Camera Wiith Video as Priority

Started 10 months ago | Discussions
Plasma66
New MemberPosts: 5
Like?
Camera Wiith Video as Priority
10 months ago

Hello,

I am traveling around Asia in a few months time and I would like to buy a camera to use for both stills but more importantly video. Videos that I plan to take will most likely be taken stationary or on a tripod. I would like one which is able to make use of old manual lenses, which rules out most full frame DSLR cameras (I think?). I currently have a Sony A33 which is fair for stills, however both control and quality of video is not so good. My budget is around £400-700 ($600-1000).

So far my options are

Panasonic GH2. But would have to get a used one, there aren't many on eBay.

Panasonic G6. seems to have similar quality to GH2 but it is on the higher end of my budget.

Sony Nex 5R/6. I tried out the older 5N a while back and I liked the quality but I've read these cameras suffer from aliasing.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema. Don't believe this can do stills but it can use interchangeable lenses, would rather a stills camera unless this blows them out of the water.

Any suggestions are welcomed, I'm not expecting high end cinematic quality with my budget, but would like to know what is the best at the moment within the range.

Thank you.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G6 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 Sony SLT-A33
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
John Waine
Forum MemberPosts: 74
Like?
Re: Camera Wiith Video as Priority
In reply to Plasma66, 10 months ago

Hi there plasma. I am no guru but i tend to look for the best performance per dollar myself so perhaps i can help.A GH2 is not bad for hybrid use, but as you say are not as common anymore. Dedicated video cameras are so much better for video but stills usually are poor. What we need to know is your intended use for the photos. Here's why.

Last night i captured a frame from a video taken with my $750 camcorder. Very sharp 1080p with high shutter speed, so there was minimal blurr. Now if i was going to print this would be insufficient, but for things like fb or email, text msg ect, it really wasnt bad. If you plan to crop or print, screen captures wont work. If you only need photos for digital viewing, get the dedicated video system and capture frames for photos.

Now as for the purchase, you cannot beat the BM pocket cam for $1000. Period. It is beyond everything else. Problem is you will need to buy lenses too. It also isn't out till july. If it is beyond your budget, go for the Panasonic 3mos camcorders, they have great IQ. This is all my own opinion and others may suggest a DSLR. Google is your friend though, so is B&H. Check MFT lens prices, those are the lenses the BM cam takes. See if you can afford it, it will be my next video purchase.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
dpLarry
Junior MemberPosts: 37
Like?
Re: Camera Wiith Video as Priority
In reply to Plasma66, 10 months ago

Most important is what will you be shooting?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Overcranky
Forum MemberPosts: 85Gear list
Like?
Re: Camera Wiith Video as Priority
In reply to Plasma66, 10 months ago

Take a look at Nikon V1 -- IMO there is no better value for a capable hybrid (stills/video) cam.

 Overcranky's gear list:Overcranky's gear list
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX20 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX7 Nikon D7000 Nikon 1 V1 +8 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Plasma66
New MemberPosts: 5
Like?
Re: Camera Wiith Video as Priority
In reply to Plasma66, 10 months ago

Thanks for the reply all,

@John, I do take stills as a hobby for both upload to Flickr and every now and then printing on A3 so I think I would need a stills camera. However I wouldn't mind too much bringing a stills in addition to a video recorder. The Blackmagic pocket cam does sound hopeful though, I'll have a look at the kind of lenses and their prices now. Like you said the Panasonics seem to do a good job so will have a look into the X920 a bit more.

@dpLarry, I will be shooting mostly landscape, cityscape, along with the general tourist shots (I know that's a bit general sorry! As haven't planned fully yet)

@Overcranky, I'll have a look into that camera now, thanks.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
39 Steps
Regular MemberPosts: 336
Like?
Re: Camera Wiith Video as Priority
In reply to Plasma66, 10 months ago

Plasma66 wrote:

Hello,

I am traveling around Asia in a few months time and I would like to buy a camera to use for both stills but more importantly video. Videos that I plan to take will most likely be taken stationary or on a tripod. I would like one which is able to make use of old manual lenses, which rules out most full frame DSLR cameras (I think?). I currently have a Sony A33 which is fair for stills, however both control and quality of video is not so good. My budget is around £400-700 ($600-1000).

So far my options are

Panasonic GH2. But would have to get a used one, there aren't many on eBay.

Panasonic G6. seems to have similar quality to GH2 but it is on the higher end of my budget.

Sony Nex 5R/6. I tried out the older 5N a while back and I liked the quality but I've read these cameras suffer from aliasing.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema. Don't believe this can do stills but it can use interchangeable lenses, would rather a stills camera unless this blows them out of the water.

Any suggestions are welcomed, I'm not expecting high end cinematic quality with my budget, but would like to know what is the best at the moment within the range.

Thank you.

Since you already have the Sony A33 and presumably adaptable lenses, you should first look at the Sony A57 for video. Two days ago, I used the A57 with the lowly Minolta 5D 18-70 kit lens in both  video and still mode to record a parade in bright daylight. I would note that the lens was like new and unused, because I never particularly liked the wide angle still results back in 2006 and just settled for whatever came out of the ff Tamron 28-300 "super zoom' that I also bought at the time for the Minolta 5D.

But I digress. I reviewed my A57 1080p parade pictures on both laptop screen and larger 1080i TV screen and was satisfied with the results. But the 18-70mm kit lens did not quite have the 'pop' I would have expected from either the Sony 18-55mm, 55-200mm kits, or particularly the Sony 35mm prime lens. Then I noticed that I had not seen any moire either, and I had the zoom range that I wanted.

Will I use the Sony A57 again? You bet. Will I use the K-M 18-70mm lens again? Probably not. If I had an A33 and wanted to take video what would I do? I would try to trade the A33 in on a now discontinued Sony A57 with a bundled Sony 18-135mm zoom lens and mess with the prime lenses only when needed indoors on a tripod. Good luck with your decision.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
jkoch2
Contributing MemberPosts: 570
Like?
$1,000 BM? Er, why?
In reply to John Waine, 10 months ago

John Waine wrote:

Now as for the purchase, you cannot beat the BM pocket cam for $1000. Period. It is beyond everything else.

Based on what?

Problem is you will need to buy lenses too.

For less than $1,000, one can buy a D5200 with two stabilized lenses, a G6 with a kit lens, an X920 with superior stabilization, a discounted PJ760 with even better stabilization, or a discounted G5 and leave spare change for an extra lens.

It also isn't out till july.

Ah, yes.  The "perfect" cameras are always the ones few have seen or used.

At which time, people will discover that controls and ergonomics that impress the A. Reids of this world, with a copious collection of lenses and predictable, controlled shooting locations, are not necessarily suitable for travel video.

If it is beyond your budget, go for the Panasonic 3mos camcorders, they have great IQ.

Fair enough.  They are priced competitively too.  Just shop carefully.

This is all my own opinion and others may suggest a DSLR. Google is your friend though, so is B&H. Check MFT lens prices, those are the lenses the BM cam takes. See if you can afford it, it will be my next video purchase.

Good luck.  Will welcome your user review, although preferably 60+ days after purchase.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
John Waine
Forum MemberPosts: 74
Like?
Re: $1,000 BM? Er, why?
In reply to jkoch2, 10 months ago

Got skeptic? All the choices you offered are decent and cheaper working systems than a BMPC, but keep in mind the key points mentioned in the OP:

1. Shooting mostly video from tripod/stationary. This plus the fact many pany mft lenses are ois covers this concern.

2. The last line says he is not "expecting" cinematic quality for that budget. The truth is the new BM will offer just that for $1000, not including lenses.

3. Also mentioned is manual lenses. Even super 16 lenses wil fit the sensor, along with hundreds more via adapters. On board peaking is helpful her, something most camera hybrids dont offer.

Truth be told, he could buy an adaptor for a few dollars and use his sony lenses if he wanted. I dont know if you follow the black magic products but they are indeed the future of low budget cinema. They are not perfect nor did i suggest that as some things are sacrificed to get the price down. They are however the best video quality you can get for the price. Lossless 12 bit raw video, peaking, 13 stops of DR, massive range of compatible lenses. All for $1000 is a steal. When i finally grab one i will indeed offer my own experiences.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
lancespring
Senior MemberPosts: 1,915Gear list
Like?
Re: Camera Wiith Video as Priority
In reply to Plasma66, 10 months ago

Plasma66 wrote:

The Blackmagic pocket cam does sound hopeful though, I'll have a look at the kind of lenses and their prices now. Like you said the Panasonics seem to do a good job so will have a look into the X920 a bit more.

Keep in mind that the amount of data storage used by those two cameras you mention are radically different. Despite being just a pocket camera, the Blackmagic pocket is recording only to very high end professional video formats. If you use the RAW record option, the amount of disk space used will be absolutely outrageous. The only other option is Apple Prores 422 ( HQ ), but even that is still a very high end format recording at a whopping 220 Mbps. Even using it, you can still only get 25 minutes recorded to a large 64 GB SDXC card.

In contrast, the Panasonic X920, even at its max quality recording option, will give you 5 hours and 20 minutes on a 64 GB SDXC card, and 1 hour and 20 minutes on just a 16 GB SDHC card.

Hopefully the people who are ordering the Blackmagic Pocket realize what they are getting themselves into. These huge file sizes really will slow down any video processing workflow, and will require far greater storage both for your hard drives on your computer and your memory cards for your camera.

And while the Blackmagic camera may start shipping in another month, don't expect it to become readily available for a number of more months. It will most likely be in short supply for some time.

.

 lancespring's gear list:lancespring's gear list
Nikon D600 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
John Waine
Forum MemberPosts: 74
Like?
Re: Camera Wiith Video as Priority
In reply to lancespring, 10 months ago

Very true about the file sizes. My x900 churns out 24mb/s on 1080p mode which ends up being 90gb of disc space per hour. Not quite as bad as raw but you can also use h.264 on the BM to save space. The BM isnt going to be for everybody but im building a new pc for editing come september so i dont spend days on renders. My advice is BM if youu can, otherwise grab a Panasoniic x900/x920. I own the x900m and for $800 the op would be very satisfied IMO.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
lancespring
Senior MemberPosts: 1,915Gear list
Like?
Re: Camera Wiith Video as Priority
In reply to John Waine, 10 months ago

John Waine wrote:

Very true about the file sizes. My x900 churns out 24mb/s on 1080p mode which ends up being 90gb of disc space per hour.

John: I do apologize, but I must point out that your math here is totally flawed.

24 megabits per second = 3 megabytes per second. There are 8 bits in a byte. Multiply that by 60 seconds in a minute, and then another 60 minutes per hour, and the disk storage used up is only 10.8 gigabytes, not 90 gigabytes.

Not quite as bad as raw but you can also use h.264 on the BM to save space.

I've not seen any specs posted for the Blackmagic Pocket camera anywhere that mentions an option to record to H.264

Where did you hear that it offers that option? What sort of bit rates did it say will be supported? Will it be wrapped in a MP4 or MOV container?

All specs and press releases that I have seen for the camera only mention recording in RAW, and the Apple ProRes 422 ( HQ ).

In fact, I just checked the Blackmagic Design website, and once again, they only mention two recording options on the Specifications page for the camera: Raw and the Apple ProRes 422 ( HQ )
Here is a screen shot of the info on that web page:

http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicpocketcinemacamera/techspecs

.

 lancespring's gear list:lancespring's gear list
Nikon D600 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
John Waine
Forum MemberPosts: 74
Like?
Re: Camera Wiith Video as Priority
In reply to lancespring, 10 months ago

Lol no worries mate, i never liked math to begin with. As for the raw video, im assuming it works as any raw data in that you can output from premier to whatever codec/wrapper adobe supports. I keep my photos stored in raw format in case i want to tinker later but i would definitely want to compress the video to save space. H.264 is lossless no?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
lancespring
Senior MemberPosts: 1,915Gear list
Like?
Re: Camera Wiith Video as Priority
In reply to John Waine, 10 months ago

John Waine wrote:

Lol no worries mate, i never liked math to begin with. As for the raw video, im assuming it works as any raw data in that you can output from premier to whatever codec/wrapper adobe supports. I keep my photos stored in raw format in case i want to tinker later but i would definitely want to compress the video to save space. H.264 is lossless no?

Well, but I was not talking about using the RAW video option earlier on the Blackmagic Pocket camera. I was talking about how bad even just using the compressed Apple ProRes 422 ( HQ ) option is with disk space, compared to camcorders that record to AVCHD or H.264.

I honestly forget how bad it is when shooting RAW on the Blackmagic. I recall looking it up when the Blackmagic cameras first came out, and remember that it was quite an insane amount of disk space. That is why the original Blackmagic cinema camcorder uses big SSD disk drives for storage. But since I find even the smaller compressed Apple ProRes 422 ( HQ ) files to be objectionably long, it really does not matter to me that the RAW files are much worse.

My Panasonic and Canon camcorders both record HD in AVCHD at 24 Mbps. Just going from using those camcorders to my Panasonic GH3 recording H.264 MOV at 50 Mbps has been a large and noticeable jump for me. File sizes have doubled, and rendering times have increased. And my SDHC cards now record half the amount of time that they used to.

Going to the 220 Mbps Apple ProRes 422 ( HQ ) option on the Blackmagic would be another 4.4 times increase for me beyond what even my GH3 produces. I'm sorry, but that is just way too much data to deal with. It is certainly not for me.

Take a look at GH3 footage on the Internet, or from other professional camcorders that record at 50 Mbps, like Canon's high end XF professional series camcorders, or Sony's XDCAM PMW series camcorders. All of these cameras produce stunning video that does not require using massive amounts of storage. And recording at 50 Mbps also meets the highest television broadcast standards too.

.

 lancespring's gear list:lancespring's gear list
Nikon D600 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2.8 Di VC USD Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8 +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads