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Hey Guys,

I'm currently working for a production company that is looking to upgrade camera systems. We really want to take our visual quality to the next level here. Right now- depending on the client- we utilize either FS100's for run-n-gun type work, in addition to GH4s for more corporate 4k stuff. Can anyone recommend a suitable upgrade to what we have? Let's say our budget (we are looking for an upgraded pair) is anywhere from $2-8,000 per camera. It would be great if you could provide a gradient of options! Right now, our main prospect is the Sony A7s II.



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If you need 4K video for under $8k, I would look into the Sony FS7, FS5, used Red Scarlet MX, or the Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4.6k when it ships. If you don't need 4K, then I'd go with a few used C300s and spend the rest on lenses and accessories.

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Thanks for your suggestions: I have been looking at the Ursa Mini for myself, but I feel that the cost of CFast cards may turn-off management. One camera that keeps coming up in discussion is the Sony A7s II. Any thoughts on this system compared to the others? One thing the is a prominent consideration is a camera system that- if required- can shoot in a format that requires minimal post-processing for fast turn-around.



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Well, the A7S II and other DSLR style camera bodies have significant compromises when used for video production, as I'm sure you know from your experience with the GH4. I view them more as specialty cameras when you need the extra small form factor or high ISO sensitivity. That said, if you don't mind dealing with flimsy HDMI ports, poor in-camera audio, short battery life, recording file size and 8-bit codec limitations, significant rolling shutter issues, and camera cage rigs to make it usable for general production, then go for it. It would not be my first choice if I had $8k to spend on a camera though.


Also, I don't understand why CFast media would be a turn off for a company making an investment in gear. It's not proprietary, you can use the same cards on the Amira, Alexa Mini, C300 Mk2, and Ursa Mini cameras right now, and almost certainly many new cameras and recorders going forward. It's going to be around for awhile and the prices are falling. If you're just an individual camera owner-op then sure, the cost right now might be prohibitive compared to CF or SD media. But I'd much rather buy CFast cards than proprietary Redmags or XQD cards, at least I could use them on a variety of cameras.


In terms of fast turnaround, the Mini 4.6k shoots Prores. Isn't that about as easy as it gets for post? The Sony cameras record XAVC-I or L that work natively with the current NLEs. Again, if you don't need 4k, the C300 gets used for tv and web spots all the time because editors find it easy to ingest, edit, and post for quick turnaround. That only rules out the Scarlet, though if you went with the new Red Raven you could shoot Prores natively there too. The Raven is more like $10k when you add in all the necessary accessories though.

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