Panasonic 101 - Warning
Posted 17 July 2012 - 03:25 PM
So I spent some time with the camera before an education doc, felt happy with my tests and familiarity to go off and shoot with it in film camera mode. Both tests in audio and image were fine, and I shot with it well for a day.
Second day was happy with using the camera on a very very fast day, everything seemed to be fine. Then checking the rushes during upload later, I discovered the majority of the day was missing audio.
The reason: On the back of the camera there in un protected jog-wheel which controls the shutter speed and frame rate - it has a lock button next to it, but that is also physically unprotected. If the the lock button and jog wheel is pressed in at all, by the camera bag, clothing etc - it will go into variable frame rate mode and cut all audio recording even if it appears to be shooting at 25fps. This obviously shouldn't be a problem, as you would notice if it wasn't recording audio, right?
However, the camera design appears to break a fundamental rule of video cameras: that if you can see the audio levels in the display, hear the audio in the output/head-phones jack and see the 'REC' sign, that you are successfully recording both video and audio. In the Panasonic 101 both the visual and audible audio checks are completely unaffected by this function not actually recording audio, so a camera operator and sound man can easily carry on regardless.
The screen does show an 'A' with a line through it symbol tucked in tucked in the corner of the screen. This is very easy for a camera operator to ignore, as the level-bar will continue to go up and down giving the illusion of good audio. And more worryingly it is obviously impossible for a sound recordist to see this, who will happily be listening to their headphones and looking at their SQN display.
Anyway hope this was useful,
Posted 18 July 2012 - 02:48 PM
Posted 23 July 2012 - 04:42 AM
Good comment, I've been caught out on this one as well - thought it was running at 25fps and it was. But in vari-speed mode and no audio recorded.... Doh - Lucky I only lost a few bits..
Well that's the thing it doesn't cut the level bars or even the output to the headphones. If you're working with a sound guy the poor guy wouldn't have a chance!