VFX camera purchase advice


I am planning to buy a camera for doing personal stock footage (custom fire, debris, etc) and cine-look digital fx compositing experiments. Any suggestions from an FX angle?
When I started in CGI, the DVX-100 was getting all the attention.
I had no use for a camera then so I waited.
And waited.

I am looking for 24 P with global shutter.

I was zeroing in on the Blackmagic line but read they discontinued the Ursa Mini so I am balking at buying one that may be impossible to get serviced.


AFAIK the top video cameras this side of a Sony FS7 are the Sony A7SII and the Panasonic GH5. GH5 does 10bit 422 4K internally, the Sony only does 8bit but with amazing noise performance. A6300 is a good budget option with great 8bit 4K but has rolling shutter issues. Fuji is also getting pretty serious about video now too with the X-H1, which seems very good but doesn’t do 10 bit like the GH5 does and will probably come in at around the same price. I think we’re in a bit of a weird generation with mirrorless video with nobody quite offering the full package, but YMMV.

The bodies are usually the focus of attention, but the lens lineups are pretty dramatically different between mounts, e.g. IMO there aren’t really many compelling wide angles on the m43 mount, and the good lenses for Sony cost a fortune if you’re not adapting.


Thanks, those are some to consider.


I am looking most closely at the Panasonic Lumix GH5 (there’s also the GH 5-S). They have image stabilizers that deal with rolling shutter issues pretty well from my research.

I was curious how digital stacks up against film resolutions-since in the 80s I started in 16mm film and that was considered the intermediate between amateur (8mm) and professional (35mm). You could blow up 16mm to 35mm with decent results.

Reading up on it, according to 2003 tests referenced by cinematography.com,

standard 4 perf 35mm frame in the Academy format contained 2400x2400 lines of visible resolution/4 perf
35mm original negative contained 5.76 megapixel worth of information.

For every successive print, the resolution dropped. So for IP it was
2100x2100. For IN it was 1700x1700. For release prints it was

15/70 = 70.41 mm × 52.63 = 7600x5700 (43 Megapixel)
5/70 = 52.63 by 23.01 mm = 5700x2500 (14 Megapixel)
4/35 = 22 by 16 mm = 2400x1750 = (4.2 Megapixel)
2/35 = 22 by 9.47 mm = 2400x1030 (2.47 Megapixel)
1/16 = 12.52 by 7.41 mm = 1360x800 (1.09 Megapixel)
1/8 = 5.79 by 4.01 mm = 631x430 (271 Kilopixel)

Judging by that, then a DVX-100 was somewhere in the 8mm-Super8 category, and the HVX-200 was around 16mm.

Interestingly, Attack of the Clones used a Panavision HD900F
effective pixels-- 1920 x 1080.