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Travel camera, what's the best option?

travel camera a6500 gh5 a7s II traveling

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#1 Stefano Stroppa

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 11:52 AM

Heeya guys

 

I'm considering buying a small camera for travelling, just got back this summer by a crazy hitchhiking trip to Nordkapp and the only regreat I have was not having a camera I could have put together a sweet 4min video with.

 

My first choice is the sony a6500 (also considering shooting in Log, I do lots of grading for work). Also buying an adaptor to the E mount. 

 

If I wish to spend a bit more money, I'm considering something between GH5 and alright the a7s II but that might be slightly too expensive for a travel camera, compared to a a6500 which can be 1000E cheaper. 

I've never been fond of the GH4 model, I don't know why, I guess it's something subjective but I prefer a camera that works really well in low light than having a true 10bit 4:2:2 like the GH4/5... 

 

 

Any consideration on the matter?

 

Thank you :)


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 12:40 PM

I like my Sony A6500.


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#3 Samuel Berger

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 12:47 PM

You need to think outside the box and find something like this:

https://www.ebay.com...ag/182911328538

 

I have one and the footage it turns out is much much more beautiful than the cameras you mentioned.

 

Here's some samples from Jose Luis Villar who uses similar cameras. Click the "V" for larger view.

 


Edited by Samuel Berger, 21 November 2017 - 12:56 PM.

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#4 Stefano Stroppa

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 01:01 PM

You need to think out of the box and find something like this:

https://www.ebay.com...ag/182911328538

 

I have one and the footage it turns out is much much more beautiful than the cameras you mentioned.

 

Here's some samples from Jose Luis Villar who uses similar cameras.

 

 

Judging from all your comments around the forum I reckon you're quite a big supporter of film cameras :) nice to hear that. Not really what I'm looking for in term of cameras thought, prefer much more a small digital camera I can put in my pocket, but cool to hear of these possibilities, thank you! 


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#5 Samuel Berger

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 01:08 PM

 

Judging from all your comments around the forum I reckon you're quite a big supporter of film cameras :) nice to hear that. Not really what I'm looking for in term of cameras thought, prefer much more a small digital camera I can put in my pocket, but cool to hear of these possibilities, thank you! 

 

Look, you have an opportunity to do something unique and different there. Nothing wrong with your wanting a small digital camera. But I wanted you to consider that there's other possibilities and they're not too expensive.


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#6 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 02:50 PM

Because buying film cart after film cart doesn't get too expensive for casual shooting...

 

While the Sony cameras may tend to clip highlights out of the box more, they put a lot of money into the low light capabilities. Go for the a6300 (or 6500 whichever).

 

Not sure if lens adaption with these 2 mounts is cheap or not, but that 40mm pancake lens Canon puts out fully pocket proofs your "rig".


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#7 Samuel Berger

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 03:18 PM

Because buying film cart after film cart doesn't get too expensive for casual shooting...

 

The entire population of the Earth used to do that for film and photos. It was just a normal part of life. I understand that in the minds of the Torrent generation, everything should just be a free download. But there's more to life than that.


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#8 aapo lettinen

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 03:48 PM

I had a Bolex H16rx0 and a Krasnogorsk 2 with me the last time I visited Varanger Peninsula, used 7203 and 7219 and it was great choice for those Nothern Norway colours and contrasts. 

 

But if you need low light and relatively small size etc. I would maybe go with the Sony, probably with the a7s2 or a7r3 if you can wait for it. the GH5 can do 10bit and slow motion and can use smaller easier lenses which may be a benefit (I regularly use my GH4 on making of shoots with a tiny 12,5mm f1.4 cctv lens and rode mic, can fit the whole kit to my pocket even with couple of extra cctv lenses if taking the mic off. but low light = sony better , I think.

you don't want to carry tons of memory cards with you so you probably won't use the 10bit that much anyway


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#9 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 07:12 PM

I have the Sony A6300..would also recommend it.. or the A6500.. which was released about 2 months after I bought the A6300 of course.. in camera stabilization I believe.. small, light ..alot of lenses to choose from.. and decent codec ..


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#10 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 07:51 PM

 

My first choice is the sony a6500 (also considering shooting in Log, I do lots of grading for work). Also buying an adaptor to the E mount. 

I believe the a6500 records in XAVC-S, which is an 8 bit 4.2.0 codec. Shooting Log doesn't work well with 8 bit codecs; there's simply not enough code values, and you'll likely see banding in areas of flat color.


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#11 Stefano Stroppa

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 08:14 PM

I believe the a6500 records in XAVC-S, which is an 8 bit 4.2.0 codec. Shooting Log doesn't work well with 8 bit codecs; there's simply not enough code values, and you'll likely see banding in areas of flat color.

 

I shot a few times already with the a6300 in S-Log, graded in post, and I was really happy with the result. Then true that, the GH5 (whose V-log I think it's a 100£ upgrade) 10bit 4:2:2 is the only main reason why I'd choose it over the 6500.

 

 

For those of you talking good about the sony a6500, is it true from what I read around the forums, that the UHD 4K is recorded using the native sensor, no crop, instead the full HD looks quite poor by current standard, even taking a step backward from the original a6000? It's the HD recorded from a cropped sensor?


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#12 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 08:28 PM

 

I shot a few times already with the a6300 in S-Log, graded in post, and I was really happy with the result. 

Maybe you were just lucky in your choice of subject, and there was no flat color. One of the widespread complaints about Sony cameras is banding, even though Sony specifically advise against using Log with 8 bit codecs.


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#13 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 21 November 2017 - 09:38 PM

Agreed 8 bit for log is almost a contradiction ..probably ok if its bright enough and not a lot of grading needed... re the banding.. funny you mention this and I've read this too.. but in my own experience .. the times Ive been told there is banding in my footage from 10bit  XAVC I.. Slog3.cine.. has 100% ,so far, been a problem with post prod set up.. although they each time of course tell me its a camera/codec problem.. then find their monitors were set to 8bit or some other default /setting was wrong.. its really happened quite a few times when Slog was begining to be used on doc,s /corps and post/editors.. very often didn't know how to deal with it.. ie try to grade in NLE platforms as they would REC 709.. rather than Resolve etc. ..but I guess the rumor has stuck..


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#14 Stefano Stroppa

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 12:26 PM

Maybe you were just lucky in your choice of subject, and there was no flat color. One of the widespread complaints about Sony cameras is banding, even though Sony specifically advise against using Log with 8 bit codecs.

 

You’re right it’s frustrating Sony can have so many good features, and then you’re stuck to a low bit rate and 8bit codec. Then again I read from this guy who knows everything about Sony, Alister Chapman, who writes 

 

Contrary to popular belief heavy grading 8 bit footage does not necessarily lead to banding in footage across smooth surfaces except in extreme cases. Banding is more commonly a result of compression artefacts such as macro blocking. This is especially common with very highly compressed codecs such as AVCHD. The 50Mbps XAVC-S codec used in the A7s is a very good codec, far superior to AVCHD and as a result compression artefacts are significantly reduced, so banding will be less of an issue than with other lower quality codecs. If your going to shoot using S-Log2, some grading will be necessary and as we only have 8 bit recordings we must take care to expose our material in such a way as to minimise how far we will need to push and pull the material’.

 

 

I was wondering why most of the DPs (from what I read and experience around) would choose the Sony alpha to play with as a hobby cam or whatever, then a GH5 that from spec is much better than the Sony?

 


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#15 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 01:15 PM

 

Then again I read from this guy who knows everything about Sony, Alister Chapman, who writes:

 

"and as we only have 8 bit recordings we must take care to expose our material in such a way as to minimise how far we will need to push and pull the material’.

That's the crucial point here. You can shoot Log with an 8 bit codec (although Sony advise against it) but you'll need to be very careful with your exposure, and try to control contrast as much as possible, so that you do not need to make huge adjustments in post. As you said you were considering buying the camera to take traveling, and presumably shooting travelogue type material where you have little or no control over the subjects contrast, I'd say that's exactly the kind of situation that Alister warns about.


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#16 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 01:35 PM

I have yet to find a better micro cinema camera then the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema camera. Not only are they the smallest, cheapest and highest bandwidth recording solution, but also the most "cinematic" looking.

All of the other manufacturers are focused on making still cameras that shoot video. Not a single one of the other interchangeable lens cameras in that form factor, are video only. This makes the pocket have a huge advantage, as the design isn't compromised like the other brands. It's focused on shooting high quality video.

Here is a little demo I made which shows my kit in detail.


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#17 Stefano Stroppa

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 01:59 PM

I have yet to find a better micro cinema camera then the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema camera. Not only are they the smallest, cheapest and highest bandwidth recording solution, but also the most "cinematic" looking.

All of the other manufacturers are focused on making still cameras that shoot video. Not a single one of the other interchangeable lens cameras in that form factor, are video only. This makes the pocket have a huge advantage, as the design isn't compromised like the other brands. It's focused on shooting high quality video.

Here is a little demo I made which shows my kit in detail.

 

Yaaay! That was my very first choice, a small pocket camera shooting ProRes 422 HW at 220Mbps for less than £900 seemed so cool and interesting! 

 

but there are a few factors that threw me off that original idea :/

- no slow motion

- the ISO doesn't perform well with low light situations since I think you can go higher that 800 no?

- you can't really choose your own white balance

- the battery really doesn't last long

 

If ever Sony came up with something like an a6700 with 10bit 4:2:2, that would be great haha! 


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#18 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 03:02 PM

I did a test of my Sony A6500 recording UHD against an Alexa recording 3.2K and the Sony footage was sharper, but harder to color-correct the skin tones, but I think for landscapes, not faces, that would less of a problem except for the banding problem in smooth gradients.

I think it's time for 8-bit color to be obsoleted in general, but particularly for any origination recording.
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#19 Stefano Stroppa

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 03:26 PM

I did a test of my Sony A6500 recording UHD against an Alexa recording 3.2K and the Sony footage was sharper, but harder to color-correct the skin tones, but I think for landscapes, not faces, that would less of a problem except for the banding problem in smooth gradients.

I think it's time for 8-bit color to be obsoleted in general, but particularly for any origination recording.

Thank you David for sharing this.

 

I agree with you on the 8bit, I don't understand why there's so much running forward to get all DSLR shooting 4K if they really want to be used for video, when you can only record 8bit 4:2:0. It'd be amazing if Sony alpha series managed to step up and go 10bit 4:2:2. I understand you can use an external recorder, but if the camera is 8bit, you are just putting a 8bit content into a 10bit container, but the image still stay 8bit no? (Alright even though the external recorder codec can be much better).

 

One thing, when you shoot full HD on the a6500, does the camera record on a crop mode of the sensor, unlike shooting UHD which uses the full native sensor of the camera?


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#20 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 22 November 2017 - 03:44 PM

Yaaay! That was my very first choice, a small pocket camera shooting ProRes 422 HW at 220Mbps for less than £900 seemed so cool and interesting!


Pro Res LOG and Rec709 modes + Raw Cinema DNG + Pro Res LT. When you think about it, the camera offers all the recording options you would need.
 

- no slow motion


Yep, the only "legitimate" problem...
 

- the ISO doesn't perform well with low light situations since I think you can go higher that 800 no?


It does 1600 and it's not bad. I generally don't shoot in pitch blackness, so 800 doesn't bother me. I can't think of any situation outside of moonlight where you would "need" 1600 ISO.
 

- you can't really choose your own white balance


Yea you can, that's one of it's key features. It's adjustable from around 2000K to 8000K which is a VERY WIDE RANGE.
 

- the battery really doesn't last long


The batteries are $9 dollars and last the length of a 64gb card, which is 41 minutes @ Pro Res HQ.

By contrast, the Sony A7SMKII battery lasts 40 minutes and costs $28 dollars.

Yes, the battery issue is well... an issue, but it's really no different than the competition.
 

If ever Sony came up with something like an a6700 with 10bit 4:2:2, that would be great haha!


It will never happen, they have too much invested in their more expensive cameras. They wanna push everyone towards the FS5 and FS7, which are the 10 bit cameras. If they make the lower-end cameras shoot 10 bit, then they lose a huge chuck of their prosumer business. 


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