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    Hello all!

    Given that this is a "Canon" sub-forum I realize it may be difficult to get a completely unbiased opinion but I have also been kicking around DVXUser for a long time so I know most of us can be brutally honest and most of us would "jump ship" to whatever brand/manufacturer gave us the tool(s) we wanted/needed. That said, I'm just asking for some input on which camera system to move forward with and it’s tough because we are spoiled for choices theses days.

    As background, for the past few of years I have been using an Amira and Alexa Mini for my productions but the time has come for me to part ways with them. The time was right (or wrong given how things are so uncertain in the world pf production right now) and with ARRI announcing a new sensor in the somewhat near future I thought the resale value on these cameras probably isn't going to get any better...so here we are.

    Obviously, I've been a bit spoiled by the ARRI sensors / color science and dynamic range - which TO ME is more important than the ”resolution wars" - I do value resolution to a certain degree for re-framing and whatnot but all of my deliverables are still 1080 so 4K is ample.

    Honestly...and this may sound crazy but...I think my two top-runners are the C500 MkII (obviously) and the Ursa Mini Pro G2. I know those are far apart in terms of pricing and whatnot but here is my logic...

    The UMP G2 does offer that bit of a more of that indescribable, often misused "film" kind of look out-of-the-box…I’m not sure if its color or cadence or what… I'll try to explain it like this: with the ARRI cameras, at least in my experience, it's actually difficult to make them have the stereotypical "video camera look" - which I think usually just boils down to the frame-rate, grade, composition, etc. but I hope you understand my overall point.

    On the other hand, you have the C500 MkII which I think is the opposite...out-of-the-box it has that more "video camera" aesthetic and you have to work harder if that's not the look you want to achieve for a given project. Granted, I have been digging through the threads here and there have been some samples posted that are gorgeous / my cup of tea so I see the potential is there. The other thing, FOR ME, is the ability to push away from that "Canon Look", which much like the "ARRI Look", it is just ingrained in the Canon cameras.

    "Well there are lot of people that pay the money specifically for that look so why would you want to get away from it?"

    I'm glad you asked...simple because there are sooooo many YouTubers and DSLR shooters that produce content for $5 and a McD's coupon these days that I want to put as much space between myself and them as possible - which can be difficult when there is overlapping color science / ingrained looks there. I'm sure most of you can look at something and just know that, "well that was shot with a Canon or Sony or Fuji DSLR". And yes, I do realize that the skill, cinematography, composition, grade and all of that are ultimately what accomplish that BUT I live in an area where it seems like everyone "shoots video too" and a lot of the people / businesses / etc. don't look at production and see the shoddy camera work, clipped skies/shadows or blown-out skin-tones...they just see it's "close enough" and a lot cheaper so as much differentiation one can get the better.

    The C500 MkII brings some really amazing tools and abilities to the table for me (as a OMB / one-stop-shop kind of production company) that ARRI doesn’t… The two at the top of MY list would be autofocus and low-light capabilities. ARRI makes great cameras but low-light is not their thing in my opinion. Yes, you can push/pull the ARRI footage fairly easily but that only goes so far if you’re shooting more docu-style in areas where available light isn’t that…available.

    I do wish the C500 MkII had a 4K, full-frame RAW option without the crop since, as I mentioned earlier, 4K does the job just fine for my deliverables. It seems odd to buy a full-frame camera and not to record the full-frame and obviously with HFR you don’t even have the option to. Being able to utilize the full sensor at a lower resolution would really help out with data / storage because, based on what I can see, you must shoot RAW if the goal is to be in that ARRI-look realm at all.

    There is also the Sony FX9 but I still own an FS7 and the feature set on the FS7, especially at the launch when I bought it, was extraordinary and still holds up to the current crop of similar cameras today but I have never enjoyed trying to massage the grade in order to get the colors where I want them. I know they are now offering the Cinetone on the FX9 (which looks pretty good) but there are probably trade-offs with the DR you get compared to shooting LOG and plus, I’m fully expecting there to be a rush of productions with the Cinetone look everywhere in the near future. Then there’s ridiculous add-on required to get RAW and then it still requires an external recorder to record that RAW signal…gotta love Sony.

    So I could keep going with all the thoughts in my head from the last few days of research but have rambled enough…I would really enjoy hearing your thoughts and I’m sure some of you have been in similar predicaments when choosing your camera systems.
    Jeremey
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    "That's just my opinion...I could be wrong"


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    I think you've narrowed it down pretty well for yourself, but the YouTube game has really changed in the last 5 years and although many use "DSLRs", there is some serious production value with BM and Canon going on there too.

    With that said, I would consider RED as well if $16K+ is doable.


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    You are correct and it's not my intention to downplay YouTube productions by any means (I watch too much of it to do that). There are a lot of channels that have very high-end production using everything including RED on an ongoing basis (not just a review or comparison video) but I'm referring to a lot of the insanely popular, wide-audience stuff that is more VLOG style where the main concern (and rightfully so) is getting the content / commentary wherever they go at a moments notice...difficult to do when you're filming on RED or the like. I'm more referring to the difference between those kinds of productions compared to a commercial shoot (for example). It's the difficulty I think we all face...educating our clients on the difference and reasoning behind the budgets needed for the given level of production.

    Well, I'm glad it appears I'm somewhat on the right track but whew, it's such a tough call because they are so different. I actually purchased the UMP G1 and returned it; it had brutal FPN and some magenta corners to boot...so it went right back. I'm hoping they've addressed this in the G2 and from what I can find (and would have to test for myself) it appears as if 1600 ISO is decent (even ARRI's isn't so hot) and 3200 is serviceable with NR in post if a must.

    Can you really get into a RED complete system for that price - with a decent amount of storage? The C500 MkII packages I am looking at our coming in at like $21k with the V-Lock back, PL mount and couple more cards. I've never shot on RED and just based on what other's say, their "eco-system" is waaaay overpriced and frustrating.


    The thing is, I end up shooting a fair amount of two-camera interviews so I have to buy two of everything. I realize I could go with something like the C200 for B-Cam but there are some trade-offs there and I really enjoyed having the Amira and Mini as my cameras because matching was non-issue compared to when I would shoot like my FS7 with my C100 or even my A7rII...such a pain and so much time wasted in post that you can't really justify / bill to the client. It's just so much easier, when possible, to have two cameras that the color, dynamic range, everything just match-up.
    Jeremey
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    "That's just my opinion...I could be wrong"


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    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    You have what a lot of people aspire to have. I’d much rather have the clients that want and will pay for an Amira and Alexa Mini than a C500 or BMD camera(regardless of how good it may be).

    As you said it, there’s just something about the Arri’s, even straight out of camera, that have that look. Granted, this was several years ago and not a C500, but, I was part of a large shoot for the sports division of a network and there were four individual sets, including stills, going on on the larger, all encompassing set. One of them was for their larger, high-profile promo’s and and another was for one of their shows on the sport. The high profile and show sets were both running back to video village. The high profile was Alexa’s and Mini’s (and film) and the “show” was C300’s. Same gaffer and lighting crew lit everything. Same prop people/set dressers/designers, etc... When you walked back to video village and looked at the monitors side-by-side there was an obvious difference between the Canon’s and the Arri’s. The Alexa’s looked so much better. The look, the feel, the motion. They just seem to have this heavy, weighty image that “moves” just right. And I see similar things in RED, with the heavy, weighty image and cadence.

    I love Canon color, but a lot of what I’ve seen out of the new cameras, just seems like “video”. Even some of the really nice looking stuff, color wise, where they nailed the grade, still seems to move like video and the images don’t feel as “deep” or have the same “weight” to them.

    I think I’d have to have a gun to my head to give up an Amira and Alexa Mini for a C500 or BMD camera.


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    $21K would definitely get you a decent amount for one camera (especially if the Raven or Scarlet-W were still available), but you'd have to go with the Dragon-X.

    Maybe a kit: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...arter_kit.html

    (There's also tax though, if applicable.)

    Interest is only in brand new I'm assuming?

    One of the strengths of the cameras are their compression ratios, so you may find the quality to be very good at a higher compression and that you don't need as much storage as you may think you do.

    There's also their new Komodo which you could easily get two of and everything you need and still have money left over, but their other cameras look way better...at least for now (IMO).


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    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorBro View Post
    $21K would definitely get you a lot for one camera (especially if the Raven or Scarlet-W were still available).

    Interest is only in brand new I'm assuming?

    One of the strengths of the cameras are their compression ratios, so you may find the quality to be very good at a higher compression and that you don't need as much storage as you may think you do.

    There's also their new Komodo which you could easily get two of and everything you need and still have money left over, but their other cameras look way better...at least for now (IMO).
    I’ve never had any real interest in RED, but the Komodo may be my next new camera. Even though the firmware is still in beta, I’ve liked a lot of what I’ve seen out of it, especially motion and “feel” that you just can’t get with a grade, because it’s motion.


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    I'm not sure what you're seeing there, haha...

    DSMC2 cameras look so much nicer.



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    Have you ever looked into a Sony PMW-F3?

    Color science is beautiful and I also own an Alexa & Blackmagic Ursa g2 cameras and I totally perfer the F3. It’s a magical little sensor and when upscaled to 4k in resolve it holds better then good. Search around YouTube at latest F3 footage and you might be shocked by the results.
    Favorite Cameras I own
    Sony F35 & Sony F3

    Decent Cameras I own
    Arri Alexa Classic, Canon XH-A1 Dvx100b

    These Cameras I own that almost did it for me BUT NOPE
    BMCC.2.5K AND FUJI XH1

    These I own as a mad scientist and fanboy but will never shoot with again
    Red one MX, Red Epic, Ursa mini pro G2

    My ultimate advice " Find a camera you love that way your signature won't be like mine"


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    @ Run&Gun: You are right that there is just a....density if that's the right word?...to the ARRI footage. I think the RED has some of that too but I'm not sure what has put me off of those cameras since really early on. It could be some of the fanboy mentality that some have towards the brand and combined with the media costs (even after being found out to be exactly everything advertised).

    @ NorBro: I will try to look into the RED side of things too. I didn't think you can even get a Komodo now/yet? I know a few have them but they're not readily available as far as I knew?

    I will say I do kinda dig the Ranger bodies (aside from cost to equip) but their size and weight will put me back up there with the Amira - which was OUTSTANDING don't get me wrong but just a lot more is needed for support / rigging, etc. Honestly, I'd pick the Amira over the Mini any day of the week and twice on Sundays -IF- it wasn't so big. I purely got the Mini so it was easier for gimbals, slider/motion control setups, etc. I've never had the luxury of shooting anamorphic and RAW jut really was never needed with ProRes4444 onboard.

    @ DirectorDevin: I have heard of the F3 and I know a lot of people really touted that camera. I'll do some digging on it as well.
    Jeremey
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    "That's just my opinion...I could be wrong"


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    Quote Originally Posted by digitalinnovations View Post
    @ NorBro: I will try to look into the RED side of things too. I didn't think you can even get a Komodo now/yet? I know a few have them but they're not readily available as far as I knew?
    They are ready if you e-mailed Jarred months ago and also if you want to pay $1000 more to get one earlier in a different color.

    I was called a few days ago and was told I'm able to purchase one but told them I'm going to wait for the regular version. I didn't want to decline and get taken off the list just yet as you never know with me, LOL. But as mentioned...everything I have seen from the camera thus far just isn't the RED I'm used to watching (IMO).


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