(My latest infatuation with vintage 35mm film cameras. See my Canon AE-1 review here and story of how I am going backwards from digital to analog.)
This is a list of my cameras and lenses that I own. This isn’t exactly a recommendation page but hopefully it helps you in finding your combo for cameras/lenses for videography.
My Main Camera Setup for 4K Videos
Panasonic GH5 – My latest 4K main camera is the GH5 as it comes with 400Mbps All-Intra 4K video recording at 10-bit 422, which means you can do a whole lot of post-processing in comparison to any of the newer Sony cameras. Besides that, the GH5 offers full 5K (if you record in 6K anamorphic) in 4:3 aspect ratio plus you can use 2X anamorphic lenses at full 4:3 sensor coverage. The GH5 sensor is 4/3 and with use of speedbooster you can get a super35mm-equivalent look. While lens selection isn’t as good with GH5, it is way more advanced than Sony cameras in the same price range due to its 10-bit 422 and also 4K 60fps (60fps not in 10-bit but Long GOP unless using external recorder like Atomos). The best video camera of this year? Yes!
(Buying TIP: B&H is based out of New York, if you don’t live in New York, you may be able to not have to pay taxes. The money you can save on taxes, you can use 1-2 day shipping to get your items quickly and still save if you don’t live near NY. So compare prices of Amazon and B&H before deciding.)
Sony A7rii – I just picked up the A7rii after using 2 A6300 for almost a year and boy, this is definitely the professional version of A6300. What I really like is the more durable build with more custom buttons and also 4K mode in full frame or Super 35mm allowing you to basically make 35mm lens into 50mm (almost like having two lenses in one lens). And also 42MP for photo camera, which is one of the best still cameras out there so if you need both excellent photos and 4K videos, this is probably one of the best to get. I may finally stop carrying my Canon 6D for photos and just carry one camera.
Sony A6300 – I love this camera, it is one of the best cameras you can buy right now for making 4K videos. With a Super 35mm mode (24fps) in 4K, it has one of the best price/value. Sony A6500 was announced and it is practically same but with 5-axis stabilization along with more features, I would wait and get that instead.
Sony E-Mount Canon EF Speedbooster – This is what I use as an adapter to my A6300 so I can use my Canon lenses and also gives you additional F-stop (e.g. F2.8 becomes F1.8). – Check Price on Amazon or B&H.
Both speedbooster and MC-11 give you full auto-focus and aperture control for Canon lenses. Auto-focus speeds are not as fast as using native Sony lenses but I usually use manual focus for videos so it doesn’t really affect me.
My Film Cameras
Canon AE-1 – Love this crazy, hard-to-use Canon film camera, a lot of fun!
Canon EOS 1-N – One of the last film cameras and only $100 on eBay! Just started shooting on this bad boy, just like my 6D, focusing is not always good but works well when it does. I should have a review of this soon.
My Current Lenses
Sigma 30mm F1.4 for Canon Mount – If you are budget-oriented and also portability-oriented, the Sigma 30mm F1.4 is a beastly lens that will get you very, sharp images in low-light and also weighs less than any other Sigma F1.4 lenses. Super portable and also the focus dial is smooth for manual focusing unlike its 30mm F1.4 DN siblings w/ wire-by focusing. I also own Sigma 30mm F1.4 DN for Sony E-Mount AND Sigma 30mm F1.4 DN for 4/3(GH5), both which have very poor manual focus wire-by type which I only use for when I need auto focus as auto focus is very quiet and faster than average. Check price of this lens on Amazon or B&H
Sigma 24mm F1.4 for Canon Mount – If there’s one lens I really really LOVE, it is the Sigma 24mm F1.4 for Canon. (Nikon should be identical) This is a Sigma ART lens and also a full-frame lens or use it for APS-C. You will get a tiny bit of vignetting on full-frame, barely noticeable for photos. This lens is very WIDE at the same time it can also focus very close near 6-inches(although specs say 9) so you can use it for close-up macro shots OR wide shots. I love how wide this lens is and allow me to get selfie shots without being further than 3-feet from my camera, great for vlogging. Images are super sharp for both photos and videos, this is one all-around lens that can do it all. It is rather heavy though, not the lightest lens but its short barrel makes up for its weight and I can fit it in small camera bags. Also does not stand out like the Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 which I love also but that one just looks like a giant lens while this 24mm keeps it compact and discreet. Check price on Amazon or B&H.
Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 – This is probably my all-time favorite lens, very fast lens that gives you crystal, sharp image with great bokeh. If you are going to buy one lens that will last you many years, this is it. Also 18-35mm is a very good zoom range for most things. – Check Price on Amazon or B&H. (Best use with APS-C or 4/3 cameras. This lens is the BEST lens on Panasonic GH5 w/ speedbooster as you get no vignetting at all zoom ranges and super sharp. You will vignette on full-frame cameras like A7Rii or A7Sii though at wider zoom ranges although 35mm will work fine.
Canon EF-S 55-250mm F4-5.6 w/ IS – This is my favorite travel lens that allow you to get sharp images from very far away as zoom range is from 55 to 250mm. This lens is also very light weighing only around 300 grams making it very lightweight for travel. I would highly recommend this lens for shooting anything that is far away (e.g. events, shows, nature) and because it has IS (Image Stabilization), you can film things far away and also without tripod. Check out my video of Korea here which I mostly used this lens. – Check Price on Amazon or B&H.
Canon FD 50mm F1.4 – This is an old vintage Canon FD lens but you can easily use it on any Sony or even GH5 with cheap adapters since aperture and focus is manual on these lenses. Makes you really pay attention to focusing but the aperture wheel makes it easy to change aperture especially for videos and F1.4 gives you this crazy and dirty vintage bokeh, almost like anamorphic circular. It definitely gives you a film feel with the vintage bokeh also caused by lens abberation.
My Travel Cameras
Sony RX100M4 – This is a little beastly compact camera capable of recording in full 4K. I love this camera as it has F1.8 lens (which means great quality videos in low-light and lots of bokeh) and nice zoom range (24-70mm equivalent). Stabilization is also excellent. Sony RX100M5 is out and I would get that instead since it is coming out soon or the Panasonic LX10 which is what I wanted to get but due to my time constraints I got this camera. I have owned two of these cameras, my first one died after a small drop so MAKE SURE TO GET INSURANCE if you can as compact cameras are very fragile. – Check Price on Amazon or B&H.
My Main Camera for Photos/Timelapse
Sony A7Rii – I moved away from the Canon 6D to the 42MP A7Rii and the extra megapixels come a long ways to helping you make virtual slides in a timelapse or stabilizing it. The timelapse software sucks you may want to grab a remote trigger instead plus they make you pay like $10 for the damn timelapse software. WTF A7Riii looks promising, please send me one Sony. (begging)
Canon 6D – As someone who started with Canon cameras for videos, I have grown fond of Canon’s photographic abilities, especially couple with MagicLantern aftermarket open source software that allows you to do many things like timelapses easily. I love this full-frame camera but I have also owned a Canon 7D and 60D.