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Photo for HD Video (D-SLR and others)
HD from Nikon D90, other still photo cams (except EOS 5D Mk. II, LUMIX GH1).


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Old January 16th, 2009, 01:30 AM   #1
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Still camera + water housing

I'm almost set on buying a Panasonic FX38 and waterproof housing. I'd use it for both stills and video. The video will be used in SD productions, mostly for University, and from all the samples I've studied I figure it will be sufficient.

I'd considered a Sony sports pack but a HC9 (my PC can't handly AVCHD - not even close!) and the housing together would've costed nearly two G's Australian. Plus it is only rated to 5m (the Panny goes to 40m) and I'd be too worried about a $1500 camera in the surf.

For my humble beginnings taking photos and video in the water I figured I'd be better off with the cheaper $800 package, given that it will still offer usable video, an easy format to edit (M-JPEG) 25mm wide-angle lens, OIS, and a better water-pressure rating as well as controls over everything that can be controlled (not alot, in video mode, but better than the on/off/record/photo/zoom offerred on the Sony)

I'm just wondering if anybody has any real world experience with the Panasonic FX38 or with any of the Panasonic Marine Housings?

Come to think of it, does anybody have any comments of the HD video mode on any of the Panasonic compact cams?

Thanks,

John
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 04:59 PM   #2
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I bought a Panasonic TZ5 last month before leaving on my 6-week trip and so far I really like this camera. I can not comment on the ultimate video quality as I only watched one clip before I left. It definitely has a "video" look but seems on par with other cameras in decent light. My impression is that a bit of sharpness reduction might be in order. I do not have an underwater housing but that may be a good idea since I live in Hawaii and think this will be my fun time camera. I also think that I might use this camera for other things if I get a separate audio recorder. I just lugged my V1u around the country essentially for its audio capabilities. A zoom H4 and the TZ5 would have made life a bit easier.

Check into the TZ5 as it has 10x zoom (28-280mm equivalent) in a very convenient package.
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 11:31 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply.

I was just over in Hawaii with my FX7 during November/December. It was my second season (hopefully many more to come) on the North Shore and really got me keen to shoot some water stuff...

I'm starting to lean towards the TZ5 (TZ15 in Australia) because you can zoom while filming... although I have read there are some autofocus issues when using the zoom.

I'm just looking for something that shoots half-decent video to get used to swimming and positioning while filming in the surf. If I enjoy it and don't manage to kill myself I might get a custom housing for my Canon HV20.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 05:08 AM   #4
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Bit the bullet today and ordered a TZ5 and the waterproof housing.

I can't wait to get this thing out in the surf and get some shots!!!
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Old February 10th, 2009, 03:06 AM   #5
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I'm in the midst of a long trip and currently in San Francisco so I haven't been on DVinfo as much lately. I am considering doing exactly the same as you since the housing for the TZ5 is so affordable compared to those for video cameras. I definitely look forward to a report on how it works out.

I just ordered an Olympus voice recorder and lav mic to get better audio for the TZ5. In decent light this camera has acceptable HD but there is no way to get good audio with an on board mic. A good shotgun mic doesn't even work on board if it is several feet from the subject. The voice recorder will be a backup device if I get more into paid video jobs and it will serve as a test for how well I could live with using a Canon 5D plus Zoom H4n as my primary kit.

I hope I hear good news about the underwater housing and the TZ5. Everyone has been impressed with the camera on my trip. I even set it on Intelligent Auto and let it guess the best settings and it does a good job. I also have put the 10x (280mm equivalent) zoom to great use shooting wildlife at the San Diego wild animal park. I got a shot of some lions that looks like they are in their natural setting and I think I can test it out on a big screen soon.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 07:08 PM   #6
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I'll try and post my results when I shoot some clips but at the moment the TZ5 (TZ15, as it is called here) is in short supply in Australia so I'll be waiting a while yet i think.

Luckily audio is not an issue for me as I don't ever use the original sound for any of my surf footage.
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