Looking to buy the Panasonic HC-X1. Before getting it, I need your help.
I have read some comments elsewhere about needing to convert the MP4 or MOV files before they can be imported to FCPX (i have the latest version) running on MBP 2015.
I checked Cameras supported by Final Cut Pro X page (
). It is supported by caveats 2 and 6.
2 - Final Cut Pro X: Learn more about media formats and creating optimized media.
6 - For better performance, optimize 2K and 4K files.
I am using a DSLR - canon 70D now and have no troubles with having to optimize anything.
Will this camera work well with FCPX out of the box or would I be better off buying another camera. Having to convert every file before I work would be a major pain and I am sure it would take a long time
Karsten addressed the playback performance issue with h.264, namely most current Mac's can process that fairly well. However, there is another reason to optimize that media, as suggested by Apple. Not only is playback easier on any system, but Prores 422 optimized media will withstand more moderate color grading and the application of multiple effects to your clips by preserving quality better upon export. Highly compressed formats such as h.264 won't sustain the quality quite as well upon exporting.
The quality issue is only when you are duplicating over generations. As for grading and compositing, the H.264 stands up just fine, unless your Mac has issues with playback. Quality is quality on exporting, H.264 and ProRes of the same clip will be the same on export. Again, the quality is only about multiple generational transcoding. That doesn't happen inside of FCPX.
Thank you everyone for your guidance. It's a 2015 MBP so should not be an issue, but I do notice that things can become a little jittery with 4k from a Mavic pro so it might be time to optimize if I am going to start working with 4k as a default format.
I bought one last month and I am very happy with this HC-X1 ( with exception of a few things it is identical to the Panasonic AG-UX180 and there are lots of tutorials for it search for Barry Green AG-UX180 videos)..Also, invest in a good shotgun mike as well. I record everything in MOV mode. Have no problem with direct import into FCPX. Of course its a memory hog once you record in 4K or UHD format. I use an IMP 10 core and it works like a champ. Good luck and enjoy..
simon.yates wrote: Looking to buy the Panasonic HC-X1....
My documentary team uses the DVX-200 which is similar but has a micro 4/3 sensor. For years before that we used several DVX-100 DV cams.
They are good cameras for field ENG-type or documentary work. They have lots of hard buttons and modes.The build-in ND is really handy. For someone coming from a 70D, it will require some study and practice to use effectively. It is a professional tool and is *very* easy to accidentally put the camera in a mode that produces poor results.
Be very careful about handing the camera to an inexperienced operator and assuming they'll get good results because "it's a camcorder". IMO if you have any pick-up shooters, they're better off using a DSLR or consumer camcorder than something like the HC-X1 or DVX.
Good as the HC, HPX and DVX series are, I've come to prefer using larger-sensor mirrorless cameras for field documentary work. Despite the limitations it's easier to get a cinematic look with those -- provided you have the right lenses and technique. OTOH it's cumbersome dealing with screw-in variable ND filters, changing lenses, etc. The Panasonic professional camcorders are a cost-effective "grab and go" solution that works well, given an experienced operator. Be advised the slow motion (high frame rate) modes on the DVX-200 don't look that good; I assume the HC-X1 might be similar. This is typical with any high-frame-rate camera: you have to actually test it under expected shooting conditions to determine how it will look.
Re FCPX and handling H264 4k, on the DVX-200 we use the 100 mbps codec at UHD 4k, 29.97 and it works fine. However like most H264 4k codecs, you often need to transcode to proxy for best editing performance. You do not need optimized media but proxy often is needed -- even on an iMac Pro. You definitely need it for 4k H264 multicam.
Thank you for the well thought out reply. I am no a professional, but my target capabilities led me to this camera. I have been shooting a Canon 70D for five years. It has done me well, but I have out grown it. I have been watching Barry Green's videos on the UX 180 and reading his book.
I want 60 FPS 4K, smith results, good colour representation, less noise, ND filters, not getting dust into the mirror when changing lenses, setting white balance using white cards, etc.
Primary use case is shooting my son as he ages. I might use the camera several times a week, or not for a few weeks. Having read your reply, I wonder if this camera might be too difficult for me. I have order at a local store, but not taken possession yet. It does have a lot of auto capabilities I can use in a pinch. I know manual focus is better, but sometimes there is not enough time to take to set it up - try shooting a four year old - I need to be ready in seconds. If shooting a landscape or wild life, I would have time to use the tools to set up the focus better and what not.
I feel I can grow into the camera, but it is a lot of money if I am proven wrong. if I need to fiddle with setting for five minutes each time before I shoot on manual, I feel this camera will not work for me. However, if I can use auto for most situations, then it would work for me. I know that I can going to have to do some setup when I get it. I have been taking notes from Barry Greens tutorials.
You see, it is the same with my magic pro. I know manual works better as I don't get the white balance or exposure changing while filming. Sometimes I have to reshot because of this, but auto helps me set up quicker, and when shooting I know the limitations and try to shoot around them.
Thanks for the info on FCPX. I will look into proxies.
Is this camera too much for me? I have two weeks to decide.
simon.yates wrote: ...I have been shooting a Canon 70D for five years. It has done me well, but I have out grown it....I want 60 FPS 4K, smith results, good colour representation, less noise, ND filters, not getting dust into the mirror when changing lenses, setting white balance using white cards, etc....Primary use case is shooting my son as he ages.....
For this application I would not recommend the HC-X1. It has a huge zoom range and an extreme telephoto which is rarely needed for "family"-type shooting. Much family shooting is indoors. The HC-X1 won't do well in low light -- even our DVX-200 with a larger micro-4/3 sensor is weak in this area.
Your cheapest solution is get the free Magic Lantern firmware for your 70D and get a fast general-purpose zoom lens like the Canon 17-55 f/2.8. Magic Lantern transforms the video ability of Canon DSLRs:
… a few comments from the hobbyist corner = no broadcast quality:
4k/60p – have you watched home-brewn recordings in that format? That 'window into the world' effect is nice with landscapes, time-lapse, rock solid tripod/no pans etc … but chasing a toddler, handheld, around the Christmas tree (= no light) ?… a shaky, blurred, grainy pic doesn't get better in 4k nor with 60fps …
sorry for the lame phrase "best camera is the one in your pocket" - soooo true with family recordings (I'm the 'they grow up so fast'-documentarist in my family)! Don't underestimate the schlepp-factor, which includes batteries, tripod/gimbal, rain-cover, flash …
except, your kid is playing center-forward in his/her team, from your standpoint a mile away on the green, long-lens is rarely needed; more (super)-wide lens. For 4/3rds, my dream would be a 10-18 zoom…
4k has one major advantage: family (grandparents…) demand prints - stills from 4k give superb prints (reminder: hobbyist speaking here); …
My recommendation would be a Sony 6300/6500 (low light beasts), the kit-lens, and - who cares for budget! - the forementioned 10-18… skip the 60p part.- ok, audio is minus on those two … for any concert performances, I recommend an ext audio recorder anyhow …
conc. future proof: just recently, for a 'Son, your life so far!"-project, dig thru my shoebox of old miniDV-tapes, +18y old recordings - yes, looking old (DR? never realized then, those cams had any LOL), but hey, it IS old! Who knows the viewing habits in 30 years? … compare: pics of our grands have to be b/w, or sepia - eeks! - … color looks … wrong.
My #1 asset for a family-video-device would be usability, based upon size/weight, 'all auto' quality, focal length, avail ISO. … done.
Hmmm... I know the weight and size will be a challenge. I do want something hat will work in more environments than less. Waiting is not a bad idea. technology capabilities will only trickle down.
I am not worried about low light. Most of the shooting is out and about. When he is running around, I am always wide. I don't like getting sick from my own films The X1 is 2.8 - would this not capture enough light? My canon 70D at 4.0 captures a lot of light. I know the technology is different, just trying to learn.
simon.yates wrote: ...I am not worried about low light. Most of the shooting is out and about. When he is running around, I am always wide. I don't like getting sick from my own films The X1 is 2.8 - would this not capture enough light? My canon 70D at 4.0 captures a lot of light. I know the technology is different, just trying to learn.
Evaluate your previous material and check what % was shot indoors vs outdoors. Most people shoot a lot more material indoors, because that's where people live most of the time. Most indoor shooting is fairly low light and wide angle -- you'll never use the HC-X1's 508 mm lens (35mm equiv) indoors.
The HC-X1 lens is f/2.8 to f/4.5, so for wide shots it would be closer to f/2.8. However the 1" sensor only gathers so much light with a f/2.8 lens. Our DVX-200 also has a Leica f/2.8-4.5 lens and despite having a much larger micro-4/3 sensor it is mediocre in low light -- even at the wide end of f/2.8.
Note, "low light" doesn't mean night shooting or indoors with only candles burning. It's anything that's significantly lower light than outdoor or brightly-illuminated indoor scenes. Viewed this way, we live most of our lives in "low light" conditions.
When evaluating low light or indoor image quality of cameras, you can't rely on the little LCD panel on back. It's too small. You'll need to download the clips and view them on a 15" laptop or larger desktop screen.
Newer-generation sensors do better at a given size, so an APS-C sensor on a Sony A6500 will do better than the same-size sensor on the 5-yr-old 70D. However if you're mostly happy with the 70D, just want to expand your capability, the cheapest way is use Magic Lantern firmware and get a pro or semi-pro lens like the Canon 17-55 f/2.8.
You mentioned 4k/60, but this is difficult to obtain in most cameras without other tradeoffs. E.g, the Panasonic Lumix GH5 has 4k/60 but the micro-4/3 sensor is much smaller and doesn't do well in low light, even at f/2.8.
Karesten's statement about "the camera you have with you" is important. The latest smart phones take excellent video, especially something like an iPhone 8 Plus. The sensor is small but Apple probably spends more on iPhone camera development than Nikon and Canon combined on all their cameras.
You can also add high-quality external lenses to an iPhone, which are still quite compact and relatively inexpensive. If you combine these with a gimbal, the results can be very good. An iPhone 8 also does 4/60 using HEVC. However the image quality might be slightly less than 30 fps. FCPX can edit HEVC on newer machines but this may require transcoding to proxy.
joema wrote: …You can also add high-quality external lenses to an iPhone, which are still quite compact and relatively inexpensive. If you combine these with a gimbal, the results can be very good. …
… again, an addendum from the Uncle Scrooge corner:
tried two cheap ones, one demanding to glue a 'ring' on the phone (here: some cheap 'sacrifice camera'), another one with some clip-on mechanics = underwhelming. Even by my low standards. Meanwhile, you get solid cages to mount iPhone and attach extra lenses … pricey and … really?
All those cinematic iPhone examples in the net are done from a tripod or with a motorized (=huge, clunky) gimbal, all! Superb, but clunky. Compared to a 4/3, Sony6xxx, Canon M50, you name it.
Bought me for my iPhone6 a GLIF-like grip… and some app, Musemage, which offers a superb software stabilizer (don't knowing, how the newer iPhones are equipped?)
Unintentional Shake and odd framing differers amateur from pro …-
we live most of our lives in "low light" conditions.
… sounds funny, being all moles, but spot on
In cars, twilight bar-b-q, shopping malls, sport-arenas, … all astonishing low light places. Even professional lit stages are … dark. At our school, the tech-crew 'discovered' mono-chromatic LEDs, stage dipped into painful 'bright' blue = almost zero content on my 3 diff. cams in use.-
… and, you can have a f0.9 lens - when the sensor doesn't catch the photons, no pic at all. And pushing ISO to 256.000 often gives just 'dancing dots/grain', but no pic.
So, I like Joes comment about checking your actual recordings.
Add the ones, you were not able to do … because of what? …
Finally - a shaky, vertical (eeks!!) 'her first steps!' is worth a million, and nobody cares for iso, brands, amplification, wotever.-
Very finally: don't miss those precious moments in life, just because taking pictures.-
I have not responded in a while due to two responses that have had me cancel my order for the panasonic and rethink what it is that I need.
Going to a smaller sensor does not make sense. A full frame sensor would be ideal, but the costs are prohibitive. I think the APC is the smallest I want to go, though the GH5 does perform really well. I like depth of field.
Colour accuracy is important. 4:2:2 at 10 bit is also ideal, but without a good camera, I would just be getting noise. That is the toughest part of all these preferred settings. At the end of the day, I want great colour detail, great bokeh, enough detail that will stand up to colour grading and other effects.
Oh, and stabilization is important too. I am not a professional, but I want my end product to look good and take my many years into the future.
My Canon 70D continues to perform well so I will continue to figure out the best camera. I can only afford one, and don't want to send more than about 3K. A lot of good cameras are two to three years old so I expect a lot of tech to come out between now and CES.
The SONY FDR-AX700 is one of the leaders, but I want to see what else is coming out. Am I over thinking this or in the right direction?