Af100/MacBook Pro VS GH2/ Mac Pro Desktop

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Chaos123x, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #1
    Hello I'm planning on buying a new camera soon I can't decide between a panasonic GH2 (kitted out cinema style) or a Panasonic Af100.

    If I go for the more expensive Af100 I will have to sell my octo core 2.8ghz Mac Pro and use my 2.4ghz MacBook Pro for editing.

    I'm worried that a laptop might not be able to cut through avchd footage. Not too worried about losing the desktop computer cause it just kinda sits at my apartment most of the time doing nothing. Most clients want mobile editing since I don't have a studio. Just worried about the avchd on a laptop.
     
  2. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #2
    If you are using FCP and capturing as ProRes, a MacPro (using a 3 drive Raid 5) can playback 11 1920 x 1080 streams simultaneously. A MacBook Pro using a single 7200 rpm drive can play back 3.
    source

    MP: great for high def multicam editing. MBP: not so great.

    I'd imagine that single stream footage with titling and stills etc would be fine on both.
     
  3. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #3
    Downgrading to a MBP from a MP for the sake of getting an AF100 is a pretty big compromise.

    On either camera, you'll be transcoding video to a form that's editable in Final Cut (neither AVCHD nor AVCCAM is truly native to FCP) and you'll lose a great deal of CPU power by downsizing to a laptop. But I suppose you already know that. :p

    Just think of it this way: since you'll have transcode (presumably to ProRes) to even start cutting anyway, you'll be able to get the job done on either machine. You'll just be waiting longer for the laptop to transcode your video. From there, you'll have to decide just how comfortable you are editing in the confines of a laptop 24/7 - along with lugging around external hard drives to store all your media. I've done it in the past, but I honestly don't think I can go back to that.

    You'll also want to evaluate what your future needs will be as an editor, especially in terms of expandability (which is practically nil on a laptop). I'm not a shooter, so the choice is obviously much easier for me.

    Do a cost analysis. Is the AF100 going to get you more work, even at the expense of efficiency? In the end, it isn't the gear you own, but rather, how well you can get the job done and how quickly you can produce results. Those are the things that REALLY matter to clients.
     
  4. Chaos123x thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #4
    Well still not sure what to do. The Gh2 and Af100 are pretty much the same camera in different bodies, but you get a better video controls on the Af100.

    The only reason i'm thinking about getting the Af100 over the Gh2 is just so more people would want to hire me cause it's a real video camera. But then again it seems like everyone nowdays is ditching their prosumer camcorders and are shooting on the 5D mII and T2i with magic lantern. Image quality wise the Af100 and Gh2 are pretty much the same due to the same sensor, chip, codec, and lenses. The Af100 might have a low pass filter to cut down on aliasing, but I hear the Gh2 doesnt really have the problem like the Canon's do.

    The Af100 would be nice to have but i'm not sure I can justify the price when I can get a DSLR that shoots just as well and costs 5 times less!

    Just worried about how it looks to show up to a job with such a dinky looking camera. :eek:
     
  5. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #5
    I wouldn't worry so much about that. Again, the gear you own isn't necessarily what's going to get you hired. Rather, it's the quality of your work. Do you have a reel to show potential clients? I've edited several corporate videos and even a few narrative shorts shot on Canon DSLRs with a lot of success (happy clients). As long as you work within the camera system's limitations, you can and will get good results.

    Do note though that in addition to the low pass filter, the AF100 also has other features the GH2 does not, such as HD-SDI out and XLR mic inputs.
     
  6. pmasters macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2009
    #6
    Please take no offense as I surely do not mean anything by it. But do not waste your money just to look more "professional". Being a professional is more about work ethic and skill than it is the gear you own or how the gear makes you look. If you can do a professional job using the GH2 with less cost, then not only are you still a professional but you then show sound business sense as well.

    The only reason to go from a MP to a MBP is the need to be portable for jobs where dragging your MP is not logical.

    My advice is don't worry so much about how professional others perceive you and focus that energy on providing professional results. Your clients will be reviewing the end product, NOT the gear you shot it on.
     
  7. jwheeler macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    #7
    +1
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    That is not correct. The AF100 and GH2 have use different sensors, different codecs, different OLPF (Optical Low Pass Filter), etc.,. The GH2 is still a still image camera first and foremost that also happens to shoot video where as the AF100 is engineered from the ground up to be a video camera. Barry Green points out some of the differences and misconceptions with regards to the AF100 and GH2 in this thread over at DVXUser.com.

    That's not to say the GH2 can't be used primarily as a video camera and can't create solid looking footage because it can, but he AF100 is a better video camera that can produce better looking footage.

    It's only 5 times less if you don't buy anything else for the GH2. Once you 'kit it out cinema style' you can easily double or triple the price of the GH2 just accessories.

    I liken buying gear to buying shoes. There are tons of options tailored to specific needs and the hard part sometimes can be figuring out your needs first and then buying the shoes based on that. Especially if you don't have much experience and can't readily identify what your specific needs are. I mean, you can go running in a pair of $50 cross trainers but if you wanted to run a marathon the $150 running shoes down the aisle probably make more sense. It's not that you couldn't do it in the cross trainers it's that the running shoes provide the better solution.


    Lethal
     
  9. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Location:
    Australia
    #9
    And that is the take home message.

    The Canon DSLRs (and others) have gained traction as video camera because
    1. They can take professional lenses
    2. They are cheap

    The GH2 looks like a great camera and Panasonic will sell a bunch. But it's a still camera that can take great video ... for a still camera.

    Personally, for my corporate videos I love the deep DOF, auto-this-and-that, zoom rocker and mic inputs my Sony video cameras have.
     
  10. gameface macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2010
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #10
    All my gear is more expensive than my body, by FAR. You really don't get it until you start buying pieces. And there's always something you need/could use. Shooting with a DSLR becomes very expensive once you take all these facts into consideration, not to mention the lenses.

    You never mentioned audio? You need mics and if you are using a DSLR I would suggest a field recorder and go dual-system. I use the H4n and like it much. Do not use the on camera audio of the DSLR for anything except reference to sync to.

    And one of my clients doesn't have a freelance system so they make me bring my laptop in. Going from working mainly from my home studio, I dread when I have to go into their office. If you're doing a lot of editing the MP will be a godsend for a million reasons.

    My $.02
     
  11. Chaos123x thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #11
    I have plenty of lights and mic's right now. I just need to get a nice collection of primes and maybe a zoom for run and gun type shoots.

    Currently I own a Sony HD1000u which is a really awful camera in my opinion, but it was all could afford at the time I bought it. Mostly shoot with full sized broadcast cameras (P2, DVCPRO, Betacam) when I work for places that let me use their cameras. I like the full-sized shoulder mounts, but I like using the true manual focus, zoom, and iris more so. But cameras like those are $12,000 or more and don't get the shallow depth of field of dslrs.

    Anything like that for around $2500? (sans lens).
     
  12. xStep macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Location:
    Less lost in L.A.
    #12
    Will you be using the camera daily? If not, have you considered renting? Perhaps your range of clients and demands vary enough where most times you could go with a HD DSLR. Just a thought.
     
  13. Chaos123x thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #13
    Yeah I'm thinking renting the big stuff might make more sense depending on the shoot. Then have my old camera and Gh2 to do more low budget type thing. I mostly do editing so I guess buying a bug expensive camera might not be the most financially viable option. Though the rental places in Philly charge a pretty chuck of change for renting the Af100, might be better off using a online rental company like lensrentals.com or something.

    I think I'll be fine with the Gh2 limitations since I could
    deal with the limits on my Sony, if I had more money I would get the Af100.

    http://www.eoshd.com/content/549-Panasonic-GH2-AF100-pixel-peeped-AF100-loses
     
  14. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #14
    Well, the thing with equipment rentals is that you can always work them into your bids out to clients. Even as an equipment owner, you should be charging a equipment rental fee anyway to cover the costs associated with maintenance, insurance, etc.

    You'll find that a lot of pros rent their production gear for gigs (more than you might think). This is mostly because they don't want to deal with the direct costs associated with maintaining expensive professional gear. Sourcing from a rental house more or less insures that a) you get the proper gear to get the job done right; and b) have a good outlet to get malfunctioning items promptly swapped out in case something goes wrong during the shoot.

    This is not to say that I'm telling EVERYONE to rent. Some shooters are confident enough with the volume of business they get to justify maintaining their own packages. But I would say you really want to build a decent client base before making that kind of plunge on an expensive camera system.
     

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