Friday, February 22, 2013

New Nikon D7100 - GH3 killer?

Is this the GH3 killer?  So soon?  With its true weathersealing, new moire-free Toshiba sensor (demonstrated by Andrew Reid on the D5200), headphone jack, dual SD card slot and $100 lower price - is the D7100 a true hybrid still/video competitor for the GH3?

It will really depend on how the video looks (the only video Nikon has released to date is a low-res ISO 6400 flash clip, which you can see here).

But a few things are certain. It will not match the noiselessness of the GH3's electronic shutter, wi-fi capability, unlimited continuous video clip length, articulated LCD and 1080/60p.  And it doesn't have the GH3's choice of bit rates and codecs.

The D7100 looks like a solid competitor for the GH3, but, in my view, it is not a GH3 killer.

Tellingly, Nikon's product video for the D7100 doesn't mention video at all.  The video images from this camera may turn out to be great, but from a marketing perspective, ignoring consumers who are interested in video is a fail.

All of that said, if you already have Nikon lenses, and you want a potentially moire-free, weatherproof still/video camera with a headphone jack that is not much larger and heavier than the GH3 - the D7100 may be the camera for you.

If so, and if you find the information here useful, please support future reviews, and video tutorials by pre-ordering your D7100 from these links at Amazon or Adorama. Thanks!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

A Few Panasonic GH3s Available and Shipping Now

I am certainly grateful to have been able to get my GH3 in December, but for those who have had a hard time finding one in stock and need one now, there are a few available new for $1299.99 from National Camera Exchange via eBay - and at least one available used from Amazon for $1222.64.

Let's hope Panasonic gets more cameras into the distribution channel soon.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

More Signs of the end for 35mm Filmmaking?

I know this is a blog about digital still/video hybrid cameras, but I grew up in film school in the '70s shooting on Super 8 and 16mm  - and aspiring to shoot 35mm.  Llife happened, and I never got to shoot my "big 35mm feature", but it is nevertheless sad to see the long, slow death of a century year old technology/art form.

A new blog post from Shane Hurlbut, ASC  brings this into focus - as does a Keanu Reeves-produced documentary called Side-by-Side.

Shane's blog post, "Digital Cinematography vs Film: Tides are Turning" recounts his decision process as he and his director, Scott Waugh, set out to determine whether to go with film or digital on Need for Speed, the  new Michael Keaton vehicle.

The line in this post that jumped out at me was, "What was immediately clear was that film was not the right choice for this project..."

Also interesting is that the list of cameras that Shane tested for use on the picture includes cameras we have written about (and considered buying!) here, on this lowly blog - the BlackMagic Cinema Camera and the Canon C500.

Shane is on the leading edge, along with George Lucas, Jim Cameron and Robert Rodriguez (and the readers of this blog :)).  Not everyone welcomes this revolution, however.  For proof, see Keanu Reeves' excellent documentary, Side-by-Side

For anyone interested in movies or moviemaking, this is an awesome behind the scenes look at the revolution that is transforming Hollywood. Here is the trailer:

Two thumbs up.  Kudos to Executive Producers Keanu Reeves and Justin Szlasa, and Director Christopher Kenneally for this great piece of contemporary film history.

If you like the trailer, you can watch the full length movie on Amazon Instant Video (free for Prime members, $5.99 for everyone else).

Monday, February 4, 2013

Audio Technica AT835 and the GH3 - Pro mic vs Consumer Mic Shootout

Here is a test of my "new to me" Audio Technica AT835 plugged directly into the GH3.  I bought this AT835 used on eBay for $75 shipped.  This is not unusual.  If you are patient, it is possible to find deals on many old XLR shotgun mics.

To get the 600 Ohm balanced XLR output from the AT835 into my 2500 Ohm camera, I bought a Hosa MIT-156 XLR to 3.5mm line matching transformer for around $20.  You can pay more for a Shure A96F, but the Hosa does a great job.  Here is a picture of the setup, with a $23 Rainbowimaging pistol grip:

Please watch the video below to see how the $75 used AT835 stacked up against the $80 Azden SMX10 consumer mic, also plugged directly into the GH3.  Not to prejudice you before you listen to the test, but this experience tells me that picking up a used pro mic on eBay can be a pretty good investment - especially when compared to the price of camera mounted prosumer mics such as the $229 Rode VideoMic "Pro".

After trying the two mics out side-by-side, I am very glad to have adapted a pro mic to the GH3.  The only challenge is the length of the AT835. As you can see from the video, it is literally a "shotgun" - and sticks pretty far out in front of the camera.
I will probably end up getting something a little shorter (maybe a used Sennheiser K6/ME64 for about the same price as a VideoMic Pro), but, in the meantime, the AT835 is a great solution.
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