Looking for HD Camcorder

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by hotwire132002, Jul 4, 2004.

  1. hotwire132002 macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #1
    I'm trying to find a cheap HD camcorder that is compatable with Final Cut Pro HD. As far as I can see, FCPHD only works with DVCPRO-HD. Am I correct on this? If not, can anyone tell me of any MiniDV HD camcorders that work with FCPHD? I seem to recall one from JVC for around $3500. Also, does Apple have a compatiblity list? Again, I seem to recall seeing one back when FCP3 was top-of-the-line.

    Edit: I found the "qualified devices" list, but I can't find any HD cameras on it!
     
  2. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2003
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #2
    I attended an Apple seminar recently, the rep said FCP3 supports DVCPRO-HD, specifically referring to Panasonic pro grade hardware as mentioned on the FCP page.

    If you look at the FCP page, they allude to coming JVC HDV support (HD over FireWire using MPEG-2), which should handle the JVC GR-HD1 consumer HD camcorder (List $3500, street price around $2200) or the new JVC JY-HD10U prosumer HD camcorder (List $4000, street price around $3000). Also note the links on the FCP page to third-party HDV support for FCP by Heuris and Lumiere, which seem to allow this now.

    Sony will have a sub-$5000 HDV camcorder soon; I'm sure others will follow.
     
  3. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    You probably can't find any HD devices on it 'cause HD at the consumer/prosumer level is very, very, very new (that and Apple's list isn't update very often). HD at the pro-end requires (at this time) a third party capture card (So you find an HD capture card that is compatible w/FCP and use that as a "bridge" to capture HD). HD is still a very new format that is just starting to flesh out and trickle down into the masses.

    FCP HD will work w/all flavors of HD, but it handles Panny's DVCPRO - HD natively. So if you shoot DVCPRO-HD it will stay DVCPRO-HD in FCP HD. But if you use HDCAM (Sony) it will get encoded upon capture to an HD format FCP can work with.


    Lethal
     
  4. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #4
    OK, I *REALLY* want the new Sony 3-CCD HD camera, but at $3700, it's out of my price range. I'm sick of 1-CCD quality, so I'm looking at buying a couple of these:

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=NavBar&A=getItemDetail&Q=&sku=314960&is=REG&si=feat#goto_itemInfo

    What do you think? Anybody tried one? How's the quality?

    EDIT: Never mind. It doesn't have a widescreen mode. So, any ideas for an inexpensive 3-CCD camera?

    Oh, and what do you think I could get for my current camcorders (Canon ZR-10 and ZR-60)
     
  5. cb911 macrumors 601

    cb911

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2002
    Location:
    BrisVegas, Australia
    #5
    hey, shouldn't this be in Buying Tips?

    anyway, that camera - the Panasonic GS120, you linked to isn't a HD camera. it's still a MiniDV camera. HD cameras are something quite different, much more $$$. the GS 120 would be pretty good, i guess.

    i just got a Panasonic GS 400, it seems pretty good so far.

    and about the 'widescreen' mode, don't worry about it. it's much better just to capture your normal 4:3 footage, and then you can put your own 'bars' on the top and bottom to make it widescreen. if you record in widescreen mode, it doesn't change the resolution that the footage is recorded at, it just ads the black bars on automatically, and you have much more ability to edit/tweak the footage if you've got more to work with from the start.

    'cinema mode' isn't all that great either. it just records in 16:9, so you automatically get those black bars on top & bottom, but it also flickers a bit as well. maybe good if you don't want to mess about with effects & editing, but i'm sure you could get a much better result if you just did those sort of effects yourself.

    probably best to look up lots of different DV sites. here's a few that helped me out when i was looking to buy...
    http://dvfreelancer.com/
    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/
    http://www.dvspot.com/

    the DVfreelancer forums were also very helpful for me as well. :)

    edit

    just a note about the 'lux' rating... this refers to the light levels a camera needs to record the picture.

    but dont' rely on that too much. just remember that anything you record needs to be lit properly. even if you want to record a dark scene, you need to light it properly. i didn't understand this at first, but something good to take a look at are the special features on the Underworld DVD, it is explained pretty good there. :)

    and if you're lucky enough to be in Japan, or thereabouts, you could pick up a black model MiniDV camera of your choice. :D oohhh.... black... :p
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    hotwire132002,
    First off, what is your budget? Secondly, when it comes to inexpensive 3CCD cameras (like the one you linked to) there is a trade off compared to similarly priced 1CCD cameras. All other things being equal the 3CCD chips will give you better color quality, but will have a lower amount of overall image detail than a 1CCD camera. This is because they typically use 3 1/6" CCDs where as the 1CCD camera will typically use a 1/4" chip (prosumer cameras use 3 1/3" CCDs and professional cameras use 3 2/3" CCDs). You might want to look for used Canon GL-1's/2's, or Sony VX-1000's. Assuming it's still in good condition even a 4 or 5 year old "prosumer" camera will be better than a brand new consumer camera.


    Different cameras may handle "widescreen" mode differently, but in my experience if you shoot in "widescreen" mode the image is shot in 16x9 and you convert it to a letterboxed 4x3 image in post (unless, of course, you have a 16x9 TV then you don't need to mess w/it). The down side to this is that your image quality takes a hit (how bad varies by camera). Anytime you shoot 16x9 w/a navtively 4x3 camera you'll have quality loss.


    Lethal
     
  7. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #7
    I think I may just have to save up for a camera with a widescreen CCD--like the $3700 Sony HD camcorder I was looking at. I *REALLY* need the widescreen capability, and since I frequently shoot for projection at a theatre, the HD capability would be nice. Anyone who want's to donate to the "Get hotwire an HD camcorder" fund, PM me ;)
     
  8. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #8
    Some camera's record 'widescreen' by merely not recording some of the data from their 4:3 CCD.
     
  9. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #9
    Which is what my current camera does. I really do need a better camera, and because I use widescreeen so often, I really need a 16:9 CCD. Has anyone tried the JVC 1-CCD HD camera (I can't remember the name at the moment, but I think it's something-HD1)? Anyone know how its quality is? Would you say go for that, or the Sony 3-CCD HD camcorder (which costs almost twice as much)--or a 3-CCD standard-def camcorder?
     
  10. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #10
    I think that's how they all do it, the question mark in my mind was how the camera ouputs it (i.e. does it output a "squeezed" 16:9 image or a letterboxed 4:3 image). In my experience I've always gotten a squeezed 16:9 image that I've then had to change into a letterboxed 4:3 image in post. But I don't know if all cameras record the 16:9 image to tape or if some cameras record a letterboxed 4:3 image to tape.

    hotwire132002,
    It all depends on your needs and your budget. What types of projects are you working on? With todays tech and all other things being equal a 3CCD camera will always render a better image than a 1CCD camera. Why not buy a camera that is able to accept an anamorphic lens? That way you end up w/a true 16:9 aspect ratio w/o taking a quality hit.


    Lethal
     
  11. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #11
    In the way of projects, it varies widely--from television news to weddings to movies. I like the idea of a camera that takes an anamorphic lens. Any ideas of cameras that will take one? I'd prefer to go for under $1000, but the $2000 range is OK. Oh--and the more manual controls, the better. I need at least white balance and focus (pretty standard), but the more, the better. I also would REALLY like a camera with a manual focus ring--I hat the manual focus knob on my current camcorders. I'm thinking save HD for when the price drops--what do you all think?
     
  12. Hoef macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #12
  13. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    PDX
    #13
    Lethal, isn't the Sony VX-1000 devoid of firewire ports? I feel that is a poor choice...did you mean the VX-2000?

    Hotwire, carrying Lethal's recommendation for quality used equipment, I would look around for a Sony TRV-900, a great entry-level prosumer camera, which can probably be found for under $1000 now. Stay away from it's replacement, the TRV-950, however.

    If you can deal with a shoulder-held camera, look for a used Canon XL-1, although depending on what you want to do with it, be aware of it's lack of XLR inputs(iirc) and the need for a external fix to this problem which will make it difficult to lay the camera flat for some shots. On this subject, I heard the BBC made a great solution to this problem a while back, but I guess that is off-topic.

    I am afraid I have been out of the camcorder using game for a little while, but the newer Panasonic and JVC models seem very cool, but a bit pricy.

    Still the rule-of-thumb is to buy the best camera you can possibly afford, as it makes things easier in post.

    Sorry I am not very helpful addressing the HD question, after my time...
     
  14. live4ever macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2003
    Location:
    Thunder Bay, ON
    #14
    FCP HD doesn't natively support editing the HD mpeg2 files of the consumer HDV cams. You have to use a workaround with www.lumierehd.com

    The next version of FCP (5?? - or it may be a free update) I heard will support consumer HDV cams though.
     
  15. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #15
    Very helpful! Any ideas as to a good 3-CCD camera that will take a widescren lens? I'd like to go for the less than $1000 range, but I think I can manage up to the ~$2000 range with a bit of saving up.

    What do you think of this camera? I really like the price! Even with an optical 16:9 lens, it clocks in at just over $1000. What do you think? I think I'm tempted . ;) Anyone have any ideas how the quality would compare to my current camera (Canon ZR60)? How about to a higher end ($1000-2000) 3-CCD camera like this one?
     
  16. Hoef macrumors 6502a

    Hoef

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX..... (keep walking)
    #16
    Yeah I like that camera too .... I justed started my orientation but the Panasonic scores high with the 3ccds. Ideally I like to have a camera that can work PAL as well as NTSC ... I never saw one though ... Maybe it is not a problem with FCP nowadays. HD camera's don't seem to have the PAL vs NTSC choices.
     
  17. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #17
    So... think it's a good buy?
     
  18. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #18
    Blackfox,
    The VX-1000 does have firewre i/o.

    hotwire132002,
    I would really recommend saving up for something in the $2k range. You can get a used Canon GL1 for around $700 and up. A used GL2 will go for 'round $2200. An anamorphic lens for the GL1/2 runs around $700-800. A used Canon XL1 is around $1,500. Also look for used Sony PD-150's, VX-1000's, and/or VX-2000's.

    The best way to see if you can get an anamorphic lens for a specific camera is to just google for: "CAMERA NAME" "anamorphic"

    I'm by far not a camera expert, but if need a camera to do my own shooting I'd look at the cameras I mentioned first. I can't say anything good or bad about the $1500 JVC you linked to but there's probably a reason you don't see it used like you see the Canon's and Sony's I mentioned.


    Lethal
     
  19. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    #19
    I've got that camera! Well the PAL version of it anyway. It's very nice. The picture quality is pretty good and you don't get any motor noise. The image stabiliser isn't all that though so either you keep the camera steady to start with or fix it afterwards (the first option being the best). It's low light performance is best described as average. There is a GS200 which has better (higher res) CCDs, a focus ring and can be used as a pass thru AD converter - which the GS120 won't.

    It took a while to locate in the UK as over here it's mostly Canon/Sony.
     
  20. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #20
    I think I'll have to save up for the GL2. --Sigh-- :( . It'll be worth it in the end, though! Thanks for the help, everyone!
     
  21. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #21
    OK, I'm looking now at this camera. How do you think it would compare to the GL2? I like the fact that it has XLR inputs, and I also REALLY like the fact that you get such a big camera for that price--I've been looking for something like that for a long time, because I prefer the feel of shooting with a big camera that with a shoulder mount to the feeling of shooting with a little dinky handheld one. My only concern is quality. What do you think?
     
  22. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2003
    Location:
    PDX
    #22
    Hotwire, here a a couple of links you might find useful:
    http://www.bealecorner.com/trv900/
    http://www.dvinfo.net/index.shtml

    The first link is dedicated to the Sony trv-900, a now discontinued camera that I recommended in my first post. There are a number of reviews and screenshot comparisons of various cameras plus links and other good stuff.

    The second link is just a good resource site for all things DV.

    A note about Sony vs Canon. Generally Canon cameras have a softer picure than Sony and more saturated color. It is in the eye of the beholder which is better - personally I like Canon. Also, Sony often hides many of it's manual features in menus which are a pain in the ass, while Canon usually assigns them to external buttons/knobs/switches. Ergonomically, Canon is very good. Nevertheless, I still recommend the TRV900 if you can find one. If you can afford the lenses, the Canon XL 1 is a better buy than it's smaller brother the GL1 (or 2).

    FWIW
     
  23. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #23
    Well, being as indecisive as I am, I'm (once again) thinking I'll go for an HD camera, partly for quality, and partly because (IMO) anything non-HD will be obsolete in a few years, and I really don't want to spend $2000-$3000 on a camera that will be obsolete within a few years.

    So, what do you think--should I get the JVC 1-CCD, the Sony 3-CCD, or wait for newer models? (Though I'll have to wait a while anyway while I save up...)
     
  24. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #24

    For the price you are looking for you aren't going to get a true HD camera. HDV is coming around the corner though (and I would stay away from that JVC 1chip). Is the 3 chip Sony keep refering to their HDV camera that is going to come out soon?

    Honestly, I would not buy a camera right now because it doesn't sound like you know what you want. If HDV takes off the way people want it to then probably in 3 years or so there will be good, low-end prosumer cameras in the $2-$3000 range. But, and this is just me, I tend to stay away from rev A products (especially ones that are completely new beasts like HDV). Is it worth your time and money to be on the bleeding edge? Can you surive the down time and growing pains that will occur w/such brand new tech? Tried and true pays the bills. There are still Avids based on 9600 PowerMacs out there earning their keep. Why? Because they deliver. Nothing is obsolete as long as it delivers. The switch from standard def to hidef is going to take a number of years so a solid 4:3 camera still has some legs left in it, IMO.

    I think you've really just got to sit down and figure out why you need a new camera, and what you need in a new camera. Specificly list what gaps you need to fill then research cameras to find out which ones meet your needs then compare prices and pick the best camera you can afford.


    Lethal
     
  25. hotwire132002 thread starter macrumors 65816

    hotwire132002

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2004
    Location:
    Cadillac, MI
    #25
    Thanks for the help. I definately think it's a good idea to sit down and figure out exactly what I need. I'll keep you updated!
     

Share This Page