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Old February 17th, 2015, 08:08 AM   #1
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Which cam for less than 5000 bucks

Hello,
I used to do shorts and I've made one longer piece with the Canon XH-A1, which I still love, by the way.

I'm now shopping for a camera, any form, to acquire footage more in tune with 2015. I have a budget of $ 5000, for both the body and the lenses.

Which way would you go?
GH4
A7S
Black Magic
Several GoPro Cams?

Thanks so much for your input
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Old February 17th, 2015, 09:13 AM   #2
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Re: Which cam for less than 5000 bucks

Larry, have you considered the Canon XF200?

It's today's XH A1 and well within your budget ($3500).

Canon U.S.A. : Professional Imaging Products : XF200

Canon XF200 HD Camcorder at B&H Photo Video

Nothing wrong with any of your other choices, though.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 09:30 AM   #3
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Re: Which cam for less than 5000 bucks

Thanks, Chris, I didn't know this cam and I'm going to check it now!
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Old February 17th, 2015, 09:32 AM   #4
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Re: Which cam for less than 5000 bucks

Chris, why do you think it's better than the GH4?
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Old February 17th, 2015, 09:56 AM   #5
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Re: Which cam for less than 5000 bucks

I'm not saying the XF200 is better than the GH4, nor am I saying that the GH4 is better than the XF200 -- I'm not qualified to make either claim. What I'm saying is: since you still love the XH A1, then you might want to look at the XF200 because it is essentially the XH A1 of today. The XF200 is the modernized, up-to-date version of the old XH A1.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 10:06 AM   #6
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Re: Which cam for less than 5000 bucks

I would recommend looking at cameras that are more traditional video cameras. The cameras you list can make good images but the form factor and audio options will be much different in comparison to what you are used to with the A1. The learning curve will be a lot shorter to go with a XF200 or other similar camera.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 10:10 AM   #7
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Re: Which cam for less than 5000 bucks

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Originally Posted by Larry Secrest View Post
Chris, why do you think it's better than the GH4?
Have you shot with a DSLR before? The biggest difference between a GH4 and a XF200 is in functionality, the xf200 will allow you to do controlled zooms, it has a parfocal lens, it has a inbuild stabiliser, nd filters, separate iris, focus and zoom rings, xlr in just to name a few.

A GH4 can have other advantages if that is what you are looking for like a shallower dof, low light performance - though the GH4 is not a low light king, 4K internal recording, focal length choices from fisheye to tele, small size and weight and the ability to take pictures to name another few.

If you love your xh-a1 the xf200 will not disappoint you if you are used to shooting with a real videocamera, a DSLR is not the easiest tool to work with.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 11:28 AM   #8
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Re: Which cam for less than 5000 bucks

Thanks a lot to all of you.
I really see your points.

Now, as a non professional, just an amateur, if I only care about image quality for fiction work, what do you say?
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Old February 17th, 2015, 11:37 AM   #9
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Re: Which cam for less than 5000 bucks

Its pretty dangerous to ask about "amateur" things in a group of professionals. ;)

I would still go with a normal video camera and not one of the SLR/Mirrorless cameras. As an amateur having a camera that can help you with focus and audio is going to give you much better videos. Many of the larger imager cameras are challenging to keep focused on your subject and nothing is worse than the "hunting for focus" look that appears in many videos these days. I personally HATE that.

Stick with a real video camera is what I would recommend. Strictly my opinion.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 12:01 PM   #10
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Re: Which cam for less than 5000 bucks

Or... with a $5k budget, you could afford the XF200 *and*( have $1500 left over for a DSLR. That might not be enough for a GH4 with lens, but it would be enough for, say, a Canon EOS 70D with a lens.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 12:37 PM   #11
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Re: Which cam for less than 5000 bucks

I understand what you're all saying.
I'm surprised nobody wants to talk me into buying a Black Magic Production cam? It's 3000 bucks and I could spend 2000 on lenses.
I do have a tascam and decent mics for sound, so I always synch sound in Vegas anyway.
I understand the advantages of a traditional cam functioning very much like the Canon I have. But I do have the ability, I hope, to learn something else.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 01:03 PM   #12
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Re: Which cam for less than 5000 bucks

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Originally Posted by Chris Medico View Post
Stick with a real video camera is what I would recommend. Strictly my opinion.
For amateurs or pros, this is golden advice and more people should abide by it - doubly true for amateurs. Nothing I own makes as beautiful images as my 5DMkII, but I'd rather use my FS-100 any day of the week.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 02:05 PM   #13
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Re: Which cam for less than 5000 bucks

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Originally Posted by Larry Secrest View Post
I understand what you're all saying.
I'm surprised nobody wants to talk me into buying a Black Magic Production cam? It's 3000 bucks and I could spend 2000 on lenses.
I do have a tascam and decent mics for sound, so I always synch sound in Vegas anyway.
I understand the advantages of a traditional cam functioning very much like the Canon I have. But I do have the ability, I hope, to learn something else.
If you want to learn something different I would recommend getting the Canon 70D and save the rest of the money till you know whether you really like that kind of camera.

Alternatively you can spend a few hundred on renting some gear and playing around with it.

I'm not a fan of the black magic cameras. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone wanting something other than a curiosity. In my opinion its going to be a while before they fully understand how to make a reliable and functional video camera. Much like what RED has learned over the last 10 years of trying. Building a good camera is much harder than slapping an image sensor in a box.

I have little patience for things that don't just work when I'm trying to get work done.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 06:53 PM   #14
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Re: Which cam for less than 5000 bucks

Chris, I'm bumping into more and more people who think like you about the BMC series.
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Old February 18th, 2015, 05:39 AM   #15
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Re: Which cam for less than 5000 bucks

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Originally Posted by Larry Secrest View Post
I'm surprised nobody wants to talk me into buying a Black Magic Production cam? It's 3000 bucks and I could spend 2000 on lenses.
$2000 for lenses is actually not a lot if you plan to cover the the same focal length range as your XH-A1 or an XF200.

$2000 gets you a nice pair of zoom lenses (eg Canon 70-200 f/2.8 & 24-70 f/2.8) but with those 2 you'll have no IS and also lose 2/3 of the zoom range compared to what you are used to.

You'd need to be prepared to make some very big changes to your style if you want to move to the Black Magic Production Cam on your budget.
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