine camera that produces a good file.  I have never used a Sony cine camera.  How are Sony's offerings compared to Canon?  How do the files from each compare in regards to color depth and dynamic range.  I think Canon's C300 II records a 12-bit color file at 4:2:2 at its best quality.  Are the Sony's similar?

Second, specifically how do the files from the 5D IV and the A7R III compare?  Does one have much better color and/or depth to allow for more robust editing?  

Joe  
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Joe Kitchen
www.josephmkitchen.com

"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
“Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”  William Faulkner

MichaelEzra

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Re: For Video, Sony vs. Canon
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2018, 08:41:35 AM »

Hi Joe, I am no video expert, but may be Blackmagic 4K Pocket is worth considering if you are after a cinema-type camera.
MFT mount & loaded with cinema/video features. Within the same budget you could get two of them for 100% consistency.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 09:39:49 AM by MichaelEzra »
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JoeKitchen

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Re: For Video, Sony vs. Canon
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2018, 11:31:26 AM »

Hi Joe, I am no video expert, but may be Blackmagic 4K Pocket is worth considering if you are after a cinema-type camera.
MFT mount & loaded with cinema/video features. Within the same budget you could get two of them for 100% consistency.

This is something I was considering, however the Super8 sensor size makes it difficult to get good wide lenses for interiors.  I like the idea of working with a full frame sensor since I can use my current lenses without a loss of width. 
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Joe Kitchen
www.josephmkitchen.com

"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
“Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”  William Faulkner

MichaelEzra

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Re: For Video, Sony vs. Canon
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2018, 04:24:40 PM »

Take a look at
  Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm f/2.8 PRO
  Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8
  Rokinon 10mm F2.8 ED AS NCS CS
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John Brawley

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Re: For Video, Sony vs. Canon
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2018, 08:28:38 PM »

This is something I was considering, however the Super8 sensor size makes it difficult to get good wide lenses for interiors.  I like the idea of working with a full frame sensor since I can use my current lenses without a loss of width.

Well actually the mft sensor size is about half way between SUPER 35 and Super 16, the most common professional motion imaging origination formats for the past few decades. Much bigger than Super 8.

I'd be confident to say about 90% of the content most people watch is NOT 135 format motion imaging cameras.

Maybe you don't realize, but most professional cinema cameras (including the C300 you mentioned) are super 35, not 135 format. So you're already looking at a cropped camera if that's your fear.  It's only in the last few years we've seen any professional larger that S35 cameras making their way into professional hands.

Oh, and the Canon C300 MK2.. While it can do 12 bit, it's "only" in 1920, not 4K.

The P4K can do 16 bit lin / 12 bit log RAW uncompressed, or using a new soon to be implemented RAW codec that BMD just released called .braw it can go up to 12:1

Or it can shoot ProRes HQ. All on board for the same price.

Canon have a habit of crippling their codecs through much higher proprietary compression and bit depth limiting as well.  But if you want AF and more ease of use in the field for a one person band then it's a better option.  Canon make some nice pictures, but the limitation is the codec.  And it's criminal how limiting they are for the price you pay.

There are also some EF mount speedbooster's and they've been very popular with BMD MFT camera users.

JB







« Last Edit: September 15, 2018, 08:34:18 PM by John Brawley »
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TommyWeir

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Re: For Video, Sony vs. Canon
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2018, 04:22:15 AM »

I have to say if I was looking at a camera mainly for video, I'd be looking at a Panasonic GH5.   The lens range, the adoption by the video community, the wide range of add-ons and Panasonic's options and controls for video capture built into the camera.  It's remarkable.    The Blackmagic is great too.

But if you're considering your current lenses then perhaps I'd edge it to the Sony.

JoeKitchen

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Re: For Video, Sony vs. Canon
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2018, 12:53:57 PM »

Thanks all for the replies. 

However, if Canon and Sony were the ONLY choices, which would you go with considering the overall offerings of each?  (I have my reasons for being so specific.) 
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Joe Kitchen
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"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
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bcooter

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Re: For Video, Sony vs. Canon
« Reply #7 on: Today at 03:39:58 PM »

Thanks all for the replies. 

However, if Canon and Sony were the ONLY choices, which would you go with considering the overall offerings of each?  (I have my reasons for being so specific.)

Hey Joe,

Since you mentioned the 5d mark iv and the Sony A7RIII, I can't give you an exact comparison, but can get close as I have a 1dx Mark II and a Sony A7sII.

First I find the Canon color much easier to control, especially on people, with the only downside is the mjpeg codec.  It's actually a good codec, except it's very large, even on the 5d Mark IV which is 500mBytes a second and will fill up a Cfast 2 card quickly.     Also the Mark IV has a 1.74 crop which is close to 4/3.     There were rumors last year that Canon would offer a firmware that would change that to 4k 1.27 but that annoucement was in March 2017, and not a word since.

https://petapixel.com/2017/03/29/canon-5d-mark-iv-firmware-update-reduce-4k-crop-1-74x-1-27x/

Also the Canon does not have internal stabilization, so you need stabilized lenses for hand held work, or a stabilizer and most Canon FF zoom lenses with stabilization are F4 constant, except the 70 to 200.    I recently tested a 24 to 70 2.8 sigma but found the stabilization weak compared to the Canon 24 to 70.   The sigma is a nice lens and well built, but I would only use it for tripod work.  The excellent thing about all the pdaf Canons is the autofocus is amazing, especially the face detection and that's from the lowly 80d, then the 1dxII, c200, c300, c700.

I bought the Sony A7sII for it's low light capabilities and iBIS, but it has a weak bit rate of 100 mbs and will skew quickly on anything but slow pans and I have to be very careful with banding like on skies and maybe it's  me but I find color grading skin tones in a lot of scenes very difficult to grade in resolve and the Sony batteries don't last long for filming.  This may be that I'm very use to Canon color, so I use the 1dxII, though a lot of people love about the Sonys.  But don't be scared off by Canon's c200 8 bit because it's a pretty rugged file.

And sorry for the long post, but I've done this and seen at with at least another dozen still photographers moving to or adding motion footage to their repertoire.

You want to get your feet wet first, but to relay my story, when my 5d2 had been out a few years I decided to try to make it a cinema camera.   I think I spent around 5k or mounts, rails, cages, adapters, sound input, etc.   Now it is still a good 2k camera in the semi dark and for short takes and newer software will upres to 3.7k without overly noticeable artifacts.

(this is a still image from a 5d2 motion grab that has been first graded in resolve then retouched in Photoshop).


But after using it, I realized I was chasing my own tail.   It was obvious then it was going to become a 4k world and it has.   So I bought my first RED 1, then a second one for a "round the world gig".    I like RED, then bought a Scarlet MX then an Epic MX. Had a screen writer I know write approx 5 scenes and since we were going to Paris for a gig, I thought what a better way to learn than to shoot these scenes.  I learned more in those 4 days than I would have learned reading every tube review and just testing in the studio.

Today (even though I still use them) I wouldn't buy an R1 simply because they're heavy, but todays cameras didn't exist then.   Client expectations then were for good 2k, now good 4k, even though most AD's or even their production teams can't play a prores edit in 4k on their few years old iMacs, they all started asking for final edits in 2 and 4k (or uhd), so those now older R1's more than paid for themselves. 

And btw, DPs and operators I know that came from the film world, all were saying how bad the R1's were, but REDs last firmware updates and improvements in resolve still make them useful and I've only had one bad clip out of thousands of clips.   

As you know times change quickly in the digital world and there are many options, but taking a sony A7 series camera, or any dslr/mirrorless and turning them into something really useful, including sound recording can get expensive, even if it's for your own personal reel will easily drop you into the 7k range of expense and you'll find yourself back into the buy a bigger camera range.   

In the last year and a half, I've had client's from direct to Ad agencies ask what type of cameras I work with and use Netflix's approved list as a guide.  https://partnerhelp.netflixstudios.com/hc/en-us/articles/217237077-Production-and-Post-Production-Requirements  which is kind of silly because Netflix probably has a thousand movies online that we're shot with the original and later Arri's which and only lately Arri hit a true 4k off the sensor.  In fact Netflix only allows two Arri's.  I don't know whether to laugh or cry at that type of list I posted.

Now I'm not suggesting anything other than keep in mind the first dip your toe expense plus later adding more professional cameras.

An URSA mini pro may seem expensive, but if you look around through established dealers and rental houses, you can get one for probably close to the same cost of tricking out a 5d mark II or any small sony and have something you can use for a long time.

I'm also not saying that great content and story doesn't matter, because a great script and some time/budget makes a huge difference.  In fact two years ago I viewed a jeans commercial that was the best I've seen, all shot with a 5d2.

But the one thing I DO strongly suggest is learning DiVinci Resolve.  It's a kluge of a software but has a beautiful color engine, but learning it is the black hole of time.

just IMO

BC
« Last Edit: Today at 03:49:38 PM by bcooter »
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