Which $4,000 Camcorder Has the Most Latitude?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Chris7, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. Chris7 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Lost in Thought
    #1
    Hello. Looking to move up from my HF100 to my first prosumer camcorder. I will not have the skill to ride the iris when panning/tilting, so will I’m likely to need to correct over/underexposed shots in post. Low light performance, smooth 24P, and high latitude are the most important factors for me. I would also prefer to use flash media.

    The Texas Shootout review of some higher priced cameras shows that the Canon XL H1looks only slightly worse 2 stops overexposed than the Panasonic HVX200 or Sony Z1 does 1 stop overexposed. http://www.dv.com/article/17652 (pics about half way down)

    Before I saw this, I was fairly set on the Panasonic HMC150, as it has the same sensor as the upgraded HVX200a.

    I like the Panasonic because the sensor said to be rated at about ISO 500, it has a histogram in the viewfinder, and smooth 24P. The fact that it uses pixel shifting to get 1920x1080 does not bother me.

    But I would like the camera to be able to handle 1 stop of over/underexposure, and still be salvageable in post.

    Anyone know something about the JVC HM100U?

    BTW, I would not be interested in the RED Scarlet 2/3” as, even if it is $4K, the prices of the flash media will put it way out of my price range. I may wait to see what the other manufactures make in response to the Scarlet before buying, however.

    Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #2
    I love my 200a's but considering a 170 for a third cam.
    Not sure I would look at the quarter inch sensor cams (JVC)
    you cAn get the original 200's with a p2 card or 3:) for your budge
    working with p2 in post is quite easy
     
  3. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #4
    actually no... the 5Dmk2 compresses the video so much that any lattitude advantage from the sensor is more than elimanted.

    I would go with the Panny 170 and learn to control the iris on camera moves. Doing it right in camera will look better than trying to fix it in post. By having the built-in waveform, controlling the exposure would be really easy (even during camera moves).
     
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5
    Chris7,

    The shootout is pretty old and outdated now. Every camera there has either been replaced w/a new model (or in the case of the Z1U many new models) or had a minor upgrade (200 to 200a, H1 to H1s). If you had the budget for it I'd say get the EX1 but those are still around $6k. Besides the HPX-170 I'd also check out the Sony V7U. I don't know if you'll be able to get everything you want though for $4k right now.


    Lethal
     
  5. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Warminster, PA
    #7
    The JVC HD200 is a decent camera. I use them 4 of them at work with an Anycast in SD for live events.

    I must say, the VTR inside is a piece of crap and i've had tons of problems with ingesting tapes shot on it.

    The anton bauer batteries are nice but quite pricey.

    The nice thing about the camera is it's a "real" lens with a macro, iris, zoom and focus ring. If you are into pure manual control... this is the camera for you.

    The OP mentioned wanting to go solid state.. There is an SXS adapter out there for the HD200 but it's pricey....
     
  6. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #8
    What about sony FX1000?
    I drool over the JVC HM100U...
     
  7. Trouser Cough macrumors member

    Trouser Cough

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Location:
    Crowded Busses, Cramped Elevators, Taco Bell
    #9

    Err, actually, yes. it does. The dynamic range, while not as wide as the RED one, comes pretty close for a $3k camera. (http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2009/01/dream_hd_camcorder_showdown_canon_5d_mark_ii_vs_red_one-2/)


    And even if you look at the hard numbers, HDV compresses at 25 Mbit/s, the 5D compresses @ 47 Mbit/s. HDV is older, mpeg2, while 5D is mpeg4. Harder to edit, but far more efficient. Even with the 170's AVCHD, it tops out at 24 Mbit/s.

    And don't even start with sensor sizes, the 5D has a sensor larger than a Red One! (and not to mention it doesn't half ass HD like HDV does, 1440x1080 anyone...or in the 170's case...960x540. Seriously?! )
    http://rebelsguide.com/dl/sensorSizes_06_cheatSheet.png


    The video speaks for itself.
    Direct RED ONE vs 5Dmk2 with the same glass. I'd like to see the 170 come anywhere close to that.
    http://vimeo.com/5179976
     
  8. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #10
    well the OP stated they want 24p, so the 5Dmk2 is out right there...

    btw the HPX170 shoots 100Mb/s DVCProHD, the HMC150 shoots AVC @24Mb/s. also, sensor size has nothing to do with sub-sampling (1920x1080 vs 1440x1080, etc) that is a codec trait. yes, the 5Dmk2 has a big sensor. if it shot 23.976fps then I'd probably get one. but for short filmmakers, 30fps (not even 29.97) is a significant drawback. The Panasonic DMC-GH1 is a better option for a dSLR if you want to make short films.
     
  9. BigSky20 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2007
    #11
    Good work around to convert 30p to 24p with great results:

    http://philipbloom.co.uk/tutorials/how-to-convert-canon-5dmk2-footage-from-30p-to-24p/
     
  10. Trouser Cough macrumors member

    Trouser Cough

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2009
    Location:
    Crowded Busses, Cramped Elevators, Taco Bell
    #12
    Look at pure image quality and tell me with a completely straight face that the 170 is a better camera for the money.

    The 24p argument, IM(not so H)O, is a BS copout. I had a professor who was a 24p fanatic, apologizing for old ****** videos because they were "Before 24p", bull. 24p is not a magic switch. There are sooooo many factors contributing to a 'film look' that the 30 vs 24 is negated. Indi filmmakers need to stop worrying about the elusive 24p and start writing decent dialog, or maybe getting a mic closer to the talent, or maybe, i dunno, setting up a tripod....

    As far as the GH-1, well.....
    http://www.vimeo.com/5353848
     
  11. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #13
    There's more to a good camera than image quality. Usability and workflow are just as important, if not more important, than image quality. The current crop of DSLR lag behind prosumer video cameras in terms of things like ergonomics, audio recording, adherence to broadcast standards (straight 30p instead of 29.97 for example) and a truly viable, tried and true post workflow. Can you work around the short comings of shooting video w/DSLRs? Sure. You can strap a Beachtek to it (assuming you find the on-board audio circuts good enough) or record dual system sound. You can also buy a RedRock micro rig + accessories to make the DSLR more ergonomic to shoot with. And once everything is shot you can follow online guides to manipulate your audio and video into a usable codec and standard frame rate.

    But that's not for everyone nor every workflow. I can only imagine the look on a clients face at the end of the day when the cameraman hands off a card/drive full of footage and says "Oh, make sure to go to this website and follow the instructions to turn everything I just shot today into an editable format." Until the workflow ceases to be a moving target pros will stay away for the most part.

    W/o knowing what Chris7 needs from a camera I'd never recommending something that has so many if's, and's and but's attached to it.


    Lethal
     
  12. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #14
    But what are they then going to do with their brilliantly scripted, locked-off 30p masterpiece when they inevitably need a 24fps film-out? And 24p is not so elusive these days.

    Going back to the thrust of the OP's question, I don't honestly know what you can get out of the 5D latitude-wise once you've fiddled with the gamma curves. The much-touted shallow depth of field, however, is as much a curse as a blessing. A blessing when watching the rushes at the end of the day but almost exclusively a curse when shooting.

    The 5D is great in certain scenarios (and possibly on the precipice of something brilliant), but certainly not a camera you could recommend generally.
     
  13. arjen92 macrumors 65816

    arjen92

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Location:
    Below sea level
    #15
    I'm sorry I'm hijacking this post, but why is 29.97 better than 30 fps. I get the idea 30 is nice completed.

    What am I missing?
     
  14. idea_hamster macrumors 65816

    idea_hamster

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    NYC, or thereabouts
    #16
    I'm not sure where "Below sea level is" -- if you're near the Dead Sea, then you watch TV in the PAL standard (25 fps); but if you're near the Mohave Desert, then you watch TV the NTSC standard (29.97 fps).

    The broadcast standard in the U.S. is 29.97 fps due to interference between the color information and the audio information in the early days of color broadcasting. IIRC, the original B&W standard was, in fact, 30 fps.
     
  15. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #17
    Like Lethal said, it's not all about perceived image quality. It's also usability and workflow and the HPX blows the 5D out of the water in those areas.

    I agree that it is only one of the contributing factors, but since it has been in video cameras for so long now and everyone at least wants the option to shoot it then why not have it? they are deliberately limiting the 5D to not cannibalize their video camera dept.

    I don't disagree with any of this... but once they do make their film, they should do it at 23.976 if they want it to be more film-like.... or to do a film-out... or to have an extra 20% of space on the DVD.

    that comparison is joke since they shot practically no motion with zero lighting. it doesn't show the capabilities of either camera... a resolution chart or a subway short would've been more useful.

    you are correct.
     
  16. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #18
    As I mentioned earlier, I have the 200a's. I also have the 5D2. Two weeks or so now. I shot along side the Panny this past weekend (fireworks, kids playing, and the Mt. Marathon race in Alaska...a well rounded workout for both cameras).

    It's been Way to nice outside to spend much time in the production room....but from what I have played with so far, I am mesmerized by the capability of my 5D. Shot video this weekend with the 24-105L, 70-200L (2.8IS), 100mm macro, and the Sigma 50mm 1.4. Unreal!!! I bought this camera as a still companion to my 40D for weddings photog. More and more I see it's ability as a stand in with the 200's. The high ISO shooting is phenomenal. Low grain, Low light performance is imperative for many of my indoor events. I'm as excited with the Canon as I was with my first 200. There are issues in post, sure. But, there are workarounds that are fairly simple and straight forward. I have already edited clips from both to the same timeline and they look phenomenal together. I rarely use 24p, so I understand concerns from film makers. However, as popular as this camera has become, I can't help but believe the BIG software guys, including FCP will include better native editing choices for all these new formats....AVC included.

    Obviously, the 5D2 is a ground breaking camera, along with the Nikon D90, in a sense. They are only going to get better, but always keep in mind, Canon ALSO makes Camcorders. Very Nice ones in fact in the XH series. These cameras are closing in on the same price point. Interesting to see where DSLR/VDSLR is going to take us in the near future. I'm as excited as ever. Sure, there are issues shooting with my 5D ergonomically....but not a whole lot more so than my 200 (tripod, lighting, batteries, Big Ass Pelican case, etc:))....and the 200 is heavier at wrist length....LOL!

    Seriously though, it (5D2) is not an alternate to a true semi/pro camcorder. The flexibility isn't there yet....but I believe it is coming. The money you will spend gearing up your 5D to shoot will cost about the same as a decent video cam....200a, 170, EX-1, etc. I DO believe though that it is an Excellent B cam and many times it will make the "A" shot in post!

    J
     
  17. Chris7 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Lost in Thought
    #19
    I did not realize that the codec had so much impact on the ability to correct overexposed shots in post (provided that that we're not comparing to footage that's recorded RAW or RGB). If you look half way down on the Texas Shootout, there are comparisons of how overexposure is handled by the HDV Canon XL H1 vs. the DVCPRO HD Panasonic HVX200. The Canon XL H1 looks only slightly more blownout at 2 stops overexposed as does the Panasonic HVX200 does at 1 stop overexposed.

    Would the people here say that one stop overexposed Panasonic HVX200 would be easier to correct in post than a one stop overexposed Canon HL H1, due to its superior codec?

    What do the people here think is causing the Canon to handle overexposure so much better than the rest of the camcorders in the test? (I believe all the cameras were “shot flat.”)

    Maybe for you.:)

    Thanks. The JVC HM700U looks pretty sweet too, as it records right onto SDHC cards, but this and the Sony’s you listed are out of budget.
    Could you please say more about this? What is it about what I’m looking for that puts me in the $6K+ category? If I went with tape is there something that has the latitude of the Canon XL H1, with smooth 24P, and a sensor rated at least ISO 400?

    Many thanks for your time,
    Chris
    Thanks, but this camera would not be fore me.
    Thanks. Definitely like the shoulder mount (novel idea to be able to shoot handheld steadily;)), but I’m hearing that the HMC-150 has a much better lens.
     
  18. Chris7 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Lost in Thought
  19. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #21
    $4k is pushing the lower end of prosumer HD cameras currently. That's why I said you might be able to find everything you are looking for. As I'm sure you know, all the cameras in the shoot-out were $5k and up new (the Canon was the most expensive at $10k).


    Lethal
     
  20. Chris7 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2008
    Location:
    Lost in Thought
    #22
    I may end up waiting until I see what the RED Scarlet 2/3" does to the market. I don't want the Scarlet myself -- if it is ever released, the memory will be extremely expensive (per hour of footage), and the 16mm DOF, while gorgeous, is not something a beginner like me could control.:eek:

    You and others have said that the Scarlet is not likely to change the what the other manufactures are making overnight, but I'm still hopeful that there will be some decent $4K offerings in response.

    Anyway, thanks for everyone's time here.
     

Share This Page