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


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Old February 27th, 2012, 02:47 AM   #16
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Re: AC-130 needs a Viewfinder!!

Hi All

OK the Hoodman is definately too heavy for the Panny LCD..it stresses the hinges and also twists the LCD a bit too..BUT it works like magic IF it's supported and puts absolutely no stress on the LCD at all.

This is just a "demo" photo but what I have done is put an aluminium bar across the handle (using the 3/8" screw hole) and then as a temporary test, I put the Hoodman lanyard rubber ring over the hood and just cable tied the lanyard to the aluminium bar.

It now almost floats in front of the LCD...you can see how there is no stress at all by the fact that I have the hood attached to the LCD with two tiny elastic bands ....I actually used it for a bit like this too without any problems....the LCD is awesome now...sharp as a tack (the hoodman is adjustable) and really great to use.

If you are going to use one Nate (throughly recommended!!) you will need a support for the hood!!!

Now has anyone got some neat ideas as to how the hood should be supported from the bar???? Could it be a fixed rod there??? I was going to punch a hole in the hood and use a piece of 1/8" threaded rod..or should it be flexible???

The big velcro strap also seems a bit of an overkill..I'm looking for ideas on strapping the hood to the LCD..maybe just some wide sewing elastic fastened to the end of the hood so it has elasticised straps that keep it in position??

Ideas and you 2c worth would be great

Chris
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Old February 27th, 2012, 02:49 AM   #17
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Re: AC-130 needs a Viewfinder!!

Oops forgot the image!!!
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Old February 27th, 2012, 03:25 AM   #18
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Re: AC-130 needs a Viewfinder!!

Hey Chris,

Many thanks for all of this! After my Aussie holiday next month I'll be getting either an AC130 or AC160. Your adventures and findings are a great insight. I've decided I need a camera that has all the main functions as buttons and knobs on the chassis, I am fed up poking around in menus and touchscreens like my Pansonic HMC41 and my current Sony NX70. The real ND filters will be very welcome too, I'm fed up screwing filters on and off or messing around with a mattebox in even the slightest sunlight.

I was kind of hoping that I wouldn't need to start strapping things on to the camera. 99% of my work is tripod based, so maybe I can get away with the viewfinder and/or LCD screen without "extras".

I would worry about the elastic bands being durable enough, you don't want them going "ping!" in the middle of a wedding and taking someone's eye out (probably your own!). My thoughts here are of elastic bands that get exposed to sun getting very brittle and break easily.

Hoodman have their own lightweight mounting, I wonder if it is more durable? Cinema Strap-Hoodman Corporation

I used the kit you have on my old Sony V1e camera, including their velcro mounting strap, and it really was good, but I was worried about the stress on the LCD screen. The magnified loupe was just fantastic, the whole kit was a hundred times better than the cheaper devices I had dabbled with.
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Old February 27th, 2012, 05:46 AM   #19
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Re: AC-130 needs a Viewfinder!!

Hey Mike

It's just me and my total dependance on shoulder mounts and more importantly, being able to have diopter adjustment. You can certainly use the LCD with a hood but if the sun is behind you it is useless!!

On tripod you will be fine!! In fact because the EVF can tilt upwards it's very neat but I STILL like the idea of a loupe over an LCD...guess I was spoilt with the HMC82's!!!

I really hate touch screens..I even have problems with my Android phone!!! The 130 has buttons!!!

One thing you will absolutely love is the area iris and focus...just press the function joystick and move the target over the bride and groom and exposure and focus is only for that area....backlighting is no longer any issue...You can expose accurately (and focus too) and precisely ...just like spot exposure on a DSLR!! My biggest issues at weddings is exposure where there is a bright background and this solves it all!!

The only negative thing I have found so far is the auto level audio!!! It seems to slice the peaks off the waveform unless it's a very tiny signal...manual on the other hand is better than ever!! You can set the max peak level so it's a manual control but still zaps loud sounds.... with my wireless mics I can seriously leave the audio at 50% and it's perfect!!

Unless you really need the variable frame rate and SDI output , the 130 is better value!!

Chris
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Old February 27th, 2012, 03:13 PM   #20
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Re: AC-130 needs a Viewfinder!!

Chris,

You're probably right about the 130 versus the 160. I am tempted by the variable frame rate, plus the promised upgrade to 1080 50p, which seems to only be for the 160. Maybe by the time I buy it will all become clear!

...but all that is a different thread to a discussion about the viewfinder!

Barry Green said somewhere (or maybe Adam Wilt?) that putting the viewfinder to black & white and turning on peaking was a wonderful experience for ensuring best focus. I can't wait!
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Old February 27th, 2012, 06:08 PM   #21
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Re: AC-130 needs a Viewfinder!!

I have heard that too, along wit the fact that the auto focus is poor??? Well I have shot about 15 hours on each camera so far and all the autofocus shoots are perfect so that must be a myth UNLESS the camera might be struggling at full zoom!! (which I never use anyway) My HMC82's at full zoom and at a dance recital also used to struggle with auto focus!!



Update on the Loupe :

OK, I have decided on an aluminium bar fastened to the handle and extending out 5" ...I have a piece of 1/8th threaded rod dropping down vertically and at the end a little hook that goes thru the loupe's lanyard "o" ring and provides perfect support (with suspension too!!) and it essentially hangs directly in front of the LCD..In fact you can actually use it quite well without ANY loupe-LCD connection. I'll post detailed pics of the "rig" once the pieces are sprayed matt black so they look the part..believe it or not the "hook" bit is made from an old 3 pronged hook that goes in a drape (called curtains here) It had a neat ring in it already!!

Now the camcorder strap from Hoodman is really useless!! It just doesn't hold the LCD/ Loupe together well at all!! In fact I wouldn't even waste money on it!! If I had known I would have just bought the HoodLoupe 3.0, Eyepiece and Riser . Now, what I'm thinking here is putting 4 x 1/8" bolts in the inside of the riser so they protrude left and right over the top and bottom of the LCD and provide anchors for two "O" rings that will simply strap across the LCD ..top to bottom...I'm sure that's all one needs is a couple of 2" "O" rings and the rider part of the loupe will be held neatly against the LCD !!

Pics later !!!

Chris
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Old February 28th, 2012, 02:17 AM   #22
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Re: AC-130 needs a Viewfinder!!

Re. the autofocus, Chris. I've seen a lot of discussion on "the other website" about this. Generally, it seems to be a lot of dark, dim churches, lounge rooms etc. that seem to have difficulty focusing. Jan from Panasonic has been uber-responsive there, and I've seen nothing that puts me off the camera.

My short experience of Perth suggested that it wasn't often very dark and dim, so maybe it's not a problem for you! (But ruddy 'ell, it wasn't half windy on the day I went to Freo!)

What you're doing with that mount sounds interesting, Chris. I see Hoodman have some similar mounts for DSLRs that do the same job, mounting onto the accessory shoe and acting as a bracket for the loupe. I'm not sure they are of any use to you, but maybe they could inspire the engineer in you?

HOODCRANE-Hoodman Corporation
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Old February 28th, 2012, 05:36 AM   #23
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Re: AC-130 needs a Viewfinder!!

I made a viewfinder loupe for my EX3 that gives me a brighter and bigger image than the original. It gives a bigger image because the lens used has a shorter focal length than the Sony lens. Physically the new loupe is ~ 2 shorter making hand holding easier.

A disadvantage is that the shorter focal length and large aperture increases the risk of sun burning the finder screen. I have now added an internal sun-blind operated by the cord fitted with the blue knobs (see photo).
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Old February 28th, 2012, 05:55 AM   #24
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Re: AC-130 needs a Viewfinder!!

Nice Alastair!!

It looks good and us guys that prefer EVF's are happy too!! My issue wasn't so much focal length or magnification rather than the ability to adjust the focal length..the Hoodman provided that but at quite a cost!!! The EX Kit here is $185.00 and I needed two!!!

I am done with my Hoodman and it's a joy to work with...The final "crane" was an aluminium bar with a piece of 1/8" threaded rod going down to the loupe's lanyard "o" ring..it takes all the weight and there is no pressure on the LCD at all...I tried punching holes in the end of the loupe and pop rivetting elastic across it but it distorted the shape so it all had to come off. Because of the "floating" loupe ..All I need is two domestic elastic bands to keep it in place and it never moves...the pins top and bottom are just pop rivets inserted from the inside using the holes from my first disasterous idea!!!

I've also had to move the rigs shoulder pad 3" closer to the camera and then everything was given a coat of matt black paint (not the camera!!!! just the aluminium) I'm pretty happy with the operation now!!

Mike? I haven't really seen any focus issues and if there was did you know that the focus and iris rings provide tweaking even if you are shooting in auto??? I would say that any focus "slowness" would tend to be at the 22X zoom...I haven't seen it at wide angle even shooting in low light!! By using the area function both the iris and focus only operate in the target lines so any fuzzy low light background is not taken into account....it's a function I will use a lot!!!

Chris
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Old February 29th, 2012, 05:04 PM   #25
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Re: AC-130 needs a Viewfinder!!

Chris,

You probably should have bought a AC120 and done this to it, seeing you don't use the EVF.

Globalmediapro have them pretty cheap I see!

Cheers,

Vaughan
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Old February 29th, 2012, 06:01 PM   #26
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Re: AC-130 needs a Viewfinder!!

How does the saying go?? "Closing the stable door after the horse has gone" ????

Exactly one week after my cameras were delivered, the 120's appeared in GMP's stock list...Just bear in mind that you save only $800 and apart from the lack of EVF you also don't get a battery, charger and accessories either.

The standard EVF is very useable if the camera is on a tripod or monopod!! It purely the fact that if you hand hold (and I do close to 2 hours a day handheld shooting most weeks) the end mounted EVF makes the camera a killer on your right hand!!

By using the little crane on the handle I can actually remove the 2nd EVF in a matter of seconds if I need to use just the LCD screen...I just unclip the two bands holding the screen and unhook the rod and I'm back to LCD.

If anyone wants dimensions for this mod just let me know !!

Chris
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Old February 29th, 2012, 06:53 PM   #27
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Re: AC-130 needs a Viewfinder!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Beckett View Post
Barry Green said somewhere (or maybe Adam Wilt?) that putting the viewfinder to black & white and turning on peaking was a wonderful experience for ensuring best focus. I can't wait!
Just tried this and it is AMAZING. Thanks for the tip!
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Old March 27th, 2012, 01:43 AM   #28
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Re: AC-130 needs a Viewfinder!!

Hi Guys

I did another small mod to the loupe on the 130 viewfinder that sits on the LCD screen so I thought I would post a pic in case anyone else wants to do it. I have scrapped the rubber "extender" from Hoodman as it's way too heavy and it flexes too!!
All I have done is built a little box made out of black foam board and hot-glued together about 2" high and then I stripped off the rubber coating on the actual loupe (glue didn't want to adhere to the rubber but it sticks well to the plastic case of the loupe) and simply ran a strip of hot glue around the edge so the loupe stays firmly in place. As before the little box sits over the LCD and being much lighter, it works a lot better too. I just keep it in place with a few rubber bands.

Sorry I uploaded the pic to the wrong post but you can find it on my other DIY rig thread! (not allowed to post pics twice!!)

Works well for me now!!

Chris
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