What Camera would best suit me (please) at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > High Definition Video Acquisition > General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition

General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
Topics about HD production.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old August 19th, 2008, 10:41 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Burton on Trent, UK
Posts: 193
What Camera would best suit me (please)

I currently own a VX2100 but want to sell up for two reasons:

1) I no longer care for the attention I get when I'm out using it, and I've got so much kit in my huge backpack it's all getting heavy for me.

2) I'd like to start recording in HD

Currently, I'm looking at the Canon HV30 - small and Hi Def - but it's only a single chipper, so thinking, if I'm not going to change again for a while, I want a certain requirements, but don't know which camera would suit me (does that make sense).

Ideally, I'd like a 3-chipper, something about the size of the TRV950 but High Def. I love using a focus ring like on my VX, but if the camera is too small I understand about not having the zoom ring as well, but something switchable like the HC1 perhaps? (also single chipper?)

Important thing now, manual controls. I want to be able to set aperture and shutter, and exposure, as well as having manual focus and white balance. And I film wildlife, so a 20x optical would be great, but not essential, as I can't ask for everything and I can use tele lens if I have to.

Also, should be rather good in low light - doesn't have to be as good as the VX in low light, as long as the image isn't too dark and it's acceptable. Don't know if it's possible, but if the eye sees it, it will shoot it. Nothing too extreme, examples of what I do is

i) streets at night (lit by street lamps)
ii) normal family stuff, spontaneous filming, e.g. kids doing something funny, grab the camera and film without having the think too much about extra light
iii) daylight, but under the cover of trees, in the woods filming wildlife

Oh, headphone socket and mic input too - needs these. Now I've seen cameras like the Sony A1 (the HC1 but with the mic think that's it's name) Maybe a built on mic like that would be too big (I use the camera for general family use as well as film and wildlife)

So, what would you fine people suggest? Is there such a camera I seek? I'd really, really like some help in deciding, there are so many different models out there and things change so frequently, I'm at a loss...

Finally, I suppose I'd better mention what I want to spend: The more money it is will give me (probably) the features I want, so I know I'm going to pay more than consumer camera prices, but anything past 1200 and I'd struggle.

Please suggest model numbers, and I'll Google them and see if it is right for me.

Many, many thanks, I know it's a lot to ask, but I'm at a loss. If I don't know model numbers to search for I can't find what I want.

Thanks,

Russ
__________________
Sony Alpha a57 | RODE VideoMic | Adobe Premiere CS5
Manfrotto 785b | Manfrotto 718b
Russ Holland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 19th, 2008, 11:25 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota (USA)
Posts: 2,171
If you find a camera with all the attributes you are wishing for, I want one too.

Realistically, if you want a 3 chip camera, good low light performance, and a full set of manual controls, you're looking at a camera at least roughly the size of your VX.

That said, I really like my HV20 (for what it is - a small consumer HD camcorder, that is real easy to transport). In good light, it can produce a stunning image. The instant AF is a big plus. It actually works pretty well.
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 19th, 2008, 11:46 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota (USA)
Posts: 2,171
That HV20 came in very handy a few days ago. A lady friend of mine has a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, that was pregnant, and I went over to her house to help out when the dog went into labor. My purpose wasn't to film it, but I brought along my HV20 anyway and was really glad I did. I wound up shooting a couple hours of footage. I wound up using three table lamps for extra light, and even though it was very much make due on the fly, hand held shooting, most the footage came out quite viewable (and captured some wonderful memories).
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 19th, 2008, 11:49 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Burton on Trent, UK
Posts: 193
So, would I be better off buying the HV30 then?

I don't suppose the three chips is that important is it, I've had older gen single ccd cameras before (TRV33) and the image on that was sure good enough - but it was rubbish in low light.

What's the Sony A1 like? It's single chip, small, HD and has manual controls(?) what's that like image-wise?
__________________
Sony Alpha a57 | RODE VideoMic | Adobe Premiere CS5
Manfrotto 785b | Manfrotto 718b
Russ Holland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 19th, 2008, 12:06 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 4,100
Russ,

You're fighting a losing battle against physics.

Physics dictates if you put twice the number of photosensors on a chip the same size as your current camera, each will get half the light.

Physics also dictates that if you put a lens half the size of your current lens on the front of the camera you're going to lose a lot of light also.

So when looking for your new camera, you need only ask your self three questions to arrive at the answer of what it will look like, especially in low light:

1. How big is the lens? The filter size will tell you this.

2. How large are the chips and how many photo sensors are on them. The smaller the chips the worse it will do in low light. The more photosensors, the worse it will do in low light.

3. What codec is it using. More sophisticated codecs do a better job of preserving what you do capture. Low bitrate AVCHD is about the worst. HDV is slightly better. Things move up from there.
__________________
DVX100, PMW-EX1, Canon 550D, FigRig, Dell Octocore, Avid MC4/5, MB Looks, RedCineX, Matrox MX02 mini, GTech RAID, Edirol R-4, Senn. G2 Evo, Countryman, Moles and Lowels.
Perrone Ford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 19th, 2008, 01:23 PM   #6
Obstreperous Rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
Posts: 26,900
Images: 513
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russ Holland View Post
I don't suppose the three chips is that important is it...
No, not anymore it isn't. A single-chip RGB camcorder puts light together the same way that a three-chip does (using primary color wavelengths). Think about digital still cameras: all of them are single-chip RGB these days. I'd rather have one large sensor with an RGB color filter than three tiny sensors.
__________________
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 August 19th, 2008, 02:14 PM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
Russ -
There's an extensive section here on DVinfo dedicated to the "compact" cameras... while it's imposing in it's depth and breadth of collective knowledge and experience, a little searching would probably help you decide.

The small cams are somewhat limited in control, but you'd be surprised how well they do - preprogrammed scene modes and a lot of cumputing power in the processors, and a lot of the work is "done for you" in many casual shooting situations... plus the whole "kit" fits in a small camera bag!

You've described what I think many on these boards are currently looking for, and no one makes... a camera somewhere around the size of the old TRV900 or just a hair larger, big lens w/ decent size chip (for better low light), a control ring or two, and at least access to basic manual controls - iris, gain, shutter, wb. I'd add the ability to have LCD and VF both on simultaneously and a focus assist option (have both on the FX7, can't imagine not having these features...). I'd probably vote for a tapeless cam, but no reason such a beast couldn't have a tape mech I suppose, though I think that day is rapidly drawing to a close, and the tape mech adds substantial size weight and complexity... rather have other features myself.

Got me befuddled as to why such a beast isn't available in the mid-price market - you've got the $1K-ish consumer models and then it goes right up to the $3K+ range... Makes no sense to me, but that's the market or at least what the manufacturers have decided the market looks like. Personally I scored a Sony FX7 on the cheap ages ago, and while it's a bit larger (& bigger kit), it's as close as I've found. Sony discontinued that model, with no apparent replacement, so it wasn't the best seller I guess - the new Canon models took most of the thunder.

For knockabout shooting, I've gone to the Sony SR11 and the CX7 (CX12 soon probably). Not much control, but have yet to get an unsatisfying video result. If I were still using tape, I'd probably go HV30 or HC9 (sony equiv.).
Dave Blackhurst 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 > High Definition Video Acquisition > General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:16 AM.


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