Jump to content


What camera should I choose? HDV or SD?


  • Please log in to reply
7 replies to this topic

#1 Abe Enochs

Abe Enochs
  • Guests

Posted 19 September 2006 - 11:53 AM

I have been looking for a camcorder to purchase and am now debating between a Canon XL-2 and a Sony HDR-FX1.

I'm going to be using the camera for shooting short movies in all different types of situations (night, day, interior, exterior, etc.)

I'm plaining on submitting these shorts to film festivals and from what I see, most except dvd's and I would like to stick to submitting my videos this way.

Please tell me what you think, any advice would be helpful.
  • 0

#2 Abe Enochs

Abe Enochs
  • Guests

Posted 19 September 2006 - 06:13 PM

Also, if SD is better, is there another camcorder that would be more suited to what I want to use it for?

Thanks again.
  • 0

#3 Thomas Tamura

Thomas Tamura
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 33 posts
  • Other
  • Denver Colorado

Posted 25 September 2006 - 12:44 AM

Standard Def. has some advantages over HDV. for one it handles motion better due to HDV's GOP structured compression. But all things considered I much prefer HDV. For one thing it handles color better then DV, and when it's down converting in camera you get better color in SD then an SD camera produces based on the fact that there's more color information in the intake. Also, it is HD. The world is going HD - this is a fact - and it's coming soon, won't it be nice to send you shorts off with the best resolution possible. The added lines of resolution would help if you wanted to print to film. The cannon does offer the ability to change lens, but they offer an HD model too. You should go HDV if you can. It looks better.
  • 0

#4 Stephen Press

Stephen Press
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 74 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • New Zealand

Posted 25 September 2006 - 12:59 PM

I think it?s a mistake for a new film maker to rush out and buy a camera. You will be under enough restrictions and limitations as it is without cutting your options for future projects with a decision made about a camera now. When you have a project ready then rent/borrow the best camera for that project.
Actually get the DOP sorted and have them get the best camera for the job.
  • 0

#5 Andrew G.

Andrew G.

    New

  • Basic Members
  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Student

Posted 25 September 2006 - 01:54 PM

Abe, I've been in the same pickle as you are. I was stuck between the exact same cameras. I'll share with you my findings.

First of all, I've heard a lot of recommendations of the z1u over the FX1 because of its pro features.

One big factor the decided it for me was that the XL2 has a better capacity for a cine-like feel, while the Sony is great for documentarian style work with it's great color. However, I hear that XL2 captures motion better than the Sony.

The Canon has the ability to change lenses, which is great if you want to do more with your work visually.

The HD will supposedly transfer to film a lot better if you are wanting to blow it up for a big screen, like for festivals, etc.


FINALLY, I'll share with you my conclusion. I have decided to go with the Canon. I want a good all-around camera, and I'll be making more story-based films than documentarian or videographer work, so a better capacity for good-looking moving shots is more valuable to me. Though I lament the loss of HD, I am comforted by 28 Days Later, a film shot with the XL series. Also, I'm going to be working on a project for the Discovery Channel with some friends, who are shooting on an XL1, and what they've made so far looks great. Lastly, I've always treasured content over superficial quality. I think a film can be great without it being the best visual quality, period, you know?

It's really all in what you personally want. I don't think you can go wrong with either of these. But, what do I know, I'm only a student and a cinematography.com newb.

I hope I've been of help!

You should also look into the DVX100 by Panasonic. It's shaped more like the Sony, and it is optimized for 4:3 ratio, while the Canon is geared toward 16:9.

I hope I've been of help to you!
  • 0

#6 Abe Enochs

Abe Enochs
  • Guests

Posted 27 September 2006 - 01:18 PM

Well I decided to try out the HDR-FX1. I like the look that the hdv produces and think it will fit in with the stories I'm going to tell with them.

Stephen I debated between buying or renting. And I do see your point. The reason I decided to purchase the camera was to give me the flexibility to experiment at any time I wanted and I plan to go into a short movie frenzy trying to gain as much experience as I can before really trying something big.

I've already made a few short films with consumer equipment and have even won at a local festival with one. So I know as long as you're telling a good story the visuals aren't paramount to success. MiniDV on a consumer camcorder served its purpose and was right for my movie and I hope to do the same with my next camera.

Thanks for all of your input it has been very valuable.

Abe

Edited by Abe Enochs, 27 September 2006 - 01:19 PM.

  • 0

#7 Matthew Parnell

Matthew Parnell
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 285 posts
  • Electrician
  • Brisbane, Australia

Posted 02 October 2006 - 07:51 PM

The HDV format itself is not the best format around in the first place but Sonys HDV cameras are pretty average. There lenses are cheap and they arent the easiest cameras to use. Personally i would go for the XL2 or i would save up and get an XLH1. It has the best quality lens out of all of the current HDV cameras.

A lot of guys tend to buy the new HDV cameras to shoot standard def because of the greater lens and CCD quality. This is especially the case with the JVC HDV camera, as it comes with a professional lens and operates much like a pro camera.

Im about to take a XLH1 out on a two month doco shoot very shortly. My only complaint about it is its audio schematics. It would be nice to have one channel run the on camera mic and the other for a wireless lapel, but i guess its forcing me to put a decent mic on the camera.

Cheers,
Matt.
  • 0

#8 Jay A. Kelley

Jay A. Kelley
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 25 posts
  • Director

Posted 02 October 2006 - 11:24 PM

Abe,

Those cameras rent for about $100 per day they tend to include batteries, tripod, and some even a monitor. On weekends you can even get a one day rental for two days.

So 50 per day. You are looking at 40-80 DAYS of rental before you have saved more buying the camera.
And this is assuming you did NOT buy any additional batteries, or a good tripod.

How many shorts have you done in the last year? 40 days worth?

In two years the cameras you speak of will be old news. CMOS cameras are coming.

Owning cameras are fun.. If you have money to burn, then buy a Varicam or a RED when it comes out.. But if you goal is to produce and direct movies responsibly, then start now and don't burn your money on a camera that will never take you into the professional realm not to mention be obsolite in a short period of time.

If you intend to get into the industrial realm, shooting talking heads, weddings, etc.. You will work more than 40 days (I hope) Then buying a camera is a good idea, but make sure it's broadcast grade.

Jay

Edited by Jay A. Kelley, 02 October 2006 - 11:25 PM.

  • 0


Opal

Abel Cine

Visual Products

The Slider

FJS International, LLC

Wooden Camera

Metropolis Post

Aerial Filmworks

Technodolly

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

CineTape

Tai Audio

Glidecam

CineTape

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Tai Audio

Abel Cine

The Slider

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineLab

Metropolis Post

FJS International, LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Opal

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC