Camera Upgrade

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Avatar of Connor Justice Norvell
Connor Justice Norvell on October 25, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Hello!
(i apologize, this will be a long post, so i made a summary below, look for the bold text)

So I’m currently looking into getting a new camera, with no particular price range, (lets say $16,000 tops, preferably with gear included in the price tag(such as lenses rigs adaptors mice etc) but not necessarily either).
so I am really deciding between quite a few cameras, and I’m hoping you guys could help me out.

the main cameras i am looking at are:
the Canon C100
the Canon C300
the Sony FS100
the Sony FS700
the Canon 5D mk3 (or Equivalent)
and the Black Magic pocket Cam, or Black Magic 4k Cam.

Little bit of info as to why I’m deciding between these and features that matter to me:
I am using to T2i, and I absolutely despise the image quality, though it was fantastic to use for photography, and to really open my way into filmmaking and the whole process (and I’ll continue to use it sparingly and for photography)
I am still planning on filming with it, but i am looking into ways to make the quality better.
so i am filming short films, and product videos mostly.
but i also film conferences for a ministry i work for, which can range from 1-3 hours a session, so whatever i get can’t overheat, and needs to shoot seamless footage, for a long time!
(and because i film so much for them it’s possible they are going to split the cost of the camera for me along with anything else i would need, so i need it to have the features that accommodates for them as well as me)

Anyway…
The Canon C100 and C300 I looked at mainly for 4 big reasons:
1. the low light performance could make a grown man cry
2. the normal footage quality, irrelevant of the shooting situation looks fantastic
3. I travel relatively often so i like my camera to be compact (which they certainly are)
(also added bonus, the are very durable, or so I’ve heard)
4. the lens mount is the same as my T2i! so my lenses that i buy and have bought will work, with all my gear (and if i get a 5Dmk3 in the future for photography, the lenses will work there as well)
but the things i dislike are:
1. The price tag (C100 – $7000ish, C300 – $14,000ish) leaving not so much extra money for lenses and CD cards, rigs! anything really.
2. the C100 has no slow motion capabilities (or 60p i should say) but the C300 has no built in ND filters. and really the only thing bumping the price is the slow motion, (which compared to the Sony FS700, is terrible considering the price.)

NOTE: i have no idea how long they shoot for seamlessly. so that could be a deal breaker

so to sum up the C100 and C300
- price sucks
+ quality is awesome in low light (and all the time really)
+ lenses will work with my T2i
- no slow high frame rate unless i go for the C300 which is almost twice the cost.
- and if i do what is mentioned above i lose built in ND filters
+ portable, which is good for travel
+ Battery life is amazing (i’ve heard)

Moving on.

The Sony FS100 and FS700:
I love these because of:
1. the footage quality is amazing, though not up to par with say the C100 or C300.
2. the slow motion (on the FS700) is… amazing, but I’m not sure it
3. the price for both models is below their competitor (the FS100 is cheaper than the C100 etc.)
4. you can add solid state memory to them. so that’s a plus

cons:
1. the build quality is said to be not so good, and the size and shape makes them worse for traveling.
2. the LCD screen is just as bad as the C100 and C300, so Ill need a loupe or EVF (though the lower price accommodates for this)

Other than that, the Sony FS cams and the Canon C cams are comparable.
the file type differs slightly though they use the same Codec

1 big foot up for the Canon C100-300 is the footage looks better, and the Canon Log profile is way better than the sony cameras.
also the lens mount, is perfect for me

but the Sonys have price and slow motion on their side.
and the lens mount can easily be adapted, for relatively cheap.

moving along!
Canon 5Dmk3:
Big pros here:
1. I am used to using DSLR’s because i come from the T2i
2. Magic lantern and cinestyle open this camera up a ton, making it comparable to the camera’s mentioned above
3. the only thing i care about deeply, is battery life, price, and footage quality. so if this camera has those things down (which is does) it is a valid competitor in my opinion

Cons:
1. No 4k compatibility (tho that doesn’t matter to much because so far only 2 cameras on my list do have that (Black magic 4k cam and Sony FS700, but the FS700 hasn’t gotten that unlocked yet, but should with a firmware update)
2. It’s a DSLR, so it comes with the quirks one would expect from a dslr, that i could avoid with the C100-300, or the Sony cams.
3. the footage quality and low light (tho with magic lantern raw those are better)
aren’t up to par with the C100 or C300, or the Sony Cams,

but the Nice thing that i love is, the DSLR style.
I can remove everything but a lens with IS, and film perfectly good looking footage!
(which i can’t say for the other cameras so far)
or build it up and make it the equivalent of the C or FS cams (other than slowmo)

One drawback for the 5D however is the recording length, same problem as my T2i and potentially any camera. it will either A. overheat or B. cut the file into 11 minute increments, which leaves big gaps!
so if you have another DSLR suggestion (Canon preferably for mount type and Magic Lantern) please leave it below

Alrighty! moving along again, please bear with me!

Black Magic Pocket and 4k Cam, things i like:
(i threw these together because they share the same quirks)

1. footage is amazing, probably better than all mentioned above in my opinion (though i am willing to be proved wrong)
2. has a similar “bare bones” approach to filmmaking as the 5D, where it can be compact, or it can be rather large, depending on my needs.
3. the price… is insane, way lower than the rest (only $1000 for pocket and $4000 for 4k cam!)

Cons:
1. Battery Life is horridness (on the pocket cam, i haven’t heard about the 4k cam yet)
2. the pocket cam and the original Cinema Camera (so i would assume also the 4k)
don’t allow you to delete files on cam, which is…. insanity.
3. I am not sure about the 4k, but i am assuming (because of the original Cinema cam)
that the lens mount type is passive, meaning i can’t using Image Stabilization because my lens won’t get power (this was only on the EF mount type), so id have to get all manual lenses and have to use a rig, no matter what.

again the recording length is unchecked, and the file type is so big that i don’t think i could film conferences with it!

The pocket cam would be a fantastic B-cam to just take around town (and as i am starting a Vlog of sorts rather soon, it would be nice to have the portable option)
but i am not sure i would want it as a primary.

So for those of you who don’t want to read all of that, here is a summary!

The C100 and C300:
+ quality is awesome in low light (and all the time really)
+ lenses will work with my T2i
+ portable, which is good for travel
+ Battery life is amazing (i’ve heard)
+ Out of all of the cameras, these 2 are the most versatile, making them good for, anything really!
+ the footage looks better than the Sony cams,
and the Canon Log profile is way better than the sony cameras profiles.

- no slow high frame rate unless i go for the C300 which is almost twice the cost of the
100.
- and if i do what is mentioned above i lose built in ND filters that only the C100 has.
- price sucks (almost 2 times the cost of the rest of the bunch)

The Sony FS100 or FS700:
+ the footage quality is amazing
- though not up to par with say the C100 or C300.

+ the slow motion (on the FS700) is… amazing.
+ the price for both models is below their competitor (the FS100 is cheaper than the C100 etc.)
+ you can add solid state memory to them. so that’s a plus

- the build quality is said to be not so good, and the size and shape makes them worse for traveling.
- the LCD screen is just as bad as the C100 and C300, so Ill need a loupe or EVF (though the lower price accommodates for this)

5D mk3:
+ I am used to using DSLR’s because i come from the T2i
+ Magic lantern and cinestyle open this camera up a ton, making it comparable to the camera’s mentioned above
+ the only thing i care about deeply, is battery life, price, and footage quality. so if this camera has those things down (which is does) it is a valid competitor in my opinion
+ I can remove everything but a lens with IS, and film perfectly good looking footage!
(which i can’t say for the other cameras so far)

- No 4k compatibility (tho that doesn’t matter to much because so far only 2 cameras on my list do have that (Black magic 4k cam and Sony FS700, but the FS700 hasn’t gotten that unlocked yet, but should with a firmware update)

- It’s a DSLR, so it comes with the quirks one would expect from a dslr, that i could avoid with the C100-300, or the Sony cams.

- the footage quality and low light (tho with magic lantern raw those are better)
aren’t up to par with the C100 or C300, or the Sony Cams,

Then for the Black magic cams just read my mini review above or watch the Philip bloom stuff!

So anyway! please leave opinions, suggestions for other cameras, which one you think is best! etc!

Thank you to whoever actually took the time to read that to help me!

- Connor

Disclaimer, all of the opinions listed above are in fact, opinions, feel free to prove me wrong, i need help deciding.

Avatar of Josh Bailey
Josh Bailey on February 9, 2014 at 3:42 pm

Hi Connor,

I noticed no one has replied to this post in a long time…I can only speak for myself but I’m going to venture a guess that no one has replied because many (or most) of us probably have no experience with these cameras (except maybe the 5D). Honestly, I would be stoked if I could afford to own any of these cameras! I don’t think I can really add any valuable advice as to which camera you should choose (or you may have already chosen as this post is over 3 months old). I’m going to just add one thing you may want to consider. Are you happy with your lenses right now? I’ve heard it said by many people that lenses will last a lifetime if you take good care of them, but camera bodies will become outdated over a period of a few years (think about how old some cameras from just 5 years ago feel now). Lenses will make a huge difference in the quality of your video and some of the most amazing ones could cost you a few thousand. Do you have any other gear you need besides a new camera? A steadicam, new lights, slider, jib, etc? I guess I’m just trying to emphasize that there are a lot of components to great cinematography and the camera itself is just one of those components (example: If you’re shooting a film, low light wouldn’t be as much of an issue if you have the ability to light the scene properly. I understand that if you are shooting conferences or something on the fly you don’t really have the ability to control this though). I guess I’m saying consider going with one of the cheaper cameras if there is other equipment you may need. Again, I have no idea what you have and what you need and what is going to work best for you. Just my opinion!

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