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Old May 27th, 2009, 11:55 AM   #16
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Brian,

Great points. But I still wouldn't use a DSLR to shoot professional video, just like I wouldn't use an older pro camera with still camera options, to take professional photos. My old HD10 did that--it was 1 MP camera and it was horrible quality, regardless of pixel count.

Glad to hear you got so much life out of the VX1000 (!!) and PD150, both awesome cameras. What you're looking for is a larger sensor size, which means you can use a longer lens with less resolution. 2/3" is the way to go but 1/2" is pretty good, too. (Smaller sensor cameras require expensive, high resolution lenses that are generally wider in nature--deep focus--and start to have problems the more you close the iris. I won't go into the meat and potatoes of why 1 million tiny pixels on a small chip isn't as great as 300,000 large pixels on a larger chip.)

Check out the Sony PMW-EX3 with the ability to use 1/2" lenses and even 2/3" lenses with an adapter. Only downside is how left-heavy the camera is; they combined the viewfinder with the LCD and it's a pain-in-the-neck.

Heath
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Old May 27th, 2009, 12:38 PM   #17
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I hear you, Heath. I'd love a 2/3" camera, but it's so far out of my price range, it's not even funny. Both the EX1 and the EX3 intrigued me, but they both seem like ergonomic nightmares, and -- at the time -- the media cost scared me off. There was no way I could imagine shooting long-form documentary with either of those beasts. Certainly not handheld. Actually, the disk-based XDCAM units are much more appealing to me (I still like physical media), but they are, unfortunately, far out of my price range.

This time around, I deliberately sacrificed chip size, resolution and tapeless workflow for ergonomics, cheap media, industry standard accessories and the opportunity to use some old Nikon lenses for some ultra-telephoto work. Hence the HD100. It was also MUCH cheaper. I don't really regret that decision, as it suits my current projects very well.

I'm really looking at the new crop of HD-capable DSLRs as occasional creative B-cam work or experimentation, not so much as a replacement for my primary camera. That's where I really miss the creative possibilities of larger chips. If I can get something that lets me play with depth of field and field of view at decent resolution, with full manual control, for under 2 grand, I'm there. Much more than that, it's just not worth it for me.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 12:42 PM   #18
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Actually the EX1 is pretty awesome, egonomically-speaking. I love that the white balance button and iris are in the same spots as shoulder-mount cameras, it's not too heavy, and it works great. The cost of media has come down a LOT!

Check out the JVC HM-700:

JVC Professional Features page

Though it has 1/3" sensors, I'm betting you can use the JVC adapter to put cinema-style primes and zooms. Tim Dashwood would be the expert on this. I'll email him to join us here!

Heath
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