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Old December 25th, 2012, 04:24 PM   #1
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New camera advice

Hi all... I'm after some advice on a second camera!

My current kit includes a Canon XA10, HF-G10 and a 550D. However I'm looking for a more professional solution with interchangeable lenses and a larger sensor. Most of my work is event videography (sports events, weddings, etc). However I also shoot the occasional short film.

Currently I'm looking at the Sony NEX-EA50. Any thoughts? I'm also after a cheap B camera that will match it in terms of image.

Does anyone have any other suggestions? My budget is approx $5k USD, I could possibly stretch to 6k if needed.

Any advice/tips/info much appreciated! Thanks :)
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Old December 26th, 2012, 05:39 PM   #2
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Re: New camera advice

Hi Jody

I have just ordered my first EA-50 and then once I wean myself off my current Panasonics I will get a second one... I never see the point of people always going for a "cheaper B Cam" ..I have always duplicated my A and B Cams ..you have matching cameras, IQ will be the same so surely that's much more sensible way of doing things instead of fighting to match lower image quality and different colour matching. Surely if you are doing a two camera shoot it makes really good sense to use the same cameras and not shoot B-Cam footage with a "cheapie"

Chris
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Old December 27th, 2012, 12:38 AM   #3
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Re: New camera advice

For a versatile, affordable S35mm camera at the moment, I think it's pretty hard to look past the Sony FS100 and the Canon C100 - they both offer a hell of a lot of image for the money.

Used, you can pick up an FS100 for a little over $3k at the moment.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 02:37 AM   #4
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Re: New camera advice

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Originally Posted by Mark Kenfield View Post
For a versatile, affordable S35mm camera at the moment, I think it's pretty hard to look past the Sony FS100 and the Canon C100 - they both offer a hell of a lot of image for the money.

Used, you can pick up an FS100 for a little over $3k at the moment.

Thanks for the tips guys.

I was thinking of getting an FS100 but I shoot a lot of sports events that require me to run around with the camera. The FS100 doesn't look like it would be too easy to hold.. Unless there are some support rigs I haven't seen?

The EA50 is quite light, and the shoulder extension would be handy.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 05:56 AM   #5
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Re: New camera advice

Jody,

For sports and events, is shallow depth of field and large sensors the best thing?

It might be worth looking at a more traditional 1/3" chip camcorder with a deeper depth of field and good zoom lenses - I would consider the Panasonic AC130/160 or JVC HM600/650. At the same level of cameras, the Sony NX5 is getting a bit long in the tooth now, and the Canon XF300 costs quite a bit more.

A good, long lens like these (approx 29mm wide up to 600+mm zoomed in) is great for event work, removing the need to swap lenses round and miss things, or shell out $1000s on high quality telephoto lenses. You still have the 550d for beauty shots with shallow DOF for weddings etc.

I know the Panasonic has some alleged problems with auto-focus, and I don't know if the JVC suffers from that yet (the JVC does have face tracking, apparently). But those sort of cams work best in manual anyway. Add in NDs that go up to 1/64, and you have very versitile cameras for all light. The JVC is supposed to be real good in lower light too - not DSLR-good, but good for a traditional camera.

The JVC shoots up to 1080 50i, the Panasonic shoots up to 1080 50p.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 08:43 AM   #6
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Re: New camera advice

Hi Mike

The AF on the 130/160 is definately not good for sports so unless one is prepared to go manual (a tough call for sports) The AF on the 160 is painfully slow and it loses the plot sometimes especially with subject coming towards the camera. The AF on the JVC is supposedly pretty much OK but sadly has no 60P at all.

Guys are getting good results however on the AC90..it only has 1/4.7 chips but they are backlit and the gain is squeaky clean and it's an under $2K camera!!

I only do weddings and real estate so the EA-50 will work fine for me but fast action sports might be, as you say quite tough on the AF..however if you have good light then you can keep the iris around F6.8 and still get a reasonable DOF that's controllable. Then again if you are filming indoor sports the shallow DOF will be an issue and also fast pans need to be avoided to avoid skew which will be worse with a big sensor.

Chris
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Old December 27th, 2012, 08:56 AM   #7
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Re: New camera advice

I read that the rolling shutter on the nex ea50 is quite bad so it's not that good for fast pans which can be an issue when covering sports.
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Old December 27th, 2012, 10:46 AM   #8
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Re: New camera advice

Chris,

I'm not sure I would trust any camera to do good auto focus during sports, especially faster-moving ball games or the like. It should be possible to get the camera set to a sweet spot where there's not too much manual focusing to do.

I'm not convinced by the Sony NEX-EA50, without any NDs built in and a slow-ish stock lens... and the skew from the CMOS sensor.

I was on the cusp of ordering an AC90, but heck, I am fed up screwing in ND filters then taking them off again if a cloud goes in front of the sun, only to have to screw them on again a minute later. Variable NDs tend not to start at "0", so they don't help. Adjusting shutter speed to cope with brighter conditions will lead to choppy/strobe-effect footage. I would gladly pay a few hundred extra for an AC90 with proper switchable NDs, up to 1/64.

I've seen clips from the AC90 in low light where any bright lights (spotlights, car headlights etc.) turn into a serious starburst effect, which isn't good. All lower-end cameras will have this to some degree, but the ones from the AC90 really look like something from a $200 cheap camera. Which is worrying to me, when I shoot trains and even the steamers have headlights, you see a massive bright "X" coming towards you!

It does depend what you're shooting... there is no perfect camera!
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Old December 27th, 2012, 03:48 PM   #9
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Re: New camera advice

Thanks guys.

You've given me a lot to think about. I do think a camera like the EA50 would be perfect for a lot of the work I do. Although all the talk about excessive rolling shutter is worrying.

I do have the XA10 as a backup if I need to capture fast-paced sports events so that's a bonus.

I have looked at cameras with smaller sensors like the XF100 but I'd really like more control over the DoF for when I shoot weddings, and I'd prefer not to use my 550D.

Might keep researching.. It's a tough call.

Thanks again
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Old December 27th, 2012, 05:32 PM   #10
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Re: New camera advice

Hi Mike

Yep, I certainly agree about the focus side although so far the AC-90 looks quite good. Funny, the main reason I ditched the AC-130 apart from the AF was the fact that it DID have switchable ND filters...it had precious little iris range in auto and no shutter change so in that case I had the issue with having to rush over and change ND switches half way thru a wedding cos the cloud pattern had changed (and the manual switch also causes a nice flash on the footage too!!!) I run around receptions with ants in my pants and one thing I do need is auto level control of the XLR audio and the AC-90 seems to be the only camera that doesn't have it!!

Jody? My first EA-50 is already on it's way to me so I will post my likes/dislikes on the EA-50 forum once I have taken it to a wedding but sadly I can't help you with sports. What sort of sport action are you looking at doing mainly and will this be just occasionally ?

As Mike says there is no perfect camera so the first thing you need to realise is that you WILL need to compromise so look at them all and see which fits your needs the best. It's often like buying a car ..it's more a personal choice and to see what features you have to have and which you can live without or work around.

Chris
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Old December 27th, 2012, 10:59 PM   #11
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Re: New camera advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post

Jody? My first EA-50 is already on it's way to me so I will post my likes/dislikes on the EA-50 forum once I have taken it to a wedding but sadly I can't help you with sports. What sort of sport action are you looking at doing mainly and will this be just occasionally ?

As Mike says there is no perfect camera so the first thing you need to realise is that you WILL need to compromise so look at them all and see which fits your needs the best. It's often like buying a car ..it's more a personal choice and to see what features you have to have and which you can live without or work around.

Chris
Yeah sports events are occasional. I normally shoot marathons and running races.

I'm tempted to get something like the Canon XF100 which would go nicely with my XA10, then get something like the Sony VG900 for creative work that requires more control over the DoF. But I'm waiting to read a bit more about the VG900. Any thoughts on the XF100?
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Old December 28th, 2012, 08:38 AM   #12
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Re: New camera advice

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Originally Posted by Jody Arnott View Post
Does anyone have any other suggestions? My budget is approx $5k USD, I could possibly stretch to 6k if needed.

Any advice/tips/info much appreciated! Thanks :)
If you can stretch it to 6.5K I recommend the C100. Otherwise, the FS100 over the EA50. Both these are light cameras like DSLRs, and have excellent battery life with light batteries - you won't have problems rigging either for any kind of work.

For the fastest run and gun, go for C100. It will match your 550D. I use a C300 mixed with Canon DSLRs. If your workflow isn't hectic enough to warrant the C100, I must confess my favorite camera sub-$10k is the FS100.

Hope this helps.
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Old December 30th, 2012, 04:52 AM   #13
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Re: New camera advice

Hmm I'm still struggling a bit with this decision.

I'd get myself a PMW-100 or a Canon XF300 in a second because as I said, I mostly shoot events. But there are occasions where having a shallow DoF would be really good.

I'm wondering if I should just increase my budget a bit more and get a decent ENG/event camera and something with a larger sensor for creative work. I guess no camera can do both.

What's everyones thoughts on the Canon XF100 and 300 and the Sony PMW-100 and 200?
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Old December 30th, 2012, 08:37 AM   #14
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Re: New camera advice

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Originally Posted by Jody Arnott View Post
Hmm I'm still struggling a bit with this decision.

I'd get myself a PMW-100 or a Canon XF300 in a second because as I said, I mostly shoot events. But there are occasions where having a shallow DoF would be really good.

I'm wondering if I should just increase my budget a bit more and get a decent ENG/event camera and something with a larger sensor for creative work. I guess no camera can do both.

What's everyones thoughts on the Canon XF100 and 300 and the Sony PMW-100 and 200?
For the price of a C300 you could get a C100 and a PMW-200. That sounds like a great plan to me. If you shoot sports mostly in good lighting, the PMW 160 has a better zoom range than the 200. Also look at a JVC HM600, which has a 23x zoom and excellent low light capability.

You can always get an ENG type camera and get a cheaper DSLR for tight DoF shots.

BTW, I use my FS100 with the stock 18-200 lens for shooting lacrosse games. I keep it on auto focus, and the lens does a very good job of keeping in focus throughout the game. My client loves the video, even going as far as asking what camera I used. I assume the EA50 will have the same ability.
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Old January 2nd, 2013, 09:51 PM   #15
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Re: New camera advice

I've kind of ditched the idea of getting a large sensor camera and using it for everything. I'm now looking at a decent ENG camera, then buying something like a VG900 later to use for short films.

So, I've narrowed it down to:

Canon XF300.
Apparently has fantastic image quality. Only downside is no 1080p60, and I'm betting Canon are due to release a new model soon which puts me off. The XF100 is tempting too but worried that the single 1/3 sensor won't cut it.

Sony PMW-160/200.
Again no 1080p60, but switchable PAL/NTSC is a bonus. Expensive sxs media puts me off though. But i've heard the image stabilisation is great. Not sure about the image quality.

JVC HM600.
Apparently very good in low light, but no 4:2:2 50mbit recording. Unsure how image quality, auto focus and stabilisation stacks up.

Panasonic AC160.
Looks close to perfect, 1080p60 is a huge plus... except for reports of terrible auto focus which I have found extremely handy on my XA10 when shooting fast-paced events. And no 4:2:2 50mbit again.

Anyone have any thoughts?
Thanks again
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