Thursday, June 20, 2013

My experience with the AF100 part II. You have to read the manual.

So I bought the camera, with the Olympus 14-35 zoom that I fell in love with because it was so dynamic. But we'll talk about that later.

Now let me tell you the first lesson that I learned:

Remember I said that one of the main reasons I opted for the AF100  was that I could record sync sound on the camera? Well....

Owning and using other Panasonic cameras (AG-HVX200 and AGHPX500P) did not make me an instant AF100 expert. ANd the menus are not exactly similar.

In fact, one of the first problems I ran into was the famous sync sound I was telling you about, it did not record unto the camera !  

You see, buried deep into the manual there is a note concerning Variable Speed and unlike the AG-HVX200 and AGHPX500P, when you put the camera in variable speed mode, it will not record sound, even if you're running at 24fps !!!
Here is what the manual says:
24P mode:
Shoots 24 frames a second in native mode. The images (shot at 24 frames a second) are recorded into 24 frames as the video signal.
  • When VFR is set, the INTERVAL REC function, relay recording function, and PRE REC function are automatically set to OFF, and TCG is automatically set to REC RUN. 
Fortunately we run our productions as a submarine, with several backup systems, specially when dealing with a new camera and so, we were actually recording everything also on a separate recorder
But wait! 
Our second mistake had to do with the power batteries.
The batteries of the AF100 are almost identical to the ones for the AG-HVX200 and they cannot use the same charger!

Battery for the HVX200

Battery for the  AF100

Trust me, the pictures don't do justice to the similitude.
I knew that. And I told the person in charge of calibrating the camera who had to , in turn, communicate it to the AC who, in turn, had to read the manual!
Obviously none of this happened.
What did happen is that during the last take they tell me we are running of power. 
So I say (In a very cool and collected manner)
    "Change the battery". 
    "it's not charged"
    "What!" (Not cool and collected anymore)
And that's when the battery hit the fan, together with the AC and the person in charge of calibrating the camera.
We charge the battery on the right charger and risk damaging it by using it with a partial charge, but we finish the shoot.... and the relationship with with two people that trusted. 
As I have said before: "You are as good as the people you work with".

Anyway, all is well that ends well. And although you probably have seen this clip in a previous post, it shows you how the sound was not affected. And how cool the Olympus zoom looks...but later on that problem. Yes we had another problem .