looking for a new camcorder

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by X1Lightning, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. X1Lightning macrumors 6502

    X1Lightning

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    #1
    I need to get a new HD camcorder used mostly for family things, but i edit videos that others have recorded and might use this to capture small amounts of footage to use in these other clips.

    I'd like to keep it under 1,500 but if there is something that is going to give me more bang for the buck over that then i can do it.

    definitely need a strong optical zoom, and good low light ability's.

    so what do you suggest i look at?
     
  2. JRayFilms macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    #2
    I recently bought the Canon 60D about 3 weeks ago after it came out. Spent around $1400 at best buy for the camera, lens, memory card. It is a DSLR and not your typical handheld camera for video, which I wasnt interested in at the time, but after I went ahead and bought it, I havent looked back. Quality is amazing for the price. This video can give you an idea http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw4GfN7hdrg
     
  3. X1Lightning thread starter macrumors 6502

    X1Lightning

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    #3
    Is it hard to shoot video with something like that?
     
  4. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

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    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #4
    Don't forget to check the Apple site for camcorders compatible with iMovie.
     
  5. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #5
    There's definitely a bit of a learning curve. If you have still photography experience it would really help having knowledge of lens characteristics, aperature, iso, shutter speed, etc.

    The on board audio on most (if not all) dslrs is pretty terrible. So if you need quality audio then your best bet is to sync externally or get a good adapter (something like beachtek makes).

    Another issue can be stabilizing the camera. Of course the small form factor helps in certain situations, but without solid support you become susceptible to jittery footage. There are many support options out there from the relatively cheap to the insanely expensive.

    Monitoring footage can also be an issue since you're trying to achieve critical focus on a small LCD screen. There are some viewfinder solutions or you can go the external monitor route.

    Last but not least are the lenses. The kit lenses for these cameras are usually mediocre (though I hear the gh1 lens is real nice). So this of course can get expensive, though there are a lot of older primes out there that can be found cheap and used with an adapter. You mentioned that you wanted a good zoom. these are definitely available, but you have to make sure you find one with a fixed aperture. That way your f-stop won't change throughout your zoom range. This is usually found in more expensive lenses. You'll also have to give up a motorized zoom and autofocus. No autofocus isn't a big dealm but the motorized zoom may be.

    So as you can see, a DSLR for video use can start out cheap but quickly get expensive once you start complimenting it with other gear that is usually pretty necessary.

    I didn't even touch on some of the image quality issues that are prevalent in DSLR footage (moire, aliasing, CMOS artifacts, etc.)

    Having said all of that, you can get some really impressive footage with the current crop of DSLRs. Used in the right hands, DSLRs are great tools for video.
     
  6. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    NJ USA
    #6
    Your budget puts in in top of the consumer cams. If you can stretch a bit you can move into the lower range of prosumer cams such as Panasonic HMC40.

    If I was buying a family first "vacation" cam today I'd go for the Panny TM700. Should have lots of room for accessories (mic, good tripod, filters).

    I'm not quite ready for the dSLR thing. Ergonomics, sound recording and record times are all issues for me.

    You mention editing other footage...is this going to be on MiniDV? If so, you may have to stick with tape-based HDV. Not sure if there are any left on the market. Maybe Canon HV30/40. You can find a used HV30 with DOF adapter for under $800 at http://www.hv20.com

    Let's us know if you need tape-based or not and then more suggestions can come in.

    As for low light, anything under $1500 is going to suffer a bit due to the smaller chips.
     
  7. X1Lightning thread starter macrumors 6502

    X1Lightning

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    #7
    thanks for all the information on the DSLRs after reading this, i think i am gonna pass on this option
     
  8. X1Lightning thread starter macrumors 6502

    X1Lightning

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    #9
    that HMC40 looks like a nice camera

    I do all my editing with CS4 Premier and After Effects, and everything is in mpeg4.
    i would prefer to go the SDcard route, just seems like a more efficient way to go.
     
  9. X1Lightning thread starter macrumors 6502

    X1Lightning

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    Feb 19, 2007
    #10
    the TM700 appears to have better specs than the HMC40 for about half the price

    am i reading that correct?
     
  10. GroundLoop macrumors 68000

    GroundLoop

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    #11
    It really depends on what you are using it for. As mentioned earlier the HMC40 does have a larger sensor which will typically result in cleaner/less noisy video. Also, larger sensors typically do better in lower light. The TM700 has outstanding low-light performance for its category (top-end consumer camcorders).

    If you aren't doing any professional videography, in my opinion, the HMC40 is too big.

    GL
     
  11. jwheeler macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    #12
    I have tried the TM700. Its amazing. Obviously the 60p is a brilliant feature, but it is an a different / awkward format :(
     
  12. X1Lightning thread starter macrumors 6502

    X1Lightning

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    Feb 19, 2007
    #13
    what do you mean its awkward?
     
  13. X1Lightning thread starter macrumors 6502

    X1Lightning

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    #14
    I don't currently have a need for the pro version, but i have thought about trying to expand what i can do to get more business in my area there is only so much demand for after effects work on its own.

    and i wanted to get into tv commercials for the local business and thought i could make a little more money if i didn't have to pay a camera guy

    but i still want to use it for the kids events and concerts
     
  14. X1Lightning thread starter macrumors 6502

    X1Lightning

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    Feb 19, 2007
    #15
    from what i am reading they both use 1/4" sensors
     
  15. jwheeler macrumors regular

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    Jan 14, 2010
    #16
    the 60p mode is in a different format and has to be put in a "wrapper" or re-encoded to work with final cut. You can still do the other formats that are compatible. I want that camera. But work doesn;t want it so...

    I might persuade them to get a new DSLR with video capability?
     
  16. X1Lightning thread starter macrumors 6502

    X1Lightning

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    Feb 19, 2007
    #17
    does anyone know if that works with premiere and after effects? or would it have to be re encoded to use there too?
     
  17. Wondercow macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #18
    I have an HS700 that I use with iMovie—unfortunately I therefore can't speak to native compatibility with Premiere or After Effects. However, I can tell you that getting the 60p files into iMovie or Final Cut is simple and there is no re-encoding necessary. See here where someone has made an Automator workflow that will simply put the camcorder files into a new container with no loss of quality. The only problem I have is that iMovie won't (easily?) export at 60p.

    As for the camera itself, well, it's simply amazing and quite a steal at full price. And, as an added benefit, the still photos are as stunning as the video (this, to me, is amazing since I've never used a video camera whose stills were anywhere close to being as good as a digital camera).
     
  18. X1Lightning thread starter macrumors 6502

    X1Lightning

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    #19
    i was just reading some reviews on the TM700K and a few people are saying it has a really bad fan noise does the HS700K have that?

    i would prefer to go with the sd cards but if the thing is noisy i really don't want it
     
  19. Wondercow macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #20
    I read many reviews, both customer and (semi-) professional, and I found that some people claimed to have fan/HD noise in their recordings while others claimed no extraneous noise at all. Some said that the noise went away with an external mic, others said it made no difference. So, I bought from a local shop that has a good return policy just in case. As you may have guessed already I've no problems with the camera (though I never tried the TM700, the 20-hour capacity of the HS is well worth the price difference IMO). I haven't heard any whine or buzz, though I haven't used the internal mic since I first bought and tested it.

    My advice would be to buy one from a store that will allow you a full refund if you're not happy and test it out. I'd also recommend the HS over the TM, but that's just me—they're exactly the same but for the hard drive.
     
  20. X1Lightning thread starter macrumors 6502

    X1Lightning

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    #21
    The only reason i was thinking the flash was that hard drives fail, and its easier to just swap out sd cards than to track down a new hard drive for it.

    unless its a standard hard disk? do you know if that is ??
     
  21. Wondercow, Nov 3, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010

    Wondercow macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 27, 2008
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    Toronto, Canada
    #22
    I assume it's a standard disk but I don't know for sure. That being said, the HS can record to an SD card if you like, it just doesn't have the built-in 32 GB. You can also very easily move or copy footage and stills between drive and card.

    I see where you're coming from with respect to the hard drive and, of course, there is a price difference to consider as well. For me, the HS was my choice partly because of the convenience and partly the cost of high-capacity SD media: when I'm out with the camera (especially on vacation) I don't want to be hindered in what I can capture because I might run of of space—either total space from all cards or missing something while I swap out a full card for an empty one. This leads to the other main reason I went with the HS: the price of 32 & 64 GB cards. The cost of a card fast enough to keep up with 1080/60p means, at current prices, you'll generally spend more on cards than the difference in price between the HS and TM while ending up with half the storage.
     
  22. jwheeler macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2010
    #23
    In theory the hs would be noisier than the tm. Hard drives make noise. If it were me i'd rather have the tm as its nicer to hold. Hard drives have a finite life. Data loss fear! At least with SD card you'd be forced to unload the card regularly, and not loose much, should it actually break. Research both, I'd say it should be between those two. (Even if they are the same camera).
     
  23. X1Lightning thread starter macrumors 6502

    X1Lightning

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    #24
    i have been checking all the local shops and nobody has either one of these cameras, i really want to try one out before i buy one. probably gonna have to take a road trip to a bigger city....
     
  24. pinyourwings22 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    #25
    I'm also on the hunt for a new video camera. From all of the people I've talked to, and from my experience, I am leaning toward the Canon Rebel t2i. The video quality is pretty stellar for under $1000, and you won't find much better video quality unless you go up to the Mark II. I found a pretty good bundle through amazon that gets you the body plus two lenses(18-55mm and 55-250mm).

    Obviously you are going to want to get an external mic, but that shouldn't cost you more than $200(and that's on the high end)
     

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