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Buying a small inexpensive HD camera


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#1 elaine velazquez

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 07:34 PM

I purchased the Sony V1U two years ago. It was a compromise for me. I was beginning a new project and needed an affordable and light weight camera. I have been disappointed with it's sharpness and have had problems making dvds that are not full of artifact. I am wondering if there are any cameras that exist now that are comparable price ($4000-6000) that are actual HD. Though I have used the camera in the HDV "progressive" setting it still feeds out as 1080i with all of the compression problems.
The other issue is I need to buy a palm sized camera with as good an hd image as possible. In 2006 at a trade show I saw a Canon that cost about $1,000 and seemed to have a very good image. I need a camera that is much lighter than the V1U (3-1/2 lbs.), 3 chip, that will interface well.
Does anyone have any suggestions.
Thanks
Elaine Velazquez
Producer/Videograper/Editor
Feather & Fin Productions
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#2 Hal Smith

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 11:19 PM

In reference to palm HD cameras, there's a pretty large group of people, some professionals included, who speak well of the Canon HV20/30's. I've got one and find its only drawback that it's not very light sensitive, I get the best results with film style lighting, not run and gun available light.

I've experimented with plugging the HDMI output of mine directly up to my 55" HD set (which avoids the HDV compression) and the picture looks darn good for a camera I bought on clearance at Ultimate Electronics for $500 cash. There are starting to be off-the-shelf ways of capturing its HDMI directly to computer, I haven't looked too deeply into those options but they do exist.

Look around http://www.hv20.com/ for some background on the Canon HV's. There's a lot of amateur noise on that forum but you'll get a good idea of what workflows, options, etc. are available.
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#3 Dan Durbin

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 06:29 PM

Elaine, I have a Canon HV30 and am very happy with it. It is HDV format. If you are considering some of the Canon AVCHD format cameras, you may want to consider compatibility with your editing system. For example, FCP does not have AVCHD native support.
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