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Video for Travel: What do you bring? what do you use?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
While tripods, booms, big-sensor DSLRs, and multiple lenses might offer the best video, for travel such rigs are not ideal. So, what's best for practical travel?

For me, who travels often for business without family, I need to travel light, and find time for quick shoots between meetings - no setup shots, all handheld. The Sony GW77 has served me well - it is small, robust, takes sharp video, works reasonably well indoors too with its f1.8 lens. It lacks good still capability and sometimes the 10X zoom is not enough.

I have found the combination of the Panasonic LX7 and ZS30 to be ideal. Both are pocketable, and I have two pockets.

The LX7 is near perfect for museums - the f1.4 24mm lens is well-suited, and the small size does not distract. But its zoom is limited - a big zoom is needed (outdoors) for getting candid shots without distracting and for shallow dof when desired. The ZS30 has the zoom (up to 560mm) and its small aperture is fine for outdoors (but really limiting for indoors and night shots).

Both cameras take good stills.

I have found that a big zoom is really needed for what I want to shoot, and when I really have to travel light (like in China or India or Bngladesh) I take only the ZS30 (not many indoors shots of importance).

Here are two examples making use of the ZS30:

Shooting big birds (herons) in Hong Kong, not possible with even medium-range telephotos:

https://vimeo.com/69374010

In this case the small camera did not disturb the birds, who got used to me stalking them. Guys with big-lens DSLRs would scare them off. It took 8 hours to upload the video from my hotel room, but editing was easy on my Microsoft Surface Pro (I do travel light).

Shooting a street violinist in Berlin:

https://vimeo.com/68584998

Here I could get out of the way of listeners, and not disturb the performance.

I'll post some museum video from Berlin, which makes use of both cameras in a few weeks. And then the combos for videos from Barcelona and Kristiansand, Norway.

What has been your travel experience for video?
post #2 of 27
Thanks to a guy called Markr041, I bought a GW77 and so far no regrets. Always in my pocket when I travel and picture quality is excellent. For more demanding stuff, I use a GH3 with 7 different lenses . rolleyes.gif
post #3 of 27
Thread Starter 
Well, thanks to people like you I got a GH3 (not for travel)!
post #4 of 27
A few points ,you quote zoom to 560mm this review quotes 480mm http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC_TZ40_ZS30/
I have an old FZ150 with basicaly the same video specs and find its video pretty low quality,the video shown looks good but on full zoom it can be difficult to tell quality,i would be interested how the TZ/TS models video compares to the FZ150 in outdoor filming.
post #5 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by flintyplus View Post

A few points ,you quote zoom to 560mm this review quotes 480mm http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panasonic_Lumix_DMC_TZ40_ZS30/
I have an old FZ150 with basicaly the same video specs and find its video pretty low quality,the video shown looks good but on full zoom it can be difficult to tell quality,i would be interested how the TZ/TS models video compares to the FZ150 in outdoor filming.

In video, the telephoto is 560mm (in video, the range is 28mm-560mm; for stills 24mm-480mm). When you want to know a camera's specs, it is best to consult the maker's web site (or the manual), not some review.

http://www.panasonic.net/avc/lumix/compact/zs30_tz40/specifications.html

I do not know what you mean by "low quality." DSLR video (not GH2/3) has lower resolution and more artifacts than small-sensor cams, so what standard are you using?

I have used the highest-resolution camcorder (TM900), and the GH3, FZ200, LX7, GW77. All produce good video, the main differences showing up in low light.
post #6 of 27
I have finally purchased the GW77, thanks to Markr041 and all his excellent reviews. Am looking forward to picking it up in a couple of weeks or so, and adding it to my collection of (dated) camcorders that I travel with; those being a Sony FX7 and a Sony SR11. My next challenge will be seeing how the video shots of all three camcorders mix in my editing software. I use my camcorders, when travelling, to shoot scenery, wildlife, and modern railroads, not to mention family also. The GW77 will come in very handy when shooting the family in amusement parks, at festivals, etc., or for those quick shots that need to be gotten on the fly.

One other thing I can add to this thread, is that I have a couple of excellent fluid head tripods; essential when you have the time to set up your rigs beforehand.
Edited by Railfan - 6/30/13 at 4:04pm
post #7 of 27
Panasonic camcorders and LX, FZ series cameras = lack of detail, odd colors and terrible sound quality. Never again. They have impressive sounding video recording specs, but actual images and sound rendered is mediocre to poor. Canon DSLR's and the late generation Olympus micro-four thirds cameras beat all the Panasonics in image and sound quality.
post #8 of 27
Thanks to a guy called Markr041, I bought a Sony HX9V and continue enjoying it.

My travel "kit" is the HX9V for video and still photo backup for my Sony RX100 (that Mark did not recommend!). Both are small and my hands are big so a Gorilla pod is useful as a simple handle. I also have a very light, carbon fiber monopod that will shrink enough to fit in my carry on bag. I have a spare battery for each. The two cameras share a charger. I recently added a polarizer filter to the kit that attaches magnetically to the lens of either camera. It makes the sky a bit bluer.

I've written many times that I get better shots with small "tourist looking" pocket cameras. No, I don't mean they are as crisp, clear, colorful and detailed as larger equipment. Instead I mean that I can get a better story when native citizens don't hide or run from a big lens or camcorder.

Bill
post #9 of 27
I carry the GH3 with the old 14-140 on it in a little bag pretty much everywhere I go. It is the best compromise of image quality, ease of use and portability I have found.

I do get a little nervous sometimes about how much the darned thing cost, though smile.gif
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

In video, the telephoto is 560mm (in video, the range is 28mm-560mm; for stills 24mm-480mm). When you want to know a camera's specs, it is best to consult the maker's web site (or the manual), not some review.

http://www.panasonic.net/avc/lumix/compact/zs30_tz40/specifications.html

I do not know what you mean by "low quality." DSLR video (not GH2/3) has lower resolution and more artifacts than small-sensor cams, so what standard are you using?

I have used the highest-resolution camcorder (TM900), and the GH3, FZ200, LX7, GW77. All produce good video, the main differences showing up in low light.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OK7uoV5OtfU[ even youtube compression can not hide the resolution difference]my XA10 has the same as the GH2 in tests but would not be suitable obviously as a pocket cam on holliday, i know how to use the FZ150 and simply asked how the Panasonic TZ/TS would compare with the FZ150 in good lght, DSLRs can suffer from M & A but the GH2 i had was even worse.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SD90 View Post

Panasonic camcorders and LX, FZ series cameras = lack of detail, odd colors and terrible sound quality. Never again. They have impressive sounding video recording specs, but actual images and sound rendered is mediocre to poor. Canon DSLR's and the late generation Olympus micro-four thirds cameras beat all the Panasonics in image and sound quality.

Interesting opinion. Here is a ZS30 travel video in which sound is important:

https://vimeo.com/64781375

What's wrong with the sound quality? in what ways are the colors odd (they seem to capture what I saw)? does the video give the impression of a lack of detail?

Do download the original and play it on your best HDTV.

And, how about giving us a link to a superior handheld travel video (no setups with jibs or tracks or sliders) from a Canon DSLR or Olympus m43 with camera audio only (must be stereo, so that eliminates most Canon DSLRs) and no color grading?
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by SD90 View Post

Panasonic camcorders and LX, FZ series cameras = lack of detail, odd colors and terrible sound quality. Never again. They have impressive sounding video recording specs, but actual images and sound rendered is mediocre to poor. Canon DSLR's and the late generation Olympus micro-four thirds cameras beat all the Panasonics in image and sound quality.

Mm i dont think you are being fair regarding regarding Panasonic camcorders and lack of detail,regarding FZ series i would agree there from my own experience,regarding colour my FZ150 does not have bad colour but not of the quality of my Canon camcorder.
post #13 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hong Kong life in the new territories. Panasonic ZS30 (TZ40) in travel action:

https://vimeo.com/69557094
post #14 of 27
The LX-7, easily. Unless I need range, then I don't have anything unless I have my big bulky DSLR with me. But I'm still fairly young (39) and can carry it around all day without any problems with the 70-200 2.8 II. I knew there was a reason I kept lifting weights in the 90's.

Thanks again for your LX-7 recommendation. I purchased a little waterproof bag to take the occasional water video, and it's fantastic!
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=orderHistory&A=details&Q=&sku=724863&is=REG

Shawn
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Shenzhen train station video:

https://vimeo.com/69798481

No trains...

To come: Shanghai Recreation (jazz trio, bumper cars, ballroom dancing, carousel, card-playing, singing, fanning, badminton, and more, all outdoors on a Sunday afternoon).
post #16 of 27
I've posted before that I like your careful style and enjoy seeing parts of the world through your lens. You have again demonstrated your discipline at seen and capturing color, motion and light. You never make me dizzy with pans, tilts or zooms. And, you make ordinary scenes into interesting clips with framing and skilled composition.

Thanks and I'm looking forward to the next one.

What NLE did you use for this one?

Bill
post #17 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks again, Bill. I am using TMPEngc, on my Surface Pro, for lossless editing, as I travel light.
post #18 of 27
sony tx100. love the size, 25mm wide angle, sweep pana, hdr, and 1080 60p avchd
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

Hong Kong life in the new territories. Panasonic ZS30 (TZ40) in travel action:

https://vimeo.com/69557094
Not a single touch-focus pull, even at 0:50? ;-)
1:40 is a good viewpoint.
post #20 of 27
You will be taking photos, no ? - so, you will be carrying a DSLR anyway - so you may as well use your DSLR for video too.

I traveled to NZ this year and did not carry a camcorder, nor did hardly any one else (only 2 camcorders in this 47 person tour group). NZ gallery: http://arcoonastudios.zenfolio.com/f202324166

During the day, I used a 70-300L lens on a Canon 600D DSLR, plus a 8-15mm lens on a Canon EOSM. Most video was shot on the EOSM with autofocus, with the odd telephoto video shot with the 600D on a tripod. @ night I used a couple of low light primes, eg 22mm F2, 35mm F2, 50mm F1.4, 85mm F1.2

1x 23kg suitcase (includes a 4Kg tripod, 2 bodies and 7 lenses) plus 1x 7kg cabin carry on + laptop. Clothes ? who needs them !

A DSLR shoots great video, but a camcorder cannot shoot great stills. Logically, take DSLRs in lieu of camcorders.

This is a silly argument. DSLRs are used in feature films (Sundance winner 'Like Crazy' was shot entirely on a 7D) but camcorders are not. And when the light gets low, camcorders fall over.

I have not used a camcorder for years.
post #21 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepster returns View Post

You will be taking photos, no ? - so, you will be carrying a DSLR anyway - so you may as well use your DSLR for video too.

I traveled to NZ this year and did not carry a camcorder, nor did hardly any one else (only 2 camcorders in this 47 person tour group). NZ gallery: http://arcoonastudios.zenfolio.com/f202324166

During the day, I used a 70-300L lens on a Canon 600D DSLR, plus a 8-15mm lens on a Canon EOSM. Most video was shot on the EOSM with autofocus, with the odd telephoto video shot with the 600D on a tripod. @ night I used a couple of low light primes, eg 22mm F2, 35mm F2, 50mm F1.4, 85mm F1.2

1x 23kg suitcase (includes a 4Kg tripod, 2 bodies and 7 lenses) plus 1x 7kg cabin carry on + laptop. Clothes ? who needs them !

A DSLR shoots great video, but a camcorder cannot shoot great stills. Logically, take DSLRs in lieu of camcorders.

This is a silly argument. DSLRs are used in feature films (Sundance winner 'Like Crazy' was shot entirely on a 7D) but camcorders are not. And when the light gets low, camcorders fall over.

I have not used a camcorder for years.

Thanks for telling us about your travel kit, but your promo for DSLRs for travel *videos* is unconvincing.

With an LX7 (full manual controls for video and ND) and a ZS30 I have in my pockets an f1.4 lens (as wide as 24mm) and much greater telephoto reach (560mm) than all of your lenses combined. I get much better video than your 600D and quite good stills (if I cared) from the LX7.

What's the total weight, bulk and cost of your kit? Mine costs little and takes up practically no space and I can take video any time. And please, counting who uses camcorders among retirees, billionaires, or professional movie makers (or ESPN professionals) is silly.

I went to the link. Obviously you take stills mostly, and you do not make videos you just post video clips. The clips are perfectly fine but do not indicate any special attribute of a DSLR. Do you have some videos? In any of them, are there people or animals or birds or boats or cars that move?
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

What's the total weight, bulk and cost of your kit? Mine costs little and takes up practically no space and I can take video any time.
Every time I return from a trip and watch raw clips I scorn myself for not using a tripod. Then I leave for another trip and don't use it again.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

Every time I return from a trip and watch raw clips I scorn myself for not using a tripod. Then I leave for another trip and don't use it again.
Try a light, inexpensive and easy to pack monopod with a small ball head. I use it three ways (listed below). Coupled with the IS in the camera, results are much better than hand held. My 67 year old (as of last week) arms, wrists and hands are not as rock steady as when I landed on aircraft carriers! Consumer camcorders are small and light enough that a monopod probably has more beneficial effect than for bigger, heavier cameras.

1. Set the ball head so that the monopod extends to the left horizontally with minimum extension. You can now "steer" the camera like a bike. With the hands spread about 24 inches the camera moves less and you still have full range of motion.

2. Set the ball head at an angle and extend the monopod so you can tuck the foot behind your belt, or in your pants pocket and have the camera at eye level. Some use a belt worn camera P&S camera case for a pocket. With IS on, this is close to a tripod. If you stuff your elbows into your ribs, your entire upper body has to move to get the camera to move.

3. Extend the monopod full length and put the foot on the ground. Lean your back against a building or tree. With IS on and the camera nearly rock solid, there is no "tourist shake" in the clips.

I've also held the camera upside down on the monopod and held on to the foot while walking. With IS on, it has a steady cam effect. You have to rotate the clip right side up in post.

My monopod is an Opteca CFM200, made of carbon fiber, cost me about $35 + another $15 for a Giotto ball head, it collapses to 17" for carry on and weighs 13 ounces.

Bill
post #24 of 27
I like travelling light as well, and since mountains are favourite destination the lighter the better. I like takin both stills and videos, so obviously would prefer a camera with a larger sensor - Sony Nex 5R or 6 come to mind. These days I use Canon 550D for stills and Sony H9V for videos, but noticed I often leave Canon at home and accept the poor still quality of the Sony just to avoid carrying too much weight. I wonder what are the opinions of a combo of Nex6/5R for stills - and maybe for video as well? Would the video be much worse that that of Panasonics recommended by Mark?
post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by YLK View Post

I like travelling light as well, and since mountains are favourite destination the lighter the better. I like takin both stills and videos, so obviously would prefer a camera with a larger sensor - Sony Nex 5R or 6 come to mind. These days I use Canon 550D for stills and Sony H9V for videos, but noticed I often leave Canon at home and accept the poor still quality of the Sony just to avoid carrying too much weight. I wonder what are the opinions of a combo of Nex6/5R for stills - and maybe for video as well? Would the video be much worse that that of Panasonics recommended by Mark?

Here are actual video comparisons of the Hx9v and the new Panasonic ZS30 (TZ40):

https://vimeo.com/66520470

https://vimeo.com/66102336

I used the Hx9v to take many travel videos. But the color and resolution of the Panasonic is much better, and the stabilization is also substantially better.

I also have the NEX 5N. The video is very, very soft compared to the ZS30, but the colors are pleasing.

Here is a NEX 5N "garden" video:

https://vimeo.com/29018746

Here is a ZS30 garden video:

https://vimeo.com/64781375

You can download the original 108060p versions to really compare.
post #26 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishywishy View Post

sony tx100. love the size, 25mm wide angle, sweep pana, hdr, and 1080 60p avchd

I liked the big (3.5") touch focus high-resolution lcd a lot on this camera - focus pulls!

Example TX100 tourist video:

https://vimeo.com/23439014
Edited by markr041 - 7/10/13 at 3:22pm
post #27 of 27
When traveling I use the Sony GW77 for video, the Sony WX5 for pictures and some video, and the Panasonic 3D1 for 3d photo's and 3d video. All these units work great for me when traveling. They are all small, and extra battery's for all of them are about the size of a pack of matches.

The GW77 has been a great addition to my cam collection. I'm starting to really like shooting video with it's form factor. It captures very nice video in almost all scenarios. Being waterproof and dust-proof has been a tremendous addtion for me. I can capture video I would otherwise not be able to. It's plenty sharp, and besides the stabilization being a little iffy at full zoom, it's a great little cam.

The WX5 takes beautiful 16x9 pictures and has a nice 24mm wide angle lens. It's super small as well. The 3D1 shoots very good 3D photo's and okay 3D video.

All three fit easily in my pockets when traveling and walking around. Sometimes I wish I had a bigger zoom on these units, but I make due with my feet when the need arises most of the time.
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