State of Crop Frame Mirror-less Camera Video, May 2021

VidThreeNorth

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This is the start of a re-post of this topic, though I am actually re-writing it based on my notes, so there will probably be some differences this time. The topic is a sort of continuation of the topic I created for "Full-Frame" cameras in April. The goal will be to give a general view of the currently state of the available cameras in the category. This will include older cameras, still selling, including a summary of updates, which can be more directly compared to newer cameras, also updated to the current state. This should be more accurate than comparing the way the cameras were when they were introduced, which is what you get if you try to compare the earliest reviews before changes occurred.

The Blackmagic 6K Pro was introduced recently and just after most reviews were published, the firmware was updated, making the reviews almost obsolete. After much thinking, I have decided to post one of the more insightful reviews and a summary of the firmware update:

"Blackmagic 6KPro: Is it the RIGHT camera FOR YOU? A DP Analysis",
Posted Apr 26, 2021 by "The DP Journey", [Length 21:35]
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Blackmagic Camera 7.3 Update for All BMPCC's

All the "Pocket Cinema Camera" models (4K, 6K and 6K Pro) got updates. The older cameras main features were improvements to "color science" and auto-focus and recording options. The "6K Pro" model also got an important upgrade giving it correction capability for the display's white balance. The new display often did not reflect the color balance that was being recorded. The most common complaint was that the back panel looked "too blue". The new firmware allows this to be corrected.

"Blackmagic Camera 7.3 Update Released – New Features for BMPCC 4K, 6K & 6K Pro"
Published Apr 26, 2021, by Jakub Han for CineD,
"Blackmagic Camera 7.3 Update Released – New Features for BMPCC 4K, 6K & 6K Pro | CineD"
 
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VidThreeNorth

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Sony A6600 (ILCE-6600)

The a6600 is the current top line APS-C body for the Sony alpha series. This review by "Arthur R" is current (which is almost a miracle) and makes a particularly important comparison against Sony's A7c full-frame body which is not much more expensive. "Arthur R" is a reasonably knowledgeable amateur photographer and his posts have been honest and fair handed. He has learned a lot over the years, so what he says is worth considering:

"A Detailed Sony A7C vs Sony A6600 Comparison",
Posted Mar 16, 2021 by "Arthur R", [Length 17:12]
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The only firmware update that Sony has provided for the a6600:

Firmware update 2020/09/02
Version 1.10

"About this download
Benefits and Improvements

Adds support for the LA-EA5A-Mount Adapter (sold separately)
LA-EA5A-Mount Adapter supports all A-mount lenses
Full support is provided for focal plane phase-detection AF, and the AF and high-speed continuous shooting features
Wide-area focal plane phase-detection AF coverage
AF features based on subject recognition, including Real-time Eye AF (human, animal) and Real-time Tracking
AF/AE tracking during continuous shooting at up to 11fps

Notes:
STF lenses are manual focus only
Teleconverters are not supported for use with any A-Mount Adapters
Autofocus is not available during movie recording when using the LA-EA5 A-Mount Adapter
For AE tracking, the aperture is fixed for the first frame while shutter speed and ISO are used for exposure adjustment
Improves the overall stability of the camera
Please refer to the Help Guide for updated function usage."

NOTE:
I have a separate topic documenting my own experiences using my own Sony a6400:
 
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VidThreeNorth

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Canon C70

I am looking at two representative Canon cameras. One is the RF mount Canon C70, which is a "Pro" camera and the other is an undecided M-mount camera. Both have been problems for me. The C70 has a huge stack of long videos about it, which took a lot of time watching. The M-mount body is a problem of my not being sure what is going on with Canon. I might post about the M50ii, or there is the M6 Mkii. I have not decided. Anyway, here is a link for the C70. I have not looked for the state of its firmware yet. This video also says a lot about the C300Mkiii. If you don't know that camera, it is important too.

[2021-05-27 20:25 There have not been any firmware updates for this camera so far.]

"Canon C70 vs C300MKIII Image Quality Comparison",
Posted Feb 22, 2021 by "Chris Francis", [Length 15:17]
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VidThreeNorth

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Canon M-mount:

Canon had a successful mirror-less system mount before the RF-mount. The "M-mount" was growing and successful. Until the C70, it looked like Canon was going to keep the "M-mount" for APS-C bodies, and there were two "upgrade" models to prove this. The EOS M6 II was a clear upgrade over the EOS M6, bringing uncropped 4K video recording at 30p (with dual-pixel autofocus), and then, apparently from end user pressure, also support for 24 fps from a firmware upgrade. The "M50 ii" however has been criticized for not having much improvement. I would, however point out that the price of the M50 ii today has dropped down to roughly what the original M50 was selling for before the M50ii came out.

"Canon EOS M6 II review: IN-DEPTH vs A6400 vs X-T30",
Posted Sep 30, 2019 by "Gordon Laing", [Length: 32:59]
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EOS M6 Mark II
Last update Version 1.1.1
Release Date: 01/27/2021

"Firmware Version 1.1.1 incorporates the following fix:
1. Resolves an issue during "interval timer shooting" that may result in the lens shifting when Auto Power Off is enabled.

Firmware Version 1.1.1 is for cameras with firmware up to Version 1.1.0. If the camera's firmware is already Version 1.1.1, it is not necessary to update the firmware.
When updating the firmware of the camera, please review the instructions thoroughly before you download the firmware.

Q&A:
Preparations for a firmware update:
After the downloaded compressed file (.zip) is extracted, a firmware folder is created.

*Extracting the downloaded file:
Right-click the zip file, and then select Extract All to extract the file.

The extracted folder contains the firmware (File name: M6200111.FIR, File size: 37,013,872 bytes) and instructions on the firmware update procedures (a PDF file in five languages: Japanese, English, French, Spanish, and Simplified Chinese).

Before starting the firmware update operations, please confirm the contents of the download, and carefully read through the firmware update procedures.

(The following is the history of past firmware updates)
Changes in Version 1.1.0:
1. The option to capture movies in the frame rate of 23.98p has been added.
2. Fixes the phenomenon where the focus position of the lens returns to the home position if the camera powers off due to the "Auto Power Off" setting during Interval Timing shooting.
3. Fixes the phenomenon in which, in rare cases, the camera may not autofocus at the edges of the image area.

Changes in Version 1.0.1:
1. Corrects a PTP communications vulnerability.
2. Corrects a vulnerability related to firmware update.
File Name: eosm6m2-v111-win.zip
File Size: 40.14 MB
Release Date: 01/27/2021"
 
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M4:3 mount:
Olympus OM-D EM-5iii


The Panasonic GH series is in transition with the new GH5ii pre-orderable, but it will not actually be delivered within May, and really, Panasonic is well known in the video world (including my whole topic covering my experiences with the Panasonic G85 "G85 w/12-60mm F3.5-5.6 lens") so I am adding the Olympus OM-D EM-5 Mk iii to this topic. The headline features of this camera for video work (and the EM-1X, and 1ii and 1iii) are Phase-Detect autofocus and 20MP sensor. I have considered buying an EM-5 Mk iii body to my own extended system for these features as well as to be able to use my Olympus 4:3 (predecessor to M4:3) 14-54mm zoom lens, which is actually my favorite zoom, which fails on my G85.

[2021-05-27 20:35 I found in one of the video reviews that apparently, the EM-5 Mk iii does not have a "flat profile" or "log" profile. I do not know what adjustability is available for video for this body. It also lacks a headphone jack. It might be better to pay a bit more and get an EM-1 Mk ii or EM-1 Mk iii.]

"DPReview TV: Olympus OM-D E-M5 III - worth the wait?",
Posted Oct 20, 2019 by "DPReview", [Length 13:37]
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[2021-0527 15:34 Firmware updates]

[I cannot find a release date for version 1.4 because the webpage does not give one and it appears that I need to actually have the camera to download it.]

"E-M5 Mark III Version 1.3 --> 1.4
Corrected the following problems that occurred in version 1.3: Wi-Fi connection via OI.Share / OI.Track / Olympus Workspace is not possible.
Focus Stacking Mode is now compatible with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 150-400mm F4.5 TC1.25x IS PRO lens.
Video image stabilization has been improved."

[E-M5 Mark III Version 1.2 --> 1.3 No notes -- JO]

"E-M5 Mark III Version 1.1 --> 1.2
Possible to use in-camera focus stacking mode with "M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 100-400mm F5.0-6.3 IS".
Image stabilization performance when using "M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 100-400mm F5.0-6.3 IS" has been improved.
Roll compensation is available with the image stabilization function of the body, along with the pitch and yaw image stabilization function of the lens.
The "M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 100-400mm F5.0-6.3 IS" is not compatible with 5-axis Sync IS.

Please note:
When you update the firmware to Ver. 1.2, the camera's settings (except for the date and time) are reset, and the display language changes to English.
When updating the firmware from version 1.1 to 1.2, the camera settings are maintained.

E-M5 Mark III Version 1.0 --> 1.1
Possible to use focus stacking photography with "M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-45mm F4.0 PRO".
When EVF Auto Switch is set, you can select how the viewfinder is displayed when the monitor is open.
Off: Disables the eye sensor. Press the button to switch between the EVF display and the monitor display.
On1: Eye sensor operates regardless of whether the rear monitor is open or closed. Press the button to switch between the rear-panel monitor Live View display/Super Control Panel display.
On2: The eye sensor does not operate while the rear-panel monitor is open. Press the button to switch between the rear-panel monitor Live View display/Super Control Panel display.
See the following for details. ..."

[2021-05-31 23:40]
Yi-M1

Originally I did not mention the Yi-M1 since it does not seem to be available in 2021 (I have not seen it on the Yi Technology website, though I might have just missed it). I still use mine, mainly as a scouting camera, and thinking about it, I have had some good video out of it, though limited to semi-overcast days. But since I am still "covering" it, and I think you can probably still find them to buy (old stock), here is a link to the topic "Yi Technology -- Yi-M1".
 
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VidThreeNorth

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Nikon Z-mount:
Nikon Z50


So far there is only one cropped sensor body in Nikon's Z-mount line-up. The Z50 is larger than the Canon M-mount and Sony E-mount cropped sensor bodies. Looking at list prices, it is far enough below the Z5 to justify its purchase despite its reduced feature set, but current sale prices bring the Z5 down very close to the Z50, making it a questionable value. This is emphatic when one looks at the lack of lens support for the Z50. Realistically, one will either have to buy full frame Z-mount lenses or adapt full and half frame F-mount lenses.

Early on, the Z50 was compared against the Sony a6400, against which, I felt that it clearly loses. But these days, price-wise, it is currently closer to an a6100, where the Z50 for video, is essentially a coin toss.

The main problem I see is that the kit zoom is not weather sealed, and beyond the two lenses designed for it, you are basically stuck with expensive full frame lenses or F-mount adapted. But with my long history of adapting lenses, I did not mind that at all.

"Nikon Z50 Review :: IMPRESSIVE!!!",
Posted Dec 28, 2019 by "The Art of Photography", [Length 11:38]
"
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Firmware updates:

Latest: 2021-04-26 Version 2.1
AF Enhancements
- Support for Save focus position when camera turned off.

2020-10-15 Version 2.02
AF Fine-Tune Adjustments
- Minor Adjustments

2020-07-21 Version 2.0
Animal Detection AF
- Enables the easy capture of photos in which focus has been acquired on a dog or cat’s eye. Learn More
- Added support for Nikon Z mount TC-1.4x/TC 2.0x teleconverters
- and more.
* [the FTZ adapter was also upgraded to 1.10 at this time.]

2020-04-16 Version 1.11
- Support for NIKKOR Z 70-200 f/2.8 VR S
- Support for the Z lens’ two Fn button
- Support for Z lens focus limit switch
- Support for “M/A” (autofocus with manual override) (control specifications modified).

2020-02-18 Version 1.1
- Improved AF performance in self-portrait mode, support for NIKKOR Z lenses.

[Note: Various lenses have been updated as well and those updates might affect use of those lenses.]
 
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VidThreeNorth

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L-mount: Leica CL

This does not fit in this topic, but I decided to "answer the question in advance". The Leica CL is an APS-C sensor L-mount camera body. But it only takes still pictures. This might come as a surprise, but there is no video support at all in the body. Why not? I don't know, ask Leica. But if you heard about the body and wondered about it, well, now you know. . . .
 
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VidThreeNorth

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Fuji X-S10

I think that originally I posted Fuji X-mount in the 2nd comment of this topic. In fact, I was researching it around the time I was finishing the "Full Frame" topic. It was a lengthy bit of research because Fuji has so many APS-C bodies. But really, only the bodies starting from around 2019 are worth looking at. Before that, Fuji video support was only minimal.

The X-S10 itself is not Fuji's top line camera body. That would be the X-T4. But the X-S10 can be looked at as a "restart" in a way, because while the "X-T" series interface is similar to a "film era" camera, the "X-S10" interface is more similar to other "digital era" cameras. It that way, it might be better for modern digital video recording. That is only my guess. I have never touched any of the X-mount bodies.

NOTE: This review look at a "Pre-production" camera.

"Fujifilm X-S10 Hands-on Review",
Posted Oct 15, 2020 by "DPReviewTV", [Length 12:17]
"
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Firmware Updates to end of May:

Detail of the firmware update

"Ver.1.04

The firmware update Ver.1.04 from Ver.1.02/1.03 incorporates the following issues:

For the case that “AUTO” is selected by the Mode Dial and a face is detected in a dark environment, a setting is changed to avoid a blur image caused by hand shaking and/or moving subjects.
A camera doesn’t recognize an Apple Silicon Mac via a USB cable.
Fix of minor bugs.

[There is no note for Version 1.03]

Ver.1.02

The firmware update Ver.1.02 from Ver.1.01 incorporates the following issues:

In case that AUTO is selected by the Mode Dial or AUTO is selected in MIN. SHUTTER SPEED of ISO setting, the shutter speed setting is changed to avoid a blur image caused by hand shaking and/or moving subjects.
ELECTRONIC LEVEL can be used when AUTO is selected by the Mode Dial.
Fix of a minor bug.

Ver.1.01

The firmware update Ver.1.01 from Ver.1.00 incorporates the following issue:

The phenomenon is fixed that while the microphone/remote release connector is used, a camera doesn’t work well in a specific condition. If you use a microphone or a remote release, make sure to upgrade the firmware."
 

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