Looking for a good HD Video Camera

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by techlover828, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. techlover828 macrumors 68020

    techlover828

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    #1
    My family owns a farm and we do a lot of horse clinics and it's nice to have video so we can make a movie. Trouble is, we have a pretty crappy camera that took horrible video of our last clinic and it brought down the quality of the video. Anyway, what do you guys recommend for a good video camera in the $600-$800 range? Looking for an HD camera that can take some decent video, let me know what you guys think/recommend. Thanks
     
  2. TaKashMoney macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    #2
    I may be the first, but definitely not the last to recommend the Canon HV20 or HV30 in that price range. Check them out. They are amazing deals.
     
  3. techlover828 thread starter macrumors 68020

    techlover828

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    Jun 28, 2007
    #3
    Hey, thanks for the help, we're pretty set on the hv30 now, but I have a few questions (keep in mind I'm pretty new to all this). So, what's the best program to get the video on to the computer (can't think of the word). I've been using iMovieHD but I'm guessing it's not going to give the best video. So what's the best program? Also, I saw in a youtube video review that there are HD mini DV tapes, but those weren't really necessary, are they going to give an increase in the quality of the video? or are they not really worth it? Also, app. how much space does one minute of hd video take? Thanks

    We're really going to need some more hard drives,
     
  4. foshizzle macrumors regular

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    Oct 17, 2007
    #4
    For better video than iMovie, pick up a copy of final cut express 4. Watch tutorials on apple's website, go to workshops at the store, check out youtube final cut express tutorials (there are hundreds).

    Im not sure about the optional HDV tapes, or if you can use regular DV tapes in this camcorder.
     
  5. Gloor macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 19, 2007
  6. TaKashMoney macrumors 6502

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    Jul 15, 2005
    #6
    To answer some of the questions ...

    1. Just to clarify, whether you use iMovie or Final Cut express, the video quality will be identical. You will still get the same great HD quality whether you import and edit using either program. Final Cut Express simply offers many more options, f/x ability, and editing flexibility (like multiple video tracks) that iMovie does not. FCE also has more export options for final encoding output.

    2. All mini-dv tapes are completely capable of recording HD footage and with the same time limit on the tape. So a 60 min mini-dv tape can either record 60 min of HD footage or 60 min of standard def footage. You will see many tapes marketed as an HD tape. These tapes are made of the exact same stuff, but they are more expensive because they are put through more rigorous quality control testing. (Just an FYI and a general rule, while entirely possible, its not good practice to record both HD and standard def footage on the same tape.)

    3. Both the HV20 and HV30 can record in the very popular 24fps. The HV30 can also record at 30fps.

    If you are on a tight budget, and because of the small differences between both models, many people recommend buying the heavily discounted HV20. I think its at BHphotovideo.com for less than $600.

    Check out some amazing footage that has been captured with these cameras at.... http://www.vimeo.com/HV20
     
  7. TaKashMoney macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2005
    #7
    I forgot to answer a couple more questions you had...

    Regarding Hard drive space...

    HDV is the high definition codec that these cameras use to compress the footage into a reasonable size. For a clip of mine that was about 1 minute long shot at 24fps, it took about 200 MB of disk space to import it.

    And just to further clarify, all mini-dv tapes will record footage at the same quality. Some more expensive tapes will be better at preventing drop outs (where brief seconds of shots you had, just didnt record properly to the tape).
    The thing to remember is to just try to be consistent with the brand and type of tape you use (so buy in bulk if you can). Mixing brands of tapes is where trouble will usually start.
     
  8. techlover828 thread starter macrumors 68020

    techlover828

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    Jun 28, 2007
    #8
    that's a ridiculous amount of space needed, so most people must just keep the minidv tapes instead of actually encoding the video and storing it on a hard drive, right?
     
  9. techlover828 thread starter macrumors 68020

    techlover828

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    Jun 28, 2007
    #9
    also will my mbp be able to handle encoding/editing the HD video?
     
  10. TaKashMoney macrumors 6502

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    Jul 15, 2005
    #10
    Please keep in mind that both DV (standard definition on mini-dv tape) and HDV 1080i (High definition on mini-dv tape) use the exact amount of harddrive space. So its not really a crazy amount considering, but for more detailed breakdown:

    DV and HDV 1080i 25 Mb/s

    25 Mbits / second
    25.600 bits / second
    3200 bytes / second
    3,125 Mb / second
    187,5 Mb / minute
    11,250 Gb / hour

    if you get 13 Gb/hour it is probably because of the fact
    1) Tapes are about 63 minutes
    2) This is the actual size of files, size of files on a HDD might be different (1000 - 1024 difference: E.g. 1,5 Gb is not the same as 1 Gb and 500 Mb)

    HDV 720p (19,7 Mbits/second with the audio included)

    19,7 Mbits / second
    20.173 bits / second
    2522 bytes / second
    2,46 Mb / second
    147,75 Mb / minute
    8,865 Gb / hour

    So, taking everything in account, 1 hour of DV or 1080i HDV is about 11 Gb and 1 hour of 720p HDV is about 9 Gb.


    Oh and your MBP will handle HDV like a champ.
     
  11. techlover828 thread starter macrumors 68020

    techlover828

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    Jun 28, 2007
    #11
    sweet, we're most likely going to get an hv30 and a 2tb raid system from owc. Thanks for all your help!
     
  12. djsound macrumors 6502a

    djsound

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    Dec 4, 2006
  13. techlover828 thread starter macrumors 68020

    techlover828

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    Jun 28, 2007
    #13
    ya but you can still find it online.
     
  14. djsound macrumors 6502a

    djsound

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    Dec 4, 2006
    #14
    any ideas where? I think i'd get the hv30 over the 20...is the picture quality better on the 30?
     
  15. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

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    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #15
    The HV20 is silver; the HV30 is black. Black is the new silver; silver is the old black. Any other differences of note?
     
  16. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

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    Aug 25, 2007
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    Oregon
    #16
    I have a Canon HG10 that is great. Lasy year's model and you can find them online now for as cheap as about $600-$700.
     
  17. bandaros macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2008
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    L.A.
    #17
  18. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

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    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #18
    The HV20 has a 10x optical zoom, whereas the Hv30 has a 12x?

    Black makes the lens longer?

    If they bring out a red one next year, will that raise the shutter speed?

    Sorry, but it's hard not to be cynical when new cameras are coming out for very little reason other than a new paint job or the addition of a minor feature.

    That said, if HDV is yer bag then they're both excellent cameras, obviously.
     
  19. djsound macrumors 6502a

    djsound

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    Dec 4, 2006
    #19
    same resolution though i guess? thats all i really care about the image quality...

    plus the hv30 would go perfectly with a macbook pro =)
     
  20. bandaros macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2008
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    L.A.
    #20
    I have the HV20, and judging from the footage that I've seen shot with the HV30, the image quality is near identical (which translates to: Awesome).
     
  21. djsound macrumors 6502a

    djsound

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    Dec 4, 2006
    #21
    I think you guys have sold me on the hv20. Now I just have to pick a place and order... exciting :D
     
  22. mikeyPotg macrumors 6502

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    Mar 20, 2006
    #22
    I had and loved the Canon HV20 for several months.
    Some thoughts.
    1. Def try to buy a Wide Angle lens for it.
    2. This is totally up to you, but I'd recommend buying a used one (hopefully one with a warranty still). The prices keep getting lower and it's really an amazing camera for the price.
    3. Mini DV tapes worked fine for me. As of now, I think its the way to go until Bluray becomes standard, because a major selling point for me was being able to edit your footage (I used FCS 2.0) then print to tape. Then connect the camera via HDMI to a nice HD tv and enjoy.
    4. My biggest issues were lack of manual controls/focus ring (what do you expect in such an awesome, small camera), I seemed to get bland color, and the 24p workflow just gave me a bit of a headache.

    Eventually I sold mine after going through 7 tapes and doing a huge project for the superintendent of my school district in order to get a DVX100b. I really do miss the HD... but I love the color quality, 24p auto mode, and manual controls of the DVX.

    But really, you can't go wrong with that camera. Feel free to PM me with any questions.
     
  23. bandaros macrumors member

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    Jun 21, 2008
    Location:
    L.A.
    #23
    I agree - a wide-angle lens is definitely worth looking into. I have a Raynox 6600 HD, on the cheaper side of things, but IMO it's pretty amazing given the price (USD130-140++).

    If you're from a country where PAL is the standard, you'll enjoy the easier workflow that 25p offers.
     
  24. MacVault macrumors 65816

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    Jun 10, 2002
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    Planet Earth
    #24
    I highly recommend the Canon HF100, although you must have a pretty powerfull, multi-core, computer in order to edit the footage. The HF100 is nice and compact, great video AND audio, and it is so nice not having to deal with tapes!
     
  25. Chrispy macrumors 68020

    Chrispy

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    Dec 27, 2004
    Location:
    Avon, IN
    #25
    Please forgive my ignorance here but I have a few questions. Of the cameras mentioned in this thread (the HV20 and HV30), which one of them offers the following?

    -Ability to record back to MiniDV tape from FCE 4
    -Ability to pass video from VCR to Mac via FireWire connection on camera (basically a built-in dazzle)

    I'm looking for an HD camera that uses MiniDV that I can use to backup a finished product back to MiniDV. I'm also hoping to avoid having to buy additional hardware to move video from my VCR to the Mac Pro for a project I am working on. Finally, if neither of these cameras do both, can you recommend one that does? Thanks all and sorry again for my ignorance on this subject!
     

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