TOTALLY new.. sub 1k budget recommendations please

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by SpitzerCR, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. SpitzerCR macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2009
    BOUGHT A GUYS HV30 SETUP FROM HIM...... thanks for all the help and support

    So i have been searching and googling and it all comes down to this.

    I know what i would like... but the more i read the more i become confused.
    I apologize for my ignorance on some of the basic concepts of this.

    -using a macbook pro with tiger, ati 1600 graphics card, 2gb ram.

    -want sub 1k.. 1k is my LIMIT for now minus accessories.

    -prefer hardrive for easy car travel

    -3ccd (i learned this is good for lower lights)

    -I will be filming some go kart racing.. the track is lit fairly well but its still not amazing for video. A couple guys use standard handheld cams and barely get by but they sell quite a few DVD's

    -Will just be using Imovie for now.

    So what i was looking at was HF series.. but they seem to not process light as well as panasonics new HD, 3ccd cams???


    Im looking at panasonic.. HDC cams.


    JVC HD everio GZ-HD3.... this cam seems to allow a budget for accessories right away, and seems to have the things i "THINK" i desire.

    I know nothing about codec, or anything. All i know is mac is going to make my life easier.. im addicted to forums.. i learn quickly by asking direct questions.

    Thank you tooo allllll ahead of time. This forum seems very friendly so i finally got the kahunas to ask what may be a very dumb broad question.

    Thanks again... all recommendations and beginning knowledge is appreciated. Also any links to places i can read and get a basica understanding would be great. It seems im missing alot of information to understand what I am reading.
  2. fiercetiger224 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2004
    You might want to do some more research. 3CCD cameras do not yield better low-light performance. However, the size of the CCD/CMOS sensors do low-light improve performance. The bigger the sensor, the better it will capture light. 3CCD cameras usually yields in better color rendition in certain conditions.

    With that in mind, CMOS sensors also differ in processing video. All consumer cameras that contain CMOS sensors use "rolling shutters", which basically means that each frame capture is captured line by line, as opposed to CCDs' capturing of full-frames, due to a "global shutter". CMOS sensors can have an effect on panning, with skewing/jello effects. CCDs don't have this defect, since each frame is captured fully.

    For your budget, I'd probably go with one of Canon's cameras, due to better light performance, 24p, etc., although they do use CMOS sensors. I'd play it safe and get an HV30. Very good reviews for this camcorder. There's an HV40 coming out soon, if you can wait...
  3. SpitzerCR thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2009
    Thank you for the correction on CCD... thats what i get for reading on the internet.

    I was under the impression 3 processors took in more light therefore better??

    I didnt want the HV series for i didnt want to deal with tapes.

    I noticed the JVC i mentioned doesnt seem to have an image stabilization built in???
  4. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    There are various sources that explain CCD quite exhaustingly.

    As for 3CCD capturing more light:

    from vs 3ccd/

    As you see, the light is split using a prism to capture the colours in RGB.

    And if you noticed, point and shoot cameras have a lower light sensitivity than budget DSLRs and DSLRs have lower light sensitivity than professional DSLRs.
    It's because of the size of the CCD sensor.

    And why don't you want to deal with tapes? It's the best method for archiving yet, as you don't have to copy and copy files to different drives, so you have a secure backup.
  5. SpitzerCR thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2009
    So 3ccd is more of a color processing?

    Tapes might not be horrible. I just really like my external harddrives.

    #1 cost of tapes compared to external harddrives i already own.

    #2 I am going to be using this camera mounted in a car also. If i am driving i dont want to worry about switching tapes every two hours..

    JVC Everio GZ-HD6 3CCD 120GB Hard Disk Drive High Definition Camcorder
    This particular camera has caught my eye.
    records in mpeg 2 though and not av.....

    And thank you for that link... (it says 3ccd is better in lower light?? but that depends on sensor size correct?)

    Also reading today it seems that hardrive cameras may take up TONS of room when you go to edit them???
  6. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    There are too many variables these days to say something as blanket as "3CCDs gives better low-light performance". It doesn't stop companies using it in their promotional literature or people regurgitating it though.

    I'm not au fait enough with the market to suggest individual models, but looking at it from that level is going to be the way to get the best results. I know it'd be a lot easier if you could quickly narrow it down — but remember, it's all about how much you put in...

    Couple of things I'd suggest you look out for:

    • Mounting a hard drive camcorder on a vibrating kart (did you mean car or cart?) would be a bad idea I'd imagine. I don't know how old you are but have you ever been out for a jog with a personal CD player, and you find that after 45 seconds the music goes all jumpy? Well that's because it's difficult to read from a disc when it's being thrown all over the place, and those 45 seconds you've been listening to were from a buffer. When the buffer's reached its limit, that's it. No more. Well I'd imagine the same applies to hard drive camcorders and go-karts. The buffer will only last so long, and once it's full, that's it, footage lost. I might be doing advancements in technology a disservice (a fair bit has changed since the days of people jogging with personal CD players, I'll give you that), but I'd be suspicious. Your best bet in this situation would be solid state, or failing that a rugged tape-based camcorder.

    • CMOS "skew"* will get worse if you need to keep the shutter open longer — which you may need to in particularly low-light conditions. As mentioned above, CDD doesn't suffer this way.

      * If you're not familiar with this it might be worth a Google (noting that example footage will most probably show it at its worse). It basically means in certain conditions everything you film will look like it's made of jelly/jello.

    What you've most likely read about hard drive camcorders taking up lots of storage space is coming from needing to transcode to another format to edit. The big furore on these boards of late has been over AVCHD necessitating it. These often record to solid state cards, so it's not a hard drive thing exclusively. And in fact, if you don't have Final Cut Pro you would have to transcode HDV tapes too.

    Thing is, once you get used to it, it needn't take up all that space. It will take up the extra while you are editing, after you're done your workflow (particularly how you want to keep the final product) may allow you to delete the transcoded footage and just keep the original stuff from the camcorder. (You'd need to go into a bit more detail on this before making any decisions.)
  7. SpitzerCR thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2009
    AWESOME.... and thank you....

    LAST REALLY BIG question....

    Is there a way to hook an external harddrive to the cam so the cam records to an external instead of its own hardrive????


    I think im going to go with the JVC 120 six 6 series cam mentioned above...
  8. fiercetiger224 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2004
    I don't think you can record directly to an external hard drive. I only know of prosumer cameras that can do it (like the Panasonic HVX series, etc).

    You might want to check out for reviews on camcorders before buying anything.
  9. SpitzerCR thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2009
    Thanks... that site has alot of information....

    Is MPEG2 format bad for any reason????

    How long does it take video to transfer from the cam to an external harddrive???

  10. SpitzerCR thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2009

    JVC = .mod = PITA

    I wish canons had larger harddrives....

    SO FOR NOW... im thinking i need to be like the rest of the world stock up on tapes and go HV30..????
  11. MIDI_EVIL macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2006
    I can absolutely wholeheartedly recommend the HV30 too!

    I bought one last week on seeing and reading so much about it.

    I literally just tonight uploaded this test footage shot in 25p [CINE] mode.

    Tapes are no bother, they have a higher data rate than HDD cameras too.
  12. fiercetiger224 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2004
    Yeah, heard the JVCs aren't that great. Canon's had quite the edge on the HD consumer front for the past couple of years. The HV20/HV30 have been the most highly regarded cameras, so I'd trust judgment and go with the HV30.

    My friend has an HV20, and I couldn't believe how awesome the image quality was, especially in low-light. Still doesn't beat my XH-A1, but comes pretty damn close.

    The reason I'd go with tapes is simply this: it's a hard copy that can be archived easily after importing. With a memory card or hard drive based camcorder, you'd have to either import it to an external hard drive, or DVD...So take your pick!
  13. SpitzerCR thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2009
    WELLL.. the JVC has the storage i want but the .mod files seem to be a HUGE pain.

    The HV30 seems to have the features i want.. i just wish tapes lasted longer.

    The HF10 has the hard drive and decent features i want... BUT tooo small of storage without spending ALOT on cards...

    So it appears HV30 would be best even though im still not excited about tapes.
    Are there any good forums to buy somebody out or something???

  14. Chris7 macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2008
    Lost in Thought
    I believe most would say that the HV30 is the best camera under $1K. As mentioned above, you may want to check out, though, because the "best" may not be the best for you. Sony's HDV camcorder has much better image stabilization, which would be a factor for what you are doing. It does not, to my knowledge, do progressive scan though. So you'd have to shoot in 60i, which is generally considered better for fast moving footage than 24P or 30P anyway, but requires slightly more light.

    If you go with flash media, which I do not necessarily suggest, you will need to back up your footage to two hard drives, as you should expect one to fail eventually. So I'm not sure that tape is actually more expensive.

    Best of luck,

    Edit: Here's a link to a comparison of different HDV camcorders. It's a couple years old, so the cameras there should be around used. Keep in mind that the HV20 is basically the HV30 without the 30P option. I'm not sure if the image stabilization tests are in this review, though. May have to go to the individual reviews on to get those.
  15. Griffter macrumors member


    May 28, 2008
    Exeter, UK
    just to quickly introduce my experience to the mix, do not, I repeat, do not, use hard drive or disk based media to film on board car/kart/boat/whatever footage, it simply does not work. I go with tape every time, and if you buy your tapes in bulk off ebay, you will save a lot! Alternatively there are solid slate options for filming on board footage, but these may be more than you'd be willing to spend. I personally use a Sony HDR-HC3 or A1e for all my onboard footage and they are great!

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