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    what is your preferred still camera and lens combo?
    #1
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    lately, i have been getting more than a few still gigs to go along with my motion work.

    i have also gotten some still gigs without an accompanying motion project.

    i forgot how much fun stills can be:

    only one frame needs to be in focus not 24/per second!

    sound is NOT an issue!

    post processing takes MUCH less time!

    a stills shoot takes MUCH less time than a motion shoot!

    now that i'm enjoying myself, i wonder what other folks use to shoot.

    preferred camera and lens combo?

    be well.

    rob
    smalltalk.productions/nyc
    the story is never black & white
    it takes Smalltalk to reveal the color

    smalltalk.productions


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    #2
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    I think a FF DSLR with a mirror is basically still the best for stills.

    If you have a lens investment (like canon AF) then Id go with that system.

    Else consider canon or nikon.

    I would look for a DSLR with a flip screen which can help taking pics from odd angles.

    A silent shot mode can be useful (especially if you film around rolling motion cameras)


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    #3
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    The best for stills varies with the job at hand. Medium format is extremely silky smooth, but not right for everything. FF has it's place, especially where fast AF is required. Tiny little point and shoots have their places too, especially those that have some sort of remote control (like wifi to a phone).

    My weapon of choice is Fujfilm X series and currently the Zeiss Touit trio of lenses (though I need longer fairly often). I also have a full set of old Canon Serenar rangefinder lenses that I use and find to be very good when their is a purpose to stray. Which camera body doesn't matter once you get into the second generation with the faster evf refresh rates, but I would like something new and hoping that they finally make a body that does video to my expectations (maybe soon).


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    #4
    Senior Member Mark Watson's Avatar
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    Camera and lens will depend on what I'm shooting of course. For night time lapses, I have been using a Canon 6D (MK I) and Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 manual lens. Since getting the 6D, which replaced my 7D, I have researched every few months to see if there was anything better. The 6D MK II has lots of improvements that I like, but the main thing is low light capability and the MK II has smaller pixels than the MK I. Some test have suggested the sensitivity is nearly identical though. Also keep looking at the Canon 5D MK IV. Looks to have slightly less sensitivity, but it also has 4K video, which the 6D is 1080p. I also shoot a little tilt-shift video so the 4K would be really nice for that. Also looked at the Sonys but not convinced I'd get better results. The Rokinon has been great. When I'm not using that lens, I find the Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 on my camera mostly. Again, doing time lapses or walk about city shooting. If I want to keep the camera weight down, I'll put on the 50mm f/1.4. I get over 4 hours of continuous time lapse shooting off one battery, unless the temperatures are down around freezing. I have the battery grip if there's any doubt of battery life for a long time lapse shoot.


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    For street shooting or maybe family stuff, I shoot a Leica M9 and Zeiss 35/2...I like the CCD sensor look. When traveling really light or for quick Moriyama-esque grab shots, a Ricoh GR (APS-C, 28mm equiv. FoV).

    For more accurate framing, the Sony A7RII is nice, with big files and loads of dynamic range. I don't really shoot landscapes, but it's really filmic in it's capture range. It also captures good video, if and when the situation arises. A Canon 28/1.8 or Sony 50/1.8 are good matches.

    When the rubber meets the road and I really HAVE to get the shots, the Canon 1DX is my go-to. You can operate all day on a battery (even in the cold), has dual-card slots, you can operate it easily with gloves on, it'll handle a rain shower, and it can shoot all day long in the heat of the Texas summer. It has fast focus, fast operation, fast response, a fast frame rate...it really is Professional Grade tool. Feels nice and solid in the hand, too. Zooms are a good match...17-40 or 24-70, depending upon the subject matter/location. A fast 35/1.8 prime works well, too.

    Yeah, I have too many cameras.
    Sony FS5, A7RII, Fuji XT-3, MacBook Pro


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    Senior Member Grug's Avatar
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    I recently picked up an A6500 in order to build a compact (but high-quality) stills setup for underwater photography.

    It absolutely achieves that (the total weight is less than half of a comparable underwater DSLR setup). However, although the small size is wonderful for travel, and the image quality is perfectly sufficient for professional applications, I've found that a mirrorless setup only really works well for about 80% of shooting scenarios. For landscapes, portraits, walk-around, anything that can be done at a moderate pace, they're superb.

    However, for that 20% of shooting scenarios that need faster response times, and more immediate framing and focus abilities - a DSLR (like my D800e) still holds a significant advantage in actual usability. That's wildlife photography, sports, jeep safaris (shooting from moving vehicles) etc.

    So I think it still (ultimately) comes down to picking the right tool for the job.


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    #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grug View Post
    I recently picked up an A6500 in order to build a compact (but high-quality) stills setup for underwater photography.


    I have one of those and often think about throwing it in the sea... ...horrid little camera. A camera designed by engineers who hate photographers. A camera with great features and useful video, but no joy, particularly for stills. Did I say I hate the A6500? YMMV :-)

    I often do commercial photography or portraits in addition to video, generally I use my 5Dmk3. I was thinking about trading it in for an A7r3, but came out in a cold sweat thinking about the menus and handling of my A6500... ...it would be nice to have a FF camera in a small form, but I think I'm going to trade-in for a 5Dmk4 unless someone can convince me otherwise.
    New Website: www.liamhall.net
    TWITTER: @FilmLiam
    INSTAGRAM: @picsbyliam


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    #8
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    That's it Liam . A 5d2 or any dslr by canon or Nikon are usable - Sony gh5 whatever - horrid little cameras - they just are.

    Back on the day I had a digital Hasselblad - s*%t AF made that horrid too - but that was a while ago.


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    Senior Member AndreeOnline's Avatar
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    1Dx mkII for everything. Bring it everywhere.

    I like the look of my Sigma 50mm 1.4 A. A good mix between expressiveness and being able to show some context, not just isolating the subject.

    I'll be taking a closer look at the next generation of high resolution Canons as well. Hoping for great photo sites—in quantity and quality.

    But my current "wish camera, within reason" is something completely different... =)
    @andreemarkefors


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    #10
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    5D mkIV. I'm on my fourth 5D: two mkII's, a mkIII and currently the mkIV. Each one has gotten better than the last and more enjoyable to use. It's one of the best "all around" cameras available. Great in low light. High-rez. Great auto focus. Good frame rate. Handles well. And Canon color.


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