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    Used AF100 or new Blackmagic?

    I was about to buy a good, used, low hours AF100 with Voigtlander 25mm lens and a host of accessories, but the new Blackmagic has me hesitating. This would be my first video camera purchase and I'm unsure if the AF100 is about to be eclipsed. It's not as if I have a host of existing lenses that help steer this decision. They're a purchase I still have to make. Is the 2.5k 12 bit spec on the BMD a big advantage? Im dubious about its smaller sensor, only 61% of the area of the 4/3 sensor. Will that significantly affect DOF? I like the software and thunderbolt connection in the BMD but the limited range of frame rates is a negative. What are the key drivers in a decision like this? The used deal on th AF is priced right but I honestly don't know which way to go.

    #2
    Key drivers in a decision like this... maybe...what do intend to use the camera for?
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      #3
      Very different cameras. Choose what you need. AF100 does a lot very well, and is proven.

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        #4
        and you can shoot now.
        Canon 70-200 & 24-70, Rokinon 35, 50, 85, 135, GH4, Lumix 20, 12-35, 35-100, 100-300.

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          #5
          Originally posted by Inveresk View Post
          This would be my first video camera purchase and I'm unsure if the AF100 is about to be eclipsed.
          When you say first video camera, does that also reflect your level of experience and to echo Shooter - what do you want to shoot?
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            #6
            I don't have a high level of expertise. For the most part I'll be shooting architecture, mostly outside but some internal work, plus promotional videos of our islands. Very little night time work but there might be some. Mostly land based but not entirely - there will be marine shots plus, possibly, aerial work using a microkopter for which I'll use a GoPro or GH2.

            Edit: I have many years experience of using still cameras for architectural work but I'm new to video. I did consider a vg20 but by the time I add nd filters and other gear, I'm quickly getting up to about the price of the used AF. The BMD would seem to need about the same budget but perhaps it's likely to have a longer shelf life.
            Last edited by Inveresk; 04-16-2012, 10:58 PM.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Inveresk View Post
              I don't have a high level of expertise. For the most part I'll be shooting architecture, mostly outside but some internal work, plus promotional videos of our islands. Very little night time work but there might be some. Mostly land based but not entirely - there will be marine shots plus, possibly, aerial work using a microkopter for which I'll use a GoPro or GH2.
              There's no reason a hacked GH2 won't do the job. It produces better images at a higher quality and bit-rate and it's much cheaper. Get a good monitor like the DP6 to go with it and you're pretty set. The advantages the AF100 has over this are built in ND filters and pro audio inputs, but if you don't mind buying step-up rings and a vari-ND to go with your GH2 and if you use an external recorder for sound, that'll work too. Also, the AF100 does slowmo of up to 50/60fps.

              If you work in broadcast, for example, and need a low-cost quick turnaround, or use the AF100

              The new blackmagic is in a pretty different class of its own. It can record RAW and it has an unbelievable dynamic range for a camera its price. Its biggest shortcoming is that you'll have to use it with a power solution as it runs on internal batteries that last only 45 min, and charging takes 2 hours. Also you'll want to do more things to the footage like serious color-correction, but that will add to the hardware requirements.

              EDIT: my bad, the internal batteries last for 90 min as stated on their website

              My recommendation for what you're doing -- get a hacked GH2, play around with it for a few months, save the money and think about the blackmagic when more details come out.
              Last edited by xntrggr; 04-17-2012, 09:02 AM.

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                #8
                To echo xntggr, the RAW workflow will presumably require higher performing (or at least capacity) computer hardware so factor that in.

                The lens situation will take some thought also - the AF100 has nice wide lenses and OIS tele-zooms. The equivalent lenses will be less wide on the BM (3x crop vs 2x crop), and unclear about stabilization options for longer lenses.

                Getting a cheap (!) GH2 to buy some time to let this all shake out is worth considering.

                Edit: oops shouldn't post before having coffee - the crop factor is 2.3, not 3 (relative to FullFrame).
                Last edited by GrahamH; 04-17-2012, 07:10 PM.
                ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                Cameras: AF-100, G7 (formerly G6, GH2, HMC-40) -- Lenses: Lumix, legacy Nikons with Speedbooster -- NLEs: Premiere and AfterFX CS6 and CC on PC

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                  #9
                  Is itu 3x crop? I thought it was slighhtly smaller than 4/3. It cant be 3x

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by xntrggr View Post

                    The new blackmagic is in a pretty different class of its own. It can record RAW and it has an unbelievable dynamic range for a camera its price. Its biggest shortcoming is that you'll have to use it with a power solution as it runs on internal batteries that last only 45 min, and charging takes 2 hours. Also you'll want to do more things to the footage like serious color-correction, but that will add to the hardware requirements.
                    My batteries been lasting over 2 hours.

                    It's a pain for sure, but it's not that hard to work around.

                    jb
                    John Brawley ACS
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                    Los Angeles
                    www.johnbrawley.com
                    I also have a blog

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by dcloud View Post
                      Is it 3x crop? I thought it was slightly smaller than 4/3. It cant be 3x
                      I read that somewhere last night ... but perhaps incorrect. The sensor is 16.64 mm x 14.04 mm, active 15.6 mm x 8.8 mm, so perhaps someone can do the math for us...
                      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      Cameras: AF-100, G7 (formerly G6, GH2, HMC-40) -- Lenses: Lumix, legacy Nikons with Speedbooster -- NLEs: Premiere and AfterFX CS6 and CC on PC

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                        #12
                        If I were you, I'd get the AF100 at this time. The BMD is geared to digital cinema and a raw workflow and the images, at least what I've seen so far, are just OK. The AF100 is a far better choice for the type of shooting you suggest. It sets up easily, the workflow is fast and you can shoot all day on 2 batteries. You'll have focus assist and a wave form monitor on board whereas the BMD has scopes, you need to connect via thunderbolt (gotta be a mac right now) to a laptop to use them. The media for the AF100 is cheap and sturdy. You'd need to figure in the SSDs for the BMD. The AF100 also comes with an electronic viewfinder which is necessary for shooting outdoors.

                        I think BMD is onto something for indy film makers who want the sort of latitude it may render. It's odd how happy everyone is about it since it's sensor is smaller than the AF100 and so many people clamor for FF.

                        Also, regarding the GH2, I think you might want to consider the fact that the GH2 is subject to considerable skew and aliasing since it does not incorporate an optical low pass filter. If you move it you will get some jello and you'll have to be careful in shooting buildings of bricks and that shiny crunchy aliasing evident in high light outdoors. Do yourself a favor and get the AF100. Just my 2 cents.
                        Last edited by hscully; 04-17-2012, 06:04 AM.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by hscully View Post
                          If I were you, I'd get the AF100 at this time. The BMD is geared to digital cinema and a raw workflow and the images, at least what I've seen so far, are just OK. The AF100 is a far better choice for the type of shooting you suggest. It sets up easily, the workflow is fast and you can shoot all day on 2 batteries. You'll have focus assist and a wave form monitor on board whereas the BMD has scopes, you need to connect via thunderbolt (gotta be a mac right now) to a laptop to use them. The media for the AF100 is cheap and sturdy. You'd need to figure in the SSDs for the BMD. The AF100 also comes with an electronic viewfinder which is necessary for shooting outdoors.

                          I think BMD is onto something for indy film makers who want the sort of latitude it may render. It's odd how happy everyone is about it since it's sensor is smaller than the AF100 and so many people clamor for FF.

                          Also, regarding the GH2, I think you might want to consider the fact that the GH2 is subject to considerable skew and aliasing since it does not incorporate an optical low pass filter. If you move it you will get some jello and you'll have to be careful in shooting buildings of bricks and that shiny crunchy aliasing evident in high light outdoors. Do yourself a favor and get the AF100. Just my 2 cents.
                          Thanks. That was the way I was leaning. I was confused by the description by BMD about the sensor being 4/3. According to their spec., the active sensor size of the BMD is 61% that of a 4/3 sensor. I'm a novice, but nearly 40% smaller seems a pretty big chunk to me.

                          I do have reservations about the GH2, but I need a fairly inexpensive camera for the microkopter that is light but gives good HD quality. I haven't ruled out the GoPro yet.

                          I don't like the thought of a $250 firmware upgrade for the AF. Panasonic need to reconsider.
                          Last edited by Inveresk; 04-17-2012, 08:01 AM.

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by John Brawley View Post
                            My batteries been lasting over 2 hours.

                            It's a pain for sure, but it's not that hard to work around.

                            jb
                            Iím surprised they went with the internal battery. This must change. Adding a powerdock and external power doesnít make sense if your going for a compact camera design.
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                              #15
                              Black Magic. It looks to be a better camera in terms of exposure latitude and it can record in 12bpc RAW. That makes all of the difference with me. I do a lot of color correcting and timing and having 4:4:4 RAW to work with is still a dream for me. I'd also have to get used to the different crop factor ( I use a 7D now ).

                              I make movies mostly. The Black Magic would work for me better than an AF100. I hate compression in the master image.
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