Originally Posted by Tom Roper
My P6K arrived yesterday, mini-review:
Packaged nicely, double boxed from retailer. Inside it had the updated foam sleeve around the camera body. There were no scratches or scuffs, no fingerprints anywhere, sensor pristine, LCD screen had protective sleeve. This was completely satisfactory. There is a rubber pad covering the battery door that bubbled up slightly at the corner.
I charged the battery inside the camera. The battery life exceeded my expectations which were not high in this regard. I plugged in a 1TB Samsung T5 SSD into the USB-C port. With this I could shoot the full sensor BRAW 6K at 50 fps at 5:1 compression without dropping frames for the duration of the capacity which was 118 minutes. I put in a SDXC class II V90 128GB card into the slot. This permitted BRAW full sensor 6K operation at constant quality Q5 for up to 29.97 fps. Resolve 15.3 would not recognize the BRAW files until I updated to version 16.0. The camera came with a 2 spot license for DaVinci Resolve Studio.
The operating system is very simple but the killer feature is that you can seemingly change any and all the settings while you are shooting. You can punch in 2:1 for focus, aperture, ISO all while camera footage is rolling. Nice!
The auto focus works. It's like a DSLR so no tracking or continuous operation but it hits the target and in pretty low light as well. Ergonomics are large but pretty good. It's lacking the waveform monitor which is unfortunate, it does include a histogram and auto exposure. Manual WB to a 90% white card or table cloth etc. Touch screen is sensitive and responsive, menu simple but well organized and fast.
The BRAW footage looks super good in Resolve. I don't notice much 6K downsampled resolution difference against quality 4K native footage from other cameras, but punching in is a feature. The overhead from shooting BRAW was not taxing my workstation to any particular degree and the BRAW project settings worked just as they do for Sony Raw (16 bit). This was all very intuitive and I was grading BRAW in no time.
I'm really excited to have the P6K breathe new life into my dormant EF lens collection. They look better than ever, having full frame Canon-L glass covering an S35 sensor makes moot any vignetting or corner softness. Shallow DOF with the Canon 85mm F1.2L II or Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM is more than enough. These are sharp lenses. I have Canon 70-200 F4.0L IS and Canon 17-40mm F4.0L to go on as well. These were great still photography lenses that I am so glad to be using again. BMD has been questioned about the wisdom of going with EF mount versus newer designs but you cannot dispute the logic, there are literally millions of EF lenses in circulation, and this choice was a key factor in my decision versus the Panasonic S1H which is a beautiful camera but a far more costly playground.
My producer is a strong BMD proponent, was pleased with this decision and together we will be shooting TEDx again in Boulder Oct. 19th in 6K Prores (for punched in flexibility), which has already amassed more than 10 million views.
Buyers delight! And 10 million views I am sure is because of the video quality, right?
Now, let's get to the issues. As I understand it (and please correct if wrong):
You cannot shoot 6K using ProRes with this camera, at best 4KDCI for ProRes. I am getting this from https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...ema.html/specs
You must use BRAW to shoot 6K. BRAW is only supported by Resolve, right? (I like Resolve).
The only 16:9
6K has no 60P, only 50(!)P. If you want 60P you must letterbox. Again, BRAW is the only "codec" option for 6K. (And be aware that BRAW is not fully RAW, it is partially deBayered as I understand it).
Rolling shutter is half the speed of good 4K cameras. I.e., it is among the worst ever measured.
There is no HEVC option. So all file sizes are gigantic if you want the best quality, whether BRAW or ProRes.
There are no HFR options for 4K.
I looked carefully at the BM cameras. I could have chosen this camera, but I am not happy with the limitations (above) so I did not. And others should be aware of what they are not getting and what they are. I tried to like it.
Moreover, the thing is big and ugly and really difficult to use handheld. If you use a tripod, always, then this aspect of the camera is not important, of course. And ProRes is easy to edit if you can manage the files sizes. The IQ, DR are good and a step up from all those mirrorless options from the usual suspects. But not better than the Z Cam offerings. Basically, I chose 4K 60P and 120P 10bit as options (with much better RS) over 6K BRAW at good old 30P. And all in a smaller-size camera.
In my opinion, no one can really see the difference on 4K screens between 6K or 8K video (I cannot tell the difference on an 8K 70" TV (Samsung) either, and I really care about resolution). Resolution advances above 4K are trivial in terms of video quality. Heck, good FullHD is not much worse than 4K.
But you can sure tell the difference between 30P and 60P and 120P, slowed down. So you get additional, creative options with HFR.
Yes, you can shoot 6K and punch in to 4K to give you framing flexibility, and that is a creative option too. Great for videos shot from one stationary place for subjects that do not move very fast, like TEDx speakers.