HELP 3CCD or HDV Urgent

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by geiger, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. geiger macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    #1
    I am having to buy a video camera to make a documentary, during the summer. However, I have to buy the camera, before the end of term (I am a teacher). I have been considering the Sony HDR-HC1 digital solution, but the more I read, the more I am thinking that I need a non HD option a 3CCD option with a more pro camera. I would like the documentary to be broadcast quality. I assumed that the HD option would give better pictures, but there are, I believe some shortcomings with that camera including low light and sound. Is the 3CCD option actually better even though it is older technology. Please advise, thank you in anticipation.
     
  2. Stinkythe1 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    #2
    I'd just go with the regular SD option. Get a Canon XL2. It has great quality and even if you had to upres it to HD, it would still look fairly good.

    As far as being broadcast quality, several feature films have been made with the XL2, so it's good.
     
  3. jimsowden macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    #3
    It really depends on what your outformat is going to be and where it will be played. If it's going on PBS, then I'd lean toward the HD option because PBS is big on HD, but if it's just for DVD, definitely go for an SD DV camera. I have the GL2 (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...s&Q=&sku=255811&is=REG&addedTroughType=search) and it has been a faithfully great camera. 3 CCD image quality is great, it's durable, and pretty convenient to carry. Alternatively with an SD DV cam you could go a little more pro with the PD-170 from Sony, (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...s&Q=&sku=296545&is=REG&addedTroughType=search) which has larger CCDs and XLR inputs. It's slightly bulkier, but I've also used this one and it's awesome. Now if you think you'd want to invest in an HD 3CCD cam there is only really one option in the lower end with HDV, which is the Sony FX1 (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...515&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation) with no XLR, but great quality at a reasonable price. The reason I say that's your only option there is you definitely want 3CCDs over 1 or CMOS because it just looks more professional, and the canon's HDV offering is the $9,000 XLHD, Panasonic has a dumb card based HD system, stay away from JVC at all costs, and the only other camera from Sony is basically an HD PD170, the Z1U (http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...486&is=REG&addedTroughType=categoryNavigation)
     
  4. jimsowden macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

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    NY
    #4
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5
    Unless your project is specially intended to be shown in HD then get an SD camera as you'll get more camera for the money.


    Lethal
     
  6. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #6
    You didn't really mention what your price range is, but if cost is an issue and you just want a good picture, look at one of the Panasonic 3CCD camcorders. The PV-GS500 (I also recommend B&H) is ok. A little cheaper and simpler than the previous model, the GS400, which has is pluses and minuses. Just make sure to get an external mic and some good DV tapes. If you have a little more money to spend, look for something a little higher up from Sony or Panasonic. Stay away from DVD and hard drive models.

    I have an old Sony I'd like to upgrade, so I'm kinda in the same spot. I'm hoping for a new low end HDV cam from Panasonic, more like the GS400, but like I said, their current 3CCD non-HD models are ok if you don't need it. The Sony HC1 is nice if you need HD and don't mind bottom loading tapes, and the HC3 is nice if you just want something HD that's cheap and simple. Go to someplace like Camcorderinfo.com for a review before you buy.
     
  7. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Woodland Hills
    #7
    The Xl2's are great unless you are using for true manual focus. I had my eye one for the longest time becuase of the changeable lenses and actual manual features. Its sweet on everything except two things that I hated. The manual focus was more just a dial that was being turned which in turn became a digital signal, so many times it was hard to do a smooth and sleek looking focus change (from one object to another). The other bad said is the View Finder... Its a colored screen that is like trying to view a video through a camera phone (maybe a little better but still).

    Other wise it is an awesome camera. The director in Traffic used one, but I'm sure he had a 40 grand camera lense to help a little.
     
  8. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #8
    I'm really surprised that nobody has mentioned the DVX...

    Costs less than the XL2 and has an arguably better picture quality. I've used the DVX-100B for my student films this year and absolutely love it.
     
  9. dollystereo macrumors 6502a

    dollystereo

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2004
    Location:
    France
    #9
    I havent had good experience with canon Dv cams, get the sony PD170 is the standard camera in 3ccd format. Excelent Camera. The camera is DVcam that is better than DV. (XL2)
     
  10. PegasusMedia macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2006
    Location:
    Jacksonville, FL
    #10
    What will you be shooting?

    Different cameras tend to excell in different situations.

    As the previous responses have said, the "standards" are the XL2 from Canon, The PD170 from Sony, and the GS-500 from Panasonic. All great cameras.

    I'll add these thoughts...

    --Take good audio seriously. Even if you use the best camera in the world, your show will be unwatchable with bad sound. Spend on good audio gear even if it means sacrificing on the camera. My opinion, anyway.

    --3 CCD's are better than 1+CMOS, yes absolutely. However--just to let you all know...I bought the Sony HVR-A1("pro" version of the HDR-HC1 you were asking about) specifically because of its size...I wanted something ultra portable (used to shoot golf...lots of lugging gear around) and I can tell you that in good light it is better than you think. Do NOT buy the CMOS cameras for anything in low light. But for outdoor & well lit shoots, it's a great inexpensive option and the poratability is awesome.
     
  11. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Behind the lens
    #11
    There is no output for HD content. Generally speaking to the public

    Dont waste your money buying an HD camcorder that can only capture in HD but you cant watch it in HD unless you hook it directly from the camcorder to an HDTV.

    DVDs are NOT HD, and television is most certainly barely HD.

    It all boils down to your final output. If its for a DVD to send to people, or for the internet or even for most Television stations, dont waste your money on HD, its going down the tubes.

    If you are not going to ever have your video footage seen in an HD format (of which there really are none) then DONT buy an HD camcorder, stick with a high end Mini-DV.
     
  12. faustfire macrumors 6502a

    faustfire

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    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    California
    #12

    The Panasonic AG-HVX200 is the best prosumer HD camera on the market. It shoots in full frame DVCpro 100 HD, not in crappy ultra compressed HDV. You need P2 cards to capture at 100 megs a second, instead of compressing it down to 25 a second as HDV does. The HVX200 also shoots variable frame rates, which is unheard of among prosumer cams.
     
  13. Lebowski macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #13
    Personally,

    I think a Canon GL2 with some upgraded mic and lighting options is a great way to go. Its a 3ccd cam, and is relatively easy to use and small when compared to a something like an XL1or2 which are rather large to lug around.

    You are better off investing into mics and lighting than going with HD. You will probably never need HD for basic stuff. THe people that NEED HD, KNOW they need it. If you are unsure, then you most definately dont.

    I have a GL1, XL1, and several small cheap miniDV cams for risky shots where i dont want to endanger an expensive cam (car mounted shots, outdoor in poor conditions...). I find myself using the GL1 the most, as it is the best of pro and consumer needs in one nice little cam.
     
  14. poppe macrumors 68020

    poppe

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    Apr 29, 2006
    Location:
    Woodland Hills
    #14
    I totally agree except if he is on a budget those P2 cards aren't cheap at all. Plus every (what is it) 18 minutes he'd have to stop and drop the footage to the computer to clear out the card (I think its 18 minutes).

    The only solution to that is either buy many P2 cards which will kill you, or to upload ever so often (which wouldn't come in handy on a documentary)
     
  15. jimsowden macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    #15
    Any broadcast HD is in the same MPEG-2 format, with bitrates around 19-20 megabits, and it looks fine. As for variable frame rates, I suggest you take another look at the XL-H1, which can do 1080i in 60i, 30p and 24p. Hardly unheard of. And the reason I say they are crappy is because instead of recording on an almost disposable $5 miniDV tape, you have to use $1400 P2 cards to store a measly 8GB which is like 11 minutes. Crappy.
     
  16. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #16
    Delivery format and accusation format are two very different things. FWIW I've never been too impressed w/b'cast HD. I think HDV can look very nice, but like everything it's a compromise. I think the HVX200 is less of a compromise, but like I said before, unless the OPs project is to be delivered in HD I'd get an SD camera and, like other posts have said, use the money saved to buy additional equipment (camera accessories, audio gear, lighting gear, etc.,).

    I suggest you take another look at what "variable frame rates" means. The HVX in 720p mode can officially shoot 60, 48, 36, 32, 30, 26, 24, 22, 20, 18, 12 fps and unofficially shoot 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 14, 16, 23, 27, 28, 34, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58 fps. Hardly heard of.

    Both work flows (tape and tapeless) have pros and cons. There is no "best" just whichever fits your particular needs.


    Lethal
     
  17. faustfire macrumors 6502a

    faustfire

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    California
    #17
    Plus there are multiple low priced hard drive based options coming to market which can capture up to 2 hrs of HD at a stretch. Which is how I plan to hold myself over until P2 cards drop in price.
     
  18. Carl Spackler macrumors 6502

    Carl Spackler

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2005
    Location:
    Outer Space
    #18
    I think the HC1 now, HC3, I believe, is a great little camera and I, traditionally, have been unimpressed with Sony. Though, I'd opt for the A1U so you get better sound options. CMOS vs CCD is a good debate. CCD has almost always ruled the video market, but all the high still cameras have CMOS. I am pretty excited to see more CMOS cameras. Many high end digital cameras, like Arri's HD camera, use CMOS sensors. I think the RED camera might use CMOS as well. Plus, they offer lower power consumption, so that's more battery life for you. Don't worry too much about low light, I think they're all weak enough to throw them in the same category of "lacking", so I don't even consider it a factor.

    If you have the bucks, I agree that Panny's HVX200 is the primo camera to use.

    SD ain't got no legs. It's obsolete in a few years. I'm using the XL2 for a shoot now. It's an amazing camera, with an incredible lens, but sadly, I wouldn't reccommend it to anyone considering what is currently offered.

    Here's my list of faves:

    Canon XL H1
    Panasonic HVX200
    Sony A1U
     

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