January 7, 2017 at 11:25AM, Edited January 7, 12:02PM
Documentary filming - A7S II, GH4/5 or even a C100?
I am a documentary film maker who usually works with a dedicated DOP. However, it's time for me to get my own camera (duh?), which will allow me to go out and shoot my own projects without any need for someone else to help me.
Starting this year, I finally have some cash on hand right now to buy into a camera (system).
Here are the three camera criteria I mapped out for myself:
1 - Good image quality, with an emphasise on good-enough to strong low-light capability.
I don’t have the luxury to properly light my subject and/or its surroundings. The image does need to stand up to a proper grade in post.
2 - Run and gun capability.
I need to be able to quickly dive into the action.
3 - A budget of max. $3300 to start off with, for a basic documentary setup (camera body, lens, ND filter, microphone, perhaps a cage or shoulder mount).
At the moment I’m considering the Sony A7S series and the Lumix GH series, which puts the A7S II, the GH5 and - still - the GH4R into play.
Pros for all: bang-for-buck technology-wise.
Cons: not necessarily good run-and-gun camera’s, in that they need to be rigged up before shooting every time. Plus, they need loads of add-ons for proper video camera features, such as ND filters, XLR and handling gear, such as a cage/shoulder mount.
Here's my pickle.
Either to go down the Sony A7S II route, which is available right now, or the GH route, waiting for the GH5 or perhaps buying a GH4R now and jumping on the GH5 bandwagon later on.
Here’s the curveball.
I’m actually also considering the Canon C100 mark I, with its run-and-gun form factor and capabilities such as on-board ND’s and XLR.
In short: technology and specs-wise, the A7S II and GH4/GH5 blow the C100 out of the water, but run-and-gun-wise, the C100 is still considered to be a good choice as well, with decent image quality, but far less technologic back-for-buck in today’s market.
I’m extremely eager to buy a camera right now and start filming myself. So, I’m banging my head: should I get the A7S II now? Wait three more months for the GH5? Get myself a GH4R now, which leaves more money for rigging and extra’s and jump on the GH5 bandwagon later? Or even still consider a C100 mark I?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, considering my criteria.