The Daejeon Chronicles Purchases First Video Lights!

den-led100wb-56-lishuai-5After some five or more years of shooting street life here and in South Korea, I’m getting burned out. I made the decision to start concentrating on doing short narrative films, vlogging and maybe even some fashion shoots instead. But in order to do that, I’ll need some nice video lights. Initially, I was going to pick up the Aputure Light Storm COB 120t for vlogging, since that’s what Hugh Brownstone of Three Blind Men and an Elephant uses, and I really like the soft light it produces. But the Aputure isn’t available in Vietnam, so I settled for the much less expensive Lishuai LED 100WB-56, which is essentially identical to a model of the same name distributed by Fotodiox in North America. It can be fitted with all kinds of accessories, den-led-c-700rsv-lishuai-1including softboxes and reflectors.

For use as a fill, background or hair light, as well as for supplementing outdoor ambient light, I chose the
Lishuai C-700RSV, a circular light only a few millimeters thick, which can be operated on mains or battery power. And unlike the 100WB-56, the color temperature can be adjusted as well.

 

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Lumix GH5 AF-C Tests by Joseph Linaschke

These are nice test shots, pretty much what we’ve been asking for for a while now, since AF-C is most probably one of the major concerns of those of us who’ve used Panasonic cameras in the past. My only gripe is that it appears as though either the in-camera sharpening is cranked up full-tilt boogie, or excessive sharpening has been added in post. As most of you know, even in Final Cut, adding as little as +1 or +2 sharpening in post can magically transform a soft image into something that looks quite detailed. I didn’t see any information about the camera settings in the info either. Whenever I do a lens test, for example, I always post the camera settings and what was done in post, if anything.

The first screenshot below is from a recent video I posted using the G85, with in-camera sharpening dialed down to -5, and no sharpening added in post. The second screenshot is from the GH5 AF video above, where, without even enlarging the image, you can see jagged edges and haloing around the subject, telltale signs of over-sharpening.

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In the following screen shots, taken with the Fuji X-T2, the first image has had no sharpening added in post. The second image has had +2.5 (factory default) sharpening added in Final Cut, much more than I ever actually add, if any. These are simply to demonstrate the obvious: additional sharpening can conceal blur caused by camera shake or focusing errors.

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Contrary to what some may believe, I have nothing against adding sharpening in post. What I object to are tests where we are asked to evaluate an image for things like autofocus ability where the images have too much sharpening to arrive at a reasonable judgement. Also, I think this shows that it is preferable to add sharpening in post, where you have much finer control, rather than in camera; though in practice, I would rarely go over +2.

Another problem with many of the videos we’ve seen up until now is they’re shot with the slow kit lens. Disagree with me if you like, but professionals shouldn’t be shooting with an f/4 kit lens. Especially with a tiny sensor like m43. Okay, if you’re going to be shooting at f/8 all the time, there’s no point in buying fast expensive glass, because they’re probably identical when stopped down that far. So if you only shoot in good light and like nice, crisp, sharp, detailed, distracting backgrounds in your portraiture, event photography, wedding shoots or whatever you do, go ahead and get the kit lens. On the other hand, if you like some separation between the subject and the background; if you love pleasing bokeh; and yes, much higher resolution, I’d go with some faster glass. That could mean fast primes such as the Leica Nocticron or the Olympus 75mm, the Voigtlander Noktons, or adapted lenses and a Speed Booster. Remember, fast lenses can always be stopped down if you need greater depth of field; but in dim light, slow lenses cannot be opened up wider than their maximum aperture: the only choice is to increase the ISO, introducing unwanted noise. And while it’s true that with slower lenses, you can move closer to the subject to throw the background out of focus, do you really want the lens to be dictating your composition, or do you want to be in control? From reading comments online, it sounds like many are basing their decision to get the slow kit lens based on dual IS compatibilty, which to me is a shame, because I’ve already shot plenty with non-stabilized lenses on the G85 and they’re rock steady. That nice bokeh, the ability to shoot in low light, are far more important to me than squeezing out an extra 1/2 stop of stabilization.

The following shots are from a YouTube video by Jason Lanier.

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