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    Lost with what professional Camcorder to buy
    #1
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    Sep 2020
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    Hello, I make instructional videos shared online and I have been used a PXW-Z90 for a couple of years with very good results. I use only PP1 and don't generally grade and the best feature is the amazing zoom and sharp focus for mechanical work. I have done a lot with this camera and sadly I chipped the lens during the shoot, my fault for no protective glass especially with my type of work.

    Business has been decent and i figured this would be a great time to upgrade. I bought a like new FS5 and got the 18-110 lens. Even just using this on PP1 the image quality seems slightly better too me. The lens however in terms of zoom is awful, I do ultra closeups and its has such limited zoom to what I have.

    Sorry for the long post, but my question is this. My goal is to get super sharp, great color. and professional quality with as little work as possible in terms of grading, I use cinema grade and have been grading SLOG footage and it goes OK.

    I really need a run and gun camera, that allows audio inputs but really I need that amazing zoom. I see I can get a macro which would be great for this camera but I would looooove a single lens since most of what I do is the same type of work.

    I noticed the Z280 and it looks like maybe this would have been a better choice, it seems larger than the FS5 but maybe it is a better choice.

    I am so sorry for all this info but maybe it helps am asking if the budget was up to $8k for my gear, what might you suggest? I really am comfortable with Sony but I am open to your suggestions. Also selling my FS5 is no issue so if that's a better move I am fine with that. I have used A7s in the past but all I did was add large microphone, etc and I use the handle constantly for shots and handheld video so I really like a pro design.

    Thank you so much in advance.


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    #2
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    If you're sticking with fixed-lens zoom cameras, also check out the Z190 (along with the Z280).

    Otherwise the a7SIII and most likely the new FX6 (and day now) will provide you superior IQ with the usual caveats.

    If you're open to non-Sony, there would be much more to share.


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    #3
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    Aug 2017
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    Your FS5 goes a long way. I use mine with speedbooster and a Canon 24-105/4 IS with great results. Just set it up with a good picture profile and you'll get great, sharp looking footage.
    As far as the Sony 18-105 it sucks when you try to use it manually so just use something else.

    Hopefully the new Sony FX6 will incorporate 10-bit in UHD and with great auto focus so that might be something to keep an eye on.


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    #4
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    Sep 2020
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    The FS5 is proving to be a very nice camera. My story telling skills are better than my video skills but I am trying to learn quickly. I have an Atmos recorder that I got with the FS5 but in my line of work the FS5 is already bulky to have, not the overall size but stuff sticking out too far makes it hard so having a recorder has proved to be impossible. I would very much like to record internally with 10bit and I only use 4k.

    If I am reading this right it looks like the PXC-Z280 would record 10 bit internally? I also was looking at the Canon X705 which does appear to have amazing footage right out of the camera also. The all in one concept it likely going to be best for me.

    A powerful zoom makes a big difference as well for closeups of technical work. I am stupid for not realizing I had the digital zoom on the FS5 disabled so that explains why I felt I had so little zoom.

    Any other thoughts on these cameras? thank you so much!


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    #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwilliams View Post
    PXW-Z90 for a couple of years with very good results [...] I chipped the lens [...] I bought a like new FS5 and got the 18-110 lens [...] zoom is awful, I do ultra closeups and its has such limited zoom
    Your old camera had an S16ish sensor and a 12x zoom, equivalent to 19-228mm on S35.

    Your new camera's sensor is 4 times the area of your old camera's sensor. Therefore an equivalent lens will be 4x the size, weight, and price (roughly). Practically speaking, you won't get a lens of equivalent specs. Instead you would settle in some way. On these larger sensors, the zooms with just a 3:1 ratio are high quality, often parfocal, and within the budgets of middle-class pros. So you may not find a 19-228 in S35, but you might find a 70-200. If you only used the long end of your old lens for all those close-ups, you're good. But if you also need wide angle, most people get a second lens, like a 24-70.

    Or you could just go back to the kind of camera you used to use. There is a bifurcation:

    1. Camcorders with sensors 1/3" to 1", with long zoom lenses, built in (like your old PXW-Z90)
    2. Interchangeable-lens cameras, with sensors 4/3" to 135, where you buy prime lenses and modest zooms separately (like your FS5)

    Blue pill / Red pill ?


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