May 11, 2016 at 7:12AM

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Best camera for 4K shooting on a budget

Hey Guys! I film sports video, music videos and planning to shoot weddings. That means that I want all the quality I can get with a camera (4K), low light capabilities, high frame rates and that cool stuff oh and also good log footage for grading is post.
since my total budget is around 4000, I may choose a cheaper body+ gimbal+ more lenses or a more expensive body+ 100 cheap glidecam+ 2 lenses.

I would like to know what camera serves me the best:

.The old but gold GH4
. Wait for the a7siii with 4k60p capabilites ( the one I am most excited for)
.the new ursa mini 4k ( yes it is big, but it has awesome capabilities and devin graham uses a RED on a glidecam so the ursa mini wont be a problem in terms of wieght)
.The new super cheap but with major rolling shutter problems a6300
.BMPC 4K

My opinion is between the a7siii or a6300 . the a7siii wich should have a nice cinematic look, is a good investment for the future, it will pay off when I get more money and use more expensive lenses, but for now I would have a low budget rig if I go with the A7siii on the other side the a6300 would allow me to have a way better rig with gimbal and more lenses but thats it, the camera will never get better, but the a7siii is a full frame that will make my investment pay off in the long term. that is my opinion and I would like to know if I am right!? The ursa mini 4K got me really interested because it is kinda like a RED right? modular and stuff, great image for grading but they say that it is horrible for run and gun or low light.

21 Comments

You've probably got at least one year to wait for the Sony A7S iii to come out, so you might want to lower your sights to the A7S ii instead.

The main performance issue with the A7S ii and A6300 is over-heating after the first hour of shooting 4K footage. I know for myself that I would have to own a second body to swap out when the first one overheats, because I would not want to make a client wait for my camera to cool down while on a shoot.

I have also heard that using an external 4K recorder largely fixes this Sony overheating problem, and it provides you with higher bit-rate footage that is easier to edit.

There's also a big 4K rolling-shutter problem with the A6300 which means you might have issues when moving the camera quickly. It's one of the worst cameras for rolling shutter, but only when shooting 4K. ( this camera is really good when 1080 HD )

The other question you need to ask yourself is how important low-light shooting is to you, because there may be better cameras to choose from if you don't need great low-light performance.

May 11, 2016 at 7:29AM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
33376

about the overheating issue there is a mod you can do for 40 dollars that resolves that and even give a ridiculously long life battery of about 6 hours. link bellow: http://www.4kshooters.net/2016/05/04/a-40-diy-external-battery-setup-for...

and also philip bloom stated that the a7siii will be realeased around may of 2016. link bellow:
http://philipbloom.net/blog/newsonycameras/

Salomão Abdala

May 11, 2016 at 8:32AM, Edited May 11, 8:32AM

also low light is important because I am planning to shoot weddings and the light isnt always great.

Salomão Abdala

May 11, 2016 at 8:33AM

A7SIII won't be released anytime soon. It was Philip Bloom's joke for April Fool's Day.

May 11, 2016 at 11:32AM, Edited May 11, 11:32AM

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Stelios Kouk
Filmmaker
3293

Yeah he got me haha:(

Salomão Abdala

May 11, 2016 at 2:59PM

>>>and also philip bloom stated that the a7siii will be released around may of 2016.

Check the date for the Philip Bloom link and you will realize that it was an April Fool's joke. There is NO A7S iii being released this year.

May 11, 2016 at 1:28PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
33376

Shiiiiiiiit hahahah I was so happy! That is ridiculous hahaha I bought it hahaha

Salomão Abdala

May 11, 2016 at 2:59PM

>>>about the overheating issue there is a mod you can do for 40 dollars that resolves that and even give a ridiculously long life battery of about 6 hours.

This battery mod helps to improve the overheating problem, but does NOT stop the camera from overheating when shooting 4K video. So I still think you will need to own a second camera if you want to be 100 percent certain of being able to shoot 4K all day with these Sony cameras.

May 11, 2016 at 1:32PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
33376

What are the other cameras that u said it was better than the sony?

Salomão Abdala

May 11, 2016 at 2:59PM

>>>What are the other cameras that u said it was better than the sony?

Everything is a trade-off, so there is no perfect camera on the market.

If you shoot 1080 HD with Sony cameras the overheating problem disappears, so you could just shoot 1080 HD and keep 4K shooting just for special shots.

Otherwise, right now the only low cost cameras that shoot 4K and don't overheat are the Panasonic cameras, but they are not great for low-light work, so you trade great low-light performance for no overheating.

The Blackmagic Ursa Mini can shoot 4K without overheating, but it's also not great for low-light, is bigger and heavier, and uses expensive memory cards.

The Sony FS5 can shoot 4K without overheating, but it's a lot more expensive. A friend bought one a month ago and I got to play with it last Friday. I shot some quick tests with the FS5 against my GH4 and was surprised at how close the image matches with my GH4. And the FS5 can match the Full Frame look if you add a Metabones Speedbooster to it. Also internal RAW recording is coming to the FS5 in June. So if you could afford it the Sony FS5 looks like a great bet for all around shooting: Good low-light, no 4K overheating, the FF look, internal RAW recording, 240 fps slow-motion, in a compact light body with XLR audio inputs.

May 11, 2016 at 8:35PM, Edited May 11, 8:48PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
33376

After having used it for 2 years and being happy with the results, I sold my GH4 recently and bought the sony A6300. It has 3 stops better low light performance, 1.5 crop factor instead of 2.3 (for 4K), great 4K detail, lot of video settings, including Cine/SLOG2/3, runs for 6 hours on the external battery add-on (Sony-on-the-move), very good auto focus, etc. Now in terms of rolling shutter and 4K video: it depends on your style. Yes, the RS is more than on the GH4, but how often do you film moving trains, cars or do fast horizontal pans? The RS has not yet been a problem for me. Neither has the overheating, but I did not yet do 30-60 minutes of continuous shooting. Good luck with finding a good budget camera.

May 12, 2016 at 11:22AM

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Erwin Hartsuiker
CineVideo-NL videographer
718

The overheating issue can be a problem if you have to shoot most of the day with the same camera.

I've been hired to shoot musical performances that last 3+ hours. I often shoot corporate presentations that require 6-8 hours of continuous shooting. I produce educational and training projects where you are continually shooting for 4-8 hours per day. I could not get any of this work done if my camera overheated in the first 2 hours of the shoot.

I can't imagine shooting a wedding or a live event where your camera overheats after the first hour of shooting, and you end up missing many shots because your camera has stopped working.

Guy McLoughlin

May 12, 2016 at 11:44AM

If your not shooting long events I don't think you'll have any problems with the A7S ii. I'm not sure if I just got a good batch but I've run it forever and never overheated, only just had to restart it after it reached it's record limit. I've run it till the battery drains, replaced it, put in a new one and just run it again, and did that all day. It matches well with FS5 and FS7 which we also use. The A7S ii is so fun to use cause you can use it almost in any lighting situation and get clean images.

May 13, 2016 at 7:20AM

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I suspect the OP thinks that 4k automatically results in better quality. I hope the OP will do a little study about the cons of 4k and its problems prior to purchase. Like every decision there is pro and con. Just to make a more informed decision.

May 13, 2016 at 12:30PM, Edited May 13, 12:30PM

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I suppose I should not ask but what are the cons about 4K?

Cary Knoop

May 13, 2016 at 8:53PM

I already have seen that documentary about why u should not shoot 4K haha, I know the cons, but the pros are to good for me, for example on sports video, I can do zoom ins and outs, I can crop the image or stabilize it perfectly, I can do pans even if the image was standing still, I think 4k is a huge thing for me and my PC can handle the workload just fine

Salomão Abdala

May 17, 2016 at 8:46AM

We just did a project with both the SONY A7sII and the FS5 (with and without an external 4K recorder). The FS5 really was insane. I think it's the best all-around 4K/UHD/HD camera for most purposes under $10K. When it outputs Raw in June, I will put it up against RED (Raven and Scarlet-W) for a lot of things, and certainly for slow-motion work. The RED Scarlet-W (Raven, meh) is a better camera for normal 24fps work, of course- better picture, etc. The SONY A7sII did not impress me too much. The rolling shutter is really bad, and judging exposure and focus if you're shooting s-log3 is a little tough in 'rough and ready' situations. I'd accept it as a b-camera anytime, though. Just my 2 cents. All the cameras these days are pretty decent.

May 13, 2016 at 1:56PM

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Patrick Ortman
I tell stories. Sometimes for money. Sometimes, not.
966

Just FYI, the a7SII has a video display mode so that you'll see "normal" looking footage while shooting s-log, so that's a non-issue. Rolling shutter isn't great, but I don't whip pan too often haha. The FS5 raw is going to be completely impractical if it's anything like the FS7 raw...10MB+ per frame is ridiculous for a 4k image. Just watched a Dave Dougdale comparison between the a7SII and the FS5 and it made me quite satisfied with the a7SII. The low-light for events makes it very ideal for me.

Jeremiah Kuehne

May 13, 2016 at 9:33PM

Whoops, I meant FS700 not FS7. Haven't worked with FS7 raw yet.

Jeremiah Kuehne

May 13, 2016 at 9:35PM

interesting mixture the op has in mind, especially sports with any rs camera ;-(

i'm new to posting here but have followed various topics for quite some time, and now that i'm semi-retired have the odd moment to throw in the sort of thoughts i hated listening to from anyone over the age of 50 when i was 20+ ;-)

if you're intending shooting video of any sort in a run and gun situation then you need a dedicated video camera. whilst dsl's can produce stunning video with shallow dof (which is often quite unnecessary) they are a real pita when it comes to the realities, eg. audio, recording times, stability, nd filters, etc, etc.,

if i was starting over in this day and age i would first make sure i actually had a market that was going to pay my bills, what that market expected (hd or 4k), and budget just not for a camera but for the pc that was needed to edit the footage efficiently - which means an exponential jump in price between hd and 4k editing.

as it is i still shoot with a dedicated camcorder with a full kit of accessories and if required, simply hire what i don't have.

the op didn't say whether the 4k included editing equipment or not, and if he already has it, whether it is 4k ready?

October 3, 2016 at 8:56PM

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leslie wand
producer
1

gh4 or ursa mini 4k and if you really need low light get the a7 otherwise go for one of those

October 6, 2016 at 1:18AM, Edited October 6, 1:18AM

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