VG-20 or AF100 as a b-camera to an EX1/3? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 19th, 2012, 06:40 AM   #1
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
VG-20 or AF100 as a b-camera to an EX1/3?

The 5DM2 isn't working out for me that well as a b-camera. I'm looking at alternative s-dof capable cameras. Focus and exposure assist is mandatory and I need at least a 50mm (equivalent) f2.8 or better that can autofocus on a button press. I mention the latter because it seems like so many of the glass options on these large sensor cameras lose AF and I can't depend on my b-camera operator being able to finess a manual focus camera.

How does the AF100 or VG20 cut with XDCAM?

What fast lens and/or lens/adapter?
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2012, 07:37 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Brooklyn, NY, USA
Posts: 3,777
Re: VG-20 or AF100 as a b-camera to an EX1/3?

You might also want to consider the Blackmagic Cinema Camera at $3000 which also includes full version of DaVinci Resolve and Ultrabox.
Blackmagic Design: Blackmagic Cinema Camera
Coming in July I believe and given the codecs it can record including CinemaDNG RAW 12-bit it might be the EX1 as the B camera.
Craig Seeman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2012, 08:34 AM   #3
Trustee
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,414
Re: VG-20 or AF100 as a b-camera to an EX1/3?

VG20 is a perfect match, a bit better WB than EX series, and with
50mm f/1.8
lens you will get IS and AF
__________________
I love this place!
Buba Kastorski is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2012, 08:42 AM   #4
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 471
Re: VG-20 or AF100 as a b-camera to an EX1/3?

Curiously, there is no 35mm prime lens in the e-mount stable, so you can't have exactly a '50mm equivalent' (I'm guessing at what you mean by this) -- many would encourage you to look at the Zeiss 50mm 1.8 e-mount that includes OSS, but that would give you an angle of view comparable to 75mm when compared to a full-frame stills camera. Or the Zeiss 24mm 1.8 for a lens with a wider angle of view (compares to a 35mm lens on a full-frame stills camera) but doesn't have OSS. Both these lens have full autofocus integration with the Sony e-mount camcorders.

I'm just speaking from specs here -- I have no experience intercutting with XDCam. But you can buy or rent these today, and do your own tests.

Cheers,
GB
R Geoff Baker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2012, 08:17 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
Re: VG-20 or AF100 as a b-camera to an EX1/3?

I gather the e-mount lens system is like Canon where aperture is controlled by the body. The VG-20 has bad reviews in that department.
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20th, 2012, 06:42 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 471
Re: VG-20 or AF100 as a b-camera to an EX1/3?

Les: Could you point me at these bad reviews? I'm not familiar with them & would like to get up to speed.

Cheers,
GB
R Geoff Baker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20th, 2012, 07:40 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
Re: VG-20 or AF100 as a b-camera to an EX1/3?

Does e-mount even let a lens ring control the iris? If not, it throws a spanner in even an FS-100 as an option. I want a nice smooth accurate camcorder designed iris control not a stepped DSLR aperture control.
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20th, 2012, 08:30 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 56
Re: VG-20 or AF100 as a b-camera to an EX1/3?

FS-100 over AF-100--picture profiles easier to match Sony to Sony. Panny's have a very different look. Been there, tried that with my EX1&3's.
Chris Clifton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20th, 2012, 08:33 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 471
Re: VG-20 or AF100 as a b-camera to an EX1/3?

Thanks Les -- it's clear he's not a fan of the VG-20.

But his review is a mish-mash of rant and falsity -- for example his claim the HDMI output is not clean is belied by every other reviewer, though I see he does include a disclaimer that the camera he looked at (reviewed would be an overstatement) was preproduction.

And I don't see any mention of aperture issues, but maybe I missed it in the read

But to answer your question, the e-mount is currently used on the VG-20 but more importantly on the FS-100 and FS-700. In automatic, the camera body communicates to the lens what aperture to use and the lens is stopped down accordingly. The stepping of the aperture is at least partially dictated by the lens design -- as you indicate, stills lenses typically are stepped more coarsely than those intended for cinema/video use. To that end, I don't know whether the current lens line-up is problematic in that regard, though no one reviewing the FS-700 has complained ...

Of interest to some is the ease of using 'legacy glass' on the e-mount -- a cheap physical lens adapter lets you put just about any mount made on an e-mount camera -- if that lens has a manual aperture ring (any Nikon AIS mount, and Canon FD mount, and Leica mount, et cetera) you simply adjust the aperture until you see in the viewfinder the result you desire, and film away. If that lens is more 'modern' and lacks an aperture control, your options are reduced but do include an adapter that allows for auto control on a Canon EOS EF mount lens, for example. Sony/Minolta lens in the 'full size' mount can be used wit an adapter that allows aperture & focus.

So to answer your question, if I understand it -- e-mount lenses can have their aperture manually adjusted by the user if they have aperture rings. E-mount lenses with auto iris can be set either manually using the camera body controls, or automatically as the camera sees fit.

HTH
GB
R Geoff Baker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 20th, 2012, 08:23 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
Re: VG-20 or AF100 as a b-camera to an EX1/3?

Geoff,
Thanks for taking the time to write such an informative post. I had some wrong ideas. I can see making the VG-20 into a nice little manual camera with focus and exposure assist.

Would I expect to find any lenses that support a push to AF that are not e-mount?
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 21st, 2012, 05:18 AM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 471
Re: VG-20 or AF100 as a b-camera to an EX1/3?

If you are looking for AF on an NEX, you are limited to e-mount lenses or Sony/Minolta Alpha lenses using an adapter. It is an expensive adapter, as it requires a translucent mirror and the hardware to drive the focus in the Alpha lenses -- it works, but you pay a price in both size and money.

Maybe of greater interest is how well the NEX system works with legacy non-autofocus glass -- the viewfinder shows 'peaking', making for an easy focus aid on any lens, and allows for a zoomed view so that with one button you see a zoomed view and peaking. Very effective in operation.

But if you want autofocus, your options are more limited.

Cheers,
GB
R Geoff Baker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 21st, 2012, 05:38 AM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
Re: VG-20 or AF100 as a b-camera to an EX1/3?

I got it. Thanks. I'm fine with manual focus and exposure operations using peaking, expanded focus and zebras. It's when I give the camera to an assistant for b-camera footage that the Push AF is very helpful in bringing home footage I can use. Some assistants need AE but I much prefer a good human to do exposure. :-)

I found this nice listing of compatible lenses for the AF-100 that shows AF and AE. There's a nice Leica 3-ring 14-50mm f2.8-3.5 which gives me a decent fast single lens solution. I like how the AF-100 has false colors built into it's EVF.
Lens Compatibility | AG-AF100 series | Panasonic

Last edited by Les Wilson; April 21st, 2012 at 08:28 AM. Reason: Misread chart. OIS removed
Les Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 21st, 2012, 07:51 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 471
Re: VG-20 or AF100 as a b-camera to an EX1/3?

The AF-100 is a very good camera, and the lens options a generally more developed system than the current state of the NEX -- if the additional crop factor isn't significant, and the images delivered match up well for your needs, I wouldn't hesitate to consider it. My own usage benefits from the large sensor in the APS-C/S-35 format, and cross cutting between Sony devices -- but for those on a different course, clearly a different horse worth considering.

Cheers,
GB
R Geoff Baker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 29th, 2012, 06:09 PM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 2,699
Re: VG-20 or AF100 as a b-camera to an EX1/3?

I'm surprised you're considering those in prference to the FS100?

Price wise similar to the AF100 - but more likely to much better match your EX cameras, not least because from the same manufacturer! Tests have also shown the resolution to be not far off what the EX gives, the AF100 is considerably less. And a true video camera, not a video/still hybrid.

As I understand, one reason for getting it is to have a short dof capability. In which case the FS100 is true s35, the AF100 sensor is about half the size in area terms, so at about a stop disadvantage.
David Heath is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 29th, 2012, 07:05 PM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Boca Raton, FL
Posts: 2,979
Re: VG-20 or AF100 as a b-camera to an EX1/3?

The FS-100 is a known quantity. I tried on at NAB last year and liked it. Still like it. I didn't ask about it because I wanted to know about the VG-20 and AF-100. They are so much less expensive. The VG-10 body is $1600 and the AF-100 are dirt cheap these days circling $3000. Meanwhile the FS-100 is $5000. So if I can get a b-camera that also gives me sDof at for $2000 less than and fs-10 well....
Les Wilson is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Sony XAVC / XDCAM / NXCAM / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:14 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network