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View Poll Results: Higher bit rates & higher chroma subsampling or better glass?
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:28 PM   #1
Lox-StoryConnective
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Question Bits v. Glass

Hi indies,
I'm looking for a good b-roll video camera. My criteria are:
1. A fixed lens camera because I do not want to carry around a set of lenses for it.
2. It is very important that it does not have a 29 minute & 59 second recording duration limit because of the nature of events I often shoot.
3. My price range is $1,600 & less.
4. Minimum 1" sensor.
I normally shoot in 1080 "Full HD" and am looking to upgrade to a 4K camera so that when I do invest in more storage (larger SD cards & HDD back ups), which will probably be late next year, I can transition to shooting in 4K. Therefore, I am looking closely at both 1080 specs as well as 4K specs. All this has led me to narrowing my search field to two cameras:
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ2500 & the Sony FDR-AX100 4K; both have 1" sensors. The following are a list of specs that get me excited about each of these cameras & are relevant to my comparison, so this is not a comprehensive list of all thir specs.

Panasonic DMC-FZ2500 video specs:
4K 100MBps video capture (DCI/UHD) @ 30p/24p | MP4, H.264, Linear PCM, & MOV. 4K video quality is excellent, though there's a substantial crop factor, essentially knocking out the wide end of the lens. I'm not worried about the crop because I have another camera for wide shots. 1080 Full HD: 24p, 30p, 60p | 200Mbps | 120 fps @ 1920 x 1080 | 10-bit 4:2:2 output via HDMI (8-bit 4:2:2 when recording internally) [investing in an external recorder would bring the Panasonic to the same price range as the Sony] | V-Log L ($99 add on): V-Log L has a 'similar characteristic curve to Cineon' and captures 12 stops of dynamic range: the same as on the GH4.
Sony FDR-AX100 video specs:
4K at 100Mbps with free firmware update & up to 30fps | 1080FHD at 50Mbps & up to 60fps | 720HD & up to 120fps

Panasonic DMC-FZ2500 focus: Fully articulating LCD with touchpad autofocus
Sony FDR-AX100 focus: firmware 3.00 update: improved Auto Focus

Panasonic DMC-FZ2500 optics: 24-480mm equiv. | F2.8-4.5 lens | 9 diaphragm blades
Sony FDR-AX100 optics: 35mm equiv. 29mm to 348mm | Max Aperture | 2.8 - 4.5 | 7 blades

Panasonic DMC-FZ2500 reviews of the "Leica lens" on this camera say the glass quality is mediocre, producing not-so-clear images which are soft, especially around the edges. This complaint seems to be launched more at the stills than the video. The Sony's glass, on the other hand, seems to get stellar reviews. This leads me to my trade off dilemma:

Do I go with the better Zeiss glass that the Sony's offering & settle for less data or do I choose the higher bit rates & higher chroma subsampling capabilities of the Panasonic while settling for mediocre "Leica" glass?

I'm also open to other camera make & model suggestions if they meet the 4 criteria listed above.

Thanks in advance :-)

Last edited by Lox-StoryConnective; 11-14-2017 at 02:13 AM.
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Old 11-14-2017, 12:25 AM   #2
jax_rox
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The glass is one of the most important aspects of your image and has a huge effect on your image. The way I see it? What's the point of spending a bunch of money on an incredible camera if the glass you put on it (or that comes with it) is subpar/mediocre/terrible?

My suggestion is to test for yourself, as there's thousands of people on the internet who think they know what they're talking about and far fewer who really do. Secondly, the only person who knows the way you shoot is you. You might find that for what you do the glass on the Panasonic is perfectly acceptable. You might find it's horrible and that makes the decision for you.

Lastly, using an external recorder on everything can often be a right PITA.

See if you can get hands on the specific models, run some tests and see what you think.
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Old 11-14-2017, 02:25 AM   #3
directorik
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lox-StoryConnective View Post
Do I go with the better Zeiss glass that the Sony's offering & settle for less data or do I choose the higher bit rates & higher chroma subsampling capabilities of the Panasonic while settling for mediocre "Leica" glass?
Go with the better glass and settle for less data.
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Old 11-15-2017, 08:01 PM   #4
Lox-StoryConnective
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Thumbs Up

Thank you for the great replies. I'll try to get my hands on the devices before I purchase & see what I like. It's good to know that glass is one of the most important things to be looking at.
Thanks again :-)
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