The Panasonic P2 was my camera of choice for the TV package assessment. Although when loaded down with a tripod, mic and various cables, it’s hideously bulky and weighs a tonne, I actually quite like it.
It’s really simple to use, produces decent enough pictures in HD, and it looks the part. (Come back to me for more in-depth technology reviews).
I shoot everything on manual and the Panasonic P2 makes this comfortable. It couldn’t be easier to white-balance shots – it requires no more than holding a piece of (white) paper up to the lens and pressing a button. The focus ring is really smooth, allowing you you get the kind of out-of-focus to in-focus arty shots you see on real-life documentaries with virtually no effort. And you have an option of manually zooming-in or using the zoom-in switch on the side of the camera body. Both are surprisingly smooth.
M-Audio Microtrack II
Eugh, where do I start? The M-Audio is really no friend to me. It’s clunky, looks like the kind of walkie-talkie a supermarket security person might have clipped to his belt loop, and has far too many cables and wires for such a small device.
Yes, it works, just about, but that’s all I can say in its favour. It’s temperamental to say the least: one minute it will be functioning perfectly, the next it won’t record, won’t switch on, won’t allow the headphones to work…you get the idea.
Sound-wise, it seems to pick up every bit of static, and (I think) even invents a little of its own for good measure. No audio comes away crisp and clean. Instead it hisses and spits out of the speakers.
To transfer audio clips from the M-Audio to your computer, you have to first switch the device off or it refuses to work – it makes no sense, I know.
As I’m writing this, I’ve just come out of a media law exam, so I know I can safely rest assured that what I’m saying is covered by fair comment, and I won’t be sued for defaming a reputable brand name.