Topics

Where to start

Fahnon
 

Late on this one, but I'll chime in.  If you're a self-described newb, I'd really suggest not buying an expensive camera, but buying a capable camera or simply renting as needed.  Back in the DV days that you mentioned, the camera itself dictated a lot of the quality you could achieve, and there was a huge gulf between what people could actually buy and the high end of cinema cameras.  That's why a lot of us indie-types lusted after the DVX100 (I only got as far as the old Canon HV20 back then); it gave you a filmic frame rate and aspect ratio, and even that was a huge deal to get unless you were wealthy.  Because of RED (then the DSLR revolution, then BMD and Sony) causing prices to fall dramatically, that is not the case today.  

I think that today, the difference between the entry level and high end is more like "very good" and "world class".  Take a look at Geoff's recent camera tests to see what I mean.  A C200 does not look like an RED Monstro, but honestly if I can't make a pretty picture with a C200, the issue at that point is not the camera.  Again, I'm not saying world class imagery, which is what many of us who will read this are either doing or chasing.  I'm saying if your priority is creating content that audiences consider nice looking and professional for your hopefully engaging story, you can do that very well without spending a lot these days.

If you are buying right now,  you can go with something like the new Blackmagic Pocket 4k camera ($1300US) and get very good results.  Its small size might be very good for docs and it has big boy recording modes including RAW.  

If you want a more traditional body, the Canon C100 can be had for not very much these days (around $1500US on eBay) because of the move to 4k, which actually has a 4k sensor but downscales in-camera and only records HD, and is maybe the most convenient camera I've used (small batteries that last all day, cheap media, very good ISO performance, XLR etc).  Codec won't stand up to heavy grading, but I've seen plenty of people do great stuff by watching their exposure and color temp.

In my opinion, with either of those cameras, the other aspects of filmmaking will have more impact than the camera does in creating a great image:  lighting, composition, lens choice, location, art direction, hair/makeup, SOUND, interesting subjects/talent, camera movement, color grading etc etc etc.  

If after using that for a while you start to feel like the camera is holding you back for some reason, then I'd start looking at the REDs and Arris and F65s of the world.  

And finally, I'd also add that lenses are starting to be a priority over camera bodies for me personally.

Good luck!

On Wed, Oct 17, 2018 at 10:15 PM RevJimJones <mark_young@...> wrote:
Hi Group,

Widely read, zero practiced. 

Eventually I want to end up owning an F65, but I realize that is WAY more camera then is good for a newb. 

So which camera do I start with? I am interested in shooting Doco's, nature doco's etc. I am very interested in shooting underwater (what I want the F65 for)

I have minor experience with mini DV systems from last century.

Whats a good camera to start with? F3? FS7? older Red Epic maybe?

Thoughts?



--
Fahnon Bennett
Filmmaker/Photographer
Brooklyn, New York
323.375.4332

Robert L. Cunningham
 

Fahnon hits the spot on his points. 

I would add one step between the C100-style cameras, and the Red or the ARRI. 

I’d recommend looking into the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 4.6K Digital Cinema Camera. This camera has truly impressed me. And that’s coming from someone who owns two ARRI Alexas (an XT Studio with Open Gate and an LF). So when I say that a fully outfitted URSA Mini Pro 4.6k (for about $15k) is impressive, I really mean it. 

The URSA’s image is equal in many ways (yes, not all, but many) to cameras that cost more than twice what it does. 

So- when it comes to the SPECIFIC situation you asked about, that would be my “two cents”. 

(And for the record- I am not an employee of any company, nor affiliated, nor paid- this is just how I feel.)

-R

--
Robert L. Cunningham
Cinematographer, 
Baltimore Based, Worldwide available. 

from here, there, or in the air, so please excuse my brevity, and any errors or autocorrects I didn't catch! 


On Oct 19, 2018, at 17:40, Fahnon <fahnon@...> wrote:

Fahnon

Mark Kenfield
 



As others have already pointed out, it's a VERY broad question to ask without more specifics on the sort of underwater shooting you'd be doing.

Without a specific market or list of specs you need to hit. I'd lean towards either the most video-capable stills cameras (which are obviously much easier and cheaper to source underwater housings for) the two primary contenders being the GH5 and the XT-3 (as they're the only ones with 10-bit internally).

Or, if you're able to step up a bit, I'd probably lean towards the Canon C200, for its compact size, internal raw recording, and superior auto focus.

Cheers,

Mark Kenfield 
Cinematographer 

0400 044 500

RevJimJones
 

Hi Robert,

Thanks for your views.

I have reposted this question ....in very long winded detail. Mods need to approve before it appears. I messed this original thread up - somehow I ended up deleting the thread. This new style message board is confusing to me. Anyways......

I hear you on the BM. I followed the dev cycle of that camera blow by blow from the time it was announced til the time it was released. I was very enthusiastic about it. However it cant be housed underwater because of the way the controls work on the fold out screen. BM color science is definitely very nice. Such a nice look to the footage that cam produces.

As I posted in the new "Where to Start", I am thinking of the F23/35 which led me to the F65. I only want to use the F65 underwater, so big and heavy is irrelevant in that scenario. For above water use, BM is surely one of the cams to consider. The Canon C-200 is also interesting.

I am very interested in the Sony F23 because it can use Digiprimes. To me, lenses are everything.

I am considering the F23 because 1/ in its own right that cam produces beautiful footage. 2/ its a 2/3 sensor - so Digiprimes fit it perfectly.

Thank you for your thoughts. It does help to get the thoughts of those out there doing it Vs newbs with dreams thinking about it all wrong.

Rgds

RevJimJones
 

Hi Fahnon,

Thank you for your very insightful and detailed reply.

I agree with everything you said. I have had to repost this thread under a new "Starting out" because i messed up this thread somehow. I ended up deleting the orig post and starting it again.

So, lenses. To me that is the biggest thing. The reason I ended up on the F65 trail was because I see that Zeiss Digiprimes sets can be bought as low as 8K USD. These are the very very best lenses for 2/3 format. So I looked for a camera in 2/3 format and found the Sony F23...that led to the F35 which very quickly led me to the F65. All these cameras can be bought for cheap these days and these were the top of the pile not so many years ago. Sure the F65 (and F35) are S35...not 2/3. Would a doubler on the F65 ruin the image or just soften it ? (I have read how DP's try to soften the image from the F65 because it resolves too much detail)

My use case is 90% underwater with the remainder being opening / closing sequences, establishing shots etc. Also need to do a bit of filming in villages etc to get the people element into the story. I will be shooting doco's, not dramas or any sort of acting etc.

I do get that a smaller camera is important on land (in villages working people etc). The New BM 4K pocket is interesting. I always loved the image coming from the BM Pocket camera. Even though I have not shot anything in 20 years I keep following along, dreaming of the day I can get back to it. I have been watching all the clips posted of the various cams. 

I think the C200 is an excellent cam with great bang for the buck..

The thing is, an underwater housing for any of these cams is in the 12 - 20K range. The housing will cost more then the camera. An interesting twist on things.

The reason the F65 appeals is because the image - 16 bit 4K RAW from an 8K sensor. Surely enough to stay in good shape for a few years yet. Housing is 18-22K. Camera is around 8K and plenty of good used ones coming on the market. Lowest price I have seen is 5K. Highest is currently 11K. So an 8K average - seems to be a bargin. Many cant use it because of its size, shape etc. But for me it works because I want to use it underwater. Still a big camera underwater of course. But the camera will never leave my house by the lake other then to go in the boat and out to a dive site. So no excess baggage etc moving it to dive sites etc. I have plenty of guys locally to help me move it around. So the size/weight is not a deal breaker for me. I get to most it is. In MY unique scenario I think this cam can work out for me and the price is good.

But then again, there are the REDs of this world. Remember that the cost of the housing is HIGH. So a low end cheap camera means little to me given the huge cost for the housing. So have to keep that in mind. 

Ahhh....so much in this. So much to consider. I guess if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.

Rgds

Justin Kuhn
 

I was going to suggest the Blackmagic Pocket 4K as well. Points in its favor (besides obvious image quality) include its small size, low price and low light capability. Great choice for anyone starting out right now or almost anyone really. Don't break the bank on your first rig. It is not, however, weather sealed due to its need for cooling and I wouldn't expect it to perform well in the sealed environment of an underwater housing. Plus a fixed touchscreen.

After looking up some current Sony F3 prices, I was surprised to find some used for less than a BMPCC4K new (the only available currently) and considered that it may be easier to operate underwater due to its camcorder form factor and thus (I would guess) more manual controls. Housing is likely expensive.

This leading into my third point being that if underwater photography is your goal, you might want to work backwards from the housing. Underwater housings for the Sony a6500 (or a6XXX series) can be found for as cheap as $300-400 and the camera itself in the $700 range. That would put your (base) investment in an underwater rig at about 1K. Triple that if you want to go with the expensive housing brand, but watch some reviews and test the housing empty first, at the depths you're planning to travel to.

Possibly a better choice for only slightly more $ would be a GH5/GH5s.

Are you looking to do nature photography or narrative(people)?


On Fri, Oct 19, 2018 at 11:52 PM Robert L. Cunningham <rlcunn2@...> wrote:
Fahnon hits the spot on his points. 

I would add one step between the C100-style cameras, and the Red or the ARRI. 

I’d recommend looking into the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro 4.6K Digital Cinema Camera. This camera has truly impressed me. And that’s coming from someone who owns two ARRI Alexas (an XT Studio with Open Gate and an LF). So when I say that a fully outfitted URSA Mini Pro 4.6k (for about $15k) is impressive, I really mean it. 

The URSA’s image is equal in many ways (yes, not all, but many) to cameras that cost more than twice what it does. 

So- when it comes to the SPECIFIC situation you asked about, that would be my “two cents”. 

(And for the record- I am not an employee of any company, nor affiliated, nor paid- this is just how I feel.)

-R

--
Robert L. Cunningham
Cinematographer, 
Baltimore Based, Worldwide available. 

from here, there, or in the air, so please excuse my brevity, and any errors or autocorrects I didn't catch! 


On Oct 19, 2018, at 17:40, Fahnon <fahnon@...> wrote:

Fahnon

RevJimJones
 

Hi Justin,

Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

My Work at this point is all nature doco's. The idea has changed a lot over the last 20 years - yes thats how long I have been trying to get this done! Today I think about things like Internet distribution, subscriber based web site or a web site with Patreon based access levels in order for end users to access the material. I am thinking about doing a long running series of doco's. I live at the place where this will be shot - so that helps immeasurably. 

Re the camera. This is a big one. Budget vs quality. Perceived needs (wants?) vs reality. Any camera you can name that was built since 2005 is SO SO much better then what I would have had in 99/2000 era when I originally attempted to get this happening. (read Starting Out Take 2 for details on that).

In my fantasy (and boy its a big one - gotta me credit for that at least - when I dream't , I dream't BIG in terms of how far I was willing to go and how much of a lifestyle change i was prepared to endure to make the original doco) I wonder if I can shoot a series and dramatize it for the likes of Discovery or History Channel? When I watch some of the rubbish shows they put on the air I cant help but think they must be desperate for footage!  I wonder if I paid airfares and provided the accommodation if students in thier last year might be interested in coming over to stay 6 months so we could shoot something interesting (ie, other the the fish doco's underwater)

And thats the thing.....when you take into account the cost of the housings, there is not a major difference in cost between housing a RED vs a Sony F whatever vs a C200. Surely all the lights and accessories are exactly the same (and very pricey too) regardless of camera in the housing.

So does it make sense to go higher end and just accept the cost and learn to use the thing? That approach does leave the door open to other types of work if it ever got that far. I would not buy bleeding edge latest stuff - something at least a generation or two old so that cost is reachable to me (more like containable given all the gear needed to make a complete setup)

or I am just trying to talk myself into a high end cam because...well lets be honest...it is sexy to have a high end Sony or Red or whatever.

I probably could get buy with the low end, use it to see how things go and then buy again at a higher level later.

What I am really interested in hearing is why the F23/F35 approach is/is not a good way forward. I am convinced the F65 IS a good way forward even though its a beast of a camera - in my particular scenario the weight/size is irrelevant. The camera and rig would never leave the lake shore (my house/yard has 120m lake frontage).

If those who know and are experienced REALLY feel this is wrong then I would have to take serious notice of that and then look at alternatives....some of which you have already mentioned.

In any case, thank you very much for your thoughts and time to respond.

Rgds

Geoff Boyle
 

The F23 was a great camera, especially used with DigiPrimes. Still a great combination.

 

However, it’s HD only and you may need 4K.

 

cheers
Geoff Boyle NSC
EU based cinematographer
+31 637155076

www.gboyle.nl

www.cinematography.net

 

 

From: cml-mentor@... <cml-mentor@...> On Behalf Of RevJimJones
Sent: 20 October 2018 15:11
To: cml-mentor@...
Subject: Re: [cml-mentor] Where to start

 

Hi Justin,

Thank you for your thoughtful comments.

My Work at this point is all nature doco's. The idea has changed a lot over the last 20 years - yes thats how long I have been trying to get this done! Today I think about things like Internet distribution, subscriber based web site or a web site with Patreon based access levels in order for end users to access the material. I am thinking about doing a long running series of doco's. I live at the place where this will be shot - so that helps immeasurably. 

Re the camera. This is a big one. Budget vs quality. Perceived needs (wants?) vs reality. Any camera you can name that was built since 2005 is SO SO much better then what I would have had in 99/2000 era when I originally attempted to get this happening. (read Starting Out Take 2 for details on that).

In my fantasy (and boy its a big one - gotta me credit for that at least - when I dream't , I dream't BIG in terms of how far I was willing to go and how much of a lifestyle change i was prepared to endure to make the original doco) I wonder if I can shoot a series and dramatize it for the likes of Discovery or History Channel? When I watch some of the rubbish shows they put on the air I cant help but think they must be desperate for footage!  I wonder if I paid airfares and provided the accommodation if students in thier last year might be interested in coming over to stay 6 months so we could shoot something interesting (ie, other the the fish doco's underwater)

And thats the thing.....when you take into account the cost of the housings, there is not a major difference in cost between housing a RED vs a Sony F whatever vs a C200. Surely all the lights and accessories are exactly the same (and very pricey too) regardless of camera in the housing.

So does it make sense to go higher end and just accept the cost and learn to use the thing? That approach does leave the door open to other types of work if it ever got that far. I would not buy bleeding edge latest stuff - something at least a generation or two old so that cost is reachable to me (more like containable given all the gear needed to make a complete setup)

or I am just trying to talk myself into a high end cam because...well lets be honest...it is sexy to have a high end Sony or Red or whatever.

I probably could get buy with the low end, use it to see how things go and then buy again at a higher level later.

What I am really interested in hearing is why the F23/F35 approach is/is not a good way forward. I am convinced the F65 IS a good way forward even though its a beast of a camera - in my particular scenario the weight/size is irrelevant. The camera and rig would never leave the lake shore (my house/yard has 120m lake frontage).

If those who know and are experienced REALLY feel this is wrong then I would have to take serious notice of that and then look at alternatives....some of which you have already mentioned.

In any case, thank you very much for your thoughts and time to respond.

Rgds

RevJimJones
 
Edited

Hi Geoff,

Thanks for your input.

I have never used the F23 but from I have read about it (and I have done quite the deep dive into finding out all I can about it) it was a special camera. Comments from Mitch Gross about the camera are encouraging. Downsides are its big and awkward. Its only 1080P. But it is a 4.4.4 10 Bit 1080P - nice thick signal.

The thing that drives me towards the F23 is Digiprimes. If there were no Digiprimes then if I am honest, I would not be looking at that camera. But there are Digiprimes and they are readily available and they are made for 2/3" sensors. 

Personally I feel that 1080P is enough - especially if its a quality robust 1080P (4.4.4) through the best 2/3 lenses ever made.

But I dont have the real world experience to know if this is good enough these days....it seems to be 4K everything now.

 A few people have said no dont do it - but what I wonder is, is that personal bias ? What if the conversation was not about  cameras but more about the quality of the signal - is a low cost 4K camera and its signal necessarily a better thing then a very high end capture on 1080P 4.4.4 thru DigiPrimes? Could the F23/DigiPrime setup be good enough if one feels they dont need to be on the 4K bleeding edge?

Folks, thanks for your thoughts. It helps immensely in my struggle to decide on a base foundation from which to try all this again. I feel I need to get the core basics right first. This would be 1/ Camera (resolution/bit depth/4.2.0 vs 4.2.2 vs 4.4.4) 2/ Lenses. 

At this stage I dont feel comfortable with a DSLR based approach. None of them are giving out the highest grade footage from which to then work with to make the final product.

Am I over thinking this?

Geoff Boyle
 

I’m not sure that you’re going about this the right way.

 

In fact I’m sure that you’ve got it backwards!

 

Stop worrying about cameras and think about the following:-

 

  1. What do I want to shoot? Movies, Documentaries, Corporate, Web Travelogues etc.
  2. What resolution is required for the choice from above?
  3. What shelf life has my project got? I.e. will it have future sales if it has extra resolution.
  4. Is it a subject or an outlet that will stand up-rezzing?
  5. Do you really need to own the kit to achieve the above?

 

cheers
Geoff Boyle NSC
EU based cinematographer
+31 637155076

www.gboyle.nl

www.cinematography.net

 

 

RevJimJones
 

Thanks Geoff!

You are very correct in your approach.

  1. What do I want to shoot? Movies, Documentaries, Corporate, Web Travelogues etc.
       A : Documentaries
     
      2.What resolution is required for the choice from above?
     
      A: 1080P min.

      3.What shelf life has my project got? I.e. will it have future sales if it has extra resolution 

      A: No idea. Is resolution really that big a deal? Once at 1080P the rest is gravy. But I am not a pro, so pros...what says you?

      4.Is it a subject or an outlet that will stand up-rezzing?

      A: Most likely it will stand up-rezzing - proof is in the pudding...so will have to see.
     

      5. Do you really need to own the kit to achieve the above?

      A: Mandatory ! No  choice here on this one. I live in the middle of nowhere - very remote place - I am in the jungle. Plus I need to dive every day to get up to speed on technique and spend many hours blowing bubbles filming, honing away at getting as good as it can be. Then come the trips camping every night while hundreds of kilometers away from home in a boat for weeks and weeks at a time. Couldn't possibly rent gear for that long and get through.

Geoff - Great Points!! Thanks for the clarity and direction here.

Mitch Gross
 

I was going to stay out of this but since you mentioned my old comments I feel compelled to answer. 

I would not buy an F23 & DigiPrimes today. The camera was great in its day, but that day has passed. Those lenses are excellent but they are also limiting. 

The F23 is a big, heavy, bulky camera. It eats a lot of power. You can ditch the old Sony recorder and use an Odyssey7Q, but it’s still a beast. I would never want that camera if I was out shooting alone, and certainly if I had to carry it in & out for nature work. 

Do you really want to deal with primes for shooting nature? Wouldn’t a quality zoom make more sense? A case of DigiPrimes would be one person’s burden hiking in or out of location. All that person could carry was that glass. Then when shooting you would not be able to quickly and silently reframe because you were stuck with primes instead of a zoom. 11 lenses ranging from 3.9mm to 135mm sounds pretty nice until you realize you could cover most of that range with a single zoom and a greater range with two zooms. Also, the DigiPrimes skipped from 70mm to 135mm, so that’s quite a gap. 

Nature docs are considered “evergreen” content. The program can be shown for years and the original footage repurposed and resold for many more. As such you will want the highest resolution content at the highest quality that you can practically deliver. Deliverables for future clients are outside your control — you need to give them what they want. A 4K 10-bit 422 can be used to deliver a 2K quasi-12-bit 444. It’s not quite the same but close enough to be worth it to then also offer the option of the 4K. As a purely business decision I would suggest investing in 4K for your work. 

Here’s the point where my job would be to tell you the benefits of the Panasonic cameras. They are terrific and I think offer the best options, but I don’t want to hard sell you. I’m happy to go into this separately. I just felt the need to respond since you were using some of my long ago comments to guide your thinking. 



Mitch Gross
Cinema Product Manager 
Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America
New York

On Oct 21, 2018, at 2:53 AM, RevJimJones <mark_young@...> wrote:

Hi Geoff,

Thanks for your input.

I have never used the F23 but from I have read about it (and I have done quite the deep dive into finding out all I can about it) it was a special camera. Comments from Mitch Gross about the camera are encouraging. Downsides are its big and awkward. Its only 1080P. But it is a 4.4.4 10 Bit 1080P - nice thick signal.

The thing that drives me towards the F23 is Digiprimes. If there were no Digiprimes then if I am honest, I would not be looking at that camera. But there are Digiprimes and they are readily available and they are made for 2/3" sensors. 

Personally I feel that 1080P is enough - especially if its a quality robust 1080P (4.4.4) through the best 2/3 lenses ever made.

But I dont have the real world experience to know if this is good enough these days....it seems to be 4K everything now.

 A few people have said no dont do it - but what I wonder is, is that personal bias ? What if the conversation was not about  cameras but more about the quality of the signal - is a low cost 4K camera and its signal necessarily a better thing then a very high capture on 1080P 4.4.4 thru Digiprimes? Could the F23/digiprime setup be good enough if one feels they dont need to be on the 4K bleeding edge?

Folks, thanks for your thoughts. It helps immensely in my struggle to decide on a base foundation from which to try all this again. I feel I need to get the core basics right first. This would be 1/ Camera (resolution/bit depth/4.2.0 vs 4.2.2 vs 4.4.4) 2/ Lenses. 

At this stage I dont feel comfortable with a DSLR based approach. None of them are giving out the highest grade footage from which to then work with to make the final product.

Am I over thinking this?

RevJimJones
 

Hi Mitch,

No disrespect intended by quoting you. The opposite. I respect your opinions very much.

Your comments over at that place in that thread ( I am sure you know what I am talking about) fuels my desires for the F23. Something about the best block ever made and was it you or someone else who said the color purity is the best there is in 1080P ?

Anyway it really comes down to small and light or lugging a beast around.

It is clear that almost everyone thinks small and light is the way to go. I agree on land there is lots to be said for small and light. Underwater ??? In fact it could be said that LARGE is helpful to aid in smoothing things out somewhat (ie, jerky footage due to housing movements)

Thanks for your input. Greatly appreciated.

RevJimJones
 

Mitch,

Sorry, I forgot. Since you are here your opinion on this point is worth gold many times over to me. IBE HDx35MkIII optical adapter

The F65 with Digiprimes and the IBE HDx35MkIII optical adapter. How do you think that would work out? I would never set out to do that, but if I had the lenses and had an F65 and I did use that setup.....would it be a disaster ? 

Would the high rez of the F65 let me have a decent image from the digiprimes ? Of course there is some loss of rez and the image would be softer then with an S35 lens, but would it be at least reasonable or really a no go area?

Curious about this.

Thanks



Geoff Boyle
 

OK, it looks to me that you have a choice of 3 cameras.
C200, EVA or UMP and that they all have good and bad things for you.

C200 has great autofocus with stills lenses and a good compressed raw record format but for you that may be it's  bigged t drawback. Too much data. It has very good battery life.

The UMP has interchangeable  lens mounts so you could use it with B4 mounted lenses, good zooms, and shoot HD until  you want to go to a higher resolution, it's easy to change the mount. It's big downside is that for your use it's  bigger and heavier than the other cameras  and has a heavier battery draw.

EVA, probably  the best mix of facilities  for you, good record formats, lightweight and pretty good battery life. The autofocus  isn't  brilliant but the pictures are good. You'll need to get a third party frame for it to make it  more rigid and protect it but overall I'd go for this.

Of course if you can handle the data rate of the C200 it's  autofocus  could save you many times over

Geoff Boyle NSC
Cinematographer
Netherlands


From: cml-mentor@... <cml-mentor@...> on behalf of RevJimJones <mark_young@...>
Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2018 3:34:23 PM
To: cml-mentor@...
Subject: Re: [cml-mentor] Where to start
 
Thanks Geoff!

You are very correct in your approach.

  1. What do I want to shoot? Movies, Documentaries, Corporate, Web Travelogues etc.
       A : Documentaries
     
      2.What resolution is required for the choice from above?
     
      A: 1080P min.

      3.What shelf life has my project got? I.e. will it have future sales if it has extra resolution 

      A: No idea. Is resolution really that big a deal? Once at 1080P the rest is gravy. But I am not a pro, so pros...what says you?

      4.Is it a subject or an outlet that will stand up-rezzing?

      A: Most likely it will stand up-rezzing - proof is in the pudding...so will have to see.
     

      5. Do you really need to own the kit to achieve the above?

      A: Mandatory ! No  choice here on this one. I live in the middle of nowhere - very remote place - I am in the jungle. Plus I need to dive every day to get up to speed on technique and spend many hours blowing bubbles filming, honing away at getting as good as it can be. Then come the trips camping every night while hundreds of kilometers away from home in a boat for weeks and weeks at a time. Couldn't possibly rent gear for that long and get through.

Geoff - Great Points!! Thanks for the clarity and direction here.

Jonathan Gentry
 

Battery life is going to be a major consideration underwater.  

Look into an URSA Mini Pro and shoot the new BRAW codec, or shoot the C200 and transcode the RAW codec taking advantage of autofocus on newer L series lenses.

Forget the intrigue of what you’ve heard.  The gap has closed completely on these cameras and its down to your special sauce in post that will make the difference.

Jonathan Gentry
P.240.299.5460
sent from mobile

On Oct 21, 2018, at 10:28 AM, RevJimJones <mark_young@...> wrote:

Mitch,

Sorry, I forgot. Since you are here your opinion on this point is worth gold many times over to me. IBE HDx35MkIII optical adapter

The F65 with Digiprimes and the IBE HDx35MkIII optical adapter. How do you think that would work out? I would never set out to do that, but if I had the lenses and had an F65 and I did use that setup.....would it be a disaster ? 

Would the high rez of the F65 let me have a decent image from the digiprimes ? Of course there is some loss of rez and the image would be softer then with an S35 lens, but would it be at least reasonable or really a no go area?

Curious about this.

Thanks



RevJimJones
 

Geoff,

Listening intently to what you say. 

I'd be a fool to disregard what is being said over and over. 

Ok so time for a deep dive into the Panny. The UMP is out. Lots of reasons.

The C200 is fine. I intend to shoot RAW where I can. Space is no problem - I already have a dual Xeon server with 216TB of HDD and also getting an LTO 8 tape library because of RAW space issues.

I've probably got about 10 good years left so I expect to use lots of M8 format LTO 7 tapes

The C200 does tick all the boxes for sure. Is its RAW footage as deep and thick as the F65? Does it even matter? I will need to color correct but not much more.

The Panny....I know nothing of it. Have to get reading then.

Thanks again for the insights from all of you. Very helpful in reaching a jumping off point. On this list I feel like its real practitioners giving thier advice vs arm chair cinematographers like me who are wannabe's. So very very useful indeed.

Thanks.

Mitch Gross
 

I would not go with an F65/HDx35/DigiPrimes. All three devices are very good, but together they are a cludge at cross-purposes and generally not in your best interests for the work you are trying to do. 

The F65 is more a monster of a machine as the F35, requiring you to use the proprietary Sony RAW recorder. It is big & heavy & uses a lot of power. I don’t know that anyone ever bothered to make an underwater housing for such an ungainly beast. 

Any optical advantage you gain by using the DigiPrimes will be lost by combining them with the HDx35. It’s a great piece of kit, but any time you add glass to the optical path you will be downgrading the result somehow. And this combination will make those T1.7 DigiPrimes into T4.3 slow primes, which is pretty poor for underwater work. 

My advice is to stop looking at out of date used equipment for cheap. Even if they were in brand new condition and the prices were next to nothing, these circa-2008/2013 hunks of technology just aren’t appropriate for your use. I would never want to use this kind of gear for the types of shooting you are going to do. Underwater with one of these boat anchors? No way. Do you realize that they require big batteries, and that you’ll need to both carry these around and figure out how to recharge them in the bush?

Time to switch to sales mode. The Panasonic EVA1 has a 5.7K Super-35 sensor. You can record 4K in 10-bit 422 onboard, or you can output 5.7K RAW to an Atomos Shogun Inferno. Nauticam makes an excellent underwater housing for the EVA1, as well as one for the Atomos that’s designed to mount to it efficiently. The EVA1 body is only 2.65 pounds and our small batteries can power the camera up to five hours, making it ideally portable for carrying around in a backpack for field work. The EVA1 has Dual Native ISO of 800 & 2500 with 14 stops of dynamic range, meaning that it outperforms both the F35 and the F65. The EVA1 comes in EF lens mount but you can use a Wooden Camera retrofit kit to put a PL mount on it if you wish. For optics there are many, many options you can look at for excellent quality, price & practicality — far more than we’re ever available in 2/3rds inch B4 mount. 

Realistically you will likely spend around the same money for a proper EVA1 kit as you will for your proposed F35/F65 kit, possibly a lot less. But the EVA1 kit will be vastly easier to use for your intended purposes and will deliver better results. 


Mitch Gross
Cinema Product Manager 
Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America
New York

On Oct 21, 2018, at 10:32 AM, Geoff Boyle <geoff.cml@...> wrote:

OK, it looks to me that you have a choice of 3 cameras.
C200, EVA or UMP and that they all have good and bad things for you.

C200 has great autofocus with stills lenses and a good compressed raw record format but for you that may be it's  bigged t drawback. Too much data. It has very good battery life.

The UMP has interchangeable  lens mounts so you could use it with B4 mounted lenses, good zooms, and shoot HD until  you want to go to a higher resolution, it's easy to change the mount. It's big downside is that for your use it's  bigger and heavier than the other cameras  and has a heavier battery draw.

EVA, probably  the best mix of facilities  for you, good record formats, lightweight and pretty good battery life. The autofocus  isn't  brilliant but the pictures are good. You'll need to get a third party frame for it to make it  more rigid and protect it but overall I'd go for this.

Of course if you can handle the data rate of the C200 it's  autofocus  could save you many times over

Geoff Boyle NSC
Cinematographer
Netherlands


From: cml-mentor@... <cml-mentor@...> on behalf of RevJimJones <mark_young@...>
Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2018 3:34:23 PM
To: cml-mentor@...
Subject: Re: [cml-mentor] Where to start
 
Thanks Geoff!

You are very correct in your approach.

  1. What do I want to shoot? Movies, Documentaries, Corporate, Web Travelogues etc.
       A : Documentaries
     
      2.What resolution is required for the choice from above?
     
      A: 1080P min.

      3.What shelf life has my project got? I.e. will it have future sales if it has extra resolution 

      A: No idea. Is resolution really that big a deal? Once at 1080P the rest is gravy. But I am not a pro, so pros...what says you?

      4.Is it a subject or an outlet that will stand up-rezzing?

      A: Most likely it will stand up-rezzing - proof is in the pudding...so will have to see.
     

      5. Do you really need to own the kit to achieve the above?

      A: Mandatory ! No  choice here on this one. I live in the middle of nowhere - very remote place - I am in the jungle. Plus I need to dive every day to get up to speed on technique and spend many hours blowing bubbles filming, honing away at getting as good as it can be. Then come the trips camping every night while hundreds of kilometers away from home in a boat for weeks and weeks at a time. Couldn't possibly rent gear for that long and get through.

Geoff - Great Points!! Thanks for the clarity and direction here.

RevJimJones
 

Jonathan,

Thank you very much for your thoughts. This is exactly the type of feed back I need.

So C200 RAW is not really any different to F65 RAW? 12 bit 4.4.4 is 12 bit 4.4.4? 

This used to be easy.....just didnt have these choices 20 years ago.

Mitch Gross
 

I’m happy to offer whatever info you need on the Panasonic EVA1. It’s a remarkable camera that’s uniquely appropriate for the work you’re looking to do. I’m kinda partial...

BTW, what’s your real name? Geoff generally asks that everyone signs their posts with a name and location. I kinda doubt you’re actually the Rev. Jim Jones. 


Mitch Gross
Cinema Product Manager 
Panasonic System Solutions Company of North America
New York

On Oct 21, 2018, at 10:45 AM, RevJimJones <mark_young@...> wrote:

Geoff,

Listening intently to what you say. 

I'd be a fool to disregard what is being said over and over. 

Ok so time for a deep dive into the Panny. The UMP is out. Lots of reasons.

The C200 is fine. I intend to shoot RAW where I can. Space is no problem - I already have a dual Xeon server with 216TB of HDD and also getting an LTO 8 tape library because of RAW space issues.

I've probably got about 10 good years left so I expect to use lots of M8 format LTO 7 tapes

The C200 does tick all the boxes for sure. Is its RAW footage as deep and thick as the F65? Does it even matter? I will need to color correct but not much more.

The Panny....I know nothing of it. Have to get reading then.

Thanks again for the insights from all of you. Very helpful in reaching a jumping off point. On this list I feel like its real practitioners giving thier advice vs arm chair cinematographers like me who are wannabe's. So very very useful indeed.

Thanks.