April 26, 2017 at 11:38PM

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First camera to buy for DOC and VLOG?

Hello,
I'm currently looking to buy my first camera to shoot documentaries, start a youtube channel and do some vlogging. I have experience as a director but never had the need to buy gear for my projects. Now I would like to do a few run and gun, one man band type projects to kinda do my own thing and learn my craft in a more complete way.

Because I don't have any gear I'm not stuck to any camera system nor do I have a preferred brand, I just need the best bang for my buck like most of us I guess...

My total budget is 10k, for lighting and sound aswell, so I'm looking for a max 3k camera.

I have been looking at the GH5, which at first glance is a slam dunk for what I want to do...but the not so good autofocus especially for vlogs and also the very expensive lens choice for a m43 system that I don't know if it's a good future investment...

On the other hand we have sony, but right now I feel it's not the right time to buy the a7sII...and also the autofocus is not that good...but I feel that the lenses are worth the money especially because I'm sure sony will keep releasing great cameras in the future.

My idea is to now buy the a6500 and invest in two good lenses. I can get IBIS and great autofocus. 4k is also important.

When the a7sIII is released (maybe in june?) I can buy that one and keep the a6500 as a B camera.

Sorry for my bad english guys...

Don't know on what brand I should commit right now...I like a lot of things about the GH5 (4k 10bit, 60p, battery life and no overheating, weather sealing)...but those lenses are so damn expensive for what they are, compared with other systems like canon or nikon...or even sony...you know what I mean? if you want a decent autofocus you need to buy the new panasonic leica lenses...but I don't believe they are worth the money....if I want to use canon a need a metabones...that puts the camera in another pricepoint...but paired with the sigma 18-35 1.8 is great...

I would appreciate your help on this one...kinda confused right now...

Thanks

12 Comments

Lots of YouTubers using the GH5 for Vlogging...

GH5 Autofocus Fixed 4K 60fps Working Perfectly
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwDE92krDBo

Casey Neistat Now Vlogs with the GH5 ( check last 5 videos )
https://www.youtube.com/user/caseyneistat/videos

LeftCoast : The Best GH5 Autofocus / Picture Profile Settings for Vlogs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azDRUyk43tc

LeftCoast : The GH5 is Now My Ultimate Adventure Vlog Camera!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvpHb55ugiw

Jon Olsson : Panasonic GH5, The Best Camera I Have Tried!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORjvHEp7srw

April 27, 2017 at 8:28AM

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Reply
Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30599

Yes but even casey admited he only uses the gh5 because of the tilting screen and better battery life, because the a6500 is better in autofocus and even image quality (his words).

My problem is also being future proof regarding the lenses investment, because even the next cinema camera from panasonic will not support m43 lenses...

On the other hand if I invest in the sony ecosystem I can buy a a7sIII or ever a video camera like a fs5, while using the same lenses...

That's my biggest concern...

For documentary, interviews, music videos and maybe narrative short films, what camera would you get right now? with a budget for the camera of 3k.

If you still recomend the GH5, what lenses should I get? the native ones or get a metabones speedbooster and canon EF lenses?

April 27, 2017 at 4:49PM

1
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RMP
74

>>>My problem is also being future proof regarding the lenses investment, because even the next cinema camera from Panasonic will not support m43 lenses...

First off, nobody but Panasonic knows if their "Secret Cine" camera is going to support m4/3 lenses. It certainly looks like it's going to support S35, but there is a chance it will support both S35 and m4/3. I say this because the front lens mount has a bit of a protruding "donut" like shape, which makes me wonder if the lens mount is user exchangable like it is with their bigger Varicam LT camera.

Second, even if the "Secret Cine" camera is S35 only, Panasonic is going to continue making GH6 / GH7 / GH8 / Etc... cameras that will STILL USE Micro 4/3 lenses. The Micro 4/3 lens mount is not going to suddenly disappear.

April 27, 2017 at 9:44PM, Edited April 27, 9:44PM

1
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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30599

>>>Yes but even casey admited he only uses the gh5 because of the tilting screen and better battery life, because the a6500 is better in autofocus and even image quality (his words)

Yes, Casey thinks the A6500 produces better image quality, which might be true.

I have also seen other YouTube folks saying they are the same image quality, and even one dude who's saying that the GH5 V-Log L beats the A7S II S-Log based upon his own shooting experience...

Panasonic GH5 vs Sony A7sii
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHIxo-hEH9w

From what I've seen so far, the GH5 beats the GH4 by a mile, and it might even equal the A7S II in real-world non-low-light shooting, but I know that I want to see a lot more side-by-side real-world tests to see if this is true.

The GH5 seems to be packing a lot MORE punch then anybody expected it to, and it looks like Panasonic is planning to extend this MUCH further with firmware upgrades. I really want to see what the GH5 can do when shooting 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 at 400 Mbps, and what it can do with a dedicated Anamorphic upgrade with Full Sensor "open gate" recording.

Camera specs aren't really telling us anything, so I would say forget the specs for now and see what actually comes out of the GH5 camera, especially when comparing it directly to it's competitors for the exact SAME real-world shots.

April 27, 2017 at 9:55PM, Edited April 27, 9:56PM

1
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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30599

I guess you are right, I agree with you, the GH5 has a lot of features for the money.

And yes they will probably release a GH6, but my point is, I will be investing in a system that could possible keep me limited to the same range of cameras...with sony you can use them in pretty much all the line up...with canon lenses you can get a blackmagic, etc...

The real question and the reason for my post is, if you had to buy a camera today and lenses what would those be? To shoot documentary, interviews, music videos and short films? 5k budget for camera and lenses.

I would appreciate the advice.

April 27, 2017 at 10:30PM, Edited April 27, 10:30PM

2
Reply
RMP
74

My first camera was a Canon F-1. In those days, camera, lens, and film technology seemed so incredibly static: my friends who had Leicas could brag that their 20 year old cameras were still better than my brand-new camera. But digital microprocessors changed everything: the Canon AE-1 revolutionized the SLR, the EOS series revolutionized it again, the 5D2 revolutionized it again, and the GH3/GH4/GH5 revolutionized it again by making the SLR itself an obsolete construct. But that is actually just the company narrative. The artists narrative depends not so much on latest and greatest, but on what they need to make the art they see. There are many great options which, in the right hands, will make great art for years to come.

Michael Tiemann

April 28, 2017 at 7:20AM, Edited April 28, 7:20AM

Another interesting GH5 vs A7SII comparison from the YouTube Film Riot channel...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsidR6kBZ6A

April 28, 2017 at 11:31PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30599

"To shoot documentary, interviews, music videos and short films" and I think you want to vlog too?

All of those are VERY different things. You might find camera / lens combinations that excel in one area but make others infinitely more difficult. You can do all of those on an iPhone or RED but that doesn't mean those devices are best suited to those tasks.

I'd make a list of the content you're going to be working on first then buy the gear accordingly.

I have a good friend who wants/wanted to do everything you're going. He invested in an A7SII with Sony lenses because youtube and the internet told him it was the do anything Jesus camera. He got a ronin too, all the toys. Its now around 2 years later and he's hardly used it.

The reality is he mostly shoots conferences where he needs to give rushes to the client quickly and shooting conference speakers on a full frame camera and long lens isn't easy. He says its never quite in focus and the 4k rushes that take ages to upload to the client because of the file size. He would have been much better off with an actually video camera with a long zoom with 1080p in AVCHD.

Don't worry about the gear so much. Worry about the content and purchase accordingly.

ps. Vlogging wise. It's great fun. But don't do it for the money. Be aware ad revenue for youtube has dropped significantly. Channels that were making $200 a day now make $3 a day. For the foreseeable future no one should get into vlogging for the bucks.

April 29, 2017 at 11:03AM, Edited April 29, 11:03AM

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Cole Black
Filmmaker
275

Low-light GH5 Anamorphic Short "Dies Somnum" by Luke Neumann
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY6rmb47Ggw

April 29, 2017 at 4:03PM, Edited April 29, 4:03PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30599

You might change you thoughts totally and get a Sony z150. Includes a great lens. Dedicated video sensor. Plus it will soon receive HDR and HLG. Its 10 Bit.... And its a camcorder so its built to shoot video. built in ND.... We jumped from the mirrorless to FS5. But that will be out of your budget. Good luck

May 1, 2017 at 9:29AM, Edited May 1, 9:29AM

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Scott Jensen
Tai Chi and Kung Fu Instructor
221

For run and gun doc shooting, I would go with the GH5 and their Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm f/2.8 lens. For primes I use a Rokinon 12MM/2.0 for general indoor shooting and a Canon 50MM/1.8, on an adapter for interviews.
I use auto focus for run and gun with the aperture set as small as I can for max depth of field. It usually works out fine. I'd be willing to bet the Panny mystery camera is a AG-DVX200 with a super 35 sensor and interchangeable lens capability.

May 2, 2017 at 6:08AM, Edited May 2, 6:17AM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
947

Surprising GH5 comment video...

Hands Down - The Biggest GH5 Problem
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-Hu6oqKcVw

May 8, 2017 at 10:40PM

1
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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30599

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