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Old Apr 2, 2013, 11:56 AM   #1
Shagrat
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Best Compact cameras for 1080p video?

Hi all,

need to get a reasonably priced third camera to do wide/extra coverage shots in 1080P to supplement my Nikon DSLRs. Mainly for live music video shoots, so low light would be an advantage. ideally a reasonably wide angle lens would also be advantageous.

Looked at a few, but there always seems to be a particular issue with each camera.

Does anybody have any recomendations based on actual use?

Camera will also double as "snapshot" camera to keep in pocket for those times when a DSLR is too much, and my iPhone isn't good enough!

Thanks for any assistance!
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Old Apr 2, 2013, 02:10 PM   #2
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This is the camera you will want to get. I have over the years bought MANY point and shoot cameras and this is the ONLY one that will do what you need it to do in all kinds of situations and especially with live performances.

Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS19 or the ZS20

I just did a 3 camera shoot as a test with this camera and all 3 were this camera and the footage was great... plus the audio out of the fixed camera was excellent... excellent enough that went I brought it into post I was able to sweeten the audio even more.

I have used this camera where I have given a couple to a few staff to be in the audience at live concerts and film from where they were at and it produced great results.

The Panasonic point and shoot cameras seem to be the absolute best above all other brands for capturing great content in less than optimal shooting environments that you find at live music perfomances. The Panasonic LUMIX DMC-ZS19 or the ZS20 are the ONLY ones that I will say with certainty that you will get excellent results with. If you maintain a steady hand or use a monopod or tripod it will be very hard for anyone to tell that you got great footage out of this little camera (atleast that has been the feedback I have got).
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Old Apr 2, 2013, 03:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacBookProzak View Post
The Panasonic point and shoot cameras seem to be the absolute best above all other brands for capturing great content in less than optimal shooting environments that you find at live music perfomances.
While I'm personally pretty happy with the TZ/ZS series, the above is certainly not entirely right.

The main problem with the TZ/ZS series is the 1, slow (dark) lens and 2, small (1/2.3") CCD / CMOS. The two contribute to VERY bad low-light performance. In scenes where, say, the Nikon P300 or the Pana LX 7 (with their very nice lens starting at 1.8/1.7, respectively) records excellent footage (apart from the lack of real resolution with the P300), the ZS series badly fails.

All in all, if you plan to shoot not well-lit subjects, stay away from the ZS series and go for, say, the LX7. Its low-light performance is orders of magnitude better than that of the ZS series.

However, if your subjects are indeed well lit, the situation is different - then, these cameras indeed deliver excellent results.

Finally, the new ZS30/TZ40 is just coming out. In addition to GPS, they'll also record compass and level signals - hopefully dynamically. What's the point? one may ask. Well, I've published several articles on utilizing the compass (along with the GPS) in cameras here at MacRumors - see http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1517256 (an iOS-specific article but also applies to anything else as you can upload, after sme pre-processing, videos shot with the ZS to UbiPix too.)
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Old Apr 2, 2013, 04:14 PM   #4
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Thanks!

Nice to read well considered replies. I shall investigate these options, and see what i come up with.

Any other ideas?
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Old Apr 2, 2013, 04:46 PM   #5
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One other question...

As i will be using FCP x for editing, are there any issues with importing AVCHD files, as opposed to MP4 ...?


I notice the Panasonic Lumix FZ62 (maybe this is the european model number?)
seems to have the option of recording in either format. I've only ever "cut" in DV format up till now, so a bit of a N00b at this!

Looks like the "bridge" camera format may be closer to what i want, albeit more expensive.
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Old Apr 2, 2013, 04:51 PM   #6
Menneisyys2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shagrat View Post
As i will be using FCP x for editing, are there any issues with importing AVCHD files, as opposed to MP4 ...?


I notice the Panasonic Lumix FZ62 (maybe this is the european model number?)
seems to have the option of recording in either format. I've only ever "cut" in DV format up till now, so a bit of a N00b at this!

Looks like the "bridge" camera format may be closer to what i want, albeit more expensive.
FCP X won't have any problems importing AVCHD, including that of any Pana cameras (I've imported a lot of AVCHD videos created with my Pana TZ 7). There are tons of threads discussing this; also, I've written a step-by-step tutorial explaining importing after transferring the entire file structure to your HDD:

1.1 Import into FCPX

1, click the “Import from Camera” icon in the Clip pane, annotated below with a red rectangle:



or select File > Import from Camera. You'll be shown this; click “Open Archive” at the bottom:



2, Now, navigate to the directory containing the PRIVATE or AVCHD directory (the latter is inside PRIVATE in several (but not all – see the multiAVCHD tutorial below!) cases). The following screenshot shows navigating to a directory named “tobackup” , which, in addition to two other directories, has an AVCHD-compliant PRIVATE directory in it:



(You can quickly see it's AVCHD-compliant by it not being rendered as a folder. Should you, say, remove the file PRIVATE/AVCHD/BDMV/index.bdm (the main Blu-ray desrcriptor) from it, it would become un-importable and the whole “PRIVATE” would become rendered as a casual directory.)

3, Here, in this directory, without selecting anything, just click “Open”. The clips will be listed and you can select what you need:



The clips will immediately be imported and you can start working.
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Old Apr 2, 2013, 06:16 PM   #7
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Brilliant! Thanks again

Thanks Menneisyys2. all i need to know, by the look of it.

Amazon uk here I come...
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 03:32 AM   #8
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Canon Vixia HF G20.

This right here
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-VIXIA-Ca.../dp/B00AWZFHG0
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 05:00 AM   #9
Menneisyys2
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Originally Posted by Zwhaler View Post
Canon Vixia HF G20.

This right here
http://www.amazon.com/Canon-VIXIA-Ca.../dp/B00AWZFHG0
Yup, the same camcorder I recommended at, say, http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1564176

Nevertheless, it's a true camcorder pretty with a 2 Mpixel still resolution "only". That is, it may not be sufficient for the OP's " Camera will also double as "snapshot" camera to keep in pocket for those times when a DSLR is too much, and my iPhone isn't good enough!". Also, it's not really wideangle - it starts at 30.4mm, while the above-mentioned P&S cameras all start at 24mm.
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 05:10 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Menneisyys2 View Post
Yup, the same camcorder I recommended at, say, http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1564176

Nevertheless, it's a true camcorder pretty with a 2 Mpixel still resolution "only". That is, it may not be sufficient for the OP's " Camera will also double as "snapshot" camera to keep in pocket for those times when a DSLR is too much, and my iPhone isn't good enough!". Also, it's not really wideangle - it starts at 30.4mm, while the above-mentioned P&S cameras all start at 24mm.

Focal length (in this case, 30.4mm vs 24mm) means nothing, you have to look at it in conjunction with the size of the sensor. It is quite conceivable that the 30.4mm will have a wider angle of view if the sensor is suitably bigger than the 24mm camera.
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 06:17 AM   #11
Menneisyys2
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Originally Posted by Borntorun View Post
Focal length (in this case, 30.4mm vs 24mm) means nothing, you have to look at it in conjunction with the size of the sensor. It is quite conceivable that the 30.4mm will have a wider angle of view if the sensor is suitably bigger than the 24mm camera.
I've referred to equivalent FoV's.
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 11:50 AM   #12
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...mmmm...Ok.... perhaps my experience with these cameras is very different. Most of the stuff that we have shot with this camera has been pretty low light scenarios... however if the stage has zero light on it, this camera will not work at capturing anything decent. Most stages have some light even if it is just a single light bulb, this camera "for me" has been able to capture more than acceptable footage for B roll purposes.

While everyone's experience is different, I can say with certainty that this camera for me and the people in my staff that have used this for well over 73 live performances. They have worked well vs all the other cameras in this low level type camera that have been used as a B roll cam. Like all cameras, regardless of how expensive or affordable they are are, all cameras have flaws. The key I have found is to find that camera that works for the application you want to use it for. You need to play with any camera plenty to find how to manipulate it's weakness and exploit the strength.

For how cheap we were able to get these cameras, we found them to be a great addition to our stable of gear to capture an event.

The statements I have made in this thread are entirely right "for our experience" and the results "we" need out of them. Perhaps our results may not transfer to others experience.... who knows.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Menneisyys2 View Post
While I'm personally pretty happy with the TZ/ZS series, the above is certainly not entirely right.

The main problem with the TZ/ZS series is the 1, slow (dark) lens and 2, small (1/2.3") CCD / CMOS. The two contribute to VERY bad low-light performance. In scenes where, say, the Nikon P300 or the Pana LX 7 (with their very nice lens starting at 1.8/1.7, respectively) records excellent footage (apart from the lack of real resolution with the P300), the ZS series badly fails.

All in all, if you plan to shoot not well-lit subjects, stay away from the ZS series and go for, say, the LX7. Its low-light performance is orders of magnitude better than that of the ZS series.

However, if your subjects are indeed well lit, the situation is different - then, these cameras indeed deliver excellent results.

Finally, the new ZS30/TZ40 is just coming out. In addition to GPS, they'll also record compass and level signals - hopefully dynamically. What's the point? one may ask. Well, I've published several articles on utilizing the compass (along with the GPS) in cameras here at MacRumors - see http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1517256 (an iOS-specific article but also applies to anything else as you can upload, after sme pre-processing, videos shot with the ZS to UbiPix too.)
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Old Apr 3, 2013, 02:40 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by MacBookProzak View Post
...mmmm...Ok.... perhaps my experience with these cameras is very different. Most of the stuff that we have shot with this camera has been pretty low light scenarios... however if the stage has zero light on it, this camera will not work at capturing anything decent. Most stages have some light even if it is just a single light bulb, this camera "for me" has been able to capture more than acceptable footage for B roll purposes.
I've directly compared the low-light performance of the ZS series, starting with the ZS3, to some of the (then-current) bright (starting at 2.0 at most and generally, except for the Nikon, having a 1/1.7" sensor) compacts also offering 720p / 1080p: the Pana LX3, LX5, LX7 and the Nikon P300.

These compacts have all delivered much better video footage under low light than the Pana ZS series. The ZS could only deliver usable footage under really bad lighting (where the other cameras could still deliver quite good video) by switching to the iA mode. The latter lets the Pana switch to the "candle" mode, slowing down exposure and reducing the resolution, to make the image brighter.

Again, this all only refers to low-light performance. Under decent lighting, the ZS series have generally outperformed, say, the Nikon P300, which, according to my own measurements, delivers quite bad true 1080p resolution. In low light however, its video footage is way better than that of the Pana.

All this refers to the 30 fps (US / NTSC) variant of the ZS series; European / PAL models (that is, the "TZ" series) operate at 25/50 fps, which means they gather somewhat more light and have better low-light performance. Not as good as cameras with bright lens, though.
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Old Apr 9, 2013, 05:02 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Menneisyys2 View Post
I've directly compared the low-light performance of the ZS series, starting with the ZS3, to some of the (then-current) bright (starting at 2.0 at most and generally, except for the Nikon, having a 1/1.7" sensor) compacts also offering 720p / 1080p: the Pana LX3, LX5, LX7 and the Nikon P300.
I've made three framegrabs of the LX7, the brand new ZS30 and the popular FZ200 at http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51256024 .

As you can see, the LX7 is significantly better than the ZS30 under low light - as was very easy to predict.
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 06:46 AM   #15
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Olympus Pen E-pm1 Mini 14-42mm Silver is a good camera according to your specification. It is light weighted, Mini 14-42mm and thus very handy to carry....
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 07:31 AM   #16
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Hi all,

need to get a reasonably priced third camera to do wide/extra coverage shots in 1080P to supplement my Nikon DSLRs. Mainly for live music video shoots, so low light would be an advantage. ideally a reasonably wide angle lens would also be advantageous.
Would a Sony RX100 fit your needs? I picked one up after reading the great reviews it got, and I'm ridiculously happy with it. It takes great pictures and video, big sensor, etc. I have a feeling you'll even get more out of it than I currently do (I'm still learning photography).
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Old Jun 24, 2013, 07:54 AM   #17
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If you want some really nice quality images then I would recommend the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera.

m43 mount and when paired with a nice pancake lens it has a very small form factor.
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