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Michael_Stones June 21st, 2018 06:36 PM

Panasonic GH5S
 
Hello, I need help. I'm in the market for a video camera and have access to quite high level of funding. A colleague advised me to forego more expensive models but consider the Panasonic GH5S. There's a review of this camera here. I'm a novice to video work, so any advice anyone can offer is very welcome. The intended use is to create educational materials on topics that hopefully will be useful and possibly controversial. Cheers, Mike

Jerome Marot June 21st, 2018 11:24 PM

In a nutshell:

-dedicated camcorders are easier to use as the controls are designed for video
-photo cameras may give a slightly better image quality and have a better choice of lenses at the wide end or wide aperture.

The rest is not important for a beginner. If your project mainly involves static shots or if you have a crew of at least 4, use a photo camera. If your project is more similar to news gathering (e.g. moving around and filming people) or involves filming a show, use a camcorder (or two).

Your budget should also involve a video tripod (they are not the same as photo tripods) and sound equipment. Possibly, your project would also benefit from being shot by 2 cameras simultaneously, which you chose at the final cut.

Asher Kelman June 22nd, 2018 04:49 AM

Second Jerome’s succinct advice.

You need a method of synching pictures from different sources. Professional movie-makers used to only use a synch signal, but now common background sound is pretty much as good. There is one based on sound which is simple and excellent. I recommend “Plural Eyes” and for that you need a Mac. Record sound separately on a handheld small stereo digital recorder such as the Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder for $180 from BHPhotovideo.

Tripods for video are inexpensive at the lower end and fine for the job. They allow rapid adjustment of height with a handle and swinging to follow the movement. The benefit of an extra camera from another angle is really appreciated when it comes to editing. Always take stills of the place as one can get fill in footage from a still by asking the software to move across the picture in a certain pattern and zoom in or out smoothly on the way. So for each place, also take high resolution stills just in case.

If possible go with the same make of camera and lenses so that the different takes have the same effect on color. Also include at least a grey card in each session of filming or a Gretag McBeth mini color card as a reference. I believe that is my X Rite.

Good luck!

Asher

Jerome Marot June 22nd, 2018 09:38 AM

Just a few comments:

Quote:

Originally Posted by Asher Kelman (Post 185116)
You need a method of synching pictures from different sources.

Using a clap board (or simply clapping your hands in front of the cameras) works just fine.


Quote:

Record sound separately on a handheld small stereo digital recorder such as the Tascam DR-40 4-Track Handheld Digital Audio Recorder for $180 from BHPhotovideo.
Zoom has also nice and relatively cheap recorders. I have been using a H4n for years myself, but there are newer models with more inputs. Audio would need a more detailed description, subjects are:
-microphone placement (as close as one can is generally good)
-use of cables, balanced connections and phantom power
-radio transmitters
-mixing
-and probably a few I forgot.

Quote:

Tripods for video are inexpensive at the lower end and fine for the job.
Not in my experience, they are not fine for the job. Good video tripods have a levelling head, adjustment of the camera balance and a fluid pan function. Of course, if all you want is a static shot any tripod will do.

If one needs a more dynamic image, there are devices to stabilise your cam while walking around.


Quote:

The benefit of an extra camera from another angle is really appreciated when it comes to editing. Always take stills of the place as one can get fill in footage from a still by asking the software to move across the picture in a certain pattern and zoom in or out smoothly on the way. So for each place, also take high resolution stills just in case.
I can only agree to that. Unless the script is adapted to a single camera, it is very nice to have different, simultaneous takes. I have seen pros to use their budget on 10-15 low end camcorders and bring back a product that was much better than the one they would have gotten from a single high-end camera.

Video is nothing like photography. In photography, there is no notion of time.

Asher Kelman June 22nd, 2018 10:34 AM

Jerome,

Of course fluid heads are way, way, better, but I did a complex shoot lof an opera with 6 cameras and if I remember correctly, 3 held hand and no fluid heads and software, AFAIK smoothed out everything, but in anywise, it was superb. If I had just two cameras, I would get fluid heads. No need to take risks!

Also concur on the Zoom brand. Tascam is just another premier brand that is well regarded too.

Asher

Michael_Stones June 23rd, 2018 03:47 PM

Thank you so much, Jerome, Asher. Your feedback about multiple cameras, types of tripod, and sound recording are particularly valuable. My other informants to date included a professional video maker and a national TV network cameraman, neither of whom had much experience of video work with a photocamera. However, the former lives locally I'm sure will offer practical assistance with filming.
Because the initial project involves mainly static camera positioning, my intial thoughts incline toward a photocamera. Both a second camera and tripods are borrowable for the duration. The 'team' includes an experienced playwright, a director with mutiple years of theatrical production, and a couple of volunteers. I'm responsible for the overally content and (with guidance from the video maker) video production. If this first venture has at least a half-decent outcome, the chances of further funding for future projects are very good.
Cheers, Mike


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