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Old February 23rd, 2013, 02:26 PM   #1
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Camcorder equal to the 5D quality?

I love my 5D MKII but I hate my Canon XH A1s, it's horrible in low light and very grainy. I shoot a lot of MMA training for UFC and other outlets and I need a good quality camcorder with the image quality of the 5D but Live auto focus. Nearly impossible to film MMA training with manual focus. Anybody have any HD Camcorder suggestions in the same price range as the 5D???

Thanks much.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 04:08 PM   #2
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Re: Camcorder equal to the 5D quality?

2nd hand EX1
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 04:08 PM   #3
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Re: Camcorder equal to the 5D quality?

The closest I can come up with is the Sony NEX-VG900 at close to $3,200. Next in line I'd name the Canon C100, but that sells for a bit more, around $6,500

Both should have great low-light performance, with the VG900 having a fullframe sensor like the 5D, and the C100 a close to APS-C sensorsize like the 7D (but with fysically bigger pixels, ergo more light-sensitive) ... but the live auto focus might be a bit tricky here, sorry.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 04:21 PM   #4
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Re: Camcorder equal to the 5D quality?

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Originally Posted by Colin Rowe View Post
2nd hand EX1
Wow, the EX1 looks like exactly what I need, must buy new though, it's a shame they discontinued it. Thanks Colin.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 04:24 PM   #5
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Re: Camcorder equal to the 5D quality?

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Originally Posted by Ruben Kremer View Post
The closest I can come up with is the Sony NEX-VG900 at close to $3,200. Next in line I'd name the Canon C100, but that sells for a bit more, around $6,500

Both should have great low-light performance, with the VG900 having a fullframe sensor like the 5D, and the C100 a close to APS-C sensorsize like the 7D (but with fysically bigger pixels, ergo more light-sensitive) ... but the live auto focus might be a bit tricky here, sorry.
Thanks Ruben, the live auto focus is a must. Appreciate it though.
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 04:30 PM   #6
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Re: Camcorder equal to the 5D quality?

In my opinion, you can purchase the Canon XF G10 or the XF G20 and get probably better low light performance than what you have on the 5D Mark III. I have both the 5D Mark III and the older XF G10 and I don't have any issues. If the low light shooting wasn't an issue, I would suggest the Canon XLH1. That cam is still a beast and will be for some time. If you go with the Sony (I like the Sony) the colors will be more of a problem to match than the Canon products based on what I have read. Good luck!
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 04:54 PM   #7
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Re: Camcorder equal to the 5D quality?

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Originally Posted by Maurice Covington View Post
In my opinion, you can purchase the Canon XF G10 or the XF G20 and get probably better low light performance than what you have on the 5D Mark III. I have both the 5D Mark III and the older XF G10 and I don't have any issues. If the low light shooting wasn't an issue, I would suggest the Canon XLH1. That cam is still a beast and will be for some time. If you go with the Sony (I like the Sony) the colors will be more of a problem to match than the Canon products based on what I have read. Good luck!
Thanks Maurice, the image looks really good with those cameras but I do need an XLR input for my Rode NTG3 mic for interviews, 1/8 inch jack probably wouldn't cut it. As far as the XL H1, I think all the guts to my XH A1s are the same as the XLH1 if I'm not mistaking. Plus it is discontinued. Thanks though.

I was just looking at the Sony HXR-NX70, youtube low light tests look pretty good. Thoughs?
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Old February 23rd, 2013, 05:33 PM   #8
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Re: Camcorder equal to the 5D quality?

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Originally Posted by Danny Winn View Post
Wow, the EX1 looks like exactly what I need, must buy new though, it's a shame they discontinued it. Thanks Colin.
The Sony PMW-200 replaced the EX1:

Sony PMW-200 XDCAM HD422 Camcorder PMW-200 B&H Photo Video
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Old February 24th, 2013, 07:57 AM   #9
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Re: Camcorder equal to the 5D quality?

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Originally Posted by Ruben Kremer View Post
The closest I can come up with is the Sony NEX-VG900 at close to $3,200. Next in line I'd name the Canon C100, but that sells for a bit more, around $6,500

Both should have great low-light performance, with the VG900 having a fullframe sensor like the 5D, and the C100 a close to APS-C sensorsize like the 7D (but with fysically bigger pixels, ergo more light-sensitive) ... but the live auto focus might be a bit tricky here, sorry.
Bad choice IMO. In order to get autofocus, you are forced into using E-mount lenses AND APS-C crop mode. Then, it's contrast detect autofocus (slow and will hunt).
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Old February 24th, 2013, 08:08 AM   #10
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Re: Camcorder equal to the 5D quality?

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Originally Posted by Danny Winn View Post
Thanks Maurice, the image looks really good with those cameras but I do need an XLR input for my Rode NTG3 mic for interviews, 1/8 inch jack probably wouldn't cut it. As far as the XL H1, I think all the guts to my XH A1s are the same as the XLH1 if I'm not mistaking. Plus it is discontinued. Thanks though.

I was just looking at the Sony HXR-NX70, youtube low light tests look pretty good. Thoughs?
Don't be fooled. The XLH1 and the XHA1s are NOT the same camera. I had both the XHA1 and the XHA1s and the XLH1, XLH1a, XLH1s cameras are far superior; even more so if you add Canon 6x Wide HD Zoom lens. These cameras are still available new but will cost you more than you'll want to pay considering the newer cameras on the market. You might also try the XF100 or the XF300. Regarding the HF series, I believe that you can purchase a converter for the XLR or upgrade to the Canon XA10 which is a similar camera that offers the XLR jack that you seek.

In the end, if you have the resources to rent all of the cameras mentioned throughout your post, it would probably help you to make the best decision based on your personal needs.

Good Luck
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Old February 24th, 2013, 12:07 PM   #11
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Re: Camcorder equal to the 5D quality?

Danny I guess it might depend how low the lighting is and how you are filming, let me try and explain. Also bear in mind this is just my opinion and is not a scientific evaluation in any way shape or form.

I own the XF300, XF100 and 1Dx DSLR. The 1Dx is the best in very low light by MILES in my opinion. I have tested all the cameras listed in my kitchen at night but with the normal lighting you would expect in a kitchen, in other words not sunlight but certainly not extreme low light. In every test the 1Dx blew the others away for noise. The XF300 is ok(ish) if you keep the gain below about 6db but with the lighting I had 6db ended up being pretty under exposed so not really that usable. The XF100 is worse than the XF300 but not by miles really. Certainly not as much of a difference as there is between the 1Dx and XF300.

When I tested it shooting a wide shot of the whole room the noise was there but you could live with it. It's when you zoom right in and get a shallower depth of field that the noise on the XF cameras really shows. It's the out of focus bits that become very noticeable noisy.

Based on this I would advise renting,borrowing or just testing in a shop if you think either of the XF cameras might be the one for you. I'm not saying they are rubbish in low light but for ME and MY needs they are too noisy really. I am looking to buy a C300 because it's a bit better than the 1Dx in low light but way more usable than the 1Dx (things like peaking, audio inputs etc etc).

Hope that's useful for you and I say once again this is just my own judgement and opinion based purely on my own uses and needs.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 12:16 PM   #12
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Re: Camcorder equal to the 5D quality?

Andy,

I've been thinking about getting the 1DX for both photography and videography. With that being said, I do have the 5D Mark III. Is there a significance difference on the video side moving up to the 1Dx or should I go for the C100? The C300, for now, is out of my budget, as I am not that big and yet.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 01:23 PM   #13
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Re: Camcorder equal to the 5D quality?

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Originally Posted by Andy Solaini View Post
Danny I guess it might depend how low the lighting is and how you are filming, let me try and explain. Also bear in mind this is just my opinion and is not a scientific evaluation in any way shape or form.

I own the XF300, XF100 and 1Dx DSLR. The 1Dx is the best in very low light by MILES in my opinion. I have tested all the cameras listed in my kitchen at night but with the normal lighting you would expect in a kitchen, in other words not sunlight but certainly not extreme low light. In every test the 1Dx blew the others away for noise. The XF300 is ok(ish) if you keep the gain below about 6db but with the lighting I had 6db ended up being pretty under exposed so not really that usable. The XF100 is worse than the XF300 but not by miles really. Certainly not as much of a difference as there is between the 1Dx and XF300.

When I tested it shooting a wide shot of the whole room the noise was there but you could live with it. It's when you zoom right in and get a shallower depth of field that the noise on the XF cameras really shows. It's the out of focus bits that become very noticeable noisy.

Based on this I would advise renting,borrowing or just testing in a shop if you think either of the XF cameras might be the one for you. I'm not saying they are rubbish in low light but for ME and MY needs they are too noisy really. I am looking to buy a C300 because it's a bit better than the 1Dx in low light but way more usable than the 1Dx (things like peaking, audio inputs etc etc).

Hope that's useful for you and I say once again this is just my own judgement and opinion based purely on my own uses and needs.

Thanks for the great info Andy, I guess I probably left out some important details. 1, the gym I shoot in (Jacksons MMA) is very dark, dark grey walls and black ceiling. I Have decent dayflo lights but not nearly enought to light the whole gym up. 2, Since it's MMA Action, I would love to speed my shutter up to at least 1/100 to prevent motion blur, can't do that with my XH A1s with gain set to low, have to shoot at 1/30th becasue of the low light. I never use medium or high gain because of all the noise and grain of course, even with all my custom presets optimized. 3, MUST HAVE LIVE AUTO FOCUS. 4, I am very good at color correcting mediocre footage, the problem is that some of the orginizations I shoot for want the raw un CC'd footage, ugh, so hard to send when it's not perfect.

So what I need is most likely not in my budget unfortunately, guess I'll just have to do more spec work and earn enough money to be able to afford what I really need.

Thanks again!
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Old February 24th, 2013, 02:24 PM   #14
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Re: Camcorder equal to the 5D quality?

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Originally Posted by Maurice Covington View Post
Andy,

I've been thinking about getting the 1DX for both photography and videography. With that being said, I do have the 5D Mark III. Is there a significance difference on the video side moving up to the 1Dx or should I go for the C100? The C300, for now, is out of my budget, as I am not that big and yet.
Maurice I've not used a 5DmkIII so I can't really say what the difference is. From what I have read most people say there is a difference but not nearly as much as the price difference would suggest. I have the 1Dx rather than the 5DmkIII as I need an SLR for sports photography and something that will stand up to the rigours of day to day shooting in harsh environments.

If video was the main objective I would certainly be looking at the C100/300 because I find shooting video with a DSLR doable but not ideal. Audio needs to be recorded separately, no peaking, zebra, the C300 is much much better to hold in the hand if you are not using a tripod. I guess it really depends what you plan on doing with it. I'd say if you want stills as well as video go for a 5DmkIII and spend the extra on some glass rather than going for a 1Dx but if you do video mainly I'd go for a C100. As always though I'd recommend at least going to a shop and having a play with each of them.
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Old February 24th, 2013, 02:27 PM   #15
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Re: Camcorder equal to the 5D quality?

It seems to me that we need different tools for particular applications from a video gathering viewpoint nowadays. I use an XF300, Canon 1DMK4, and Canon G1X compact, and I'd hate to be without any one of them. The XF300 gets by far the most use, but the 1DMK4 has much better low light capabilities and can do reasonable DoF, and the G1X is small and light and convenient. I often keep the G1X on my shoulder, while using the XF300 on a tripod, so I can grab b-roll on the fly.
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