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Using a laptop to record video

Discussion in 'Filmmaking' started by JoJo, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. JoJo

    JoJo Mu-43 Regular

    176
    Mar 19, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    JoJo
    I think the EM-5 is very capable of producing a professional quality video! My only reservation is the file size. I wonder if it would be possible to record video out to a laptop rather than to an internal card. That would get around the file size limitation (maybe).

    Your thoughts and advice?
     
  2. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    Olympus doesn't have tethering capability, so it's not possible. I don't even know if a WiFi SD card would allow that.
     
  3. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    what are you planning to shoot? if you need long continuous shooting times then you need a dedicated video camera....

    not sure what you are trying to achieve... why is file size your concern?

    K
     
  4. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    With the AF100 I can record 6 hours total of AVCHD on a 64GB SDXC card. With an E-M5 you should be able to get even more{higher compression rate than the pro AF100}. There is a time limit on the E-M5 of 29 minutes per clip. Do make sure to get class 10 cards for the best HD video recording.
     
  5. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    There really shouldn't be many, if any, times when you'd need to record anywhere near 29 mins in one go; most videos involve short clips that are then compiled into one movie. I think it would get exceedingly boring if you had to look at one continuous clip that went for even a minute with no variation.
     
  6. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    836
    Feb 29, 2012
    If you need to record long events like a play, concert etc, a dedicated video camera would make more sense. Both my GH2 and GH3 can record for hours with a large enough card, no time limits. The GH3‘s battery is large enough to handle 2 hrs of recording.

    None of the Oly's can do that, and battery life will be a problem also even if you use an HDMI recorder to work around the 29min issue.
     
  7. ahinesdesign

    ahinesdesign Mu-43 Veteran

    432
    Dec 6, 2011
    NC, USA
    Aaron
    It is certainly possible to record to a laptop or tower - I do so for work every week - but its not a simple plug-and-play operation.

    At a minimum, it requires a camera with live video output (not sure if any m4/3 cams do that other than GH3/GH4) plus hardware to interface with the computer (HDMI, SDI, etc. to USB 3, Thunderbolt, etc.). An easier alternative might be an external SSD- or CF-based recorder, but you'll still need clean video output from your cam.

    At work we have a Mac Pro tower that accepts SDI through a PCIe input card, and records to a drive array (8TB). Also have a way to capture SDI/HDMI via Thunderbolt to a laptop for portable capture, but its more about having a larger display than just capturing, since drive space quickly becomes a problem. We record two ~75 minute videos each Sunday (I work for a church) at 1080i 59.94 in ProRes. Each file is around 200-300 GB, so files consumes drive space quickly, hence 8TB of capture storage. Our JVC cams will record to an SD card as well - 32GB card captures about 115 minutes at 35Mbps - but we are mixing three cameras live, and record our program output for later editing (minimal) and distribution. Its a bit different than shooting a typical on-location production, where you end up with a lot of shorter clips. Our setup is more like a broadcast studio, where cams are fixed and have external power connections (the batteries won't last long enough to fill a 32GB SD card).

    For a single camera shoot, I would just record to a SD card. If you need very long continuous record times, rent or buy a dedicated video camera (you'll still have to contend with battery life).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    But do you do this with an Olympus camera, like the E-M5, for example?
     
  9. ahinesdesign

    ahinesdesign Mu-43 Veteran

    432
    Dec 6, 2011
    NC, USA
    Aaron
    No... That's why I went on to say that live video out is the key to an external recorder, and only the Panasonic GH-series of cams will do that.
     
  10. JoJo

    JoJo Mu-43 Regular

    176
    Mar 19, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    JoJo
    I record special events, seminars, etc. We work with two manned Sony HD broadcast cameras ( one wide and one tight). I would like to set up an unmanned inconspicuous camera facing the audience. The events always last for at least 45 minutes before taking a break. This means my unmanned camera would have shut down.
    I already own several EM-5 cameras and small notebooks so I hoped to use them. It looks like I am going to have to buy another video camera just for this application. it is a shame because the EM-5 produces very good video!
     
  11. JoJo

    JoJo Mu-43 Regular

    176
    Mar 19, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    JoJo
    A Panasonic body might work well. It also would allow me to use my Olympus lenses. Which Panasonic models offer the best video?
     
  12. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The GH4 that is coming out would be the best followed by the GH3. All Panasonic cameras do good video but you need to decide on a few things first.
    #1 Do you need mic inputs! Not all Panasonic models have mic jacks.
    #2 How big do you want the body to be? The GH3 and 4 are rather large, almost DSLR size, the G, GF and GX series are smaller, with the GM being tiny.
    #3 How much can you spend? The GH3 isn't cheap and the GH4 is even more plus you would have to wait as it was just released.
    #4 Other specs like battery life and video codec used might be relevant too.

    http://shop.panasonic.com/shop/came...x-digital-cameras-interchangeable-lens-models
    You can look at the specs for each current model and find the one that fits your needs.
     
  13. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I don't think Panasonic or even Red produce their cameras with the thought that they will be used for what is effectively TV broadcast recording work (camera running non-stop), but for movie production where there are story boards, specific scenes etc that will eventually be compiled into a movie. If people want a camera designed to be pointed at a scene and left to record, then a regular video camera would be a much better choice, especially as you're hardy going to be requiring cinema quality results.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    632
    Jan 4, 2014
    AFAIK what you want is not possible. It sounds like a decent size operation, so why not consider the G6, GH2, GH3 or possibly GX-7?

    PS: The GH3 is very solidly built, and they took care to ensure that it does not overheat. Sounds like people using it for longer recordings/frequent work find it very reliable. I only use it for shorter stuff like OzRay mentions, so I cannot personally vouch for that.
     
  15. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    836
    Feb 29, 2012
    I've used my GH2 and GH3 to record hour long events with no issues.