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X-T3 as B Cam to Panasonic S1 ???


Mark Romero 2
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I'm thinking of getting a used X-T3 as a B Cam (more like a 1A cam) to my Panasonic S1

The benefits of using the X-T3 in conjunction with an S1 (instead of just buying a second S1)

1) Lighter weight on a gimbal (I have been having a lot of lower back pain lately and think the S1 + Canon EF 16-35 f/4 L + Sigma MC-21 + Zhiyun Weebill S is probably a big part of it).

2) 4K 60p 10-bit internally (I know I could use a Ninja V and get 4K 60p in 10bit off S1, but again, the weight is already an issue).

3) Better autofocus (Potentially, but I will probably be using it with EF Lenses and the Fringer adapter since then I can use canon glass on both the S1 with MC-21 and the X-T3 with fringer adapter).

4) It would be a (more) convenient "everyday" camera for walking about / family stuff.

The main questions I have are:

A) How well does AF really work with the Fringer adapter work with Canon glass? The reviews I have seen makes it look pretty good.

B) How difficult is it to match Fuji F-Log footage with Panasonic V-Log footage? (The FULL version of V-LOG, not the Lite version of V-Log found in the GH5 series)

C) is the h.265 codec really that much of a pain to deal with in Resolve on a "moderate" computer system? (Resolve 16, i7-6770, 24GB RAM, RTX 2060 Super 8GB VRAM, Win 10

D) Will I end up hating the X-T3 due to record time limits and battery capacity?

And finally, is anyone really enjoying using vintage MF glass on the X-T3? On the S1, it is a joy to use my old Minolta MD lenses. But the S1 had a great EVF, is easily programmed to punch in, and has great IBIS. Not sure how well the X-T3 will play with older glass like that.

Thanks in advance.

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A. Very good. I personally prefer it to anything native and am currently using Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 + Tamron 45mm f1.8.

The Tamron is new and has only been used in testing so far and replaced the Canon ef 50mm f1.8 which was incredible considering the price (under £100 new) but the Tamron gives me OIS which the Canon didn't. Turns out I'm not going to use it going forward but hey ho, - the weight and balance of the Sigma and Tamron are quite similar so swapping them out feels about the same.

B. Dunno and maybe a G9 or GX80/85 might be a better/alternative match to an S1?

C. It's an utter pig on my machine running Premiere so I batch convert it to Pro Res overnight and problem solved.

D. Depends... I use a dedicated 1" sensor Sony camcorder for longer stuff and never use my XT3 for more than a couple of minutes and usually, 10 second clips, plus I'm running it the whole time off a power bank welded on to my monopod where the camera lives. It basically trickle charges the battery all the time but the battery will still run down quicker than it can be charged but lasts me an entire day's shoot no problem with a single internal battery.

I was going to 'upgrade' to an XT4 and whilst in some ways it would still be an upgrade, there isn't enough for me as my pure video/filming tool. As a hybrid, yes, more compelling, but I've made my bed and have 3x XT3's now, - 1 for video/filming and 2 for stills.

For the money, around £900/euros, it's insane value and highly capable even at double the price. I could have gone S1/Z6, Canon or anything else, but for me there is nothing else comparable.

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@MrSMWThanks so much for the insights. I really appreciate your thoughts.

I didn't know about the Tamron 45mm f/1.8. . Seems like a good lens, but pretty darn expensive. I guess I still associate "Tarmon" with "Inexpensive," although I would probably have an equally hard time justifying US $600 even if it were a Panasonic or Nikon / Canon lens.

Out of curiosity, you mentioned that 

6 hours ago, MrSMW said:

Turns out I'm not going to use it going forward

Can you elaborate on why you wouldn't use it in the future?

As for using a G9 / G85 / GX?, yeah, that does seem like a possibility. I guess the only problem with that is I would probably end up having to buy a metabones spedbooster so I could use some Canon glass on the Panasonic M43 model. 

I guess my problem with that is that, say, a used GH5 + Metabones Speedboster is about as expensive / more expensive than another used S1 and MC-21 (although the AF of a GH5 + MB Speedbooster is supposed to be better than that of an S1 and MC-21)

Sorry to hear that the h.265 is a pain to edit. Can I ask if you are using Long GOP or All-I and what your computer specs are?

And finally, out of curiosity, which Sony 1" camcorder are you using??? And about how high of an ISO do you feel comfortable shooting it at? (I am assuming it uses ISO values instead of gain values, but I am probably wrong again.)

NOTE: Just realized that Camera Conspiracies did a video comparison between S1 and X-T4 (which I am assuming has same F-LOG formula as X-T3), Seems really strange because to me, looks like the reds in the S1 kind of shift magenta while the reds in the X-T3 kind of shift orange? (Camera Conspiracies admits that he isn't really good at grading so maybe that just all goes out the window.) 

Thanks again.

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Answers as best I can...

Re. Not using it going forward, I mean handheld use and sticking to the freestanding monopod I currently use. I prefer my work to have zero camera movement in it anyway. 

The Tamron is available in Europe for 350 euros. It is and remains part of my kit!

Long GOP which is the only option recording internally DCI 4K 60p at I think 200mbs.

My PC is around 4 year old gaming spec but overnight batch convert to pro res is no issue. It’s a less than 2 minute job.

Sony FDR AX100 and yes, it is gain! It’s getting on a bit now and next year I will probably replace it with the Panasonic HC-X1500 or more likely, switch one of my XT3’s to that role if I get an XT4 or XH2.

It’s not great in low light as none of these camcorders are but I use lighting so it reduces some of that issue.

Nobody should ever base any kit decisions  on any of Camera Conspiracies ‘tests’. I watch all his stuff...for fun, but he rarely has anything set up right. Take the colour issue as one thing. For all we know, he’s nudged the colour balance in the auto settings and doesn’t realise. Also, he’s shooting outside in super bright light, wide open with no ND, so super high shutter speeds. Just the tip of the iceberg... 

Regarding kit reviews in general, it’s a minefield. On one hand we have the unboxing type reviewers who just discuss specs and generally complain about issues that are almost always unfamiliarity and user issues. We then have those possibly on the payroll or have an opinion for financial reasons. There are people though I think who are competent and unbiased, people like Gordon at Camera Labs, Gerald Undone and a few others. And then there is simply individual tastes and likes so sometimes you just have to try stuff yourself and work it out which is what brought me to and made me stick with Fuji. I do not recognize maybe 9/10 of the issues that supposedly exist...

 

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Well at the moment it doesn't as weddings have not been happening!

However, it looks like my first of the year will be taking place at the end of this month and then a further 4 of what would normally be anything from 25-30.

But I'll take 5...or even less if that's what there is.

The good news is that 2021 should be busier and based on bookings, already is looking that way.

Unless life throws another major issue at us which it could very well do...

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  • 2 months later...

Revisiting this topic because it’s pretty much what I have done which is move to Panasonic as my A cam, but S5 rather than S1.

The smaller size and ‘improved’ AF were just enough to trigger the move.

XT3 which I still rate very highly, had moved into more of a B cam role, specifically longer form static stuff which I can lock off in manual focus and leave for up to 30 minutes plus as my handheld or monopod AF camera.

Still testing and fine-tuning the S5 and it may still do the AF role also, but as things stand, it’s MF only right now as it’s not quite reliable enough. Maybe some further tweaking and even a firmware update will make it possible but unless the firmware update that is coming to S1 cameras later this year as a small leapfrog update they also bring to the S5...well it would be next year or not at all. Is there anything much more they could do with a contrast based AF though? I don’t know much about that kind of thing...

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20 hours ago, MrSMW said:

Revisiting this topic because it’s pretty much what I have done which is move to Panasonic as my A cam, but S5 rather than S1.

The smaller size and ‘improved’ AF were just enough to trigger the move.

XT3 which I still rate very highly, had moved into more of a B cam role, specifically longer form static stuff which I can lock off in manual focus and leave for up to 30 minutes plus as my handheld or monopod AF camera.

Still testing and fine-tuning the S5 and it may still do the AF role also, but as things stand, it’s MF only right now as it’s not quite reliable enough. Maybe some further tweaking and even a firmware update will make it possible but unless the firmware update that is coming to S1 cameras later this year as a small leapfrog update they also bring to the S5...well it would be next year or not at all. Is there anything much more they could do with a contrast based AF though? I don’t know much about that kind of thing...

Off topic from the thread but since you mentioned it, how do you find the S5 IBIS? Compared to say gold-standard-y current gen Olympus bodies or GH5 performance?

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1 hour ago, dgvro said:

how do you find the S5 IBIS? Compared to say gold-standard-y current gen Olympus bodies or GH5 performance?

Couldn’t really say on 2 counts...

First, I have never owned a GH series camera, though I have had an Olympus 5ii four years ago, but used it on a monopod for video.

Second, depends how and what you use IBIS for. For me it would be for ‘tripod’ mode, ie, no movement. Not even a gentle pan. From what I have seen, 99% of IBIS tests seem to be vloggers walking and talking to camera or trying to replicate gimbal moves whilst stating that IBIS is not a replacement for a gimbal.

But I can say that compared to a tripod, for my needs (elements within my framing move and I do not), it’s pretty bloody good!

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