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Old March 21st, 2012, 11:37 AM   #16
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Re: Lost with all the rest-what to get??!

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Originally Posted by Arnie Schlissel View Post
Whoops, my apologies - I was, of course, looking at the 200, not the 200A. I don't think it changes the real point, though. The 200A still looks long in the tooth, and Panasonic have moved on themselves in terms of both codec and chipset.
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Re: the "high" cost of P2 cards. The cards have come down in price since the format was first introduced. And, since they can be reused thousands of time, the cost becomes negligible if you really use the camera.
I think the way to look at the cost is as a one-off capital cost, same as the camera. In this case, for (say) 3 hours of recording you'd need 3 64GB cards - at $645 each. In other words, the camera cost of nearly $3,000 becomes a camera plus memory cost of nearly $5,000!! Unless you always want to use the camera for downloading, there also then becomes the cost of a separate reader to think about - much more expensive than one for CF.

I think it's quite valid to talk of the high cost of P2 cards - in this case they are effectively increasing the price by about 65% compared to body only. For other technologies, the figure is nowhere near as high.

Obviously you'd need to buy memory for any camera - but for the XF100 the equation is 32GB per hour, and the cards are cheaper per GB anyway. Three hours recording becomes a lot, lot less than the $1,935 of P2.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 04:15 PM   #17
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Re: Lost with all the rest-what to get??!

I think the HVX is a wise decision. Used HVX's and HPX170's are awash upon the market, and available for far, far less than they're really worth. The HPX170 is a marginally better camera since the tape drive is often moot (higher-capacity P2 will record hours and hours and hours of SD footage, with no dropouts, ever) and it adds a few very very nice features... however it's also slightly more expensive used. I have an obscene number of operational hours on my 6-year-old HVX, and it still works as new. I wouldn't hesitate to buy one used.

IMO, the HVX's biggest faults are its softish image and insatiable hunger for light... it does not do well in dim, unlit conditions, or with a ton of fine detail. But give it enough light, and point it at the right things (for instance, people) and oh, mama... it's a dang beautiful thing.

The "high cost of P2" only becomes an issue if you absolutely MUST record 1080i or 720p60... if you're shooting 720p30 or 24p, you can use the "Native" recording modes (where no duplicate frames are recorded) yielding 2-3x the recording time on a P2 card. Shoot SD, and time-per-card on a 64GB quadruple (now you know why the tape deck is pointless).

Regarding some previous comments, P2 has not been set ot the wayside... it's still alive and kicking in the newest Panasonic HPX professional cameras. There are rumors of price drops and size increases forthcoming. The codec HAS been updated to AVC-Intra (a far different beast from AVCHD). In no uncertain terms, DVCPROHD kicks the everloving crap out of AVCHD as a capture format. I wish upon wish that my AF100 used P2 media. Most everyone that uses the AF for serious work winds up strapping on an external recorder to bypass its post-unfriendly codec.

If the buyer is super budget conscious, there's the option of a Firestore... an FS160 will give you over 3 hours of ready-to-edit 1080i recording time for about $600 (equivalent costwise to CF).

Last, if price is REALLY the concern here... what do you get for your money vs., say, a XF100?

OK... lets say your budget is $3500. You buy a XF100, one extra battery, and 3 hours worth of CF cards. You're pretty much done at that point.

Budget the same $3500 towards an HVX... HVX, used, maybe $1500. Probably comes with a few cards, but let's assume it doesn't... so you're in about $1800 for 3 64GB P2 cards. The extra $200 will get you 2-3 spare batteries.

Pretty much even money, right?

Well, the XF shoots at high resolution, full raster, which is a point for it. It also has HDMI out, which may be worth a point. The HVX has CCD chips, which, especially if you've ever shot moving subjects, is a big point for it. It also has a longer zoom range, a better lens, better controls, more ND options, better low light performance (on paper, at least), four channels of audio recording, a wide range of over and undercranking speeds, and looks a little more professional than the XF100, which is just a hair above a handycam in size. Once you get a little extra money, you can begin buying up the HUGE array of accessories for this camera sold off by videographers chasing the latest and greatest.

I think the XF100/105 are great cameras, but at that price point, they still lose out to the granddaddy of all prosumer HD cameras.

If you can swing a XF300/305, EX1R, or a HPX250, they're much better cameras... but at 3-5x the cost of a used HVX.
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Old March 21st, 2012, 05:07 PM   #18
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Re: Lost with all the rest-what to get??!

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Originally Posted by Kevin McRoberts View Post
The "high cost of P2" only becomes an issue if you absolutely MUST record 1080i or 720p60... if you're shooting 720p30 or 24p, you can use the "Native" recording modes
True enough - but only valid if you can accept not only 720p recording, but at 24 or 30 frames per second - "film look" as opposed to "smooth motion".
Quote:
Regarding some previous comments, P2 has not been set ot the wayside... it's still alive and kicking in the newest Panasonic HPX professional cameras.
I'd make a big distinction between the 2/3" P2 cameras and those like the 200 or the 250. For the latter, a sensible amount of memory seriously affects the overall package cost - for the more expensive cameras it's a far smaller percentage of total cost. P2 may not go away from the high end, but a lot of what were P2 sales in the HVX200 category have now gone to AVC-HD cameras or the likes of the Ex or XF300.
Quote:
OK... lets say your budget is $3500. You buy a XF100, one extra battery, and 3 hours worth of CF cards. You're pretty much done at that point.

Budget the same $3500 towards an HVX... HVX, used, maybe $1500. Probably comes with a few cards, but let's assume it doesn't... so you're in about $1800 for 3 64GB P2 cards. The extra $200 will get you 2-3 spare batteries.

Pretty much even money, right?
Your figures sound reasonable AFAIK - but is it really valid to be comparing new camera costs with one that is used? And don't forget that P2 reader -
Panasonic AJ-PCD2GPJ Single-Slot P2 Memory Card AJ-PCD2GPJ B&H
But the message is clear - if Ozzie does decide to go with the HVX200, forget about a new one..........
Quote:
If you can swing a XF300/305, EX1R, or a HPX250, they're much better cameras... but at 3-5x the cost of a used HVX.
All of them are better, true, but what about (say) a used EX1 in that case. May still be dearer than a used HVX200, but a lot better. And even if the basic body cost is higher, you don't then have that $1,935 cost for P2 cards. (At 3x $645 for 64GB, which seems to be current B&H price.)
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Old March 21st, 2012, 06:52 PM   #19
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Re: Lost with all the rest-what to get??!

On DVX User's "for sale" section, there's a NYC fellow selling a barely used Panasonic AC160 for $3500... if we're talking used, THAT'S what you should get!
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 12:18 PM   #20
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Re: Lost with all the rest-what to get??! -Found!

Everyone,

Thank you for all your efforts at "enlightenment". I took all your suggestions, placed them in a plain brown paper bag, closed my eyes, and the camera I pulled out of the bag was...

[Let me interrupt by saying, I am happy with my luck...I mean, educated choice, thanks to all your comments, explanations, and recommendations.]

...the Panasonic AG-AF100!! I bought it yesterday at B&H, along with a Lumix G Vario 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH/MEGA O.I.S. Micro Four Thirds lens, a Novoflex - Nikon to Micro Four Thirds Lens Adapter (now I can make use of all my Nikon lenses), and 2 SanDisk - 16GB SDHC Memory Cards.

I have a simple shoot next week. The learning curve is steep but I hope to learn at least how to find the record button, and choose one suitable recording mode before the shoot. I will report back as soon as I have spent a day shooting. So far, the camera exceeds all expectations.

By the way - Chris Hurd - as always, you run an excellent site. Possibly the most helpful group of people anywhere.
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 01:12 PM   #21
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Re: Lost with all the rest-what to get??!

Very nice choice. Very happy to help if you have any questions, been running an AF for a bit over half a year now and am very pleased.
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Old March 25th, 2012, 07:43 PM   #22
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Re: Lost with all the rest-what to get??!

I have spent the weekend learning what the AF100 can do. All I can say is WOW! A "VIDEO" camera that calls for everything I ever learned about photography, optics, and film! With adapters that will allow the use of just about any still camera or film lens; over a dozen shooting modes including over crank and under cranked filming ... err - videoing (?); time-lapse; built-in ND filters; and on, and on. I love this camera!

I'll post a full report on the camera as soon as I have some practical, in the field, experience with it. But for now I do have a question- how do I get the camera to work with a Nikon lens? I'm sure it's a matter of me not knowing enough about all the settings, and there are many. It's also not an emergency since I'll be shooting with the Panasonic lens I bought with it. I am trying to use a Nikon 28mm AF lens with a NOVOFLEX MFT/NIK adapter. It fits the lens, and it fits the camera, but all I get is a black screen - no image. I am also prevented from recording. Does any one know what setting I'm missing?

Thank you in advance.
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Old March 25th, 2012, 09:01 PM   #23
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Re: Lost with all the rest-what to get??!

Ozzie, does the lens you are using have an aperture ring on the lens barrel? If not, you need to get an adaptor with a built in aperture lever. Nikon lenses, by default, have thier iris closed (ie if you detach the lens from the camera, the iris will be closed and you cannot look through the lens at all, unlike EOS lenses, which are fully open by default.) The correct adaptor will allow you to open the iris by manipulating the little metal tab that extends out of the lens near the rear element - one of the benefits of having a mechanical system, rather than all electronic such as the m4/3rds and EOS lenses.

If your lens does have an aperture ring, then you can ignore the previous paragraph, and hope someone else has a better answer!
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Old March 25th, 2012, 10:09 PM   #24
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Re: Lost with all the rest-what to get??!

"...Nikon lenses, by default, have thier iris closed (ie if you detach the lens from the camera, the iris will be closed and you cannot look through the lens at all..."

Good suggestion but no cigar. Even with the old Nikkor AC lenses (24mm - one of my favorite) which are manual, with nothing automatic or electronic, and with the diaphragm open all the way (f2.8) I still get no image. I'm still searching for the setting that will let the CCD turn on when there's a lens adapter along the way.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 12:29 AM   #25
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Re: Lost with all the rest-what to get??!

You'll need to go into the AF100 menu and set the "Lens check" option to off. Then you can shoot with non M43 lenses.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 01:42 AM   #26
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Re: Lost with all the rest-what to get??!

Aha! That is it! I see it's in one of the menus, but how to get there? Ah, there is the question. With the extreme flexibility of the AF100 comes a labyrinth of menu choices which at first appear short and direct, but in actuality they branch into many little traveled paths. I know the setting can be changed in the user file, in the meta data, but it is how to get back there that is the problem. Can you give me an initial direction? As I said originally, this camera has a steep learning curve. I've been trying to get into the mindset of the designers but so far I'm not succeeding.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 05:25 AM   #27
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Re: Lost with all the rest-what to get??!

I'm thinking now that this has moved to specific issues and questions about the AF100, that discussions and questions be in threads in the AF100 forum here:
Panasonic AVCCAM AG-AF100 Camcorder Forum at DVinfo.net
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Old March 26th, 2012, 08:19 AM   #28
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Re: Lost with all the rest-what to get??!

Thank you, Les. I've posted my question here -> http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/panasoni...ml#post1723133

I'll continue my thread here once I have a better knowledge of the AF100.
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