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Sony NEX-EA50 (all variants)
Including NEX-EA50UH / EA50EH / EA50H / EA50UK / EA50EK / EA50K


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Old June 12th, 2015, 12:45 AM   #1
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Time to Replace Cameras -where to now?

Hi Guys

My EA-50's are now over 2 years old and I'm in our quiet season so it's time to decide what to do as I usually change cameras after 18 -24 months and this is the best time to do it

I am thinking seriously of downsizing a bit as my old body struggles with an EA-50 with a big lens on it.

Noa sold his EA-50 and went to the Panasonic G6 and GH4 which seems a good idea weight and size wise. I'm also looking at the GH series smaller brother the FZ1000 which is a bride camera like the RX10 with a fixed 16X zoom and the images I have seen blow me away considering it costs a quarter of the EA-50 price ... Shoots all the AVCHD formats including 50/60P and also does 4K ... an extra delight is the 1080 P mode that shoots at 100fps so dropped onto a 25P timeline you get genuine slomo too which suits my stedicam photoshoots nicely. The lens is only F2.8 -F4 over the zoom but low light shot sample show clean images at ISO 6400 ... On the EA-50 I struggle to get a noise free image at 3200ISO!!

The Panny's do have a record limit of 30mins but that is no issue as I start stop on the EA-50's anyway for clip size convenience. The audio preamps seem nice but no XLR inputs ..I have built my own XLR to stereo convertor boxes before so that's not an issue

Any bright suggestions? What direction would you go if you wanted to downside to something lighter and smaller??

Chris
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Old June 12th, 2015, 02:20 AM   #2
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Re: Time to Replace Cameras -where to now?

I already work small Chris and I love the speed of movement, setup, breakdown, no lense changes, weight etc. etc. You know which way I am going - FZ1000 and you could buy two for the price of one of your current cameras. You could even do what I often do, which is mount two on the same tripod. That means you can start them at staggered times and not worry about missing a shot with the time limitation.

I've never regretted downsizing and cameras like the FZ1000 and probably the new Sonys are light years ahead of what the big cameras could do only a short time ago.

Roger
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Old June 12th, 2015, 04:49 AM   #3
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Re: Time to Replace Cameras -where to now?

Thanks Roger

With our current prices an EA-50 is $3750 and an FZ 1000 is under $1K so almost 4 for the price of one.
I'm so used to resetting the EA-50 on long ceremonies (quite minimal here actually) that a single cam on the tripod would suffice and another handheld.

What do you use for audio in Churches?? I really need two audio channels but that's easy to build!!

Just deciding whether to offer the EA-50 initially as a body only or stick a Nikon lens on it ..probably the latter would have more "added value"

Let me know when your new camera arrives ..your thoughts would be interesting especially considering you have been using the 200 already at weddings

Chris
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Old June 12th, 2015, 06:29 AM   #4
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Re: Time to Replace Cameras -where to now?

Replacing my EA50?? Well I dont think that i would be necessary in the next time, because my clients dont need 4k anyway.
So the ea50 is still a great machine to work with.
The new FS7 would be an option... but thats another league.
On the other hand i wouldnt "downgrade" to photcameras for filming anymore. I hate filming with those formfactors...
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Old June 12th, 2015, 06:56 AM   #5
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Re: Time to Replace Cameras -where to now?

Hi Michael

I have to agree with you about form factor BUT the EA-50 has become just too heavy for me and the Panny bridge cameras actually have a better IQ and far less weight ... When I was still using small camcorders I had a huge issue with the tiny form factor and my solution was just two pieces of aluminium flat bar and a pipe at each end with a bicycle grip over each pipe .. I might just go the same route??

This was my original rig built when I still was using Panasonic camcorders and it solves the form factor problem
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Old June 12th, 2015, 07:37 AM   #6
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Re: Time to Replace Cameras -where to now?

Sorry Chris, but that looks like a solution for at home...
I wouldnt appear at a clients location with such a "construction"
Also I would say that a client expect his cameraman to have a camera that is at least bigger than his own.

That was the main reason to quickly shift from my XA10 to the EA50 as main cam.
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Old June 12th, 2015, 07:51 AM   #7
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Re: Time to Replace Cameras -where to now?

Hey Michael

I do weddings and brides couldn't care less what you use ..in fact I would say 90% of wedding guys are shooting on DSLR now Look on the wedding forum and cameras like the GH4 is the norm as well as a few handicams!!... if you are doing a $20,000 commercial shoot you do need to satisfy the client with a BIG camera but not so with weddings. Just for interest people at weddings are FAR more fascinated with my little SJ4000 action cam mounted on a light stand than the big Sony cameras!! The SJ4000 is the same size as a Gopro and cost me just over $100!! and often outshines the EA-50 in image quality!!

However, yes, I do understand that you need gear that appears adequate in a commercial job and if you pitched up with a couple of GoPros the client would probably question your pricing!!!

With weddings the more invisible we are the better also bear in mind I made that rig as a DIY project and you can see how long ago that was just by the MiniDV tape camcorder!!

Chris
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Old June 12th, 2015, 08:49 AM   #8
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Re: Time to Replace Cameras -where to now?

miniDV...Brrrrr dont miss them....
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Old June 12th, 2015, 09:23 AM   #9
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Re: Time to Replace Cameras -where to now?

Chris here is the rig I made for my A7s using quality parts from Amazon and cost me about 100 - in use it's comparable to the Zacuto target shooter which retails at over US$500 - mine looks just as pro

Target Shooter for Canon C100-C300-C500

I use this rig at weddings for about 6 months now (before that a 5D3) and only for bridal prep and dark receptions as there simply is nothing better in low light. For the rest of the wedding day though it's still my trusty EA50 as, even though I'm pretty used to my DSLR rig, I still cannot get the shot quickly enough in a fast paced environment, the camcorder form factor still has the edge.

Also a DSLR rig of this type gets a little heavy as the weight is at the front but Chris you could mount it on your rod and let it take the strain.

You could also forgo the rig completely and have it on a monopod all day, I know a lot of people do this.

I am however looking for that elusive '1 camera that ticks all the boxes' but for now the EA50 will have to do - it's still a quality camera capable of really nice looking footage with decent glass.

Pete
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Old June 12th, 2015, 11:33 AM   #10
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Re: Time to Replace Cameras -where to now?

I"m using my rx10 a lot handheld during a weddingday, it's stabilization is sufficient enough for that purpose, I just don't like and use any rigs, that's why I have my rx10 attached to a belt on my side always ready to be used at any time. Of all camera's I have used this is the only only one I'd consider to have the best of both worlds (dslr-video), if only it could shoot more then 30 minutes continuously.
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Old June 12th, 2015, 12:45 PM   #11
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Re: Time to Replace Cameras -where to now?

The RX10 (and the just announced RX10mII) are worth a look - put a flash bracket on the left side of the RX, and you're almost at your "rig" (two handed grip configuration, one on flash bracket, one on camera grip), I use that configuration and/or a Sirui Monopod with bigger feet than the Bogen design.

I've tried Panasonic over the years, and as good as the specs are, and the build quality is typically quite good, somehow the image quality has always somehow seemed short of what I get with Sony cams... maybe it's my setup is optimized/tuned, or...? I've been tempted by the LX100 many times (samples I've seen have been QUITE good), but now the RX100mIV is announced, I'll just be patient. The things that have caught my eye in Panny footage are artifacts/blocking, and skintones (many seem blue-grey to me) specifically, I guess I prefer how Sony "flavors" the image... not that Panny is bad by ANY stretch, it's just little quibbles that for me are noticeable.


You may have to test a few cameras to see if you get what you're after - the FZ1000 is certainly tempting for the price, but I get very good results that are close to 4K with the latest RX10 firmware at high bitrates - used "mark I" RX10's are in the same price range, so that would be a good "head to head" test for you.

Depending on the budget, the Sony AX100 is another cam worth a look, used prices are making me think about picking up another. That would give you one "video camera" format, albeit a small one, but it packs a good punch all things considered. I'm happy with an AX100, 2 RX10's and 2 RX100's - all the same basic sensor/processor package, and very compact for multicam. The RX's will eventually get upgraded to the newly announced 4K models, and somehow I suspect we may see an AX100MII with the new sensor - it's almost a no-brainer for Sony to extend the market life of these cameras with "upgraded" guts and firmware. The basic designs are near enough to perfect to make them good for a while!


You're not there to impress with the size of your camera, but rather with the quality of the results, so I'd suggest that some testing in image quality (and ease/comfort of use) is where you should focus. There are some incredibly nice "small cam" options at reasonable prices - keep in mind that a 4K camera can potentially cover for several HD cameras with some pan/crop/zoom - I figure one AX100 replaced 3 HD cameras... While you "may" have people looking for "4K" deliverables, for the most part you'll probably be HD for a while longer at least. Frame a bit wide, crop as needed in post!

Keep in mind any computer upgrades and probably all newer bigger faster memory cards in your budget as well. You'll want to update the whole chain when you make the switch to 4K.
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Old June 12th, 2015, 01:19 PM   #12
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Re: Time to Replace Cameras -where to now?

Quote:
but now the RX100mIV is announced
From what I have read so far you can only shoot 5 minutes in 4k with it, probably a overheating issue which makes it unusable for ceremonies, but nonetheless nice to have in your pocket as backup.
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Old June 12th, 2015, 06:38 PM   #13
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Re: Time to Replace Cameras -where to now?

Hi Chris,

Missed your earlier post about the audio as I had a Friday wedding on.

I use a stereo external mic on the FZ200 and on the other Panasonic video cams. I also have a Sony Audio recorder in the Groom's inside pocket with a low mounted stereo lav on his jacket to pick up the vows from B&G I also usually have the Zoom H1 close to the priest to pick up his natural voice. I quite like to get natural church echo on the cams to give a flavour of what it actually sounded like, while mixing with the close Mics for more clarity. I do sometimes detach one of the camera Mics and use an extension lead to get it close to the main sound if the venue is suitable.

I used the FZ200 a lot today, and as with Noa with the RX10, find the onboard stabilisation good enough to do much more hand held work than I have previously with other cameras. I always use a lightweight tripod with a two camera plate so that I can set a narrow and wide angle, and also quickly detach a camera for handheld if I want to snatch quick candid shots in tight spaces. The lightweight tripod can also be used as a monopod with the legs kicked together and even works as a rudimentary steady cam in conjunction with the camera stabilisation.

I would never use a frame with a camera, as it seems to defeat the whole point of going small and being unobtrusive and can never be as steady as a lightweight tripod in my opinion.

Roger
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Old June 12th, 2015, 08:32 PM   #14
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Re: Time to Replace Cameras -where to now?

Thanks Guys

Firstly on the "professional look" side of things, I really cannot see any point in spending $26,000 on two Sony FS7's as suggested to make me maybe $40K tops a year ... I can see the point about using $30,000 worth of cameras if they make you back $300,000!! I'm a firm believer in the 10% of turnover capital expenditure limit. If you need to haul bricks you don't use a Mercedes 450SEL .

I have (or was) a Panny users for close to 25 years until they brought out the AC series cameras which were downright awful ( I believe they were made in China and lost the Leica lenses to) I switched to Sony and yes, the EA-50's are great cameras but I still think that Panny cameras give you a better image straight off the card so often very little tweaking is needed. I shot all my weddings a few years back with HMC series cameras with the default pricture profile and they always looked awesome!

The frame above was only an example so one wouldn't need anything as wide but as Dave says a flash bracket style ... I don't think a black anodised aluminium frame that extends just wide enough to allow grips on one or both sides would look tacky nor would it add to the bulk ... I don't think a shoulder mount rig is required as once you add a shoulder pad you are obliged to add an EVF and then it becomes bulky .. a small black frame also gives the facility to provide mounting points for other stuff ...in a Church I still need 2 receivers on the camera that is designated my "A" cam and a little frame would be a useful addition ..plus as already mentioned the FZ1000 will need some light as the reception gets darker so a mini frame that I could clip my light and battery onto when the lights go down would be good .... Of course something like a GH4 with a super fast lens (like Noa uses) or an A7S like Peter has negates the need for a light!

Oh and Roger? On your current FZ200 can you use autofocus to get the couple sharp and then lock it? I usually with AF lenses do a frame adjust, focus and let the camera stay there with continuous AF off so there is no hunting?? I would suspect that one could do this when using the FZ as a static cam by not using continuous focus and just using a half shutter press to get focus and it should stay where it is. Is that correct??

All the help and comments are greatly appreciated!!

Please throw in your 2 cents worth if needed I'm open to suggestions!

Chris

Last edited by Chris Harding; June 12th, 2015 at 10:11 PM.
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Old June 13th, 2015, 01:06 AM   #15
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Re: Time to Replace Cameras -where to now?

Hi Chris,

As you know, I've fiddled a bit with camera stabilisation and my conclusions are 1. A flash bracket fitted to protrude on the left side of a DSLR does give somewhere to attach other things, but tends to get in the way of reaching for the lens rings and makes it more difficult to hold one handed when doing so 2. A cheap shoulder rig like the Cowboy rig can be set up so you can use the LCD or EVF, it works very well and it is nice to be able to "wear" the camera on your shoulder (no hands!) between shots 3. Modern camera image stabilisation gives as stable an image as any stabiliser I've tried wth the exception of a tripod.

Have a look at The Bracket 1 web site for ideas.

I just bought the Manfrotto MVM500A monopod, it looks promising.

Dave
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