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Old March 31st, 2015, 03:48 PM   #1
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Canon 5D Mark III VS. Sony PXW X70

At first glance, these are two completely different cameras and there is nothing to think about; you want one kind of form factor or you want the other; On second glance:

I shoot a ton of video. Part of that is shooting great stills. The Mark III would serve both for video and stills;
Right now, the price is low enough to place it as a contender for me, whereas, just a few months ago, this camera was way outside of my budget. I am using much less capable equipment.

Most of my work is run and gun.

The X70 is the preferred form factor; It is supposed to take relatively great shots. However, I have a hunch, the X-70 will be yesterday's camera with much better models in the same price range coming soon. I have a hunch it is only a matter of months before something better comes along.

The Mark III is going to be a classic camera that survives time even though they will surely have better cams out there. It will be good enough to keep up with the kind of work I do.

I can't have them both, though I need them both, which one is best?
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Old March 31st, 2015, 04:25 PM   #2
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Re: Canon 5D Mark III VS. Sony PXW X70

There will always be something better around the corner, how many times do I read here; wait until nab, wait until photokina whenever someone asks which camera to get, the 5DIII will be equally quickly old news as the x70 will be in a few years time. The only thing you can consider classic are lenses, dslr bodies and videocamera's is something everyone replaces every few years, just get a camera you need now for whatever you have to shoot and take something that is available now instead of waiting for the next big thing to come along.
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Old March 31st, 2015, 04:43 PM   #3
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Re: Canon 5D Mark III VS. Sony PXW X70

You're right. They're very different beasts.

I've done run n gun solo at tradeshows using a monopod and a 5D2. The big challenges are the need to bolt on accessories, audio, and pulling focus. The 5D3 will be easier for focus as you can run higher ISOs and smaller apertures, but still.

The nice thing is that you can get more cinematic, shallow DOF interview shots.The bad news is that the 5D3 is fairly soft. It eliminates aliasing, but the filtering could be sharper.

Another option would be to get a crop-frame camera, a Mosaic Engineering anti aliasing filter, and an EF17-55/2.8 IS lens. The bummer is that you need to remove/replace the filter when going between photos and video, but you get sharper images, and the 17-55 is a great run n gun lens, offering the right range, f/2.8 speed, and IS.

Make sure to get a camera with an audio input. Two ways to go are the Rode VideoMic Pro or a juicedLink preamp and whatever mic you'd like. Both solutions boost the signal and let you record into the camera. The Rode is for a camera-mounted solution. The juicedLink would let you use a boom or lav.

One thing about DLSR shooting is that it's not ergonomic. All the weight is out in front of you. Get a good loupe for your "viewfinder" and consider a monopod. A monopod moves quickly. can anchor into your belt for a human-tripod approach, and can stand on the ground for a quick interview. Hold it in the middle as a faux Steadicam. You might consider a Steadicam Solo, which allows you to do quick flying shots for b-roll and doubles as a monopod for getting the weight off of your body.

A true camcorder is MUCH easier for grabbing and shooting, but it won't isolate your subject from the background, and it won't take good stills. Given the right accessories and practice, DSLR run n gun can be a reality. Expect to buzz focus here and there and allow more setup time to screw the pieces together.
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Old March 31st, 2015, 05:17 PM   #4
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Re: Canon 5D Mark III VS. Sony PXW X70

Thanks, Noa and John. This is great info for me to consider. I really need a better still cam to take stills, which I use to patch problem sections and for that long knock out shot that I can zoom in or pan over. I really need a new video cam because I am using tape based cams that are likely coming to the end of their practical lives, considering the extensive download time.

I am also having pixel dropouts on the video cam. I posted in the Adobe forum but will post here thinking some of you might be able to spot my problem. If i could solve the dropout problem I might be able to continue with my PD 170 cam. I was kind of playing around with this video and had a fairly inexperienced camera man doing shots. For the little time with a camera, he did pretty good, but still too much jumping and a few focus and color problems. The pixel dropouts are a deal killer and must be solved or new equipment acquired.

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Old March 31st, 2015, 05:45 PM   #5
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Re: Canon 5D Mark III VS. Sony PXW X70

Oy, I only wish I could un-see the poster frame for that video! Maybe even your camera thinks so, and thus the drop outs?
:-)

Seriously, though, anything recording to card will be so much nicer to work with than tape.
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Old March 31st, 2015, 09:18 PM   #6
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Re: Canon 5D Mark III VS. Sony PXW X70

Thanks for the feedback, I should have changed the poster frame! I couldn't believe I caught this guy mooning me or the snake later on! Totally not planned for!

I remember when video to cards was so new, it was like, heck, there has to be a problem with it, the pros aren't using it. Those were my first days in video with an amateur cam. Soon enough, the pros started using card based cams.

The workflow on tape is killer. I like pro equipment, generally more durable and far better video. Prices bring entry level, better equipment, into the range of small radio and video producers... Our workflow is changing so it is time to think about upgrading.
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Old April 1st, 2015, 11:07 AM   #7
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Re: Canon 5D Mark III VS. Sony PXW X70

Canon recently dropped prices on the C100 and C300. For run n gun on a budget the C100 with dual pixel autofocus might be a very nice choice.

The specs include:

Photo Recording Mode
Available; Images captured to SD Card; Images can be captured during Record, Pause and Playback modes.

That said, I don't know if the photos are recorded at HD or at full resolution:

Effective Pixels
3840 x 2160 pixels; Approx. 8.29 megapixels

Total Pixels
4206 x 2340 pixels; Approx. 9.86 megapixels


Regarding your budget, don't forget to consider the add-ons for a DSLR. You might want a loupe, audio preamp, follow focus on rails... With the C100, you get an EVF, preamps, and dual-pixel AF (on some models) included. That's not insignificant and the add-ons can affect your setup times and robustness as well.
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Old April 1st, 2015, 11:46 AM   #8
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Re: Canon 5D Mark III VS. Sony PXW X70

Looking at the manual, the C100 (Mark I and II) doesn't capture high-res photos. It snaps HD JPEGs.

A budget option is to get an EOS M and adapter. (I have one with a Fotodiox adapter.) Compared to even the 5D2, the images are a bit noisier and the AF is slower. Then again, I often prefer the M due to its smaller size. If pro photos are a core part of your business, you'd want a better photo cam. If you just need some decent promotional photos of your video shoots, this could be a nice, compact solution. As both the C100 and M are APS-C, your lenses would get dual use. Of course, you could step up to the 60D or higher DSLR, given enough budget.
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Old April 4th, 2015, 06:15 AM   #9
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Re: Canon 5D Mark III VS. Sony PXW X70

The Samsung NX1 produces fantastic video! Im using it alongside my 5D3, and it's too easy to grab stills from video from within the camera and save them as jpegs. its also way to easy to switch to photo mode and bang off 15fps for images when necessary. My C100 produced much better frame grabs than my 5D3 ever could, gorgeous skin tones.
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Old April 5th, 2015, 09:46 AM   #10
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Re: Canon 5D Mark III VS. Sony PXW X70

I think Jon is right. Effectively, Canon has ended the DSLR era with a $3,000 price on the C100 imho. Unless you really need stills in your video camera, there is no reason to mess with DSLRs for video anymore. The new JVC and hopefully Panasonic model will drive the nails into the coffin.

A two camera approach would give you better quality video. If your work is shooting in a moving environment, the X70 would be the better choice. You need two (or three) hands to shoot with these still camera oriented cameras and keep them steady.
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Old April 5th, 2015, 12:17 PM   #11
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Re: Canon 5D Mark III VS. Sony PXW X70

The form factor is a significant concern. After adding all of the things you need to make one of these cams perform the same as a video cam, you have a ton of money invested. Great points, lots to think about. I guess we all would love to get that lovely 35mm look in a video cam, but it is really hard to at the price points I am looking at.
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Old April 5th, 2015, 12:24 PM   #12
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Re: Canon 5D Mark III VS. Sony PXW X70

You are on the right track with the X70 as it has a 1" sensor. A nice middle ground between 1/3" and full frame.
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Old April 5th, 2015, 05:04 PM   #13
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Re: Canon 5D Mark III VS. Sony PXW X70

I want to take a sec to thank all of you for your input. It is great to have a place where we can learn from others who have been there, done that, and might do it the same or might make changes in the future.
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