October 30, 2017 at 11:31PM

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Considering selling my A7S ii for a C300 Mk 1...

So, I own an A7S II kit, cage, shoulder rig, the whole thing. It's a very capable camera, but I find myself frustrated often when I use it, either being that the codec is a little weak, the sensor has too much rolling shutter, the lack of SDI, or just the poor weight and ergonomics.

Most of all, I get frustrated when directors/productions want to be cheap and assume I'll just bring it with me, and that they don't have to rent anything else. It's a fine B-Cam, but I'd rather resort to something thats functionally better to use while still having a great image.

I could pick up a PL-Mount C300 for the under what I could sell my A7s II kit for... is this a stupid move? I'm not one to care about 4K, I just want a good image that isn't a pain in the ass to manage.

4 Comments

I've shot with both. The C300 is a workhorse, but it's 8-bit HD and not as good as the image quality of the A7Sii especially in low light. Ergonomics-wise it's a little better, but keep in mind you'll still need to drop $$$ on a shoulder mount, handles, grip offset etc. if you want to do handheld work. We've used the C300 extensively for Reality TV and short projects, and while the image at 24p is nice I don't consider it very filmic. And with so much being shot at 4K we miss the ability to enlarge or reframe the shots in post. At the end of the day, you need to pick a camera based on what you think you'll be shooting and how you want it to look.

As far as outputs (like SDI), yes the C300 has a lot of options. But you could also get a Shogun or Ninja outboard recorder and get those taps. That's how I did it on my last short film and it doubled as my director's monitor. Just something to consider.

And as far as what you charge for your services, I would enforce a strict kit fee for yourself with no exceptions. When you get a call for work, mention that you have a camera you can bring "for an extra $$" so that they know up front you expect money for the camera rental. Don't give that away for free just cuz they hired you.

November 8, 2017 at 2:31PM, Edited November 8, 2:34PM

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John V. Knowles
Director
162

Appreciate it!

November 17, 2017 at 12:39AM

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Matt Bastos
Filmmaker/Writer
808

John is right grab a monitor/recorder with loop through for SDI out, and enforce the kit fee. Think of this way. Your camera is a depreciating asset at some point you will need to replace/upgrade it. If all you ever do is charge for your time then you will be cutting into your earnings, and be stuck digging into your personal income to cover costs. We experience this everyday when we purchase food or any other items. Businesses figure in these costs all the time. Vincent Laforet put it into great perspective in this article.

http://blog.vincentlaforet.com/2013/08/01/how-to-succeed-as-a-creative-l...

Another point that I still struggle with at times is letting clients beat me up on price. When we lower our prices and do things at sub common rates then we actually hurt the industry as whole by creating a standard that clients will always go back too even with other service provider (cam ops, videographer, cinematographers, etc).

Client: "Well this guy/girl didn't charge for that."
Cinematographer: "Well that's not standard for me, these are my rates."
Client: "Your just gouging me on the price! I won't be recommending you to anyone!"

This problem already exists and I think we all have to work to alleviate this within our industry. Professional quality gear and work isn't cheap and I don't think we should have to suffer through the "It will look great on your reel" crap that is prevalent. Best of luck with your decision and standing up for what you (and your gear) are worth!

November 9, 2017 at 8:52PM

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Kyle Acker
Cinematographer/ Video Editor
483

Thanks man, great information.

November 17, 2017 at 12:39AM

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Matt Bastos
Filmmaker/Writer
808

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