May 11, 2017 at 5:18PM

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Camera Upgrade Path

I have been looking to purchase a new camera. I have been using a Canon EOS-M with magic lantern that I got used for $125. Been great to learn on.

Now I want to have something a little more intuitive for shooting video (I am a one man band) for youtube and short films. I am interested in either a Panasonic FZ2500 or a Canon XC10. I like the high bitrate of the Canon but I like the price and usability of the Panasonic.

With both Canon anouncing "C200" & Panasonic a "Varicam Mini", which starting point would make most sense.

I guess what I am really asking is for a comparison between the FZ2500 and the XC10/XC15

9 Comments

What type of subjects do you want to shoot ? Any low-light shooting ? Any fast action shooting ? Is audio quality important to you ?

Every camera is usually great at something, so it's good to know what you want to shoot to match this up with the right camera.

May 12, 2017 at 11:21AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32184

Thanks for your reply Guy.
Audio is very important but I have an external recorder (Zoom H5) with lavs for sound. I plan on doing restaurant reviews, travel and location stories and for fun, create and shoot shorts. I think any low light situations will be lit with supplemental light. No sports or fast action.

May 12, 2017 at 4:18PM

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I would avoid them both, they are both fixed lenses. Yes you get "4k" with both of them but you get a ceiling on what the camera is capable of.

There hasn't been any official announcement from Canon or Panasonic regarding a Varicam mini or a C200 yet, everything is just rumors and hear-say. regardless I expect the varicam to be 5k+ and the C200 to be 3k+

I would look into getting a used Sony A7s (First Generation) or a 6D if you are trying to stay within the budget of the XC10

May 13, 2017 at 11:16PM, Edited May 13, 11:17PM

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>>> I plan on doing restaurant reviews, travel and location stories and for fun, create and shoot shorts. I think any low light situations will be lit with supplemental light. No sports or fast action.

I think your choice of the Panasonic FZ2500 is a good one given what you want to shoot. I've shot a fair bit with the older FZ1000 camera and have been very happy with the 4K image from that camera. The FZ2500 is a big upgrade, that gets rid of the wobbly zoom lens and most of the camera's audio noise. It's a very compact system with a long zoom, so for travel work and interviews I think you would be very happy with it.

I haven't shot with the Canon XC10, but so far I've never been impressed with the image it captures, it produces a very soft looking 4K given the high bit-rate it shoots at. The "Camera Store TV" YouTube channel voted the Canon XC10 the WORST camera of 2015 ( https://goo.gl/h6LIOB ), so I would ONLY consider the XC10 camera if you test drive and make sure you are happy with the results it produces. It's $800 more than the FZ2500, which could be spent on other gear like compact lighting, so make sure it's worth it to you.

May 14, 2017 at 1:02PM, Edited May 14, 1:08PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32184

The Panasonic FZ2500 seems expensive for a fixed lens camera and 1" sensor. I have a GH4 from Panasonic and love it. If that is out of your price range, I've heard great things from the Panasonic G80/G85. I'd definitely look at cameras with interchangeable lenses. You will get way more flexibility.

May 16, 2017 at 12:25PM

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Caleb Minear
Filmmaker
11

Both cameras have bad dynamic range and look bad.

May 16, 2017 at 2:57PM

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Josef Lorenzo
Director
244

>>>The Panasonic FZ2500 seems expensive for a fixed lens camera and 1" sensor.

What's a cheaper camera with 20x parfocal zoom lens that starts at the equivalent of a 24mm Full Frame lens ?

You can buy a Lumix 14-140mm 10x zoom lens that starts at the equivalent of a 28mm lens but that eats up $550 of your budget. ( I also don't think you can manually zoom as smoothly as the FZ2500 does with it's new motorized internal zoom feature, which is very smooth and very quiet )

>>>Both cameras have bad dynamic range and look bad.

I'm not keen on the Canon XC10 camera, but the FZ2500 gives you a sharp 4K image with 10 F-stops of dynamic range in Cine-D mode, and you can purchase Panasonic's V-Log L profile to increase this to 11+ F-stops. You can also add an external recorder to capture 10-bit 4:2:2 footage from the FZ2500, which will give you more range when grading your footage in post.

At this price point the only other camera I would consider is the Sony RX-10 III which has a longer zoom range, and comes with a S-Log profile that should give you 12+ F-stops of dynamic range. ( I would be sure to compare the smoothness of the zoom between the Panasonic FZ2500 and the Sony RX-10 III cameras, as Pansonic made a huge improvement when they changed to an internal zoom which does not change size and makes virtually no noise when operating )

Here's some FZ2500 1080p footage that gives you some idea of what you can get out of this camera, though I wish this had been shot in 4K : https://vimeo.com/191961649

May 16, 2017 at 7:07PM, Edited May 16, 7:15PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
32184

I would go for the xc15 but my advice would be to rent both and see which camera you prefer.

May 17, 2017 at 3:15AM

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Logan Fish
Video Journalist
285

This likely is not what you want to hear, but is another opinion that might be helpful even if not welcome. Among my cameras, I use two different EOS-M. I am shocked at how great they look when used well. The key words being "when used well" if you hope that a camera body will result in greater quality likely you will be disappointed. What ever you lack in using a eos-m will be present in any more expensive camera you buy. You should consider what you are using for lenses? I use the speed boaster made for the eos-m. You can use raw with Magic Lantern. I can see getting another camera that does better image stabilization or slow motion. Yet it is not an upgrade if the faults are in the operator. With a more expensive camera you do get bragging rights and public image can be important, but here is an example of video that was made with a camera anyone can purchase for $100 https://vimeo.com/9080438 I strongly suspect that you will "upgrade" your camera due to the belief a purchase in a more expensive camera is more important than learning to use cameras, but that is the American Way, we all have opinions and you are welcome to yours and I am just suggesting that other factors may be the true need.

May 18, 2017 at 4:03PM, Edited May 18, 4:29PM

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