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Canon XF 100 or DSLR?


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#1 cardash

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 05:49 AM

Guys, for a quite long time I`ve been using my Sony HC 7 setup and I think I`ve reached its limits :)
I get something like this:

I need to change my gear.

Until yesterday I was 99% sure it is going to be canon t2i dslr with tokina, aquatica housing and wahoo external monitor.

Improvement in quality over sony hdv is superb, lenses are great, UW images I find on internet are fine, I`m using this canon above water and I`m happy.

But, yesterday I realized that as the camera is cheap, all the rest is quite pricey compreing to regular camcorders.

So, I can go for more expensive camcorder and put it in a cheaper housing, eg Canon XF 100 with Equinox: http://www.bhphotovi...using_with.html
Or Sony AX2000 and locally built housing.


So. Which way to go?

Pros and cons of the dslr:

small, good quality, extra lenses to play with DOF etc
but no image stabilization, pain in the a.. WB and focus

As for XF 100:

Great ease of use :)

I will need to get WA converter for it.

What camera will give me a better image?
Is it worth it to hustle with the dslr? it is on land, but UW?

I shoot mainly caves and wrecks in dark water.

Piotr
my videos: www.kardasz.net

#2 ehanauer

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 07:34 AM

Most DSLRs will offer better low light performance than consumer camcorders. Also better resolution due to larger sensor and better lenses.

I shoot the D7000, and one of the advantages over my camcorder is better and easier white balance. I'm not familiar with Canons.

Primary disadvantage is loss of versatility and shallower DOF (although some consider that an advantage.

Everybody has to weigh their own pros and cons. The tipping point for me was that my background was still photography and I feel more at home with that form factor.
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#3 Timmoranuk

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 07:41 AM

Hi Piotr,

I'm a stills shooter with a 7D and recently wanted to take videos too. I also dive in low ambient light conditions.

So firstly I looked at 'proper' video systems like the Light and Motion Bluefin OLED and top end camcorders, i.e. G10 / XA10. I found that neither of these two can match the quality of the 7D. The only downsides I can see in shooting video with an modern DSLR is that its not possible to focus and zoom 'on the fly'. Equipped with an external monitor like the Wahoo or in my case the NA-DP4 you'll be producing superb quality footage. Furthermore, 'prosumer' camcorder housings only support wide angle lenses up to 90 degrees FOV. You'll be paying heaps for a professional quality camera in a Gates if you want to take the FOV up to 110 degrees.

IMHO, a DSLR wins hands down...

Hope this helps, Tim
· Canon 5D3, 7D & Nauticam housings. Sigma 15mm, Canon 16-35mm, Tokina 10-17mm, Sigma 8-16mm, Canon 10-22mm, Sigma 17-70mm, Sigma 70-200mm, Sigma 120-300mm, Canon 60mm & 100mm
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#4 cardash

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 08:21 AM

Furthermore, 'prosumer' camcorder housings only support wide angle lenses up to 90 degrees FOV. You'll be paying heaps for a professional quality camera in a Gates if you want to take the FOV up to 110 degrees.


True. That is something to keep in mind and a huge obstacle.

I try to explain it to myself this way: if I need to focus on image quality - go for dslr, try harder shooting, get better results, if I were to go for ease of use, not so much for the image, prosumer camera would be the choice.

Correct me if I`m wrong? But I see that You feel it the same way :)
my videos: www.kardasz.net

#5 Drew

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 11:32 PM

Ummm before we make hasty decisions... when you guys say that DSLR video image quality are "superior" to the XF100, by what criteria are you judging. The 2 advantages that DSLR do have over the camcorders are lens choice and low noise. However, everything else goes right back to camcorders like the XF100. 422 color resolution, better resolution overall (900 lines vs 800 or less of DSLR), longer recording times. There's no contest really in terms of quality of image. Now once you go to AVCHD, it's much more arguable but the moiré from DSLR is just terrible.
Always test before you decide. That's why supporting your local store is a good thing. You can get to shoot and test to make up your own mind.

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#6 Timmoranuk

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 12:39 AM

Yes Drew, you are of course correct. Please forgive this video 'newbie' :) :)

I based my conclusions on the XA10 / G10 which have a gain control to mitigate excessive noise in low ambient light conditions. The sample footage I saw was good but was compromised by the relatively narrow (90 degrees) AOV and increased water column.

In comparison, my initial footage with the Tokina 10-17 and reduced water column appeared 'superior', though this in itself was compromised by inadequate lighting provided by a couple of Fisheye FIX 500s. I'm soon to be the owner of a couple of 5000 lumen Aquavolts so I'll have no excuse for failing to illuminate the footage properly...

I do have to say that I'm not a big fan of the Tokina for video and find the barrel distortion it produces at the wide end to be a distraction. This is not something I have a particular problem with when shooting stills. I'm really looking forward to assessing the images and footage coming from the new Nauticam rectilinear dome port and Sigma 8-16 combination which may have the potential to usurp the Tokina's dominance.

Presently, I shoot much of my footage using the Canon 10-22 which I admit offers no AOV advantage over the XA10 / G10, Bluefin & Fathom 90 combination.

All that said, if L&M supported the Bluefin OLED and XA10 with the now discontinued 135 / 145 AOV glass I'd be in there like a shot...

Cheers, Tim

Edited by Timmoranuk, 25 November 2011 - 12:42 AM.

· Canon 5D3, 7D & Nauticam housings. Sigma 15mm, Canon 16-35mm, Tokina 10-17mm, Sigma 8-16mm, Canon 10-22mm, Sigma 17-70mm, Sigma 70-200mm, Sigma 120-300mm, Canon 60mm & 100mm
· INON Z-240s & Sea & Sea YS-250 Pros
· SmallHD DP4 monitor & NA-DP4. Fisheye Aquavolt 3500s & 7000s
· Zen DP-100, DP-200 & DP-230

#7 Drew

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 12:56 AM

I'm not disparaging your findings Tim. I just want people to understand what is the pros and cons are. There's always a compromise when it comes to choices and we choose what works for us. :)

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#8 JohnE

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 08:21 AM

I've had many discussions on this topic, and there are indeed many trade-offs. But in the end is say this: Get a system designed for the task. A camera / housing for photos is optimized quite differently than one for video.

#9 Timmoranuk

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 08:43 AM

I've had many discussions on this topic, and there are indeed many trade-offs. But in the end is say this: Get a system designed for the task. A camera / housing for photos is optimized quite differently than one for video.


Precisely :)
· Canon 5D3, 7D & Nauticam housings. Sigma 15mm, Canon 16-35mm, Tokina 10-17mm, Sigma 8-16mm, Canon 10-22mm, Sigma 17-70mm, Sigma 70-200mm, Sigma 120-300mm, Canon 60mm & 100mm
· INON Z-240s & Sea & Sea YS-250 Pros
· SmallHD DP4 monitor & NA-DP4. Fisheye Aquavolt 3500s & 7000s
· Zen DP-100, DP-200 & DP-230

#10 SimonSpear

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Posted 25 November 2011 - 02:52 PM

I've had many discussions on this topic, and there are indeed many trade-offs. But in the end is say this: Get a system designed for the task. A camera / housing for photos is optimized quite differently than one for video.


100% agree and it is why SLR housings are such a pain to film with, though as anyone who ever watched 'Blue Peter' will know its amazing what you can do with a couple of old plastic bottles and some sticky back plastic!! :)

Cheers, Simon

#11 CheungyDiver

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 02:00 AM

100% agree and it is why SLR housings are such a pain to film with, though as anyone who ever watched 'Blue Peter' will know its amazing what you can do with a couple of old plastic bottles and some sticky back plastic!! :)

Cheers, Simon



Isn't Blue Peter shot with a XF305/XF105 these days? LOL

Totally agreed with John E. on picking the right equipment for the job. Equipment should be considered for the purpose and type of shoot. I have seen many Indies struggle afterwards with a Vid DSLR because of Moire and Aliasing problems as well as rolling shutter effects. Without a larger ext. monitor and other features to check the footage it is really hit and miss sometimes until it is shown on a larger screen after the shoot. Sending the footage in for grading and for editing will be a pain. Shooting with a proper camcorder and a correct format will ease the workflow in post. DSLR post production could be technically masochistic to make the best of what larger sensors could provide IMHO. Having said that there is a lot going for Vid DSLR that's why Canon came up with the C300 and Cinema DSLR. Just hope they will solve all the current DSLR limitations for HD video and offer at an affordable pricing for broader range of people. I personally use, rent out and customize rigs for both camcorders, and Vid DSLR and there is not really any one system could be jack of all trades. Just my two cents.

Cheers

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#12 SimonSpear

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 06:02 AM

Equipment should be considered for the purpose and type of shoot. I have seen many Indies struggle afterwards with a Vid DSLR because of Moire and Aliasing problems as well as rolling shutter effects. Without a larger ext. monitor and other features to check the footage it is really hit and miss sometimes until it is shown on a larger screen after the shoot. Sending the footage in for grading and for editing will be a pain. Shooting with a proper camcorder and a correct format will ease the workflow in post. DSLR post production could be technically masochistic to make the best of what larger sensors could provide IMHO. Having said that there is a lot going for Vid DSLR that's why Canon came up with the C300 and Cinema DSLR. Just hope they will solve all the current DSLR limitations for HD video and offer at an affordable pricing for broader range of people. I personally use, rent out and customize rigs for both camcorders, and Vid DSLR and there is not really any one system could be jack of all trades. Just my two cents.


Very good summary David. It's interesting that I got way more rejections due to quality issues with HDV footage than I have with HDSLR's, but then HDV was never really a loved format for broadcast. The XF MPEG2 format and XDCAM EX are cracking codec's compare to HDV or AVCHD or the H264 used in HDSLR's. I think the manufacturers will keep those for higher end camcorders etc rather than spreading them to the masses and I wouldn't expect the moire and aliasing issues to be resolved on the lower end HDSLR"s, although it does look like the 1DX has made some progress.

Cheers, Simon

#13 peterbkk

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Posted 26 November 2011 - 11:06 PM

So, I can go for more expensive camcorder and put it in a cheaper housing, eg Canon XF 100 with Equinox: http://www.bhphotovi...using_with.html

Piotr


If you choose to go with the Canon XF 100 with Equinox HD8X, I will give you my Equinox HD8X, absolutely free of charge. You would only have to pay for shipping from Singapore to wherever you are. It weighs 32 kg.

I used it for 4 dives and some pool tests with a Canon XF100. It worked OK and never leaked. It does have a monitor, just inside the rear plate. Nothing wrong with it. But it is heavy. And you have to like manual controls.

I went with the Takla Makan from BS Kinetics. This Equinox HD8X is just sitting here doing nothing.

Free if you pay the shipping cost.

Regards
Peter

#14 CheungyDiver

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 01:38 AM

If you choose to go with the Canon XF 100 with Equinox HD8X, I will give you my Equinox HD8X, absolutely free of charge. You would only have to pay for shipping from Singapore to wherever you are. It weighs 32 kg.

I used it for 4 dives and some pool tests with a Canon XF100. It worked OK and never leaked. It does have a monitor, just inside the rear plate. Nothing wrong with it. But it is heavy. And you have to like manual controls.

I went with the Takla Makan from BS Kinetics. This Equinox HD8X is just sitting here doing nothing.

Free if you pay the shipping cost.

Regards
Peter



Wow Peter!
That's mighty generous of you. If there is no takers I'll have it. I could make use of the monitor. Don't need no shipping for me LOL

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#15 peterbkk

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 04:31 AM

Wow Peter!
That's mighty generous of you. If there is no takers I'll have it. I could make use of the monitor. Don't need no shipping for me LOL



Hi David,

If I knew that you wanted it, I would have offered it to you first.

But, then I thought that I would just be adding more clutter to your shop... ;)

If no one asks for it in a couple of days, it's yours.

Regards
Peter

#16 pmooney

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 05:41 AM

If you choose to go with the Canon XF 100 with Equinox HD8X, I will give you my Equinox HD8X, absolutely free of charge. You would only have to pay for shipping from Singapore to wherever you are. It weighs 32 kg.

Free if you pay the shipping cost.

Regards
Peter



Does it really weigh 32kgs ?

#17 cardash

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 01:53 PM

If you choose to go with the Canon XF 100 with Equinox HD8X, I will give you my Equinox HD8X, absolutely free of charge. You would only have to pay for shipping from Singapore to wherever you are. It weighs 32 kg.


Wow! ;)
I was away for two days and almost missed it!

I`ve read your topic about xf 100 and that was a starting point to think about this camera in the first place.
Now I`m really in trouble which way to go :)
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#18 Equinox Housings

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 02:01 PM

Does it really weigh 32kgs ?



Just wanted to clarify. The Equinox HD8X housing weighs 32lbs. So about 14.5kg.
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#19 peterbkk

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Posted 28 November 2011 - 02:55 PM

Just wanted to clarify. The Equinox HD8X housing weighs 32lbs. So about 14.5kg.


Got my metrics and imperials confused. ;)

Regards
Peter

#20 Drew

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 07:49 AM

It's ok Peter. You're only 2.21x off! ;)

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