View Poll Results: Better glass or higher bit rates & higher chroma subsampling?

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Thread: Glass v. Bits

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    Glass v. Bits
    #1
    Question
    Hi filmmakers,
    I'm looking for a good b-roll video camera. My criteria are:
    1. A fixed lens camera because I do not want to carry around a set of lenses for it.
    2. It is very important that it does not have a 29 minute & 59 second recording duration limit because of the nature of events I often shoot.
    3. My price range is $1,600 & less.
    4. Minimum 1" sensor.
    I normally shoot in 1080 "Full HD" and am looking to upgrade to a 4K camera so that when I do invest in more storage (larger SD cards & HDD back ups), which will probably be late next year, I can transition to shooting in 4K. Therefore, I am looking closely at both 1080 specs as well as 4K specs. All this has led me to narrowing my search field to two cameras:
    The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500 & the Sony FDR-AX100 4K; both have 1" sensors. The following are a list of specs that get me excited about each of these cameras & are relevant to my comparison, so this is not a comprehensive list of all their specs.

    Panasonic DMC-FZ2500 video specs:
    4K 100MBps video capture (DCI/UHD) @ 30p/24p | MP4, H.264, Linear PCM, & MOV. 4K video quality is excellent, though there's a substantial crop factor, essentially knocking out the wide end of the lens. I'm not worried about the crop because I have another camera for wide shots. 1080 Full HD: 24p, 30p, 60p | 200Mbps | 120 fps @ 1920 x 1080 | 10-bit 4:2:2 output via HDMI (8-bit 4:2:2 when recording internally) [investing in an external recorder would bring the Panasonic to the same price range as the Sony] | V-Log L ($99 add on): V-Log L has a 'similar characteristic curve to Cineon' and captures 12 stops of dynamic range: the same as on the GH4.
    Sony FDR-AX100 video specs:
    4K at 100Mbps with free firmware update & up to 30fps | 1080FHD at 50Mbps & up to 60fps | 720HD & up to 120fps

    Panasonic DMC-FZ2500 focus: Fully articulating LCD with touchpad autofocus
    Sony FDR-AX100 focus: firmware 3.00 update: improved Auto Focus

    Panasonic DMC-FZ2500 optics: 24-480mm equiv. | F2.8-4.5 lens | 9 diaphragm blades
    Sony FDR-AX100 optics: 35mm equiv. 29mm to 348mm | Max Aperture | 2.8 - 4.5 | 7 blades

    Panasonic DMC-FZ2500 reviews of the "Leica lens" on this camera say the glass quality is mediocre, producing not-so-clear images which are soft, especially around the edges. This complaint seems to be launched more at the stills than the video. The Sony's glass, on the other hand, seems to get stellar reviews. This leads me to my trade off dilemma:

    Do I choose the higher bit rates & higher chroma subsampling capabilities of the Panasonic while settling for mediocre "Leica" glass, or do I go with the better Zeiss glass that the Sony's offering & settle for less data?

    I'm also open to other camera make & model suggestions if they meet the 4 criteria listed above.

    Thanks in advance :-)
    Last edited by Loxley-StoryConnective; 11-13-2017 at 11:13 PM.


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    #2
    Senior Member Sly9's Avatar
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    What type of events do you shoot? How often are you pushing around your bits in post? What are your clients wanting in terms of post-production? Do they need to push around files in post more? Are they complaining about anything in particular? The answer might be neither and just to save money until you need it to produce what the clients are wanting.


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    #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sly9 View Post
    What type of events do you shoot?
    Many diverse types & lately I've been asked to shoot indoors in low lighting a lot, which is part of the reason I want to graduate to a larger 1" sensor.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sly9 View Post
    How often are you pushing around your bits in post?
    More often that I'd like. I prefer pre-production & production.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sly9 View Post
    What are your clients wanting in terms of post-production? Are they complaining about anything in particular?
    Less noisy low light footage.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sly9 View Post
    The answer might be neither and just to save money until you need it to produce what the clients are wanting.
    Good advice,
    Thanks :-)


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    #4
    Senior Member Sly9's Avatar
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    Loxley,

    I'm not sure if the larger sensor is going to necessarily fix all those problems. If you are having noise issues, have you tried the Neat Video plug-in? A lot of people use it and rave about its performance, so maybe it would be worth trying it out and seeing if that works for you. Again, that small fix might just allow you save your hard-earned monies. However, if you are doing more grading and post work, then I'd probably lean towards a vote for "bits". Hope that helps.


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    #5
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    Cool, that helps a lot. Thanks Sly9 :-)


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    #6
    Senior Member Sly9's Avatar
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    No worries. Let us know what you decide on!


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