My first words on the Texas Shootout at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The DV Info Network > DV Info Net Announcements

DV Info Net Announcements
Important news relating to the DV Info Net site and these message boards.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 13th, 2006, 02:14 AM   #1
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,100
First thoughts on the Texas Shootout

Earlier tonight I happened upon some posts on another camera board and realized because so little has been said about the Texas Shootout, people are starting to jump to their own conclusions about what happened based on a few posts from Mike Curtis on HD for Indies. Chris encouraged us Shootout helpers to speak our mind(s) in the announcement thread, so to that end...

Before I get to my real point though, I'd first like to express just how thoroughly I enjoyed being a part of such a unbiased, hard-working group of people gathered together for one cause...to try to get to the bottom of all the speculation and FUD that unfortunately surrounds the act of trying to educate oneself about HD cameras on the internet. To Adam, Chris, Mike C., Li, Boyd, Greg, Pete, Zane, Mike D., and everybody else present, I say thank you for making our work pleasant, productive, and most importantly in our case, without bias.

So here's why I'm posting: I'd like to pass along the one thing that we started learning very early in the tests, and that eventually became the "one truth". It's very simple, but people will argue against that truth in ridiculous Ford vs. Chevy arguments now and well after the test results are published:

There is no "best" camera.

For some this is going to be a huge letdown. It's a "shootout", afterall, right? Were we not to find and declare a winner? In some ways I am letting the cat out of the bag long before the official release of our results. For this I hope Chris doesn't deport me to some VBulletin limbo, but I felt something had to be said. We predicted going in that people will be able to use our data to support their current beliefs about each camera or issue, or worse, use the data as ammunition to further their crusades to convince the unwashed masses that their choice of camera is the one true choice (boy, I sure made that sound scary!)...but I certainly hope that will not happen too much.

I'd give my opinions about each camera here, but I really don't wish this thread to be about discussing that. If anything, I'd wish this thread to be a jumping off point for the idea that there is no best camera...there is only the best camera for YOU*...an idea that gets tossed around from time to time, but doesn't get nearly enough thought when it counts.




*(...and heck, sometimes not even THAT).
__________________
My Work: nateweaver.net

Last edited by Nate Weaver; April 13th, 2006 at 02:48 AM.
Nate Weaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2006, 05:36 AM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Plainfield, New Jersey
Posts: 927
Thanks Nate. But I was wondering....While there may not be a "best camera" for all, there surely must be a "favored camera" for the Indie filmmaker, the documentary maker, the event recorder, etc.,etc. No? This is not to say that certain cameras CAN NOT be used for certain types of HD artist, but surely one has an image type, and a work style, that lends itself to one form of filmmaking over another. No?
Glenn Gipson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2006, 05:45 AM   #3
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,543
Well the whole idea of the shootout was to gather data and present it in an objective format so that you can make that determination. There are so many variables that affect camera choice, in the end it's going to have to be a personal decision based on your own preference.

I think Nate was saying that no one camera immediately rose above the pack as a "winner," and none of them were clear "losers" either, and I also share his sentiments.

BTW Nate, I really enjoyed meeting and working with you on this - sorry I had to leave early. I was very impressed by the way you kept things organized and moving along on (or even ahead of) schedule. Nice job!
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2006, 06:30 AM   #4
Capt. Quirk
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Middle of the woods in Georgia
Posts: 3,596
I would be happy, if you could say, "Camera A was a good effort, but the manufacturer really fell short here...", or, "Camera B was all around well thought out, except for the battery...". Or more importantly, "Camera C is capable of getting a great image, however, there is no supprted workflow to get that great image...". You know, the REAL important stuff, that will save me from spending several thousand I really can't afford, on a camera I end up really hating.
__________________
www.SmokeWagonLeather.us
K. Forman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2006, 06:55 AM   #5
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
Well there certainly will be that element to the official write-ups, because each camera has its good points and not-so-good points. But as far as one that's better than the others for, say, the indie filmmaker, then I'd have to say no you really can't look at it that way. Camcorders are kind of like guitars in that regard. Is the Fender Telecaster better than the Gretsch Country Gentleman for playing rockabilly? I've seen artists who use both, and ultimately it's not the guitar that affects the quality of the music it produces so much as the talent of the person playing it. Choosing an HD camera is like choosing a guitar, it's not a question of what you're doing with it so much as it is a personal preference, and "try before you buy" is just as important.

We did the shootout in order to offer up all of the data in a packaged form which interested folks can study and use to draw their own conclusions. That's the idea.
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2006, 07:04 AM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Plainfield, New Jersey
Posts: 927
As long as the report is not just RAW DATA, and includes some type of subjectivity, then I think it would be very useful for most people (since many of us are not that technically savy.)
Glenn Gipson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2006, 07:06 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 2,966
I'll go ahead and plug that I will be interested in the data that leans towards event videography. I.e. Weddings and such. So if anyone wants to write up some 100 page conclusion just for me that'd be great.................that was a joke. (I've learned that I have to tell when I'm joking on this board)

Either way cudos to those who are doing this.
__________________
What happens if I push the 'Red' button?
Steven Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2006, 07:34 AM   #8
Capt. Quirk
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Middle of the woods in Georgia
Posts: 3,596
Chris- The "Try before you buy" theory is great, if you can do it. However, not everyone is able to swing by B&H to do this. The closest thing I have to a Pro camera store is Best Buy... so I'm out of luck. However, there is a lot of things that might not be obvious when handling one of thes cams in a store. Stuff like the fact you can't get 3 out of 5 of this camera's features to work when capturing.

The big downfalls of these new cams are what interests me, since the imagry is supposedly very close. As I mentioned before, the DV Magazine's article had these guys shooting next to two of the best cams, and they were pretty close. So it is the usability factor that will help me decide what to buy.

And if you aren't brutally honest about the manufacturer's failings, how will they ever learn?
__________________
www.SmokeWagonLeather.us
K. Forman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2006, 07:45 AM   #9
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Forman
Chris- The "Try before you buy" theory is great, if you can do it.
Well that was a big motivation for the shootout, for those folks who are not in a position to try before they buy. We wanted to offer them something that might give them some data to go on.
__________________
CH

Search DV Info Net | DV Info Net Sponsors | A Decade (+5) of DVi | ...Tuesday is Soylent Green Day!
Chris Hurd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2006, 07:50 AM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 2,966
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Well that was a big motivation for the shootout, for those folks who are not in a position to try before they buy. .
That would be me, because for the life of me, the only place I can find a Z1u is in New York. Sad really.
__________________
What happens if I push the 'Red' button?
Steven Davis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2006, 08:11 AM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Media, PA
Posts: 144
Not that I've had a chance to play with all the cameras, but to me they definitely seem to be of the same average quality, with each camera having it's own advantages and disadvantages. I think its kind of entertaining to see people go on and on how HDV will destroy your picture, how the HVX is the noisiest thing ever, etc. If details that small are show stoppers, you shouldn't be shooting on a camera of this level - step up to the big leagues.

However, clearly the Fender Telecaster is the superior guitar.
Tim Gray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2006, 08:21 AM   #12
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Gipson
Thanks Nate. But I was wondering....While there may not be a "best camera" for all, there surely must be a "favored camera" for the Indie filmmaker, the documentary maker, the event recorder, etc.,etc. No?
Some people think the JVC has bad motion rendering, a horrible lens, and flaw with the imager that's unacceptable. To me, it's the camera I've been waiting for for 20 years. You simply can't slap labels on these things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Forman
The "Try before you buy" theory is great, if you can do it.
Believe me, it's in your best interest to go out of your way to do so. $800 spent on a trip to B&H in NYC might be the smartest money you spend in your gear purchase.
__________________
My Work: nateweaver.net
Nate Weaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2006, 08:27 AM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,488
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Weaver
I'd give my opinions about each camera here, but I really don't wish this thread to be about discussing that. If anything, I'd wish this thread to be a jumping off point for the idea that there is no best camera...there is only the best camera for YOU*...an idea that gets tossed around from time to time, but doesn't get nearly enough thought when it counts.
When I compared the four main sub-$10K HD cameras back in February, one of my main conclusions was that differences between the cameras in terms of how they work was at least as important as anything else in trying to pick between them. Without going into the differences for specific cameras again, suffice it to say that if you know what your priorities are it's fairly easy to pick and choose based on price, form factor, recording format and so on. None of these cameras is perfect for everyone and none of them is a total stinker, so use what works for you and enjoy it.
Kevin Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2006, 08:30 AM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 2,488
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Gray
However, clearly the Fender Telecaster is the superior guitar.
And the volume knob on the best amplifiers goes to 11, right? ;-)

[That's a "Spinal Tap" reference, for those who haven't seen the movie.]
Kevin Shaw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 13th, 2006, 08:33 AM   #15
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: DFW area, TX
Posts: 6,108
Images: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Well there certainly will be that element to the official write-ups, because each camera has its good points and not-so-good points. But as far as one that's better than the others for, say, the indie filmmaker, then I'd have to say no you really can't look at it that way. Camcorders are kind of like guitars in that regard. Is the Fender Telecaster better than the Gretsch Country Gentleman for playing rockabilly? I've seen artists who use both, and ultimately it's not the guitar that affects the quality of the music it produces so much as the talent of the person playing it. Choosing an HD camera is like choosing a guitar, it's not a question of what you're doing with it so much as it is a personal preference, and "try before you buy" is just as important.

We did the shootout in order to offer up all of the data in a packaged form which interested folks can study and use to draw their own conclusions. That's the idea.
Being a guitar player, I can relate to Chris' analogy. The biggest thing about guitars is that they often have a distinctive 'tonal quality' about them. I can pick out a Fender strat every time I hear it because it's unique. So to that end, I might pick the Strat if I wanted a song to have a certain feel.

But my car analogy would be more like several different makes in the same category (ie pickup, suv, sedan). Each car is capable of its mission but gets there in a slightly different way from a design standpoint. So at that point, it gets back to little things like ergonomics, appearance, and small but useful features that appeal to YOU the buyer.

Just as with cars, some will have options available that the others don't. So you have to look at how you would be driving that car on a daily basis and decide if the above mentioned items are in synergy with your needs and expectaions.

Now, I would also like to add my personal thoughts...

I feel like we assembled one of the most professional, hard working, and good natured bunch I have been around in a while. Here's another little kicker. Pretty much everyone came there at their own expense. That means they were there because they 'believed' in the project, not because their pockets were being lined.

We had fun, but got our work done in the process. I wouldn't hesitate to show up and help anyone of these folks in the future should the need arise.

We should also give a big, hearty thanks to Omega Broadcast. These guys were all about being helpful anytime we needed it. Also, our new sponsor Tapeworks Texas sent Scott Cantrell with a Sony F350 and let me tell you, Scott is a great guy and helped out any way he could. So please, give them your business if possible. Mike Curtis of HD for Indies managed a herculean effort to get that much 'ingest' power in the same place and time.

regards,

-gb-
Greg Boston is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The DV Info Network > DV Info Net Announcements

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:50 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network