I want the best, least compressed, 1080p HD video available from a DSLR camera at the under $3000 price point (including one lens).
How do I get it? Is Canon the best way to get HD video, or the Nikon even better?
Or is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Mirrorless worth waiting for?
I am so confused. There are too many choices and I am tired of reading camera specs when what I really want to know is which one produces the highest quality HD video? I can't seem to find that comparison. Are they all storing at about the same compressed rate, or is the advertising about 72Mb/s and/or I-Frame only what I should be looking at?
Is it important to have a high number of focus points like the Nikon? It sounds like it to my untrained brain.
Comparing the three leads me to the Nikon except for the videography notes on the Canon make it seem like I can store less compressed video. But even totally uncompressed video is useless if the focus isn't perfect. Right?
I want really, really nice video. Otherwise it isn't worth buying any of these. I can stick with HDV for a while longer if I must.
Perhaps if I spell out what I want to do with it you might be able to provide better answers. I want to shoot pictures in a hurry at Disney World, in Hawaii, in Mexico and all the other places we go on vacation. I want to take video in those same places. Generally with a tripod or a Monopod, but sometimes not. I want to focus automatically, and quickly. But I want to be able to easily set up a rack focus when I feel like it. I want to eventually buy a lens that will allow me to shoot extreme closeups of snails, and bugs and icky crawly things in motion as well as at the full frame size of a still. And I eventually want the biggest baddest telephoto lens I can get past my wife. I am going to want to do some greenscreen work and product shots in a lightbox.
I want a flash if I am not giving up higher quality, I don't think I need a built in GPS but it couldn't hurt. Wireless? Really? OK, I guess that could be handy. HDMI output is nice. I might be inclined to shoot 720p now and then if it means twice the frames to use for slow motion in post. A headphone jack is not always necessary but it could be important now and then. I would give it up for higher quality video if I really had to. Good in low light would be nice too.
Mono or not, I would like a decent microphone built in. My old Canon ZR-10 has a much better internal mic than my much more expensive Sony HDR-FX1. Carrying external mics on vacation isn't always something I want to do.
Am I missing a brand that makes more sense for me?
I learned a lot from the last thread I opened about DSLR cameras in general and have researched the different lenses enough to know what kind of trouble I am walking into. But all is for nothing if I can't shoot some truly stunning video given the right lighting and subject.
What is this "moving" thing?
That is news. Like Steven, I wanted to learn more about Mound, MN.
[Edit] Whew! I had not read your reply to Steven, when I replied. Sounds like a much nicer deal.
Yeah, it's a nice place...back of it is on a small lake so there's a screened porch back there.. and also some outdoor grills and stuff... maybe I can fish from the shore...don't know yet whats there...
My rent won't ever be more than 1/3 my income, so that saves me a bunch cause all apartments rents go up every time lease is renewed and my income is gonna be pretty much frozen soon...at least the base of it....if it goes up I just pay more but still 1/3... so that's good.
The apartment is slightly smaller than this one but not terribly smaller...
Even though I think of MOVE as a four-letter word, this one sounds good. Hope that it is all that you imagine.
Good luck, and glad that Mound, MN is still a GO.
Well, I finally got around to testing the built in microphone on the DMC-GH3. I think it did a pretty darn good job.
wow..yeah, that sounds pretty good !
Is that the built-in mic, or did you mount a shotgun onto the camera?
I do agree, that sounded good, and very little of the background traffic came through - though I did not have on the headphones.
Built-in stereo microphone.
I haven't accepted the need to buy the external mic. I probably won't until just after I needed it really badly.
I do have lavalier mics for interviews if needed. First I need to buy a flash so I am not slave the to built-in flash. Although I did spend $7.50 on a diffuser for the built-in flash.
Thanks for the info. The Audio sounded quite good.
yeah, I liked the audio too.. pretty nice ..better than I expected from built in mics...
About the camera choice(s) for me ( nikon d800 or black magic etc ) it has nothing to do with lenses I have already. Both those above items have different pros and cons to them for me and it's a bit lengthy to get into and probably wouldnt interest most people here.
For you, Steve, as you spend a lot of time of your own doing cool stuff to illustrate what you're working on and experimenting with etc.. I will go into a bit of details..
Keep in mind I'm coming from a career of 35mm motion pic film for projection primarily and also some tv episodic stuff that was shot with film cameras ( my union didn't do video )
I'm also coming from schooling that was still photography oriented and shot a few print ads when young and kinda kept in touch with that part of advertising through the years ( friends etc ).
Soooo, the DSLR thing gives me a still camera with full chip so I can use my own 35mm " head " automatically ( focal lengths etc which I know by heart without thinking ).. and lighting ( tungsten, hmi OR ( IMPORTANT) strobes. I HAVE strobe stuff ( pro type stuff with separate power pack
Like this but way less expensive
So, I got strobe heads and so on to shoot with that sort of stuff ( dslr will only handle several fps with strobes however but I rarely did fast fps with strobes anyway )..
Anyway, the dslr shoots a fairly large dimension so I can give a client 300ppi images that could be used for large print ads with full bleeds..
So that's one thing with DSLR..
Next.. it can shoot video.
Bad thing about it is the moire , rolling shutter, noise to some extent, and the compression and lack of HD SDI output and some other drawbacks.
But I can basically make it work as a video camera converting mov h264 to cineform probably..
The black magic thing is good for 2.5 k size shooting as raw, pro res and avid compressed...and has some features good for digital output, scopes, etc. But can't do still photos with it..no strobes.
Soooo, if I just use the film camera(s) I have for still stuff I need to charge for film and processing and so on, which is kinda hard to do with competition using digital, and also less custom labs around each year, and less film being manufactured. Sooo, all these things are in my head about making some choice.
I wouldn't shoot for DVD or web but doubt I'd ever get beyond broadcast at my age.
So those are the things. I already have the light meters, experience lighting, most filters for lenses, and so on... so being manual is my preference for everything anyway, and that also is playing into a decision.
ps.. if I shoot film instead of dslr I already have a film scanner ( pro like used in labs , but not drum scanner ).. which does a pretty good job as high res scan to work on film negatives , chromes etc...for clients...
I scanned a bunch of 35mm chromes for some art guy for printing stuff at OK Harris show...and it worked out fine quality wise for those digital c prints..
Steve, your brother in LA with custom lab would know more about this than me...and I'm just adding this PS to previous post in hopes there isn't an uproar about " ongoing inane discussions in the lounge" as John was nice enough to point out earlier...
More than likely my personal involvement here will soon be done anyway so maybe he can get some really exciting discussions going ?
Anyway, the scans I did with my film scanner ( that I'm sure your brother does at his biz ) to make digital c prints for the ok harris show for ken nadle can be seen ( not as good as prints obviously due to 72 ppi computer screen ) here
ok harris show. digital c prints from scans
You won't think this is " art " ( as previously discussed ).. but some people think it is street photography and has some relevance etc. ( see Joel Meyerowitz, Gary Winnegrand etc )
At any rate... good luck to everyone and have fun !
Relevance? OK. I suppose. I didn't like but a couple of them and I have issues with the focus and/or composition of even those. Number 10 should have landed him in jail as a perv. But what do I know? He is probably a famous artist and I am a beginner.
full chip so I can use my own 35mm " head " automatically
Oh, it can't be that hard to multiply by two, can it?
I don't think lighting is any different for a full chip than a four thirds sensor.
I'll stick with this statement: It takes HUGE stills. It is not all that good for video. And it is way too much money unless you need to print billboards.
Saw this review posted regarding low light performance:
"Where the GH3 falls short of the 5D Mark III and Nikon D5200 / D7100 is in low light. It’s fine at ISO 800, passable at ISO 1600 and a lot better than the GH2. But the 5D Mark III and Nikon D5200 hold onto their colours better, with far cleaner pictures."
So accurate regarding the GH3? Re the GH2 relative to the GH3?
I just bought the Nikon D7100; very pleased.
Here's an interesting story associated with when I first got my mamiya and was shooting tests etc...This incident is sorta long story.
First I built ( had miter chop saw and table saw in backyard and tons of tools ( power etc ) ) several light boxes ( kinda like soft boxes )... you know, bought high heat resistant porcelin sockets for photo flood bulbs ( 500w each, 32K ) and wired them up on strips of wood at 'base' of light boxes, with switches so I could turn on and off the individual 'strips' of lights... so light boxes had black sides ( white inside black outside ) and I put wood frame in front where you could attach white diffusion ( used lee or rosco 250 and so on ). Could also add CC to the front if needed...( cto and ctb etc ). One light box had 2 bulbs, another had 4 bulbs and another had 8 bulbs... I used speedrail fittings on the back of boxes so I could position the boxes vertically etc on stands. Stands were speedrail pipes stuck in metal pails with cement...
So now I had my lights.
I then bought a 3 foot square piece of marble ( white and 1 inch thick ) which weighed a TON... and some nice cloth napkins and table cloth type thing and black felt and candles and stuff like that...
Then I bought ( this gets better ) 2 saw horses and a half sheet of 3/4" plywood. I put the sawhorses in basement, put plywood on and screwed it down into horses, and put marble on that and draped cloth and stuff around marble to make it look really fancy.
Then I went to fancy food store and bought a HUGE cheese, fresh round bread stuff, white grapes, red grapes, a cheese knife, and misc other food stuffs ( apples maybe, can't remember all the junk I bought ).
Then I went to basement and put all this stuff on the marble in what I considered a very pleasant arrangement.
Then I put lights in place and plugged them in and turned on the switches.
The fuse box in the house started humming and one of the breakers tripped. I re - routed extension cords to basement kitchen and laundry room etc and turned on again... Fuse box was humming but didn't blow up this time...
Then I set up camera and framed shots and shot about 8 rolls of film at various F stops and so on....( 12 exp per roll - some chrome, some negative ).
Then I shut of the now extremely HOT light boxes and drove to the nearest custom color lab and had film developed as a rush which cost me an arm and a leg.
I got home and looked at the results. NOT A SINGLE SHOT LOOKED GOOD. It was not beautiful. Even CROPPED I didn't get one single shot that I liked !!!!!!! It just looked DUMB. I wouldn't show any of these shots to the most backwards human beings on earth let alone anyone with an ounce of artistic appreciation.
I was really bummed out, sitting in the basement now looking at these horrible compositions...which cost me somewhere about a gazillion dollars to do... and started eating the still life .....
Sounds to me like you did the sensible thing. Gave it a try, and when it didn't work out, had a meal.
I felt like I was cheating sometimes because I got to chimp my shots and then go back to the room and see them much larger on the HDTV. However, progress is progress and I shouldn't feel guilty for it being easier. The competition is much stiffer than it was now that everyone can take photographs. I saw an awful lot of people with cameras that had interchangeable lenses. I don't know anything about their cameras, but it seems like they at least had a fighting chance at getting some good shots.
Because I carry a tripod with me, I often offered it to people with what appeared to be good cameras so that they could get the long shutter shots required for decent pictures of waterfalls. Most of them had no idea what I was talking about when I talked about leaving the shutter open for 5 seconds. But some did, and were quite grateful for the loan of the tripod, and the lesson about shooting water. I tried to sneak peaks at cameras when I could and there were very very few with the setting on "M".
I am not saying that I couldn't get any decent shots on auto, but I seems to have an affinity for the shots that require more effort.
By the way, that food was my dinner. Something to be eaten, not played with! Moments after those shots were taken, my wife started in on her second carrot muffin. In fact, she took a bite and put it back while I wasn't watching. When I looked up from the camera back to the food basket, it looked funny and she started to laugh when I couldn't figure out what was wrong right away.
I saw a really cool idea recently. A styrofoam ball on a stand. You could use a push pin to put bounce cards or flags on the ball, and then the ball could be easily repositioned on the stand.
67mm Center Pinch Snap-On Lens Cap
You know those lenses come with that, right?
I only bought two lens cases
Each lens comes with that, too.
Uh, no. I didn't know. Live and learn. I will see if I can cancel that part of the order.