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Camera with good DR and high framerates for slowmo?
  • Hi, I need a camera that can match my BMPCC shots and can capture at 100fps+. As the shots are bathing in sunlight with deep shadows under a tree, I need a camera with a high dynamic range (on the level of the BMPCC). Oh, and I don't have a Hollywood budget ;-)

    1) What cameras can do both, fast fps and high DR?

    2) Is there someone with such a camera in the Weilheim/Munich (Germany) area willing to help me out with his camera, lenses and technical knowledge (1-2 afternoons, arround sunset)?

    I think one possible camera would be the Sony FS-700, but its expensive and even renting it is not cheap (as I have no experience with it, I will need additional time to learn its setups). Any thoughts on that one?

    The GH4 can do 96fps, which is just enough (and I could use my m4/3 lenses) - but what about its DR?

  • 21 Replies sorted by
  • Samsung NX1 :-)

  • Anyone known what is NX1 DR after last firmware releases?

  • The NX1 looks good on paper, bzut it does use an 8-bit codec, correct? Thats going to be a problem when dealing with a wide DR. Is there much difference between the NX1 and the GH4?

  • @Psyco

    You can just check NX1 topic :-) With such pace Samsung very soon will add proper log mode to use all of the available DR, and it is good.

  • Though from your setup it sounds like you need extra lighting, not a camera with good DR.

  • @geoffcbassett Look at the car behind you in that video - just black, no details. My main subject will have plenty of light, but I can't light some bigger shadows in the background. As its an outdoor shot, I can't control lighting much. Thats where the BMPCC shines - I can have details in the shadows and in the highlights.

    The 2 second fall of my main character will be shot as fast as possible and then slowed down to nearly freeze time in mid air with Twixtor. So the audiance will have plenty of time to look at it. Any obvious difference in shadow or highlight detail will screw the scene.

  • If you need camera for exactly one scene - just rent something as good as you can afford.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev yes, and thats why I'm asking: Which camera is best suited for a shot like this without costing to much?

    The Sony FS700 looks good on paper but I can't afford to try it for several days, its just way to expensive renting it here in Munich. So, there might be better options for less money.

  • From your first post I understand that renting is not your preferable option.

    Also most people are not getting best camera with best DR for similar thing, they mostly just get big white foam or other reflectors :-) As your request is exactly about pulling shadows (do you really need it?). Best way to pull shadows is to do it naturally (reflectors, proper weather or shooting time).

  • If someone is willing to help out would be best option, second option is renting (but I have to rent longer to learn camera controls and best setup, so its more expensive). And when renting, cheaper cameras cost less rent - so I'm looking for the cheapest camera that can just do what I need.

    The girl is "falling" under a tree, the sun is shining horizontally from the side (near sunset), the tree is throwing large shadows (100m+, its a big tree). The shadows as well as the sunlight a part of the story ("she enjoyes/wants the light, but is falling into dark shadows", some shadows will break up the sunlight on here body as well).

    I can't controll that lighting situation much - will use reflectors on here anyway - but the situation is part of the story. With a camera like the BMPCC I can get all the details I want - I just need a similar camera that can record at high frame rates.

  • Best idea is to get your existing camera, use same time and place, set the shutter speed you will be using and make test video.

  • @Vitaliy_Kiselev Yes, thats allready on the ToDo list to get the setup right.

    But I tested the BMPCC for the needed slow down effect and it does not work (not enough frames inbewteen to give Twixtor enough information).

  • Yes, thats allready on the ToDo list to get the setup right.

    Well, it must be done as first thing and only after this it make some sense to go further.

    Also, cheapest way is just make the fall slow (use strong transparent reel, in other words).

  • I'd rent an FS7. I love everything about the NX1, except the DR. It seriously needs a LOG profile. The A7s would fit your profile but its 120fps is only 720P.

  • @SuperSet 120fps at 720p could be enough, as the BMPCC is not really full 1080p (after debayering). If the frames from the A7s are sharp and full of detail at 120fps, blowing it up to 1080p might just look the same as not-so-sharp BM pocket footage.

    But how is the A7s dynamic range considering the 8-bit compression?

  • @Psyco There's a few A7s 120fps videos on YT and Vimeo that you can check out to see if it'll fulfill your needs. I do wish it were 1080 but it's good enough, IMO. DR using SLog2 is very flat and effective. Search out anything with SLog2 and you'll see what I mean.

  • Keep in mind that you can REALLY pull up the shadows on low iso GH3/4 footage and use neat video for some very clean results, if done correctly... Dont need 13+ stops of DR that way. EDIT: oh wait nvm, not high enough frame rates. Shoot. If the NX1 shadows have as much detail as the GH4s, then I would say just use that and pull the shadows up.

  • The A7S is not really good in spatial resolution and even shows quite some aliasing for 120 fps, so Twixtor will have not that much detail to work from. I'd second the FS-700, it shouldn't be that expensive if you rent it without RAW. For a single shot you won't need RAW, just dial in some settings that are adapted to the scene.

  • Thanks for all the input.

    @nomad The second advantage of the FS700 is, that it can shot 240fps - which will give Twixtor more datapoints (especially with hair and cloth). I will have a look about renting prices.

    Anybody with a FS-700 in the Munich/Bavarian area willing to help out one afternoon?

  • We used the FS700 as the main camera last year in a music video , it did very good job, the only thing was that you cant use the shadows much, lots of noise , were shooting slog2 , never used the a7s to compare the two, I'm assuming the a7s will perform little better in that regard?

  • Sure, the A7S has better low-light possibilities. But don't use S-Log2 with only 8 Bit, rather make a specific setting for your scene. The A7S has a lot of noise in S-Log2 if you don't overexpose.