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Is the AC130 a good camera to learn on?

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Max Palmer
Is the AC130 a good camera to learn on?
on May 30, 2012 at 2:40:04 pm

I'm trying to decide between two cams- the Canon XF100, and the Panny AC130. I've read about the differences between the two ad-naseum. My main concern now is whether or not one cam will be easier to learn on than the other. I'm pretty familiar with basic functions of cameras in general such as white balance and aperture/iris, and am very comfortable behind a still camera; but video is relatively new to me.

I know the Canon is smaller, which makes it easy for maneuverability. But what I like about the larger Panasonic are the three manual rings, and the fact that a lot more of the controls are on the camera body itself- I'd rather learn with buttons, than with a touchscreen. Does anyone have any opinion on which camera would be easier for someone working with their first piece of equipment?


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Jan Crittenden Livingston
Re: Is the AC130 a good camera to learn on?
on May 30, 2012 at 3:08:17 pm

Which edit system are you using? If FCP, your workflow would be pretty easy with the AVCCAM importer from Panasonic.

The MPEG4 codec on the 130 is years ahead of the MPEG2 in the Canon. Quality difference between the two would be minimal in the codecs, but that is because the data rate is higher on the Canon. Look at the feature set for your ultimate decision.

Best,

jan

Jan Crittenden Livingston
Product Manager, AVCCAM, AG-3DA1, AG-AF100
Panasonic Broadcast & TV Systems



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Max Palmer
Re: Is the AC130 a good camera to learn on?
on May 30, 2012 at 3:15:17 pm

I'm glad you mentioned that actually- I use Adobe, and I've been trying to find out wether AVCHD or MPEG2 will make my life easier. AVCHD is attractive to me due to it's lower bit rate because I don't want to take up a lot of storage space. But If I will have to convert it to a higher bitrate codec that's easier to edit, then that will be a point for me to consider. I'm also not terrible concerned about the 4:2:2 vs 4:2:0 as I wont be doing a lot of serious color correction or Chroma keying.

Does AVCHD work well with Premiere and After Effects, without converting?


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Noah Kadner
Re: Is the AC130 a good camera to learn on?
on May 30, 2012 at 10:38:29 pm

You'd want to change the footage to another format more suited to heavy compositing/effects work such as the Animation codec, or Uncompressed. I have a workflow video for the 130/160 here- http://www.callboxlive.com/products/panasonic-ac130-ac160-guide

In post it's more focused on Final Cut Pro/FCP X but I do describe how the workflow is different from other editors. It's pretty jammed packed with info if you're looking to get up to speed quickly.

Noah

Call Box Training.
Featuring the Panasonic GH2 and Panasonic AC160/130.


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Max Palmer
Re: Is the AC130 a good camera to learn on?
on May 30, 2012 at 11:55:52 pm

I use MPEG streamclip for conversion right now. Is there something faster for AVCHD files?


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Christopher Coffyn
Re: Is the AC130 a good camera to learn on?
on Jun 1, 2012 at 2:25:39 am

Upgrade to CS6 and use Prelude. You can ingest, log meta data, transcode, etc. We've just started using it and so far it seems to work really well. We have the 160 (big brother to the 130) and I am not currently transcoding. Yes the AVCHD codec is processor intensive, but for now we edit natively. We are also not doing much compositing and such. I have tested transcoding to ProRes and do find it much smoother to move around the timeline, etc. Still natively works for us with our current projects. I'm always trying to eliminate extra steps unless I get large enough gains. My 2 cents worth anyway.


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