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    New 4K low-light camera dilemma - please advise!
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    I am looking for a new 4K camera for low-light documentary work (caves) to replace a 1DC. The 24FPS is just not cutting it anymore, the huge file sizes are ridiculous. The priorities are:

    1. Great low light performance
    2. Pleasing colors (preferably on par with the 1DC)
    3. At least 4K 60FPS internal
    4. At least 12 stops DR, preferably 14
    5. Good, modern codec
    6. Great low light dual pixel autofocus
    7. Use of our existing Canon L EF lenses, if possible, as we need to shoot wide.


    I have been considering the 1DX II, but it is ancient now and we all know it's limitations, form factor, same codec, etc.

    I have been researching for the past days but I am kind of lost as there is too much out there, but no real alternatives. I am also considering to move away from Canon due to the many problems we had with a first couple of 1DC units and the company's abysmal customer service (discussed elsewhere). I know how broad the question is, but still, I have to start somewhere, and possibly avoid the mistake of buying a 1DX, which will be replaced shortly by a newer model. But we need to start shooting next month.

    The Canon XF705 actually looks very good, but the lens is not wide enough. We have to shoot at about 18mm 35 equivalent. It goes down to 25, which is too narrow.

    Any ideas, Sony alternatives, etc. are welcome, it's a tough one.


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    IIRC, you had such a beautiful underwater footage of caves ruined by hot pixels and horrible Canon support?

    Anyway, maybe this is what yo are looking for?

    Scroll down and start reading from "Professional imaging with a triple lens camera system"...


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    I’d test the 1DX II with a custom picture style that brings up the blacks and lowers contrast a bit, the Fuji X-T3, and this https://www.newsshooter.com/2018/03/...or-red-epic-w/ .

    EDIT: if you must have phase detect AF, choice is limited (delete Red from list) else also look at Sony FS7x and FS5 II (up to 120fps 4K).

    Consider a used 1DX II to minimize depreciation.

    If you use PP CC you can transcode to Cineform wavelet or MXF OP1a to save some space.
    Last edited by jcs; 03-02-2019 at 09:58 AM.


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    Not sure there's anything that ticks all of your requirements, as mentioned the Fuji XT-3 is probably the closest, not sure how the AF is with adaptors and ef lenses.
    The EVA-1 ticks all except AF and has a nicer imnage than the FS7 in my opinion, the upcoming PAnasonic S1 full frame looks promising and AF looks better than on other Panasonic cameras. WOuld need adaptors again though to use ef lenses. Panasonic GH5s hits all but great AF, would need lens adaptors too. Black Magic Pocket 4k if you can get hold of one, no AF though.
    I don't work for Panasonic by the way, just still not many cameras do 4k 60p.
    Last edited by ade4all; 03-02-2019 at 09:37 AM.


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    If you are considering the 1DX and XF705 (around that price range) then maybe consider the C200 as well.

    Checks all of the boxes except the non-RAW codecs may be a bit weak for you (and I'm assuming you don't want to shoot RAW since you're tired of the 1DC file sizes).

    But for everything else it has you covered.


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    Quote Originally Posted by NorBro View Post
    If you are considering the 1DX and XF705 (around that price range) then maybe consider the C200 as well.

    Checks all of the boxes except the non-RAW codecs may be a bit weak for you (and I'm assuming you don't want to shoot RAW since you're tired of the 1DC file sizes).

    But for everything else it has you covered.
    Or a used C200- “vote with your wallet”.

    If OP can wait till 2024 the A7S III will work ;)

    How’s the A6400 / new AI AF / skintones?


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    I'm only a pro in the AF department...it's great!

    Not sure I notice a tremendous difference in skintones as I don't pay too much attention to any from any cameras in today's world with hundreds of different looks/grades.


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    Other than autofocus, your list perfectly describes the EVA1 or the VariCam LT.
    Mitch Gross
    NYC


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    Quote Originally Posted by NorBro View Post
    I'm only a pro in the AF department...it's great!

    Not sure I notice a tremendous difference in skintones as I don't pay too much attention to any from any cameras in today's world with hundreds of different looks/grades.
    Cool- will check out the A6400 in the near future. Regarding your comment in the X-T3 thread about (effectively) being burned by expensive cameras and now going for (effectively) best bang for buck (low end theory or LET term from GearSlutz): I'm feeling exactly the same way after selling the C300 II. After the deep dive on resolution and skintones, now want to work with video cameras that are fun to shoot with. Or put another way, where ergonomics/usability/quality are all really high and the annoyance factors are really low.

    I think what happens after a while is we get tired/bored with our gear and there's an itch to get something new (and/or feel a bit ripped off on exaggerated specs). However we don't really need to get something brand new. I've been playing with my old Panasonic TM700 with new eyes and other than the loud fan (need to use an external mic), it's pretty fun to shoot with. IS is decent and with sufficient light it's probably OK for YouTube/vlogging (has an F1.5 Lecia lens haha!). Will see if I can make the footage look decent in post (Soderbergh made iPhones passable ). My camera work right now is mostly high-end stills (portraits- so skintones are still number one); waiting a bit before making more changes on the video side (an EOS R might replace the 80D soon; don't want to 'feed the criplefacturers' however do think it's important to feed local merchants (purchase from smaller/local vendors when possible)).

    For the OP, for LET, if you need 4K 60P, good low light, a modern codec, and excellent image quality, the $1400 X-T3 is pretty much the best deal right now (will need native lenses to get usable video AF (currently)).


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    #10
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    Thanks you all for the excellent advice!! Already a lot to research. Will chime back in soon


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