How can I possibly be comparing a $1,000 camera to a $5,599 camera? Well, I’m a video guy – I like taking photos but I make money from making films so that’s how I look at cameras. Just about every day of the week I am out shooting video and so my cameras have to be able to not just give me great looking footage, they have to make it as easy as possible for me to get that footage.
First, let’s look at build quality. I’m going to assume that the 1DX MKII is going to be a beast. It’s got the same body as the MKI and that thing could take quick a few lickings and keep on ticking. So if you’re the kind of shooter who normally shoots in very tough conditions, the 1DX MKII is going to be the camera for you. The Sony A6300 is water and dust resistant, but not either-proof, which might be a problem for some but not me. My idea of the great outdoors is a parking lot, so a camera being waterproof and rugged is nice, but not essential.
As a stills camera, the 1DX MKII has a 20.2 megapixel full-frame sensor, a native ISO range of 100-51200 and 61 points on the AF system. It has a touchscreen, which is a nice touch (excuse the pun), but is not adjustable and just sits in the body. Conversely, the A6300 has a 24 megapixel APS-C sensor, a native ISO of 51200 and a 425-points on-sensor phase-detection AF system. But trying to compare a FF camera to a crop sensor camera is not fair, so let’s just say they both take great pictures. The 1DX MKII probably a smidge better, but how good do you need?
Now onto the bit that gets me interested: the video features.
The 1DX MKII can shoot 4K up to 60fps and 1080 up to 120fps. The A6300 will shoot 4K up to 30fps and 1080 up to 120fps. Just looking at those specs on their own, you’d imagine that the 1DX MKII is better than the A6300. But specs alone don’t tell the whole story.
The A6300 has S-Log2 and S-Log3, focus peaking and zebras to help you better expose your shots. These three features make shooting video every day much, much easier. I can’t imagine using a camera to shoot video in 2016 which, even if it doesn’t have a Log format, doesn’t at the very least have peaking and zebras. So you’d assume that the 1DX MKII has that too, right? Nope. I can’t understand why Canon would leave these features off the 1DX MKII as they are just software. For me that’s a deal breaker.
Then let’s talk about the 4K. Being able to shoot 4K at 60fps as the 1DX does is very nice and, at the price of $5,999 USD, is hard to beat. I have that feature on my Sony FS7, which cost a fair bit more. But, you know how often I actually need to use that feature? Hardly ever. One thing that I keep going on about with 4K is that the files are huge and, if you’re shooting at double the frame rate, the files are even bigger. None of my clients are asking for 4K yet, so why would I shoot at 60fps in 4K and spend all that money on huge cards and hard drives when I can shoot at 1080 at 120fps?
That’s something else some people may not have thought of. The CFast 2.0 cards that the 1DX MKII take are not cheap. While the SD cards that you’ll need to shoot 4K on the A6300 won’t be cheap either, they won’t be as pricey as the CFast 2.0 cards.
So when you look at the price difference of $998 USD for the Sony and $5,999 USD for the Canon, don’t stop at that. Look at the overalll cost of ownership – the cards, the harddrives, the whole nine yards. For me (in case it’s not clear yet), the video features that make the Sony A6300 easier to shoot with on a day-to-day basis win out any day of the week, even though it’s not as good for stills as the 1DX MKII.
Of course that is just for my needs, your needs may be very different, and this is all without even seeing either of them in real life. If Canon and Sony want to send me one of each to put see how they handle in the flesh, you know how to get in touch.