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Old December 16th, 2014, 01:46 PM   #1
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When to start upgrading cameras?

I am currently shooting with 3 different cameras ( Pana GH3, GH2, and Sony NX70u) I have the 35-100mm, 12-35mm, 45mm,and the 20mm lens for the GH3 and GH2.
My goal, by the start of 2016 is to have 3 new cameras all the same. What would go with? Budget between 10,000 and 12,000.

Would you sell all your cameras and go out and buy 3 new ones or would you replace them over the course of the year?

Thanks
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Old December 16th, 2014, 02:03 PM   #2
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Re: When to start upgrading cameras?

Tyson,

Are you happy with the DSLR style of shooting?

Do you need any "video cameras" for your work?

Do you have the $10,000 - $12,000 to spend now or when you are ready to buy?

What brand of camera do you prefer?

How are your mics?

What kind of work do you do or want to do?
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Old December 16th, 2014, 02:38 PM   #3
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Re: When to start upgrading cameras?

I've been in this perpetual boat for a while, using 5 completely different cameras from different makers.

Ideally, I think you'd do it all at once. There is this constant upgrade cycle going on, and trying to do it kind of one-at-a-time has proven to be challenging. I'm probably going to keep on keepin' on through 2015 and see where 4K prices are in Dec 2015. Then decide.

I'd say that waiting until this time of year, is probably one of the best things to do, because as the latest tech comes out, you can snag last years tech at better prices.
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Old December 16th, 2014, 03:19 PM   #4
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Re: When to start upgrading cameras?

If I were going to purchase 3 new cameras I would wait until after NAB 2015 in April. It is likely that some very nice cameras will be announced at that time, so this way you will have a better idea of what is available. If you're able to wait until NAB occurs then that would give you the most options. If I was to buy three new cameras this month, I would get three Sony A7S, or three Panasonic GH4. If you go with the A7S cameras then that will probably bring you pretty close to your $10K budget with batteries and other accessories. If you go with GH4s then you'll be well below your budget and could invest in some lenses, a stabilizer, a slider, or just save the money. There are probably other more expensive cameras that you could buy, but right now those are among the hottest cameras.

The GH4 will be sharper and give you the option of cropping and reframing your shots. The A7S is a beast in low light. So it just depends on what your needs are.

I don't think it's a bad idea to buy all at once if you've got the money because there is a big advantage to having two or three of the exact same cameras. I have a Canon C100 that I bought in August 2013, then I bought a Canon 70D in March 2014 hoping that it would match my C100. I've been disappointed in the 70D because in low light it cannot compare to the C100 and it produces a noticeably softer image than the C100. If I were to do it again, I would have purchased two C100s because after less than a year I'm replacing my 70D with either another C100 or one of the Canon 4K cameras that are supposed to be released this spring.

So I don't think there's a right or wrong way to do it, but I think right now a lot of people are holding off until NAB occurs to see what's coming up in the next year.
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Old December 16th, 2014, 06:30 PM   #5
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Re: When to start upgrading cameras?

I would like to eventually go all dslr equipment. I film primarily weddings and I'm faced with a lot of dimly lit churches and reception venues so I need something that's gonna be an upgrade from what I'm using now. I'm still running this as a part-time business so I don't have the cost of a full-time business. So that is why I'm planning ahead for the end of 2015 or the beginning of 2016 to upgrade.
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Old December 16th, 2014, 07:32 PM   #6
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Re: When to start upgrading cameras?

If you film in lots of dimly lit churches then the best low light camera right now is the Sony A7S. However, 8 months from now there might be a camera just as good (or better) in low light that also has internal 4K along with other new features. In my opinion, it's best to wait until you really need something before buying it. So if you can wait until the end of 2015 to buy your cameras then you could either get the A7S for much less money, or you could get the newest and best DSLR that is available at that time.
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Old December 16th, 2014, 08:40 PM   #7
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Re: When to start upgrading cameras?

When to upgrade? Don't know. Personally I'd wait till after NAB 2015.

From a business point of view, you shouldn't spend money till you know you're going to make money. Ie, the project demands it and buying is cheaper than renting; or having the extra gear will allow you to raise the value of your product or book more clients. (Do brides notice the cameras don't quite match? Or will the low light ability of an a7s make you more money? I'd be skeptical, to be honest.)

From a personal satisfaction / new toy point of view, upgrade whenever!

From a convenience / making-your-life-easier point of view, for instance the way an a7s would free you from worrying about lights... Well, I guess this perspective is a mix between business and personal satisfaction. Don't know how you'd put a dollar value on it or how to methodically think about it.

In terms of whether to do it gradually or all in one hit... personally I'd do it gradually, because:

-- You might not like the camera after you've bought it.
-- It's less of a financial hit all at once.
-- You can watch out for deals on the camera you want and keep an eye on eBay.
-- The playing field might change while you're upgrading, and better cameras might come out.
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Old December 16th, 2014, 09:09 PM   #8
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Re: When to start upgrading cameras?

Thanks for the input! One of the main reason for upgrading is to have all cameras match. Save a lot of work in post. And the problem I have had in the past I buy a new camera one year, buy the next version the next year then all my cameras end up being different.

I have gotten 10 confirmed bookings for next year so I guess I will see where I end up at the end of the year.
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Old December 16th, 2014, 09:43 PM   #9
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Re: When to start upgrading cameras?

I agree with the above posts. Since you are going all DSLR, then waiting is the best thing as they are improving at a very quick pace.

I am a big fan of multiples of the same camera. Once you dial your look(s) in it saves a lot of time in post and makes your product look better imho. Plus your lenses will all work without any thought.

Who knows, maybe the JVC line will be a good path? I don't know the pricing but the tech looks interesting so far. Not a DSLR but a dedicated video camera is nice too. Maybe Samsung as well...

I would say jump in with both feet. Research a lot, try if you can then set out to learn your camera. Many cameras are capable of creating great images today. So if you pick based upon your needs and likes then accept and move forward with the purchase.
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Old December 16th, 2014, 09:44 PM   #10
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Re: When to start upgrading cameras?

I'd add in: when it gives you an advantage on how quickly you can produce the finished product. The move from tape to solid state would be an obvious example.

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Old December 17th, 2014, 01:46 AM   #11
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Re: When to start upgrading cameras?

Most important will be that they match up if, I"m editing footage from a sony ea50, a sony a6000 and a sony cx730 which where used as multicam during a ceremony and they all 3 have a different look (not shot by me). The a6000 has the nicest look, nice color, contrast an detail and has a dslr kind of look, the cx730 is more video like and the ea50 is causing the most problems with color in general, skintones just look weird and there is a lot of red in the image, I"m guessing he used a adjusted pp3 profile but whatever I try I can't get the footage to match with the other 2 camera's and you notice that in the film when I switch between camera's.
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Old December 17th, 2014, 08:52 AM   #12
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Re: When to start upgrading cameras?

I was looking around today and there is a lot of chatter and rumors about what's coming up for 2015.

CanonRumors confirmed a 50MP camera, with potential 4K capability for LT $4000.

SonyAlpha Rumors is saying Sony is announcing new cameras in Jan and Feb 2015.

Nikon is doing the D7200 and maybe a D400.

Lots of toys to be seen in the next 2 months.
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Old December 17th, 2014, 08:56 AM   #13
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Re: When to start upgrading cameras?

Wait until next year for the A7S II which will be a beast in low light and have native 4K built in.

Or alternatively just buy from what is available now. I would opt for the GH4 so you have money left over for plenty of other goodies.

New tech is always coming out so what ever you buy today will be exceeded in a years time in terms of spec.
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Old December 17th, 2014, 08:58 AM   #14
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Re: When to start upgrading cameras?

Quote:
Originally Posted by James Manford View Post
Wait until next year for the A7S II which will be a beast in low light and have native 4K built in.
Where did you get that info?
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Old December 17th, 2014, 09:02 AM   #15
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Re: When to start upgrading cameras?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Root View Post
Lots of toys to be seen in the next 2 months.
There is always something new around the corner, if I had to upgrade I just would buy what was available today and preferably something that has been used for quite a while by users so I"d get to know any weak and strong points.
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