Camera buying advice

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by chelseasian, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. chelseasian macrumors regular

    chelseasian

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2004
    Location:
    New York, NY (Chelsea)
    #1
    Hi!

    I am wondering what would be a good camera to get, to shoot content in HD in? I am planning to use the content mainly for web distribution, and I like the idea of the SONY HDR-SR7 or basically cameras that use harddrives internally vs. tapes.

    I am wondering if anyone else have other cameras to recommend? Ideally, it would costs no more than $3k, which is my budget for a pro camera, but if a regular one works just as fine, I will be open to it.

    Also I like that SONY cause it is portable. I do not fancy schellping across the city in a camera that weights 5lbs.
     
  2. andmill macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    #2
    im no expert but i think you should look at some that record to sd card not hard drives. Flash is much more reliable then a hard drive. Maybe the Panasonic HDC SD-5 would be one to look at. But again i have no clue as to which ones the best
     
  3. seany916 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #3
    HDD is decent if you're not going to capture more than a small amount of footage. If you plan on any all-day shoots, you will be a bit limited.

    Tape (miniDV) is primitive, but it is reliable and is a built in means to archive your footage. Transfer/capture is in real time (an eternity for a 12+ hour, multi-cam shoot, even on 3 computers).

    I like the HV20. In good light, it is simply beautiful. As the light goes, so does the picture. (Applicable to most single chip cameras)
     
  4. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #4
    If the intent is just web distribution, then do you really need HD? A nice SD camcorder should provide sufficient video quality for stuff that's distributed on the web.

    Keep in mind that the the HD camcorders that record on HDD/Flash/DVD all use AVCHD. The process of converting AVCHD to AIC (when using iMovie) is pretty time consuming. Plus, it requires an Intel Mac. And DVD-based AVCHD camcorders aren't supported at all.

    If you use HDV, you still have to convert to AIC, but I think it doesn't take as long (but don't quote me on that).

    ft
     
  5. chelseasian thread starter macrumors regular

    chelseasian

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    #5
    Well the original goal is to distribute online and in time, with DVDs etc.

    I am wondering if a prosumer camera would be better or should i just go get a pro camera instead?
     
  6. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #6
    You could always look at the Panasonic HVX200 if you really wanted a prosumer camcorder. Just be aware that P2 cards are pretty darn expensive and you won't be able to fit much on them.

    You won't get a pro camcorder for anything like $3,000.
     
  7. seany916 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 26, 2006
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    Southern California
    #7
    If you get a pro camera, you will want to consider getting at least decent audio. That will add significantly to your bottom line. Please factor that in.

    A beautiful picture with crappy sound is not going to be watched for long.
     
  8. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #8
    I think that the first issue, is to define what quality you really need, then go from there.

    With regards to audio, good stereo sound makes a difference and your film more enjoyable to listen to.

    I purchased the Canon TX1 to get a little taste of HD (720P) using flash memory. One thing that I found very interesting is the amount of memory that it takes. At SD I can get about 67 minutes on an 8GB card. At HD (702P) I can only get 27 minutes with the same card.

    With regards to video, consider what type of subject are you going to film. Some formats are good with action and some aren't. You might want to do some research in this area before purchasing your camera.
     
  9. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #9
    The TX1 uses so much memory becuase it's using M-JPEG as its codec. It's basically taking a 1280x720 JPEG photo, 24 times a second.

    I suppose using M-JPEG keeps the processing requirements low, thus lowering power consumption and physical size, but at the expense of large files.

    I've thought about getting a TX-1 because it's so damned cool looking and seemed a nice way to get into HD. How's the video PQ? Does it work well with iMovie'06 or '08?

    Thanks.
     
  10. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    #10
    I got the TX1 for action shots. With current technology, it seems like M-JPEG was the best way to go.

    Works fine with iMovie 6 & 8. Note, this is based upon limited use.

    You can definitely tell the difference between 720p and SD. Also the sound quality is good with the stereo mics.
     
  11. chelseasian thread starter macrumors regular

    chelseasian

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    New York, NY (Chelsea)
    #11
    I will be filming mostly paintings etc. so high detail will be necessary that is why I wanted to shoot it in HD. Also I am pretty good with Final Cut Pro, which is what i will be using to edit. I am open to pretty much anything. I admit, I am better at editing than at filming and this will be my first time doing filming, that is why I am trying to get camera buying advice.

    As long as the footage works in FCP, and at some point work on TV after the internet version, I am cool with it. With regards to audio, would it help if my subject is holding a mic?
     
  12. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #12
    When you say work on a TV do you mean via DVD or do you mean broadcast?
     
  13. chelseasian thread starter macrumors regular

    chelseasian

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    #13
    Yes. DVD and Broadcast but more on Broadcast eventually.
     
  14. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #14
    Well it depends what channel you will be broadcasting on. Some require some very serious kit. Your best bet is to contact the broadcaster and ask what their requirements are for footage to be broadcast.
     
  15. chelseasian thread starter macrumors regular

    chelseasian

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    New York, NY (Chelsea)
    #15
    It's set. Thank you everybody for your input. I totally appreciate it. I have finally decided on the Canon XH A1. It was a tough call between that and the JVC GY-HD110U. But since Amazon.com had great user reviews for the Canon and not sufficient for the JVC, I opted for the true and tested. Plus the Canon was cheaper by about $1k. :)
     
  16. Butthead macrumors 6502

    Butthead

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #16
    As n00b, I think you're making the classic n00b mistake of not doing enough research, simply making a quick decision based on price is fool hardy, IMO.

    Go to dvinfo.com and read up more on all of these on their forums, their pluses and minuses---what features one has over the other, etc as there are signifacant performance/editing differences depending on your wants and needs, now and in the future. There is a DVExpo show you can get into (forget when they have it in NYC, it's December in LA) and actually talk to manufacturers reps, get hands on with many of these lower-end semi-pro/prosumer camcorders.

    Go to creativecow.net, read forums there. Go to the NYC final cut pro user group meetings and talk to people who know, people who have done budget stuff you're talking about. Finally, you can post questions on forums of the biggest FCPUG site of them all in LA..

    www.lafcpug.org.
     

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