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Trouble with the AF100. Should I just give up?

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Robert Bracken
Trouble with the AF100. Should I just give up?
on Aug 7, 2013 at 1:47:05 pm

Hello,

I'm still learning all about my new AF100a. Thanks to The AF100 Book I'm picking up a lot of good information.

Unfortunately information that I wished I had before I bought the camera.

I'm shooting on class 10 SD cards, editing in Premiere CS6 only on a i3 processor and it is choking on the AVCHD files. So I use Prelude to convert them to MPEG files.

I got spoiled on the P2 camera and it's easy to use CCD chip.
I'm having to relearn shooting video because of the CMOS sensor and it's issues with Skew, Wobble, Partial Exposure, and other digital artifacts.

If you know of a good source to fix my issues in post using Premiere please let me know.

Also, how do I shoot 60p footage, bring it into Premiere and slow I down? It's not as intuitive as I thought it was.

Thanks!


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Trouble with the AF100. Should I just give up?
on Aug 7, 2013 at 3:05:51 pm

You need a better computer. The Intel i3 CPU is vastly under-powered for video work. I've been using i7 CPUs since they first came out over 4 years ago. Huge difference in computing power compared to an i3 chip.


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: Trouble with the AF100. Should I just give up?
on Aug 9, 2013 at 12:40:40 am

Yes it's true that the i3 chip is underpowered for video editing work but that doesn't mean that you "can't" do it. I've cut many a project on Core 2 Duo machines and it's not pleasant but it can work.

To ease your post production woes, you should take a serious look at Cineform. Cineform is a digital intermediate and mastering codec that is extremely efficient and excels in h.264 workflows. Basically, you convert your footage to Cineform and edit with the Cineform files instead of the h.264. You will notice a much higher degree of quality, and hugely improved workflow. It is significantly less CPU intensive than h.264. Cineform is now owned by GoPro and the basic software, which is all you need, is free;

http://gopro.com/software-app/cineform-studio/

Also make sure that you are editing off of the fastest available external hard drive. If your computer has an eSATA port, you will get the best performance using a drive that has an eSATA interface. Often you may see these marketed at "Quad Interface" hard drives. The four interfaces in increasing speed will be USB 2.0, FireWire 400, FireWire 800, and eSATA. Example below;

http://g-technology.com/products/g-raid

Even faster than eSATA though is USB 3.0 so if you have this, that would be your best bet. See recommended drive below;

http://g-technology.com/products/g-drive

The importance of editing off of an external hard drive can't be stressed enough and having a fast one connected by a fast interface will make a very big difference when it comes to real time playback performance and avoiding dropped frames.

As per your rolling shutter issues, you should be aware that just about every camera on the market nowadays is using a CMOS sensor over a CCD. CMOS offers higher resolution and sensitivity at lower cost as well as lower power consumption and lower cost of manufacture. This is the type of chip that you will find on cameras as diverse at the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, the Sony EX1, Canon DSLR's, RED cameras, and even the Arri Alexa. These are problems that we are all facing.

There is a new process now in CMOS called "Global Shutter." This is on the upcoming Blackmagic Production Camera, as well as the Sony F55. These sensors are CMOS sensors that have a universal readout like a CCD, i.e., no roll. Typically though this translates to higher power consumption, less sensitivity, more noise, and decreased dynamic range.

In the end, everything is a tradeoff. Ultimately, the AF100a is a fantastic camera that is capable of some truly stunning images. Panasonic color is known to be some of the best and the AF100a has a lot of the right things going for it so I would definitely not "give up." Instead, take the time to learn how to shoot with it and to learn the post workflow because they will become valuable skills that you will be glad to have in the future.

I know this has been a lot to swallow so let me know if you have any more questions.

Hope this helps!

- Matt

Co-President at fourB Productions, Inc.
Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X, Panasonic HPX170, Canon 7D
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
2008 Mac Pro 2.6 Ghz 8 Core, 10GB RAM
AJA IoXT, Blackmagic Intensity Pro, Blackmagic Mini Monitor
Adobe Production Premium CC, Avid Media Composer 7, Final Cut Pro Studio 3


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Trouble with the AF100. Should I just give up?
on Aug 9, 2013 at 12:54:23 am

[Matthew Sonnenfeld] "Yes it's true that the i3 chip is underpowered for video editing work but that doesn't mean that you "can't" do it."

It's like trying to carve a Totem Pole with a spoon. Yes you can definitely do it that way, but why would you want to ?

Always choose the right tool for the right job, and in this case the relatively low cost of an i7 computer is a small investment that should last you at least 4 years if not more. I am coming up on 5 years with my i7 computer, and it's still a great computer for editing work.


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Matthew Sonnenfeld
Re: Trouble with the AF100. Should I just give up?
on Aug 9, 2013 at 3:20:50 am

[Guy McLoughlin] "Always choose the right tool for the right job, and in this case the relatively low cost of an i7 computer is a small investment that should last you at least 4 years if not more. I am coming up on 5 years with my i7 computer, and it's still a great computer for editing work."

After spending 4 grand on a camera, I'm trying to help Robert make due with what he has for the time being. Not to tell him that he needs to go out and spend another $1,500. If Robert tries my suggestions and the results are unsatisfactory and he decides that it is best to upgrade his computer, then that is his prerogative but I am offering constructive, low cost options, and in some cases, free options that are always worth trying.

Co-President at fourB Productions, Inc.
Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Scarlet-X, Panasonic HPX170, Canon 7D
2011 Macbook Pro 17", 2.3 Ghz Quad Core, 16GB RAM
2008 Mac Pro 2.6 Ghz 8 Core, 10GB RAM
AJA IoXT, Blackmagic Intensity Pro, Blackmagic Mini Monitor
Adobe Production Premium CC, Avid Media Composer 7, Final Cut Pro Studio 3


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Guy McLoughlin
Re: Trouble with the AF100. Should I just give up?
on Aug 10, 2013 at 1:36:08 pm

I just checked the DELL Computer website and they currently sell a desktop i7 computer starting at $830, and this is NOT on sale. If you look for sales you should be able to find an i7 computer in the $600 - $700 range.

It's crazy to expect an under-powered computer to perform properly, so you either live with the performance, or buy the right tool for the job.

Yes, transcoding to lower compression CODECs like Cineform or AVID DNxHD will definitely help, but then you have to go through the whole transcoding process which takes time and be able to store the much larger lower compressed files.

If people are shooting video for fun, then maybe using a lower compression CODEC is the way to go. But if you're shooting video for income ( part-time or full time ), then you should try and use the right tools in the first place.

I often see new videographers who are willing to spend $4K+ on a camera, but won't spend $500+ on audio gear to record good sound, and their work suffers because of this. The same principle applies with other essential video production gear like your main editing computer.


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Robert Bracken
Re: Trouble with the AF100. Should I just give up?
on Aug 10, 2013 at 1:51:32 pm

Thanks for all the help. Right now I'm in the education industry. We were fortunate to get the AF100 now. Hopefully down the road we can get a better processing computer.

My fix so far is to convert the footage to mpeg. That codec works the best. I don't do heavy color correcting so I don't need large files.

I think that I wasn't having as many problems as I thought I did. The slow processor made my footage looked like it had a lot of artifacts.

Thank you for everyone's help!!! I love this forum.


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Michael Cox
Re: Trouble with the AF100. Should I just give up?
on Nov 29, 2013 at 4:15:44 pm

Matt, I noticed your note about Cineform, not a bad Idea. The dragging the typical AVCHD file into Cineform is not that simple. The AF-100 and other Panasonic files come in an MTS or MTX wrapper. Are you simply renaming the files or is there a Cineform setting I donot know about?


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Thomas Alexander
Re: Trouble with the AF100. Should I just give up?
on Aug 29, 2013 at 8:52:03 am

The skew can be from bad cables and not enough processing power of your PC/MAC and not necessarily the camera. I think you are another victim of hi-tech race of the future. Buy a camera today, and you will find it in the local museum tomorrow. It's the name of the game unfortunately... Regarding the high frame rate of 60fps all you need to do is set the camera on FILM mode. Go to SCENE FILE and find the VFR Mode which stands for variable frame rate and turn it ON. Once you turn it on, on the back, outside of the AF100 theres a button that says DIAL SELECT. Press it until you get the indication on the screen that says DIAL FRAME RATE. When you reach that mode, underneath it theres a small cog wheel which says SHUTR/F.RATE. Than turn the cogwheel until you set the right frame rate. If your AF100 works in 59.94Hz than you will have up to 60fps frame rate available. If it works in 50Hz than you will be limited to 50fps. Theres also an update that provides on screen with 2.39:1 aspect ratio markers on the LCD.


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