As always enjoying pushing the limits, my good old 7D with the Magic Lantern is capable of shooting RAW video!
The Image quality is amazing however as it brings out the advantages of the sensor/camera – also the disadvantages too. Aliasing becomes more prominent and there is quite a chance that the footage is ruined by it and more and more the VAF AA-filter will be more likely to be an option, however in fact I still very much enjoy taking photos as well with the 7D, thus this brings up the question for the future:
What body would be the next one? It is certain that I will be needed at least one more camera – one mate has the 6D and suggests to have the same for both of us for a possible future collaboration, it would be handy to have the same camera, however it is sure that it would be needed the VAF-filter to get rid off the aliasing issues.
If I want photos – do I want them in the dark? Because then the 7D is not really cool anymore – beyond 400 ISO there is noise.
6D is good for low-light, but it’s focusing system is quite limited and also it does not use CF card, which I’ve invested into quite some already, however this is not really an issue, because SD is cheaper than CF, but slower too.
Furthermore there is 7D Mark II – still APS-C, but with more clever focusing system and promised to be less noisy and 60FPS too!
It would not have Magic Lantern, which is really a support during shoots with it’s magic zoom, zebras, focus peaking, variable bitrate – and RAW!
So then there is 5D MIII – and it is more expensive, but having anti-aliasing filter built-in, cool for low-light, uses CF-card and having Magic Lantern – but not having the latest focus system, in video-auto-focusing, 60FPS built-in – yet it would be more versatile to have one body for most of the works – photo and video as well.
The 5D mk III is pricy – and probably will not have much upgrades anymore, thus it is also question of time when the 5D mk IV would come – but then it’s again the same timeloop – new features, probably more powerful in low-light, focusing, but no Magic lantern(for a while).
In an optimal world, I would buy all three (5D mIII, 6D, 7D mII) but one will do first and it is still just about the camera – and for what I plan to shoot in the long term, more glasses would be needed, at least a 24-70, a 70-200 and preferably two more primes, a wider one, like a 14mm and 85mm or 100mm ones. Having the Tokina 11-16, it would be okay for having a wider one(though not ultra-wide), I’ve already tried it on a 6D and on 16mm it is still gorgeous.
What more would be needed? It would be cool to have a Ninja 2(for exploring external recording and a more better monitoring solution than the tablet-DSLRController), a slider, a crane – well, it’s obviously too much money for one step – and it is tempting, because brings up the practical question: How I can make money (for gear)?
What’s the problem with the 7D anyway?
In a controlled environment it looks alright(bright light, but not too bright), in a more controlled one(having lots of time) even for RAW can work, but at times it still bugs and freezes, babbles even with the fastest available CF-card(The 7D can only write up to 80-90Mbps speed, even the card’s spec is 160Mbps).
But the camera physical parameters are so remarkable, after 3 long years of almost every day’s usage within all kinds of environments(from swamps through rivers, spas, -15C cold, 45C hot etc) – it still works just as on it’s first day. That’s why I dare to push it’s limits in terms of physical intensity and Magic lantern beta usage, for instance recently exploring shooting with MLV format.
Now still working with the MLV RAW workflow, learning offline editing to combine Premiere CC and DaVinci Resolve to find out what codecs with what workflow I find comfortable to speed up working with and it is really promising in terms of image quality, but I have to be able to deal with the aliasing issues.
Even without RAW(which is not really a walkable path for instance on a wedding or a concert as it is too much data for covering hours of recordings) – I’ve managed to take really beautiful shots with the 7D – I am still editing two wedding music clips which I will share in November.