Love my 5dii but want better

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by matteusclement, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. matteusclement macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    So I have been running my business and have loved my 5dii and t2i.

    I recently used a Sony FS1000 and LOVED the sharpness, color rendition and even the form factor.

    I want to upgrade to something sharper and with more manual controls (vs menus like BM) like I had in school BUT I have loved the DSLR video solely for the compact nature of the camera.

    $4000 is the top of my budget and I am okay with going used if the camera suits my needs.

    I shoot web commercials, tutorial lessons and political videos.

    What are your thoughts?
  2. diamond3 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2005
    I've used the FS100 and FS700 and really enjoy them. The battery life is great with the larger sony batteries and they are easy to use. The FS700 is even nicer, but is a pricey upgrade. Some usuable features it has over the FS100 are slowmotion, 2x the expanded focus so you can really dial in your focus as well as built in nd filters. I used both of them with some Canon Cinema Prime Lenses all this week and was really impressed with the sharpness and color. I do wish I could control green/magenta colors, but overall the color looked nice.

    Basically I don't have anything negative to say about them yet other than a few of the shortcomings on the FS100 once you've used the fs700. If you already have the lenses, I'd maybe consider saving up for something that might give you more variations in your shot like slow motion.
  3. Policar macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    Get the C100. Can't recommend this camera highly enough. You can stick within the EOS system and have backward compatibility with your 5D on most lenses and the image quality is fantastic, at least as good as the FS100/F3 and significantly better than the FS700, the only strength of which is its slow motion capabilities.

    The popularity of the F3/FS700 has a lot to do with ACs and operators liking the build them out to more resemble a larger camera and their form factor facilitating this... But if you like dSLR form factors the C100 will be perfect. The ergonomics are fantastic for dSLR style shooting, but awkward to build out into a large red or Alexa-style rig. In terms of post the camera is pretty easy to use, too.

    For what you're asking there's nothing close to as good, though the FS100 is an ok choice and the new 4k Black Magic camera looks interesting (but too expensive once built out). I've been shooting a bit with the Alexa recently and the C100 I own is remarkably close, slightly less accurate colors, worse tonality (8 bit vs 10 bit) and Canon log is harder to post with than c log, but side by side under controlled lighting and shot properly I can't tell the difference sometimes.

    The dynamic range is surpassed slightly by the F3 and significantly by the Alexa and F5/F55, but it's as good if not better than the Epic, FS100, etc. (better than FS700) and IMO much better than the 5D even in stills mode and the low light ability and resolution at 1080p are better than anything else, other than the C300, which produces the same image. Can't recommend this camera highly enough for an owner/op, though it rents poorly on its own as it is perceived (correctly) as a B camera due to a lack of timecode sync, BNC, etc. and for that purpose I'd get an F5 or C300 or Epic (or nothing; the market is near-flooded in most cities).
  4. matteusclement, Sep 6, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013

    matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    the c100 looks interesting.

    AM I right that there is not even a 60p setting in the camera?
    I guess I could use a gopro black for any of the slo-mo stuff....

    I am looking to buy in about a year, so maybe there will be some firmware updates and a bit of a price drop but I kind of forgot about this line of video cameras.

    Anyone else use them?
  5. Policar, Sep 6, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2013

    Policar macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    The price just dropped from $6500 to $5500; a year from now the used value should be around $4000 I'd wager.

    There's 60i, but no 60p. I've done slow motion using the 60i setting and twixtor and it looks ok, but it's not as sharp as 60p. It still looks sharper than 24p/30p from a 5D Mark III, though, processed correctly at least. For slow motion the FS700 is much better. For everything other than slow motion the C100 is much better than the FS700, which has poor latitude, low light, and ergonomics.

    They're pretty popular. If you visit there's a big community using them. I can PM you some frame grabs if you'd like, but can't post much publicly. Again, if you like dSLR form factors you're likely to love the camera; if you like Alexa or F3-style form factors I would recommend against it, at least from an ergonomic perspective. The image quality is the same as the C300 so you can look at sample footage from either camera to get an idea of what to expect. Frankly most footage online shot with both cameras looks awful because most shooters broadcasting that they use these lower end cameras are not very good, whereas plenty of national spots people assume are shot on the Alexa or Epic are shot on the C300 (or dSLRs!) but it's not advertised of course.
  6. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    this is SO my next camera. With a Atmos Samurai, this thing will be amazing.

    ND filters
    XLR inputs
    Canon lenses (both efs and EF)

    I love the form factor too.
  7. salacious macrumors 6502a

    May 15, 2011
  8. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    Frankly the FS7000 seams like the better deal. I know more about the C100, C300 and C500 and the image quality is great but it just doesn't seam on par with the price and more importantly the current times. It seams as though Canon is deliberately price gouging by crippling an excellent camera from shooting 1080p60 which is something every semi-pro camera should be doing by now. I'm not a Sony fanboy or a 4K Nazi either (Im actually a Canon 'Fanboy'!) I've just handled footage from some of these cameras and the FS7000 is soooo sharp and the colors really have allot of depth and contrast to them... the image isn't necessarily better than the Canon C100 or C300 its different, the Canon's seam to have much better Dynamic range and grading the C100 footage is a pleasure...If the C100 was cheaper I'd say go for it, but even used for $4000 is pushing it. One thing the Canon's seam to have down with the cinema line is a camera that works perfect for documentary work, its been repeated many times but its set up is great for when you need to get the shot without sitting there adjusting settings (or worse; trying to find them!). I only hope Canon releases a firmware update to allow just seams like the right thing to do. Anyways I hope you find the right camera!
  9. Policar, Sep 8, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013

    Policar macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    Nateo, I agree with the letter of your comment but disagree with your priorities...

    The FS700 is more feature-rich and is designed with a more "cinema camera" type build, similar to ENG or the Red, F3, Alexa, etc. in terms of how it handles.

    The C100 is better for documentary only in terms of how it operates (like a dSLR); its ergonomics are great and much better for dSLR-style shooting, which doesn't favor one genre over the other on the low end.

    That said, most first ACs I've worked with prefer the F3 to the C100. So if you're hiring a big enough camera team that you're shooting traditionally (DP/camera op/first AC/second AC) and are building out the camera with all the traditional accessories, the FS700, like the F3, is built more for that workflow. The C100 can be easily built out to support it, but it's designed to be superb ergonomically for one person, hence its dSLR style, not the modular style most other cinema cameras have. Personally, I love the ergonomics because they combine the easiest-to-use aspects of dSLRs with traditional video cameras, but I know people who dislike them. Those people also generally hate operating dSLRs and prefer larger film camera-style rigs. Not to mention I assume you're not in the market for $10,000 worth of support gear for either camera!

    60p is irrelevant unless you're shooting slow motion. It's not a popular distribution format or one that's gaining traction. That said the slow motion in the FS700 is indeed very fantastic.

    The C100 does have a lot more dynamic range, better sharpness, better low light by FAR, better color rendering, etc. and it interfaces natively with EF-mount lenses. The NDs are super useful (three in two-stop increments and extremely neutral), the focus peaking modes, waveform modes, clean locking HDMI out, excellent pre-amps, durable magnesium body, etc. are what you pay for--not fluff specs. On paper it's not as hot as the latest Sonys (to the extent that the company for which I'm working is holding off on a C300 now that the F5 so easily trumps it on features), but the image quality is by far the best for the price and the ergonomics are the best for dSLR shooters. The specs might not look the best, but the pictures do (if exposed correctly, and Canon log takes a minute to figure out to be fair--most people dramatically overexpose). The FS700 produces a much harsher image, to the extent that it seems irrelevant to me if it shoots more frames per second or you can buy yourself into a convoluted 4k workflow that will add cost to any given project, anyway.

    Editing footage from the Epic, MX, Alexa, C100, FS700, and all manner of dSLRs side-by-side (and based on what I remember from working with F3 footage), I'd personally put the Alexa first by a significant margin (two stops more highlight detail, the only highlights that clip cleanly into white, nicest noise texture, best color rendering), SLOG F3 and C100 with external recorders next followed closely by the Epic, then the MX, FS700 (harsh image, more highlight clipping, etc.), then all the dSLRs (not even in the same league, although 5D raw is cool if basically unusable professionally for workflow reasons).

    Any way it's a step up. Try both the FS700 and C100; neither is bad, but I think price/performance should be judged based on return on investment and what the product allows you to make, not what specs it offers. I have never understood why 1080/60p is considered a hot spec for dSRLs, for instance.
  10. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    Policar you have some good points.

    I did not mention the fact that I am a one man crew, and this does make the c100 have an edge in that regard.

    Like I said before, if the slow mo is a big deal, the gopro3 with protune is pretty damn nice. There's your $500 add on.

    The c100's firmware update for better ISO is a big plus too.
  11. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    Good point. The GoPro3 is a great little beast. In the 1080p and 720p modes you can use narrow instead of medium or wide and the look is essentially a 50mm lens on a 35mm camera with no distortion since it takes from the center of the lens and sensor...although in narrow mode you need to be mindful as the noise becomes particularly nasty since your almost down to a 1:1 pixel ratio. Check out this: very nice read up on the GoPro3. ProTune is great though, its what should be in every DSLR and its definitely above CineStyle or Marvels Advanced presets for DSLR's. I deal with ALLOT of GoPro3's and aside from the absolute crap battery life (understandable) everyone is very happy with them.

    1080p60 isn't a HUGE deal for me but it says something to me when they don't include it on a camera. I agree that 1080p60 or even just 60p in general isn't a real common delivery format, nor would I want it to be. I just find that sometimes I like to include higher frame rate footage for certain scenes either for neccessity (shaky hands, really fast action in frame) or for a specific look (deliberate digital camera look, smoother look, whatever.). And I agree with the 4K workflow being a bit much....I thought it would be amazing but in reality its just bigger images a second, more data to process, more hard drive space required, etc. Comparing a 1080p project and a 4K project both 15 minutes long the 4K project makes me scramble for more hard drive space even with just regular ProRes 422.

    I personally think the Arri Alexa is the best digital camera out there right now....likely for the same reasons as you...I haven't really compared all of the cameras footage side by side but as I've said I've had samples from them all and the Alexa reminds me of 35mm but modern, idk its hard to explain it just seams to replicate the way 35mm holds highlight detail and the noise doesn't pop out in a way that screams DSLR or crappy CCD sensors. Upscaled to 4K if needed it looks fantastic. When I saw Skyfall in 4K (and I made sure it was 4K) it was beautiful....The sharpness was something on a different level of other films. Roger Deakin's magic surely went into it as well but still.
  12. Policar, Sep 10, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2013

    Policar macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    The Alexa is very awesome, agreed. But it's not cheap to buy (or rent, even) and is really designed to be operated by a full crew. But it's nice to work with on set and in post.
  13. berndkiltz macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2010
    Pfalz, Germany
    What about PAnasonic GH3? It is really Great, have 2 of them. Best Picture Quality for Money by FAR!!!
  14. Policar, Sep 11, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013

    Policar macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    The GH3 is very nice and the image is certainly better than any dSLR (excepting the Mark III with the clunky raw hack, but that's unusable in a professional setting as an A-cam for long-form content). In good light the image is really close enough to a cinema camera, though it has about 9-10 stops of DR (Canon dSLRs have 9-10; C100 has 12; Epic has 12 with the most recent firmware apparently, but when I shot with one it was closer to 10; F3 has 12+; Alexa has 14+), and isn't quite as good in low light as a cinema camera, and it aliases a bit. But the 60p mode is great and the image is leagues beyond a 7D/5D II in terms of sharpness.

    I find the ergonomics pretty awful, though, if you already have an investment in EOS glass they're only worse. With image quality as your only concern, it's fine and definitely the best for the money. For a working owner/op concerned with efficiency and turning in and editing long videos, I can't see it being as good an option.

    I know there's the speed booster, but it's still a bit clunky if you don't buy M43 glass (of which there's a lot of good stuff), and the 2X crop factor is an issue plus FF lenses are huge on the small camera body, making ergonomics even worse. The C100 also has great pre-amps (dramatically better than an h4n, but you'd hope so!), built in NDs, great monitoring options, super long lasting battery. For an owner/op making money off of it, I think it's a better option, and most owner/ops could pay off the investment in a month (it took me a lot longer, though, to be perfectly honest). Based on image quality alone, the difference is not as significant in good light, but everything looks good in good light.

    For new clients the C300/F3 are nice because they are big and you won't walk in with a dSLR like every other aspiring DP and get the comment "oh, I own one of those." But then you're breaking the 10K barrier. Of course the C100 does rent terribly; most high end corporate places prefer the AF100 and EX3 as they are professional A cameras with jam sync, HDSDI, etc. and a more impressive form factor for clients. (Image quality is, of course, worse on them than on the GH3 even, but who notices?)
  15. AKcameradude, Sep 20, 2013
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013

    AKcameradude macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2007
    I'd pretty much disagree with the characterization of the FS700 having
    'poor latitude and low light'. The ergonomics.....they aren't for everyone.
    They are improved significantly if you shorten the loupe (a couple videos
    on vimeo show how to do this.) But they are different for sure and I can
    certainly see why some wouldn't like them. However, the DR on the FS700
    is really good. How good? Adam Wilt has a write up, complete with camera
    charts...he found 14 stops of DR....which seems a bit better than what you
    credit it with.

    I've shot with the C300 and FS700. The C300 has a better internal codec,
    but the C100 has the same 4:2:0 8 bit codec as the FS700. Does the C100
    have 14 stops of DR? Definitely doesn't have any offspeed framerates
    like the FS700. They both have ND's built in, C100 has Canon log, FS700
    has S log. Both are really good in low light, as long as you upgrade the
    firmware on them both, the C100 has a edge here, but the FS700 is awfully
    good in low light with the newest (3.01) firmware. And then you have the
    ability to get 4K Raw or compressed plus constant 2k Raw at 240 fps
    out of the FS700, as well as a zoom rocker to control zoom lenses for
    run and gun. Use Canon glass with the Metabones adapter, and even
    get IS control. Plus you can get a speedbooster and get faster Fstops and
    wider field of view. Or use Nikon lenses with a Novoflex adapter.
    Or use old Canon FD lenses with a $15 ebay adapter, the FS700 actually
    is MORE flexible as far as lenses go than the C100.

    So, significantly better in every way but high frame rates?
    That may be your opinion, but I certainly would not agree.
    I had to make the decision on which one to buy, and it
    really wasn't even a hard decision for me.
  16. Policar macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    The fs700 has great specs but I've yet to see any footage from it that actually looks good. The ergonomics are also poor. If you want slow motion and good spec, the fs700 is nice; if you want a good image I'd go Canon. Granted neither is an Alexa or even an F5 and both are way better than dSLRs.

    I suppose it entirely boils down to user preference. Sony makes great products and the fs700 us a big step up from dSLRs for sure. All that really matters us that you like what you own and if your priorities are slow motion and 4k and fancy specs over image quality and ergonomics the fs700 is mighty impressive. However even the lowly fs100 has a nicer sensor and picture.
  17. AKcameradude macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2007
    I just don't see it. I guess we all have our own opinions, but I won't
    try to state mine as facts as you seem to be doing for yours. I've
    shot a bunch with the C300. I wasn't all that impressed by
    the was nice but I just don't see this 'great mythical unicorn'
    of an image. Kinda looks like......the FS700 image. Which would
    make sense as they are both using a 4K Super 35 sensor. When
    you have approximately the same number of pixels on the same size sensor..
    the image looks......similar. I guess there are actual tests, which can tell
    us actual facts like the FS700 has 14 stops of DR....and then there are
    'asthetics' which are things like:

    'Panasonic cameras have 'mojo' that no one else has, and hence the GH2
    looks like film and everything else looks like crap'.

    Asthetics are hard to define and can differ from person to person.
    I've seen people who claim the GH2 looks better than an Alexa. I don't
    agree, but it is their honest opinion. So the best advice to the OP,
    would be to try out a bunch of these cameras and see what YOU like.
    If I would have taken someone off the internet's advice, I would have
    been ticked off, because I would have bought a Canon, whose image I
    personally don't like quite as much as the Sony's.
  18. Policar macrumors 6502a

    Nov 21, 2004
    Aesthetics are ultimately what matters, though, much more than specs. Red claims 13.5 stops of DR. I'm intercutting with Alexa footage (a claimed 14 stops) and it's not even close... maybe charts show it, but the muddy noise texture and clippy highlights don't. The Alexa shows at least two stops better useable DR and color rendering is dramatically better, even if tests and specs show otherwise. Film stocks all look very different despite being the "same" in very broad respects. Fuji and Kodak look nothing alike. Likewise Red and Alexa look nothing alike.

    That said, the FS700, C300, Red, etc. are all way better than a dSLR and great options and all worth comparing side-by-side in a controlled environment. Online video will only tell you what you already know: all of them can produce great footage, and all can produce bad footage. That said, each camera does have its own look. If you can't tell the difference buy based on spec; that's why the Red is so popular. Watching a trailer I can immediately tell if the film is shot on Red, Alexa, C300, or film... at least if it's shot competently.
  19. AKcameradude macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2007
    Not saying you are wrong it's just that specs are easily measured.
    Aesthetics are often quite honestly just someone's opinion.
    I seriously know people who like the look of the GH2 better than
    any other camera. And others that think the 5D MkII is better than
    anything. Are they wrong? Nope, to them it looks the best, but
    really all it is, is an opinion, and one I and many others do not share.
    So if you are going to judge based on aesthetics, you need to try them
    all out and see what YOU think! Try different PP's, shoot each camera
    on a different labeled card, then bring the cards to your NLE and see what
    you can do with them. Also be aware, it's not just each camera that has it's
    own 'look'. They do all have their own look 'out of the box' but this can
    be changed by tweaking the PPs. And the another big thing is the lens.
    My FS700 with a Canon FD lens has a totally different look
    than my FS700 with a Canon L series lens. Or a Nikon. Or a
    Zeiss. You get the idea. There are way more variables than to say
    each camera has its own 'look'. Each camera has almost infinitely
    variable 'looks' depending on the picture profile settings used, and
    the lenses used.

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