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PannySVHS

AF 100 and Recorder PLUS ultimate low price 1080p/720p 3chip camcorders ?

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Hey guys,

It´s kinda odd, having a Lumix G6 and loving it. Loving the UHD image from my GX85 but not doing shorts with it, having a G7 in the closet laying around. But being intrigued by the AF100. There are some avid AF100 lovers around here. So my question is, if recording external with an Atomos Ninja or better Samurai (SDI) is giving me a better image than the small 28mbit AVCHD files from internal recording?

What are your experiences with making it a shoulder cam, plus external recording, pluc older ENG lenses?

I have also been browsing the net lately for some old school cams. Would love a camcorder with image quality and stabilized lens and body like a Sony EX1. But these still range around 2000EU. Older HDV cam don´t have the image quality of clean progressively recorded frames. Also, it should record to cards. The Sony ZV5 does that to an external Flash recorder and  looks to give a clean noninterlaced image in 1440x1080. Any suggestions for clean 720p or 1080p 3chip camcorders? AC90 from Panasonic looks nice but is also around 1200- 1500 EU.

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I have an af100, it has virutally no dynamic range and weird highlight rolloff and 8bit wrapped to 10bit output. Its fine for shooting in very controlled lighting, but honestly unless its very very cheap, I got mine for $500,  I wouldn't bother, go find a cheap gh4 and rig it up, youll have a much much better camera. Or a g85 or something with unlimited record time. The Af100 is just very dated. Havent used it with a recorder, ill give it a go for you tomorrow

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I'm definitely interested in some older 3 chip camcorders, but the appeal to me might include.. dv tapes, low resolution, some noise. If you want a great, high res, clean image, it might not be the way to go. That just seems like 2 different things to me. Are there other specific features that would make these ideal to you other than charm? They ARE movie cameras as opposed to photo cameras, with a whole different feel using it, so I can respect that of course

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Why would you want a small chip camcorder??

Unless you have a specific purpose in mind, then don't both!

An example exception might be a very fast paced run and gun doco, and then going for the likes of a Sony X70 could make sense. 

 

As for a large chip camcorder, nah don't go for the AF100.  (unless you find it INSANELY cheap, we're talking sub $500 territory. At least!)

A couple of  years back I was seriously considering buying one, but glad I went for the hugely superior Sony PMW-F3 instead (which is dirt cheap today, but I probably wouldn't buy in 2017... as the FS700 has now fallen down to extremely attractive low prices). 

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Hey guys, I like the image out of the EX1, which is comparable to a GH2  when it comes to color fidelity and low light performance. That in combination with the super fun pro camcorder body with a nice zoom lens with rings for aperture, focus and zoom. It has NDs, great stabilization, great controls, stupid menu:) Very versatile, fun to use, nice image. And CCD magic, guys! That EX1 mojo with its triple CCD magic:)

Now, finding a EX1 below 1000EU is not possible.  So I started looking for alternatives, which turned out to be either cheap with not convincing image or expensive with a nice image. Speaking of Sony PDW 200, the pimped EX1 here. So I figured, if there might be some HDV camcorder in the great body of an EX1.There are some like a Sony HVR Z5, which can even be used with an additional flash recorder instead of DV Tape. But image didnt convince me enough, too much aliasing going on. So I became to open this thread.

Sony F3 is the ongoing darling of this forum and really tempting. Still not a cheap package with an external rekorder. AF100 has the image of a GH2 in a real camera body. For 500EU it would be tempting. So my question was, if it gives out a better image quality to a recorder, like intraframe 8bit 422. And if it was easy to rig up and use as a shoulder camera for longer shoots.

FS700 with a Shogun is ridicilous in the sense that it is so small and light and that it puts out such a great image, but I don´t like the ergos and price is still prosumer region:)

There was a thread about DVX100 mojo. I look for something like that with a much better image and without tapes, for an amateur auteur price:) I think the most compelling cameras I found in the 3chip category besides the legendary EX1 are Sony AX2000 and Panasonic AC90, the latter still around 1500, though. AX2000 for 500EU would be worth a look for me, it is still runnig for 800 plus. So there are no "cheap" 3CCD or 3CMOS EX1 style cameras. I wouldnt mind trying modern 1inch cams like the X70, but these guys are not cheap at all. That´s why I was looking for alternatives, that and some CCD magic. Though the AX2000 has 3 CMOS chips. But it writes to cards, has a nice and stabilized lens,  has NDs and puts out an appealing image.

10 hours ago, Liam said:

I'm definitely interested in some older 3 chip camcorders, but the appeal to me might include.. dv tapes, low resolution, some noise. If you want a great, high res, clean image, it might not be the way to go. That just seems like 2 different things to me. Are there other specific features that would make these ideal to you other than charm? They ARE movie cameras as opposed to photo cameras, with a whole different feel using it, so I can respect that of course

Hey Liam, Sony AX2000 might have some appeal:) So far my first pick.

 

 

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If it still works good, and produces ok images, then most people still use them and do not want to sell for cheap.

EX1 is one of my favorite camcorders of all time, certainly my favorite Sony ever.

But,

All the markings were erased the first couple of months with limited use.

the recording media back then were extremely expensive (then you could use adapters though)

With today's standards the image falls apart very easily, not easy to mix it up with any other camera

I have a lot of issues with LEDs on performances, shows etc

It was once a great camera, 6 months ago it was the last time I used it, now it is in my video partners basement, and I am not taking it back for any reason. I now have 4 NX cameras, and when I do a multi camera live performance, all my cameras are close (we add a JVC Ls300 and GH5 if we need more, their sensors are a lot closer).

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@PannySVHS nice image! Probably too nice ;) Again, I'm just thinking if it's the appeal of that ccd camcorder image being inherently nice, like a film stock - that's so cool because it's the opposite of what all current cameras are trying to do, look "perfect". And they all fall a little short. You might as well go all in and allow low resolution, aliasing, etc. maybe even recording to tapes for the fun of the workflow

You're not falling short of perfection if THIS is your camera --

 

But I understand your interest and can stop talking on this point since it's probably not helpful

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If you want shallow DOF and a vintage look on stuff out of a cheap 3ccd, you can always just pick up an old Letus35 lens adapter.  Seriously.  Man, that'll take the edge off, give you nice motion cadence, and look cool doing it.  Goofy way to go, but it works.

What you're alluding to is a real and interesting dilemma.  With even consumer cameras/lenses looking pristine and wonderful, and everyone has 'em, what does one do to differentiate --but still have something that looks nice?

Personally, I absolutely want my IQ to have flaws.  It fits the sorts of stories I like to tell.  Ramshackle and shabby a little, but still well crafted. Slight chroma aberration on the edges of frame?  A smidge of ignetting?  Check and check.  I want the viewer to sense that what they're watching is not "normal."  Thank goodness for the legacy flaws of 24fps!

Now, when I do corporate stuff, I slap on my OlyPro lenses @f4 and 60fps.  Otherwise, let's keep other stories in visual dream-land.

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Love the EX1, totally agree with @PannySVHS. I think in AUS we sold one we had for years, for $1500 inc media and batteries. I would still be happy to use that on a job. Nice image and robust body, the only issue is the USB daughterboard that we had to keep replacing, it wasn't a particularly solid part. Massive zoom range though, and nice image, with SDI and all the other niceties that go with a pro body. MPEG2 encoder is a bit of a pain compared to something more modern, but nothing unworkable. If you find a bargain EX3 you might be even better off, you can get a b4 adapter so you can put whatever lenses you want on there!

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On 16.10.2017 at 12:54 AM, tdonovic said:

Love the EX1, totally agree with @PannySVHS. I think in AUS we sold one we had for years, for $1500 inc media and batteries. I would still be happy to use that on a job. Nice image and robust body, the only issue is the USB daughterboard that we had to keep replacing, it wasn't a particularly solid part. Massive zoom range though, and nice image, with SDI and all the other niceties that go with a pro body. MPEG2 encoder is a bit of a pain compared to something more modern, but nothing unworkable. If you find a bargain EX3 you might be even better off, you can get a b4 adapter so you can put whatever lenses you want on there!

Yeah, and the follow up, PDW200 with 50mbit 422 codec still costs big bucks. The AX2000 seems neat, though it has three 1MP sensors, while the EX1 sensors offer 2MP each. Bargain EX3, they are still too hot to be consired a bargain:)

On 15.10.2017 at 5:33 PM, fuzzynormal said:

If you want shallow DOF and a vintage look on stuff out of a cheap 3ccd, you can always just pick up an old Letus35 lens adapter.  Seriously.  Man, that'll take the edge off, give you nice motion cadence, and look cool doing it.  Goofy way to go, but it works.

What you're alluding to is a real and interesting dilemma.  With even consumer cameras/lenses looking pristine and wonderful, and everyone has 'em, what does one do to differentiate --but still have something that looks nice?

Personally, I absolutely want my IQ to have flaws.  It fits the sorts of stories I like to tell.  Ramshackle and shabby a little, but still well crafted. Slight chroma aberration on the edges of frame?  A smidge of ignetting?  Check and check.  I want the viewer to sense that what they're watching is not "normal."  Thank goodness for the legacy flaws of 24fps!

Now, when I do corporate stuff, I slap on my OlyPro lenses @f4 and 60fps.  Otherwise, let's keep other stories in visual dream-land.

oh, these letus adapters are bulky and make the search less and less of the bargain kind as well:) There have been some 35mm adapters outthere with pretty compact dimensions but not so much info on them nor easy to purchase. Talking about a characteric image, I think the AX2000 might provide that. It´s a DVX100 on roids, plus cards for storage.

@Liam, wow, super lolofi. What can I say. Looking like super nintendo graphics. Good and for sure interesting try, but not perfect :) 

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Have you looked into the Panasonic FZ2500 or FZ300? The FZ2500 has a 1" sensor, built in zoom, built in NDs,  shoots DCI 4K at 100mbps and 1080 at 200mbps, and 120fps slow mo for $1k. And the FZ300 shoots UHD, 1080p/60, has a smaller sensor and no NDs, but a 24x zoom with a fixed 2.8 aperture for $500. They seem similar in specs and close in price to what you're looking for.

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6 hours ago, Matt Kieley said:

Have you looked into the Panasonic FZ2500 or FZ300?

I’ve had both of those cameras and the FZ2500 is well worth the extra money for what you get. If you don’t mind used or grey market, it can be had for well below $1000. For handheld, run and gun, no budget filmmaking, it’s one of the best cameras on the market.

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3 hours ago, mercer said:

I’ve had both of those cameras and the FZ2500 is well worth the extra money for what you get. If you don’t mind used or grey market, it can be had for well below $1000. For handheld, run and gun, no budget filmmaking, it’s one of the best cameras on the market.

@mercerand @Matt Kieley, have been considering it for my search:) But colors out of AX2000 represent some 3chip magic, which the Panny cam only might show with some grading tricks. The EX1 like camera body is really something too. For 1000USD one might think about a XC10, which you have also owned before, Glenn:) My bet would be, as a whole package with the three sensor appeal and an progressive image with Canon TI resolution, in a super nice body, the AX2000 would be it, if for something around 600 to 700 USD/EU. Btw, looking for a friend shooting cool stuff, but still on minDV tape in interlaced SD. Sometimes hurts me to see his cool footage interlacing like a beast:) He wants a "real" camera, as he puts it. :)

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On 10/16/2017 at 3:22 AM, PannySVHS said:

Sony F3 is the ongoing darling of this forum and really tempting. Still not a cheap package with an external rekorder.

When you look at the prices of a FS100/EX1/AF100/etc it just doesn't seem worth it when you could pick up instead a F3 body for US$1.2K if you wait. 

That gap in price between them is too small to put up with the lesser camera instead of an F3. (yes, the price of a recorder then pushes it up a few hundred more up, but I'd rather use the F3 internal than one of those other cameras)

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On 10/18/2017 at 9:07 PM, Matt Kieley said:

Have you looked into the Panasonic FZ2500 or FZ300? The FZ2500 has a 1" sensor, built in zoom, built in NDs,  shoots DCI 4K at 100mbps and 1080 at 200mbps, and 120fps slow mo for $1k. And the FZ300 shoots UHD, 1080p/60, has a smaller sensor and no NDs, but a 24x zoom with a fixed 2.8 aperture for $500. They seem similar in specs and close in price to what you're looking for.


FZ2500 has a mic jack and headphone jack too! 

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On 10/15/2017 at 4:44 AM, tdonovic said:

I have an af100, it has virutally no dynamic range and weird highlight rolloff and 8bit wrapped to 10bit output. Its fine for shooting in very controlled lighting, but honestly unless its very very cheap, I got mine for $500,  I wouldn't bother, go find a cheap gh4 and rig it up, youll have a much much better camera. Or a g85 or something with unlimited record time. The Af100 is just very dated. Havent used it with a recorder, ill give it a go for you tomorrow

I have an AF100 and like it a lot. It's my go to camera for events where I just need the most reliable camera with low recording media and battery needs. 
You basically plug a Mic, an SD card and two batteries and you're good for an entire day of shooting.

That said, the image can be great, but you have to be very careful with you exposure and white balance. The DR of this camera is around 10-11 stops, and the codec is weak. You can plug an Atomos samurai and get better recording codec though. But you won't get the possibility to do so much in post (you just get 4:2:2 All-I instead of 4:2:0 AVCHD). The image you get is a bit soft, but you can still add a good amount of sharpness in post without destroying the image.

I got mine 2 years ago for 1300€ including a 7-14mm and 14-140mm. I think it is still a great all in one solution for the price, even to this day.

Here is one of the videos I shot, in poor lighting conditions, for a night event with the AF100. I was using Minolta MD glass. 

 

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