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1080p, 30fps, ultralight alternatives to the GoPro


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#1 Refah Seyed Mahmoud

Refah Seyed Mahmoud

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Posted 17 August 2011 - 07:27 PM

Hi all,
I'm prepping a documentary shoot for the winter: ice-climbers in Montana's Hyalite canyon. I've got cable rigs, and rods, and gadgets galore but all tricked out for ultralight cameras only. I'm happy with GoPros, but considering the rapid pace of development I thought some homework into the subject of ultralight 1080p cameras might just pay dividends. Distribution is to web. The DSLRs are just a tad on the chunky side for my application.

The criteria are as follows:
- 1080p
- 30fps minimum, 60fps i (or p, good luck!) is a bonus.
- Minimum 2.8 lens to match the GoPro's lens.
- Field monitor-able via component, hdmi, etc. SD is acceptable.
- GREAT COLOR!
- Cabled remote control is a bonus.
- We're using off-camera audio so audio is not a concern.

Does this camera exist?

Thank you,
- Refah
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#2 Refah Seyed Mahmoud

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:35 AM

Update for anyone watching this thread:

So far the front runner is the Panasonic SD800k. For twice the price ($597) and twice the size (328.8g) of a GoPro Hero you get twice the bitrate (28mb), with 1080p at a true 60fps, 3MOS sensor for better color (or so Panasonic claims), and a f1.5-2.8 lens. The TM900 shares the same lens and all the same internals as the SD800k, but nearly doubles again in price to pay for the following features:
- double res onboard monitor (~400k vs ~230k on the SD800)
- electronic viewfinder
- 32gb internal memory
- a function button
- a lens control ring
- a filter screw
- a still camera flash
- a mic input jack (3.5mm stereo mini)
- a stereo headphone jack
- 5.1 sound recording
- about 70 grams heavier

Since 90% of filming will be done using field monitors (and off-camera sound) I can't justify the extra $251 per unit. As a bonus, the sd800 offers some handy tools such as histogram, peaking, and zebras (though only at 98+).

Happy for input/argument,
- Refah

Edited by Refah Seyed Mahmoud, 18 August 2011 - 11:36 AM.

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