June 7, 2016 at 10:25PM, Edited June 7, 10:39PM
Canon C100 vs. Sony a7sii
I'm in the market for a camera and after a couple of weeks of too much pixel peeping and review reading, am hoping for some more tailored advice on the Canon C-100 vs. the Sony a7sii for my particular needs.
The camera will be used for my own independent filmmaking practice and not in a commercial context. My style is experimental documentary- somewhere between staged and carefully arranged compositions and run and gun. I shoot mostly outdoors with a lot of skies in my shots, so dynamic range is important and banding is a concern. I will be shooting a combination of tripod and steadicam material. There will be some headlight lit and (high luma) flashlight lit scenes in an upcoming piece. My work will be projected in theaters, but independent ones where 4k projection is not in the immediate future.
I am considering a C-100 Mark I and dealing with the less than stellar EVF and LCD, as I'm not sure the Mark II is worth it for a non-4k, 8 bit camera at this point if I plan to shoot with the Ninja in any case? (Don't need 60p). I have limited hands-on experience with the Sony A7sii, but of course 4k and its low light abilities are attractive. The menu I found to be annoying, but with customization, not unusable. The lack of functional autofocus is a downside.
The C-100 obviously has the advantage of being a dedicated video camera. The sharpness is fantastic coming from a 5DII and the colors are superior to Sony to my tastes. However, I don't love the look of the AVC codec on the C-100s. I'm not sure if it was just the sharpness/noise settings in tests I've seen however? The artifacts don't look like "grain" to me. The AVC didn't pop out as terrible in either HD or 4K modes on the Sony A7sii, but I'm not sure if it's because the A7Sii is a bit sharper overall and so compensates for the codec or again if it had to do with improper noise/sharpness settings on the c100?
The A7sii will handle my night scenes with no problems, though the C -100 may be perfectly capable. I am concerned with overheating on the A7sii and am still unclear how many are still experiencing problems with this and how much has been resolved through firmware updates. I shoot longer takes (average of 3 mins).
So, I'm wondering:
Does the A7sii handle the codec better or is this just a sharpness/noise setting that needs to be adjusted on the C-100 (or improperly exposed material in tests I've seen)? Is the A7sii going to overheat? Is either better for steadicam use? For an individual lit by headlights, would the c100 get me a good image? Have folks had success in reducing banding by using cine profiles rather than log in either or encountered ongoing problems in either? If I am shooting in a Cine profile to avoid color banding from S-Log, will I run into problems trying to get back skin tones with the AVC codec? For shooting in daylight, how cumbersome is using a variable ND with the Sony? (Maybe less of a concern if I'm not shooting in S-Log 2/3).
My main concern is whether the A7sii is a capable A-cam for my purposes or something I should rent for specific night scenes. And, whether the Canon C100 is worth it at this point (if perhaps I get the Mark I rather than the II?) I'm waiting for a 4k 10bit low light capable camera under $5,000 to come out, but unfortunately, I need a camera NOW.
There's a chance I may come into some funding and be able to upgrade to something like the FS7 or a used Canon C300, so something that I might be able to easily sell in a few months is also at the back of my mind.
Thanks for any opinions! I'd love to have more hands on time with both, but unfortunately I need something ASAP.