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Old February 22nd, 2015, 08:25 AM   #1
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Sell my 2nd DSLR for a camcorder?

Hi all,
I'm looking for any input you all might have on getting a new camera.

Currently I shoot with a 5d Mark III and a GH3. I initially bought my gear intending to do only scripted, rehearsed productions, and while I do those, I've found myself taking more event type work than I'd originally anticipated.

When I have to go handheld at an event, I've been relying on the GH3 instead of the 5D due to the greater depth of field and autofocus features, but I feel like it still falls short. I'm thinking to have a more balanced kit, that perhaps I should sell my GH3 and replace it with a camcorder.

My thought is this would give me the best of both worlds: the 5D for the 'cinematic' stuff and the camcorder for the run 'n gun, event type stuff.

Should I replace my GH3 with a camcorder? Or perhaps keep both the 5D and GH3 and supplement them both with a camcorder? Any thoughts on this or advice on a specific camera would be much appreciated
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 08:53 AM   #2
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Re: Sell my 2nd DSLR for a camcorder?

Yes, amongst one person crews, it's not uncommon to have a proper 3-ring video camera and a DSLR for beauty shots. The trick is finding a pair that match up well in terms of color, noise, moire and grain. Typically, the control over the image color is limited in a DSLR so you end up bending the video camera to the DSLR which may or may not be desirable. Don't sloff it off thinking you can do everything with color correction in post. YMMV. You will, enjoy the motorized lens at your fingertips and silent aperture ring with steps between whole f-stops.

With the help of Olof Eckberg and others here on DVInfo, I was successful in getting a 5DMII and a GH3 to match my Sony EX1R (you aren't confined to Canon to match your 5DMIII). But my experience was with all previous generation stuff and I've since gotten rid of the DSLRs. However, if you're not the type that has to have the latest gear, good deals can be had on used EX1R cameras these days and you may be able to match it to your 5DMIII. Dunno. Some research is in order to find out what proper video cameras can be made to match the 5DMIII. Hope this helps.
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 10:03 AM   #3
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Re: Sell my 2nd DSLR for a camcorder?

Good point. I hadn't really considered how well the footage would match up, I just assumed I could make it work. I've had pretty good luck matching the GH3 and the 5D in post.

So far, the two cameras that have really jumped out at me are:

Sony AX100 - I like the low light performance w/ the 1" sensor, but I'm not thrilled about the lack of XLR input

Canon XA20 - Also seems nice, though a smaller sensor, no 4k, and more expensive than the Sony
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 12:12 PM   #4
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Re: Sell my 2nd DSLR for a camcorder?

There's something to be said for staying a little bit behind the curve in upgrading from HD. On the one hand it seems pretty obvious that 4K, unlike 3D, is going to stay. There are too many reports of people who have been happy with the move up to 4K; however, if one looks at the holistic picture, it's going to be expensive.

It isn't just the cost of the cam but also the additional cost for computer processing, additional storage, and larger, or maybe more memory cards. Maybe even application upgrades. So looking at the total system, staying up with the state-of-the-art starts to get expensive. If one has no problems deducting some of the cost off on taxes than this will help but whether it's enough to make it worth while is a question.

Another option is to rationalise getting the latest gear "because it won't get outdated so fast" but on the other hand the cam is one of the most expensive and the fastest depreciating items in the kit. I was just talking to a guy trying to sell his XF300 that he bought in December - has 0 hrs - paid $4,000 and is asking $3,400. Unfortunately, eBay shows some very low-time ones as low as $2,700. Who is going to buy it with the new 4K models coming out? It'd almost have to be a news team guy who needs to replace his old one so I recommended he put it on eBay to capture a wider audience 'cuz locally he's going to have a hard time.

NAB is next month and there'll be new cams released, JVC has announced three and surely the other big names will have some new ones. Wait and see what happens.

One strategy that I'm considering is to, like Les suggested, picking up a used HD cam and waiting it out for a bit. I'm not quite ready to upgrade my computer system because I still have a lot of footage to edit and I'm okay with storage for the time being so additional storage can be added on a pay-as-you-go basis, but 4K is going to eat any new storage up rapidly.

For the past decade it seems that older HD cams have held their value relatively okay as technology migrated from tape to hard drive and then to flash, but my guess is that the move from HD to 4K will cause the HD cams to loose value a bit faster, especially with more of the TV viewing public now having the large screens.

As for what to do with one's old DSLR, I tend to keep my stuff because I know how it works. It's nice to have a backup. (rationalizing???). Having a B-cam, for me, is a must-have but selecting the cams so the bokeh reasonably matches is my worst nightmare. It'd be nice to have a good business where one can just go out and by three cams that are all the same model and not worry about it.

Last edited by John Nantz; February 22nd, 2015 at 12:13 PM. Reason: electing > selecting (spelling)
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 12:44 PM   #5
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Re: Sell my 2nd DSLR for a camcorder?

Luke has not expressed any need for moving up to 4K, he just wants to have a videocamera that is easier to work with then his dslr's, also if you have a 4K camera you can just shoot 1080p with it and shoot 4K if you find a need for that, you at least have a choice. You don't need more storage space or more cards, the ax100 shoots at the same bitrate in 4K as the gh3 does in 1080p. For me my ax100 has not made any difference or did not cost me anything extra in upgrades, beside the obvious purchase cost of the camera itself.

Depending on the budget the sony pmw-x70 could also be considered which will be getting 4K soon.
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 01:53 PM   #6
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Re: Sell my 2nd DSLR for a camcorder?

a sony pxw-x70 definitely for events (any). zoom and steady AF and pictures that will compete against any DSRL except the bokeh. Then plug a 10bucks karaoke balanced dynamic microphone, even corded, and enjoy a superior audio ready to go into the timeline. The handling is pretty much the same as a DSLR (poor, you need a support on the sony too, just like the 5D or GH3, because of this idiotic mania to build handheld camcorders smaller and smaller to be held in mid air instead of prosumer and decent shoulder ones). But for everything else than stability it will make shooting eventS MUCH easier than a DSLR).

scripted shoots, with a crowd and assistants (and a focus puller) can be done with a GH4 but events are camcorders' territory.
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 03:37 PM   #7
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Re: Sell my 2nd DSLR for a camcorder?

Thanks, guys. Yeah, 4K isn't an absolute necessity, but I certainly wouldn't mind going down that road now if I can (I guess technically, I can already with Magic Lantern on my 5D). Sounds like, whatever the model is, the idea to have one DSLR and one camcorder (instead of 2 DSLRs) isn't a bad one...
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 04:53 PM   #8
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Re: Sell my 2nd DSLR for a camcorder?

Consumer camcorders typically don't give you much control over the image either. I was thinking you wanted to make the move to prosumer or higher. Personally I'd pick 2-3 rings and XLR inputs over 4k but that's your call.
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Old February 22nd, 2015, 08:33 PM   #9
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Re: Sell my 2nd DSLR for a camcorder?

Having "digested" the upgrade to 4K, yes, it's an investment, but not an overly daunting one if done thoughtfully. With the higher bitrate XAVCS codec, you're going to hit the need for some upgrades, whether for better HD or for 4K. The price of progress. I did an overdue computer upgrade and use a cheap Seiki 39" TV for a monitor (a 4K monitor looked like the deal breaker until I found this "answer").

John's arguments are going both ways... a 4K camera will likely hold value, an HD one may lose rapidly, so buy an HD one... that lost me.

I won't buy a camera without 4k, and have mostly sold off my HD stuff. The AX100 upgrade paid for itself as it replaced multiple cameras for any event shoots (I have RX10's for secondary angles if really needed).

For me, the operation of the AX100 is simple and very effective, I can access anything i need easily and quickly. It's a "not too big big cam". YMMV. If the upcoming AX33 image quality is good (I have my reservations on that, but too early to tell), and you don't need more manual control, it's going to be decently priced, and should be good handheld.

That said, a Canon might match easier, but that's another can of worms.
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Old February 23rd, 2015, 11:46 AM   #10
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Re: Sell my 2nd DSLR for a camcorder?

Well, I definitely intended to get something at at least a prosumer level, but I've heard good things about the ax100 and I've had the impression that any shortcomings it has in terms of missing XLR, rings, etc. is more than made up for by the general ease of use and low-light performance.

Dave - I get the impression that this has been your experience? Also. you mention that you keep some AX33's for back up - do you use those often? I'm wondering if I'd be okay replacing the GH3 with a camcorder or if I should be holding on to it as well for a 'backup' 3rd cam.
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Old February 24th, 2015, 09:04 PM   #11
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Re: Sell my 2nd DSLR for a camcorder?

Actually I use two RX10's for backup/extra angles. Supposedly the same sensor and processor as the AX100, capable of XAVCS, just not 4k (so far). In a pinch I have an RX100M3 as well, but the short zoom limits its usefulness, it's a handy "pocket cam".

The AX33 is not out yet, it's a small chip/4K Handycam.

I'd say it would be worth testing an AX100, overall it just feels like a well balanced easy to use design. I'm sure there are "bigger, better" cameras, but bang for the buck on the AX100 and RX10 are pretty good, and for me they feel "right".

There will no doubt be more 4K cameras in due time, my thinking with the AX100 was it would also be a good FHD camera, with some ability to "play with" the 4K, and I've been happy with the results.
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Old February 24th, 2015, 09:54 PM   #12
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Re: Sell my 2nd DSLR for a camcorder?

On a professional level, people who don't know anything about what you do will not have a great deal of respect for you as you mount an ax100 on your big tripod. So long as these are not the same people paying the check it won't make any difference.

As for a blend of adding a video camera to your 5diii, I have found adding a video cam to be a whole 'nother animal, and well worth the investment. I am still shooting with professional grade older equipment because 4K is here to stay and prices will drop like a rock soon enough. I take the dropping prices from another angle, which is, even prosumer cams will have more professional features as this technology continues to be the norm.
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Old February 25th, 2015, 02:53 PM   #13
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Re: Sell my 2nd DSLR for a camcorder?

The AX100 has a bright shiny chrome "4K" logo on it, seems to be impressive enough to most gearheads I've run into...

The old "size matters" thing is pretty much dead with all the DSLRV "professionals" out there... it's output/content that matters. There may be some who are impressed by a "big camera", but most are more impressed by what the output looks like. For event work liek the OP is asking about, smaller discrete cameras have their own advantages.
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Old February 25th, 2015, 06:43 PM   #14
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Re: Sell my 2nd DSLR for a camcorder?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
The old "size matters" thing is pretty much dead with all the DSLRV "professionals" out there.
Until you break out an impressively sized rig and people comment on it as a positive.
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Old February 26th, 2015, 01:54 AM   #15
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Re: Sell my 2nd DSLR for a camcorder?

I agree, even if you don't know the first thing about video, just whip out one of these babies and no one will ever question your work.

http://www.4kshooters.net/wp-content...1-1024x731.jpg
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