With the clunkily-named AG ROP app, Panasonic brings remote, wireless operation to the reasonably popular AG-DVX200. Released in 2015, the AG-DVX200 arrived as the long awaited successor to the popular AG-DVX100. Ages ahead of its younger brother, the DVX200 lends itself to a variety of uses due to its form factor and its specs and features: with a single 4/3 inch sensor, XLR inputs, DCI 4K and 120FPS overcranking at Full HD, it can handle the rigours of run & gun documentary style shooting, as well as a more filmic aesthetic. Most importantly, it looks like it means business, with its red tail and a carbon-fibre-looking body. Make sure you check out Sebastian’s review here for more on the camera. With the release of the AG ROP (AG Remote Operation Panel), Panasonic follows on the steps of its Image App which allows WiFi remote control of its Lumix range of cameras, as well as smaller camcorders. With controls for master pedestal, colour temperature adjustment, knee, ND filter setting and more, the AG ROP builds on the usability of the Image App’s basic remote controls for shutter speed, record trigger, iris, and zoom and focus with compatible lenses. The app can also be used to browse and preview the different clips stored in the cameras’s memory card. This drastically increases the usability of the camera, especially when leaving the camera shooting unattended or when mounted on a crane. It is always a nice touch when manufacturers extend the functionality of a product for free through firmware updates or peripheral content such as apps, but there are a couple of things to consider in the case of the AG ROP. Unlike cameras all over the price spectrum that offer WiFi as standard, the Panasonic AG-DVX200 does NOT support WiFi connectivity natively. In order to use this function, the camera requires the use of the optional Panasonic AJ-WM30 or ASUS USB-N53 WiFi dongles. Also – and this could very well be due to the screen real estate needed to house all the features that the AG ROP offers – the app is only available for the iPad. In other words, it does feel like this app will only really favour shooters who may already own the tablet rather than open up full WiFi functionality for all DVX200 owners with a smartphone. So all in all, sure, a nice addition from Panasonic. But one that might not really make much of a splash in the greater scheme of things. You can get the app from the App Store for free here.Read more
For different camera manufacturers, there are different “gurus” who have emerged over the years, or often decades. Those are users who dived deep into the technology of cameras early on, and have loyally stuck with one manufacturers over all those years, and thereby becoming the go-to-guys for that brand. For example, you might know Alister Chapman (and his amazing blog XDCAM-User), who’s name is directly linked to Sony camera technology – he’s the one who always knows first and best about everything Sony. Alister’s equivalent on the Panasonic side of things is Barry Green, the man who gained prominence through Jarred Land’s DVXUSER.com, an amazing forum site that emerged when the original Panasonic DVX100 was released in the early 2000’s. The DVX100A was my personal first “professional” camera, spending a good chunk of my student savings at the time on that MiniDV camcorder (which was one of the first ones to be able to record progressive frames – in SD, of course). Barry became the go-to-guy for anyone who was using this camera, which became a smash hit – all the DVX100 users were on there, sharing tips and tricks. As the world moved into DSLR filmmaking and later other higher-end professional affordable video cameras, forums like DVXUSER have managed to stay relevant to a degree as one of the most civilized and useful forums in our industry. To make a long story short – when Panasonic release the “rebirth” of the legendary DVX100 in form of the DVX200 (a 4K solid-state camcorder with a fixed lens) earlier this year (here’s our news post), it was clear that it’s only a matter of time before Barry releases his thoughts and tips for the usage of this newly developed and quite feature-packed camera to the world. And now, excitingly, Panasonic released a 279-page Panasonic DVX200 book by Barry Green, available as a free download from the Panasonic website (click here). Whether you’re in the market for this camera or own it already, it’s certainly the best and most comprehensive resource for this still very new camera. From Panasonic’s Press Release: NEWARK, NJ (December 10, 2015) – Panasonic has announced the immediate availability of Barry Green’s A Guide to the Panasonic AG-DVX200 Camera, a comprehensive reference e-book for customers and users of the new AG-DVX200PJ 4K large-sensor, 4/3” handheld camcorder. The book can be downloaded free at http://info.panasonic.com/dvx200-ebook.html. A Guide to the Panasonic AG-DVX200 Camera is an interactive digital book examining all the DVX200PJ’s features, settings and modes, as well as tutorials on some of the most common situations users will face. The book demystifies the functionality of all the DVX200PJ’s features, and explains when and why to use specific settings for best results. An extensive section of tutorials and essays covers a range of subjects from the simple to the advanced, including explanations on the benefits of 4K, working with the camcorder’s variable frame rates, using its VLOG-L mode, and how to use the waveform monitor and vectorscope. The full-color, 260+-page book has an abundance of photos, screen-shots and video examples of menu functions. Barry Green is an Emmy®-award-winning producer with four Emmy nominations for writing and producing television commercials and public service announcements. His technical background includes 13 years as a professional computer programmer and producer for Westwood Studios, creating some of the most popular video games in history. Green writes and produces award-winning corporate and industrial films, commercials, screenplays and films for Fiercely Independent Films Inc. and tours extensively as a public speaker and instructor. He also serves as partner and moderator for www.DVXUser.com, one of the world’s largest online communities for filmmakers, shooters, and content producers of all types.Read more
The Panasonic DVX200 is a micro four thirds 4K video camera that left many shooters both impressed & curious at NAB this year. As a successor to the famous DVX100 it promises all the joys of professional documentary style shooting combined with a cinematic look. German DP Sebastian Wiegärtner just published first footage he shot on a beta release Panasonic DVX200 camera. The shots look beautiful, the footage quality however looks both promising and disappointing. Wiegärtner writes: “Sadly the compression of Vimeo (…) is so high, you just really can’t judge the image. All I can say: This is the perfect camera for Documentaries and fast TV work stuff (…) Due to the M4/3 sensor it’s way easier to focus than with a Super 35 or Full Frame sensor. Almost everything shot full wide open. Native ISO of this camera is 500. While Vimeo compression always takes the best out of any camera footage, the softness of the lens and high noise and artefacts of the original codec is quite apparent even on the original 4K video file we downloaded from Vimeo. On the left there’s a 100% crop (pixel by pixel) of the 4K footage. There’s an obvious lack of detail and there’s also digital sharpening applied to the footage. The quality issues are also apparent in HD and it can be argued that this kind of makes the 4K scale a little unnecessary. On the positive side the shallow depth of field is visible and certainly gives any video footage a nice touch. As an HD camera for TV and documentary the Panasonic DVX200 might be just the right tool and a very ergonomic machine. At least that’s what another reviewer talks about: Richard Payne published a review of the Panasonic DVX200 only yesterday and had some extremely positive things to say, mainly about the ergonomics, handling and many options the device gives you. His background as a technical pre-sales manager for a Panasonic distributor make his first look review seem less objective, but there’s certainly a great deal of useful information in there: I’d recommend to take both reviews with a grain of salt. Wiegärtner was invited by Panasonic and Payne is affiliated with a Panasonic distributor. Until we have the camera in our hands (or you in yours) it’s hard to make a final judgement and weigh all the positive and negative aspects of the device. The Panasonic DVX200 certainly looks promising especially for TV and documentary production, but it’s uncertain if it can hold up to 4K and cinema camera standards. Stay tuned for more. The Panasonic DVX200 is not yet available for pre-order (July 2015).Read more
Finally here’s some very interesting news from Panasonic. The new Panasonic DVX200 that was just announced, is the successor to the legendary DVX100 camcorder that once held the bar for what a compact professional and ergonomic camcorder should be. The DVX200 is here to take up that standard. Will it live up to it? What’s definitely impressive is its bold design, but there are some interesting things under the hood as well. 4K recording on a “large sensor” (Micro Four Thirds) with a built in fixed lens that is said to be a perfect package for ergonomic professional shooting. This camera might be just what many documentary filmmakers and news shooters have been looking for. The most important specs at a glance: 4K/60p recording 13X optical zoom V-Log L gamma curve (12 stops of latitude, target) Said to carry the VariCam family characteristics of filmic tonality The camera is targeted to be shipping in fall of 2015 with a suggested list price under $5000.Read more
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