Thursday, 6 November 2014

One concert, two cameras

I had the chance to bring two different cameras to a concert, to see how they compare. I brought the Lumix GH4 with the Leica 25mm f/1.4, and the Nikon 1 V3 with the Nikon 18.5mm f/1.8. Both systems are shown below:


Even if the lenses have different focal lengths, they still have the same field of view, because of the different crop factors of the cameras systems. Both are what we usually call "normal lenses", with the classic 50mm equivalent field of view.

Also, both lenses are quite fast, in the sense that they have a large maximum aperture. This makes them well suited for use in dark venues. And the concert venue was very dark indeed, also having oddly coloured artificial stage lights which makes the exposure very tricky.



Lumix GH4


The exposure parameters used were: f/1.4, 1/120s, ISO 3200. The exposure was set by using the A-mode without any exposure compensation. The video was recorded in 1080p, 60FPS:



I left autofocus on during the video recording. Most of the time, the camera highlighted the face of the artist, making sure it was in focus. And the focus was kept pretty well during the recording. When the face was obscured too much, e.g., by the microphone, the focus was lost for some short while.

It would probably have been better to prefocus, and then switch to manual focus during the recording, but this was a nice test.

Nikon 1 V3


The Nikon lens has a smaller maximum aperture. However, using the A-mode, it exposed somewhat less, still using similar exposure parameters as the Lumix system: f/1.8, 1/100s, ISO 3200. It was also recorded in 1080p, 60FPS



Even if the Nikon systems uses on sensor PDAF for the best autofocus during video, I doubt that it can utilize this in the dark concert venue. So it probably has to resort to using CDAF, just like the Lumix camera. And just like the Lumix system, it was able to identify the face of the artist most of the time, and kept the focus on him.

The Nikon 1 V3 appears to find the better colour balance, in this very challenging lightning. I left both cameras on auto white balance.

Sound


I used the built in microphone on both cameras. They are a bit different: The sound of the Nikon system is a bit thinner, with less base. With a bit of mixing, though, one could probably eliminate most of the difference.

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