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Panasonic AVCCAM Camcorders
AVCHD for pro applications: AG-AC160, AC130 and other AVCCAM gear.


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Old September 13th, 2010, 04:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zach Love View Post
This seems like a logical move for Panasonic. They seem to stick with a few formats, so right now it is either AVCHD or P2. If this was P2, it would cost a lot more.
Codec wise the Panasonic choices are AVC-HD or AVC-Intra - P2 is just a form of solid state memory. Theoretically AVC-Intra could be recorded to any type of memory, as long as it's fast enough.

The trouble with AVC-Intra 100 is the bitrate (100Mbs) is too fast for current SDHC cards, though it's quite likely to be fine when SDXC starts to become commonplace. But in the meantime, the Panasonic attitude is 100Mbs means P2, and hence the cost.

Of course, they could do what Canon have done and simply use Compact Flash. It's more than fast enough for 100Mbs, even in fairly basic form, as the nanoFlash proves. But it seems for Panasonic it's SD based media or P2.

The (big) advantages to either AVC-Intra 100 or XDCAM HD 422 are that they are both fully approved codecs for broadcast acquisition. So if the front end of the camera is good enough, a user shouldn't need to worry about the codec.

Sony also seem to be hanging back from giving the (fully approved) 50Mbs codec in all but their most expensive cameras, so that leaves it up to Canon. I wonder when we may see a large format camera with 50Mbs 422 recording from them? That would really tick all the boxes.
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Old September 13th, 2010, 05:10 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Zach Love
Which is why so many people say that HDSLRs are an inexpensive way to shoot video.

DSLR + Mixer + Audio Record + Loupe + Mount = $$$

Objectively
60D + Zoom H4n + mic + Loupe + basic mount = $1000 + $300 + $200 + $200 + $200 = $1900.
AF100.... $6000?
Which means you can get 3-4 DSLR setups for the price of one. And I'd argue you don't need the loupe (I don't have one for any of my 4 DSLRs) and can negate the mount (assuming you mean handheld rig, which the AF100 would also need). Which would put the price tag at $1500, meaning you could now get 4-6 for the price of on AF100

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I think this camera, the one Sony is making & hopefully whatever Canon is cooking up, will kill the current HDSLR craze & truly create a new subset of video cameras. Though that really still depends on if they get it right with their new round of cameras.
Time will tell.... who wants another subset of cameras? I sure don't. :)

I would however, be completely happy with the HF100 if it has great low light capabilities. Don't need as good as the DSLRs, but even half decent and this camera is a hands down win for me. I like everything about it except the 2x crop factor on 35mm lenses.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 01:47 PM   #18
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I think the standard for professional video cameras means you have discrete audio control & audio monitoring. Dylan Couper, your set up won't allow for that. If it works for you & the work you do, great, but I wouldn't call that set up a professional video camera package w/o the audio control.

I would personally either get a Mix Pre to use with a Zoom, a Marantz PMD661, or something where I can manually adjust the ch. 1 & 2 levels independent of each other. Either of those would add another $700 to your price.

$200 for a basic mount? Please share a link, because all of the adequate ones I've seen are more in the ridiculous price range of $700-$2,000.

Still I believe that the more devices you use, the more devices that have the possibility of failure. (Though the plus side is when one thing breaks, you only have to replace that one thing.)

Additionally I think equipment cost is often the cheapest cost. Time & labor in the long run are really what often costs the most. The current video DSLR / seperate audio workflow is more intensive than P2 or SxS, and takes you out of the "$" category & into the "$$$" category.

If you don't pay for labor, or you can bill hourly for a slower workflow (& your clients don't mind the anti aliasing etc. of DSLR video) then it is a GREAT model. But video DSLR cameras are, at the very root, a hacked still camera.

I have a used Canon HF100 that I got for $400 & a new Sony Z7U which I paid $5,500 for. And while I don't think the Z7U has 14x the picture quality of the HF100, I prefer the user interface of my Z7 & stand by the fact that it was worth the money. So I think if I could have one AF100 or 4 DSLRs, depending on what I'm doing, I'd probably go with one AF100.

I'm a video guy & I want my camera to work a certain way. I'm into efficiency & a clean stream lined process for my video work.

The AF100 looks to be the first large sensor, sub $10k camera built for moving pictures, first & foremost. To me, that is a new subset of cameras, one that doesn't exist currently & one that I welcome.


David Heath, I totally agree with you. I think it would be amazing if Panasonic went CF on this camera. Proven affordable media.

But how long did it take to release an affordable P2 USB card reader? I think Panasonic does a lot of great things, but in my opinion they're also very stubborn at trying to adapt to alternative workflows pioneered by end users. (It kinda amazes me when someone out Sonys Sony. I'm sure Sony wasn't thrilled about SDHC instead of SxS, but they've kinda sorta embraced it. And Sony is the king of being stuck in the mud proprietary actions.)
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Old September 14th, 2010, 05:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
I think the standard for professional video cameras means you have discrete audio control & audio monitoring. Dylan Couper, your set up won't allow for that. If it works for you & the work you do, great, but I wouldn't call that set up a professional video camera package w/o the audio control.
In my world, audio has nothing to do with the camera. That's a different job completely. But absolutely, for most people, having good in camera audio is so much easier than going to an external recorder, if you are shooting one camera. But, the counterpoint (I'm arguing both sides here) if you need multiple camera setups, you can get 4 60D's, and one good audio mixer/recorder to carry all the sound. Btw, the Zoom is $300, not $700.

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$200 for a basic mount? Please share a link, because all of the adequate ones I've seen are more in the ridiculous price range of $700-$2,000.
Check out the Gini mount, made in Korea is extremely well built for the price, and starts at around $200. To be fair, both cameras need this though, as I don't consider the form factor of the AF100 to be made for professional handheld use, so that has to be added to both price tags.

Quote:
Still I believe that the more devices you use, the more devices that have the possibility of failure. (Though the plus side is when one thing breaks, you only have to replace that one thing.)
I agree, and then some. Not only the breakability, but the more devices you have, the more you need to maintain/setup/run on the day, and that's your attention being taken away from shooting. I think this, for an independent guy, is a bigger drawback than the cost.

Quote:
Additionally I think equipment cost is often the cheapest cost. Time & labor in the long run are really what often costs the most. The current video DSLR / seperate audio workflow is more intensive than P2 or SxS, and takes you out of the "$" category & into the "$$$" category.

If you don't pay for labor, or you can bill hourly for a slower workflow (& your clients don't mind the anti aliasing etc. of DSLR video) then it is a GREAT model. But video DSLR cameras are, at the very root, a hacked still camera.
I agree completely about uncalculated time costs... Give me something that's plug and play, and I love it. Give me something that takes all kinds of software workarounds and... who am I kidding... I don't edit anything anyway, and pass along all time costs to the client. :)

But for sure, easy post production workflow is a bonus. I've never had any trouble with the DSLRs, but I know many who have. I guess the counterpoint to this is that, a lot of indie shooters don't have the cash up front, but do have the free time.

Quote:
I have a used Canon HF100 that I got for $400 & a new Sony Z7U which I paid $5,500 for. And while I don't think the Z7U has 14x the picture quality of the HF100, I prefer the user interface of my Z7 & stand by the fact that it was worth the money. So I think if I could have one AF100 or 4 DSLRs, depending on what I'm doing, I'd probably go with one AF100.
Like you, for me it's a toolbox... you pull out the right tool for the job on the day, and every day is a different job. I work on a pretty wide range of content, but if I had to boil it down to my own personal filmmaking... Damn... that's a tough call, as I already have the workarounds for the DSLRs, but I think the versitilty of the AF100 would win in the end.

Quote:
The AF100 looks to be the first large sensor, sub $10k camera built for moving pictures, first & foremost. To me, that is a new subset of cameras, one that doesn't exist currently & one that I welcome.
Me too man! If it wasn't for getting spoiled with using 35mm full frame + ultra light sensitivity, I couldn't find a single bad thing to say about it.

I guess time will tell where the market goes. Either way, I can't wait to get my hands on one!
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Old September 14th, 2010, 09:52 PM   #20
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New AG-AF100 + Aja KiPro Mini + all of my 5D MKII lenses = complete bliss for at least a year or two.

Yes, I wish it was P2 and AVCINTRA but honestly, most of my clients would be more than happy with AVCHD. I have shot with the Canon Vixia and the HMC150, if you blame AVCHD as a legitimate reason why your work isn't up to snuff, you either have REALLY high end clients or you are not good at exploiting lower end gear. AVCHD is superior to HDV and I have seen plenty of HDV footage that looked amazingly good even though I don't like that codec. Still have my AG-HPX170 for those few times a year when I shoot a green screen project.

I think this will be a VERY popular camera. Low light will be outstanding when teamed with faster lenses. It is a 4/3 Micro sensor that is four times the size of the 2/3" sensors in the Varicams. Wide angle will be a challenge but not out of reach.

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Old September 14th, 2010, 10:19 PM   #21
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Here's a link to a good quality HD Video Introduction:
YouTube - Panasonic AG-AF101 Luc Bara

Edit: Sorry I didn't realize this link was posted on another thread.
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Old December 14th, 2010, 06:45 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
Objectively
60D + Zoom H4n + mic + Loupe + basic mount = $1000 + $300 + $200 + $200 + $200 = $1900.
I thought the big cost of DSLR video was an assortment of very fast lenes.
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