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Old September 23rd, 2011, 03:20 AM   #31
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Re: Getting a video camera

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
Nigel, how are you dealing with the multiple files from the camera? Shooting multicam events I am concerned about the large number of files to deal with in post, particularly since I use Cineform for edtiting and will have to deal with dozens more individual clips. Syncing is already not fun with my current workflow.
I am normally shooting with Canon DSLRs so to my mind the XF100 produces many fewer files:-) Whatever the length of the clip it is split up into 2GB chunks (about 5 minutes of video). How these are imported depends on your NLE. With FCP7 Log & Transfer you can mark in & out points & import as a single logical clip. With Premiere Pro 5.5 I just grab the .MXF files & drop them on the timeline & PP makes sure that they butt up together & don't drop or add frames over the junction.

As far as synchronisation goes Singular Software - PluralEyes works like magic for any audio & video files. If you are not using PluralEyes then you are really missing a trick. There is a 30-day free trial so you can evaluate it.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 06:36 AM   #32
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Re: Getting a video camera

Nigel, thanks much for the explanation of how you deal with your XF100 files, very helpful.

As a result of the information that's come in on this subject, especially from Cineform support, I'm skipping the purchase of the XF100. Files converted using Cineform would be exponentially larger than they are now, and a wedding converted currently takes up about 700GB. MXF files would likely take me way beyond a TB, and that is too much.

From all indications the mfx files do not need converted so much, but I do want to stick with the same codec for consistency sake, it just seems to make sense to me.

Despite the downside, I'm going to keep the XA10 that I received yesterday and make do with it. It is not the camera I ultimately want, but should turn the trick to fill in the gaps for me now.

I'll try Plural Eyes on the next project, thanks for the recommendation. I've been hearing about it so much, I must try it!
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 06:45 AM   #33
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Re: Getting a video camera

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Nigel, you are right about the 60pm and I realized it minutes after I posted that comment. Disappointed, to be sure, but not a deal breaker. thanks for you reassurance about the images.

Nigel, how are you dealing with the multiple files from the camera? Shooting multicam events I am concerned about the large number of files to deal with in post, particularly since I use Cineform for edtiting and will have to deal with dozens more individual clips. Syncing is already not fun with my current workflow.
I don't know what NLE you are using but we edit the MXF files natively both in FCP 7 & Premiere Pro 5.5 they are basically a variant of MPEG2 in a wrapper so should edit easily in most NLEs (but not FCP X at present).
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 06:50 AM   #34
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Re: Getting a video camera

I second PluralEyes, it's a must have. One, if not the best software tools I use.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 07:03 AM   #35
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Re: Getting a video camera

Thanks Tim, for the recommendation, and Nigel for the further explanation. The huge file sizes of the higher bit rates, I'm not feeling it at all. We're talking 20 clips, give or take, per hour. Now for corporate shoots, and other short project, who cares. But for wedding work, no. In addition, my customers want raw footage, more often than ever lately, and even some corporate customers. Just send some raw footage off last week for a corporate client.

The more I think about it, the more glad I am to skip the cam. I would love the quality, but will be happy to wait for something else that fits in with my workflow better!
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 07:55 AM   #36
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Re: Getting a video camera

You also have to consider the Canon XF100 shoots 50mbits but that is mpeg2. AVCHD can give typically twice the visual quality for the same bitrate. There have been tests that show Panasonic's 21-24mbit AVCHD equalling or beating Sony's 50 mbit mpeg2. 50 mbit mpeg2 can look very good but so can 24 mbit AVCHD. Again you will notice very little difference and I personally would say the AVCHD looks much better. Totally different compression technologies and it is impossible to compare the two by just talking about bitrates.

The main advantage to 50 mbit mpeg2 is the 4:2:2 if you actually need it and it tends to be a bit easier to edit with or at least it used to be. These days it is getting much easier to edit native AVCHD. I actually consider 50 mbits to be the minimum level for great looking mpeg2.

AVCHD will have less macro blocking since it uses adaptable macro blocks. Mpeg2 can only use 8x8 pixel blocks which is why you see macro blocking with mpeg2. This is why blu-ray movies typically use much higher bitrates for mpeg2 compared to H264. Mpeg2 must use 25mbits + for a decent quality blu-ray movie. AVCHD on the other hand has been known to go as low as 12 mbits and still maintain amazing quality.

Just something to think about. In the end they are about equal give or take small advantages to each. AVCHD slightly better picture quality and less artifacts. 50 mbit mpeg2 slightly better color.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 09:14 AM   #37
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Re: Getting a video camera

The GH2, at 17mbps produces high quality images, as we all know. (I shoot 720 60p which is 17mbps I think). While it is not fair to compare a 1/3" chip camera to a nearly 1" chip DSLR, another way to view this could be why deal with 30-50mbps files for what would in the end be at best similar quality, if not inferior quality? And if what you say is true, the higher bit rates/files sizes do not give the bang for the buck of AVCHD anyway.

Based on your comments Thomas, and on what we all know, there is an upside to the files from the XA100, and who can dispute that 4:2:2 is superior and certainly desirable when it can be had? No one. On the other hand the format and bit rate are not something to jump on for the sake it alone. The downsides, at least for my particular situation with the multiple files, 2gb clip limit, etc., are enough to cancel out any benefits.

So for me, it will be easier to take 1080i footage from the xa10, resize and deinterlace (since I transcode everything anyway) and incoroporate it into my existing workflow, than to deal with the potential hassles of MXF files. Another upside for me is that I may be tempted to begin shooting in 24p with my cameras, so as to have all matching footage. The XA10 that I now have does not shoot 720p, but shoots 1080 60i or 1080 24p. And while I've always traditionally dismissed 24p for wedding work, there are too many videographers producing excellent products with it for me to continue my bias against it, at least without giving it a try.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 10:39 AM   #38
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Re: Getting a video camera

I recently got an AF100 and am astounded by how much better the autofocus is with all the Lumix lenses I have (14-140, 7-14, 20) as well as the signal-to-noise in low light, not to mention peaking, waveforms, and all the other goodies to make it work like a real video camera... unfortunately there's still no smooth zoom rocker or fast wide-range zooms, YET.

The AC130/160 seem about perfect for events, but they're still not available... YET.

And of course, once all those things are available, we'll get them and decide there's something else vital that isn't available... YET.

...and so goes the never-ending cycle of "the best thing for you will be available in two or three months."

Bravo for just getting something that works OK for now.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 11:03 AM   #39
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Re: Getting a video camera

Kevin, congrats. There is a fast Olympus f/2.0 zoom, it reportedly works well with the GH2, but it is expensive. Your autofocus would likely work quite well with it. As a wedding shooter I have given up on finding a better zoom lens with fast accurate auto focus, I'll use my 12-60mm Olympus lens and my XA10 video cam for now.

You might consider the Olympus 14-54 F/2.8-3.5, it is highly recommended. I love my 12-60, which is very similar, but slower. The Olympus lenses are highly compatible with the GH2s, don't discount them. I'm a believer in Olympus lenses. I have two now, and I'm hooked on Olympus lenses. The only Panasonic I have left is the 20mm.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 01:41 PM   #40
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Re: Getting a video camera

I know there are a lot of options... but I'm also trying to make do with what I have and can afford right now instead of wasting time pining for the temporarily unattainable.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 01:45 PM   #41
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Re: Getting a video camera

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Another upside for me is that I may be tempted to begin shooting in 24p with my cameras, so as to have all matching footage. The XA10 that I now have does not shoot 720p, but shoots 1080 60i or 1080 24p. And while I've always traditionally dismissed 24p for wedding work, there are too many videographers producing excellent products with it for me to continue my bias against it, at least without giving it a try.
Man Jeff, I'm glad to here you say that. From seeing your work, I think 24p will take it to a different level.

I have been shooting 30p since getting the FX's (wanted to shoot 24p but as you know, no native 24p in the FX's) and now that I'll be using the GH2 some, I for sure will be going all glorious 24p and using cineform to unwrap the FX footage. It will take a little different shooting style I know but I'm ready.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 02:05 PM   #42
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Re: Getting a video camera

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Originally Posted by Jeff Harper View Post
The GH2, at 17mbps produces high quality images, as we all know. (I shoot 720 60p which is 17mbps I think). While it is not fair to compare a 1/3" chip camera to a nearly 1" chip DSLR, another way to view this could be why deal with 30-50mbps files for what would in the end be at best similar quality, if not inferior quality? And if what you say is true, the higher bit rates/files sizes do not give the bang for the buck of AVCHD anyway.

Based on your comments Thomas, and on what we all know, there is an upside to the files from the XA100, and who can dispute that 4:2:2 is superior and certainly desirable when it can be had? No one. On the other hand the format and bit rate are not something to jump on for the sake it alone. The downsides, at least for my particular situation with the multiple files, 2gb clip limit, etc., are enough to cancel out any benefits.

So for me, it will be easier to take 1080i footage from the xa10, resize and deinterlace (since I transcode everything anyway) and incoroporate it into my existing workflow, than to deal with the potential hassles of MXF files. Another upside for me is that I may be tempted to begin shooting in 24p with my cameras, so as to have all matching footage. The XA10 that I now have does not shoot 720p, but shoots 1080 60i or 1080 24p. And while I've always traditionally dismissed 24p for wedding work, there are too many videographers producing excellent products with it for me to continue my bias against it, at least without giving it a try.
If you went the direction of the new Panasonic ag130 however it does use 24mbits in the 720p modes. My hmc40 is basically the same camera with 1/4" chips instead of 1/3" and a lens that doesn't reach as far. I can shoot 720p 60p at beautiful 24 mbits/s in AVCHD that I really do feel blows away mpeg2 at 50 mbits/s. Thats why it is so hard for me to sell it due to it's low light limitation. The 720p 60p and 1080p 24p are such a great match for my GH1. They compliment each other so well as long as I have enough light. I would consider selling my HMC40 and buying the new ag130 but I just don't do enough live type stuff to justify the extra cost. I teach video production at a woman's college and we focus on more creative shooting so these days I do prefer shooting with my GH1. If I did more live work I would do it in a heart beat.

Which ever camera you choose remember to look at audio as well. Audio is something any DSLR really struggles with. Any video camera is going to launch your audio to whole new levels.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 02:22 PM   #43
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Re: Getting a video camera

Tim, I don't have any Panasonic video on my website, so you if you've been to my site, you're looking at videos that are generally two years old, and on my older site which is linked to cincinnativideo.com the videos are four and five years old!

Anyway, I am not interested in 24p in and of itself, it is of no interest to me in a general way. But my new camera shoots in 24p or 60i (I know I've already said that) and I would prefer to have matching footage.

But as you say, 24p is can be nice, but it also requires a specific technique which I know nothing about!

I feel I need to study the 24p question before going that route. I am increasingly a documentary shooter. I appreciate pretty, cinematic video, but have strayed further and further from it. I view the cinematic style as somewhat too vain for my taste, and I feel it is too feminine of a thing for my sensibiliteis. But that is not meant to disparage the talented guys that do it so effectively everyday, and I do admire those that do it well. I am striving to provide clean, straightforward, high quality video to brides, and a short highlight clip.

But as you say, the 24p might really take things to a new level, I don't know, I've never shot in it, so I don't even know what it would look like.

Do you shoot in 24p? What kind of caveats would you share with me regarding it? I know only that pans must be made very slowly, etc, but what else? Maybe I'll bring this up in the wedding video forum.
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Last edited by Jeff Harper; September 23rd, 2011 at 05:52 PM.
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Old September 23rd, 2011, 10:20 PM   #44
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Re: Getting a video camera

Thomas, I find that with the GH2 and even the GH1, my audio is really not too awfully bad. With the GH2, I set the gain to lowest for receptions, put a rode videomic pro on it set a -10 db and all is well. I have a tiny Sennheiser (very cool little shotgun) and I set it to a minus setting also, and get great results.

For interviews and well wishes, I have to raise the level on the mic to 0 gain, but it works fine, as long as I remember to reset it to minus as soon if I reuse the camera for dancing stuff.

With all of that in mind, I'm looking forward to using the XA10 with it's XLR and volume controls. I just ordered a short Azden shotgun, and since it is phantom powered I don't have to keep wondering if the battery is fine, since there is no battery! So you are right, even though I am reasonably happy with my current audio, the XA10 should be very nice for giving me more control, and the circuitry should also handle distorted and "too loud" environments much better than the GH cameras.

The Panasonic Ag AC160 looks to be a very nice camera, and for lack of knowing much as to what is out there at the moment, I would grab one in a heartbeat if it was available, and I could afford it. If the 130 is comparable, that would be even better.
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Old September 24th, 2011, 08:13 AM   #45
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Re: Getting a video camera

Jeff, the rumor of a Panasonic GX1 camcorder with m4/3rds mount like the Sony NEX-VG20H with E mount looks interesting. If Panasonic comes out with the fast X lenses with power zoom then that will be a hot seller.
43 Rumors | Blog | (FT5) Panasonic will launch a GX1 by end of this year!!!
http://www.43rumors.com/ft5-hot-pana...mm-fast-zooms/

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