Are you playing with the thought to enter into the 10-bit full frame filmmaking world but think it’s prohibitively expensive? Here is a sub $3500 suggestion. If you are willing to invest money and time, the combination of working with the Panasonic S1 equipped with Canon’s FD lenses is fun and a good reason to collect some older items too.
Panasonic S1 with the Canon FD 35mm f2 lens. Image credit: Gunther Machu
If you are like me, an enthusiast hobbyist who is digging the full frame look but don’t want to go back to 8-bit codecs, then I’m sure we are sharing the same dilemma. I’ve started filming 10 years ago with a Panasonic GH1 and later moved to the original BMPCC camera but the full frame “look” always fascinated me and 8 vs 10-bit became a deal breaker when choosing my next camera.
My Wish List When Considering a Camera
- a full frame sensor camera to get this creamy shallow depth of field with fast primes
- a robust 4K 4:2:2 10-bit internal codec
- the cam has a LOG image picture profile that provides good dynamic range and is flexible enough for grading in post
- in body image (sensor) stabilization (IBIS) would be great
- the audio department should provide good sound quality with a headphone output, of course
- a good viewfinder and/or screen is mandatory
- decent battery life
- lenses should cover wides and moderate tele and should be fast (below f4, ideally f2) – otherwise you would defy the purpose to go for full frame
- in addition, the lenses should provide robust mechanics, a buttery smooth focus throw to allow for precise manual focus adjustment with hard stops at close and infinity focus
- I don’t like messing with rigs, external recorders, HDMI cables, and all the auxiliary stuff and need a compact footprint
- As a hobbyist, I just don’t want to spend more than $3500 all in all