It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Chris and I, with a few exciting new cameras and a commercial to shoot, so we were shocked to have a shooting day available for an unplanned shoot. The question was what to talk about. The Panasonic GM1 was still unavailable, and most of the videocameras I wanted to talk about had been on the market for a while and already discussed to death.
Chris and I had been joking for a while about doing a short about how over the top the reaction to the Nikon D600’s dust issues had been, and with the D610 arriving it seemed like the perfect time. So, while the D610 may not be the most exciting camera, we thought it warranted a look. So we went to the TCS classroom and ran some quick tests.
The main reason for me wanting to shoot, however, was to test out the new Sony AX1. As mentioned in the video, we just received a 4K TV and we were coming up short for content, so with the AX1 arriving the same day, it seemed like the universe wanted me to shoot a test. The shoot was quick, easy, and the heavily compressed XAVC-S codec meant data wrangling, usually an issue when working with 4K, wasn’t an issue while filming.
Then I started editing.
I use a pretty powerful Mac Pro, built this year with top of the line components to edit, but the XAVC-S format brought this machine to its knees. Initially, the video played great, leading me to believe I could edit natively. However, after a few seconds, the video and audio would fall hopelessly out of sync, with only a frame a second in playback. As you can imagine, this makes timing an edit extremely difficult. So I would edit by analyzing the waveforms, and then export a small version of the video. Watch, edit, re-export, re-edit, repeat. It was a painful process, but it eventually gave me native 4K footage I could get up on Youtube.
The moral of this story though, is that XAVC-S may have small files, but if you want them edited natively, get an absolute beast of an editing workstation.
In the end, while the Sony AX1 footage is really sharp, I’ll take dynamic range and colour space over detail any day, so we’ll stick with the FS700 as our primary camera for the time being. That said, shooting with the F5 last week made me think dragging that gorgeous camera around for some shoots might not be a half bad idea…
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