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Away from shooting/editing for six years - need your thoughts!

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Ruby Gold
Away from shooting/editing for six years - need your thoughts!
on Jun 1, 2012 at 5:38:49 pm

Hi there. Similar to DG's post in April, I've been away from shooting/editing for six years, and even then, was self-taught so not the most sophisticated shooter in the world. At that time I used my DVX100B with external mic setup and simple lighting kit to shoot interviews and incidental indoor/outdoor footage that were used in edited pieces authored to DVD and for online segments.

I'm looking to jump back in to shoot similar things with similar endpoints (DVD and online segments - not broadcast or anything), and would need a camera/lens that can get good images/color in low or ambient light so that I don't necessarily have to light shots, as well as outdoor stuff. I'm intrigued by the DSLRs, but I love the color-rich beautiful look of the stuff I used to get from my Panny.

I don't have a ton of money to spend and am looking for something that doesn't have a huge learning curve to use, and will help simplify and streamline post-production process since tape and capture wouldn't be necessary. I've not kept up with this world I loved and left, so would be very appreciative of feedback from the Creative Cow community on these questions. Thanks so much!


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Joe Barta IV
Re: Away from shooting/editing for six years - need your thoughts!
on Jun 1, 2012 at 5:57:43 pm

If you liked the DVX100B, then check out the Panasonic AF100, great images and easy to use.

Bars & Tone
SALUTE!


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Ruby Gold
Re: Away from shooting/editing for six years - need your thoughts!
on Jun 1, 2012 at 6:05:49 pm

Thanks Joe - will do. Forgive my ignorance - as I said - not been of this world for six years - but is that a DLSR?


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Joe Barta IV
Re: Away from shooting/editing for six years - need your thoughts!
on Jun 1, 2012 at 8:45:17 pm

Nope, not a DSLR, but you can use just about any lens with it. I'm currently using Olympus still lenses with great results. The other AF100 advantage is that the basic operations of the camera are like the video camera you were used to. DSLRs take a lot of extra gadgets and tinkering to do video. There is the time limit of 11 minutes per shot on a DSLR too, so if you want to do interviews it's a real pain. Here is the link to Panasonic's info;

http://www.panasonic.com/business/provideo/ag-af100.asp

Bars & Tone
SALUTE!


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Away from shooting/editing for six years - need your thoughts!
on Jun 2, 2012 at 6:15:02 pm

The modern upgrade to the DVX100 was the HMC-150 ( I own one ), which has been upgraded again by the new AC-130 with it's 22x zoom lens.

These cameras function very much like your old DVX100, but use solid-state memory cards, and shoot HD images.

You can find used HMC-150 cameras selling for about $2,000 right now, and the AC-130 sells for about $3,500 new.

If you are a Mac user, you will have to learn how to process AVCHD video footage, which is a little more complicated than editing AVCHD with Adobe Premiere or Sony Vegas Pro under Windows.

The AF-100 is the first large sensor ( Micro 4/3 lens mount ) video camera from Panasonic, but it's a lot different to shoot with than a DVX100 / HMC-150 / AC-130. The AF-100 does not come with a lens, and requires a lot of 3rd party gear to use as a hand-held camera. It's a very nice look, but it's a digital cine camera, which is very different than an ENG style video camera.

Also, the Panasonic GH2 DSLR camera ( less than $1,000 ) also shoots Micro 4/3 video, and there is a free "hack" that modifies the camera to shoot exceptionally good video. ( with image quality that compares to digital cine cameras costing more than $15,000 )


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Ruby Gold
Re: Away from shooting/editing for six years - need your thoughts!
on Jun 3, 2012 at 4:52:18 pm

Thanks so much for this info. I'm intrigued by the GH2-DSLR - the price sounds right and if it really shoots video that beautiful with a "hack" that might be the ticket. I'd need a lens that can handle ambient or low light without a lighting set-up - would the video from this camera still look that good if shot under these conditions?

Also - is it fairly easy to figure out where to get the hack and apply it? I've not heard of this term before - so please forgive my ignorance. Lastly - good sound quality is important. I have my two wired lav mics from my old equipment - do you have any suggestions around a better way to do sound with this camera?

Lastly - I've heard the GH2 can be a bit difficult to work with re: focusing and that it has no zoom. True? Way to get around that? Thanks again for your thoughts!
Ruby


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Away from shooting/editing for six years - need your thoughts!
on Jun 4, 2012 at 2:24:31 am

While the GH2 is the least expensive way to create impressive video, it has a large learning curve, so it will take some time to become comfortable shooting with it...

[Ruby Gold] "I've heard the GH2 can be a bit difficult to work with re: focusing and that it has no zoom"

Normally all large-sensor video cameras ( this includes every DSLR ) do not come with any lens, so you have to decide on which lens you want to shoot with, and purchase the appropriate adapter if the lens is not a Micro 4/3 mount lens. ( pretty much any lens ever made can be adapted to fit the GH2 or AF100 cameras )

Most people use external HDMI LCD monitors to ensure good composition and focus, though there is a built-in focus assist feature that makes it easier to check focus with the built-in camera LCD.

Here are few links to videos made with the hacked GH2 camera...

GH2 : Musgo Trailer

GH2 : Living the Dream Trailer

GH2 at 10,000 ISO


Here are a couple of links to get you started with hacking the GH2 camera...

An EZ Guide to Hacking the Panasonic GH2

GH2 Flow Motion v2.01 Hack

*** NOTE: You must join the Personal View website in order to download any of the files from that website. It's also a good idea to make a small donation, as the inventor of the GH2 hack owns that website and donations help to fund his work ***

...Also, you need to purchase high performance SDXC memory cards in order to shoot with these high bit-rate GH2 hacks. Currently the best card is this one:

SanDisk 64GB SDXC Memory Card Extreme Pro Class 10 UHS-I : $160

And you will want to buy a USB 3.0 card reader in order to off-load your footage quickly, even if you are using a USB 2.0 computer port.

Iogear SuperSpeed USB 3.0 SD/microSD Card Reader/Writer : $15

...As for audio, you can use a BeachTek passive XLR adapter to record audio directly with the GH2 ( it's very good audio for a DSLR ), or you can use an external digital recorder like the excellent Tascam DR-100 MK2 model.

Beachtek DXA-2T Universal Compact Camcorder Audio Adapter : $179

Tascam DR-100mkII - Portable 2-Channel Linear PCM Recorder : $275

...Later this month, Zacuto will publish their big large-sensor camera shoot-out that put the little GH2 camera against cameras costing up to $65,000. From people who watched this shootout at the theater showings, most audiences put the GH2 footage ahead of the footage shot with $13,000+ cameras from Canon and Sony.

Zacuto Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout


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