Buy Sell or Hold (Camera)

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Chaos123x, Feb 11, 2009.

  1. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #1
    Well I have a crappy camera.

    The Sony HVR-HD1000U, it looks like a pro full sized camera, but the manual features are pretty non-existent and it has no XLR inputs for audio.

    I was considering buying a new camera and selling this one.

    To do this I was going to join the credit union at my work and refinance my car (the interest on my current loan is awful) and just ad the price of the camera to the loan. I think I would still have a lower payment then now doing this.

    Either do that or wait for that one magical job that pays me enough to go and buy it in cash. (mind you I would have to do that job with the HD1000U or a rental).

    If I sell my old camera though I will need some way to playback and edit stuff shot by other people on DV and HDV. Is there a cheap camera or deck I can get for a low price for that? Or should I just keep my old camera too?


    The things is I am primarily a editor but I do need to shot sometimes (for my own jobs), thats why I bought the HD1000U in the first place. But the HD1000U is just not doing it for me. I am used to shooting on big BetaCams and DVCPRo cameras that the TV news uses.


    My Camera choices in the order I want them are.



    #1 Panasonic HMC-150

    Pros: Cheap SD Card tapeless Media, good image quality, relative cheap price, full manual controls.

    Cons: Crappy codec, hard to edit footage, light weight cheap feeling camera.



    #2 JVC HD110U

    Pros: Real fujinon lens, full manual controls with all switches in the right places, relative cheap price, shoulder mount. Looks Pro.

    Cons: Tape based, HDV codec, battery life.



    #3 Panasonic HPX-170

    Pros: awesome DVCPRO HD codec, tapeless, full manual.

    Cons: P2 cards are insanely expensive, camera cost almost 2x as much as the hmc-150.



    #4 Sony EX-1 XD CAM
    Pros: Awesome image quality, it's sony, tapeless.

    Cons: Expensive Camera, Expensive SxS cards, just ok codec.


    #5 Sony HVRS270U

    Pros: Real Fujinon lens, Every button where it needs to be, HDV tape and tapeless compact flash (inexpensive media) shoulder mount, I would know how to use right out the box, it seems to be the perfect camera for me.

    Cons: HOLY Crap Expensive!!! :eek: Bad Reviews, did I mention it's expensive? It will probably be way outdated and ancient before I pay it off.



    #6 Panasonic DVX-100B

    Pros: Good image quality, 24P, manual features, can find for a good price.

    Cons: No HD, only records in DV, outdated, not future proof.



    Advice? Suggestions?
     
  2. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Warminster, PA
    #2
    Hi. I've shot/color corrected stuff with the JVC-hd100 (and the 200 model) and the EX1.

    The EX1 is an absolutely gorgeous camera. I'm color grading a 15 minute short from the ex1 (1080p24 XDCAM) and it looks great. The codec is wonderful and i can't complain about it. The XDCAM cards are much more expensive than tape and you need a dumper on set.

    The JVC is a nice camera. It has a good lens on it and is shoulder mount. HDV isn't my favorite codec, but it works fine and i haven't had any problems with it. Go for the HD200 package if you can afford it with the Anton Bauer battery mount.
     
  3. Chaos123x thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    #3
    Hows the image on the JVC?

    I could over look the fact that it is tape, because of the controls are all in the right places like a real broadcast camera (which I am used to shooting with).
    The lens that comes with it is so sweet.


    The EX-1 seems like the best pricey camera on my list, just not sure if I could afford that and cards at the same time.
     
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #4
    MxR Expresscard Reader is a viable, and much cheaper, option to SxS cards.


    Lethal
     
  5. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Warminster, PA
    #5
    The image is great in SD, but the HDV is so so. You can really notice the compression when there is a lot of action. ALSO, if you plan on color correcting the HDV be warned, noise adds up VERY fast. But once again, it looks excellent in SD and it's a good lens.

    But holy crap, if you can afford the EX-1.... I just finished color grading (in color) a 15 minute narrative short, and I totally was able to do absolutely anything I wanted with VERY minimal noise. The DP did a lackluster job and had a very underexposed and low contrast image, and I was able to drop my shadows, push my highlights and add a smidge of a gamma drop to achieve a balanced look. Heck, I was able to use an HSL key in a secondary to change the hue of a set of lockers...

    I was blown away at how much i was able to manipulate it.

    After I rendered that project out last night, I moved into a 720p24 HDV project shot with the JVC-HD110. VERY little wiggle room and I felt very limited as to what i could do in comparison to the XDCAM 1080p24 35MBps footage.

    So yeah. Coming from a colorist/editor, I couldn't be any happier with the Ex-1. But the JVC is a decent camera... as long as you don't plan on any hardcore color grading.
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #6
    Did the DP screw up or did he give you a low contrast image that retained a lot of shadow and high light detail so that you had plenty of room in post to manipulate the image w/o it failing apart too quickly?

    Digital Praxis has a short article about gamma curves and how ideally you want a low contrast, high dynamic range image because that gives you the most flexibility in post.


    Lethal
     
  7. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Warminster, PA
    #7
    Lethal, it was a whole bunch of problems.. They didn't shoot it bland on purpose because i was brought on a week before it was due for submission for GPSFF since they couldn't fix it themselves.

    I go to Drexel and the film was the first thing shot with our new EX-1s. They didn't shoot charts and the stuff was coming in at 7.5 IRE (the editor edited in Avid and someone told me this caused that) at the lowest, and the highlights in some shots were only at like 60 IRE and had a ton of room before clipping. It was just a nightmare. And for an entire exterior scene at magic hour "the white balance on the camera wasn't functioning" (talk about a joke) and everything was way too blue. And other scenes had crazy shades of green. Just a total pita without a chip chart.

    The end result looks great, but just way more work than needed and it irked me that they pushed the blame off on EVERYTHING coming stemming ProRes sucking. When in reality they exported a single ProRes file and EDL from MC. Brought that into FCP and sent to color. But for some reason the editor didn't catch that the EDL missed a few cuts and it shifted the setup to 7.5. But it's not our fault, "ProRes messed it up with its crazy gamma shifts" quoting the editor. Sorry for the rant, needed to get that one out.

    I have Steve Hullfish's "The Art and Technique of Digital Color Correction" and it's an amazing guide at the aesthetics of grading. Good buy and good read.

    But yeah, if it was shot on HDV I would have been screwed.
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #8
    Yeah, that does sound like a PITA. I've never had the pleasure of production using a chip chart so I'm used to doing w/scopes & eyes.


    Lethal
     
  9. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2008
    #9
    I've used the JVC, it's a pretty decent camera. We use it with a Firestore, which is really, really handy.

    You can see some of it in action on the page in my signature (follow the "Watch the Show" link). Or here's something else we shot on the JVC HD110u:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zC9PJbmTw7w&feature=channel_page

    The Sony EX cameras are sweet, we used an EX3, I believe, to do a couple things. It's nice to use and not having to log tapes is always a plus. You'll want to have a laptop on location, or something else, for dumping if you only have a card or two.
     

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