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    #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by robotfist View Post
    Right now a used Red Gemini, a used Arri Amira and a new Canon C500 (with media, batteries, EVF and cards) are all about the same price. They all offer unique things and I think a lot of serious work will be accomplished with the Canon.

    I shoot a wide range of stuff, from editorial and documentary content where I fly to remote areas with budgets of $10k and below, to mid-range/high budget commercials and branded, corporate content ($100k+). I usually rent an Alexa for my high range stuff. And I don’t want to spend $65k to own an Alexa Mini. Renting that has been working out just fine. I do, however, want a good camera for my smaller productions and for personal projects. These productions often have little to no crews. And this where the Canon shines. AF is a serious tool for a one man band. More efficient power management means smaller batteries which makes flying with equipment much easier. I can usually fit my entire C200 with LCD, 5 batteries, media and 6 lenses into a single, carryon Pelican case. That is a huge benefit. Try doing that with an Arri Amira.

    I get that the Alexa is the default standard. I use it all the time. It’s the best image, for sure. But despite my early struggles with the C200, I do believe that was attributed to my resistance to learn the best practices and post flow with it. I do believe that in the hands of a good DP, armed with the right knowledge, anyone can get amazing footage out of any modern cinema camera. So usability, form factor, modularity, power management, AF... all those things are now becoming things to seriously consider. I bet we’re going to see some pretty amazing stuff shot with the C500 II in the coming years.
    A lot of serious work is and will always be accomplished with Canon systems because they make great video cameras. Video.

    I am asked weekly (as I'm sure others here are too) which camera to purchase, and if anyone brings up a Canon cinema camera I tell everyone the same thing; it does everything right besides pure cinematic image quality.

    No one can deny that when you watch good RED or ARRI footage you can see a difference. You can see it. You can feel it. And it's not just about more production value that usually comes with these cameras. I don't feel the same about Canon images.

    But I do of course agree; usability, form factor, modularity, power management, AF (everyone knows how I feel about that)...all those things you said word-for-word. It's so awesome to be able to pick up a little C200B with your own monitor and small battery and a great side handle that's not overpriced, but at the end of the day the images do not compare to the cameras you're also thinking about.

    ARRI is out of my league. But RED...REDCODE is beautiful. There's a reason why they are insane about protecting it. And truth is - love them or hate them - when you purchase a RED camera you are also investing in its name because people take you more seriously. [And I don't care about RED. It's an industry fact and if it were a Fisher-Price camera then I'd mention them.]

    And per usual, this is only my own opinion and it is what it is because of the Canon's price and its competition. $16K+ is a lot of money for a camera.


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    #62
    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by puredrifting View Post
    Thank you all for your C500 MKII feedback. Interesting through that not one response, really, about the business case, day rates, will spending $16k on a body get you more business/clients or more profit?
    Just really all about features and feature improvements, which I get, it is a noticeably better camera than the C200/300 MKII/FS7, but to me, that only matters if it makes me more $$, if I am going to shell out
    $20-25k with all of the media, backs and accessories. Thank you for your perspectives also against REDs and Arris, I agree, Arri still looks best, REDs can look really nice but operationally, the C500 MKII is
    going to be much easier to deploy as a OMB or on a small crew without ACs.
    I'll probably hold off the C500 Mark II because I don't see it as a good business investment. Yeah, nice to have the feature set, but this is a business. I'm saving up for an Alexa Mini LF, and then after that likely Arri Signature primes, which means it'd be awhile before I could afford a C500 Mark II. Awhile as in, as much time as it take for the C500 Mark II to become popular with producers, like a year or two, so it could all work out perfectly that way. It'd be nice to have one C500 Mark II to go with my C300 Mark IIs; use the C500 as primary for the improved feature set and nice to have 4K 60p when producers ask for it, and have the C300s for multi-cam.

    C300 now is still the name brand, so if you only have a C500 Mark II, some producers are going to go, "I don't know that camera," or, "We've been shooting this show on the C300 so we want to hire a C300." I could almost argue that if it's your only camera, you could make more money in 2020 from owning a C300 over a C500. As far as day rates, if I had a C500 Mark II, I'd probably list on my rates, "C500 Mark II or C300 Mark II," and charge the same rate for both. I charge an additional $900 for an Amira over a C300, and I don't want to complicate my rates by adding a third pricing tier for a newer camera that offers very similar quality to the client (4K 10 bit 4:2:2). So, buying the camera would be about getting the occasional extra client who either knows the camera and wants that (which won't happen until producers know the name), or having features such as 4K 60p that producers sometimes want.


    As far as primes being cheaper than zooms, at the high end that's not the case. A couple Fuji Premistas cost $80k, two high end Angies cost $80k or $170k if you add in the 24-290, two Leitz zooms cost $150k...meanwhile, a set of Letiz primes costs $500k, Signature primes around $400k, Masterprimes around the same. Perhaps you don't need a full set of primes, but even a half set still will cost more than zooms come out to.

    On one thread you say 1080p from the C100 looks good, and put down the need for the sharpness of 6K, yet, now you need primes to get more sharpness. Which is it, is more sharpness needed or not?
    Last edited by Eric Coughlin; 01-19-2020 at 10:58 AM.


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    #63
    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorBro View Post
    when you purchase a RED camera you are also investing in its name because people take you more seriously. [And I don't care about RED. It's an industry fact and if it were a Fisher-Price camera then I'd mention them.
    Maybe that used to be the case, but these days whenever I get a client contacting me saying they'd like a Red camera, or they shot their last project on Red, or anything to do with mentioning a Red, they're a lower budget, lower end, less informed, less knowledgeable, etc., client. Clueless music video musicians reach out and say, "We love you work, want to hire you with your Red camera." Me, "I don't own a Red cameras because they are crap. I have Arris which were used to shoot most Hollywood movies like Avengers." Them, "Never heard of Arri. I have $500 budget. Can you bring yourself and a Red out for that?" Me, "No."

    Most Red owner/ops I know are indie filmmakers making diddly squat day rates, going out for around $250 to $600 per day with their $20k Red with a cheap Rokinon lens set and Manfrotto tripod. Sometimes for a corporate project you can get $1500 as a Red owner/op, but I rarely see Red budgets beyond that, and people can easily get those rates with a cheaper C300 Mark II camera in the corporate world.

    Red has had a serious decline in the past few years, so people still asking for them thinking they're the best are really just uninformed.
    Last edited by Eric Coughlin; 01-19-2020 at 10:23 AM.


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    #64
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    Your experience is more about the state of the industry than the camera itself.


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    #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    Red has had a serious decline in the past few years, so people still asking for them thinking they're the best are really just uninformed.
    It's not about being uniformed. It's about if you can't get #1 then you go to #2. RED was always behind ARRI and most will agree.

    RED cameras have been around for more than 10 years. What other options did you have all these years that looked that good on that kind of level?

    None. Only until a few years ago when you had other choices that could be potential options/replacements for the money you have available.


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    Quote Originally Posted by NorBro View Post
    It's not about being uniformed. It's about if you can't get #1 then you go to #2. RED was always behind ARRI and most will agree.

    Their cameras have been around for more than 10 years. What other options did you have all these years that looked that good on that kind of level?

    None. Only until a few years ago.
    Well, perhaps I'm moreso referring to those music video type of clients, who haven't even heard of Arri, and thought Red was the best. That's uninformed.

    But in the corporate world there are occasionally clients who want Red where a C300 would likely be a better choice for the project. It's one thing if an experienced producers comes to me and says they prefer the look of Red, but another if an inexperienced producer comes to me saying, "Run n gun, low light, want Red," especially before the Gemini and it's low light was available. Reds just aren't practical for a lot of shoots but they have a lot of name recognition to those outside of the industry, so in my experience sometimes a new producer or employee in a company's marketing firm wants a Red, not because it's actually the best camera for the job, but because it's the only camera they've heard of. Hence, they're misinformed.

    And yeah, now there are more options than before, with the Venice and Varicam 35, which I guess are more expensive than a typical Red, but I'd also probably take a Varicam LT over a Red. The Venice is doing well at the high end, so I'd say it's the new #2 behind Arri.


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    I don't think you can say it's #2 just yet based on like 5 movies.

    I love the Venice, but not sure I'd jump to that conclusion when there's more than a decade of Hollywood blockbusters from the Americans.


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    #68
    Senior Member Eric Coughlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorBro View Post
    I don't think you can't say it's #2 yet based on like 5 movies. I love the Venice, but not sure I'd jump to that conclusion.
    Yeah, perhaps hasty, we'll see how popular it becomes. Seems good on paper and from the images I've seen, though I'd still prefer Arri. Perhaps I meant, if I was shooting a high end project and Arri was not an option, Venice would be my #2 choice, and I could see it being the same for future productions which means it could be the #2 choice in general, not just by my standards.



    I just watched The Witcher which was shot on the Millennium DXL2. Seeing that camera getting a bit more use, based off of a Red sensor. Interestingly, when I was reading this article...

    How I Shot That: 52 Sundance Filmmakers Break Down the Cameras They Used

    Most of the DPs had positive things to say about the cameras they used. Regarding the DXL2, the DP said, "Elswit: The 8k was a request from Netflix to help with VFX. Netflix requires their original productions to originate in 4K. Unfortunately, the Alexa LF wasn’t available when we went into production."
    Last edited by Eric Coughlin; 01-19-2020 at 10:55 AM.


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    Eric...I'm just another spoke in the wheel...you're going to go on to Hollywood and film big pictures and tell jokes no one will understand.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Liam Hall View Post
    My Sigma Art Primes work brilliantly in AF. Interviews at F/1.4 are a breeze with face tracking. Given touch-screen monitor is useless outside in sun, the AF has saved my bacon in the last week (my EVF hasn't shown up yet).
    I'll be pummeled for saying this but, off that multiple lens test posted here (cinematography forum?), a high end prime - that is referred to as a "stills lens" often - can come pretty close to the high end cinema prime. I thought Zeiss Otus was the closest but it's not AF capable and Batis is a step below.

    Sony is coming out with the cine AF zooms probably based on their G-Master line but, once again, off the various YouTube reviews, Sigma is just as good. Canon, to iterate the same point, ought to be matching Sony's efforts. A $7K Sumire prime seems like a bargain compared to the Thalia and the Cookes but the camera prices have plummeted while their quality has gone up tremendously and lenses ought to reflect that. Not every production is "1917".

    Quote Originally Posted by puredrifting View Post
    I'll let you know if Canon ever actually gives me the camera. Based upon existing Canons I shoot with regularly (C200, C300, C300 MKII), you have wide degrees of varying performance even with Canon lenses. For instance, I have the EF S 17-55 f/2.8 IS. The focus to me, is slow and clunky and takes too long to adjust/track. The EF S 18-135 f/3.5-5.6IS STM has great AF because of the STM stepper motors but it's a fairly crappy lens. The EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS II is pretty damn good too, AF is great and the images are MAGIC. I sold but used to have the Tokina 12-24mm f/4.0 and the AF was like the 17-55, slow and clunky. I bought the EF 24-105mm f/4.0 IS II and it's been decent too as far as AF and image. I've only shot with the Sigma Cine Primes, not the ART series but I know a LOT of Canon owners are in love with the 18-35mm f/1.8 ART so the AF must be pretty good....
    Ya, I looked up a bunch of C200 clips and Sigma 18-35 was a common find.

    As to 'slow and clunky", I wonder about the generational improvements. Sony's large new telephotos - both primes and zooms - have a great AF with A9II and the G-Masters focus quickly with A7RIV as well. And if the large telephotos can do it, the much smaller primes ought to be even better.

    Quote Originally Posted by NorBro View Post
    It's not about being uniformed. It's about if you can't get #1 then you go to #2. RED was always behind ARRI and most will agree.

    RED cameras have been around for more than 10 years. What other options did you have all these years that looked that good on that kind of level?

    None. Only until a few years ago when you had other choices that could be potential options/replacements for the money you have available.
    When I registered on DVXUser in October of 2014, the lowest priced 4K camera was 1D C at $12,000 and 8-bit 4:2:0. Now, the incoming 1D X MKIII will shoot 6K Raw. Oddly enough, with all the self-crippling by the photo-video manufacturers, 1D X MKIII will be the one cannibalizing some C500 MKII sales and a lot of Red's. Red Raw and its various compression rates advantage is whittling down as well, as the media has gotten inexpensive enough to record in the uncompressed 6K Raw.

    Lastly, my take on C500 MKII business perspective - it won't make a dent visavis Mini LF. That's a rarefied "unlimited budget" territory. But, as a low light option and a B/C cam, it'll make it onto the major sets too. However, with a myriad of streaming services being launched, the pyramid for the video quality has gotten both taller and wider and C500 MKII - along with FX-9, FX-6 and a likely C300 MKIII/C400 - will eat up several floors of that pyramid.


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