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Old December 13th, 2012, 10:06 AM   #1
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Dream Camera

If you had the money, and were ready to buy.

Based upon what's available today, which camera would you buy for Nature/Wildlife Cinematography?

Which format would you select?

What would be your dream kit?
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Old December 14th, 2012, 02:58 AM   #2
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Re: Dream Camera

David, what would be your objective? Broadcast, dvd, internet?
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Old December 14th, 2012, 04:01 AM   #3
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Re: Dream Camera

My dream camera is the new F55 from Sony ;)
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Old December 14th, 2012, 07:52 AM   #4
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Re: Dream Camera

objective? Broadcast, dvd, internet?

all three......But Broadcast Quality
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Old December 14th, 2012, 01:30 PM   #5
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Re: Dream Camera

If 1080p30 is good enough for you I believe the EX3 with a set of dslr lenses will be a good camera for years to come. You can add a nanoflash to make sure it will be accepted by European broadcasters.

If you want higher framerates a FS700 is a good alternative, once again with a set of dslr lenses. You need longer lenses however. Or get closer to your subject, which is even better.

And the F55 indeed looks very, very promising. That might become my A-camera. If I need long reach or extreme close up I will use my EX3.

To get an idea of what you can shoot with the EX3/nano and FS700 have a look at my thread about the Kestrel project in this forum. We did a 'stress test' this week to assess the technical quality for an high end broadcast production and it held up very well.
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Old December 14th, 2012, 08:54 PM   #6
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Re: Dream Camera

What about the new Black Magic Cinema?
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Old December 15th, 2012, 05:46 AM   #7
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Re: Dream Camera

I have my dream camera, it is the Canon XF300
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Old December 15th, 2012, 06:03 AM   #8
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Re: Dream Camera

The problem with a camera as FS55 is indeed the big sensor when using teleobjectives . The 1/2" and 2/3" sensor camera are easier and cheaper to get tele lenses for. The EX3 with a converter for Nikon or canon lenses work great and would be a very good camera for tele jobs as Cees van Kempen also say. My dream is to go 1920x1080 50P. I make nature documentaries for broadcast and that format will be good for converting to the different formats they ask for. Not many "Broadcast Cameras" can deliver this format yet. I am playing with a panasonic GH-3 and I must say that it make the best video quality I have ever seen from a DSLR or DSLR like camera. Maybe better than the footage from my other cameraes - the Panasonic HPX2100, Sony PMW350 and EX3. But I am still testing. By the way I am using a cheap Black magic Hyperdeck shuttle 2 recording in 10 bit form my Sony cameraes and it improves the footage a lot.
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Old December 15th, 2012, 09:28 AM   #9
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Re: Dream Camera

Not all wildlife films are about long lens filming... I think that only focusing on +1000mm in reach is too narrow. As always, that is no perfect camera for all type wildlife productions. It's depends on so many factors on what camera would be best for you. But it come down to two thing (I think), your type of style/speciality and how deep your pocket is.

For me I like the large sensor filming, that gives me that extra set of option when I want the viewer to look at what I want. My type of filming is not about long reach so 600-800mm is OK for me. Is all about finding the tools that works for you.

The camera that I would love to spend money on would be C300 and renting C500 for bigger jobs. I need to think of the option for bringing it UW too.
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Old December 16th, 2012, 08:26 PM   #10
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Re: Dream Camera

By definition, if you are shooting wildlife, you will eventually need a long reach. To my knowledge, the Sony EX3 is the only camera in production at this time that combines a small chip for a big crop factor, and the ability to mount long lenses, and do it at a reasonable price.

But if you are talking about dreams, why doesn't some manufacturer allow coning down on the portion of the chip receiving signal, so you could use 1/2 an inch worth of a 35 mm size chip when you want that
wildlife crop factor, and the whole chip for scenery or people-sized critters. It can't be that hard.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 06:26 PM   #11
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Re: Dream Camera

Steve has a good point about this. Canon tried a 3x crop factor on the T3i DSLR. I wish the camera used a better codec, but all in all the principle works reasonably well. I had hoped they would improve on it and include this in more advanced DSLRS as well as cameras such as the C300, but at this point they have not followed up on it and didn't include it on the 5D MK III. I really like the MK III for video work if one can get close enough, but it is really lacking for long range work. They also didn't put it in the T3i's successor the T4i so it worries me that they may never include this in a camera again.

Unless I am missing something this principle should work with a camera such as the C300 as it is listed at over 8MP , so they should be able to set it up to read approximately a 2 MP portion of the sensor and give good long range performance.

I love the big sensor look, but II do a lot of long range wildlife photography and it is disturbing that the options we had in the past are vanishing. I am currently shooting a Panasonic GH2 quite a bit, which has the 2x extended telephoto mode and like it reasonably well. Picture quality is not as good as my old XL-H1 and nanoFlash, but it is so much more portable and easier to focus than the H1 with the EF adapter. I am using several Canon FD lenses, and a Novoflex adapter. on the GH2 I have a Panasonic GH3 on pre-order, which I hope will perform even better than the GH2. I am also still using the T3i some. I have found that magic lantern makes it much better--at least for me, but it is not for the casual user. I think the GH2 is somewhat sharper and easier to focus, but I like the Canon's colors better. Neither looks as good to me as the video from the MK III, but again the lack of real long range ability is the deal breaker with it.
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Old December 17th, 2012, 08:41 PM   #12
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Re: Dream Camera

Article on Crop Factor you may find of interest: Crop Factor Nonsense. |
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Old December 18th, 2012, 05:07 AM   #13
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Re: Dream Camera

When you have been in your hide for a week to get a shot of an animal - youre more interested in getting a focused shot than a shot of only a part of the eye or tale in focus. You have plenty of defocus to play with when you are on a tele or macro job. Crop factors make sense to me - but not that I understand to calculate them. I have bought a GH3 and I would like to know the difference in field of view for the Samyang MFT 7,5mm lens and a Samyang 8mm f/3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fisheye for Nikon with a MFT adabter - because it would be nice to get a universal lens for my equipment.
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Old December 19th, 2012, 04:06 AM   #14
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Re: Dream Camera

......Then I would say that 4k is the "right way" to go. You keep the 4k (downscaled to 2k) and when you want a crop you simply crop the 4k to 2k. I think that this is a much better way than what Canon and Panasonic did in 600D/GH1,2(3, I don’t know).

So the “wish camera” would be C500 for me then…
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Old December 19th, 2012, 07:17 AM   #15
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Re: Dream Camera

Then if that is true, then you would want to put all your money in a 4k camera instead of glass?

Any thoughts on the Black Magic Cinema Camera?
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