What camera should I invest in? (Separate or Combined Camera?)
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Topic: What camera should I invest in? (Separate or Combined Camera?)

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    SamJordan started this thread.
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    Question What camera should I invest in? (Separate or Combined Camera?)

    Hey I've just got into film making and have made a few short films with a couple of my friends using my Canon 760D which I also use for photography. However I am now looking to upgrade to something a bit higher quality near Christmas, I don't have much to spend as I'm a student but I have narrowed it down to 2 options.

    I either go with the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera or a Canon 6D MarkII the reasoning being that I still want to pursue further into photography but also want to upgrade my video equipment. So basically the question I am asking is would it be better for more to get either the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera to give me access to RAW video capabilities or stick with one camera that'll both improve my photography and film making?

    Any feedback is greatly appreciated.

    Sam Jordan

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    Member   bobspez's Avatar
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    The Canon 6D will give you better still pics than your current camera. In terms of video, using the full frame Canon 6D will force you to work with a shallow depth of field which can make focusing difficult, and will present a slightly softer video image than the BMPCC. The 4K BMPCC will create a slightly sharper video image because of the 4K, and also because the longer depth of field (due to the smaller sensor) will put more of the field of view in focus. Considering crop factor, 1 for the 6D and 1.9 for the BMPCC (although a speed booster can lower that to about 1.6), the Canon 6D will give you significantly wider wide angles compared to the BMPCC with the same lens, while the BMPCC will give you significantly more telephoto reach with the same lens compared to the 6D. These are two different tools for two different purposes. Check out still images taken by the two Canon cameras on flickr. Then go to Youtube to check out HD video samples for the Canon 6D and 4K video samples for the BMPCC. Decide what is most important to you based on what you see, also bearing in mind that the lenses can be a large component of the results, maybe as or more important than the cameras.

    Last edited by bobspez; 11-18-2018 at 12:18 PM.

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    Junior Member   awpixfilms's Avatar
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    GH5 for video and a medium format for stills. Those are the alternatives after I brought a GH5 to a friend's studio to ask if the GH5 could produce stills (commercially). They do advertising and lots of products: she said that the GH5 (for stills) needs more light (they do use a lighting setup pre-set) and here's what she said at the end : full frame cameras shoot at base ISO , 1.6 or 1.5 cameras need to increase the base ISO to match and 2x cameras need to SERIOUSLY increase the ISO to match (again they use a pre-set lighting that don't change). In terms of image quality a GH5 can compete with the others bur none can compete against a medium format (digital). No full frame, no DX no m43. So in the end it's a MF or any other camera for stills.
    Now about video : it's the end of november 2018 and it's about 4K 60P. The distribution is taking shape on-line and 4K vs HD is becoming clearly visible.
    BMPCC 4K is a beautiful cheap experiment. The only reason to get that "look" is the "cinema" ready cut. Colors. motion. Buttons to drive the shoot. XLR . But those batteries... Of course I could build an external source but then I'll have to rig it up somewhere. QC is also a big question mark (they are cheap and need to be fully tested when you buy it.
    In the end I'd stay with a GH5 (tops you'll mount a battery grip that's different than an Frankenstein brick to mount on those 15mm rods.

    That said you buy a GH5 frankenrigless and in case you rent an alexa LOL when there is a budget for your video production.


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    Junior Member   What camera should I invest in? (Separate or Combined Camera?) What camera should I invest in? (Separate or Combined Camera?) What camera should I invest in? (Separate or Combined Camera?) AJ Young's Avatar
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    So far, I've heard great things about the new Black Magic Pocket 4k. If you're serious about filmmaking at a budget, then this camera is the one to get.

    I shot a feature on the GH5 earlier this year and loved the camera, so I highly recommend that camera too. However, the specs and images coming out of the Black Magic Pocket 4k are blowing every other camera at the same cost out of the water. It's hard to beat the internal recording specs that camera has.

    www.AJYoungDP.com

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    Junior Member   awpixfilms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Young View Post
    It's hard to beat the internal recording specs that camera has.
    yes I agree. Because of the price the BMPCC4K is indeed the thing of the moment. Internal RAW 4K 60P looks impressive DR in particular. That said there are few things to know that could save us a lot of time and frustrations when using this "slightly" in-progress camera on a real shoot. I stand by the batteries warning that I said before but since I don't like to leave comments in the open like that I'll try to be more specific: I get 35-40 minutes (average shooting real scenes -and not testing on a static target with the camera on a stand) . After that I have to put another battery. It's not going to be pretty. The only way I see this fixed is hoping for a sort of a flat battery grip with a 12V bank in it to connect to the DC port. I'm pretty sure that we're going to see those and soon. That is because I'm not going to start an adventure on my own and invent bricks or DIY absurd experiments.
    The other thing is the battery compartment: there is a sticker inside that needs to be removed. It could and WILL block the battery stuck "for good" if left in place,
    The third thing is the USBC port: connected a samsung SSD to it and at times works but sometimes it doesn't. Could be the cable, could be the port I have no idea. Take this for what it is but to me it means what it means.

    Now about the GH5? never had any problem whatsoever. None of this sort :)


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    Junior Member   What camera should I invest in? (Separate or Combined Camera?) What camera should I invest in? (Separate or Combined Camera?) What camera should I invest in? (Separate or Combined Camera?) AJ Young's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awpixfilms View Post
    I stand by the batteries warning that I said before but since I don't like to leave comments in the open like that I'll try to be more specific: I get 35-40 minutes (average shooting real scenes -and not testing on a static target with the camera on a stand) . After that I have to put another battery. It's not going to be pretty. The only way I see this fixed is hoping for a sort of a flat battery grip with a 12V bank in it to connect to the DC port. I'm pretty sure that we're going to see those and soon. That is because I'm not going to start an adventure on my own and invent bricks or DIY absurd experiments.
    The other thing is the battery compartment: there is a sticker inside that needs to be removed. It could and WILL block the battery stuck "for good" if left in place,
    The third thing is the USBC port: connected a samsung SSD to it and at times works but sometimes it doesn't. Could be the cable, could be the port I have no idea. Take this for what it is but to me it means what it means.
    I wouldn't be too concerned with power for the new BMPCC4K. 35-40 minute life is pretty decent and utilizing more traditional power sources like Anton Bauer Dionics is easy with the D-Tap cable Black Magic sells.

    My only problem is that controlling the camera is through the touch screen only which makes it difficult to change settings, format cards, etc.

    www.AJYoungDP.com

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    Junior Member   awpixfilms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Young View Post
    I wouldn't be too concerned with power for the new BMPCC4K. 35-40 minute life is pretty decent and utilizing more traditional power sources like Anton Bauer Dionics is easy with the D-Tap cable Black Magic sells.

    My only problem is that controlling the camera is through the touch screen only which makes it difficult to change settings, format cards, etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by AJ Young View Post
    I wouldn't be too concerned with power for the new BMPCC4K. 35-40 minute life is pretty decent and utilizing more traditional power sources like Anton Bauer Dionics is easy with the D-Tap cable Black Magic sells.

    My only problem is that controlling the camera is through the touch screen only which makes it difficult to change settings, format cards, etc.
    AJ lets get one thing clear: this is NOT a run&gun camera. You'll hold it with two hands and use the screen to operate (so you have to take one hand away with obvious consequences) but you are still in mid air, no continuous focus, at the moment needs a brick to power and therefore a rig , possibly a stabilizer or scream for a third point of contact. aaaaaannnnnddddd ? we are back to the 7K (USD) barrier from 10 years ago for run&gun productions (canon XF705). There is a reason if you don't see servo zoom lenses (wide to tele) for the cheaper dslr-like solutions with all the intentional marketing limitations imposed. Right after the Nikon D90 (that put the entire prosumer segment to shame and revealed the low quality artificial limitations) the oligopoly took some time to re-compose but the marketing tricks are still the same. In video you can do that much for the money you spent , but in order to step to the real game you need to spend 10 times more. Period. One way or another you'll hit the wall of the marketing limitations.
    It has always been like that (in video).
    Back to the pocket4K : what's the target? cinema? they rent (don't buy). So no. Then who else? TV and News? not really. Onemandand Docu and indi? Yes, definitely. But only for reels to promote themselves. Not for the actual work. This is just my opinion .... anyway.


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    Junior Member   What camera should I invest in? (Separate or Combined Camera?) What camera should I invest in? (Separate or Combined Camera?) What camera should I invest in? (Separate or Combined Camera?) AJ Young's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by awpixfilms View Post
    AJ lets get one thing clear: this is NOT a run&gun camera. You'll hold it with two hands and use the screen to operate (so you have to take one hand away with obvious consequences) but you are still in mid air, no continuous focus, at the moment needs a brick to power and therefore a rig , possibly a stabilizer or scream for a third point of contact. aaaaaannnnnddddd ? we are back to the 7K (USD) barrier from 10 years ago for run&gun productions (canon XF705). There is a reason if you don't see servo zoom lenses (wide to tele) for the cheaper dslr-like solutions with all the intentional marketing limitations imposed. Right after the Nikon D90 (that put the entire prosumer segment to shame and revealed the low quality artificial limitations) the oligopoly took some time to re-compose but the marketing tricks are still the same. In video you can do that much for the money you spent , but in order to step to the real game you need to spend 10 times more. Period. One way or another you'll hit the wall of the marketing limitations.
    It has always been like that (in video).
    Back to the pocket4K : what's the target? cinema? they rent (don't buy). So no. Then who else? TV and News? not really. Onemandand Docu and indi? Yes, definitely. But only for reels to promote themselves. Not for the actual work. This is just my opinion .... anyway.
    You've got a very valid opinion, this would be a terrible run/gun camera, but I wouldn't be too quick to discount the affordability of a fully kitted out BM Pocket for independent cinema.

    There are accessories added on for the camera can move from camera body to camera body like a decent 5"-7" monitor, magic arm, batteries, tripod, cables, etc. All in, one could potentially only spend $3k for a great cinema camera.

    In terms of actual narrative production, the only thing truly missing from this camera is the ability to accept timecode from a separate sound system. But, if you treat the camera like film, then it most definitely will stand the rigors of narrative film.

    www.AJYoungDP.com

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    Member   bobspez's Avatar
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    Another option is the Fuji XT3. APS-C sized sensor, lighter and smaller, continuous auto focus with face recognition, 4K 60P. To be honest the output to me looks more video/TV than film, the BMPCC looks more like film than video to me, but the XT3 is a very capable camera with all the bells and whistles the BMPCC lacks, at about the same price.


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    Junior Member   awpixfilms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobspez View Post
    Another option is the Fuji XT3. APS-C sized sensor, lighter and smaller, continuous auto focus with face recognition, 4K 60P. To be honest the output to me looks more video/TV than film, the BMPCC looks more like film than video to me, but the XT3 is a very capable camera with all the bells and whistles the BMPCC lacks, at about the same price.
    they share (out of the box) the same time limit -30minutes fixed and UN-removable of the Fuji and the 35 minutes of the pocket4k (but removable with a better battery). Somebody posted this remark about fujifilm as of why they had to impose that "oligopoly" marketing intentional time limitation if they don't sell camcorders?". I agree..it's a mystery to me too. ( and it has nothing to do with the EU tax regulations)

    phones, gopros shoot good 4K too, by the way
    take a look at this :
    I actually have both , didn't do any comparison but that video looks fair (to me)
    once again .... it's NOT about the gear!!!!


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    Member   bobspez's Avatar
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    Iphone 8 vs. BMPCC video was all wide angle scenic shots in bright sunlight. No close ups, no face shots and skin tones and eye detail. Very hard to judge how it would work on closeups of faces, smaller spaces, less light, etc. My Camry and a Porsche can both do very well at 80mph on a smooth highway.
    That said, my video camera is a Nikon Coolpix B700, which also shoots 4K 25 FPS and has continuous auto focus that works very well and a focal length range of 24mm to 1440mm. It's really good in low light because the camera automatically adjusts the iso and shutter speed and f stop to get the best video exposure. At 4K it will only shoot 8 minutes continuously. But I've never needed more than 8 minutes for a single take. Once you stop and restart video the clock starts again. The footage does well with a little color grading and I use a separate recorder to get crystal clear audio. For my Youtube videos I'm not going to see a significant difference with a BMPCC. I might see a significant difference with a $6K Alexa and a few thousand dollars worth of lenses. But at $320 used on ebay, my Coolpix B700 cost less than half of what an iphone would. And it is about the gear, because some gear is severely limited. But I do agree it's not about the money.

    Last edited by bobspez; 12-05-2018 at 04:56 PM.

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    Junior Member   awpixfilms's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobspez View Post
    Iphone 8 vs. BMPCC video was all wide angle scenic shots in bright sunlight. No close ups, no face shots and skin tones and eye detail. Very hard to judge how it would work on closeups of faces, smaller spaces, less light, etc. My Camry and a Porsche can both do very well at 80mph on a smooth highway.
    That said, my video camera is a Nikon Coolpix B700, which also shoots 4K 25 FPS and has continuous auto focus that works very well and a focal length range of 24mm to 1440mm. It's really good in low light because the camera automatically adjusts the iso and shutter speed and f stop to get the best video exposure. At 4K it will only shoot 8 minutes continuously. But I've never needed more than 8 minutes for a single take. Once you stop and restart video the clock starts again. The footage does well with a little color grading and I use a separate recorder to get crystal clear audio. For my Youtube videos I'm not going to see a significant difference with a BMPCC. I might see a significant difference with a $6K Alexa and a few thousand dollars worth of lenses. But at $320 used on ebay, my Coolpix B700 cost less than half of what an iphone would. And it is about the gear, because some gear is severely limited. But I do agree it's not about the money.
    bob that was well said (about using what we have an make the most out of it). Now we're talking.
    Still you have to understand that you are talking to other filmmakers... the "thing" is not really about the sharpness of a face in full composition (the two cameras are about the same in that regard): it's about processing motion. See the pans of the pocket4k? see the pans of the iphone? That's the difference. See the highlights of the pocket4k? that's the difference.
    while it's our duty as filmmakers and forum members to bring facts and good solutions to others instead of fiction (no pun intended) and advertisements we still have to obey to the rules of the practice and experience and competence.
    Low light?
    I wanna tell a real story (happened several years ago) while filming (a paid job) in a theater (opera). Without naming names it was a missed opportunity for me because I didn't see what was right in front of me.
    I was shooting a sony ex3 by then on a 2 cameras setup (another ex3). My wife was a fan of the singer and came along. She was taking pictures for us with a powershot G9, quietly. But when we went home she realized that she took a couple of videos as well by mistake.
    I had the timeline open on the PC with the ex3 footage and she asked me to process her segments for her. I made a mistake as well and merged her segments into my timeline and.. WOW... the clarity of the g9 compared to the ex3 was .... embarrassing.
    I didn't pay attention and dismissed it like it was a glitch in my brain or something. But it wasn't. Months later the first footage of a Nikon D90 came out and put an end to the misery of the (by then) 6-8K USD entire prosumer segment basically overnight
    Still today I can't forget that g9 dismissal. I should've seen the signs. But I didn't
    And our duty here is to keep our eyes open, promote content first and keep the marketing of the oligopoly checked and at bay.


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    Member   bobspez's Avatar
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    I appreciate the reply. I have to wonder though why the EX3 is still selling for about $1000 on ebay and the G9 is less than $400 new.

    I can't claim to be a real filmmaker. I'm retired and I'm just an amateur Youtuber for the last 6 years or so, so I'm viewing video on an 11x17 HD computer monitor. But so far it seems to me the B700 with the tiny 1/2.3" sensor in 4K 25P beats my previous 2k video taken with my APS-C sensor Nikon D7000 and Sigma 15-30mm lens, for sharpness and detail and does almost as well with color (but that is fixable in Premiere).

    I appreciate your bringing up motion and panning into the equation, but all my stuff is shot in my 8'x 10' "studio", so my impressions may not be relevant to real filmmakers. But once the iphone was thrown into the discussion I felt compelled to mention my B700.

    As another posted stated, lighting is critical as well. My lighting setup is three 22 watt 3000K led bulbs (150 watt equivalent each) pointed at two walls of my 8x10 "studio" and one at the white ceiling.

    I spend a lot of time evaluating youtube videos of various video cameras. So far I've come to the conclusion that 4K beats 2K (even on Youtube) and that I don't see a big difference in camera output until I get to the Alexa.

    Quote Originally Posted by awpixfilms View Post
    bob that was well said (about using what we have an make the most out of it). Now we're talking.
    Still you have to understand that you are talking to other filmmakers... the "thing" is not really about the sharpness of a face in full composition (the two cameras are about the same in that regard): it's about processing motion. See the pans of the pocket4k? see the pans of the iphone? That's the difference. See the highlights of the pocket4k? that's the difference.
    while it's our duty as filmmakers and forum members to bring facts and good solutions to others instead of fiction (no pun intended) and advertisements we still have to obey to the rules of the practice and experience and competence.
    Low light?
    I wanna tell a real story (happened several years ago) while filming (a paid job) in a theater (opera). Without naming names it was a missed opportunity for me because I didn't see what was right in front of me.
    I was shooting a sony ex3 by then on a 2 cameras setup (another ex3). My wife was a fan of the singer and came along. She was taking pictures for us with a powershot G9, quietly. But when we went home she realized that she took a couple of videos as well by mistake.
    I had the timeline open on the PC with the ex3 footage and she asked me to process her segments for her. I made a mistake as well and merged her segments into my timeline and.. WOW... the clarity of the g9 compared to the ex3 was .... embarrassing.
    I didn't pay attention and dismissed it like it was a glitch in my brain or something. But it wasn't. Months later the first footage of a Nikon D90 came out and put an end to the misery of the (by then) 6-8K USD entire prosumer segment basically overnight
    Still today I can't forget that g9 dismissal. I should've seen the signs. But I didn't
    And our duty here is to keep our eyes open, promote content first and keep the marketing of the oligopoly checked and at bay.



  14. #14
    Junior Member   What camera should I invest in? (Separate or Combined Camera?) What camera should I invest in? (Separate or Combined Camera?) What camera should I invest in? (Separate or Combined Camera?) AJ Young's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobspez View Post
    Another option is the Fuji XT3. APS-C sized sensor, lighter and smaller, continuous auto focus with face recognition, 4K 60P. To be honest the output to me looks more video/TV than film, the BMPCC looks more like film than video to me, but the XT3 is a very capable camera with all the bells and whistles the BMPCC lacks, at about the same price.
    My friend just shot a feature on the XT2 and it looks greeeaaat.

    The XT3 has the ability to do 10-bit internal recording, which significantly increases the image quality and malleability in post-production. Plus, it can act as a beautiful stills camera.

    S35 sensor size is nice too plus it's a mirrorless camera, so the focal flange distance allows for a wide variety of vintage lenses.

    www.AJYoungDP.com

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