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Old February 8th, 2012, 06:44 PM   #16
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Re: Should I get 2 x AC-130's??

Did you buy me 2 also? You know a belated birthday present? ;-)
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Old February 8th, 2012, 08:22 PM   #17
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Re: Should I get 2 x AC-130's??

Hey Don

Sadly our ones here are only PAL but if they were a freebie I'm sure you could live with it??

Seriously I can now give you some genuine assessment of the camera from a wedding point of view as they were amongst your list of possible upgrades.

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Old February 8th, 2012, 08:46 PM   #18
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Re: Should I get 2 x AC-130's??

I forgot about PAL. :-( Oh well.
Looking forward to you review and contests on the new toys!
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Old February 10th, 2012, 06:54 PM   #19
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Re: Should I get 2 x AC-130's??

Hi Don

Hopefully the results will be enough to convince you that it's the camera to upgrade to..I'll have to see myself first..they were shipped today so they will hit Customs on Monday/Tuesday and then overnight from the East Coast to us midweek.

I figured the DV option might be very useful for you as well??? You could still shoot in SD and produce DV-AVI files in 16:9 ..only difference is that they will be on a card not tape so the "weaning process" from your current cameras will be very gentle!!! The time saved in copying files to your drive as opposed to capturing them in realtime is a HUGE time saver!! Lots of extra hours saved means the wife can allocate you all those chores that need doing!!

Chris
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Old February 10th, 2012, 10:15 PM   #20
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Re: Should I get 2 x AC-130's??

Well things have changed a bit. I'm in the process of signing a corporate client that I will be doing lots of seminars for (along with other stuff). The best part is I shoot and don't have to edit. Love it. Lots of time saved!!! Yay. Now here's the catch. End of the day (or days) I hand over the tapes to them! Yes they want tapes. They have their own editor and want to keep it that way! Well, I can't do that with the 130s so honestly because of the amount of work from them and the money involved I may simply either keep going with what I have (they're 100% fine with 4:3 SD) OR perhaps pick up something like a Z7 or Z5 or even a used JVCHD200. I'm not sure yet. Not that I necessarily need HD(V) or even 16:9 for them but it could be nice to have the option. I'm kind of leaning towards staying with what I have, bank ALL the cash and get out of the weddings at the end of the year. Just thinking out loud. Anyway, if I do make the switch to anything I'm about 100% sure it'll be the 130s but this developement does change the game a bit. Time will tell.
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Old February 11th, 2012, 12:07 AM   #21
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Re: Should I get 2 x AC-130's??

Hi Don

That sounds a nice contract!! I really cannot see the point of changing to an HDV camera as if the client is expecting SD 4:3 on a tape then the last thing you want to have to do is rush home and transfer HDV to your computer then render it back to SD and print BACK to tape... I'm sure there are plenty of PD150's for sale still if you do need an extra camera. That takes me back to my VHS weddings where the couple got the wedding video at the end of the reception!! Shoot the titles (usually just the invitation) and then edit in camera and as they exit the wedding eject the full VHS tape and collect your money..it was also a first generation copy so quality (in those days anyway) was the best they could expect!!!

I would just continue with the PD150..flip out the tape at the end of session and your work is done!! Does the 150 handle DVCAM tapes too or is that only the 170????

You can now spend evenings with the family instead of editing until midnight!!!

Chris
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Old February 11th, 2012, 06:51 AM   #22
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Re: Should I get 2 x AC-130's??

Well since I have 3 PDs (2 170s and 1 150) and they all work great, even though they're long in the tooth, I take care of them with good routine maintenance so they're good to go for a long time yet.
I should say the client doesn't care if it's 4:3, 16:9, SD or HDV...they just want good quality tapes at the end of the day. You're right. Why spend money to buy something else when what I have works perfectly well for them. If things play out according to plan, it could be quite lucrative and maybe even allow me to cut back on the weddings by about 1/2 or more. One can only hope. Anyway, pretty soon I have to get ready to go meet with a bride and groom for October! Still gotta make a living.
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Old February 12th, 2012, 08:26 AM   #23
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Re: Should I get 2 x AC-130's??

Hi Guys

I have been looking at shoulder mount rigs and came to the conclusion that most of the cost is the fancy adjustable and sliding mounts etc etc. On my current HMC80's I have a simple fixed rail system which essentially is just 2 x 1/2" aluminium tubes with 1" flat bar to keep them parallel at the back, centre and front. Making a shoulder pad shouldn't be too complex as my foam shop has some awesome closed cell foam blocks (if I ask nicely he will also use his fancy cutter to make the "U" shape) Since these rails are only ever going on one camera, I don't need the sliding adjustments that commercial models have to have and can just determine the best cam mounting point and also add (slightly offset) a tripod mount block.

On the 80's I used a ENG rig (which the Multirig also has) which is a belt with a pouch and then a spring loaded rod from the pouch up to the rails just under the lens hood. This takes all the weight off the front of the camera. However I did add a mini-ball head between the spring rod and the rails so the system is flexible. The cheapest rig that will work on the 130 (from India) is nearly $300 with shipping so I'm pretty confident I can build two new rail systems on the same lines as the ones on my HMC80 and also still be able to use my spring loaded belt support instead of the usual two "handlegrips" most rigs have which essentially tie up both hands. I think I would rather have my right hand on the grip so framing and record are easily controlled and my left hand is still free to add another contact point or play with focus and iris when required. With the front handle system it seems you are powerless to tweak exposure or focus or framing as both hands are below the camera!!

Cams should arrive in a day or so and once I have the rails done, I'll post some pics!!

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Old February 12th, 2012, 04:40 PM   #24
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Re: Should I get 2 x AC-130's??

Chris, as you know I have and love my multirig. I use a Varizoom Stealth LANC controller on the right side handle. that controls REC, zoom and focus. I keep my left hand on the other handle of the rig and control all with the right.
HOWEVER, I have an old Habby Cam shoulder mount that I used for 1 job in November. I re-worked it to take the spring rod from the multirig, kept my right hand in the strap to control REC and zoom and used my left hand on the lens barrel to control focus. Right after that job, I went right back to the DVMultirig. I like having the 2 handles to balance the rig out. It just works out well for me plus I can do some nice moves with the rig and keep the camera in relative plane. Not steadicam for sure but decent.
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Old February 12th, 2012, 04:55 PM   #25
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Re: Should I get 2 x AC-130's??

Thanks Don

That's nice to know as I haven't used a rig with front handles at all. I see the trick using a controller on the handle. Well you have now given me some extra work to do!!! Definately worth adding some handles and see how they work. One of my little sideline incomes is producing tutorials for making rigs so I'm no stranger to DIY rigs at all having made around 29 different rigs from scratch.

I think there would be times when you just need the camera, then times when the support rod without front handles is the answers then other times (which I often notice with the HMC80's) when the support rod restricts your movement too much. There would also be times when the front handles are the answer.

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Old February 12th, 2012, 09:01 PM   #26
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Re: Should I get 2 x AC-130's??

One of the things I love about the Multirig type setup is I can lock down for a long period of time much like when I used full sized rigs with the ENG rig from DVTec. AAMOF I've still got that rig. Never know when you might need it. Plus I am a bit of a pack rat.
When you get you new toys and the rig set up make sure to post some pics.
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Old February 12th, 2012, 10:43 PM   #27
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Re: Should I get 2 x AC-130's??

Hi Don

They shipped from the warehouse overseas on Friday and were in my hot little hands at 10:30am today (it's Monday here!!)

I had a quick little play (couldn't resist!!) and the camera is great in low light!! I will actually do a comparison with the 1/4" chip 80 later. The LCD screen has all my familiar icons and I certainly cannot see any focus issues in auto...these are brand new so maybe panny has changed the firmware??? Even at 22X it focuses quickly and locks on with no issues... I will look at that since it was brought up, but a bit later in more detail. They are a good deal lighter than the HMC80!! Being a shoulder mount person I found they were quick useable handheld either with the EVF or LCD...if you snuggle the cam into your cheek I found that the LCD is somewhat too close to your face so maybe a simple rail and pad is the answer there. I'd like the camera to sit a bit further away from my face. If it has to be that close I think a loupe on the LCD might be very good so it works like the HMC80. So far I'm impressed but more to come later.

Chris
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