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 Post subject: Movie Mode Zooming
PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 7:33 am 
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I would like to purchase a good camera, but price is a significant concern. In terms of use, for stills I have lots of experience and can evaluate a given system -- mostly in terms of lenses -- for my needs/interests. I am, however, a complete beginner in movie photography -- never owned any sort of a movie camera.

As I have tried to gather information and understand what I am reading, I think I am quite confused as to which camera/lens combinations provide electronic, battery-driven control of zoom. I have had store clerks try to be helpful by demonstrating how today's generations of Auto Focus can be used to effect an electronic zoom, as for example, when the AF has clamped onto the face of someone walking toward the camera. Nice as that is, that is not what I think I need. I need the smoothness of a motor assist so that if I zoom from wide angle to maximum telephoto while looking at Mount Rushmore, I will get a quality result. I might use a tripod or I might just have to get by with hand-held and thank goodness for image stabilization, but if the zooming is done with my remaining free hand, it will not look like a good movie zoom.

I would much appreciate any recommendation on camera/lens systems that you think are good in that mode -- anything from the high end of super-zooms, to micro-four-thirds or other 'mirrorless' solutions that keep the bulk, weight and cost down, would seem perfect to me. Or, if I am trying for a price/peformance combination that does not exist, I would appreciate learning about what mid-range of DSLR you think hits that target. I probably, then, won't be able to afford it, but at least I will have a better idea of what it would cost.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:24 pm 
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Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
This is a question for the buying a new camera section, so I've moved it there.

If you want a motorised zoom while filming, I'd recommend a good super-zoom camera, like the Canon SX30 IS, Panasonic FZ45 / FZ40 or Panasonic TZ10 / ZS7. You can see an example of the zoom in action while filming video in my TZ10 / ZS7 review at:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panas ... _TZ10_ZS7/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 7:01 am 
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Location: Winterpeg, Manisnowba, Canada
I agree with Gordon, you'll certainly want a Superzoom. It seems that the zooming is important to you, which superzooms excel in! Also, their video modes with stereo audio is very nice, and improves your videos. For superzooms, I'd recommend the Canon SX30IS, the Nikon P100, Fuji HS10, Panasonic FZ45, those are all good choices that you can't go wrong with.

The micro four third "EVIL" (Electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens) camera systems are nice, and they have their advantages. Although their zooms still don't compete with those of a superzoom, nor are they as compact. Although, they do offer features such as their larger sensor, interchangeable lens capabilities, more features, better controls plus a video mode that is comparable. The problem with these "EVIL" cameras is that the lenses can be expensive, especially for a big telephoto.

-Evan

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:29 pm 
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Tcorbet - If Video is one of your primary needs, and Zooming while doing Video - drop the Fuji HS10 from the list.

The HS10 is a good camera, particularly for low-light and high-ISO (for a P&S), and while it has RAW and Fast-Continuous shooting, Video isn't at all a strong point with it.

The Video quality itself can be good - the Std 1280 x 720 seems better than the Full 1920 x 1080 - but it is very awkward to control.

The Manual twist-zoom that is so very fast for still images - it doesn't need the "Step-Back" type button the SX30 has - unfortunately does the same with Video.

That is - the twist-zoom is too high-geared for smooth zooming with video. Any movement starts-stops too "suddenly". I do Video with it in short-ish clips, and adjust with crossovers / transitions in editing.

Also - all Video "control" is Automatic - no Focus or Exposure controls.

From what I've seen of the samples - Canon's SX30 has the best Video functions in the curent crop of Bridge Zooms. See Gordon's comprehensive Review of it on this site.

Dave.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 5:05 am 
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I'd have to agree with Dave there, the video on the HS-10 isn't the "Super Strong" point. The quality isn't bad I guess, but the real setback I think is the zoom control on the lens barrel itself. Now this is all fine and dandy for doing photography, as it makes you feel like you're holding a DSLR which is very comfortable. Although for video zooming, it's awkward to twist your wrist while shooting a clip unless you have the camera mounted on a tri-pod. Otherwise, you'll get some terrible camera shake!

Perhaps you should do some more considering on the SX30 IS or the P100? These are two great cameras, especially the P100. Generally, Nikon lags behind Canon with their P&S series cameras, although this one really is a showstopper! This site here ranks it their #1 superzoom, and I don't think that I blame them.

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-Evan

Gear: 7 Nikon Nikkor AI-S and AF-S lenses, SB-700 flash, Nikon D7000, Nikon FM, variety of accessories

"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs."
- Ansel Adams


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 9:16 am 
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Location: Sydney, Australia
EvanK - Before I bought the HS10 - and while waiting for Fuji's firmware updates to fix the initial strange problems, the 24-30mm JPEG distortion, the JPEG 'Fine' smearing, etc - both fixed at 1.02 - I did about 3 months Hmmm-ing and Hahh-ing over 3 cameras - HS10, P100, and Pentax K-X.

I already had some K-mount and M42 lenses for Pentax. And the HS10 and P100 use the same BSI sensor.

The K-X dropped out, because I wasn't at all sure I knew enough to use a DSLR properly - and the K-X has its focus-screen and a couple of other "issues" - to be fixed in the next model, said Pentax.

A friend bought a P100, had it from Friday to Monday, and returned it. On that Saturday afternoon I "shared" the P100 with that friend, for several hours, swapping it for my Canon SX10, and each trying the other camera. Apart from 6x more zoom, the SX10 eats the P100 for handling and JPEG quality.

The friend "just loved" the SX10 and the vast number of settings and adjustments. When she took the P100 back, she swapped it for an SX20.

Which doesn't have the SX10's Superfine JPEGs, and a few other things. She'll swap the 15-months newer SX20 + $50.00 for my SX10.... Ahh, nope...!

The P100 might be a little better than the HS10 on Video handling, but not a lot. And on low light - and higher ISO..., ah - try the P100 at ISO 1600-3200-6400.... Ooops! Try it on Fast Continuous - the HS10 is all over it! As for the P100 doing RAW and RAW + JPEG at any speed - no, it doesn't do RAW at all.

Try the P100 in Manual Mode... Ohhh..., deahhh! The HS10 is very good indeed in Manual, including handheld. . And the P100 on Manual Focus...? Rather scatty... HS10 on MF - push preset, and move the barrel Focus Ring a couple of mm either way - while holding the shutter button half-down (does nothing in MF, but you're ready to no-delay shoot) - focus centred, and shoot. Fastest and most accurate MF I've ever tried on a P&S...

How many P&S cameras do folk use hand-held, Manual, MF, and when "focus-on" - fire up to 7 frames at over 12fps? Actually - that's "too fast" - there's almost no variation between frames, unless the target is moving very quickly. The 7fps is more useful, mostly, or 5 for more 'time coverage'.

RAW and RAW + JPEG are 5fps or 3fps. The up to 12fps+ is JPEG only.

Unless folk have a high priority for excellent Video and Controls - in which case it's SX30 "hands-down" - the keener-user comp seems to be between the Panasonic FZ100 and the Fuji HS10.

The "Pentax K-X that didn't" will become the K-R that does - when Sydney prices on K-Rs come down to sanity-range.

And it isn't Pentax because I don't like Canon - the SX10 is one heckuva-good advert for Canon! And a nice Canon DSLR and a shelf-full of superb L-lenses do waste a lot of my dreaming-time...!

But no, you don't do that on a pension... So a fairly good Pentax body, a Sigma 17-70mm as walk-around - and my K-mounts and M42s to learn-into. With an "unused, as new" (gift from my landlord) - SMC Takumar Asahi-Pentax 55mm f/1.8 - I'll do that "nice bokeh" thing yet...!

Lotsa-fun learning-into those "ancient treasures"... :D

Dave.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 28, 2010 8:13 am 
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Posts: 12
My thanks to each of you for your thoughtful facts, ideas and recommendations. Even the idea that I, perhaps, don't really need a motor-assisted zoom at all, is a valuable suggestion.

I'm going to stick my Tamron 60-300mm boat anchor on the Canon A-1 and shoot a roll of Ektachrome covering the zoom from near to far on some scene from which I can hopefully eliminate any other extraneous movement, and then play around in Movie Maker to see how smooth or unsmooth I can make things look. Of course that will still leave me with a huge headache for those scenes in which the zoom time lapse needs to faithfully record the sound environment, but it seems like it is a learning exercise that I ought to attempt since I have so little knowledge of the videography world.


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