Jump to content


Photo

What camera to get


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 Dory Breaux DP

Dory Breaux DP
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 291 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Fort Bragg, CA

Posted 14 February 2007 - 03:30 PM

Ok, so here is my problem. I am WAY confused by all the options for the HD setups there are available today. I need some of the HD savvy people here to help me find a good camera+computer for HD.
Here's what I'll need:

Something that's not TOO big, or something that has an interchangeable lens so it can fit into a backpack.
Something that's pretty robust, since I'll be skiing and biking with it (biking like, downhill and freeride, not road or *cough* cross country).
1080 24P, not 1080i (ski/snowboard/biking in interlaced? YUCK!)
Good amount of image controls so I can get a LITTLE closer to the film look.
XLR inputs. I only need one but two would be nice...
I don't NEED a interchangeable lens, but it would be pretty danged nice.

Thanks,
Dory
  • 0

#2 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 14 February 2007 - 06:33 PM

If you have specific needs, there's no getting around doing the research. We can attempt to narrow it down for you, but the more responses you get here, the more you're just going to be overwhelmed with the same information that's already out there confusing you.

Everyone's going to have their favorite, and there's no right or wrong answer. And you may have to compromise on some of the features. The fact of the matter is there's no one perfect camera for everything you need, just one that suits your needs best.

For small profile, you might look at the Panasonic HVX-200, the Sony HVR series or the Canon XH-G1 or XH-A1.

For detachable lenses you've got the JVC HD-100/200 series, and the Canon XL-H1.

Not sure about XLR inputs on all of them; I know the Panasonic HVX, the JVC, and the Canon XL-H1 have it. Some of the Sony models too, probably.

For recording and workflow; Canon, JVC, and Sony use HDV recording, JVC's is the only true 24P HDV (the others shoot 24P or something *similar* and add a pulldown or interpolation to put it onto 1080i). The JVC is 720P only (no 1080 recording). NONE of them record 1080P -- it's 1080i, even if the capture is 24P. The Panasonic HVX records HD to P2 cards, which are expensive and have less run time than tape. That means you have to download them periodically. Could be a liability on the trail or mountaintop.

The Panasonic HVX-200 and the JVC HD-200/250 offer 60P recording, which can give some cool slomo for sports shooting.

Some people complain about the motion rendering and resolution loss of Sony's 24F mode. Some complain about the about resolution loss of Canon's 24F mode.

Why do you think you want interchangable lenses? Are you prepared to carry around extra lenses on the trail, or pay extra for the limited number of lenses available for each system? Personally I'd get a fixed-lens camera and get a wide angle adapter for your type of shooting.

You also don't mention price range -- that's going to affect your choice as well. We're talking a difference of a few grand here, depending on the setup you choose.
  • 0

#3 Matthew Bennett

Matthew Bennett
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 38 posts
  • Director

Posted 14 February 2007 - 06:42 PM

Get the reel-stream setup. It records 980p at 24 frames per. I just used it for a film, its pretty good.

www.reel-stream.com
  • 0

#4 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 14 February 2007 - 08:16 PM

Get the reel-stream setup. It records 980p at 24 frames per. I just used it for a film, its pretty good.

www.reel-stream.com


Cool but... is he supposed to carry the laptop in his backpack? ;)

Otherwise a cool system though.
  • 0

#5 Troy Warr

Troy Warr
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 212 posts
  • Other
  • Austin, TX, USA

Posted 14 February 2007 - 08:46 PM

I was going to add my 2 cents, but Michael said it better than I could have. ;)

Budget is just as big a factor as any of your other needs, so let us know what you have to spend.
  • 0

#6 Dory Breaux DP

Dory Breaux DP
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 291 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Fort Bragg, CA

Posted 15 February 2007 - 01:11 AM

I'd like to stay under $3500... :unsure:
Sorry I am a COMPLETE noob to HD. :rolleyes:
  • 0

#7 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 15 February 2007 - 04:14 AM

I'd like to stay under $3500...


You might get a Sony HVR-A1U or a Canon XH-A1 for close to that. Doesn't include the computer or harddrives, though. It's going to be hard to turnkey a complete HD system for that price!
  • 0

#8 Dory Breaux DP

Dory Breaux DP
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 291 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Fort Bragg, CA

Posted 15 February 2007 - 01:55 PM

I found some REALY good deals after just a little searching... HVR-V1U for $2,249, GY-HD110 for $3,519... Centry21Electronics, anybody ever buy from them?
  • 0

#9 Scott Fritzshall

Scott Fritzshall
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 584 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 15 February 2007 - 02:51 PM

I found some REALY good deals after just a little searching... HVR-V1U for $2,249, GY-HD110 for $3,519... Centry21Electronics, anybody ever buy from them?

Anything that's significantly cheaper than normal is a scam.
  • 0

#10 will griffith

will griffith
  • Guests

Posted 15 February 2007 - 03:57 PM

Anything that's significantly cheaper than normal is a scam.

...or grey market....or stolen :huh:
  • 0

#11 Dory Breaux DP

Dory Breaux DP
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 291 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Fort Bragg, CA

Posted 15 February 2007 - 05:01 PM

...or grey market....or stolen :huh:


Then again, define grey market :rolleyes: .

I am reading the reviews for centry21electronics and I have yet to see one that complains about anything but their shipping, and those are rare. I'll call them and see what I can get out of that.
  • 0

#12 Brian Wells

Brian Wells
  • Sustaining Members
  • 438 posts
  • Other

Posted 15 February 2007 - 05:47 PM

I am reading the reviews for centry21electronics and I have yet to see one that complains...

Cory,

All the honorable dealers usually have prices within about 5% of each other... Sometimes you'll find a camera that's 15% less and that usually means it was imported directly from Japan, without a USA warranty.

As for Century 21 Electronics, that is merely the latest front by the Brooklyn Camera Mafia.

See here:
http://www.resellerr...ry21Electronics
http://www.ripoffrep...p;submit=Search
http://donwiss.com/p...tores/h0178.htm

BW
  • 0

#13 Troy Warr

Troy Warr
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 212 posts
  • Other
  • Austin, TX, USA

Posted 15 February 2007 - 06:03 PM

Then again, define grey market :rolleyes: .

I am reading the reviews for centry21electronics and I have yet to see one that complains about anything but their shipping, and those are rare. I'll call them and see what I can get out of that.

http://en.wikipedia....iki/Grey_market

Dory, don't waste your time, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. If this place could really undercut a major retailer like B&H Photo by hundreds or thousands of dollars and still make a profit, then why is B&H the more successful company?

You'll save maybe a hundred, two hundred dollars on your complete package by shopping around carefully and doing your research. The major retailers are successful mainly because they deal in volume, and can therefore offer slightly lower prices than their competitors.

The harsh truth is that you're not going to get all of the features that you're asking for out of the budget that you have to spend. You're going to need to compromise by going with a good-quality NTSC/PAL camera (of which there are several in your price range), or an entry-level HDV camera.

Let us know if that $3500 needs to include the price of a PC, and we can probably make some specific recommendations.
  • 0

#14 Dory Breaux DP

Dory Breaux DP
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 291 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Fort Bragg, CA

Posted 15 February 2007 - 06:35 PM

Thanks for those links guys, that probobly saved me from being a complete fool with money...
I have been looking at SD cameras a little and it seems that I'll be able to get much more bang for my buck with SD... I like the look of the XL2, and my mom uses Canon for her digetal photography and has been very pleasd with them. I should probobly head over to the DV forum and ask my XL2 questions there hmm?
  • 0

#15 Troy Warr

Troy Warr
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 212 posts
  • Other
  • Austin, TX, USA

Posted 15 February 2007 - 06:54 PM

I would sooner recommend the Panasonic AG-DVX100B than the XL2 for your needs. Other than brand loyalty and the interchangeable lens (why do you need that, BTW?), the XL2 doesn't fit the bill as well, based on what you've mentioned.
  • 0

#16 Dory Breaux DP

Dory Breaux DP
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 291 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Fort Bragg, CA

Posted 15 February 2007 - 07:58 PM

I want the interchangeable lens for 1) more versatility 20 my mom already has some lenses for her EOS SLR that I can use if I get the adapter 3) size when the lens is taken off.

Does the DVX have the time laps feature the XL has? Does it have the cine controls? I don't want to have to use any plug-ins for getting a more cine look, that's for the GL1 I am stuck with right now ha ha. Why is it that you recommend the DVX?
  • 0

#17 Michael Nash

Michael Nash
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3330 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Pasadena, CA

Posted 15 February 2007 - 08:22 PM

For SD, the Panasonic DVX-100B is a perfect choice and a top-notch camera in general. But still get a wide angle adapter for your kind of shooting. ;) Image quality, form factor (size and ergonmics of using it), and proven track record are reasons for recommending it. I'm not knocking the XL2, but the DVX is well proven and well supported.

Keep in mind that the EOS lenses you have access to will become very long, almost telephoto lenses on the XL2. For sports shooting you often want to get closer to the action with a wider lens. So you're not really gaining anything with detachable lenses, unless you want to do a lot of long-range telephot shooting. All you need to worry about is the range of focal length, which any decent fixed zoom already has. Add a good quality zoom-through wide angle adapter and you're covered.

Taking the lens off the XL2 leaves you with a camera roughly the size of the DVX, and a lens that's almost as large. Then you just have two grapefruits in your backback instead of 1 ;). No space saver there...

The DVX allows for a bit of image manipulation in camera, although perhaps not as much color control as the Canon. But as for a "cine look," you don't have to whack out the colors to get there. It looks pretty nice as is. And if you want a look that's really specific or dramatic, you'd probably want to do that in post with either camera. Speaking of which, whatever edit software you use is likely to have some basic color correction tools that mimic, if not expand upon, what you can already do in camera. The only tradeoff is that you're correcting after the image gets compressed to DV25 tape.

The DVX-100 "B" model does not offer time-lapse, but it's easy to speed up footage in post. Combined with a slow shutter it looks great.

Do yourself a favor and find a friend who's got either camera and try them out for awhile. You never really know how it will work for you until you test drive it.
  • 0

#18 Dory Breaux DP

Dory Breaux DP
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 291 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Fort Bragg, CA

Posted 15 February 2007 - 08:38 PM

Well I actualy do like to do alot of long zoom shots when doing skiing...

I think I know someone with an XL2, but to my knowlage noone I know has a DVX :wacko: ... I'll email him now and see if I can take a look at maybe some shots with it.
  • 0

#19 Troy Warr

Troy Warr
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 212 posts
  • Other
  • Austin, TX, USA

Posted 15 February 2007 - 08:47 PM

I agree with Michael 100%.

The Canon EF Adapter XL comes with 7.2x magnification, so even a wide lens (e.g. 20mm) will act like a 144mm when mounted on the XL2. If you need that kind of telephoto, then that's a good option - but it won't do you any favors for wide angle shooting.

If you'd like to learn some more about the DVX100B, you might check out dvxuser.com - a great resource.
  • 0


Glidecam

Willys Widgets

CineLab

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

Tai Audio

Technodolly

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

The Slider

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

Opal

Abel Cine

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Tai Audio

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Glidecam

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

CineLab

Willys Widgets

Visual Products

The Slider

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Opal

Rig Wheels Passport

Abel Cine

CineTape

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks