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Traditional Camcorders Obsolete?


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#1 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 02:28 PM

 

Been thinking about this for a while.

 

Like many of you, I remember consumer video before DSLR. I would see higher end online productions and film students use something like bulky XDCAMs with the mounted mics and kit zoom lens, or for those with less money, the standard consumer hand-sized digital camcorders.

 

Things like documentaries/interviews/web videos seem to have been taken over by cameras which have the capability of a "film" look. Two brands in specific I don't see getting anymore buzz are JVC and Panasonic.

 

Since I've been here, I haven't seen a thread considering that old form factor of camera unless it was for budget purposes.

 

So am I going crazy or will iPhones and DSLR/Digital Cinema cameras replace the JVC camcorders I keep seeing in the B&H catalog?

 

Thanks.


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 02:47 PM

There are still some advantages to a shoulder-mount design for handheld shooting, as many doc and news people would tell you. Same goes for a servo-mount zoom. DSLR's and iPhones have cut into that market especially at the low-end but you'll still see many shoulder-mounted news cameras at red carpet events, and even on some reality TV shoots. Some DSLR's and phone cameras have limitations on how long you can roll.
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#3 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 02:51 PM

Well, there is a huge difference between the toy's being sold at best buy and an XDCAM camera.

The role for a shoulder-mount, broadcast style(ENG) camera, isn't going away. Today, we see more and more companies converting their ENG cameras to CMOS and putting in the electronics to make them look more cinematic.

The toys sold at best buy? They absolutely have a market. iPhones are great and all, but you aren't shooting hours of material with one at a single time. The value of those camcorders is their low-cost and long recording time. Plus, believe it or not, a lot of people don't have smart phones OR one's that shoot decent video. So I don't think they're going away anytime soon.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 04:04 PM

I think what we're seeing more and more now a days are shows being able to use a variety of tools to accomplish the shots they need. For example, you may be shooting a reality show which is primarily based on XdCam disks (since who wants to have a DIT around when you can buy a box of disks!) and then will also use something like a Pocket or a vDSLR for specilized small location shoots (inside a car, on a car, up a tree etc) and mix in with stuff like GoPros (give it to the talent to "operate" etc.)

 

So it's not that they're replacing the larger and more traditional cameras, it's rather they are supplementing.

Further as we are inundated with content these days there simply are more shows with more budget levels and more producers who respond to certain considerations in a certain way. For example-- someone making No Reservations will look for a rugged camera which'll give a cinematic look and have the ability to shoot in some low light environments given the nature of that show-- whereas something like Hells Kitchen can go for more traditional studio cameras and ENG systems.

 

as for JVC and Panasonic. I don't think JVC really got all that much buzz-- though i still see them around sometimes, and Panasonic seems to have dropped away for a bit; however with the introduction of the new Varicam as well as their new DVX like system who knows what'll happen over the next few years with them.


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#5 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 04:42 PM

Camcorders are not going away at all. In fact, companies like Sony, JVC and Panasonic keep releasing new models each year - be it the small ones like the JVC HM150 or even an F900 (which they do still make new if you have $80,000 for one and willing to wait a few weeks for it). 


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#6 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 06:37 PM

F900 (which they do still make new if you have $80,000 for one and willing to wait a few weeks for it).


F900? Umm, Sony discontinued tape-based cameras years ago.

B&H has them on their website as "bait" to draw people to their site who use google searches.

They also have other long-discontinued cameras on their site, stating "special order".
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#7 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 06:46 PM

So, if I pay them $80,000 they won't send me a F900?  :blink:

 

If Sony discontinued their tape-based workflow, then why can I still buy HDCAM tape (which is in stock by the way).

 

Besides that, you're missing the point. They still make and are actively designing camcorders, even fixed-lens types - both high end and low end. 


Edited by Landon D. Parks, 19 May 2016 - 06:55 PM.

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#8 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 08:21 PM

Sony Tape based camera,s are not made anymore .. but amazingly they are still making HDCAM tapes .. but in small amounts.. you can order it but delivery will take a bit of time.. the tsunami of 2011 destroyed alot of Sony,s tape making factories in Sendai .. and basically they saw no point to rebuild the whole plant.. HDCAM tapes were selling for hundreds of dollars after that quake.. but the F900 is no longer made.. 

 

Most of the "up market" doc,s are definitely  still using shoulder mount camera,s..  you try holding a DSLR out in front of you for are than 5 mins and you,ll see why.. the s35mm servo zooms are also selling like hot cakes.. Canon CN7.and the Fujinon Cabrio range.. and the new  "cheap $18,000" one they showed at NAB.. designed their zooms primarily for doc work.. they claim they can be used for cine of course.. but the focus marks are no where near as precise as dedicated cine zooms..which are alot bigger too.. 

Big difference is the move away from 2/3 sensors.. although news/sports/events is still 2/3 as far as I know.. doc and corp has 99% shot s35mm sensor now.. almost always with the dir or AD bring along some high end DSLR as a B camera  used to be 5D/7D exclusively ..  more recently the Sony A7 series too.. C300 is still probably the most used..then Sony Fs7.. F5/55.. and Amira and the odd RED.. 4K capable Hero 4 go pro is also almost always being bought along in the kit too.. you absolutely want a shoulder capable camera,or rig to make one so.. for doc work,or drama for that matter.. you need some weight for stability and smooth operation hand held ..and a (servo)zoom is pretty much vital for any actuality shooting..  


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#9 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 19 May 2016 - 09:58 PM

Sony doesn't actually make tape anymore, they have a third party making them.
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#10 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 12:36 AM

 

Is it true that certain archives were using Betamax tapes up until the 2010's?


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#11 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 12:46 AM

Digibeta was heavily used until the change to HD.
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#12 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 02:59 AM

Yes digibeta was the total work horse  for broadcast tv before the HD...   the last camera I owned for over 3 years ! 


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#13 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 07:59 AM

Canon CN7.and the Fujinon Cabrio range... focus marks are no where near as precise as dedicated cine zooms

 

 

True, though to be completely fair, that's because they have the ENG-style back-focus adjustment which would move the marks around - so they really can't.


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#14 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 20 May 2016 - 09:05 AM

 

True, though to be completely fair, that's because they have the ENG-style back-focus adjustment which would move the marks around - so they really can't.

 

 

Oh yes don't get me wrong.. thats just a very small possible draw back.. Im a big fan of the CN7.. and I,d much rather have the BF adjustment than sending it in to shimmed up .. Ive never had to change the BF so far.. built in macro is also very handy.. its the lens that really saved me.. if not my back or bank balance ...


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