December 9, 2014 at 12:00PM

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What's the best new camera addition to a 5D Mark II/7D combo, based on intercut-ability, color/look matching, future investment: GH4? A7s? 5D Mark III?

Hey all,
Looking to upgrade to a new camera.
I'm not one to chase what's hot, new and trendy. In fact, I still use a 5D Mark II/7D combo as my A/B Cam (respectively). So based on my situation, if you were looking to pick up one new camera - primarily for short doc use - and wanted to keep at least the 5D Mark II in the mix as a BCam, what newer camera would you pick up right now? The GH4? A7s? 5D?
My main concerns are: being able to match the new camera's look with the 5D Mark II, work flow (I'm a one-man band), the long-term value of any new camera I invest in, and the degree of 4K future-proofing I can attain with this purchase. Additionally, all my lenses (100mm Macro 2.8 L, 80-200mm 2.8 L, 24-105mm 4 L, Rokinon 35mm 1.4, Tokina 11-16mm 2.8) are Canon mounts.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

14 Comments

There are rumors that a Canon 5D Mk4 camera is going to be announced in Feb 2016, and that it may shoot 4K footage. It won't be cheap, but if you are looking for Canon color and look compatibility then I would stick with Canon.

Four years ago I sold all my Canon gear and switched to the Panasonic GH2 because I liked the GH2 video image way more than what my Canons were producing, and there was no way to properly use Canon EF lenses with the GH2 back then.

Today you could keep your all Canon lenses and use them with an adapter on a Sony or Panasonic body, but matching color is going to require a lot of settings tweaking and post work to get them to match color-wise, but the dynamic range is going to be quite different so images from the Canon may look a bit harsh compared to the Sony or Panasonic cameras.

December 9, 2014 at 1:19PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31236

Mmmm, so basically the 5D Mark II would only be good to cut from say A7s-A-Cam closeups to 5D Mark II wide angle shots?

Ty Harper

December 9, 2014 at 3:26PM

Sorry, I meant to write Feb 2015. In other words the camera will be announced fairly soon.

Guy McLoughlin

December 9, 2014 at 5:30PM

Given Canon's track record, it would be pie in the sky dreaming I think to hope the 5Dmk4 will be revolutionary. And even if it is, it will be waaay overpriced for what it is. And either of a GH4 or A7s will offer better value.

David Peterson

December 25, 2014 at 8:00PM

You answered your own question mate - GH4 for its entry-level 4k.

December 11, 2014 at 3:14AM

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Canon is so far behind now, even the cheap as chips Sony A5100 is better than their latest 5Dmk3.

I'd highly suggest selling your entire kit, as while the 5Dmk2 and 7D are quite dated by filmmaking standards, they still hold some worth to photographers who love them. So you can get quite a decent price for them.

As the images from your Canons would look so poorly when seen directly side by side with the video from a GH4 or A7s, it would be tricky getting them to match (otherwise, you could just squander the A7s/GH4 and smash it down to match the Canons. But that would be a pity to do)

So I'd sell them then get a Sony A7s plus a couple of Sony A5100 cameras for your matching B & C cameras. (I've got both the A7s and A5100 at mine, the A5100 is like a little mini cheapie version of the A7s in many ways)

Check out the A6000 review by EOSHD, the A5100 is basically the same camera but a little bit further improved for filmmaking purposes (gains touch screen and XAVCs):
http://www.eoshd.com/2014/04/surprise-sony-alpha-a6000-video-mode-huge-i...

The other alternative, is go the Panasonic path. Get a Panasonic GH4 plus 2x Panasonic G6, which is also a good choice and the G6 will be better than any of the Canon DSLRs you have now.

The Panasonic G6 is basically the updated version of the very famous Panasonic GH2:
http://www.eoshd.com/2013/07/panasonic-g6-review-the-gh2-redux/
http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/6788/panasonic-g6-topic-gh...

As Guy mentioned above, adapters exist to use all your Canon lenses on Micro Four Thirds or Sony E mount cameras. Though it would be sensible to consider getting only Nikon F mount lenses going forward, for better future proofing.

Also, check out focal reducers. These are the ones I have for my mirrorless cameras:
http://www.personal-view.com/talks/discussion/9086/rj-lens-turbo-m43-ada...

December 25, 2014 at 7:58PM

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David Peterson
Wedding Cinematographer
2297

Appreciate the responses. It def seems like staying Canon is a lost cause. I'll probably be going the A7s route. Happy holidays!

December 26, 2014 at 9:54PM

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Ty Harper
Producer/Documentarian/Broadcaster
123

Either GH4 or an A7s are a fantastic choice, and clear way ahead of the competition :-)

But each (GH4 and A7s) have their own unique set of positives/minuses, so in the end... up to you to decide which of them in ultimately have the preferable balance for you :-)

David Peterson

December 27, 2014 at 11:37AM

Yup, even the cheapest Nikon DSLR (the D3300) can match up with the video quality from the "mighty" Canon 5Dmk3 which goes for many many times its price.

David Peterson

December 27, 2014 at 11:41AM

Yup, even the cheapest Nikon DSLR (the D3300) can match up with the video quality from the "mighty" Canon 5Dmk3 which goes for many many times its price.

David Peterson

December 27, 2014 at 11:41AM

I recommend a Blackmagic cinema camera with EF mount. It's good for short documentary projects, if you record in Prores. You can spend $2000 for body + a few hundreds for a battery solution.

Inter-cut and color matching is easy if you record in Prores.

December 27, 2014 at 3:10PM

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Heri Rakotomalala
DP/Camera, Studio owner, Associate Producer
215

If you want keep going with the same lenses I buy mark i
III

January 18, 2015 at 7:47PM

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Rag├╝el Cremades
Film producer and director
7572

Worth noting: In my experience, the GH4 doesn't cut well with Canon footage at all. (And downscaled 4K will almost never really look like native 1080p, just because it's so much sharper.) I can't speak to the a7s.

February 10, 2015 at 10:55PM

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Alec Kubas-Meyer
Writer/Director/DP
223

Keep the lenses, get an adapter, sell the bodies. Get an A7s as your A cam, and a 5100 as your bcam. They both shoot in XAVC-S and you'll be in great shape. If you have a client that needs (and will pay for) 4k, rent a SHOGUN.

March 11, 2015 at 5:16AM

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Stephen Nolly
Senior Writer: www.magiclanternshooter.com
98

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