4K cameras

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Willy
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4K cameras

Post by Willy »

My dear friends.
I have decided to sell my Sony NX5. I think it is too heavy and too sophisticated. Now I would like to buy a smaller one: a Panasonic AG-AC90A (2K), or a Sony HXR NX30E (2K) or a Sony PXW-x70 (4K).

The first two cameras are cheaper. 1,800 euros. The Sony PXW-x70 costs about 2,600 euros, but is a 4K camera.

My club chairman told me that the 4K images are ten times sharper than the 2K images. 4K cameras are more and more used. Also in the UK? Which camera would you buy? My Casablanca dealer told we that at the end of this year my Casablanca can be upgraded to 7 which means that it will be able to "accept" 4K shootings.
Michael Slowe
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Re: 4K cameras

Post by Michael Slowe »

Willy, it all depends on what you want to do with your material. If your films were to be exhibited on a big cinema screen then 4K originated media would look better than your current HD but probably not dramatically so. Certainly the 4K material when viewed on a TV size screen the difference would be less obvious. The real benefit of shooting 4K is in the manipulating of the media at the edit and it is this aspect which is interesting the professionals, who like to do all sorts of fancy stuff with their images and having huge files and data rates available means that they suffer less degradation. Quite honestly your picture quality is so very good that it simply is not worth you considering any dramatic changes to your workflow. I too had considered a change, to the new Sony PXW-FS7K which does offer the option of 4K along with HD but my reason was to enjoy the benefits of the Super 35mm sensor which would assist greatly with minimising the depth of field which is so difficult, even with my half inch chip in the Sony EX .
col lamb
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Re: 4K cameras

Post by col lamb »

Its a shame, if I remember correctly you have not had the camera for long but I know what you mean.

I now prefer to video using the dslr cameras that I have.

Do take a serious look at a Panasonic GH4
Col Lamb
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John Roberts
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Re: 4K cameras

Post by John Roberts »

I do like the micro four thirds system (I have a pair of GH3s) and I believe Bob Lorrimer now has a GH4. Some of the lenses available for the system are simply superb and extremely fast (f0.95 upwards) so differential focus is not a problem, and some of the auto focus lenses are totally silent and lightning fast. Plus the mirror-less system is small and lightweight and allows almost any lens from any other camera to be attached if a suitable adaptor can be found.

But I like it most of all because I could never decide whether to take the stills camera or the camcorder out with me, now I can do both!
Michael Slowe
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Re: 4K cameras

Post by Michael Slowe »

That's all very well fellows, but Willy and I tend to make documentaries, which entails being able to 'run & gun' (not too much running for either of us I fear!), and having to manage very fast, immediate set ups. No time very often for lens changes, no external audio recording, and general mobility a vital aspect of our filming. The cameras that you mention do give marvellous pictures but they need careful setting up with the right focal length lens in place and, preferably, on a tripod. Very often the documentary maker doesn't have the luxury of these situations.
col lamb
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Re: 4K cameras

Post by col lamb »

No problem

Lumix cameras have an Ai button or setting on the control wheel that gives auto everything.

It is on my G6 and my Wifes Fz200 bridge camera, which by the way is superb, constant f2.8 from 25 to 600 and mike accessory socket, so it should be on the GH4.

There is now a 4k bridge in the Lumix range the fz1000 which I would rather have than my TM900 camcorder.
Col Lamb
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John Roberts
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Re: 4K cameras

Post by John Roberts »

I'm not sure about the GH4 (others will clarify if required, I'm sure) but I think it's very similar indeed to the GH3, which can be set up in any exposure mode you wish (full manual, aperture or shutter priority, full auto etc) with 'Intelligent ISO' so things don't get out of hand, as well as a bewildering array of auto focussing options with optional auto tracking, face recognition and also full automatic focussing in a similar way to a camcorder in that it will constantly focus on whatever the camera is pointed at whilst filming. The focus area can also be adjusted smaller for more precise focussing or even shifted anywhere within the frame if required.

Start up time is less than 2 seconds between totally 'off' and starting to shoot footage, and the stock Panasonic 14-140 (28-280 equivalent) zoom lens with built in Image Stabiliser is pin sharp and ain't bad at all, although you have to spend more for constant aperture. I've never had an issue with rolling shutter or the 'jello' effect, despite having it thrown around in a couple of music videos. Plus, they are relatively lightweight and no more requires a tripod than a camcorder does.

Just a different option to look at, and one which is becoming quite popular!
col lamb
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Re: 4K cameras

Post by col lamb »

Echo John's comments

My G6 has the 14-140 lens which is SLR equivalent 28-280 on my camera hence a great versatile lens on a lightweight camera
Col Lamb
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Willy
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Re: 4K cameras

Post by Willy »

Many thanks for your advice, my friends. Yes, Colin. I bought my sony NX5 only three years ago, but you know what has happened to me in the mean time. It may happen to everybody. I am not going to repeat everything, but I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis. Walking is a very hard. My camera is very heavy and so is my tripod. I am not the only one. In an other club a good filmmaker has decided not to make travelogues anymore. He has similar health problems. He is a "young man of only 59.

But I enjoy making films. I have always been a real amateur, Tim. Just like you and Michael and other forum friends. I think that time has come to make family films in the first place (birthday parties, etc.) I still have a major project, but I fear that I will not be able to do the camera work with such a heavy "machine" anymore. Not a camera with 20x zoom lens. 10x will be enough. "Trying to get the best is the enemy of the good", a Dutch expression says. Therefore I am looking for a simple light weight compact camera.
Willy Van der Linden
Pqtrick
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Re: 4K cameras

Post by Pqtrick »

Re Willy's post and the comments about the Panasonic Lumix GH3. I purchased a GH3 just over 12 months ago and I find it an excellent camera. But, I have learnt that you need to take time with it. In 'movie' mode everything is manual, which really in no big deal if you come from a stills camera background. Audio with an external mic is OK but to get some real good audio you need a separate device or a 'beachtek' box. I have thought of going back to my DV tape Panasonic DV30 for point an shoot films . The GH3 with the battery attachment is quite heavy and not as ergonomic as a camcorder - it's a question of horses for courses. As a footnote, I have thrown my PC out of the window and now I am a proud and satisfied designer iMac user.

Pqddy (That's because I have remained with a French clavier)
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John Roberts
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Re: 4K cameras

Post by John Roberts »

Pqtrick wrote:Re Willy's post and the comments about the Panasonic Lumix GH3. I purchased a GH3 just over 12 months ago and I find it an excellent camera. But, I have learnt that you need to take time with it. In 'movie' mode everything is manual, which really in no big deal if you come from a stills camera background. Audio with an external mic is OK but to get some real good audio you need a separate device or a 'beachtek' box. I have thought of going back to my DV tape Panasonic DV30 for point an shoot films . The GH3 with the battery attachment is quite heavy and not as ergonomic as a camcorder - it's a question of horses for courses. As a footnote, I have thrown my PC out of the window and now I am a proud and satisfied designer iMac user.

Pqddy (That's because I have remained with a French clavier)
Hi, just thought I would clear up about the GH3 - in 'movie' mode the exposure mode is set within the movie menu, on the first page under 'Exposure Mode' and can be set to either fully Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Speed Priority or 'Program' mode, i.e. automatic. Set it to any of the semi-auto or automatic modes, with 'Constant AF' switched ON (again, set within the movie menu) then the GH3 acts exactly like a point and shoot camcorder, dealing with everything (exposure, focussing etc) automatically!

I too have the battery grip but I've never used it because I can't see the point. It simply duplicates some of the controls for 'portrait' orientated stills shooting and allows an extra battery to be run alongside, or used before or after the GH3's internal battery. To replace the GH3 internal battery you need to remove the battery grip anyway, and I've never even remotely got to the stage where a single battery is anywhere near flat, despite several hours shooting. The battery grip might be useful for continuous lengthy recording in the absence of a mains power unit, or several days timelapse, otherwise I wouldn't even bother with it. I only have it because it came free with the GH3!

I can't comment at length about the use of an external mic, but I doubt the performance is any worse than your average camcorder with an external mic. The in-built mics are pretty capable. I do tend to use a separate Tascam sound recorder anyway, so that's why I haven't used the GH3 with an external microphone - yet!

Hope this helps - John
Pqtrick
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Re: 4K cameras

Post by Pqtrick »

Re John Roberts reply regarding the Panasonic GH3 Camera - Thanks for your comments (whether it enlightens Willy?) - I have revisited my camera and while I have had it almost a year, some of the features you mention to me, are not, from the manual immediately apparent. I sort of got into certain habits an carried on from there. The PDF manual is better but impractical when having a camera in your hand.

I think the GH3 is a superb piece of kit. I use it for both for photography stills and making films, the latter I have taken care using the manual settings. So I sort of divided my use of it to the two given modes. I found it was useful and easy to use as manual camera for stills and adopted mostly that for the movie mode - perhaps I can use it in a different manner on some occasion.

You have to be a GH3 user to grasp some of these points, but the second button for movie mode confused me initially, however a good half day has resolved many of these features.

I have the battery grip free gratis from Panasonic as it was on offer at the time of purchase and I find the extra weight adds to the stability when hand held - I have four batteries and let then run down before recharging, which is another habit from the past. The inbuilt mics are reasonably for ambient audio but will pick up handling noise.

It is a great camera for shooting movie in many places, people think you are taking a still and are generally more tolerant than being filmed in wild shots. Yes I'd recommend one, so Willy if you can get your hands on one, give it a try.

Pq.
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John Roberts
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Re: 4K cameras

Post by John Roberts »

I agree with everything you mentioned above, especially the part about having to be a GH3 owner to understand some of these issues. I think we only mentioned the GH3 because it is very similar to the GH4, which would be of more interest to Willy, with the GH4 having more options especially leaning towards the 'professional'. Having chatted to Bob Lorrimer about various settings on his GH4 they do seem to be almost identically laid out to the GH3.

Yes, it is a superb piece of kit, one which immediately answered a nagging question of mine: "Do I take my stills camera on my day trip, or my camcorder?" and I entirely agree with your point about filming incognito. During several location shoots for my last film, everyone who took an interest in what I was doing, without exception, thought I was taking stills! I generally use Aperture Priority or Manual for my stills work, and Manual under 'Creative Movie Mode' for filming. I can't recall ever having used the red button on the back of the camera though.

100% agree about the benefits of occasionally reading through the manual again, at 300+ pages one can't remember it all and it's too much to comprehend in one go.

But, back to Willy's initial post, I can only recount what happened to me at the IAC AGM at Stratford, where we were fortunate enough to be treated to a talk and films from Bob Lorrimer. Bob showed a 'test' film he had made with his GH4 in UHD, and notwithstanding the resampling down to Full HD (how weird that sounds) the results were absolutely stunning on the large screen. I heard one gentleman behind me pronounce "Awesome!" and indeed it was. It was difficult for me to comprehend that if there had been a 4K projector and a screen four times larger than the festival screen, the resolution produced from this little camera would've looked the same. Awesome indeed!

John
Michael Slowe
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Re: 4K cameras

Post by Michael Slowe »

So, maybe I should continue my investigations into the new Sony 4K camera (can also shoot in HD), the PXW-FS7. The real advantage to me is the Super 35mm sensor, not so much the 4K capability. I am though, getting a bit too old for a camera change after using my EX 1 for my last five documentaries.
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Willy
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Re: 4K cameras

Post by Willy »

That "machine" would be too expensive, Michael. It is more than £6,500, I guess. But maybe the sony PXW-70? 2,700 euros. It can also shoot in HD. The day after tomorrow my heavy sony NX5 will be sold.
The buyer is a member of a film club. Some of his clubmates also have such a sony NX5. Good for multicamera-work. For him it is a bargain.

The time to take a final decision has come now. Sony HXR-NX70R (HD) or sony PXW-70 (4K and HD) ? That's my question.
Willy Van der Linden
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