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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old August 17th, 2008, 05:27 PM   #1
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Best Consumer Camcorder for Compositor

Hi guys - I work with a compositor whose looking at buying a personal camcorder, to grab footage to use in compositions as she's going through life.

(I.e textures and motion elements of things she sees).

Obviously, in this case we are looking for something that has a good colour depth and fidelity.

I'm not too concerned about recording format (HDV/AVCHD etc.) in terms of how workable it is in post, because by the nature of how this work is going to be done we are safe assuming that everything is going to be transcoded in a Mac to Pro-res, or uncompressed or some other intermediate codec first before it is used in the compositions.

What I am concerned about is artifacting caused by the recording codec in camera, perceivable colour depth, luma sharpness etc. I'd prefer first hand examples of both advantages and potential issues than just quoting tech specs.

Also, in this case ease of use, ergonomics, manual AND auto functionality are very important. Ideally something set up for fast capture (maybe a Hard Disk Drive type camera with a buffer that has a pre-record/time travel setting that is always recording a few seconds could be useful.)

Relatively good low light would be a major advantage (historically this would have led me to think about Sony - not so sure these days).

Pricing wise we are looking the $1,000-$2,000 range.

(And yes - I know about Scarlet, yes, it will be perfect for this stuff - I have worked with the Red ONE - , but it's too far off and getting it fully kitted out with CF cards etc will push it too far from this persons available budget to be realistic.)

Any advice?
Craig Parkes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 17th, 2008, 07:37 PM   #2
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If you plan to matchmove, forget about any of the CMOS cameras. But if you want true color, the HV30 is pretty darn good at color reproduction. It's just to get the best results, you need to bypass the HDV compression and either capture uncompressed from HDMI or compress to Cineform in real-time or Prores422 in real-time.
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I wait for the day cost-efficient global shutter 60fps capable CMOS sensors emerge for use on major manufacturers' cameras. (Sony, Canon, etc.) Rolling Shutters are a plague.
Jack Zhang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 18th, 2008, 06:20 AM   #3
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Definitely the HV30/HF11, but she needs to practice her camerawork to reduce shakiness.
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