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Ok so I’m a student going head first into cinematography. I have been in classes for 3 years and it’s time for my own camera. But I have no clue what to get. I won’t spend more than 2,000. Can you help? I was thinking ether g95, g95, gh5, gh5s, or a7sii. Please give me differences and comparisons to help me narrow down my search. Thank you😁

 

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8 minutes ago, Max Field said:

Do you need 4K?

It’s preferred but not required 

 

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4 minutes ago, Sam Petty said:

It’s preferred but not required 

 

Get a Sony F3 they're only like $700 now

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Just now, Max Field said:

Get a Sony F3 they're only like $700 now

Why that one compared the the g85? Or gh5?

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4 minutes ago, Sam Petty said:

Why that one compared the the g85? Or gh5?

1. Actually shaped like a video camera
2. Cheaper, you're a film student not a production house
3. Great low light performance
4. Variety of mounts via the FZ mount

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Max Field said:

1. Actually shaped like a video camera
2. Cheaper, you're a film student not a production house
3. Great low light performance
4. Variety of mounts via the FZ mount

But isn’t it a fixed lense?

Also it says it’s like 2,500. A gh5 is cheaper

Edited by Sam Petty

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Blackmagic Pocket 4K - you need a few bits and bobs to get it rigged (e.g external batt)

But there is nothing to touch it in the sub $2k bracket. It shoots proper codecs RAW and ProRes, 4K and HD. Upto 120fps in Hd and the quality is superb and its easy to use in terms of menus.

I've shot about 5 projects on it so far and I'm just blown away. It has great latitude and the low light is excellent. 

I may even break my  "never buy a camera" rule and get this one

 

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The Pocket 4k is a pretty amazing camera for the price. Nobody gets even close. Every other camera has some horrible issues like MPEG only recording and higher prices. The pocket gracefully places itself right in the middle of the competition and says "hey guys, you can do better". 

I will probably own two 4k pockets the moment I get some money again to replace my aging 1080p pockets that have been around the world numerous times and are completely beat to shit. I'm gonna take them and put them on my wall as remembrance of a time past 😛

 

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I tried a Pocket 4K at a tech demo and the thing almost burned my hands, are they fixing that overheating issue?

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4 hours ago, Max Field said:

I tried a Pocket 4K at a tech demo and the thing almost burned my hands, are they fixing that overheating issue?

IDK man, I had one in my hands for 30 minutes recording recently and it wasn't bad. The older pockets were very hot when recording, but so are most cameras. 

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Are we talking about 2000 bucks for only the camera body or 2k for the whole package?

Because you cant get the pocket4k with decent lenses and accessories for 2k...

How about building your kit backwards so that you can figure out how much budget you have and how much extra is needed? 

1. Pick a decent onboard monitor with batteries and cables and arm

2. Pick a decent tripod set with fluid head stable enough for your kit. Add a basic 15mm baseplate and rods for your camera

3. Pick at least two of the lenses you want to use and the accessories you want like mattebox and filters. Maybe follow focus if needed

4. Pick the memory cards or other media to last for 1 day shoot. And a card reader if needed.

5. Camera batteries

6. The camera body with cage

I bet you ran out of money when choosing the second lens if your budget was only 2k...

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If I were a film student again I would take a good onboard monitor over a camera body every day. They tend to be more difficult to borrow and more useful than camera bodies and the blackmagic is worth nothing without good lenses and a speed booster which are expensive. So I would purchase a good monitor first (daylight viewable, scopes, hdmi and sdi) and then consider my camera options again with rest of the money

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20 hours ago, Max Field said:

Get a Sony F3 they're only like $700 now

Used ones start at four or five times that price.

Quote

I tried a Pocket 4K at a tech demo and the thing almost burned my hands, are they fixing that overheating issue?

That seems to be a similar degree of exaggeration. I think checking reviews would quickly show that BM users aren't melting.

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1 hour ago, aapo lettinen said:

If I were a film student again I would take a good onboard monitor over a camera body every day. They tend to be more difficult to borrow and more useful than camera bodies and the blackmagic is worth nothing without good lenses and a speed booster which are expensive. So I would purchase a good monitor first (daylight viewable, scopes, hdmi and sdi) and then consider my camera options again with rest of the money

The current BMPCC doesn't need a speedbooster for m43 lenses. It's an active mount too, so you get OIS.  However, I think your general point is a good one. And $2000 isn't nearly enough to get a working BM16K set-up when you consider the external power you need and lenses.

My own suggestion would be to get a used EOS-M (the original model) for $150 and put Magic Lantern on it. Mirrorless super-35 gives you a huge range of lenses and ML gives you raw, false colour, waveforms, and a vectorscope. Shoot with it for a couple of months then buy the expensive camera knowing what features you really want. Either sell the body for what you paid or keep it as a b-cam - you an even put a viltrox speedbooster on it for another $150. 

Otherwise for $2000 I'd go for a used Fuji XE3, vintage lenses (maybe Minolta, because they all tend to have the same look) and a cheap speed booster and a basic 5 inch monitor.

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6 hours ago, aapo lettinen said:

Are we talking about 2000 bucks for only the camera body or 2k for the whole package?

Because you cant get the pocket4k with decent lenses and accessories for 2k...

How about building your kit backwards so that you can figure out how much budget you have and how much extra is needed? 

1. Pick a decent onboard monitor with batteries and cables and arm

2. Pick a decent tripod set with fluid head stable enough for your kit. Add a basic 15mm baseplate and rods for your camera

3. Pick at least two of the lenses you want to use and the accessories you want like mattebox and filters. Maybe follow focus if needed

4. Pick the memory cards or other media to last for 1 day shoot. And a card reader if needed.

5. Camera batteries

6. The camera body with cage

I bet you ran out of money when choosing the second lens if your budget was only 2k...

Ya. I’m going with the g95 because how cheap it can be, a good lense included, v log, and IBS. It gives me a lot of wiggle room

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58 minutes ago, Sam Petty said:

Ya. I’m going with the g95 because how cheap it can be, a good lense included, v log, and IBS. It gives me a lot of wiggle room

The g95 looks nice but its on 8 bit 4:2:0 internal and 8-bit 4:2:2 - log profiles are not great when you limited to 8-bits. You risk pushing into banding. Thats why the Black Bagics are so impressive... but your right it would be a stretch to get a full shooting package under 2K.  Although might be possible if you cut the accessories to the bone and upgrade later.

For instance it will work fine with a sub $100 Panasonic kit zoom from ebay. A set up that shoots images is doable under $2k. E.g kit zoom, SD (not CFast media), knock off LP-E6 Batteries, make do with the internal screen (its great)

The you have a set up that has a future proof camera at the core and you can upgrade the glass and camera support later. 

I've shot several projects on the BM4K just using a couple of LP- batts ($40 each), Panasonic 14 -140 Lumix zoom (about $300 to $350 secondhand) and a lightweight tripod - bringing everying under 2k. Yes it would be nice to a better rig - but its doable and the think I like with the package is how far I can push the image in post. 8 bit footage isn't in the same ball park. 

At this stage you don't need decent lenses, but an "OK" lens, you can always rent better glass for high end projects.

I'd rather have ProRes and a middling lens over h.264 8-bit and better glass. Also Lumix lenses are reasonably cheap and sharp enough. Any cheaper camera is either going to be limited by its internal codec, need for external recorder or need for ML hack. 

Or if you want to go super cheap - maybe look at a Panasonic AF-101 - they are going for very little on ebay($300-$400). Its not an amazing camera, but you get super 35 and a standard camcorder layout, XLR audio, built in ND and clean SDI/HDMI out. That would be a good starter cam for learning on. 

 

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1 hour ago, Phil Connolly said:

The g95 looks nice but its on 8 bit 4:2:0 internal and 8-bit 4:2:2 - log profiles are not great when you limited to 8-bits. You risk pushing into banding. Thats why the Black Bagics are so impressive... but your right it would be a stretch to get a full shooting package under 2K.  Although might be possible if you cut the accessories to the bone and upgrade later.

For instance it will work fine with a sub $100 Panasonic kit zoom from ebay. A set up that shoots images is doable under $2k. E.g kit zoom, SD (not CFast media), knock off LP-E6 Batteries, make do with the internal screen (its great)

The you have a set up that has a future proof camera at the core and you can upgrade the glass and camera support later. 

I've shot several projects on the BM4K just using a couple of LP- batts ($40 each), Panasonic 14 -140 Lumix zoom (about $300 to $350 secondhand) and a lightweight tripod - bringing everying under 2k. Yes it would be nice to a better rig - but its doable and the think I like with the package is how far I can push the image in post. 8 bit footage isn't in the same ball park. 

At this stage you don't need decent lenses, but an "OK" lens, you can always rent better glass for high end projects.

I'd rather have ProRes and a middling lens over h.264 8-bit and better glass. Also Lumix lenses are reasonably cheap and sharp enough. Any cheaper camera is either going to be limited by its internal codec, need for external recorder or need for ML hack. 

Or if you want to go super cheap - maybe look at a Panasonic AF-101 - they are going for very little on ebay($300-$400). Its not an amazing camera, but you get super 35 and a standard camcorder layout, XLR audio, built in ND and clean SDI/HDMI out. That would be a good starter cam for learning on. 

 

Ya but I want to not start on 8k raw. I want to learn on somthing cause it is my first cam. Is g95 good in your opinion? It’s ether that, or the gh5

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There is a huge difference in choosing a camera for a learning tool or choosing a camera for actual (potentially paid for) cinematography use. The bmpc4k would be pretty nice for low budget projects and even some level of paid work but if the more expensive camera limits your lenses and monitoring options and accessories it may not be the best learning tool. Of course it may be possible to use some cheap old manual glass and cheaper chinese speedbooster with it but it is still pretty expensive and that sensor size is honestly very limiting if you want to use affordable manual glass or reasonably priced PL glass. I would still want to have the good onboard monitor as a bare minimum accessory.

By my opinion those cheap-o plastic thingy lenses are not good for any kind of cinematography learning. Can be handy for stills and as a backup but not very usable for narratives or any other use than low budget doc work..

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54 minutes ago, Sam Petty said:

 I want to learn on somthing cause it is my first cam. Is g95 good in your opinion? It’s ether that, or the gh5

Just out of curiousity: Why? They're not exactly the only two cameras in existence...

And PC's point about output format is a very good one. A "thick" image (meaning one with more bits per pixel) at lower resolution is often a lot better to work with than a high resolution thin one. There's a big difference between log and good log.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, aapo lettinen said:

 

By my opinion those cheap-o plastic thingy lenses are not good for any kind of cinematography learning. Can be handy for stills and as a backup but not very usable for narratives or any other use than low budget doc work..

If you're referring to native m43 lenses (which are often not cheap or plastic...) then they do a very significant problem. Which is, with very few exceptions, they're focus-by-wire only, without a linear focus mode. So you don't get repeatable focus, which is a pain.

In fact come to think of it, given the cost of XL speedboosters and manual focus wide angles for m43, I'm a little shocked that the OP is considering m43 - I'd have thought his school would have warned against it. There are lots of very nicely priced asp-c cameras that can be used with and without a speedbooster (and you only need a standard model, not the expensive XL) to get a full range of manually focussed lenses. A GH5 might be a good choice for weddings or corporate video, but AL is right - it's a bad one as a learning tool. You really need to go aps-c or fullframe.

Edited by David Mawson

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7 hours ago, David Mawson said:

Used ones start at four or five times that price.

The $700 ones got bought up but still:

cfcfb2db6a4f2434a96a09f5f5e384db.png

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, David Mawson said:

Just out of curiousity: Why? They're not exactly the only two cameras in existence...

And PC's point about output format is a very good one. A "thick" image (meaning one with more bits per pixel) at lower resolution is often a lot better to work with than a high resolution thin one. There's a big difference between log and good log.

Well g95 is new to the game that brings great image quality.  But the black magic pickiest cinima 4k is also tempting. May be a dumb question what is a speed booster and what is wrong with he bmpcc4k

Edited by Sam Petty

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Sam Petty said:

Well g95 is new to the game that brings great image quality.  But the black magic pickiest cinima 4k is also tempting. May be a dumb question what is a speed booster and what is wrong won’t he bmpcc4k

I think you're missing all the more intelligent points being made in this thread. I strongly suggest that you understand the points made before spending money. If you're learning how to shoot like a pro, then certain features are essential - eg repeatable focus pulls - or very near to it - eg waveforms and vectorscopes and much more per-pixel data than than a G95 gives.

As for what a speed booster is - you really should google that sort of thing, yes? Questions to humans should be saved for when you really need them.

(And the g95's IQ doesn't look that great to me, even for the price. It's more of a vlogging camera - it prioritises features like IBIS over a decent codec.)

Edited by David Mawson

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