Help choosing HDV cam

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Craigy, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. Craigy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #1
    Looking at buying a HDV cam in the next couple of months to use with FCP. Budget of around £2000. Is the Sony FX1 the way to go, or can anyone recommend alternatives? We are looking at shooting a series of short films.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Drizzt macrumors member

    Drizzt

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    #2
    I would recommend getting the HDR-FX1(E). It is a great camera for the price. If you would want long cable runs, though, you would may want to get the Z1U with the XLR input or invest in an XLR converter. The FX1 is an amazing camera optically, however, all audio things aside, and is actually pretty much the only option you have in that price range.
     
  3. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    I don't know about UK prices but US prices still have the FX1 in the high $2k range. I know Sony has an HDV camera in the $1500-$2000 range, but I can't think of what's it's called off the top of my head.

    Is that your budget for just a camera or for a camera+accessories (battery, tripod, case, lens cleaning kit, etc.,)? Have you budgeted out money for lighting and audio equipment as well?


    Lethal
     
  4. Craigy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2003
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #4
    The budget of £2k (approx $3.5K) is just for the camera.

    I have done very little video work before, only DV stuff, and this is all new to me really.

    Do you think the FX1 will let us produce 'film like' footage using FCP, or should we look at a camera offering 24p?

    Also, I've tried looking for sample footage from the FX1 on the web with no success.
     
  5. mustard macrumors 6502a

    mustard

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Location:
    NJ
    #5
    I have been using the HDR-HC1 and have absolutely no complaints. Unless you have a particular reason/feature that requires you to spend more money on the FX-1 I think the HDR-HC1 would be a great option not to mention that it is around $1700 USD.
     
  6. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #6
    The lower end HDR-HC1 is nice, but limiting in some things. And bottom loading tapes killed it for me. Not to mention some third party batteries suddenly don't work in them for some reason even though they should. Plus it's only 1 CCD. The replacement (coming soon) HC3 is cheaper and has some better features like top loading tapes, and is smaller, but is missing some of the manual features you may want. No headphone port and mic in is through a proprietary port on top. There's another one coming too, the HC5, but I don't know anything about it. There's also the HVR-A1U, but it seems expensive for what it is.

    The FX1 is a great camera. Here's a review. If you can afford it, it's probably your best bet. The HVR-Z1U is even better, but it's more expensive and may be overkill. I was hoping Panasonic would have a new HD model to compliment their other 3 CCD models, but I haven't heard anything yet.
     
  7. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #7
    I think I've heard of people shooting in CF25 (cineframe 25 mode) w/their PAL Sony HDV cameras and getting good results (you can find out more over at places like dvxuser.com). As far as making it look more "filmic"... Amateur films come off as amateurish mainly because of poor lighting, poor audio, and poor camera work (as well as poor acting, poor writing, poor directing and poor editing). How you shoot your movies is more important than what you shoot them with. I could give you a 35mm camera and give a VHS camcorder from Best Buy to Dariusz Wolski (DP of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" films) and Mr. Wolski's stuff would still look "more like a movie" than yours would.

    Getting a lessor camera but having money left for things like lights, audio equipment, food (for cast & crew) and possibly even a token amount of money for your cast and crew is money better spent than blowing everything on a nicer camera, IMO.

    You mean something like the HVX200 or something on the consumer end?


    Lethal
     
  8. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #8
    Consumer. HVX200 is a little more than I need. And would want to spend.
     
  9. Nuc macrumors 6502a

    Nuc

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    TN
    #9
    I have the HDR-HC1 and love it to. Check out: http://www.sonyhdvinfo.com as well. Also look at the HVR-A1 which doesn't have sony proprietary accessory shoe. This would be good if you wanted to add your own accessories without having to buy new accessories or modifying an adapter that will fit sonys proprietary cold shoe.

    I don't think you would want to go with anything other than Sony's HD cameras. Best of luck choosing.

    Also note sony is discontinuing the HDR-HC1 to replace it with the HDR-HC3. I believe sony is trying to make a distinct separation between there HD camera lines. The HDR-HC3 is not as good from what I have seen (and it's ugly), so get the HC1 while you can or get the A1.

    Nuc
     
  10. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #10
    The HC3 is cheaper. The HC5 is supposed to be better, but who knows. The A1 is nice and all, but bottom loading tapes kill it if you want to use a tripod and don't want to have to remove it every time.
     
  11. Nuc macrumors 6502a

    Nuc

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2003
    Location:
    TN
    #11
    Actually you can get an adapter that allows you to change out bottom loading tapes. The adapter offsets the camcorder so that you can change out tapes. I agree that bottom loading is a pain but the HC1 makes up for it. I haven't heard about the HC5, I'll have to check into that. As for the HC3 it's cheeper but you can get an HC1 for around $1500-1600 on the internet so I wouldn't hesitate to buy the HC1 over the HC3.

    Nuc
     

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