Nikon D3s vs D800 vs GX85

So…  Why older tech? Because right now, you can purchase a D3s for around $1400 USD. It has 9 FPS with constant AF. What other 35mm Full Frame can be purchased at this time for that price?

Fuji XT2 is fast, but the lag on the EVF is cumbersome when doing high speed action. You have to get familiar with it, I couldn’t. Sony cameras? not good for high speed action AF.

There is a market for High End DSLR and thats mostly photo journalists that rely on the impressive AF that these cameras have.

I believe I’m mastering the low noise high ISO at 25600, look at these files and see for yourself, they don’t look as bad as most people have around the web.

I will be making a comparison to a Sony A7sII and Nikon D3s.

 

Micro Four Thirds – 5 Generations

I was one of those who rushed in 2009 to get an Olympus E-P1 camera. It looked vintage, was small and offered great image quality compared to others in the size category. In fact, the photos were sharper than what I was getting with my Nikon D100. Seems the lenses were sharper than the Nikon lenses I had at the time. Fast forward to 2017 and I am mostly a Leica shooter but many times find myself wanting that portable autofocus system and 5 axis IS. I’ve shot with the EPL1, E-P2, E-P3, E-P5 and two of the Panasonic Lumix cameras such as the GX8 and GX85. As always, if camera manufactures just merged techs and menus to create the ultimate camera, we would probably still want more changes. So, how does a camera from 2009 compares to one in 2017.

 

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Olympus 2009 vs Panasonic 2017

As far as highlights, I get almost the same range but when it comes to shadows, I cannot recover more than 20% from the Olympus E-P1 otherwise I get pretty bad noise and almost no detail.

In the real world, there isn’t any technical reason why anyone would not be able to create impressive images with an old $50 USD Olympus E-P1 and a nice Prime Lens. Well, unless is very bright outside and cannot compose your shots by using the LCD.

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Panasonic Lumix GX85

Been using the Lumix GX85 for two weeks. I’m a Leica shooter, so the viewfinder style on the left of the camera makes more sense to me. Using Leica glass with an adapter makes it easy to focus and preview what the shot is going to look like before I push the shutter button. The back of the camera has a button to magnify a section of the frame to achieve critical focus, this option can also be changed in magnification ratios and can also make use of the whole screen. Having a touch screen speeds up the need to change some basic settings. I really enjoy the Electronic Shutter, I take a lot of photos at meetings and snaping shots silently without distracting people relaxes me. When focusing micro 4/3 lenses manually, the camera recognizes this and instantly magnifies a window (if enabled) to help you achieve spot on focus. The sensor doesn’t have a low pass filter, your images appear sharper than traditional sensors with the same mega pixel count. I can shoot 4k Video at 30fps and HD Video at 60fps. The Image Stabilization is finally 5 axis just like Olympus cameras, it helps a lot!

I will be posting more interesting functions of this camera as I familiarize myself with this super portable cam.

Came-TV Boltzen 55w LED Zoom vs Arri 650w Fresnel

Focusable LED Battery Powered video light. This is a very affordable good option compared to a Dedolight. Works on FP Sony type batteries and can also run on AC power. Everything is included in the 2 piece kit, even a plastic case to travel. I tested it at 4800K instead of the advertised 5600K. All the LEDs I have tested usually run around 4500k to 4800k. The only one I have used so far that really runs at the advertised color is the KinoFlo Celeb. I assume the Arri LEDs should also run like a Kino.

Here are some shots of the Boltzen kit:

 

Below, we have a shot comparing sunlight coming from the window on top left and the Boltzen with a gel at 3400K.

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Came-TV LED Boltzen 55W Gelled at 3400K

 

In the next section I compared the Boltzen with an Arri 650w Fresnel. First thing to notice is the Boltzen is rated at 5600K while the Arri is at 3200K. Both units can run in Flood or Spot. The intensity of both units is very similar from .5 a stop to 1 full stop in luminosity. For example, at 9ft projected to a wall we measured the following:

Boltzen – Spot: 16EV        Flood: 15.5EV

Arri 650w – Spot: 17EV         Flood:16EV

Here are some shots of those two.

 

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Came-TV Boltzen 55w

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Arri 650w Fresnel

 

 

So, I see when LED technology can really replace traditional tungsten lighting now at much better prices. Those Boltzen are $288 USD each at B&H. The Arri 650w Fresnel is $484 USD.

Something to keep in mind, the Arri is very neutral for 3200K while the Boltzen will need some Gels to get it closer to 5600K and no tint shift to green or magenta, which will decrease the intensity of the light. In the same line, the Arri would require CTB in order to achieve 5600K in case you wanted to work in that spectrum. In all, I would still go with the Boltzen for its price, relative low heat components, performance and compactness.

As a final note, I’ve read some people are afraid of the built in fan on the Boltzen lights, well…  the AC vents in your studio are louder. The fan on a Red Epic Dragon Camera is louder as well.