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    Quote Originally Posted by lifilmmaker View Post
    Greetings Jan, Bob and Barry,

    I want to thank everyone for sharing such insightful information about the Panasonic AG-AC90. I’m considering using the AC90 or the GH3 to shoot web videos, dramatic short films and documentaries. Would you please be able to answer the following questions:

    How will the Panasonic AG-AC90 work with doing green screen projects?
    Because its a 4.2.0 camera keying will not be "easy", however its able to record to 4.2.2 via an external HDMI recorder which should improve keying significantly.

    Quote Originally Posted by lifilmmaker View Post
    Can one use FCP X to edit the AC90 footage without any technical difficulties?
    I am using FCP X without any problems, except I am was having issues importing. I would have had the same issue with any camera probably. If I understand correctly its works smoothly if you actually don't remove the SD cards and use the USB connector, whereas if you do the SD card you may be copying the whole private directory over and Apple doesn't like "private".

    Quote Originally Posted by lifilmmaker View Post
    Is there any mic noise during recording when using an additional attached mic?
    I am using an Rode NTG 2. I am not noticing any significant difference in noise between it and the internal mic's. Of course I have not done any scientific noise tests to compare.

    Quote Originally Posted by lifilmmaker View Post
    What mic or mics would you recommend using with the AG-AC90?
    Depends on what you are doing. Like I posted the internal microphones are actually quite good. One thing I did not consider when I purchased my microphones the NTG2 and Electro-Voice RE50/B - Omni-Directional Handheld Dynamic Shock Mounted ENG Microphone was how well do they mix (like if I had to switch due to a problem between them how different would they sound)?


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    Thanks for posting that clip, LanceOregon. There's no grain but there's a crazy amount of noise reduction and smearing. I'd be surprised if the final image had more than 480 lines of measured resolution.


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    4:2:0 vs 4:2:2 is very over rated and in fact typically does not make or break a project. 4:2:2 doesn't magically make pulling a key any easier or fix bad lighting or bad camera work. In fact the only difference is perhaps slightly pixelated edges which is sometimes hard to even notice with full 1080. Even 4:2:2 can still give you pixelated edges. What makes a lot of 4:2:0 projects fall apart is not the fact that it is 4:2:0 but the sub professional method used to produce those shots in those projects. Heck I could even pull a good key off of 4:1:1 if the chroma was filtered properly. It all comes down to lighting, good color separation between the screen and the subject, edge sharpness settings, and the quality of the keying software. Yes edge sharpness can matter so much more then 4:2:0. A hard dark ring around your subject will make your shot look more artificial then 4:2:0 ever would.

    Keep in mind DSLR users do some amazing cinema quality VFX work without the option of recording 4:2:2 and are always stuck at 4:2:0.


    Quote Originally Posted by steve4505 View Post
    Because its a 4.2.0 camera keying will not be "easy", however its able to record to 4.2.2 via an external HDMI recorder which should improve keying significantly.


    I am using FCP X without any problems, except I am was having issues importing. I would have had the same issue with any camera probably. If I understand correctly its works smoothly if you actually don't remove the SD cards and use the USB connector, whereas if you do the SD card you may be copying the whole private directory over and Apple doesn't like "private".


    I am using an Rode NTG 2. I am not noticing any significant difference in noise between it and the internal mic's. Of course I have not done any scientific noise tests to compare.


    Depends on what you are doing. Like I posted the internal microphones are actually quite good. One thing I did not consider when I purchased my microphones the NTG2 and Electro-Voice RE50/B - Omni-Directional Handheld Dynamic Shock Mounted ENG Microphone was how well do they mix (like if I had to switch due to a problem between them how different would they sound)?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
    4:2:2 doesn't magically make pulling a key any easier
    ? Given equal circumstances, it most certainly does...


    I assume (from your later statements) that you're saying that a lousy-shot project on 4:2:2 won't key all that great, and that's true of course. But a very well-shot greenscreen on 4:2:0 vs. 4:2:2, the 4:2:2 is going to be substantially better.

    In fact the only difference is perhaps slightly pixelated edges which is sometimes hard to even notice with full 1080.
    Well, the full difference is that a properly-delivered 4:2:2 signal will have twice the color resolution of a 4:2:0 signal. If you're starting from a 3-chip source of full raster chips, the 4:2:2 from that source should have a full 960x1080 color resolution image, versus the 960x540 of a 4:2:0 system. So you're talking about a potential increase of twice the color resolution, which is substantial. Now, if you're starting from a bayer-pattern sensor, no you're not going to get the full benefit of 4:2:2, so -- I can agree with Thomas that in MANY scenarios, the differnece isn't that great, while simultaneously disagreeing with him by saying that in the right scenario, it is a huge difference.

    Heck I could even pull a good key off of 4:1:1 if the chroma was filtered properly.
    Perhaps -- but you could pull a vastly better key off of properly-shot 4:2:2, I'd wager!

    It all comes down to lighting, good color separation between the screen and the subject, edge sharpness settings, and the quality of the keying software. Yes edge sharpness can matter so much more then 4:2:0. A hard dark ring around your subject will make your shot look more artificial then 4:2:0 ever would.
    This is all true. Good color separation between the screen and the subject is highly important, of course, and will be more important than whether your camera was 4:2:0 or 4:2:2. But, assuming you get everything else right, the final step is: do you want 960x1080 color? Or 960x540? The 4:2:2 system can deliver twice the resolution.

    So it's not the most important factor over all others, in the same way as shooting a lousy home movie on an Alexa will still result in shooting a lousy home movie. But when pointed at properly-lit, properly-staged scenes, the Alexa can shine brightly, and so can 4:2:2.

    Keep in mind DSLR users do some amazing cinema quality VFX work without the option of recording 4:2:2 and are always stuck at 4:2:0.[/QUOTE]


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    Quote Originally Posted by lifilmmaker View Post
    I’m considering using the AC90 or the GH3 to shoot web videos, dramatic short films and documentaries.
    Wow, two very different cameras... about the only thing they have in common is that they're both in similar price brackets...

    How will the Panasonic AG-AC90 work with doing green screen projects?
    I haven't specifically tested greenscreening, but I can say this -- with an external 4:2:2 recorder, a properly-lit, properly-separated greenscreen shoot should result in superb results from an AC90. Lousy-shot, lousy-lit footage will of course result in lousy results, but if you take care in front of the camera, and record to 4:2:2, it should perform superbly. If you record to the internal codec the results will still be quite decent (unless you record 1080/60i of course) but there would be significant benefit to recording external and getting a true 4:2:2 full-res image.

    Is there any mic noise during recording when using an additional attached mic?
    Not sure what you mean here. What are you thinking would be causing mic noise?

    What mic or mics would you recommend using with the AG-AC90?
    The same as I would recommend with any other professional camcorder. You've got a full pro audio system on the AC90, so you can attach a good solid hypercardioid or shotgun or lapel mics, so whatever would be the right choice for your particular recording scenario, would be appropriate for attaching to an AC90.

    Would the GH3 be a better choice for shooting web videos, shorts and docs?
    Haven't used a GH3 yet so I can't answer authoritatively on that. I have used the GH2 quite a bit. One is a professional video camera, the other is a stills camera with a video mode. The major distinction between them visually is that one will give you the shallow depth of field look, and the other just won't. So you'd have to decide if you're okay with everything always being in focus. In general, filmmakers have voted with their feet in deciding that shallow DOF is more important than just about any other factor, to the point where they've been shooting on Canon DSLRs. So if you want that look, I would hazard to say that your choice is probably already made for you. Based on my experience with the GH2 and AC90, I'd much rather shoot anything on the AC90 than on the GH2, just based on usability, connectivity, and camera features. But it doesn't have the shallow-DOF look, and if that's important, the GH2 (and, presumably, the GH3) are the best shallow-DOF options in that price bracket.

    I read that when focusing manually the focal ring is not quick to respond. Can you comment on this?
    Well, depends on what you're looking for. It's not a 90-degree turn from minimum to maximum, no. It's probably closer to around 330 degrees, from minimum to maximum. But, it's a very precise ring, with repeatable movement, and -- frankly, everything's always in focus anyway, so it's not like you have to use it all that much, and when you do, it's nice and smooth and simple. Focusing, and heavy use of the focus ring, is far more important on a shallow-DOF camcorder where not so much is in focus at once. On an AC90, it has comparatively very deep DOF.

    How does the Canon XF100 compare to the Panasonic AG-AC90?
    Haven't used one, so I can't answer, but I think some XF100 owners or shoppers were making some comparisons in the other thread (the review in the Dominican thread).


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    Quote Originally Posted by lifilmmaker View Post

    Is there any mic noise during recording when using an additional attached mic?
    Thanks!
    I've not seen any problems reported anywhere. Some of the consumer Panasonic camcorders have had issues with their built-in mics picking up camera noise. But I have not heard of any Panasonic Professional camcorders ever having any issues. Most certainly not when using an external mic.


    Quote Originally Posted by lifilmmaker View Post
    What mic or mics would you recommend using with the AG-AC90?
    Thanks!
    There is a separate thread here in this forum on the subject of Shotgun Microphones. for the AG AC-90 Do check that thread out for some suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by lifilmmaker View Post
    Would the GH3 be a better choice for shooting web videos, shorts and docs?
    Thanks!
    Gee, one of those is primarily a stills camera while the other is a camcorder with professional video controls. Either could do the job. What type of camera do you currently use, and are comfortable using? This would be more a personal preference issue, than anything else. If you want to make broadcast quality video for use on television, then the GH3 would obviously have the edge there, due to the very high bitrate video formats that it offers.


    Quote Originally Posted by lifilmmaker View Post
    How does the Canon XF100 compare to the Panasonic AG-AC90?
    Thanks!
    Compare the specs for both of these camcorders, and you will see lots of differences. The XF100's format would again have the edge for meeting broadcast quality requirements. Otherwise, if you are comfortable shooting in AVCHD, the AC90 has the advantage of offering 1080/60p, while the Canon only has 720/60p. What video formats do you currently edit and have experience using?

    The AC90 also definitely has the edge when it comes to having much better manual controls. In low light, the Canon will give you a sharper image, while the Panasonic will have less grain. Image stabilization on the Canon is not bad, but does not appear to be quite as good as the latest camcorders from Panasonic and Sony.
    Canon Vixia HF G10. PANASONIC AG-AC130 . PANASONIC GH2 AND GH3 . Nikon D600. Adobe Premier Pro CS 6
    Canon Directional Stereo Microphone DM100 . RODE VIDEOMIC PRO . AUDIO-TECHNICA BP4029 STEREO SHOTGUN MICROPHONE


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    Does 4:2:2 make the edges more detailed? Yes of course but I still stand by what I said about making it easier. The same amount of physical work still goes into working with the footage to pull a key regardless if it is progressive 4:2:0, 4:2:2 or 4:4:4. At our studio we shoot RED, F3, F900 and with my GH1 and Gh2 on occasion and all cameras take me just as long to pull a good key with just as much effort. The "key" (sorry) is having good chroma filtering up front which helps shrink that gap, a lot. Yes without that filtering you may have to work the edges a bit more so they don't look jagged. Ironically the only camera we have here that is CCD 3 chip true native 1920x1080 camera is the F900 and it is hands down the most difficult camera we have to pull a key from. Yes we are recording a 4:2:2 video externally and not using 3:1:1 from tape. I would take my GH2 over the F900 anyday when shooting greenscreen.

    Keep in mind one of the biggest VFX movies in history was shot on the F900, Star Wars Episode 2 and many 4:2:0 cameras today can pull a better key then that camera so I would think a lot of projects would do just fine.

    Not saying I don't agree with you Barry, just that I don't think the 4:2:0 should be the main focus of concern. I would rather see people focus on the art of compositing long before freaking out about 4:2:0 which in reality does not have to be a deal breaker.



    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Green View Post
    ? Given equal circumstances, it most certainly does...


    I assume (from your later statements) that you're saying that a lousy-shot project on 4:2:2 won't key all that great, and that's true of course. But a very well-shot greenscreen on 4:2:0 vs. 4:2:2, the 4:2:2 is going to be substantially better.


    Well, the full difference is that a properly-delivered 4:2:2 signal will have twice the color resolution of a 4:2:0 signal. If you're starting from a 3-chip source of full raster chips, the 4:2:2 from that source should have a full 960x1080 color resolution image, versus the 960x540 of a 4:2:0 system. So you're talking about a potential increase of twice the color resolution, which is substantial. Now, if you're starting from a bayer-pattern sensor, no you're not going to get the full benefit of 4:2:2, so -- I can agree with Thomas that in MANY scenarios, the differnece isn't that great, while simultaneously disagreeing with him by saying that in the right scenario, it is a huge difference.


    Perhaps -- but you could pull a vastly better key off of properly-shot 4:2:2, I'd wager!


    This is all true. Good color separation between the screen and the subject is highly important, of course, and will be more important than whether your camera was 4:2:0 or 4:2:2. But, assuming you get everything else right, the final step is: do you want 960x1080 color? Or 960x540? The 4:2:2 system can deliver twice the resolution.

    So it's not the most important factor over all others, in the same way as shooting a lousy home movie on an Alexa will still result in shooting a lousy home movie. But when pointed at properly-lit, properly-staged scenes, the Alexa can shine brightly, and so can 4:2:2.

    Keep in mind DSLR users do some amazing cinema quality VFX work without the option of recording 4:2:2 and are always stuck at 4:2:0.
    [/QUOTE]


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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
    I don't think the 4:2:0 should be the main focus of concern. I would rather see people focus on the art of compositing long before freaking out about 4:2:0 which in reality does not have to be a deal breaker.
    I agree entirely with that. It is certainly no magic fix-all that will turn a lousy-shot-key into greatness.

    I'm just saying that better is ... better, and -- all other things being equal, the better-defined edges will make for better results when keying. Just like it'll make for better everything else too.


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    Ok, I took the Panasonic Ag-ac90 with me to my first wedding. I was using two Canon DSLRs (had 5 dif lenses I used), a Gopro Hero2 and the Ag-Ac90. I mainly used the Gopro for awesome time-lapse videos...here's the thing. Being a DSLR user mostly, the Ag-ac90 was a blessing for most of the wedding, especially during the ceremony and first meet parts. I'm glad I bought it. I will say though that when it got dark, the Ag-ac90 crapped out, lol...but that's what my DSLRs were for. I don't think u can complete with them in low-light situations and I kind of expected that. Anyways here's the highlight reel. The part of them with the brush behind them, most of the ceremony, some of the girls getting ready, and the groom were shot with this cam.



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    Did you pump up the gain for those low light shots?
    I would expect better IQ with the gain up.


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