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Shawn D. Caple July 16th, 2009 12:00 PM

So many choices
If I was to choose a camera for making a short film which would be recommended?

From what i gather, this is the order of cameras from best to worst (worst being relative).

Pentax K 7
Panasonic GH1
Canon 5d Mark II

I post this here because I'm thoroughly stumped by what is needed and what each one 'doesn't have', as well as advantages and the like.

I thank each of you in advance, this is a great site that I've enjoyed for a long time.

John Wiley July 16th, 2009 09:20 PM

I'm guessing you accidentally got your list backwards...

As far as I know the K-7 doesn't allow manual control over ISO or shutter in video mode so this makes it much less of a contender.

The 5d mkII with the updated firmware now offers full manual control, as does the GH1.

The GH1 has 24p which is helpful if you are transferring to film. It also does 60p if you feel the need to do slow motion.

5d mkII has the largest sensor so has the best dynamic range, shallowest DOF, and best low light abilities.

Personally I've only used the D90 and liked the image it outputs. However, I wouldn't want to shoot an entire short film with it. I'm guessing the k-7 would be very similar in it's behaviour.

The GH1 is designed with video in mind (auto-focus, stereo mic etc), and would be my personal favorite (mainly because it offers 25p/50p on the Australian/European model). However if I lived in the USA where 30p actually usefull, I would love to get my hands on a 5d mkII.

You might also want to consider the cost of each... figure out what lenses and accessories you'll need for each and make sure you budget for them. The GH1 is adaptable to a wider range of lensesso you pick what suits your needs/budget.

Shawn D. Caple July 17th, 2009 08:06 AM

But is the Canon really ready? Should I wait for the next model?

Or should I get it and try my hand at the Magic Lantern fireware?

I would have thought that the other two models, due to coming out later, would have an edge on the Canon. Yet it seems to be untrue.

John Wiley July 17th, 2009 06:01 PM

Magic Lantern firmware mainly addresses the audio limitations (Auto gain control, levels display) which ALL of these DSLR's have. However, Canon released their own firmware as well which gives full manual control in video mode and this firmware should be installed on all new 5d mkII's which are manufactured. So it IS ready when it ships. If you then decide to add the Magic Lantern firmware you end up with a very powerful tool.

However, if you don't want to use the magic lantern firmware you could also record double system sound and sync in post.

Shawn D. Caple July 17th, 2009 09:31 PM

Hold the Phone
So the video side of the Canon is ready out of the box?

I had heard the audio needed to be an external device but I believe that should be the case with any system. They record separately for studios for a reason besides because they have 35mm! John before we get too far into this, thank you for the help. I've been swamped with editing at the office and just haven't had the time to look around muhc more than I already have.

John Wiley July 18th, 2009 06:15 AM

No Problem.

I've been following the development of these video DSLR's for a while waiting for something great with 25p. I thought the Panny would be it but it cost's $3000 in Australia, and while it looks like my best option I might wait and see if the price comes down a bit or if any genuine competitors come around.

If you do choose to go with the 5d mkII I'd check with a store clerk to make sure you get one with the new firmware - although you'd have to be really unlucky to get old stock which doesn't have the update. Some on this forum have speculated that the shortage of 5d mkII stock is partly caused by Canon holding onto all of them so they could be updated before they left the factory, and if this is true then most of the products in stock now should be the udpated version, although it wouldn't hurt to double check.

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