Which Camera?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by ross.32, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. ross.32 macrumors 6502

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    May 27, 2007
    #1
    I am in the market for an HD camcorder, but I am having problems figuring out the right one. I will be primarily using it for strom chasing, but I will use it for my everyday camcorder needs as well.

    I have narrowed it down to 3: the Canon HG10, the Canon HV20, and the Panasonic HDC-SD5. The HG10 and HDC-SD5 are both AVCHD. I really liked the HV20, but I did not really like the idea of using tapes. Getting the tapes onto the computer seems like it would be a hassle compared to using a HDD or flash drive. The problem that I had with the HG10 is that it did not do 24p mode very well, although I also read that it did do well in low light conditions. Since I need my camcorder to do well in low light, that was a huge plus. So I ended up deciding that I wanted the HD10.

    Then I hit a problem. I learned that FCE does not support AVCHD. So my question is, how much of a hassle is it too import videos from a tape as opposed to a HDD or flash drive? Are there any other good HD camcorders that do not use tape or AVCHD that I have looked over? I do not want to spend too much more than $1000, but I will accept going a little higher.

    Any help will be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance,
    ross
     
  2. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #2
    go with the tape.

    it is not a hassle. you just start playing the tape, and it captures. plus, after the capture, you have a reliable automatic backup (the tape itself).
     
  3. ross.32 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 27, 2007
    #3
    Okay, but that leads to a couple more quick questions.

    How much video can I fit onto one tape?

    I assume that it takes as long to capture the video as it takes to play (that was the big drawback for me, but I guess I can get over it)?

    Can I use FCE to export the video, or would I have to find another program?

    Thanks again,
    ross
     
  4. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    Elk Grove, CA
    #4
    Yes, Currently tapes are the way to go.

    Each Mini-DV tape holds 60min in SP and 90 min. in LP... There are also hard-to-find tapes with lorger times. (I believe 80min SP is the next most popular)
    FCE should handle Mini-DV perfectly. I own an HV20, i can say the 24p is amazing, i never thought it'd be something i'd use, but i find myself using it all the time. It really produces a great low light image for the relatively low $$
     
  5. ross.32 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 27, 2007
    #5
    Well it looks like the HV20 is the way to go then. I am really excited about doing well in low light, plus I will save some money since it is cheaper than the HG10.

    Thanks alot!
    ross
     
  6. seany916 macrumors 6502

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    Southern California
    #6
    No offense to Mario, but the HV20 is not that much better in low-light than other consumer cameras. In good light, the images are spectacular.

    Use a tripod.

    Use 60 minute tapes (unless you've got money to burn), run in SP, and try to swap out the tapes at around the 50 minute mark so you have some breathing room if something big happens.

    Roll about 10 seconds of pre-roll and post for every shot you get.
     
  7. seany916 macrumors 6502

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  8. 2jaded2care macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Looks like both those Canons have CMOS imagers, and presumably use a rolling shutter. Apparently this isn't a good thing for your intended purpose:

    "I own an HC1 and as most storm chasing HC1 owners know, it's not the best capturing lightning thanks to the rolling shutter."

    Link:

    http://www.stormtrack.org/forum/showthread.php?t=11527

    The above was referring to a Sony camcorder, but the CMOS imagers seem to share this drawback.
     
  9. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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  10. ross.32 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    May 27, 2007
    #10
    So how about the Panasonic? That will work (assuming that FCE adds AVCHD support. I have not been able to find anything about how it does in low light however, or how it works in 24P. The other AVCHD camera in my list (Canon HG10) does not do well in 24P at all. I do not know if it is because of the camera itself, or if because it used AVCHD.
     
  11. scamateur macrumors member

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    Feb 26, 2007
    #11
    As far as I can tell, "everybody" in high-quality video agrees exactly with this advice, and "nobody" (yet) uses AVCHD.

    The camcorder review sites, such as they are, also agree with the HV20.
     
  12. bloodycape macrumors 65816

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  13. Help! macrumors regular

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    #13
    Yes, but its best to use a new one.
     
  14. ross.32 thread starter macrumors 6502

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  15. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Los Angeles
    #15
    You won't slowly lose image quality like you will w/analog formats (where things become softer and less detailed) but you will increase the chances of a video and/or audio drop out or "hit". W/digital it's either all or nothing. You either have signal or you don't.


    Lethal
     
  16. rfb macrumors member

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    Oct 24, 2007
    #16
    Not AVCHD

    Whatever you do, do not get AVCHD. I had the mini-dvd first, and now cannot convert or edit the DVDs (although Circuit City is trying to convert them for me.) Very upsetting since I have my son's first 3 months of life on them. I thought once I upgraded to iLife '08, it would work, but it doesn't support mini-dvd. So, I exchanged it for the hard drive AVCHD which '08 supports (good thing for extended warranty). Guess what? When you read the manual, it says that even after converting to a DVD, you can only watch the movies on Blue Ray or a PS3 (unless you tape in SD, and why would you do that?) So, I took that one back too. I just traded it for an HC5 which seems to be recommended on the forums along with the HV20. I liked the Sony features better, and it has 4.0 megapixel stills as opposed to HV20 3.1. I am hoping it will work out for me this time! I would just say at this time to stay away from the AVCHD. Good luck!
     
  17. buzzwhirlwind macrumors newbie

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    Oct 27, 2007
    #17
    Hi all,

    I keep hearing no go on the AVCHD, but I don't quite get it. I'm looking at the Sony HDR-SR7 which is an AVCHD camera and a new iMac with FCS. Am I going to have any problems getting the footage onto the iMac? I know you need an update from the retail version of FC to support AVCHD, but is that it?

    If so, I don't understand the negativity towards AVCHD, can someone point me in the right direction?

    Thanks
     
  18. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

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  19. ross.32 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    From what I have gathered, AVCHD does not do as well with motion as DV does because it is more compressed. AVCHD is theoretically better than DV when they are both at the same bit-rate, but there is no AVCHD camera that has the same bit-rate as a DV camera out yet. Someone feel free to correct me if I am wrong.
     
  20. buzzwhirlwind macrumors newbie

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    Oct 27, 2007
    #20
    OK, so when you're talking that it doesn't handle motion as well as DV, are we talking car racing and sports or my self deprecating fat ass walking down the road?
     
  21. ross.32 thread starter macrumors 6502

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  22. scamateur macrumors member

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    Feb 26, 2007
    #22
    The best, or at least most consistent, camcorder reviews I've been able to find online are at camcorderinfo.com. (Of course the site has its critics.)

    I've never seen a reference to your must-have application of "storm-chasing" there, though. Perhaps the "stormtrack" site referenced above develops that use more extensively.

    The Mini-DV HDV cameras will do a fine job with almost all "normal" motion - kids, cars, birds, planes, etc. - though it is not rare to see some digital motion artifact with playback on a big HD display. This is only occasional, in my experience, and does not interrupt the joy of watching your HDV pictures! According to reviewers (I have not used a AVCHD camera), this is much worse in AVCHD. Additionally, I have never seen a test that found even the "static" resolution of a AVCHD camera to be as good as a normal consumer HDV camera.

    I think everyone on this forum is advising that the the AVCHD cameras are not YET ready for your prime-time use.

    As per the excellent advice I quoted earlier, I like, maybe even love, having an archival backup - the original tape - of everything I shoot!
     

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