Best mirror-less cinema camera for the money?

Homertjones

Estimable
Feb 23, 2014
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I'm looking into getting a good mirror-less camera for shooting short movies and other footage and I'd like to stay under the $1000 range. I'm really intrugued by the sony lines, the olympus om-d em5 mark ii and ballpark, something like the black magic pocket cinema. I'm still new to the camera world and I'm wondering if anybody knowledgable enough knows if any of these would be worth the money or if there's possibly a camera that's better for the money than any of the models I've already looked at.

Thanks!
 

Heinrich17

Honorable
Jan 16, 2014
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10,570
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The a6000 is a great camera, however there are a few things that make it expensive...

-Build quality is higher than the a5xxx series and the NEX series <<< it's nice but not necessary
-AF speed is fast and has up to 11fps with continuous focus!! <<< You do not need this
-EVF <<< this is a very nice feature for video!!! (think bright sunny days)

You mentioned the EVF is something you like and I believe at this price point, the a6000 may be the best camera. You can get an accessory EVF for the NEX cameras or you can get a viewfinder for the LCD screen, but this brings the cost equal to the a6000. The sensor on the a6000 is newer than the NEX sensors, so you will have about 1/2 - 2/3 stop better ISO performance. This would make your video a little less noisy. For $200, I would personally go for the a6000. I do believe the a6000 suffers from sensor overheating, however this would be an issue if you plan on shooting long clips (I heard it is fine up to 30 minutes). I would not use this as a main camera to record a once a lifetime event like a wedding ceremony, but I would definitely use this for making a short (or long) movie.

If you want, get the body only (approx $550) without the kit lens and put that $150 savings into a better lens. The kit lens is a good all purpose lens for outdoor, well lit situations, however indoors, you will be very limited unless you use lighting. Also, the variable aperture means every time you zoom in/out you will have to change ISO or alter your lighting. This can waste time or lead to more post work. I think fixed zooms and primes are the way to go for video.

Your best first native lens will be an ~35mm prime. That gives you the 32mm/1.8 Zeiss Touit at $500 and the Sony 35/1.8 at $450. You can pretty much use this focal length for everything as it is approx 50mm Full frame equivalent. The Zeiss is a manual focus only lens and I would go for this one as a native prime personally because of build quality and excellent manual focus feel. The Sony is an excellent lens however and if you want AF, this would be the way to go. Something to consider however is that both of these lenses are APS-C meaning that if you later on purchase an A7 series, it will only work in APS-C crop mode meaning the FF sensor is wasted. You can purchase a Full frame 35mm lens, however this will be more expensive and larger.

Your best choice in my opinion is actually adapting the Sigma 18-35/1.8 (either Nikon or Sony). Again only APS-C, however this lens is a gem!! It is sharp wide open and has a great feel for Manual Focus. The focal range is perfect as it is equivalent to approx 27mm-54mm! This lens replaces two primes and it is well worth the $800 price tag. This will take you over your budget. You can maybe get lucky and have the set for around $1200 with adapter. The would be by far the best you can do for $1000-ish. That set up would be equivalent to something like a 5D mkIII with 24-70/2.8 and about $3k cheaper!!!
 

Heinrich17

Honorable
Jan 16, 2014
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If $1000 is body only, you have quite a few options and I think you covered all the good ones. The ones that will give you the best IQ are the A7S and GH4 (both over your budget). Under this, they are all pretty similar and it is a matter of features you are looking for and look.

The BMPCC is a little monster of a camera, however the workflow is not the greatest since you are working with high bitrate files. Also, in terms of SD Card reliability with it, you are very limited...basically SanDisk Extreme Plus or better.

A good option for around $1000 would be a GH3 + Focal Reducer. This would give you a Super35 look and increase light performance of your adapted lenses and should be within price range.

If you are doing this for hobby (i.e. non-paid), I recommend you lower your budget. The NEX series are fantastic cameras and far below your budget. Something like the NEX-5n/r/t would give you that Super35 look without worrying about focal reducers and such. They have limitations like sensor overheating, however this is only an issue if you are doing events (weddings, corporate, etc...) where capturing long clips are critical to your job.
 

Homertjones

Estimable
Feb 23, 2014
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4,510
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Thank! Since I posted this I've been doing more research especially the sony camera lines and the a6000 really caught my attention. I decided like you suggested to maybe lower my price point and it looks like the a6000 is about $700 (with the kit lens) wherever I look. I've also been looking at the nex lines and comparing them against the a6000 (though I do really enjoy having a view finder).

I guess another question I have would be if it's worth getting the a6000 even if some of the other nex cameras are close to being $100 to $200 cheaper? I'm very willing to purchase the a6000 and have seen and heard awesome feedback about it. I just fear being cheated out of money if the a6000 doesn't clearly stand out from the other models.

Thanks!

 

Heinrich17

Honorable
Jan 16, 2014
13
0
10,570
2
The a6000 is a great camera, however there are a few things that make it expensive...

-Build quality is higher than the a5xxx series and the NEX series <<< it's nice but not necessary
-AF speed is fast and has up to 11fps with continuous focus!! <<< You do not need this
-EVF <<< this is a very nice feature for video!!! (think bright sunny days)

You mentioned the EVF is something you like and I believe at this price point, the a6000 may be the best camera. You can get an accessory EVF for the NEX cameras or you can get a viewfinder for the LCD screen, but this brings the cost equal to the a6000. The sensor on the a6000 is newer than the NEX sensors, so you will have about 1/2 - 2/3 stop better ISO performance. This would make your video a little less noisy. For $200, I would personally go for the a6000. I do believe the a6000 suffers from sensor overheating, however this would be an issue if you plan on shooting long clips (I heard it is fine up to 30 minutes). I would not use this as a main camera to record a once a lifetime event like a wedding ceremony, but I would definitely use this for making a short (or long) movie.

If you want, get the body only (approx $550) without the kit lens and put that $150 savings into a better lens. The kit lens is a good all purpose lens for outdoor, well lit situations, however indoors, you will be very limited unless you use lighting. Also, the variable aperture means every time you zoom in/out you will have to change ISO or alter your lighting. This can waste time or lead to more post work. I think fixed zooms and primes are the way to go for video.

Your best first native lens will be an ~35mm prime. That gives you the 32mm/1.8 Zeiss Touit at $500 and the Sony 35/1.8 at $450. You can pretty much use this focal length for everything as it is approx 50mm Full frame equivalent. The Zeiss is a manual focus only lens and I would go for this one as a native prime personally because of build quality and excellent manual focus feel. The Sony is an excellent lens however and if you want AF, this would be the way to go. Something to consider however is that both of these lenses are APS-C meaning that if you later on purchase an A7 series, it will only work in APS-C crop mode meaning the FF sensor is wasted. You can purchase a Full frame 35mm lens, however this will be more expensive and larger.

Your best choice in my opinion is actually adapting the Sigma 18-35/1.8 (either Nikon or Sony). Again only APS-C, however this lens is a gem!! It is sharp wide open and has a great feel for Manual Focus. The focal range is perfect as it is equivalent to approx 27mm-54mm! This lens replaces two primes and it is well worth the $800 price tag. This will take you over your budget. You can maybe get lucky and have the set for around $1200 with adapter. The would be by far the best you can do for $1000-ish. That set up would be equivalent to something like a 5D mkIII with 24-70/2.8 and about $3k cheaper!!!
 

Homertjones

Estimable
Feb 23, 2014
3
0
4,510
0


Thanks so much! You've really helped with most of what I was wondering about. I might just go with the kit lens to start out with but I will definitely be upgrading to some better glass. You mentioned a couple primes, which I was hoping to get, but your last option seems like a great alternative! I'm hoping that when I use it more and more I might get a feel as to what I think I need to make content better.

Again, thanks so much! You've been really awesome.
 
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