Post Magazine

November 2016

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FIELD REPORT www.postmagazine.com 37 POST NOVEMBER 2016 remote desert locales in Nevada and Utah, to capture images of isolated wildlife and scenery, as well as clips of railroads and trains, a favorite subject of mine. Overall, I was extremely pleased with the camera. I shot both 1080p HD footage ("FHD" in the Panasonic parlance for Full High Def 1080p, as different form "HD" for 720p footage) and UHD footage, and lots of samples of 4K. In hindsight, I should have shot it all in UHD, but that is part of what we call, 'a learning curve!' Let me start with some lens observa- tions, in regards to the DVX200. The cam- era does not have interchangeable lenses. Many cinematographers will poo poo the idea of a "built-in" lens, but when it comes down to it, I know very few shooters that take advantage of the various lenses they can mount to their cameras. I have observed this and read from others on this subject; eventually most shooters get used to a single lens then stick to it. That said, I think the Leica 13x, opti- cal 12.8–167mm servo-zoom lens will fit most people's needs (35mm equivalent is 28-364mm telephoto in FHD. It narrows to 30mm equivalent in the UHD realm). I would have liked a tiny bit more telepho- to reach, or maybe a 2x extender, but it worked great for most of my composi- tions on my trip. Focusing is easy and very clear in the viewfinder as well as the LCD, and there is a focus assist button that highlights edges while setting up your shot. It is very effective, although it does not work while recording. Some external record- ers with their own screens have similar focus-assist systems that will work while recording, however. The servo-zoom is also very smooth, once you figure out the press-depth you need to hit, on the rocker switch, to get it moving. I found that if I pre-zoomed a little in the planned pull-out or push-in shot, that I could not see the frame moving at all until it had already been in motion for a bit. Very nice! The DVX200 has a very effective image stabilization system. I tested it under a variety of shooting conditions. In HD it boasts a 5-axis hybrid system or in UHD it is optical only. It was very effective for handheld, but of course if shooting UHD but finishing to HD, post produc- tion image stabilization can be flawlessly achieved. Battery life on this camera was amaz- ing. I had a little trouble getting started, as I had a charger malfunction, but once that got solved, it was easy. I more or less could shoot all day on a battery that fits in a pocket. The touch screen, which is also the main monitoring screen while shooting, stashes inside the top handle in a very clever pocket. It slides out and can be twisted for rear or front viewing, but it unfortunately does not pitch to the side at all, which could help in some outdoor shooting environments, with the sun to your back. It is very bright, but like all screens, becomes difficult to see in bright sunlight. The menus are fairly intuitive, albeit plentiful — lots of pages to leaf through. The touch controls work very well and a light touch will always do fine. Fortunately you can access many of the menu items via a switch and roller system on the lower chassis, because inevitable finger prints will begin to col- lect on the screen if one's hands are less than spotless. In my case, it was sun- The DVX200 on- location in the sunny Southwest.

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