Which video cam?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by BakedBeans, Aug 23, 2004.

  1. BakedBeans macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    What's Your Favorite Posish
    #1
    mini dv or dv? or the new sony dvd?

    i want it to work in harmony with powerbook and with final cut pro hd
    something nice but not super expensive...
    i would like it to look nice (complement my powerbook)

    i would love some help on this one...
     
  2. LeeTom macrumors 68000

    LeeTom

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    #2
    I don't have any specific recommendations, but you should definitely get a miniDV camera. I doubt you would have any problems if you went with Canon or Sony.

    EDIT: If you can spare the money, get one with a 3-chip CCD. They're higher quality than the 1-chips, although the cost may not be worth it to you.

    Lee Tom
     
  3. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #3
    MiniDV and DV are the same format, the only difference is the physical size of the tape. DV has larger tapes and longer recording times (up to 2 or 3 hours) while MiniDV has smaller tapes and tops out at 1hr recording times.

    Stay way from MicroMV (Sony) or any of the cameras that record to DVD (big quality hit when compared to MiniDV).

    What is your budget?


    Lethal
     
  4. BakedBeans thread starter macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    What's Your Favorite Posish
    #4
    ive not really got a budget... i just look for good value for money... a sweetspot if you like...

    i think it will be a mini dv... im not sure i need dv in/out
    as i will edit it and burn it to dvd...
    how long will it take to tranfer a minidv 1hr recording onto the mac via firewire... can i do things on the fly if its got in/out ???

    whats cool in the world of cams? i would like some cool features
     
  5. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #5
    For a sweet spot look at the Canon ZR series. Good features. Great pricing.
     
  6. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    #6
    First of all a 1 Hr. recording will take 1 hour because it plays back in real time. Secondly, when you say mini dv in/out do you mean iLink (4 pin "mini firewire") because you still need that to transfer your footage to your hard drive because you cant directly edit the tape. If you are looking to spend $650 - $850 get the camera in my sig. It is the best if size, picture quality, and features are important to you.

    EDIT: forgot to mention it would be pretty stupid to get anything but a mini dv camera for everything from vacations to professional work.
     
  7. dav macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2004
    #7
    I made that tragic mistake a year or so ago. Shoot me in the face.


    Is there ANY way to get it to work with OS X?
     
  8. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #8
    I can highly recommend the Canon MVX25i / Optura 40 as a portable but well featured DV camera.
     
  9. Laslo Panaflex macrumors 65816

    Laslo Panaflex

    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    Tokyo
    #9
    I really want to get my hands on THIS camera, I have been using the XL-1 since for a few years and love it.

    Another really good Pro-Sumer camera is the Sony TRV-900, I use that and like it, but it is no longer in production.

    3-chip cameras are coming down in price, I unfortunately have no used any of the newer ones, just the XL-1 and TRV-900, B&H has THIS Panasonic 3 Chip for $700.

    Really you need a Mini DV cam with a decent sized lens and preferably 3 chip. B&H has pretty decent prices, and a huge selection, check them out.
     
  10. rt_brained macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    Creativille
    #10
    I just got the Panasonic 3-chip camera in question, the PV-GS120. Was looking at Sony and Canon, but happily came across the Panasonic. Shooting on the move takes a little getting used to as the LCD solarizes at less of an angle than most, but you don't need to view a perfectly bright crisp LCD image 100% of the time to know if your subject is still in the frame.

    There is no Holy Grail of small consumer DV cams, so you have to put up with one quirk or another regardless. The final color quality is the true test for me, and this camera at this price point with 3CCDs and Leica optics is at the top of the heap right now.
     
  11. BakedBeans thread starter macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

    Joined:
    May 6, 2004
    Location:
    What's Your Favorite Posish
  12. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    LaLaLand, CA
    #12
    The Canon's are nice, but I've read reviews that say there aren't very good in low light. I have a Sony Digital 8 that I'm pretty happy with, although it's getting older and the heads are getting kinda noisy. My next camcorder will probably be a Sony. The new Digital 8 models aren't that great, so I'm thinking one the new DV models. I'd recommend something like this, or if you have the money, the DCR-HC40ES or HC65ES. Just be sure to buy a better battery. And you might want a better external microphone, so get one with a mic jack.

    Stay away from the ones that burn DVDs. Trust me.

    It doesn't take that long to import your footage. But I don't have a DVD burner, so I couldn't tell you how long it take to do that. Shouldn't be too hard though, you do have a Mac. ;)
     
  13. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    NJ USA
    #13
    If you will be shooting any amount of indoor footage, with "normal" to "low" lighting conditions you should stay away from the low-end Canon MiniDV cams. I owned the ZR10 from 2001 - 2004 and it was terrible in low light. I lived with it for 3 years until I just had enough.

    Canon has released many new models in the ZR line but I don't think any of them have improved the low light video quality. They just keep adding bells and whistles for the still image capability. Another "feature" to trick the Best Buy customer into thinking that they are getting a digital camcorder and a digital still camera in one package. Not.

    Other Canons (Optura, Elura) do better in low light.

    Sony has always had a good reputation for good low light performance. The key is the size of the CCD. You really want a 1/4" or larger CCD. This year Sony reduced the size of their entry level cameras, now called the HC series in the U.S. When they reduced the size of the camera they also reduced the size of the CCD, which is not good.

    Sony's 2003 line of the TRV-19 and TRV-22 have 1/4" CCDs and do very well in low light. The 2004 HC lineup have 1/5" or 1/6" CCDs. Some people have reported that the 2004 Sonys still have good low light performance. I don't know.

    I don't know what size CCDs the 3 chip Panasonic has but it may be worth a look. I don't think having 3 CCDs will help in low light, but it will help in general video/color quality.

    Buy from a good store with a good return policy. But the camera thru some tests when you get it. Shoot the type of video that you will normally shoot and then compare some cams.

    My late 2000 Canon ZR10 took excellent video outdoors on a sunny day so I think most of the current MiniDV cams will be fine in good/outdoor lighting. Remember that low light is really normal indoor lighting. So if you'll be shooting indoors do yourself a favor and get a good low light camera.
     
  14. atari1356 macrumors 68000

    atari1356

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #14
    I have the Panasonic GS-120 as well. It's a great camera and works perfectly with OS X/iMovie. With the 3CCD chips the colors really stand out... I've shot a few family movies with it and they look great. My only complaint is that the image stabilization doesn't work in low light situations - but that doesn't affect me often so it's not a big deal.
     
  15. Badradio macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Location:
    Manchester
    #15
    The PC105 that ChrisFromCanada has got some great reviews, but they're not so easy to come buy now. The new version - the PC109E - is still a great camera, and it has a couple of cool features you might like.
    First up, like the 105, it has a touch-screen LCD. The best trick with this is the manual focus: you just select the manual mode then touch the object on the screen you want to focus on. It works for manual exposure too. Second, it has a one megapixel ccd, which lets you film in 16:9 widescreen. I noticed you were using FCP HD and figured that this might appeal if you're planning to work on some more professional projects.
    It's a close call between the Panasonic GS120 (with its great picture quality) and the Sony, but the Sony's portability (you really can fit one in you jacket pocket) means that you're more likely to have it with you when you need it.
     
  16. Arthur macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #16
    Got the GS120...Firewire?

    Just got the GS120 (paid around $500 from Buydig). My first cam. I bought it based only on online reviews. It's easy to use. I was happily surprised at the quality when I hooked it up to my TV. Way better than whatever most people are using for their cop-beating and pet-trick vids.

    ***Anyone have some advice for hooking it up to a Mac and getting it to work with iMovie? (I tried with the supplied USB, but no luck.)Is there a cable that can connect to the Mac via Firewire?
     
  17. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #17
    Yeah you'll need firewire to work with iMovie. I am sure the GS120 when I was looking at it (Got the Canon Optura 40) has a mini firewire port.

    Yeah here we go (they didn't give you a firewire cable...pretty cheap of them)
    http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1646429,00.asp

    The PV-GS120 captures raw digital video to Mini-DV tape and provides AV ports for analog streaming via component connection to a TV or other video device (the unit comes with a component cable but no S-Video cable). It also has a FireWire port for transferring video to a computer; however, a FireWire cable is not provided. This device's USB port (12-Mbps throughput, not the faster 480 Mbps) and included USB cable are meant only for still-image transfer.
     
  18. djkny macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    #18
    Testing Cameras

    Just compared images shot with the Panasonic GS-120; GS-200; Canon Optura 400/500 and the new Sony PC350.

    After comparing images, I find that hands down, Sony's 1 CCD is far clearer, color-sensitive and sharper than the "3 CCD" Panasonic's. I think CCD talk is slick marketing for the uninformed, overzealous consumer. Sure 3 CCD can capture/split color signals better than the 1CCD, but the Panasonic chips, also, are smaller. the Sony's 1 CCD is bigger and the camera has better optics. Thus, the whites look white; on the Panasonic and Canon, the whites look "gray".
     
  19. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    #19
    i have the Elura 50, great price, great features....
     
  20. jimsowden macrumors 68000

    jimsowden

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    NY
    #20
    Its not. Its based on a professional standard, where one of the 3 ccds = the size of 1 good consumer ccd. Panasonic did something smart, and made a cheap 3ccd camera. I've tested many sonys, panasonics, canons, etc, and the 3 chip cameras almost always out-perform the 1 chip ones.
     
  21. djkny macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2003
    #21
    Not from the video tests I performed off flat screen LCD's, too. The colors tell through the truth and the Pansonic's performed poorly.

    Also, in the case of these models, Sony's 1 CCD is actually 1/3" (much like the famed TRV-900). The Panasonics represent the trend to go "smaller and cheaper." Sure, they've got 3 CCD's but the size of each chip is 1/4 to 1/6" I believe. I'm not talking about the GS-400, mind you. I'm referring to their "lower grade" models -- the GS120 and the GS200.
     
  22. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #22
    Like w/anything else you can't compare a single feature across multiple product lines and expect it to be an accurate representation of how the products stack up against one another.

    All other things being equal, given todays tech a 3-chip camera will always hammer a 1-chip camera. But in the real world of product comparing all things are not equal. You have to consider chip size (physical size), the quality of the optics, and the quality of the proccessing that turns light into 1's and 0's.
    Comparing 1 chip and 3 chip consumer cameras of similar quality the 3 chip camera will typically give better color, but the the 1 chip will typically give better image quality. The reason for this is the chips in the 1 chip cameras are typically bigger than the chips in the 3 chip cameras.

    jimsowden,
    Pro cameras use 3, 2/3" CCDs (prosumer cameras typically use 1/3" chips). There is no consumer grade chip that would ever be used in a Pro camera.


    -Lethal
     
  23. The Past macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    #23
    The Sonys are good but their customer service is among the worst. You will not really need the CS, but if you do, it may be easier to run into a wall six times a day than dealing with them. Also, some Sony miniDVs make a hum (most do, but this is noticeable and will be recorded). If it matters to you, then you are looking at an additional plugin (e.g., SoundSoap) for your editing.
     

Share This Page