Camcorder with changeable lens

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    • #70930
      AvatarDave
      Participant

      Hi, I am looking for a camcorder to use for wildlife filming. I currently use a Panasonic V720, which gives acceptable results, but I would like to 'take the next step' and would like a semi pro camcorder that has the ability to add lens, ie, 50-500mm for added reach or is there a semi pro camcorder that has a built in zoom of 50x? Any advice welcomed.

      Dave

    • #208864
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      Hi Dave – there are 50-60x "superzoom" cameras such as the Panasonic FZ70, Sony HX300 and Canon SX50 – but their video image quality is no better than your V720.

       

      The longest optical zooms on modern prosumer camcorders are the 21x zoom on the $1200 Panasonic AG-AC8 and  the 20x zoom on the $1699 Canon HF G30.

       

      These cameras will provide better image quality, but no lens flexibility.

       

      If you want to maximize your lens options, your maximum telephoto length and your video image quality, you may want to look at the Panasonic GH3 (on sale for $998 at Amazon as of this post) or a Panasonic G6 (on sale for $648 as of this post), matched with a $485 Panasonic 100-300mm lens.

       

      These cameras have a built-in 2x "crop" (with an apparent increase in focal length), because of their sensor size.  They also have an additional 2.7x crop with their built-in lossless Extended Tele Converter (ETC) mode.

       

      This gives you a 1620mm(!) equivalent focal length with a 300mm lens.

       

      Here is what the GH3 can do with a 300mm lens and the ETC mode (please watch at 1080p):

       

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmZv4JTlWX4

       

      Here is another ETC example – shot with the G6:

       

      http://vimeo.com/69864670

       

      Hope this is helpful!

       

      Bill

      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #208868
      AvatarDave
      Participant

      Hi Bill,

      Thank you for a detailed response, I like the look of the Panasonic AG-AC8, and note is is a 21x zoom, but on the lens it says 50x, which is confusing. Never thought of the Panasonic GH3, would I get the same image quality as from the Panasonic AG-AC8?

       

      Regards

      Dave

    • #208916
      AvatarLaguna Hiker
      Member

      Thanks for your post, Bill. Very informative.

    • #208968
      AvatarNickKnows
      Participant

      Add in the Ex-tele factor of 2.4x (in video mode) and you have an effective crop factor of 5.2x rather than 4.8x.
      So your 100-300mm lens is effectively even longer at 520-1560mm equivalent …even better! with no loss of picture quality.  GH3 is fine if just the subject is moving, however if you are moving it does jiggle alot.

    • #208983
      AvatarTunguy
      Participant

      Hi Bill, since Dave asked about interchangeable lens CAMCORDER, would you not have considered the Sony VG30?Just asking…

    • #208872
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      Hi Dave – The 21x is the optical zoom number. 50x refers to the "intelligent auto" (iA) electronic zoom.  Panasonic claims that iA zoom preserves image resolution, but these digital zooms usually cause some level of image degradation.

       

      With or without the iA zoom, the image quality from the $998 GH3's 4/3" sensor and 72mpbs max bit rate will be much better than from the AG-AC8's tiny 1/4.5" sensor and 28mbps max bit rate.

       

      Again, hope this is helpful,

       

      Bill

      Hybrid Camera Revolution

    • #208880
      AvatarDave
      Participant

      Hi Bill, Thanks for all your help, it looks like a Panasonic GH3 & 100-300mm is a great option.

      dave

    • #208989
      Avatarbrunerww
      Member

      I certainly would have if Sony had a 300mm E mount system lens and a 5.4x total crop πŸ™‚

       

      The VG30 is a great camcorder (I have shot with a rented VG20 and was tempted to buy one), but for this particular application, the camera with the smaller sensor, larger crop and longer system lens had the edge.

       

      Best,

       

      Bill

      Hybrid Camera Revolution

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