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


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Old March 26th, 2012, 06:35 AM   #16
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Re: Pulling the trigger on an AG-AC160

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
What did OP mean about vignetting from "5.6 to wide open"?
I think that was me that posted the comment about the vignetting (note it's only at full zoom in). Here's the YouTube video I made as documentation:

Panasonic AC130 Vignetting Part II - YouTube

...Jerry
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Old March 26th, 2012, 06:47 AM   #17
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Re: Pulling the trigger on an AG-AC160

Ah, Ok. Something about the syntax confused me. So you mean when zoomed in, AND are at 5.6 to wide open, you get vignetting?
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Old March 26th, 2012, 07:10 AM   #18
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Re: Pulling the trigger on an AG-AC160

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Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
Ah, Ok. Something about the syntax confused me. So you mean when zoomed in, AND are at 5.6 to wide open, you get vignetting?
Exactly! Sorry if I was confusing.

...Jerry
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Old March 26th, 2012, 07:32 AM   #19
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Re: Pulling the trigger on an AG-AC160

Maybe I was just being dumb when I read that.

Anyway. . .does it have the PANASONIC LOOK?

I haven't worked that much with Panas, but I worked a long time ago on a project with the DVX100 series and remember how even mundane stuff in available light looked really, sigh, filmic and beautiful, while stuff that was actually lit looked amazing. Something intangible to do with the way the cam handled colors and contrast, and the 24p implementation.

I've played with HVX200s a few times but never really got to examine the footage on a TV or monitor to see how it came out, so I don't know if that DVX sensibility has carried over to their other/newer cams.

I understand out of the box maybe not so hot (just like the XL2 in that respect), but once you apply scene files or whatever, how 'bout then. Does it still have "the look"?
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Old March 27th, 2012, 01:37 AM   #20
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Re: Pulling the trigger on an AG-AC160

Hi Josh

With a simple scene file change yes, the 130 and 160 have a lot of WOW factor!! I have been right through the Panny range as far back as the VHS M10 camera (that was a LONG time ago) and these new cams are awesome BUT don't ever try one out using scene file F1 (the default) the image really sucks and has absolutely nothing!!

If you can get your hands on either camera then spin the dial over to F3 and then try some sample footage and you won't be disappointed at all. I have no idea why they never gave the first scene file any parameters as if you tried out the camera at a retail outlet it would more than likely be on F1...my F1 now does not exist!!!

I have a friend over East who has a DVX 102 and an HMC150 and he is VERY impressed with the 130 and 160 as far as image is concerned so that would confirm your question regarding the carry forward of sensibility. When mine arrived he told me I would be blown away but he negleted to tell me about not using the first scene file as the camera he tried had already been set up!! After switching scene files, yes, I must admit I was blown away!!

Chris
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Old March 27th, 2012, 02:05 AM   #21
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Re: Pulling the trigger on an AG-AC160

Thanks for the info!

Now I see, as I research, there are quite a few dealers selling the 160 for closer to $4k, not just that naughty one the OP mentioned. Quite a dilemma between this and a used HPX170.
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Old March 27th, 2012, 07:33 AM   #22
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Re: Pulling the trigger on an AG-AC160

Hi Josh

Doesn't the HPX have the same chipset as the 160 now??? I thought it did but forgive me if I'm wrong!! Actually I AM wrong I was thinking of the 250 which does use the same chipset!! The 170 has CCD's!!

The new chips are supposed to be better than the CCD's and then you are also faced with having to use P2 cards which have come down a bit but are still pricey!!! Is your NLE also happy with DVCPRO format too???

I would also make sure the used 170 has features you won't miss!! Something that absolutely delights me on the 130/160 is the Area Focus/Iris which almost works the same as a still camera spot focus and spot exposure...very useful feature for me and I can expose quickly in auto (and focus) only in the target area and STILL be able to tweak both the iris and focus manually.. I love the fact that I can let the camera get me in the ball park with both focus and exposure (often it's pretty much perfect) and I can still manually adjust on the rings if I have too!! At weddings where a million things are happening at once it's a lifesaver!

Chris
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Old March 27th, 2012, 11:22 AM   #23
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Re: Pulling the trigger on an AG-AC160

While all of what you're saying is true, they're both supposed to be excellent cameras. The HPX will have the more robust codec, but alas, shorter zoom range, more expensive media with far lower capacity per card, may be a little soft compared to newer cams (from what I hear), etc.

BUT

Used ones are also going for sometimes nearly half the price of a new 160, and therein lies the issue. I'm stuck in a strange place where I definitely don't NEED an HD camera, but I am certain at this point it's occasionally costing me jobs (I do other work, not just shooting) not to own. I understand one should be able to pay off a cam fairly quickly if one is buying for business, and I accept that. I also accept that it may simply not happen for me that way, and that makes me want to spend less (used cam), but not so little that I get something people won't hire me with (like the Canon XF100 or similar), since my shooting clients tend to be production companies with fairly specific camera requirements, and not "independent clients" who wouldn't know HDV from HEB.
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Old March 27th, 2012, 12:43 PM   #24
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Re: Pulling the trigger on an AG-AC160

Ok, looks like $4200 is officially the new "norm" for this camera.

"Why not get the 130, Bass?"

'Cause, those features it lacks are ones I would be very worried about missing.
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Old March 27th, 2012, 01:14 PM   #25
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Re: Pulling the trigger on an AG-AC160

I made the leap and ordered the 160 from BH. I agonized over the 130/160 question for a while, and ultimately just decided to go for it since I really wanted the over/under cranking, and the uncompressed audio was going to be a nice bonus. At one point I'd like to get a converter for HD-SDI to firewire (which I hear is possible), and use my MacbookPro as a capture device.

One other thought was the possibility that a firmware upgrade would give the 160 1080p60. The note I saw indicated that the upgrade would be for the 160 only, although its possible any such upgrade would also cover the 130.

It's probably "more camera than I need", but I"ll never have to say "I didn't get enough camera"..

Since my old camera is not HD, I bought a 'B' camera too, a Panasonic TM900...

The worst part about all this.. is that I won't ever be able to blame the equipment for lousy video.. so it's time to put up or shut up!

Thanks for all the advice everyone.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 05:08 AM   #26
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Re: Pulling the trigger on an AG-AC160

Hi Ed

Interresting reading. I'm also thinking of the combo AG-AC160/TM900.

Why did you chose the TM900 instead of for example the new X900 or the Canon HF G10 or Canon XA10?
Like to hear your oppinion as I have tha chance to buy a TM900 now before they are sold out.

Regards,

/Bo
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Old March 28th, 2012, 10:05 AM   #27
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Re: Pulling the trigger on an AG-AC160

Cost was a significant factor. I basically overspent my original budget on the AC160, and wanted to keep the 2nd camera << $1K.

I had also read an article somewhere that compared a Panny and a Sony. The colors were slightly different, with the Panny tending toward blue, and Sony toward green (IIRC). The author of that video said you don't want to mix Sony/Panny for that reason. There is no indication that the same would apply to Panny/Canon, but I decided it's 'safer' to stick with the same brand. There are might be reasons why you should mix/match, but I just decided to stick with Panny.

The TM900 also looks to have a similar capture/compression system (although I did not do a lot of research in this area), which I hope makes them more compatible for post.

Cheers,

Ed
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