September 10, 2015 at 2:27PM, Edited September 10, 2:28PM

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5dmkiii stolen, looking to upgrade but I don't have a huge budget. Suggestions?

Hey guys!
I've been reading NFS, and the boards, for a while now but only recently signed up. (I think this is my first official post)

Anywho, on a trip last month I made the foolhardy decision to bring along my 5d3 and Sigma ART 24-105 and our Airbnb was robbed while we were out (lost two laptops, camera/lenses, money, etc). The camera and lens were my primary shooters for personal projects such as web series, music videos, narrative work and event photography.

I'm a part-time freelancer and part-time barista in Brooklyn and the robbery really set me back, and now puts me in a weird place. I still have my old 5d2 body that I'd--thankfully--been too stubborn to sell when I upgraded, so I'm mostly covered on still work, barring the lost zoom lens. But I need a camera for video and it seems silly to just get another 5d3 (even though I loved that camera)

So, my question to you guys: What camera/lens should I look into getting to replace my video gear that's an upgrade from the 5d in terms of DR, codec, etc, but won't break the bank?

As it is, I'll likely need to borrow money from a few people to get up and running quick, which isn't ideal but sort of necessary at the moment. That said, I won't have a lot. Maybe $4k and under. I've been really looking at the c100 with dual pixel AF. Even though it's just HD, and has sort of outdated specs, considering all the cameras that have come and gone, I've found one for under $3k and I really like the picture it gets when it comes to color and feel. But there's always a Sony a7s with 4k recorder, etc etc.

I'm not expecting whatever I can afford to be a solid workhorse for years to come because 4k is obviously on the way in and clients are going to be hungry for it. That said, I do a lot of low-budget narrative and music video work and would love something that's capable.

Sorry for the long post, I just know everyone here has spent a lot of time with different cameras and setups and I'd really appreciate any recommendations.

Thanks!
-Cody

28 Comments

Do you still have lenses ?

September 10, 2015 at 2:50PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30526

I have a few yes, all primes. Rokinon lenses.

September 10, 2015 at 2:56PM

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Given your budget I would go with a used C100 in good shape. This is a real workhorse camera, and in the future you should be able to sell it used and get most of your investment back.

September 11, 2015 at 9:32AM, Edited September 11, 9:32AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30526

Do you recommend that over the c100mkii? The better low-light/focusing is a nice touch but I'm not sure for the extra money...

September 12, 2015 at 12:23PM

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You're probably good either way.. good buys all around right now..

For me though, where things are going and where I know I will be spending more money on lenses/etc in the next 1-2 years when I upgrade, I would go Sony for video.

Also with the recent a7r II + a7s II announcements you can find a7s' for a bargain I'd say.

I would take the a7s over c100 unless you really want the onboard XLRs or dual-pixel AF.. (Sony has quite decent AF tracking with native glass, including face tracking, also have XLR hot-shoe adapters if you need for extra $$).

I haven't searched eBay this week yet myself though.. Could pickup the commlite adapter for Canon EF for a nary $100 or so.. (or go metabones if you wish for 3-4x the price and use your Canon mount glass with either. I've never had an issue with the commlite knockoff). You'd be back in the game for probably around $1500..

The capability of the a7s has really impressed me and if you can work around the short-comings, it is excellent, not to mention 4K out through HDMI (when you need it, per job, etc). Shoots really nice 1080 60p and has all the features you want with peaking/zebras/cine-gammas/framerates/codec... (120p lacks some quality)

September 12, 2015 at 3:24PM, Edited September 12, 3:25PM

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Tyler McCool
One Man Show
350

Don't forget the built in NDs that the C100 has, really missing it on the A7s.

Gareth Ng

September 12, 2015 at 8:24PM

Thanks, Tyler. I've been going back and forth for days on this--there are just so many interesting cameras right now, which is very lucky for everyone. But now with the a7sii and FS5 announced, making a good decision is even harder!

September 12, 2015 at 8:55PM

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I am not impressed with the price of the Sony FS5, as it's too close to the price of the FS7. The FS7 can shoot 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 footage which the FS5 can only do when shooting 1080 HD footage. ( production-wise this is a big deal )

Guy McLoughlin

September 12, 2015 at 9:10PM

>>>Do you recommend that over the c100mkii? The better low-light/focusing is a nice touch but I'm not sure for the extra money...

I don't think the difference in price for the mk2 is worth it. I know that the EVF is a lot better with the Mk2, and it can shoot true 1080 60p, but I haven't seen anything to convince me that it's better in low-light, or even better color wise. ( the Mk2 seems a little "bluer" than the Mk1 without correction )

I am also not convinced that the Sony A7S is better when it comes to producing a 1080 HD image. ( both cameras are very good in low light, both cameras can shoot log, both cameras shoot 1080 HD internal, both cameras are 8-bit cameras ) The A7S has worse rolling shutter, especially when shooting Full Frame. The C100 Mk1 has proper XLR inputs with good mic preamps. ( there is a Sony XLR adapter, but I haven't seen any tests on the quality of the preamps ) The C100 Mk1 can run all day on 3 standard batteries. ( the A7S gets about 1 hour from a single battery )

I am curious to see how many used A7S cameras are put up for sale once the A7S Mk2 comes out. ( we still have to see if the A7S Mk2 has the same overheating problem the A7R Mk2 does when shooting 4K video )

September 12, 2015 at 9:06PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
30526

With the mk1 vs mk2, this is the video that made me think a lot about it, despite the very real price difference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmRPPFDeteY

It's also just a different, newer sensor. I know that ideally what the camera does comes down to how it's used and that in many ways some of the films from a few years back that we all love and admire for their beautiful look were shot on cameras far less spec heavy. Just as an often one-man operator with little budget (for personal work) some of the added features are making me think.

I'm still not sold on the a7s. I guess each of these cameras has something to offer. Now, where's that $20k I had lying around here...

Thanks for your help guys!

September 13, 2015 at 12:14AM

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With the YouTube video link you posted the noise looks a LOT better on the Mark 2 once you are past the 20,000 ISO mark, but how often are you ever going to shoot at more than 20,000 ISO ?

Below 20,000 ISO I'm not really seeing much difference between the Mark 1 and Mark 2 cameras.

I shoot with a GH4 and most of the time I'm shooting between 200 - 800 ISO because I don't need to go any higher than this. ( I use lights and fast lenses all the time )

I am certain that if I switched to shooting with a C100 I would likely never go beyond 3200 ISO most of the time.

Guy McLoughlin

September 13, 2015 at 4:27PM

Thanks a lot, everyone. I really appreciate the input.

September 13, 2015 at 11:54PM

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Now that the A7Sii is coming out I'd say you'd be able to pick up a mark 1 for a good price. Great camera to pair with a BM focus assist, Atomos Ninja Assassin or PIX-E5. If you grab an A7Rii, you can have that replace your 5dii and work with one camera for stills and video.

September 14, 2015 at 6:23AM, Edited September 14, 6:24AM

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Luc Szczepanski
Filmmaker / Photographer / Designer
133

Still waiting on the verdict of "Does the A7Sii overheat when shooting 4K ?". Nobody expected the A7Rii to overheat, so I think this is a big deal if you want to use this as a production camera.

Guy McLoughlin

September 14, 2015 at 12:39PM

I think what I'm leaning towards at the moment is picking up a c100 mk1, as I've found a few through ebay/online retailers that are around $2,800 with dual pixel AF, getting that rig sorted with a few lenses and rig pieces, and then turning my sights (hopefully after a few upcoming paid gigs) towards getting an a7s mk1 or mk2 to round out my options. I'm not stoked on the rolling shutter with the a7s and the fact that you need to work in cropped to minimize it isn't a great concession, though maybe the mk2 will fix some of that. 4k would be awesome but that'll only get cheaper so I don't need to rush it. At the moment I've been working a lot on some personal projects (shorts, second season of a web series in pre-production) and I think, for my eyes, I like the canon picture better for this sort of work.

There have been great points made here though that have helped me figure a lot of stuff out, and I really appreciate it. I guess the funny thing is there are just so MANY options now that it's hard to find the right one. But that's because there isn't one, and it just depends on the gig.

September 14, 2015 at 1:27PM

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When you go to buy the A7S, keep in mind that the old version has better rolling-shutter when shooting in APS-C crop mode, but the new version has better rolling-shutter when shooting in Full Frame mode.

Guy McLoughlin

September 14, 2015 at 1:41PM, Edited September 14, 1:41PM

Ah, good to know. Thanks.

September 14, 2015 at 2:21PM

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For me, the drawback of the MK I is that you cannot control the camera without the side grip (meaning you can't mount the camera on a Ronin or Movi and still control it, a big pain in my experience), and it doesn't offer 1080 60p.

But...the MK II is basically double the price. Is that worth it? Who knows...

September 14, 2015 at 5:11PM

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Gabe Reuben
Director of Photography
281

Haha, exactly. That does sound like a frustrating bit but hopefully there are ways around it.

September 14, 2015 at 7:15PM

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C100 with an external recorder like the Black Magic video assist, or if you don't have enough money forget the 1920x1080 monitor and take just the ProRes 10bit 422 with the Atomos. Otherwise a DSLR 4K, Sony or Panasonic.

September 15, 2015 at 7:30AM, Edited September 15, 7:30AM

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Eloy Zecca
Director of Photography
156

A7s mark ii looks pretty freaking perfect for most video needs,
Internal 4k, absurd low light, surprising clarity from a DSLR, and it with a canon adaptor is $3,300 ish. Still keeping full frame, and get full HD at 120fps

September 16, 2015 at 9:08AM

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Hayden Antal
Creative Services Producer - Knoxville ABC Affiliate
86

Yeah, at this point that's where I'm looking after the c100. Ideally I'll be able to save up enough to get it in addition.

September 16, 2015 at 11:10AM

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Do you guys have a recommendation for an external recorder for the c100? I've been leaning towards the ninja 2 since the price drop. Seems small enough to keep the package mobile and records whatever the most the camera can send through HDMI.

September 16, 2015 at 11:18AM

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Can someone lay out the pros of recording to an external recorder with a C100 for me?

September 16, 2015 at 3:08PM, Edited September 16, 3:07PM

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Gabe Reuben
Director of Photography
281

Why not try something from Blackmagic ?

September 16, 2015 at 5:51PM

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Andy Tokarski
Director, Editor, Colorist
1539

The video assist looks very cool but it's also now double the price of the ninja 2 and does essentially the same thing. SD card recording is nice, though.

September 16, 2015 at 6:22PM, Edited September 16, 6:22PM

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If photography isn't a need in your next camera I'd highly recommend the Blackmagic Pocket camera. Only hesitate if you shoot a lot of low light, camera does like light. Other than that its my favorite of 1080p cameras I've ever shot with. We've even used it as a B Camera to our Red Scarlet for interviews at work

September 16, 2015 at 7:44PM

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Charles C.
Editor/ Director/ Director of Photography/ Wannabe Thinker
1271

Yeah, I've shot with the pocket a number of times and it's pretty great. It's definitely an awesome option for solid ProRes and RAW in a small package. For what I'm doing right now though it's a bit too small, the battery life is awful without external power, and I do need to have the option to get some low-light. Blackmagic in general doesn't love low-light, which is a bummer.

But what do you guys think about external recorders for the c100? I've already purchased a used mark 1 with dual pixel from ebay (only $2,800 after shipping) and it's on its way. So for now I'm not yet jumping the canon ship. heh. My next camera, very likely :D but for now, any screen/recorder recommendations from anyone that owns/has owned one? Thanks!

September 17, 2015 at 1:21AM

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What about the JVC GY-LS300? For its price and size it has pretty impressive options. 4k is an option and the new firmware has added J log for extra DR. A very flexible mount as well, even if its not EF.

seems to be a pretty underrated cam and is a bit lost with all the talk of the ursa mini and the FS5

September 17, 2015 at 7:34PM, Edited September 17, 7:34PM

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Joe de Bruin
editor / filmmaker
74

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