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Camera for short films and commercials


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#1 Jan Tore Soerensen

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 07:10 PM

Jobs are accumulating, and I am looking into upgrading my camera in a few months. Currently shooting on a 5dmk2, which is fine, but I am looking into something more flexible and without the major rolling shutter issues.

 

For now, I have been looking at the following cameras; RED Epic, RED Raven, C100mk2, Sony FS5. So price of most of these cameras are around $5000, which would be preferable. Sadly, I don't have the chance to try these cameras before buying, so every single piece of advice is greatly appreciated.

 

Obviously, internal 4K is a huge plus. Another thing, is that while DSLRs and compacts do just fine in most cases, they don't really look like professional cine cameras, which would be beneficial when working for clients. It's all about image, right ...

 

Are the any other obvious cameras I should be looking at? Does ARRI have good options in this range, maybe? I see those are the most discussed cameras around here. But I guess it's for the renting market, concidering the price on those badboys?


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#2 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 07:27 PM

I'd skip the FS5 in favor of the FS7.  XAVC-Intra over LongGOP is worth the extra expense.


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#3 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 07:42 PM

I would recommend the C100 if you're concerned with buying extra gear to accommodate a new body, It'll be good to go with all the EF lenses you currently have (assuming you aren't already adapting the 5d to work with PL lenses), toted as a solid camera for run and gun documentary.

 

If you're just going off of best image for the price, skip the RED Epic and Raven and look to the RED One MX. RED's first release will be price dropping to to low $2k this summer. Not as "future proof" as the raven, but if 4k and 120p shooting sounds like it'll help your needs for a while, go with it.

Drawbacks to the RED from a DSLR shooter's perspective would be the stuff (external recorder or CF reader, monitor, lens adapter) you need to make it work. Even with that stuff, still under $5k.

 

I would also agree with LaVoie's comment on skipping the FS5 for the FS7 if you choose to go with Sony. Has better shooting options.

 

ARRI is WAY out of my price range so I cannot comment.


Edited by Macks Fiiod, 19 January 2016 - 07:43 PM.

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#4 Jan Tore Soerensen

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 07:54 PM

Thank you for the great reply.

 

Honestly, I'm not really feeling the C100 atm, but that might just be the fact that I'm ready to step up to 4K and higher framerates, where as slomo is the most important. 

 

The RED One is very interesting. This would be bought from the used market place, am I right? You are also right in the fact that there would have to be a big lens swap going over to PL mount. Although there is always Metabones.


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#5 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 08:03 PM

Thank you for the great reply.

 

Honestly, I'm not really feeling the C100 atm, but that might just be the fact that I'm ready to step up to 4K and higher framerates, where as slomo is the most important. 

 

The RED One is very interesting. This would be bought from the used market place, am I right? You are also right in the fact that there would have to be a big lens swap going over to PL mount. Although there is always Metabones.

 

Yeah I considered the C100 out of a fear that I wouldn't know what the hell I was doing with a more complex body, but looked at the image and shooting specs and wasn't feeling it either.

 

And yes eBay is the only way I go for anything, but if you have personal marketplace connections don't listen to me on that.

I'm not so sure about the RED One, but the RED Scarlett allows you to entirely replace the front mount with 4 screws and put in another one.


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#6 Giray Izcan

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Posted 19 January 2016 - 10:09 PM

I would get a RED, although I'm not fond of Red cameras. I would get a camera that you could adapt to professional sets, especially when you work with Acs etc. When an assistant prep the camera, they should be able to slap on a Cine Tape, a remote follow focus, etc. Also, you should be able to change frame rates, shutter angle, different aspect ratios, etc. Also, I would get a camera with PL mount for sure, as cine lenses are PL or PV mount.


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#7 Jan Tore Soerensen

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 03:40 AM

 

Yeah I considered the C100 out of a fear that I wouldn't know what the hell I was doing with a more complex body, but looked at the image and shooting specs and wasn't feeling it either.

 

And yes eBay is the only way I go for anything, but if you have personal marketplace connections don't listen to me on that.

I'm not so sure about the RED One, but the RED Scarlett allows you to entirely replace the front mount with 4 screws and put in another one.

Exactly.

 

I would get a RED, although I'm not fond of Red cameras. I would get a camera that you could adapt to professional sets, especially when you work with Acs etc. When an assistant prep the camera, they should be able to slap on a Cine Tape, a remote follow focus, etc. Also, you should be able to change frame rates, shutter angle, different aspect ratios, etc. Also, I would get a camera with PL mount for sure, as cine lenses are PL or PV mount.

Why aren't you fond of REDs?


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#8 Freya Black

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 11:42 AM

Red One has some really good points in some contexts. it's possible to use cheap media (red drives) and there are a couple of compact flash cards that work with it too but they are really limited. The older Red SSD's may start to come down in price too and the Red One has an SSD side module available.

 

However it's quite a big heavy brick that eats a lot of power. Great in the studio and where there is mains but more difficult when you are out and about but still do-able. Lenses you are looking at PL or Nikon lens mounts basically. I think there is some kind of EF mount out there too but I'm not sure how well it works. Also long start up times have always been the bugbear of Red Cameras. The other big thing is that it is raw only. So no  pro-res like is expected from the Raven.

 

 

i would also suggest FS-7 over FS5 and is The Blackmagic Ursa Mini available yet?

 

Freya


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#9 Freya Black

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 11:49 AM

Red One is better for sound than the later cameras too. It's quieter and has mini XLR sockets instead of mini jacks.

The Red Scarlet might be worth looking at if you can save a significant amount over buying a Red Epic although you lose those high frame rate options.

 

Do you do any corporate work? What about deliverables? Do you do all the editing?

Maybe even Blackmagic Pocket is worth a look? (ProRes and Raw, lots of lenses possible, nice images)

 

FS7 and C100 seem like the obviously more practical cameras.

 

Freya


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#10 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 12:14 PM

i would also suggest FS-7 over FS5 and is The Blackmagic Ursa Mini available yet?
 

The 4K version was a dud. Worse than DSLR in low light. The 4.6k remains to be seen since they said a new sensor will be in it.


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#11 Jan Tore Soerensen

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 02:22 PM

Red One is better for sound than the later cameras too. It's quieter and has mini XLR sockets instead of mini jacks.

The Red Scarlet might be worth looking at if you can save a significant amount over buying a Red Epic although you lose those high frame rate options.

 

Do you do any corporate work? What about deliverables? Do you do all the editing?

Maybe even Blackmagic Pocket is worth a look? (ProRes and Raw, lots of lenses possible, nice images)

 

FS7 and C100 seem like the obviously more practical cameras.

 

Freya

I watched a couple of videos on the URSA mini yesterday. Seems interesting, but the past flaws of the BMCC, worries me. Right now, the FS7 is definitely the best contender. Hopefully one can find a decent sample on the used market.

 

The 4K version was a dud. Worse than DSLR in low light. The 4.6k remains to be seen since they said a new sensor will be in it.

Exactly. And the rolling shutter..


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#12 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 03:20 PM

 

Call me an "audiophile" (even though people constantly misuse that term) but never concern yourself with a camera's audio quality. Buy a Zoom H6 and you're good to go.


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#13 Jan Tore Soerensen

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 04:38 PM

 

 

Call me an "audiophile" (even though people constantly misuse that term) but never concern yourself with a camera's audio quality. Buy a Zoom H6 and you're good to go.

 

Appreciate the advice!


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#14 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 05:56 PM

Considered Blackmagic?

 

Ursa Mini is really quite nice.


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#15 Jan Tore Soerensen

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Posted 20 January 2016 - 06:20 PM

Considered Blackmagic?

 

Ursa Mini is really quite nice.

Ye, we did discuss it here a few posts up. The 4,6k would be interesting model, because of the new sensor. Hopefully there will be some reviews and footage of it soon.

 

Have you had some personal experience with it?

 

edit. Scratch that. There is already test footage out there. Looks really good to be honest.


Edited by Jan Tore Soerensen, 20 January 2016 - 06:26 PM.

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#16 Freya Black

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 07:49 AM

 

Call me an "audiophile" (even though people constantly misuse that term) but never concern yourself with a camera's audio quality. Buy a Zoom H6 and you're good to go.

 

 

 

People say that but really loud fans can be a real pita on set...

 

Freya


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#17 Giray Izcan

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 09:44 AM

Jan, I am not fond of Reds because of their problematic nature and their crappy form factor. For example, you can put a film camera or an Alexa on your shoulder, and film, whereas you would have to put on more accessories such as shoulder mounts etc to make it more hand holdable. I was on Voice promo commercial a few weeks back, where we had a few Epic Dragons. One of them overheated inside of a stage in Universal - it was a well ventilated environment. That camera was not usable for over an hour. The other one acted up too - not as severe as that one. That's the last one I remember.


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#18 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 10:54 AM

I mean it really depends on your productions and the quality you seek.

The great thing about the Red and Blackmagic cameras that none of the other MPEG based cameras have stock is the ability to shoot REAL raw, not faux raw. Raw is NOT an MPEG file with a flat profile. Raw is actually capturing the image data directly to disk, without subsampling. So where cameras like the FS7 have raw options, it's not the same raw you would get from a Arri, Red or Blackmagic.

I'm not a fan of Red for so many reasons from the extremely proprietary file format and accessories to the form factor and inherent imager tint. Red also has deal-killer for me personally, which is that global shutter is an add-on. The Raven is in direct competition with the Ursa Mini 4.6k, they've modified the feature set to go directly with it. However, it's lacking a lot of the KEY things that make the URSA so great and of course, the URSA Mini 4.6k is missing a few of the things that make the Raven great.

So in my opinion, it's really down to 2 cameras... the Red Raven and Ursa mini 4.6k. I would personally never own an MPEG camera, but that's up to you. With formats like Pro Res, you can adjust bandwidth for your shoot based on if you really care about what your shooting or not. So with the URSA Mini 4.6k, you can shoot RAW in multiple compression levels and resolutions (like the Raven). You can shoot Pro Res XQ in Rec 709 or RAW color space and again, at multiple resolutions. You can shoot standard Pro Res 4444 at multiple resolutions. You can shoot Pro Res HQ, Lite and Proxy as well, all at different resolutions. So the awesome thing is that in camera, you can determine a lot of these things. Also, Pro Res is a far better looking codec then MPEG. Pro Res XQ has been used to capture a myriad of theatrically distributed films and with external recorders today, most people don't use the internal recorder on MPEG cameras anymore. So why buy an MPEG camera that you're just going to add a recorder to? Sounds like an expensive waste to me.

Now, yes... the URSA Mini 4.6k is a new camera, there is no doubt. However, I have done some testing with it, to try and see if it has the same issues as the 4k imager and so far it doesn't. One of the tall tell signs of that garbage 4k imager is the baked in imager noise, the all-new blackmagic designed 4.6k imager doesn't have it. Now Blackmagic have been delayed on getting me a sample, they're hard pressed to meet their delivery deadlines right now. But I feel by April, we should have a sample and I will post some test footage. I'm very good at tearing cameras apart and finding their issues, so it should be a piece of cake to figure this one out as well. What makes me excited about the URSA mini 4.6k is the form factor, the ability to run PL and B4 (broadcast) lenses with an adaptor. The industry-friendly capturing formats and imager size, the form factor, the high-end I/O without adaptors, the beautiful OLED viewfinder, standard V mount batteries, the ease of shoulder mounting. These things are so critical to me and it appears as if Blackmagic is the only company to figure it out, which is very strange.

I will say one thing... and this may be a deal killer for some people. It's nowhere near the sensitivity of the Red and Sony cameras. Blackmagic is more akin to Arri in their design, where it's more of a movie camera, rather then a digital camcorder, which is what the FS7 is. So it's a hard bargain I know and what I'd do is wait to see what the Raven and Ursa Mini look like when they're both out and people are shooting/testing. That won't be long now and I think either of those cameras (depending on what you're doing) will be the right choice.
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#19 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 01:20 PM

I would personally never own an MPEG camera, but that's up to you.

On behalf of most of Sony's entire userbase, thankyou for your permission.

But the technical point here is that I-frame H.264 actually uses similar techniques to ProRes, plus some more besides, and will achieve lower SNR at a given bitrate in the general case.

I don't think it's particularly significant either way, and I don't approve of every camera manufacturer in the world rebadging H.264 as if they've done something clever. It creates unnecessary barriers to understanding and compatibility.

Regardless, the value of ProRes is mainly the fact that it's at least a de facto standard, not because there's anything particularly clever about it. There isn't.

P
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#20 Jan Tore Soerensen

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 04:25 PM

I have to say, I really find the URSA mini interesting. There is an EF mount, which lets me use EF glass I already have. There is ProRes AND RAW. 13stop global shutter and 15stop rolling shutter for those shots with less movement. 

 

I also like the formfactor, and the price is right. Would be great to try it beforehand though.


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