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Old December 27th, 2005, 04:03 AM   #1
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Request for new HD camcorder

OK camcorder manufacturers, what's so incredibly difficult about this budget HD camcorder:

A decent fixed lens and single Progressive Scan CCD/CMOS sensor that resolves 600-650 or so lines of resolution. Primary RBG filter on the sensor please.

HDV. If it saves money, just skip DV capability. This is an HD camcorder.

Make it 720P with 24P and 30P (60P would be nice, but I don't think so yet)
OR
Make it 1080i with 24P, 30P and 60i.

Decent manual controls. Manual audio levels too please.

MSRP $1499.99


Wouldn't this sell like hot cakes? Yes yes, I know, most people don't need 24P, a lot of people poo poo HDV, blah blah. None of those things impact the question of how popular something like this would be. I bet pros would buy this as their vacation cam. Maybe even as a crash cam for production. Video enthusiasts would probably like this and the myriads of wannabe "film makers" that will never scrape up $3K for a DVX would eat it up (no offense poor wannabe film makers, I'm right there with ya). Basically I'm guessing this cam would appeal to everyone that's thought about or bought products such as the Optura 40/60/Xi, GS200/250/400, etc... I guess we could call them the budget enthusiasts. And oh yes, every time a consumer goes to Best Buy or Circuit City to look for a camcorder, the anoying sales guy will immediately steer them towards this cam.

I think this camcorder is perfectly plausible. Basically think HC1 with a real 24P mode with 1/48th shutter and a couple bucks shaved off (you know, take off the "Sony Tax" :). Or a Canon Optura Xi or 60 with HDV and 24F. Maybe a second generation HD1? Come on, is it THAT hard to do 24P/F for less than 3 grand? Come on manufacturers, product like this isn't going to steal very much thunder from the high end. Its not going to have the dynamic range and control of a pro cam and it'll be too small to show the paying clients (The last thing you want to hear from the customer is "Hey, I've got one of those camcorders").

Seriously, if the HC1 had something like Canon's 24/30F and streeted for 1300 bucks, I think it would steal practically every $800-2000 sale. As it stands, I bet the HC1 is stealing some sales from the higher end "budget" SD cams like the GS400. But with the right set of features, I think my proposed cam wouldn't just be competitive, it would Dominate its price range. I'll tell you this, if it was out now my vintage Star Wars collection would be on Ebay at this very moment.

Am I wrong here? Would this thing not be more popular than ice cream in the summer? Or am I just ranting on because I have a flu and very desperately need sleep? Should I have stopped posting, like I said I would in that $100 camcorder thread? Will I win the "worst post of the day" award?
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Old December 27th, 2005, 05:42 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Williams
Am I wrong here? Would this thing not be more popular than ice cream in the summer? Or am I just ranting on because I have a flu and very desperately need sleep?
I bet the majority of dvinfo'ers are asking themselves the same questions.

The camcorder manufacturers could do it, if they had the will. Not sure why they don't. I'm a fan of Canon, and I'm still waiting for them to repeat what they did in the dSLR world. But I'll bail with my money if Jim Jannard and his team get there first. In the meantime, I just rent when I need the "expensive" camcorder features.

I'm always amazed that Canon released the Optura Pi almost 7+ years ago, and still hasn't updated the original progressive design. I'm still amazed that my old Panasonic S-VHS camcorder, which I bought for $800 has superior manual controls to any digital camcorder I've seen, let's me change the lenses, and still performs better in low light than the majority of camcorders out there. I still have some great footage of a lightning storm in the middle of nowhere in South Dakota, that I can't re-create in DV without spending 3 times the money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Williams
... The last thing you want to hear from the customer is "Hey, I've got one of those camcorders"
Actually I've heard that before, thankfully he was also my friend, so I told him to bring it to the event as a B camera - I even got him to bring his tripod and extra mic stands.
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Old December 27th, 2005, 10:24 PM   #3
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Canon seems to like to really leverage every last drop out of their technology, and keep shoving it down the camcorder line.

Perhaps they are planning to take one of the XL2 chips and put it into the Optura line and then release the GL3 with the XL H1 design.

Or maybe they've got something completely different up their sleeve.

Whatever they do, I'm purchasing a new camcorder in 2006 but I'm waiting for the new models to come before I bite.
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Old December 28th, 2005, 04:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski
<snip>
I'm always amazed that Canon released the Optura Pi almost 7+ years ago, and still hasn't updated the original progressive design.
<snip>
You know, my first DV camcorder was the very first Elura and I LOVED the progressive scan. Between the vibrant colors, sharp lens and progressive scan CCD this little cam rocked. Even the "fake" 16:9 looked very good.
Excepting for low light projects, I actually preferred my Elura to the TRV900 I used at work.

Truth be told, if it hadn't suddenly died I would not have replaced it until my move to HD.
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Old December 31st, 2005, 01:51 PM   #5
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Phillip, which HD/HDV cam did you go with?
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Old December 31st, 2005, 03:12 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Michael Wisniewski
Phillip, which HD/HDV cam did you go with?
None actually. I probably didn't articulate well, but I meant to imply that I would have happily continued using my Elura while waiting for an affordable HD entry. Unfortunately my Elura suddenly died quite some time ago so I replaced it with an Optura 30 with the $100 rebate. It was a great deal and I don't think the HC1 was even out yet at the time (wouldn't have been in the budget anyway). So the 30 will be my last SD cam for certain.

In the meantime my friend plans to get an HVX200 in a couple of months for me to use and I've just finished building an editing station that can handle and display HD properly. Now by the end of 2006 I fully expect to be choosing between an Optura HDV/1080i or a JVC with 720P at the $1200 price point. Being the canon guy that I am, I'll probably stick with their entry (especially after seeing how nice the HDV coming off the XLH1 is).
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Old December 31st, 2005, 03:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip Williams
... Optura HDV/1080i ... at the $1200 price point ...
Nice, I love the sound of that, the Optura HDV.
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