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Danielius

Mirrorless camera for long form content?

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Hi,

I'm looking to purchase 15 cameras to film long form content, i.e. something without record limit and overheating issues. It's for web delivery so broadcast codec or 4K resolution would be nice but not required. 

An obvoius solution imho is to get a camrecorder (like XF305). But they are heavy and bulky, and I dont have a van to transport the equipment when needed. 

Could a mirrorless camera powered with a dummy battery or A/C be a viable option? Something like Panasonic FZ2500 or Sony RX10 mk3. 

I have very little experience with mirrorless and your insights would be greatly appreciated :)

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1 hour ago, MurtlandPhoto said:

How about the Canon XF400? Much smaller than the XF305 and has the latest specs. 

Great shout. I forgot to mention that the budget for each camera is 1000$£€ tops, so the XF400 is a bit out of reach.

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Hmm. Can you give us an idea on shooting conditions? 

The Sony AX53 and AX33 are both decent camcorder options. If going the camcorder route I'd probably stick with Sony as it's been my experience that they get better low light and battery life than Canon. It might be different with 4K but my old Sony 1080p handy cams would go about 4 hours on the largest aftermarket battery available. 

As far as mirrorless goes, the G85 with kit lens might be a good option but the auto focus might be a weakness that you don't want to deal with, depending on what you're shooting / situation is. 

The benefit of a camcorder is that you can pretty much hand one off to anyone and they're able to get pretty good results regardless of their experience. You can do that with mirrorless cameras, too, but they're better for more manual control. 

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12 hours ago, Danielius said:

Could a mirrorless camera powered with a dummy battery or A/C be a viable option? Something like Panasonic FZ2500 or Sony RX10 mk3. 

Neither are mirrorless cameras btw. 

And I reckon a few secondhand Panasonic GH4 cameras would suit you just great. 

6 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

As far as mirrorless goes, the G85 with kit lens might be a good option

G7 or G85 are also great picks, but I think need a little trickery sometimes to get unlimited record lengths

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G85 has unlimited recording, while the G7 has a work around (I've never used one though so I don't know for sure.) 

I'd recommend the G85 over the GH4 because of the better low light performance and IBIS, unless you need the advanced features of the GH4. For event shooting the IBIS is a life saver. You can get really stable shots even hand held. Use a monopod or some other stabilizer and it can almost feel gimbal like. Biggest downside to the G85 is the 4K crop and the comparatively weak 1080p codec, but the 1080p is still fine, I feel, especially for web delivery. 

The GH4 though, if you want a compact mirrorless camera with cinema camera features, is one of the best deals out there these days. Some of the eBay prices I've seen are straight up bargains. One of my friends works for a production company that still uses GH4's and plans to continue to do so for a while. They're work horses and only feel "old" because of how incredible the GH5 is. They very much were cutting edge and game changers 5 years ago. 

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Both GH4 and G85 are brilliant suggestions, thank you @newfoundmass @IronFilm! G85 w/ Viltrox speedbooster and EF glass looks very appealing. 

10 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

Can you give us an idea on shooting conditions? 

It's a conference type set up. The cameras will be locked off on tripods and each have a camera op to manually focus, so auto-focus isn't needed. The stage will be lit, so low light shouldn't be an issue either. 

The camera needs to record in sequences of 1 hour for around 5-6 hours each day. It will have 20min break time to cool off between each recording. My main concern is overheating - does GH4 or G85 have such issues or is it just Sony mirror-less problem? 
 

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The FZ2500 is a lot of bang for the buck.

Internal ND, 10 bit 4:2:2 HDMI output if you are going out to a switcher, 200Mbit/s All Intra internal 1080p recording if you're not, comprehensive remote monitoring and control functionality through wifi if you need it, unlimited recording time with SDXC cards (though it does file breaks after 3 hours ;) ), 5 axis OIS etc etc

I don't run mine for as extended periods but as far as I'm aware overheating isn't an issue for people that do.

A quick reference in the cameralabs test for battery life and heat on a single battery for similar record times that you are looking for

https://www.cameralabs.com/panasonic-lumix-fz2000-fz2500-review/

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You don't say which country you are from, but note that the European spec versions of the G85 (the G80/G81) have a continuous record limit of 29 minutes and 59 seconds.

Also note that the battery life of the G80/81/85 is much shorter than the GH4, due to using smaller, lower-capacity batteries, so you'll need several batteries for each camera to get through your 5-6 hours (but 1 hour of continuous recording should be OK, battery wise - Panasonic quote 110 minutes per battery in continuous FHD, MP4 record mode in the manual).

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49 minutes ago, ac6000cw said:

You don't say which country you are from, but note that the European spec versions of the G85 (the G80/G81) have a continuous record limit of 29 minutes and 59 seconds.

Also note that the battery life of the G80/81/85 is much shorter than the GH4, due to using smaller, lower-capacity batteries, so you'll need several batteries for each camera to get through your 5-6 hours (but 1 hour of continuous recording should be OK, battery wise - Panasonic quote 110 minutes per battery in continuous FHD, MP4 record mode in the manual).

This does apply to me, thank you for the heads up :)

51 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

The FZ2500 is a lot of bang for the buck.

Internal ND, 10 bit 4:2:2 HDMI output if you are going out to a switcher, 200Mbit/s All Intra internal 1080p recording if you're not, comprehensive remote monitoring and control functionality through wifi if you need it, unlimited recording time with SDXC cards (though it does file breaks after 3 hours ;) ), 5 axis OIS etc etc

I don't run mine for as extended periods but as far as I'm aware overheating isn't an issue for people that do.

A quick reference in the cameralabs test for battery life and heat on a single battery for similar record times that you are looking for

https://www.cameralabs.com/panasonic-lumix-fz2000-fz2500-review/

I think we've got a winner here - going to rent and see if it does the job. Cheers for your input :) 

 

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1 hour ago, BTM_Pix said:

The FZ2500 is a lot of bang for the buck.

Internal ND, 10 bit 4:2:2 HDMI output if you are going out to a switcher, 200Mbit/s All Intra internal 1080p recording if you're not, comprehensive remote monitoring and control functionality through wifi if you need it, unlimited recording time with SDXC cards (though it does file breaks after 3 hours ;) ), 5 axis OIS etc etc

I don't run mine for as extended periods but as far as I'm aware overheating isn't an issue for people that do.

A quick reference in the cameralabs test for battery life and heat on a single battery for similar record times that you are looking for

https://www.cameralabs.com/panasonic-lumix-fz2000-fz2500-review/

What can you do with the output? 

How is the ISO performance?

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1 hour ago, Kisaha said:

What can you do with the output? 

How is the ISO performance?

Its not exactly an A7sii but for the application that the OP describes (ie a lit stage) the ISO performance shouldn't present a problem.

The most compelling reason, in my view, to recommend something like the FZ2500 is the requirement for 15 of them to cover the event. With a fixed lens with the sort of range it offers you have interchangeability of cameras but as it has a LANC port you can cheaply add a zoom demand controller for each operator and with the wifi control it would also be possible to create a central CCU arrangement to sync settings without too much trouble. By which I mean of course that I could make and sell them a custom one for a gazillion euros ;)

I can see the rationale of wanting to use MFT cameras to get a bit more performance but I can't think of any that match the utility of the FZ2500 in terms of creating a low budget multicam setup.

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1 hour ago, BTM_Pix said:

Its not exactly an A7sii but for the application that the OP describes (ie a lit stage) the ISO performance shouldn't present a problem.

The most compelling reason, in my view, to recommend something like the FZ2500 is the requirement for 15 of them to cover the event. With a fixed lens with the sort of range it offers you have interchangeability of cameras but as it has a LANC port you can cheaply add a zoom demand controller for each operator and with the wifi control it would also be possible to create a central CCU arrangement to sync settings without too much trouble. By which I mean of course that I could make and sell them a custom one for a gazillion euros ;)

I can see the rationale of wanting to use MFT cameras to get a bit more performance but I can't think of any that match the utility of the FZ2500 in terms of creating a low budget multicam setup.

I am just considering one for myself actually! I need one for similar use, I want something with LANC, and the in-build ND filters are a huge plus for other uses.

I used to use the classic EX1 for years and years for that reason, but now the age difference shows, the video files are not very manageable. 

What a similar setup can be done with the JVC LS300? Even though I have not access to that camera usually (its owner moved to Paris!), it would be nice to know.

I also have the 18-135 EF-S, the new nano version, and I was considering maybe the silly PZ box Canon offers, but I do not have a compatible camera right now.

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32 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

I am just considering one for myself actually! I need one for similar use, I want something with LANC, and the in-build ND filters are a huge plus for other uses.

I used to use the classic EX1 for years and years for that reason, but now the age difference shows, the video files are not very manageable. 

What a similar setup can be done with the JVC LS300? Even though I have not access to that camera usually (its owner moved to Paris!), it would be nice to know.

I also have the 18-135 EF-S, the new nano version, and I was considering maybe the silly PZ box Canon offers, but I do not have a compatible camera right now.

The LS300 actually has a web interface built into the camera so you don't need any specific app and can just log into it from any web browser on any phone, tablet or PC and you have full remote control and live view of it.

The LANC control can be set to control the virtual zoom or the focus control of the lens.

It really does have a lot of smart features packed into it !

The downside to the ND wheel though is that it will prevent any lens adapter with a tripod foot from attaching to it so I've had to remove them off the speed booster to make it work which is no big deal. The LensRegain is a different story though as the electronics are in the tripod foot so you have to very carefully remove it.

But with it having AF control of adapted lenses (unlike the Pocket 4K ;) ) and being able to operate manual focus from the the LANC controller then the LensRegain is off less value on it anyway.

The FZ2000/2500 is a great all in one package though, especially for the price you can get them for (mine was €750) but its a pity the Panasonic XLR adapter for the GH5 doesn't work with it.

If you want the same spec in an EX-1 style then the HC-X1 might be worth a look as it also adds 4K60p into the mix as well as dual slots, dual simultaneous codec recording etc. Its around £2K so its over twice the price and also a bit dearer than a used LS300 but its still very good value for what it offers as an all in one package with pro styling and features.

panasonic-hc-x1_1.jpg.b49307725a6aba2d32416dc005f11c62.jpg

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10 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

The LS300 actually has a web interface built into the camera so you don't need any specific app and can just log into it from any web browser on any phone, tablet or PC and you have full remote control and live view of it.

The LANC control can be set to control the virtual zoom or the focus control of the lens.

It really does have a lot of smart features packed into it !

The downside to the ND wheel though is that it will prevent any lens adapter with a tripod foot from attaching to it so I've had to remove them off the speed booster to make it work which is no big deal. The LensRegain is a different story though as the electronics are in the tripod foot so you have to very carefully remove it.

But with it having AF control of adapted lenses (unlike the Pocket 4K ;) ) and being able to operate manual focus from the the LANC controller then the LensRegain is off less value on it anyway.

The FZ2000/2500 is a great all in one package though, especially for the price you can get them for (mine was €750) but its a pity the Panasonic XLR adapter for the GH5 doesn't work with it.

If you want the same spec in an EX-1 style then the HC-X1 might be worth a look as it also adds 4K60p into the mix as well as dual slots, dual simultaneous codec recording etc. Its around £2K so its over twice the price and also a bit dearer than a used LS300 but its still very good value for what it offers as an all in one package with pro styling and features.

 

Thank you very much for the detailed answer. 

The HC-X1 is 2799euros here.

What lenses can practically be used for the LS300, PZ m43 lenses? We used it most with EF lenses and the 12-60 Leica.

I may get that EF-S PZ box, the 18-135 is a great run n gun solution coupled with the C100mkII, but just limited for 2019.

We are missing a few good options in the middle ground just under the FS5ii/UMP/EVA territory, just can't believe that you have to go from the LS300/FZ/mirrorless territory straight to the EVA.

Is a newer FZ2000 rumored, or anything?

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44 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

Thank you very much for the detailed answer. 

The HC-X1 is 2799euros here.

What lenses can practically be used for the LS300, PZ m43 lenses? We used it most with EF lenses and the 12-60 Leica.

I may get that EF-S PZ box, the 18-135 is a great run n gun solution coupled with the C100mkII, but just limited for 2019.

We are missing a few good options in the middle ground just under the FS5ii/UMP/EVA territory, just can't believe that you have to go from the LS300/FZ/mirrorless territory straight to the EVA.

Is a newer FZ2000 rumored, or anything?

In ENG mode I was using it with the Angenieux B4 but I recently picked up a Tamron 16-300 EF mount for cheap so I've switched to that for versatility. Its not exactly a top of the range lens but its surprisingly decent.

They have just released a Markii of the lower specced FZ1000 so I guess that means a new FZ2000/2500 is about a year away?

I suppose the other option in a fixed format half way house between the 1" and Super35 stuff would be a used DVX200.

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2 hours ago, BTM_Pix said:

They have just released a Markii of the lower specced FZ1000 so I guess that means a new FZ2000/2500 is about a year away?

I suppose the other option in a fixed format half way house between the 1" and Super35 stuff would be a used DVX200.

3 years ago I was like "no way I am buying this DVX red/carbon monstrosity, the new small Canon C is coming".

Look at us now. Still waiting!

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23 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

G85 has unlimited recording, while the G7 has a work around (I've never used one though so I don't know for sure.) 

I'd recommend the G85 over the GH4 because of the better low light performance and IBIS, unless you need the advanced features of the GH4. For event shooting the IBIS is a life saver. You can get really stable shots even hand held. Use a monopod or some other stabilizer and it can almost feel gimbal like. Biggest downside to the G85 is the 4K crop and the comparatively weak 1080p codec, but the 1080p is still fine, I feel, especially for web delivery. 

The GH4 though, if you want a compact mirrorless camera with cinema camera features, is one of the best deals out there these days. Some of the eBay prices I've seen are straight up bargains. One of my friends works for a production company that still uses GH4's and plans to continue to do so for a while. They're work horses and only feel "old" because of how incredible the GH5 is. They very much were cutting edge and game changers 5 years ago. 

Outside from the 10bit output (which doesn't really make sense to buy a GH4 for in 2019, as once you add in the cost of an external recorder, you could have just purchased a GH5 instead), the 96fps slow motion (but at a big hit to image quality! I know some GH4 owners never went over 60fps because of this, which is the same the G85 can do), and being able to use the YAGH accessory (ugh! Which nobody liked), what specific advanced features/benefits does the GH4 have over the G85?

 

20 hours ago, Danielius said:

The camera needs to record in sequences of 1 hour for around 5-6 hours each day. It will have 20min break time to cool off between each recording. My main concern is overheating - does GH4 or G85 have such issues or is it just Sony mirror-less problem? 

Panasonics are fine. 
It is Sony you have to watch out for!
(even their third generation full frame cameras still will overheat!! I've experienced this myself on set)

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12 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Outside from the 10bit output (which doesn't really make sense to buy a GH4 for in 2019, as once you add in the cost of an external recorder, you could have just purchased a GH5 instead), the 96fps slow motion (but at a big hit to image quality! I know some GH4 owners never went over 60fps because of this, which is the same the G85 can do), and being able to use the YAGH accessory (ugh! Which nobody liked), what specific advanced features/benefits does the GH4 have over the G85?

Focus assist features, better 1080p codec, V-log, much better battery life, etc. I love the G85 and would personally choose it over a GH4 (in fact I did!), but it is missing some of these cinema camera features first found in the GH4 and expanded on in the GH5. 

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