Panasonic S1H – Part 5: Accessories-  SD Cards, Batteries, Drones & more.

Panasonic S1H – Part 5: Accessories- SD Cards, Batteries, Drones & more.

David, if you don’t mind, could you
give us just a little rundown on some of the accessories you were using? Were you using an external follow focus? How did you rig up the camera
for this? Yeah, so we went through a few different rigs, kind of depending
on the shooting scenarios. So for the most part we were using a wireless
follow focus. We had two different systems, one was the DJI wireless follow
focus that we were using in conjunction with the MX gimbal flying on a Matrice
600 drone. So that was for our drone shots. Then when we went to our armed car, which is made by a company called MotoCrane, so that’s all of our driving
sequences with the motorcycle, is hanging the camera off of a Ronin 2
gimbal on the MotoCrane we had on a Porsche SUV that we were able to keep up
with the motorcycle. And then on that, we were using the Tilta Nucleus
follow focus system. So it’s follow focus, zoom, and iris. That gave us a
tremendous amount of control inside the car so that we could actually adjust as
we were shooting. Then in terms of mounting, we were using just a
traditional 4 by 5 matte box by Wooden Camera. Kind of typical filtration really.
Just using NDs in the matte box to be able to to get our exposure down
where we needed it. And then everything was surrounding that Atlas Orion
set of cinema primes, so that was the basic setup. We were using external power which was helpful. We were able to use the USB C port on the side of the camera
to be able to feed power from block batteries or from the gimbals.
So that made our day really easy, we were able to make it through the day
with with minimal power questions or issues. The camera fits so well into the
appropriate tools. We basically were able to build it out just as if we were
building out any traditional cinema camera. Having it in a DSLR form
factor sometimes can be tricky and so the Zacuto Cage that we had
went a long way towards making sure that we had all the right mounting points and
that everything lined up the way it was supposed to, that the lens is centered
properly in the matte box, you know those little things seem like a small issue
until they’re not right! And so it was nice to be able to just fit this into
workflows that we were familiar with, into rigs that we were
familiar with, and not have to make any changes to the way we work. The camera
just locked in and behaved exactly as you’d expect. What about the internal
battery? We haven’t really talked about that and some of these new cameras now, the internal battery lasts like 30 minutes. It’s kind of not really usable
then you got to have 15 batteries to go on location. What about the internal
battery? We promise a solid two and a half minutes of battery life! There you
go! Two and a half minutes, guaranteed! In 6K! And nine hours in 1080! I will say, you
know, that was a concern going into it and part of it was, you know,
these are very early versions of the camera and as such, you know, having
access to a multitude of batteries. Matt did his best to get us as many
batteries as he could, including a last-minute Fed Ex that showed up the
day before! Thank you, Matt, but we only had, I think
across the two cameras, I think we only had four batteries and we never felt
like we were going to be in a crunch. So we were getting
consistently about an hour and a half to two hours worth of record time out of
each battery. We tried to be conservative. We tried to make sure that we were
powering the camera down between takes and you know trying to be responsible
with it but at no point did we feel that the internal battery wasn’t keeping up
with what we needed it to do. We added the external battery when we could or
powering from the gimbal just to make absolute sure that we were kind of in a
constant mode of charging the battery as we went and actually kind of powering
the camera off of the block battery. So certainly that helped but at no point
did I feel like the internal battery was going to be a hindrance. Did you
ever do like the rotation method? So if you have two batteries when one’s
in there and you’re charging another, do you have infinite power? Yeah, we
had access to two chargers and so with three batteries and two chargers we
could shoot forever. Okay so to answer, you can charge a battery in
its entirety before you would wear out the battery that’s in the camera. You
have over two hours battery life. Now clearly that depends – if I’m in the
Arctic someplace and it’s freezing, it’s not going to work that way! But in normal
operating conditions you should be able to get a consistent two hours out of the
battery. And how long the charge one? It’s about an hour-and-a-half or less. Okay so two batteries and you sort of have infinite
power in those situations. Well what’s important to note too is that you
can charge right through the USB port on the side of the camera. It’s a USB C port
so your favorite cell phone charger that you probably use to charge your cell
phone, you could just throw that thing on the side of the camera and you can
charge the battery internally from that. Plus, you can power the camera from it
too, so it’s a very easy camera to find power solutions for. Naturally. Oh
wait, can I use the thing that I stick my iphone on and just get it near
there? What do they call that charging station? Yeah, no! Okay actually,
what we do is you put a rodent in and there’s a wheel and it just charges the
battery. Yeah, there you go! Okay so I want to ask you another
question. So when you recorded what we just saw, was that done with an internal
recording or was that done with an external recorder? Yeah so everything we
shot was entirely internal to the high speed SD cards inside the camera. So we did have it hooked up to an outboard Atomos recorder, mostly for monitoring
purposes. We used it for a little bit of onset playback, but everything that is
actually in the edit came directly from the internal codec inside the camera. I’ve
got a question for you, Matt. The type of cards you buy, I know there’s like a
whole array of SD cards. What kind of cards do you need? These cards now look
like NASCAR vehicles with all these labels on the outside of them! The only
label you need to worry about is the one that has a V and it’ll have a number
next to it. On the S1H we recommend the V90 cards. That means that they’re
guaranteed to work at 90 megabytes per second. The camera works at a
400 megabit at the fastest codec. The V60 cards work at about 480 megabits is it maximum write speed. So for safety’s sake we recommend the V90 because that’s closer to 600 megabits speed. That gives us enough ceiling to where we won’t have
any slowdown problems that could cause the camera to have to shut down during a
recording. And I realize a lot of manufacturers quote ridiculously fast
speed ratings that are much faster than what we’re saying and remember that that
speed rating is for a burst of data, like if I’m doing a photograph. A single burst
it’ll be able to handle that but it can’t do it over a sustained period of
time. That V rating guarantees the minimum, the slowest the card will
work for your video content. And about what size card do you recommend? How many gigabytes? You know, at 400 megabit you’re at about 15 seconds per gig, if you
do the 400 megabit codex. So you know that’s gonna come up to you as to what
you’re recording needs are. You know a 64 gig card is going to come out to 15
seconds per gig, so you’re talking, what, 15 minutes-ish? Okay what about in 6k?
6k will actually record longer because it’s a HEVC codec. It’s not
a H.264. So it’s a more efficient codec. It’s only 200 megabits per second
codec so it’s actually about 30 seconds per gig, so you actually get more
recording time in 6k. Let’s go back to 4k. How high do these cards go? What’s the maximum amount of gigs you can get? The theoretical limit is 2 terabytes. They
make a 2 terabyte card? No, that’s the theoretical limit! Oh okay. 2 terabytes. So
you can find, I think, terabyte cards right now. So the current
theoretical limit for SD XE which is what we use is 2 terabytes. I’m not
guaranteeing the camera will work with the two terabyte card because we’ve never had
one to test in the camera! But the theoretical limit is 2 terabytes. We know
we can run at least 512-gigabyte cards, because we’ve tested those, I would fully
expect 1 terabytes to work and 2 terabytes to work. Okay so a 512 gigabyte
card costs approximately what? I know there’s different brands but people are
gonna want to know what they’re getting into here. I’ve never priced out of 512
gigabyte so I can’t give you that. Okay 256? Well a 64 gig card will cost
you around a $100, so 64 gig v90 card about $100. And you say 15 minutes
of 4k? Yeah. So if you do a 128, it’s probably like $199-200 bucks.
And then you get a half hour 4k? Right. And then when you get up to 256 it’s
another doubling of the price, so it’s like about $400 for 256. 512s get a
little iffy, because by the time this is actually watched by somebody
on YouTube, you know six months – a year from now, that pricing will have changed!
512 are very expensive right now because they’re new cards but they’ll eventually
follow that same doubling rule. All right, David, how did you
work this? Did you shoot consecutive cards or did you shoot them
as duplicates? Yeah, we were handling our shoot pretty much the same way that we
would shoot a television commercial so everything was we shot on 128 gig
Panasonic V90 cards and we basically were cycling cards as we needed. So there are two slots in the camera and you can configure those slots to be used either
to to copy the two cards simultaneously for an instant backup or you can use a
progressive record where it’ll just automatically rollover from one card to
the next. Since we were shooting this more in a commercial style, we knew we
were kind of dealing with short takes and we had plenty of crew,
plenty of people around to keep an eye on things. We were media managing on set, so it meant that we could pretty much just have a single card loaded and move
from one card to the next. As we would start getting near the end of one card
we would just load a new card. When you’re working in an environment where
you have a DIT on set and you have media management happening as you go, I typically like to just shoot on a single card at a time, just to save any
confusion as to whether or not one card got copied when another card didn’t, those sorts of things. But knowing that if I was in an environment where I was
say doing a live event or something where I needed to have a longer run time,
where I didn’t have the luxury of being able to stop between takes and pull the
card out, knowing that I have continuous recording as I go from card A to card B
and then I can pull that first card and and it’ll cycle back. So in theory you
can continue rolling non-stop for as long as your content could require. In
this shoot we didn’t need to do that but knowing we’ve got the option is really


  • Shark

    September 9, 2019

    I'm surprised David did not choose to record straight to an Atomos SSD Recorder? I've found that using memory cards can be cumbersome.

  • Ron Coker

    September 10, 2019

    Thank you 👍 Angle Bird V90 128 GB no problems.


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