Small Carry Video/Hybrid Kit

Replytoken

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We had quite an interesting discussion in this thread about a small carry kit - https://www.mu-43.com/threads/small-carry-around-kit.109400/. I am posting this companion thread not for academic purposes, but in addition to a small carry kit, I am also interested in a camera that can also provide useful video. I have been wanting to dabble in video for some time, and in looking at what compact cameras offer, the compromises related to video as as interesting as those related to still images - i.e. frame rates, type of flip up/out screen, EVF, AF system, microphone jacks, etc. So, I thought I would see what forum members who also shoot video have settled on for a com pact camera that also provides useful video. My search in the compact realm has mostly led me to models from Panasonic, Canon and Sony, with the latter really pushing the envelope these days. Any thoughts or experiences would be greatly appreciated. And for those of you who use an external microphone, do you have a compact model that you like?

Thanks,

--Ken
 

John M Flores

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Going from stills to video is like learning a new dialect; some of the words sound familiar but a vast majority of them are new. And I'm not talking about the technical side - shutter angles, color grading, and so on - but rather the storytelling side - what is this one shot communicating, what is this next shot communicating, what is this sequence of shots communicating, are there gaps in the storytelling arc, etc.

That's been the biggest learning curve for me, and as an autodidact I learn by doing, making mistakes, and then doing some more.

So for me, a camera like the humble GX85 or the bag full of action/360 cameras that I now own are more than enough to make mistakes to learn from. I'll often record the audio to a separate device (a. 32 bit Zoom F2) to give me cleaner, simpler to set up audio, and I'm slowly improving my editing skills.

But again, when I'm staring at Premiere Pro, my biggest questions are often about the arc of the narrative because I can always Google the technical challenges.
 
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I too am a video noobie. I don’t understand all the tech or the process, but like @John M Flores, I keep it simple. I use my iPhone for shooting video. It actually does quite a nice job, except for not having a zoom. As he said, being able to tell a story is the essential part.

I bought an Olympus LS-P4 for recording audio if I use one of my Olympuses. Haven’t used it much yet.
 
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Replytoken

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Going from stills to video is like learning a new dialect; some of the words sound familiar but a vast majority of them are new. And I'm not talking about the technical side - shutter angles, color grading, and so on - but rather the storytelling side - what is this one shot communicating, what is this next shot communicating, what is this sequence of shots communicating, are there gaps in the storytelling arc, etc.

That's been the biggest learning curve for me, and as an autodidact I learn by doing, making mistakes, and then doing some more.

So for me, a camera like the humble GX85 or the bag full of action/360 cameras that I now own are more than enough to make mistakes to learn from. I'll often record the audio to a separate device (a. 32 bit Zoom F2) to give me cleaner, simpler to set up audio, and I'm slowly improving my editing skills.

But again, when I'm staring at Premiere Pro, my biggest questions are often about the arc of the narrative because I can always Google the technical challenges.
Exactly. Back in 2012, when I was in chemotherapy and had a lot of time to sit and think and read, I told myself that someday I would learn to shoot video. I had a very healthy respect for the technical end of it, but much more for the story (and all of the setup needed to get what was needed to tell that story). During the pandemic, I ended up watching a lot of video to unwind at the end of the day, and again became fascinated with it. So, I decided to learn more about shooting and trying to make a few clips. I picked up the Sony ZV-1 since it was beginner friendly and could both handle a lot of the technicals while still offering decent control and IQ if I was able to progress.

There is still a lot about the camera controls and settings that I need to master (and wish there was a forum for ZV-1 owners), but even with just shooting short clips, I am still finding it to be a difficult transition. I suspect that I am going to need to burn my first 10,000 clips until I get somewhat proficient, which is a bit unusual since I like to read and understand before doing. I have been doing that, but I still feel like my clips are just moving stills. If my beloved and I were traveling, which we advised not to do because of underlying health conditions that may leave us unprotected despite getting vaccinated, I might find "the story" a bit easier to see.

--Ken

P.S. I know that we have some video forum sections, but if you also know of any place where I might be able to ask specific ZV-1 questions (as a beginner), I would be happy for any suggestions (other than DPR). I do not believe that Amin has any other forums that are geared to Sony video shooters.
 

ac12

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Few ideas and thoughts:
  • Plan a story board.
    • Because a video has to flow, you need to plan how to get from scene A to B to C to D.
      • It is easier to plan and shoot a clip and not need it, than to later be assembling the movie and find you don't have a clip that you should have shot.
        • Example scene 20 is downtown LA, and scene 21 is downtown NY. How did you get from LA to NY? The missing scene in between, is the plane trip from LA to NY.
    • Your short clips have to fit into the larger picture, and FLOW.Chapter titles
      • Because you cannot put a caption on a video like you can a picture in an album. One of the tricks that was used in the past, is to shoot a sign, like "Welcome to Yellowstone National Park." That becomes like a chapter title for what follows.
        • You will remember where you went this year, but in five years, you may have forgotten. Or your young children were too young at the time to remember where they went.
        • If you plan it, you will shoot it. If you don't plan it, you might not shoot it.
        • If you don't shoot it, you have to overlaying text onto the video in post production. Which is a lot more work.
  • Audio can be important.
    • The camera mic will pick up too much sound/noise around you, so you want an external directional mic.
    • Depending on WHAT you shoot, you may use different mics.
    • As others have done, a separate audio recorder is another option, for better audio. But then you have to merge and sync the audio to the video. BTW, that is what the "clap boards" were for.
  • Music is a whole different dimension that can really help a video.
    • But it has to be use appropriately and with care. It can help, but also hurt the video.
  • Editing
    • Old Hollywood saying, "no one sees what is on the cutting room floor."
    • Keep the best, and cut the rest.
    • Only the person who shot the video wants to see 20 hours of vacation video. CUT it down to a "reasonable" session time.
Shooting video is VERY different than shooting stills.
  • I learned the hard way, that any changes has to be done SLOWLY.
    • A FAST pan or zoom will visually upset the viewers.
      • This was/is my problem. As a stills photog, I move as fast as I need to, to get the single shot. Moving SLOW is against my nature.
    • Watch movies to see and study how they zoom and pan.
  • Because video is continuous, you need to have a STEADY camera, for the entire shot, be it 5 seconds or 90 seconds.
    • For many of us, this means a tripod with a fluid head.
    • I've seen handheld gimbals, that seem to do the job. But I have no experience with them.
gud luk
 

Replytoken

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Few ideas and thoughts:
  • Plan a story board.
    • Because a video has to flow, you need to plan how to get from scene A to B to C to D.
      • It is easier to plan and shoot a clip and not need it, than to later be assembling the movie and find you don't have a clip that you should have shot.
        • Example scene 20 is downtown LA, and scene 21 is downtown NY. How did you get from LA to NY? The missing scene in between, is the plane trip from LA to NY.
    • Your short clips have to fit into the larger picture, and FLOW.Chapter titles
      • Because you cannot put a caption on a video like you can a picture in an album. One of the tricks that was used in the past, is to shoot a sign, like "Welcome to Yellowstone National Park." That becomes like a chapter title for what follows.
        • You will remember where you went this year, but in five years, you may have forgotten. Or your young children were too young at the time to remember where they went.
        • If you plan it, you will shoot it. If you don't plan it, you might not shoot it.
        • If you don't shoot it, you have to overlaying text onto the video in post production. Which is a lot more work.
  • Audio can be important.
    • The camera mic will pick up too much sound/noise around you, so you want an external directional mic.
    • Depending on WHAT you shoot, you may use different mics.
    • As others have done, a separate audio recorder is another option, for better audio. But then you have to merge and sync the audio to the video. BTW, that is what the "clap boards" were for.
  • Music is a whole different dimension that can really help a video.
    • But it has to be use appropriately and with care. It can help, but also hurt the video.
  • Editing
    • Old Hollywood saying, "no one sees what is on the cutting room floor."
    • Keep the best, and cut the rest.
    • Only the person who shot the video wants to see 20 hours of vacation video. CUT it down to a "reasonable" session time.
Shooting video is VERY different than shooting stills.
  • I learned the hard way, that any changes has to be done SLOWLY.
    • A FAST pan or zoom will visually upset the viewers.
      • This was/is my problem. As a stills photog, I move as fast as I need to, to get the single shot. Moving SLOW is against my nature.
    • Watch movies to see and study how they zoom and pan.
  • Because video is continuous, you need to have a STEADY camera, for the entire shot, be it 5 seconds or 90 seconds.
    • For many of us, this means a tripod with a fluid head.
    • I've seen handheld gimbals, that seem to do the job. But I have no experience with them.
gud luk
I have been trying to take these steps to hear while I have just been playing around learning how to "see" and shoot, mostly stuff that I will delete. I am trying to get the ZV-1 set up so I do not have to fiddle around when shooting, and that alone has been a challenge. Between their 500+ page manual and their very dense menu system, they make Olympus menus look positively easy. Thankfully the ZV-1 has decent AF, stabilization (if you do not mind the slight crop), microphones (with an input option) and AF, so I have a few less things to worry about as I try and get comfortable. Once I get some muscle memory for this, I think that it would be more enjoyable to focus on "the story" and not the technicals. Thankfully, I am not in a hurry, the ZV-1 doubles as a pocketable stills camera, and it did not cost a fortune. So, there is little pressure to perform, and that makes it easier to play around and get comfortable.

Years ago I read that if Robert Capa were alive, he would probably have moved from stills to video. It was just an opinion from somebody who knew him well, but it struck me as to what they believed he wanted to accomplish, and that was to tell a story with impact. I still believe that can be done with stills, but I have gained a new found respect for video as a storytelling tool as well. I am not sure that I will ever be half as good with video as I am with stills, and I have a long ways to go there, but at least I have a good idea of how to tell a story with images.

--Ken
 

ac12

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There are things that simply can't be done with stills, which are natural with video.
If there is a time gap between the action and result.
Example a basketball player shooting a basket. He jumps, shoots, and lands on the floor, THEN the ball goes into the basket.

The other thing is that people today are more tuned to video than stills.
The family photo album is not what it used to be.
And with video you can HEAR the subject. I would love to have a video where I could HEAR my grandparents, rather than silent still pics.

If I were starting over, and 40 years younger, would I go stills or video. Probably video.
Back then, the only practical portable consumer video was Super-8 film. And for the video guys, as I remember, a Super-8 cartridge only lasted for 3 minutes.
 
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Audio is important, either at capture or in editing, often both.

Small cameras, even with IBIS and/or lens stabilization, can be challenging to implement smooth videography.

Indoors, need good light. Always. Outdoors is easier.

If I had to re-tool video first with stills second, I’d grab the EM1.3 and the 18-25/4 and 12-100/4. With those you might want to add a SmallRig handle and be done.

Some shots require tripods. They just do. I use a GorillaPod 5k with my EM1X.
 

Replytoken

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I find that making short vignettes like this a good exercise in video storytelling.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/xdfwGeoAopWkX3pAA

Shot with my phone because is an exercise in storytelling, not the technology. And I didn't want the pizza getting cold.
Yes, this is what I had in mind when I am feeling a bit more confident behind the wheel (literally since the ZV-1 only has a rear wheel for settings). There is a guy by the name of Emeric on Vimeo that has done short pieces when he travels throughout Europe that I really like, and that kind of video is what I would eventually like to produce, so short vignettes are a good starter exercise.

--Ken
 

John M Flores

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Yes, this is what I had in mind when I am feeling a bit more confident behind the wheel (literally since the ZV-1 only has a rear wheel for settings). There is a guy by the name of Emeric on Vimeo that has done short pieces when he travels throughout Europe that I really like, and that kind of video is what I would eventually like to produce, so short vignettes are a good starter exercise.

--Ken
You could set the camera to P and take it from there, seeing where P mode is insufficient and how you can compensate for that deficiency.

I shot the little vignette with a new phone in auto mode. I can see a problem with focus with one shot and how the exposure changes when pouring wine into the second glass. Now I have some technical research to do..
 

Replytoken

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You could set the camera to P and take it from there, seeing where P mode is insufficient and how you can compensate for that deficiency.

I shot the little vignette with a new phone in auto mode. I can see a problem with focus with one shot and how the exposure changes when pouring wine into the second glass. Now I have some technical research to do..
Thankfully the ZV-1 is not too bad out of the box. I am comfortable with most of my setting choices, but changing them for different situations is where I am getting trapped up in their menu system.

--Ken
 

Replytoken

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I would practice short storyboards, and just a few vignettes, just to get you into the production video flow mentality.
Yes, I have been running a couple in my head. Unfortunately we are still not travelling, and there are less exciting "stories" around the house, but there are still some good things I can use for practice.

--Ken
 

John M Flores

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Thankfully the ZV-1 is not too bad out of the box. I am comfortable with most of my setting choices, but changing them for different situations is where I am getting trapped up in their menu system.

--Ken
How do you like the camera? I'm interested in it.
 

Replytoken

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How do you like the camera? I'm interested in it.
Good question. It is my first 1" sensor camera. I looked at the Canon G5/7 as well, but ended up with the Sony since it packed a lot of new technology. First and foremost, it was designed for video first, especially for vloggers. The screen flips out and all three connections (USB/HDMI/Mic) are all on the opposite side, so it is easy to outfit if you buy a small cage.

The primary control on the back is a wheel, and it reminds me a lot of my GF7 (and many other cameras that only have a single rear control wheel). Sony gave a hot shoe and a triple capsule mic at the expense of an internal flash and EVF. I am a fan of EVF's, but this is not necessarily a bad decision. They also provided a large video button next to the shutter button. I am indifferent to that. The lens lacks any threading, but there are threaded mounts that can be attached with some type of adhesive.

The camera can be continuously powered by the USB cable, so use as a webcam should not be too hard, but resolution as a webcam is somewhat restricted via USB. Battery life is horrible, as is the case for the RX100 bodies as well. The body is made of a composite plastic to help it dissipate heat better. And despite having a small grip, it could use an aftermarket L grip or grip cage to allow better handling and easy access to the battery when mounted on anything like a tripod.

Now on tot he good stuff. Sony went all out for frame rates at AF. You can shoot unlimited 4k at 30fps if you are paying attention to how hot the camera is and you are not shooting in very hot conditions. They also offer 120fps at 1080 with good IQ, as well as 240, 480 and 960 with degraded IQ. There are numerous log profiles available, so if you like to grade your footage, you are good to go. It has two levels of stabilization, but each cuts into the frame, thus your 24mm equiv. ends up more like 30-35mm equiv. There are several aftermarket wide angle adapters that "fix" that and they are quite popular with vloggers. Sony also revised their "color science" and it seems that their stock profile is more appealing.

The AF is what really blows me away. It has a tracking system unlike any I have seen, and its eye and face recognition is also incredible. I can see why so many folks have moved to Sony. From my limited experience and from watching some video reviews, it just seems to work, and a moving object is not an issue. There are a lot of AF options offered, and I am still trying to figure out what are the best settings in different situations.

I picked it up during a recent sale when it was marked down to $649.00, so with the equipment I traded in, it was not a huge investment. If you really wanted an EVF, there are RX100 models to consider. But, this has the sensor of the VII model combined with the fast lens of the V model at a substantially reduced price compare to those models. And it borrows some AF technology from wither one of the 7 or 9 bodies.

In sum, it is not perfect, but if you have any interest in video or fine with a flip out screen, it is worth consideration if you are okay with a 1" sensor. I never thought I would consider a sensor of this size, but for video, it delivers. I will say that there is a huge amount of distortion at the wide end if you look at an uncorrected raw file ( i.e. in Fast Raw Viewer), but otherwise I am still evaluating what can be "extracted" from the sensor when shooting stills.

To close, if you are wanting a pocket camera and are also interested in video, then this is definitely worth consideration. It reminds me of the original Rabbit GTI; it packs a lot of horsepower in a compact, everyday package. Let me know if you have any specific questions that I can answer.

--Ken
 

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