AVS Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up a Panasonic HC-VX870 to replace my aging TM700. I haven't had the chance to play with it much, but started looking for extra batteries yesterday. The VW-VBT190 is very hard to find (out of stock) and very expensive if you can find them (about $80-90 on average).

I am curious if anyone has tried using an external battery bank to power the VX870? These are widely available, are 1/3 of the price, and have 3-4 times the capacity. The VX870 power cord has a standard USB plug, but I'm wondering if there's something that would prevent it from working.

There are many external battery banks available, but it would be nice to find one that would be easy to attach to my monopod or something. Ideally I wish I could find one with a tripod mount on the top and bottom, so it could sit directly under the camcorder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Wasabi Power has notified me that they are working on the replacement battery for VW-VBT190 and it would be available at a very reasonable price. I would also love to know whether it is safe to use external battery to power the camcorder and have a suggestion for a good external battery!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
533 Posts
If its the same as the 750 (and I believe it is) then any 5V USB source will work.
I use my car charger to recharge the on board battery and other users continue to run the camera from these power packs sold to recharge phones or tablets.
You can buy the power packs from Amazon etc. and you can get additional charging leads from Panasonic accessories dept.


A second VW-VBT190 is useful as is a separate charger run, in my case, from mains or 12V. The VW-VBT190 battery has been common on Panasonic cams from the V720 of two years ago so can be sourced at reasonable prices if you search.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Shooting directly from a USB battery pack works for the WX970 and the V770 (I tested both units powered by a ZeroLemon SolarJuice 20000mAh on the 2.1A output side). No reason to believe that the WX870 does not allow for the same.
Thanks for the confirmation. That might be a workable option until the batteries come down in price.

However, I don't see a clip or anything that could be used to attach one of these external batteries to a tripod or monopod. I don't really want to resort to duct tape. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Has anyone else noticed issues with the autofocus on their VX870?

I have noticed when holding the camera close to a flower, OR zooming in on a flower from a distance, the VX870 often stays focused on the background instead. Even when the flower fills 1/2 to 3/4 of the screen.

I saw this same problem on the FZ1000 when I tested it, so I would assume it's an issue with Panasonics autofocus method, and not a defective camera.

Ironically, I've never really had this issue with my old TM700.

I can switch to manual and focus that way if needed, but that's not always convenient for a spur of the moment shot (like trying to catch a bee landing on a flower). By the time I switch to manual and focus, the bee is gone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
533 Posts
However, I don't see a clip or anything that could be used to attach one of these external batteries to a tripod or monopod. I don't really want to resort to duct tape.


You may need to use some imagination. With the Panasonic lead there is enough length to keep the battery in your pocket. Or use a phone holder etc. etc.


The focus is not a problem with the 750 which will pull the focus after a second or two. (it is a bit slow) I can focus down to 3" from the lens on wide angle in auto focus.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,916 Posts
Has anyone else noticed issues with the autofocus on their VX870?

I have noticed when holding the camera close to a flower, OR zooming in on a flower from a distance, the VX870 often stays focused on the background instead. Even when the flower fills 1/2 to 3/4 of the screen.

I saw this same problem on the FZ1000 when I tested it, so I would assume it's an issue with Panasonics autofocus method, and not a defective camera.

Ironically, I've never really had this issue with my old TM700.

I can switch to manual and focus that way if needed, but that's not always convenient for a spur of the moment shot (like trying to catch a bee landing on a flower). By the time I switch to manual and focus, the bee is gone.


The FZ1000 is a camera not camcorder,the AF on the FZ1000 is not great,i have always found AF on camcorders superior to cameras like The FZ1000
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Would this work with VX870? Thanks for your input!
Personally, I would stick with a pack from either Limefuel or ZeroLemon.

However, I don't see a clip or anything that could be used to attach one of these external batteries to a tripod or monopod.
SmallRig @ smallrig.com may be able to fabricate what you are looking for.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
533 Posts
Usually these items can stack up. First screw in the UV filter and then screw in a suitable hood. This may mean buying a hood with a 49mm thread.
Do not try to use the video light or flash with the filter fitted as the light will reflect into the lens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Usually these items can stack up. First screw in the UV filter and then screw in a suitable hood. This may mean buying a hood with a 49mm thread.
Do not try to use the video light or flash with the filter fitted as the light will reflect into the lens.
Thanks for your reply. But doesn't VX870 come with the hood in the package? Do you mean that the hood that come with the camcorder will not fit once you have the UV filter in?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Has anyone else noticed issues with the autofocus on their VX870?

I have noticed when holding the camera close to a flower, OR zooming in on a flower from a distance, the VX870 often stays focused on the background instead. Even when the flower fills 1/2 to 3/4 of the screen.

I saw this same problem on the FZ1000 when I tested it, so I would assume it's an issue with Panasonics autofocus method, and not a defective camera.

Ironically, I've never really had this issue with my old TM700.

I can switch to manual and focus that way if needed, but that's not always convenient for a spur of the moment shot (like trying to catch a bee landing on a flower). By the time I switch to manual and focus, the bee is gone.
Do you still find the autofocus problematic or have you found the way around the issue?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Do you still find the autofocus problematic or have you found the way around the issue?
Other than a few quick tests around the house, I have only had one outing that I could test the VX870. Unfortunately, in just 10 minutes of video there were several clips from that day that had focusing issues.

1. I stood about 8 feet from a bush with a flower and zoomed in slowly. It looked fine at first, but as it zoomed in closer it stayed focused on surrounding bushes and the center flower became a total blur. Even when the flower filled the majority of the screen. Switching to manual focus was the only way I could get the flower in focus.

2. I tried filming some kayakers on our local lake, looking through some thin branches. They were bare with no leaves, but the VX870 stayed focused on the thin branches instead of the kayakers. I could not see this on the small view screen and didn't realize it was out of focus till I downloaded the footage back home.

3. I tried filming some cattail plants that were standing in a marshy area in front of a forest. The VX870 focused on the trees in the background instead of the cattails in front. Again, I couldn't see this on the view screen.

4. I had a shot looking out onto the lake, with a cabin and trees on the far side of the lake. The VX870 focused on the twigs and grasses closest to me along the bank instead of the lake or trees that filled the majority of the screen.

5. I tried a couple of macro shots with different plants that were about two feet in front of a chain link fence. Zoom was at full wide, camera was held maybe 12" from the plant. The VX870 focused on the fence in the background instead of the plant filling the center of the screen.

All of these shots were in the IA+ mode, except for a manual white balance (cloudy setting). I film a lot of nature and scenery and never had issues like this with my old TM700. The FZ1000 I tried behaved the same as the VX870.

I didn't have a chance to try it that day, but I might get better results using the AF/AE tracking. Unfortunately, you have to enable that every time you turn the camera on (or open the view screen), then touch the subject on the screen. That's assuming you can even tell you're out of focus on the view screen in the first place. Most times I couldn't.

Manual focus is an option, of course, but it is not real convenient to access for a spur of the moment shot. It's buried in a couple of menu options.

I am still debating whether to keep the camera or not. When it's in focus the clips from the VX870 look awesome. But I had a lot of out of focus shots in a single outing which worries me. 4K is useless if it is out of focus, and I couldn't always tell from the view screen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Other than a few quick tests around the house, I have only had one outing that I could test the VX870. Unfortunately, in just 10 minutes of video there were several clips from that day that had focusing issues.

1. I stood about 8 feet from a bush with a flower and zoomed in slowly. It looked fine at first, but as it zoomed in closer it stayed focused on surrounding bushes and the center flower became a total blur. Even when the flower filled the majority of the screen. Switching to manual focus was the only way I could get the flower in focus.

2. I tried filming some kayakers on our local lake, looking through some thin branches. They were bare with no leaves, but the VX870 stayed focused on the thin branches instead of the kayakers. I could not see this on the small view screen and didn't realize it was out of focus till I downloaded the footage back home.

3. I tried filming some cattail plants that were standing in a marshy area in front of a forest. The VX870 focused on the trees in the background instead of the cattails in front. Again, I couldn't see this on the view screen.

4. I had a shot looking out onto the lake, with a cabin and trees on the far side of the lake. The VX870 focused on the twigs and grasses closest to me along the bank instead of the lake or trees that filled the majority of the screen.

5. I tried a couple of macro shots with different plants that were about two feet in front of a chain link fence. Zoom was at full wide, camera was held maybe 12" from the plant. The VX870 focused on the fence in the background instead of the plant filling the center of the screen.

All of these shots were in the IA+ mode, except for a manual white balance (cloudy setting). I film a lot of nature and scenery and never had issues like this with my old TM700. The FZ1000 I tried behaved the same as the VX870.

I didn't have a chance to try it that day, but I might get better results using the AF/AE tracking. Unfortunately, you have to enable that every time you turn the camera on (or open the view screen), then touch the subject on the screen. That's assuming you can even tell you're out of focus on the view screen in the first place. Most times I couldn't.

Manual focus is an option, of course, but it is not real convenient to access for a spur of the moment shot. It's buried in a couple of menu options.

I am still debating whether to keep the camera or not. When it's in focus the clips from the VX870 look awesome. But I had a lot of out of focus shots in a single outing which worries me. 4K is useless if it is out of focus, and I couldn't always tell from the view screen.
Are you the one who uploaded the video of flowers on youtube because I saw a similar symptom of focusing issue on that video. My VX870 is on the way and it is quiet disappointing to hear that! Anyway, thanks for your answer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Are you the one who uploaded the video of flowers on youtube because I saw a similar symptom of focusing issue on that video. My VX870 is on the way and it is quiet disappointing to hear that! Anyway, thanks for your answer.
I did not upload a video to YouTube, but I think this is the one you are talking about:


The scenes around the 1:00 and 2:00 minute marks are similar to the focusing issues I have noticed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I prefer to use manual focus in general, but on most cameras, there is a quick auto-focus button in urgent situations. Does this camera have anything like this? I can't seem to get around clicking thru the on-screen menu, setting it to auto, and then back to manual, to keep the focus steady. Any thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
243 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I prefer to use manual focus in general, but on most cameras, there is a quick auto-focus button in urgent situations. Does this camera have anything like this? I can't seem to get around clicking thru the on-screen menu, setting it to auto, and then back to manual, to keep the focus steady. Any thoughts?
Nope, there's no quick auto-focus button on the VX870. If you're in manual mode, you have to select manual or auto focus through the menu system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Thanks for the affirmation. I also wish this thing had a quick review function (that plays the last video shot and then returns back to shooting mode) I can dream, can't I? Is there anyone from R&D on this thread???
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top