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Two Underrated Products


sanveer
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Though I had a strange bias against fixed lens cameras and onboard mics previously, I suddenly have thus new found fondness for two products which are precisely these.

1. Panasonic LX100:

I guess it's one of the most underrated cameras around with its impressive Low Light, Lovely Dreamy Bokehs, Impressive Pics (especially considering its low total resolution) which IMHO appear better than those from many other similar MP sized sensors (including Pics from the Sony A7S), good dynamic range in video and stills, and nice colour overall. I initially didn't like the fact that it has a fixed lens, but considering that its pretty wide and pretty bright I think its a nice range. I didn't like the idea of not having a Mic In, but I guess it's not such a big issue either, especially considering that a recorder or mic can be fixed into its hot shoe mount for recording external sound.

I wish Panasonic would jack up the bitrate for better grading and have a Flatter Video Setting. It seems like the perfect Gorilla Filmmakers Camera. It seems expensive for a Point and Shoot, but in my opinion it's  Lot more than that. 

 

2. Shure LensHopper VP83F:

Another great product, especially considering how few video and other reviews there really are of this one. Super sound quality, built well, Dual Sound, and nice size. This is something that Rode wanted to make but didn't. Plus it can be used as a Field Sound Recorder which has almost No Self Noise  (common to Most Field Recorders). The mic is extremely sensitive and for Flash Recording you can easily pick up good sound under 50% (under 30dB). The initial price of this one was ludicrous, but now one can get it on deals for a little over $200. 

 

What do you guys think. 

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Another hardware up from the LX100: the FZ1000 has a vari-angle display. Oh, and it has the Cinelike profiles. I also find the MF with the LX100 lens ring a little fiddly (should've swapped aperture and focus ring imho).

But then again, the FZ1000 is quite a bit bulkier. Has the slower lens. The smaller sensor (so you run into highly clipping rather quickly). The bit worse low light performance.

Depends on what you're going for. I've got both since the LX100 makes for a great daily on-the-go shooter. The FZ1000 is nice as an allround travelcam with a little more flexibility. One simply does not offer me what the other can. They also make for great B roll/2nd cameras to a GH4.

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Hardly surprising that a company like Shure can out-do Rode in the microphone department, nothing against Rode, they make great products, but Shure are up there with Electro-Voice and Neumann yet manage to charge a lot less.

Absolutely. I also feel, that if the Shure VP82 (the Short but impressive Shotgun Mic) had internal batteries, and was $50 cheaper, it would have done extremely well, with Indie Filmmakers.

 

The fz1000 would get my vote over the lx100 for the simple reason of mic input with manual audio controls. The shure sounds great, I'll have to check that out. 

Another hardware up from the LX100: the FZ1000 has a vari-angle display. Oh, and it has the Cinelike profiles. I also find the MF with the LX100 lens ring a little fiddly (should've swapped aperture and focus ring imho).

But then again, the FZ1000 is quite a bit bulkier. Has the slower lens. The smaller sensor (so you run into highly clipping rather quickly). The bit worse low light performance.

Depends on what you're going for. I've got both since the LX100 makes for a great daily on-the-go shooter. The FZ1000 is nice as an allround travelcam with a little more flexibility. One simply does not offer me what the other can. They also make for great B roll/2nd cameras to a GH4.

​I guess, what almost all LX100 agree upon, is that the LX100 would be Perfect, if it had (1) an articulated screen; (2) this was a touch screen; and (3) it had a mic in. I guess Panasonic might consider them for Version 2.0, IF it feels they do not make the LX100 infringe upon GH4 territory. 
Right now, though, I wish they would bring out a firmware for slightly better autofocus (since that's a grouse with some users), and better Video Profile (preferably with, perhaps, a slightly higher bitrate). 

 

 

 

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Well, both of them have a lightweight on-the-go character. With the LX100 being the most minimalistic, yet still being able to pack a punch and the FZ1000 being a little more flexible, although the added bulk. But for me personally, it doesn't make much sense to bring 'em along together to shoot the same thing. It's gonna be just the one of them depending on how I want to go about it. I take one along when bringing the GH4 with lenses, tripod and accessories would weigh me too much down. I like the bare essentials all-in-one hybrid shooter's approach, so usually it's going to be the LX100. If I think I will benefit from the range, the LX100 stays at home and the FZ1000 comes along.

In a controlled shooting environment, let's say an interview set up with lights and so on, you're not on-the-go. You're already there with lights and everything, so you're taking an interchangeable lens system camera with you... in my case my go-to camera would be the GH4. In such a controlled environment a LX100 would make a fine alternative angle though. The FZ1000 could work well too, mostly you just got to be mindful about the perhaps sudden change in the depth of field, depending on what your master camera is shooting with/at.

If you are combining the FZ1000 with the LX100, that's an interesting thought, especially if you're on-the-go (unplanned out/uncontrolled environment) and take both (so, something I haven't done/can't really see myself doing). The LX100 is not that much different in terms of look than the GH4. Great optics really help here too. Just renders beautifully. The FZ1000 is a bit more tricky. Due to the small sensor and maximum minimum aperture (or is it minimum maximum aperture?) a great deal just looks in focus and sharp and the sensor resolves a great amount of detail (which can be trully awesome on it's own!). Add an outdoorsy environment with some white clouds that are blown out to keep everything else in check, and you're alreay starting to look pretty videoey with the FZ1000 though. For depth-of-field obviously it helps to zoom in, but it falls of to f/4 rather quickly and you might not want or can't change the focal length like that. Best chances in that case are to get your subject as close to you and as far away from the background as possible. For blown out highlights, you might be able to change up your shooting angle/framing. I mean, I might've pictured it worse than it is in all actuality, but that's just to make you aware of it. So... would these two intercut nicely? If you take your time to set 'em up accordingly, sure! They all share the same Panasonic 4K-vibe, color, etc, so it's mostly just a question of finding a balance through the sensor crop and optics.

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I would really love to get a LX100. This little baby is perfect for shooting nice 4K video when you least expect it and can alway be carried with you. Add a little Baby Manfrotto Tripod and you have a great little camer in your bag. As for the Mic In missing, I will use in this case an external PCM recorder.

As for the Shure LensHopper VP83F. How it is compared to the Panasonic official Mic for the GH4?

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I would really love to get a LX100. This little baby is perfect for shooting nice 4K video when you least expect it and can alway be carried with you. Add a little Baby Manfrotto Tripod and you have a great little camer in your bag. As for the Mic In missing, I will use in this case an external PCM recorder.

As for the Shure LensHopper VP83F. How it is compared to the Panasonic official Mic for the GH4?

I haven't used the Panasonic Official Mic for the GH4, but, it has some great sound by itself (the Shure LensHopper, i.e.). Also, since the LensHopper VP83F records Dual Sound, one of which is recorded in Wav Format on a flash card, it is far superior to onboard mics, especially those on DSLRs. 
Dave Dugdale at Learning DSLR spoke about the GH4 dropping quite a few frames, and that sound and video are not running from the same frame. Maybe someone had a similar experience regarding this?
 

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I would really love to get a LX100. This little baby is perfect for shooting nice 4K video when you least expect it and can alway be carried with you. Add a little Baby Manfrotto Tripod and you have a great little camer in your bag. As for the Mic In missing, I will use in this case an external PCM recorder.

As for the Shure LensHopper VP83F. How it is compared to the Panasonic official Mic for the GH4?

​Exactly! That's what makes the LX100 worth gold! Can totally recommend it, you'll be using it all the time.

As for a baby tripod. I have two Cullmann Magnesit Copters myself. As seen on:

Mic wise, I haven't really got anything RØDE, which I guess is what most people go for? Videomic Pro. Or a NTG2 / NTG3. I went budget. First to get was the Zoom H1 (who didn't start out with one of those?), then added the Takstar SGC-598 and HTDZ HT-81 with an iRig Pre. They do a pretty decent job. With so many third party choices I'm not sure anybody uses Panasonic's own mic offering to be honest. :lol: Heard good things about Shure as well though.

As for the LX100 with external mic. Depends on if you really need it. If you're going to put an audio track over it and just getting the visuals, why bother? You can even use ambient/environmental sounds slightly muted in the back to cover up the fact that it's recorded with the built-in mic (like a music track with visuals of waves crashing on the beach, with the waves audible, perhaps you can even hear some seagulls). If you just so happen to find yourself at a live music performance and need that audio performance. Well, yeah, you might need something else... maybe one of these RØDE smartphone attachments?

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​Exactly! That's what makes the LX100 worth gold! Can totally recommend it, you'll be using it all the time.

As for a baby tripod. I have two Cullmann Magnesit Copters myself. As seen on:

Mic wise, I haven't really got anything RØDE, which I guess is what most people go for? Videomic Pro. Or a NTG2 / NTG3. I went budget. First to get was the Zoom H1 (who didn't start out with one of those?), then added the Takstar SGC-598 and HTDZ HT-81 with an iRig Pre. They do a pretty decent job. With so many third party choices I'm not sure anybody uses Panasonic's own mic offering to be honest. :lol: Heard good things about Shure as well though.

As for the LX100 with external mic. Depends on if you really need it. If you're going to put an audio track over it and just getting the visuals, why bother? You can even use ambient/environmental sounds slightly muted in the back to cover up the fact that it's recorded with the built-in mic (like a music track with visuals of waves crashing on the beach, with the waves audible, perhaps you can even hear some seagulls). If you just so happen to find yourself at a live music performance and need that audio performance. Well, yeah, you might need something else... maybe one of these RØDE smartphone attachments?

​WHAT A FREAKING GOOD idea! I will try if I can reproduce this with my Pixi (http://www.manfrotto.com/photo-supports-tripods-pixi-series). 

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The fz1000 would get my vote over the lx100 for the simple reason of mic input with manual audio controls. The shure sounds great, I'll have to check that out. 

Absolutely. I also feel, that if the Shure VP82 (the Short but impressive Shotgun Mic) had internal batteries, and was $50 cheaper, it would have done extremely well, with Indie Filmmakers.

 

​I guess, what almost all LX100 agree upon, is that the LX100 would be Perfect, if it had (1) an articulated screen; (2) this was a touch screen; and (3) it had a mic in. I guess Panasonic might consider them for Version 2.0, IF it feels they do not make the LX100 infringe upon GH4 territory. Right now, though, I wish they would bring out a firmware for slightly better autofocus (since that's a grouse with some users), and better Video Profile (preferably with, perhaps, a slightly higher bitrate). 

 

 

 

Another hardware up from the LX100: the FZ1000 has a vari-angle display. Oh, and it has the Cinelike profiles. I also find the MF with the LX100 lens ring a little fiddly (should've swapped aperture and focus ring imho).

But then again, the FZ1000 is quite a bit bulkier. Has the slower lens. The smaller sensor (so you run into highly clipping rather quickly). The bit worse low light performance.

Depends on what you're going for. I've got both since the LX100 makes for a great daily on-the-go shooter. The FZ1000 is nice as an allround travelcam with a little more flexibility. One simply does not offer me what the other can. They also make for great B roll/2nd cameras to a GH4.

Sanveer, do you have any links to samples with Shure. I have been reading a little about it and heard a few tests but none of them really show it's potential? I would love to hear a clip plugged into a dslr, plus the same recording using it's internal recorder? Do you have anything like that?

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Sanveer, do you have any links to samples with Shure. I have been reading a little about it and heard a few tests but none of them really show it's potential? I would love to hear a clip plugged into a dslr, plus the same recording using it's internal recorder? Do you have anything like that?

Mercer (for Andrew Reid), first I could have bet, that I posted a reply successfully from my phablet, which doesn't seem to be in this thread, so, I am posting it again.

 

I have used the Shure LensHopperVP83F as a sound recorder, and the sound quality is absolutely stellar. I haven't really used it much as a DSLR mic, and I am also very curious to compare the two sounds samples. The mic gain is in 1 dB increments on the flash recorder (Micro SD), and it sounds very sensitive. As a matter of fact, at 20dB, it seems more than sufficient enough to pick up most sounds. Also, the Headphone monitoring seems to apply for the Micro SD and not for the DSLR mic in (I didn't use the DSLR Mic in, so I cannot say with absolute certainty).

 

I will check both of them extensively, and their levels, with the various settings, and post a video. Gimme a day or two.

 

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Mercer (for Andrew Reid), first I could have bet, that I posted a reply successfully from my phablet, which doesn't seem to be in this thread, so, I am posting it again.

 

I have used the Shure LensHopperVP83F as a sound recorder, and the sound quality is absolutely stellar. I haven't really used it much as a DSLR mic, and I am also very curious to compare the two sounds samples. The mic gain is in 1 dB increments on the flash recorder (Micro SD), and it sounds very sensitive. As a matter of fact, at 20dB, it seems more than sufficient enough to pick up most sounds. Also, the Headphone monitoring seems to apply for the Micro SD and not for the DSLR mic in (I didn't use the DSLR Mic in, so I cannot say with absolute certainty).

 

I will check both of them extensively, and their levels, with the various settings, and post a video. Gimme a day or two.

 

Sanveer, that's great, thanks!!!

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Sanveer, that's great, thanks!!!

This in No Way suggests that I won't be posting  test of the dual sound quality. As a matter of fact, I maybtest this for clipping as well, since it highlights an interesting features. Check this video till I am able to post my own test.

 

 

 

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Thanks Sanveer, I saw this in my google search, but for some reason I couldn't get it to play. It played fine embedded here. This was definitely helpful. The dual recording function is ingenious. I always preferred in camera audio, for ease, and in this scenario, you seem to get the best of both worlds. And the quality sounds pretty damn good. Do you use similar settings? I only wish he followed his own advice in the test and had his camera set at manual. Anyway, thanks again. Now I just have to wait for a deal, I was pretty convinced I was going to get the MKE-400 until you posted about this little monster. If I could get this for the Sennheiser money, I would be a happy filmmaker. 

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