Which FF camera should i choose?


fxsgsc

New Member
Jun 10, 2017
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Hi, I don't earn a living out of camera but intend to upgrade my APSC A6300 to FF.
I'm shifting to video focus and looking at camera that support 4K 10bit.
I brought my A6300 in Dec 2016 and have the following lens - Zeiss 16~70mm F4 (my general purpose and travel lens), 35mm f1.8 (my first lens) and Sigma 16mm f.14 (my wide angle, low light lens).

As I use camera mainly as hobby, my budget is set to 4k max including first lens. As such, I have to exclude Canon R5, R6 and Sony A7SIII out.
I'm also not interested in Export or second hand camera and lenses. I want standard local 1 year warranty.

The following my filter list:
1) Sony A7C (S$2.5K) - Well within budget, similar with its menu setting and likely handling. But it doesn't support 4K60p nor 10bit.
2) Fuji XT4 ($S2.7K) - Within budget, strong video specs. But not FF
3) Panasonic S5 (USD2K) - Within budget, strong video specs. But lack of cheap quality lens. Bad autofocus
 

swifty

Senior Member
Oct 12, 2004
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Z6 also outputs 10bit 4K video but not internally. Currently $29xxSGD with the 24-70 f/4 kit lens.

I believe A7c doesn’t do 10bit video but same mount as your current camera provides some advantages.
 

one eye jack

Senior Member
Jun 11, 2011
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As a hobbyist like yourself I don't even have a $4k budget yet the decision of what to buy in this case a video capable camera is essentially the same.

May I be so bold as to ask, have you mastered the basics or the art of video which is telling a story with moving pictures? In my honest opinion no. You have only emphasise the hardware aspect that is video capture which is simply recording a frame or scene and even this is not as simple as it looks because it requires the mastery of camera exposure. You may argue..I just use auto exposure but everyone knows the camera meter can be fooled or in reality try to expose everything into shades of gray which will affect the final colour output.

If you think video is easier like shooting a still photo then you are mistaken.All you have done is merely shot a boring video. It's the look, feeling that you want to convey to your audience. A video centric camera just cannot achieve this by itself. It requires, now here's one of the big secrets and that is lighting. But you say you shoot with natural light which is free. Sure but it can be tricky.What do you do when it is sunny.Oh you say I take my subjects into the shade which is softer light..yes but after you see the video footage on the computer you complain it's boring why? Because there is no contrast, no pop, etc. So how? I leave it here for you to research and learn. Also if fullframe you want to use wide aperture for shallow dof in strong sunny day..how to when your shutter speed is 1/50 or 1/100 remember you are not shooting a photo that you can up the shutter speed. Now you need lens sunglasses which is a neutral density filter.A variable ND filter that can go up to 10 f stops is good for starters.

As a video story teller, one of the tools used to tell a story is the use of lenses of different focal length or angle of view..perspective.When do you use a wide , a middle shot or a close up? After the video capture do you have a powerful pc and a 4k video monitor to process the footage not forgetting external storage and backup .There is editting software to think about but there are free ones. It adds up the cost of $4k. So in reality you need more pieces of essential hardware to make up your video gear.

So my question to you is do you need fullframe now? You can but you have to sacrifice certain features like autofocus which is convenient but in the professional world it's mostly manual. They have a person just to do that..known as a focus puller.

If I were you since I have already an apsc system I would upgrade to A6600 which is a video centric camera. These rest of the budget can be used for other needed gear.
 

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fxsgsc

New Member
Jun 10, 2017
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Singapore
Z6 also outputs 10bit 4K video but not internally. Currently $29xxSGD with the 24-70 f/4 kit lens.

I believe A7c doesn’t do 10bit video but same mount as your current camera provides some advantages.
Hmm.. i checked Nikon Z6 is S$3600 with 24-70/f4? My current lens is apsc so mount on a7c will come will a crop, think dont will use it.

Most likely i think buy one all purpose len to start with first then expand to one wide-angle and one portrait.

Sony a7c kit review not good so (if decide) will likely opt for body alone and pair with one sigma len. If decide to go with Panasonic S5, will likely opt for kit to start with.
 

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swifty

Senior Member
Oct 12, 2004
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Hmm.. i checked Nikon Z6 is S$3600 with 24-70/f4? My current lens is apsc so mount on a7c will come will a crop, think dont will use it.

Most likely i think buy one all purpose len to staer with first then expand to one wide-angle and one portrait.

Sony a7c kit review not good so (if decide) will likely opt for body alone and pair with one sigma len. If decide to go with Panasonic S5, will likely opt for kit to start with.
Price I said is current street price at a well known reputable retailer in Funan and comes with a few freebies like XQD card. It’s just FYI.
I’m predominantly a stills shooter so will defer advise on video aspects to others.
 

fxsgsc

New Member
Jun 10, 2017
11
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Singapore
Price I said is current street price at a well known reputable retailer in Funan and comes with a few freebies like XQD card. It’s just FYI.
I’m predominantly a stills shooter so will defer advise on video aspects to others.
Icic, thanks alot!
 

fxsgsc

New Member
Jun 10, 2017
11
0
1
Singapore
As a hobbyist like yourself I don't even have a $4k budget yet the decision of what to buy in this case a video capable camera is essentially the same.

May I be so bold as to ask, have you mastered the basics or the art of video which is telling a story with moving pictures? In my honest opinion no. You have only emphasise the hardware aspect that is video capture which is simply recording a frame or scene and even this is not as simple as it looks because it requires the mastery of camera exposure. You may argue..I just use auto exposure but everyone knows the camera meter can be fooled or in reality try to expose everything into shades of gray which will affect the final colour output.

If you think video is easier like shooting a still photo then you are mistaken.All you have done is merely shot a boring video. It's the look, feeling that you want to convey to your audience. A video centric camera just cannot achieve this by itself. It requires, now here's one of the big secrets and that is lighting. But you say you shoot with natural light which is free. Sure but it can be tricky.What do you do when it is sunny.Oh you say I take my subjects into the shade which is softer light..yes but after you see the video footage on the computer you complain it's boring why? Because there is no contrast, no pop, etc. So how? I leave it here for you to research and learn. Also if fullframe you want to use wide aperture for shallow dof in strong sunny day..how to when your shutter speed is 1/50 or 1/100 remember you are not shooting a photo that you can up the shutter speed. Now you need lens sunglasses which is a neutral density filter.A variable ND filter that can go up to 10 f stops is good for starters.

As a video story teller, one of the tools used to tell a story is the use of lenses of different focal length or angle of view..perspective.When do you use a wide , a middle shot or a close up? After the video capture do you have a powerful pc and a 4k video monitor to process the footage not forgetting external storage and backup .There is editting software to think about but there are free ones. It adds up the cost of $4k. So in reality you need more pieces of essential hardware to make up your video gear.

So my question to you is do you need fullframe now? You can but you have to sacrifice certain features like autofocus which is convenient but in the professional world it's mostly manual. They have a person just to do that..known as a focus puller.

If I were you since I have already an apsc system I would upgrade to A6600 which is a video centric camera. These rest of the budget can be used for other needed gear.
Hi Jack, thanks. As hobbyist, I started with A6300 in Dec 2016 instead of going to FF straight. This is becos it doesnt justify the investment cost. Fast foward to now, i believe Im ready.

In fact, when i first start trying video, i use my smartphone instead of my Sony. I purchased an apps call Filmicpro and a cheap but good ZhiYun smooth gimbal. Filmicpro support log & flat profile although its kind of fake. However, it give me the chance to color correct. Of course with a small sensor it suffer badly indoor, even daytime. This is where i shift back to A6300.

It's a much harder learning curve with A6300. Still a starter and learning but at least acceptable. I love 120fps and find it to suit my style. Unfortunately, A6300 full hd quality very soft, not good at all.

A6600 is a wonderful camera but I wont not consider given it similarity to my current camera beside IBIS. It's also very expensive. I'm moving to FF. Sony a7c seem to be a nice deal. At $2500, it's an acceptable price. The Zeiss 16~35mm very tempting @$1349 Sony offical site.

Another model i considering is Panasonic S5. At USD2K, its reasonable with good specs, 4k60 @10bit. Only thing holding bad is lack of (good but cheap) lens and subpar AF.
 

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one eye jack

Senior Member
Jun 11, 2011
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Hi Jack, thanks. As hobbyist, I started with A6300 in Dec 2016 instead of going to FF straight. This is becos it doesnt justify the investment cost. Fast foward to now, i believe Im ready.

In fact, when i first start trying video, i use my smartphone instead of my Sony. I purchased an apps call Filmicpro and a cheap but good ZhiYun smooth gimbal. Filmicpro support log & flat profile although its kind of fake. However, it give me the chance to color correct. Of course with a small sensor it suffer badly indoor, even daytime. This is where i shift back to A6300.

It's a much harder learning curve with A6300. Still a starter and learning but at least acceptable. I love 120fps and find it to suit my style. Unfortunately, A6300 full hd quality very soft, not good at all.

A6600 is a wonderful camera but I wont not consider given it similarity to my current camera beside IBIS. It's also very expensive. I'm moving to FF. Sony a7c seem to be a nice deal. At $2500, it's an acceptable price. The Zeiss 16~35mm very tempting @$1349 Sony offical site.

Another model i considering is Panasonic S5. At USD2K, its reasonable with good specs, 4k60 @10bit. Only thing holding bad is lack of (good but cheap) lens and subpar AF.
Since you have done your research you can't go wrong with Sony a7c.
Better autofocus but it has an optical filter in front of the sensor.
It only output 8bit because it is entry level FF camera. Native lens choices are wide and so is 3rd. Party manufacturers. It also has only 1 card slot vs S5. Sony would be a no brainer.

S5's L mount at the moment is limited as Sigma has only primes to offer so it has offered a MC21 convertor to use sigma's dslr canon ef lenses. That said S5 video specs are superior to 7C. In fact by year end a firmware upgrade would make it on par with S1H! Although 7C has similar algorithm of S7iii.
S5 also can record 5.9k raw using external recorder like Atamos ninja 5 for higher quality in 10bit with firmware upgrade. Downside is it has micro hdmi port.

Many people buy top end cameras but use cheap lenses which defeats the purpose of the camera. You really should use the best quality lens to get good quality image or video. Lastly pay attention to sound, use a good quality external microphone.
 

fxsgsc

New Member
Jun 10, 2017
11
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1
Singapore
Since you have done your research you can't go wrong with Sony a7c.
Better autofocus but it has an optical filter in front of the sensor.
It only output 8bit because it is entry level FF camera. Native lens choices are wide and so is 3rd. Party manufacturers. It also has only 1 card slot vs S5. Sony would be a no brainer.

S5's L mount at the moment is limited as Sigma has only primes to offer so it has offered a MC21 convertor to use sigma's dslr canon ef lenses. That said S5 video specs are superior to 7C. In fact by year end a firmware upgrade would make it on par with S1H! Although 7C has similar algorithm of S7iii.
S5 also can record 5.9k raw using external recorder like Atamos ninja 5 for higher quality in 10bit with firmware upgrade. Downside is it has micro hdmi port.

Many people buy top end cameras but use cheap lenses which defeats the purpose of the camera. You really should use the best quality lens to get good quality image or video. Lastly pay attention to sound, use a good quality external microphone.
That's very true. Buy top end camera but cheap lens. Currently, i lean toward Sony a7c +1635 Zeiss. Good len+gd camera.

S5 still in my consideration becos of its in body 420 10bit 4k +422 external. Lens I'll have to start with kit and later target Sigma 14mm f1.8. The 2 060mm kit review not bad. However, eventually I'll require Sigma as 4k60p crop factor will make the 20mm become 30mm.
 

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ricohflex

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Feb 24, 2005
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If you are planning for the long term, then it may be worth while to consider the:

Innate Design Characteristics of the Mount

Namely the size of the diameter of the mount and the flange distance.

Nikon and Canon have big mounts (Z mount and RF mount respectively) which give them much flexibility for future potential innovations.
Leica L mount is quite good too, though smaller, but It is an expensive system to get into.
Maybe Panasonic can introduce low cost entry into the L mount. e.g. S5 though dogged by lousy autofocus.

You may like to view the following video:
I will delete the video link after a few days.
{ As promised, I have deleted the video link }
You may not agree entirely with what he says but he has some relevant observations.

To have a counter-argument with what he pointed out about Sony E mount.
It is the smallness of the E mount that now make it possible for Sony to create the compact 7c model and yet offer Full Frame.

Choose what you like.
 

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fxsgsc

New Member
Jun 10, 2017
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If you are planning for the long term, then it may be worth while to consider the:

Innate Design Characteristics of the Mount

Namely the size of the diameter of the mount and the flange distance.

Nikon and Canon have big mounts (Z mount and RF mount respectively) which give them much flexibility for future potential innovations.
Leica L mount is quite good too, though smaller, but It is an expensive system to get into.
Maybe Panasonic can introduce low cost entry into the L mount. e.g. S5 though dogged by lousy autofocus.

You may like to view the following video:
I will delete the video link after a few days.
{ As promised, I have deleted the video link }
You may not agree entirely with what he says but he has some relevant observations.

To have a counter-argument with what he pointed out about Sony E mount.
It is the smallness of the E mount that now make it possible for Sony to create the compact 7c model and yet offer Full Frame.

Choose what you like.

Hi, thks for sharing; I've seen your link but I delay responding as I'm weighting my decision on Panasonic S5.
I largely agreed with the video content.

After throughout research, I've decided to drop S5 although initially it tick all my checkbox, namely FF, 4K60P and 10bit recording without additional accessories.

The reasons as follow:
1) Limited and expensive L mount. The kit lens although not bad is not excellent with its variable aperture. Sigma limited to prime lens and review shows it cant work with DFD technology, placing the already bad AF in a worse position.
2) Bad DFD AF. After reviewing most YouTube video, I concluded S5 AF is not useable except in APSC mode. As I have no interest to go into manual focus for the entire shoots, i depends on the camera AF. There's no reason to invest in FF but shoot in APSC mode.
3) Limited present in SG. Only a few retailers selling Panasonic S series (example S1), none is selling S5 now. As compared, Sony A7C is everywhere.
 

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ricohflex

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Feb 24, 2005
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Take your time to choose. The AF Full Frame Mirrorless ILC are in a state of flux now.
The changes in latter half of 2020 and expected changes in 2021 are many and rapid.
Competing sensor formats such as MFT has (for all practical purposes) collapsed.
With Panasonic putting up a brave MFT front to save face. Olympus has killed its camera division after 3 years of saving face about MFT.
Next year if Tokyo Olympics gets green light, the surviving top Japanese camera companies will go all out to produce a top model camera.
Not many countries get to host Olympics.
Even less countries get to host it twice. (1964 and 2021)
For Japan, Tokyo 2021 Olympics is a tremendous honour and something they really want to do.
That means Japan will pump out Nikon Z9, Canon R1, Sony A9 (mk3?) to commemorate the Olympics.
(In previous decades, camera manufacturers had created special "Olympics model" cameras. )
(Leicaflex SL 1972 Olympics, Canon F-1 Lake Placid 1980 Olympic Model , 1984 Summer Olympics model, Russian Zenit & Kiev models for 1980 Summer Olympics)
You may or may not buy the top model.
But the top model gives you an idea of the span and depth of the camera company's system capability.
 

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fxsgsc

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Jun 10, 2017
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Singapore
I think I found my dream camera - Nikon Z 6 II

Very decent (street) price of $2.7k (body) /$3.4k (kit) , even consider cheap when compared to Sony A7C.
The only competitor is the Canon R6 however the price different is almost a thousand dollar, not worth in my opinion especially with the lesser 20MP sensor.
From YouTube (non ambassador) review, the AF is on par with Sony A7III, good enough for me.

I'll wait for 4k60p firmware release next February before I buy. Perhaps by then who know may have chance of price drop.
In the future if I'm ready, I can buy the purchase Atomos ninja for the 10bit Nlog.
 

swifty

Senior Member
Oct 12, 2004
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Yep, but just be aware that 4K 60p (when firmware updated) will be an APS-C (DX) crop, not full width.
Also, I’m told body only are sold out in Sg. Only 24-70 f/4 kits are left but if you’re starting from scratch I guess you’ll need lenses.
Alternatively you can get a Techart adapter to mount your APS-C E-mount lenses but only in cropped mode. But as a bonus, because the future 4K 60p will be a DX crop your existing lenses will work at the focal lengths they were intended.
 

fxsgsc

New Member
Jun 10, 2017
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Singapore
Yep, but just be aware that 4K 60p (when firmware updated) will be an APS-C (DX) crop, not full width.
Also, I’m told body only are sold out in Sg. Only 24-70 f/4 kits are left but if you’re starting from scratch I guess you’ll need lenses.
Alternatively you can get a Techart adapter to mount your APS-C E-mount lenses but only in cropped mode. But as a bonus, because the future 4K 60p will be a DX crop your existing lenses will work at the focal lengths they were intended.
Hi Swifty, thanks for pointing out the adaptor. Great way to reuse my current lenses, will definitely research more.

As for 4K60P I understand it come with a crop but so does S5 even R6 (althought smaller 1X), so I'm okay to accept.

I'm only buying after firmware release (since no vacation this year no rush) so I'm not worry about immediate availability.

I'm thinking of body only + 20mm f1.8 which is slightly above my budget of $4K. Hope by the time i commit, price of body can drop slightly to stay within my budget.
 

swifty

Senior Member
Oct 12, 2004
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Hi Swifty, thanks for pointing out the adaptor. Great way to reuse my current lenses, will definitely research more.

As for 4K60P I understand it come with a crop but so does S5 even R6 (althought smaller 1X), so I'm okay to accept.

I'm only buying after firmware release (since no vacation this year no rush) so I'm not worry about immediate availability.

I'm thinking of body only + 20mm f1.8 which is slightly above my budget of $4K. Hope by the time i commit, price of body can drop slightly to stay within my budget.
The R6’s 1.1X crop in 4K 60 is mostly ignorable except perhaps if you’re vlogging with a 24-xx type lens as even 24mm is sometimes not wide enough and many prefer around 20mm for vlogging. The 1.1x crop takes it to around 26.4mm.
But the APS-C crops for 4K60 in the S1H, S1, S5 and Z6II does significantly affect the focal lengths that you’d probably want to use APS-C lenses especially at the wide end depending on the focal length you want. Since you already have some APS-C lenses that’s why I suggested you look into the Techart adapter.
Conversely of course the crops can be an advantage when you want to shoot long.

It’s largely to do with sensor read speed. Currently I think the only FF cameras to do 4K 60p full width are the A7S3 and R5 but they’re in very different price brackets.
But the R6 is close enough to full width and is much closer to the price brackets you were searching in.
But I do agree that the Z6II package is quite attractive and my feeling is there’re still quite a lot of untapped potential from the dual EXPEED CPUs in future firmwares to come.
 

fxsgsc

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Jun 10, 2017
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The R6’s 1.1X crop in 4K 60 is mostly ignorable except perhaps if you’re vlogging with a 24-xx type lens as even 24mm is sometimes not wide enough and many prefer around 20mm for vlogging. The 1.1x crop takes it to around 26.4mm.
But the APS-C crops for 4K60 in the S1H, S1, S5 and Z6II does significantly affect the focal lengths that you’d probably want to use APS-C lenses especially at the wide end depending on the focal length you want. Since you already have some APS-C lenses that’s why I suggested you look into the Techart adapter.
Conversely of course the crops can be an advantage when you want to shoot long.

It’s largely to do with sensor read speed. Currently I think the only FF cameras to do 4K 60p full width are the A7S3 and R5 but they’re in very different price brackets.
But the R6 is close enough to full width and is much closer to the price brackets you were searching in.
But I do agree that the Z6II package is quite attractive and my feeling is there’re still quite a lot of untapped potential from the dual EXPEED CPUs in future firmwares to come.
Fully agreed on the crop factors.

A7S3 and R5 I'm not considering as I don't earn a earning out of camera. R6 is also out of my budget of $4K. In comparison, Z 6II is very competitive. Z 6II body + Atomos Ninja cheaper than R6 body.