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Author Topic: EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam  (Read 5533 times)

expatinasia

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EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« on: August 18, 2011, 09:45:30 AM »
A few weeks ago I had my heart set on a Sony HD-ARX2000E, mainly because the Sony HXR-NX5U was not available where I needed it.

I therefore started wondering about other options which is how I found this site.

Already have a Canon 50D, which while not as amazing as some of the newer options fulfills my basic still photo needs for now.

I also have a full HD Panasonic camcorder but it does not have XLR audio intputs which is a very big problem.

I am willing to spend up to around US$ 5-6,000 on the best camera for video I can get. BUT, always a but isn't there, I would prefer to carry just one tool, not a video camera and a DSLR as I travel a lot.

Therefore my main question is - how do the Canon DSLRs that take video compare to something like the Sonys I mentioned which are pro- and semi-pro?

From this rumour site it seems Canon may be about to launch a new D1 which may, or may not have video function. What are your thoughts?

I should also point out that I have read a lot of threads and watched a lot of videos (including the three-part series that includes 3 Canons), but I am really more confused than ever!

Thank you, and as this is my first post I hope it is in the right place!
« Last Edit: August 18, 2011, 09:57:30 AM by expatinasia »
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EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« on: August 18, 2011, 09:45:30 AM »

Cornershot

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Re: EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2011, 01:26:11 PM »
If you can wait a bit, the 5D mk III will probably be the best camera to buy. Otherwise the 5D  Mk II will beat out those Sonys with some limitations, though you'll need to add a few things to improve the ergonomics of the DSLR like some a rig with some rails, follow focus, external monitor or evf. Even with added options, the Canon will be cheaper and more portable, have better depth of field and interchangeable lenses. Plus it can take great stills. Forget about XLR in camera. If you want to get serious, you'll want an external recorder with XLR and then just sync the sound in post.

expatinasia

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Re: EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2011, 11:33:04 PM »
Thanks Cornershot. I am waiting and come to this site regulary now to see if the new 1 or 5 has been released and what the specs are. I would probably go with one of the new ones rather than buy a cheaper older model purely because of the new technology that will hopefully be in the new ones.

I think portability will be roughly the same because once you add in a lens or two, then the bag size is about the same, might even be slightly larger for the Canon.

As for the add-ons I am going to have to see. Why would I need an external monitor?
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Cornershot

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Re: EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2011, 12:08:24 AM »
An external monitor is easier to frame and focus with. Especially if you've got a sliver of a depth of field. You want to make sure the right things are in focus. As for portability, you can travel with one 24-105 lens or a 24-70 with maybe an 100 or 135mm 2.0 and that would give you a good range of coverage. One lens and one camera body will be more compact than those other cameras ever will be plus a DSLR will allow you to get video of things that the other cameras may not be able to. It's kind of incognito.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 04:24:10 AM by Cornershot »

expatinasia

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Re: EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2011, 12:23:46 AM »
Thanks Cornershot. I see what you mean about an external monitor but that is not something I could really travel with.

As for being incognito, I gave up being James Bond years ago ;-) , and now mainly do sporting events, press conferences, interviews, places and of course my own private collection.

I am going to see what the specs of the new D1 or D5 are, and as long as it comes out within the next few months then I will make a decision. Thanks again.
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leGreve

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Re: EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2011, 01:59:06 AM »
I own the mk II and now also a Sony FS100, and to be honest the Sony beats the mk II by a mile. Recording external is the optimal, but not necessary with a camera like the Sony that has two XLRs and proper preamps... the sound actually sounds good, and you can mix it on the go.

The old advice still goes, if you need now buy, if you don't rent when needed.

If I was excited when I got the 5D and made 3 music videos with it, I can't describe how excited I was after having shot the first video with the FS100 (not online yet).

The form factor of the FS100 is inline with the DSLRs and slightly resembles a Hasselblad box. It's modular and not very heavy.
The cheap EF > Nex adapters around made it easy for me to use my canon lenses on the Sony, and I'm looking forward to using my 70-200 for sit down interviews the next month.

You say you travel a lot? I bought the Pelicase 1510. It's specced for cabin sized luggage and the Sony fits right in there including its accessories, and then some.
You can't fit in the still camera as well, but what the heck.

Just saying... take a look at the Vimeo group for FS100. A lot of nice things coming out of this cam.

And again... this is coming from a 5D fan / user (or former... ;) )
5D III -  Zeiss Otus 55mm 1.4 ~ 24-70 2.8L II ~ 70-200 2.8L II IS USM ~ 100 2.8L IS USM Macro ~ 16-35 2.8L II ~ Canon Extender 2x III

Cornershot

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Re: EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2011, 04:05:22 AM »
I've not worked with the FS100 but have heard a lot of good things about it. It's also twice the price for the body alone so wouldn't leave much room in your budget for lenses and accessories. Be interesting to see how the new 5D mk III compares.  The DSLRs would definitely give you more 2-for-1 flexibility if you're trying to travel light.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2011, 04:08:47 AM by Cornershot »

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Re: EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2011, 04:05:22 AM »

NormanBates

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Re: EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2011, 04:40:05 AM »
I find the big sensor (as in "at least micro 4/3") an absolute must, so I wouldn't even consider those sonys you posted at the beginning

but for "sporting events, press conferences, interviews, places", maybe it doesn't matter so much; in fact, it may be even better: racking focus on a football match with a big sensor camera is not easy (then again, I have no idea but the dynamic range may be a lot smaller)

what I know is that, if your budget allows for it, those small-sensor sonys, the sony FS100 or the panasonic AF100, will all feel a hell of a lot more confortable than a DSLR: pro inputs, pro features, lots of easy-access buttons, better codec and much sharper image... and of course no moire/aliasing that may drive you nuts on a DSLR (specially if you want to shoot at 720p for the higher frame rate)

for my narrative filming hobby, I wouldn't even consider any of them (I get a sexy-enough image with my 550D, which was just a fraction of the price), but my needs are quite different

and that's where I wanted to come: you stated some very specific needs, ones that are quite different from those of most people around here; I see a sizeable headache and some tough decisions in your near future...

Frank

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Re: EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2011, 07:15:04 AM »
I have been facing the same question as you for the last few years.

Because of the Canon 5DII I was able to graduate from shooting stills for newspapers to also shooting video for TV news but the biggest problem with video from the 5DII is that the vision is just too flickery for broadcast video, even with FCP, compressor and every trick I have tried, it's only really ok for static shots and focus pulls. I find the Panny GH2 is much better.

To date I have stuck with DSLR's because of the 'one box' idea, thinking it's easier to shoots stills AND video in the one camera.

I went from knowing almost nothing about broadcast video at the beginning to getting educated on the differences between broadcast news video cameras like a Sony XDCam or Panasonic P2 versus a DSLR Video enabled camera like the Canons, Panasonic GH2 some Nikon's etc.

To answer your question, if your goal is to shoot short clips with an arty theme, family or travel videos then the 5DII may be ok.

I have listed below a list from my point of view the pros & cons of DSLR video versus a dedicated ENG video camera.

DSLR Pros                     Cinematic colour, amazing depth of field, small, cheap lenses, small and portable

DSLR Cons                     Crappy 25P which everyone seems to be ga ga over but looks rubbish on TV because it flickers
                                     25P is useless for pans, zooms, anything with camera movement.
                                     Yes I know SHane Hurlbut does amazing stuff but his post work is mega buck stuff.
                                     Canon 25P looks rubbish compared to 25P on broadcast cameras or any TV or movie
                                     Pathetic sound options, no audio monitoring or audio meters on the Canons
                                     The Magic lantern firmware hack is a pain in the neck to use and NOT stable
                                     The Panasonic GH2 has audio meters and the firmware hack is impressive but no audio
                                     monitoring. (I really like theGH2)
                                     Lousy in low light (compared to broadcast ENG) A Sony or or P2 has up to 45db gain
                                     easily thrashing a DSLR video, even with a 1.8, 1.4, .95 lens.
                                     No cinema lenses with decent zooms, no power zooms.

Pro Video                       Beautiful creamy 1080 50i, 50P, 25i, over cranking under cranking
                                     Proper over the shoulder form factor
                                     Massive 4.2.2 dynamic range, huge EVF's, cinematic colour
                                     Incredible low light shooting, 45 db gain with super low noise
                                     Sony claim you can shoot a portrait off the light from a mobile phone screen.
                                     Proper sound, with meters, monitoring, XLR and wireless mic options
                                     Proper ENG zooms, Pro image stabilisers, built in 2 x converters, power zooms
                                     For instance you can get a Fujinion 18x zoom with AF & built in image stab & 2x con
                                     Pro Video Zooms hold focus while you zoom, DSLR lenses don't.

Pro Video Cons               Depth of field not as cinematic as DSLR, BUT still ok if you shoot wide open
                                     Costly & Heavy

For me, for the work I do, I find I'm heavily leaning to buying a proper over the shoulder ENG camera and hers why, it's one box with everything on it, one all round lens, you can shoot daylight, low light using a small video light and the output is industry standard codecs and SDI embedded audio.

But I wont do anything until canon shows their hand with the new models, I want to try full frame 1080 50P before I throw $30K at an ENG camera.

If anyone wants to tell me off here or mention the holes in my argument please go ahead, but for me these are my thoughts based on what I use video for.

PS , I still LOVE the look through the 5DII, I really hope the update has 1080 50p, because with that you can interlace the output to 25i and still get the creamy smooth vision.

A full frame sensor DSLR with hi dynamic range that shot 108050p would be wonderful, I would even forgive the rubbish audio.

By the way the GH2 720 50p hacked to 32 mbps looks brilliant, and the 1080 50 is great too, and if you de-interlace it at double frame rate you get 50P.


                                 

NormanBates

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Re: EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2011, 09:43:17 AM »
the biggest problem with video from the 5DII is that the vision is just too flickery for broadcast video

I really don't know what you mean by that

if you're complaining about the strobing from the slow frame rate, this is where I was tought to love it:
http://www.macvideo.tv/camera-technology/interviews/index.cfm?articleId=3213230

if it is something canon-related (i.e. if you don't like 24p or 25p on canon DSLRs but like the GH2 at 24p too, not just at 50p) then I'm just puzzled: I've never noticed "flickering" from my 550D

still, although some of my footage has actually been broadcasted, I didn't get to see it (I was in a different country), so maybe I'm missing something due to the fact that I've always seen my footage on a PC screen (or similar: my living-room 52" TV lives connected to a PC)

Tim

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Re: EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2011, 12:39:40 PM »
and now mainly do sporting events, press conferences, interviews, places and of course my own private collection.
Sounds like you need a video camcorder: servo zoom, larger zoom ratios, ability to hold focus through zoom range, & smaller imager. Sports especially - you need all of those.

There's a reason NFL Films has been shooting 16mm (and not 35mm) up until this season: MUCH easier to focus on the fly. Not to mention they'd been using 2/3" HD zoom lenses (since the image plane size of 2/3"-format cameras and 16mm film cameras is about the same) for their servo capabilities and large zoom ratios. These features also come in handy for other events like press conferences.

I own a 7D, and have been shooting video on pro ENG camcorders for 10 years - news, sports, doc, corporate, event.

expatinasia

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Re: EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« Reply #11 on: August 21, 2011, 04:40:37 PM »
Thank you to everyone above for the time you took to reply to my query. Each of you has given me a great deal to think about.

I was very interested yesterday to see that on the Discovery Channel's Build it Bigger (season 5) in Baku that fixed a DSLR to a steel thing (sorry forgot the tech term for it!) and raised it 700 feet. Was very interesting to see what the images gave - not entirely sure what camera though, perhaps a 5 or 7D.

I have looked at the FS100 and is slightly over budget, which is why I was considering the HD-ARX2000E or  HXR-NX5U.

I am not in any rush. This camera will become my primary, and allow me to shoot from two angles when doing interviews etc.  I think for now I will wait to see what the new 5 and especially 1 is all about and make a decision then.

The most important with my choice is that I am able to grow with it for at least the next 3-5 years. It is an expensive option and while I may only be doing abc today, I may well fine I need xyz tomorrow.

Thank you again.
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Cornershot

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Re: EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2011, 02:04:51 AM »
Seriously, for what it sounds like you're doing, the DSLR will probably serve you well. Everything is changing a lot right now as more companies start rolling out lower priced pro level cameras. Prices will change a lot over the next year or two. A Canon 5D MkIII and a bag of L lenses will hold their value very well when you decide to upgrade.  Plus, your needs sound like my needs. We're not making movies or music videos. We're doing reportage.

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Re: EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2011, 02:04:51 AM »

J Live

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Re: EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2011, 10:17:18 AM »
I would agree with cornerstone about going the DSLR route. I was travelling with an EX3 and a 5D for about a year until I finally got more confident with the DSLRs got a 7D and left the EX3 home - 1 less bag makes a huge difference. I shoot all my interviews with 2 cameras (Wide front, side MS) for editing flexibility reasons but i would still recommend buying a 2nd body for any kind of travel work for safety reasons. Tough to explain to a client why you came back with nothing because you didn't spend the $1500 on a second body after they've flown you halfway around the world and put you up in hotels. Probably last conversation you'd have with that (now former) client right?

Having a full frame and a crop frame is interesting because it's gives your telephotos a boost too. You can be shooting time-lapses with one camera while grabbing B-Roll with the other etc., less lens swapping in the heat of the moment,  so many benefits - and surprising your client with a few 21 meg RAW stills is not too shabby by any means.

As far as XLR inputs, I currently use the Zoom but am planning on upgrading to this product by Sound Devices recommended to me by several sound guys who like to travel light as well - but again, I'll still pack the zoom in my bag.

http://www.sounddevices.com/products/mixpre-d.htm

I would also personally recommend the Zacuto viewfinder before a monitor - i have both (Marshall HDMI monitor) and rarely need to pull out the monitor, generally only if a client is around and wants to see etc. but use the viewfinder all the time. The key, obviously with any new camera, is to shoot a lot to get comfortable and fast on the controls so you're confident going in to any situation. The H264 codec is pretty unforgiving in post so you really have to get your exposure and white balance really close - but, again, with practice and knowing the limitations and workarounds of the DSLRs you can come back with great footage simply not obtainable with something like an EX1/3 so for me it has been great.

Good luck.

HurtinMinorKey

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Re: EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2011, 04:34:04 PM »
The 25p looking bad on TV (seriously who watches tv anyway!)  is not the camera's fault, it's the rendering software and/or a lack of know-how. They convert film from 24fps to TV all the time with no flickering.

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Re: EOS Movie or Pro/Semi Vid Cam
« Reply #14 on: October 25, 2011, 04:34:04 PM »