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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old July 11th, 2009, 01:06 PM   #16
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AFAIK, the HD1000U is basically and HC7 in a big shell... I wouldn't call it's low light performance anything more than bearable... barely.

If Sony did the same trick with the XR500V and made it tapeless, then you'd have something.

Otherwise, it's several year old consumer technology in a fancy shell... in which case you'd be a bit better to consider the FX7, for not a lot more, you get a camera at least somewhat designed for the "prosumer" from the get-go. Probably still not the greatest low light performer, but a rather nice camera.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 01:12 PM   #17
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Dave's got it exactly right. I much prefer my FX7s and while they aren't perfect and still are not great in low light, feature for feature they are the best bang for the buck out there.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 01:42 PM   #18
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With the XR500 sporting good low light and great OIS, I wonder if there is a new FX-7 model coming soon that will make it better? The 3 CMOS chips is appealing, but I'd like to know if it shoots better in low light than the XR500, and how it's stabilization is. Seems like for the price, the XR500 is a great buy.

I often wonder if I showed up at a wedding video shoot with the XR500 and using its HDMI out, if anybody would look at the home camera and think how unprofessional I was, not realizing I was getting uncompressed 1080P video off of it.. or if the look of say the FX-7 makes people think I am professional because of the longer body, the lens cover and the handle with the mic on it?
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Old July 11th, 2009, 02:21 PM   #19
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Be careful that you are clear on the following concepts:

1. OIS, or any IS, for that matter, is largely irrelevant, as you should be shooting on a tripod all the time anyway if you want professional footage. No IS, no matter how good, can even out something like motion while you are walking. It's only meant to smooth out the small tremors your hand makes when you are braced against a wall. On a tripod, you'd turn off any form of IS anyway.

2. Not likely that the FX7 is any better in low light than the XR.

3. Using HDMI out for what? Capturing from tape? There is no benefit to this, as your signal has already been compressed when recording to tape. Capturing live to a PC? Yes, it's uncompressed, but are you going to drag a PC around with you at a wedding?

4. Yes, unfortunately, people will judge you by how the cam looks, silly as that is, and they'll wonder why they're paying you when Uncle Harry has the same cam, as far as they can tell. Here's the chief benefit of the HD1000U, which is, in all other respects, a big HC7.

5. Uncompressed 1080p? Be sure you know what you mean by this. 1080p is meaningless without a frame rate. It isn't 1080p60, which is what most people think they mean by 1080p. 1080p60 is not an acquisition format, and while there are a few cams that claim to do this, there is no way to edit or distribute this footage. You could play direct from the cam IF you have a 1080p60 HDTV but you can't make a DVD or even Blu-Ray disc with it and have it still be 1080p60. If you like the look of 1080p*30* there are a bazillion cams that can do this, or you can do this in post. But that's not part of the DVD or BD spec either.

5a. BTW, there's nothing in the XR5xx specs to suggest it does any form of progressive at all, at least based on the Sony and B&H pages. Please don't tell me you saw the phrase "Full HD" somewhere and took that to mean, well, anything.

From Sony's product page:

"Video Signal : HD: 1920 x 1080/60i;..."

http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...52921665736672

6. It's highly unlikely that we'll see an update for the FX7, although this is just a guess on my part. But I think many of us are hoping for a prosumer model with the XR5xx series' chips and internals. Only Sony knows if or when this might happen, and it certainly isn't likely to be before next year's NAB in April.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 02:44 PM   #20
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Shooting a wedding with a nanoFlash attached to a consumer camera doesn't make a lot of sense. By far, most weddings are delivered in SD, on a DVD - you'll never know the difference, if it was originally recorded as HDV or using a nanoFlash.

Aside from that, weddings generally don't pay a lot - even if you are delivering in HD. If you can get a fee that would justify virtually lossless recording, you can afford to attach that nanoFlash to a real camera, that gives you full manual control. If you want great quality - save yourself a lot of headaches, and just shoot with an EX-1 - it's not like the compression leaves you with a horse-crap picture.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 02:58 PM   #21
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Exactly right... I assumed someone in the market for a $1k consumer or $2K "prosumer" cam wasn't in the market for a $3K nanoflash...
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Old July 11th, 2009, 03:37 PM   #22
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You guys are right.. why buy a 1K prosumer and a 3K professional recording device. I agree. But I had other ideas for this.

Primarily I am looking at stock footage. Shooting stock footage to sell would not be good in a compressed HDV/AVCHD format. I'd much rather offer almost uncompressed 1080p30 (sorry for skipping that earlier) where those that pay for it can then decide how to edit it and what format to put it in.

Honestly guys I am probably overwhelmed with all of this. I am one of those guys thats into everything computers. I build them, network, am a software engineer by day, build web sites, work on music with the full midi/studio setup, work on editing videos and learning AfterEffects for "vfx" stuff.. I have too many things I Want to do and not enough of me. I need that Duplicity movie to be real! :D

So when I talk about doing wedding videos, my primary reason for bring all this up is trying to find a way to make a good supplemental income or downright replace my current job should I decide to. Having the ability to record high quality video and yet still use it to shoot wedding videos would give me two avenues of income. I am no doubt biting off way more than I can chew, but my angle of questions and information seeking on this forum is aimed at trying to figure out how I can do a few things with as little gear as possible given my low budget right now, or if I might need to look into some sort of business loan or something to acquire better gear to make it possible.

Bringing a small computer with a BM Intensity card and a long HD-SDI wire from the camera to the computer to a wedding is ridiculous. AS I have learned in the last couple days, there really is no gain from shooting with HDV or uncompresed for a wedding video. My angle on this was that if I could have pristine uncompressed (or close to it..I am aware that there isnt really much to record full 1080p uncompressed video yet) video as a source AND it was in a better format to work with in the NLE than say, AVCHD which I hear is horrible to work, not to mention is a lossy compression scheme.. I figured I'd be able to offer the best SD/HD quality possible by having a much higher quality source video to work with. That was my intent. But.. as I said, my intent was ALSO to acquire this high quality almost uncompressed video for use as stock footage shoots and green-screen as well.

There..I said it. It looks like, for the money, the Sony EX-1 is probably what I am after. In another thread someone replied that the EX-1 can record uncompressed. I don't know if that is only thru its HDMI/HD-SDI outs (sorry..don't know what connectors it has), or if it can be selected to record at varoius compression levels on the SDHC cards directly..basically you choose how much you are willing to store per card based on compression. If the EX-1 out of the box can record CineForm/REDCODE Raw quality of video, and I can only fit say 3 mins of video on each 16GB card.. then that works well for me for stock video footage, and meanwhile I can use it for a wedding and store HDV or slightly better on SDHC to get 30+ mins or so per card..then I am set..thats the one to get. But for 6K, I then bounce back to the RED Scarlet.. thinking the 2/3" sensor is more than the 1/2" sensor on the EX-1 aka better low light which I would want for wedding shoots. It also has REDCODE raw, 120fps 3K/2K modes, and so on.

I guess for me to even afford the EX-1 and a tripod and such, I will need some sort of business loan to afford it, so my point here is... if I am going to go after a business loan, I may as well get the RED for the money and what it offers.

I better stop..I am rambling... but hopefully I've made my point on what I "think" I want and why.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 03:43 PM   #23
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I agree. Vegas will edit either. AVCHD drops the preview resolution to play at normal frame rate but its fine for editing. However Vegas and a new PC will be more than the camera!!!
Get the OEM version of Vegas - that's $200, and you can build a Core 2 Quad system for around $800. So, maybe not less than the camera but not more than the camera, certainly.
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Old July 12th, 2009, 02:04 AM   #24
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Kevin -
1) Do a little market research on stock video...
2) Spend a lot of time in the DVi wedding forum...

Don't want to be snarky, but wedding shooting is not for everyone, and it's not about the camera, it's the nut behind the viewfinder. The good wedding shooters are "nuts", and I mean this sincerely. They could shoot with just about anything and get insanely great results. Conversely, some people could shoot with a pro camera and get garbage.


Not to argue, but a really good OIS can make a LOT of difference, and shooting a wedding, where at least some advantage goes to a highly moblie shooter, I appreciate the super OIS of the XR500V (I shoot multicam, so for the cams on tripods, OIS doesn't matter as Adam says). You still have to aim and compose, but the new Super OIS really does take a LOT of movement out of the equation - darn close to a steadicam when used correctly, and with some stabilization, it's hard to beat.

I'm pretty sure the XR500V will beat the FX7 in low light, it's extremely good and has a low noise signature that is a HUGE improvement over previous generation CMOS sensors. That said, it's not much for manual controls... the cameras "intelligent auto" does pretty well, but forget about overriding it beyond the most basic level.

I don't see the advantage of an HDMI recorder. The images from the XR500 are 60i, and are pretty hard to argue with. You're overthinking the theoretical value of more 1's and 0's - the reason compression works (when working properly) is that it's possible to reduce the size of the data stream without overly compromising the image quality - with a proper algorithm, you can remove the redundant information with minimal "loss" - again some CODECs achieve this better than others. And too I think you're overthinking the various flavors of "i" and "p"... and there's no "p" on the XR... you can always render to a "p" format in post.

IMO the "looks" of the cam are not that important, but many conisider that a larger cam says "pro", and I notice I get a very different reaction when shooting a bigger cam over a small one. That said, I prefer the "discreet" profile of smaller cams with appropriate add-ons - I think I'm in the minority, and I'll admit I'm still looking for another larger camera - the mythical XR in a bigger body with manual control and professional features to compete with the HMC150...


I'll make a suggestion, pick up a small HD camera, just about anything from Sony or Canon would do, but the XR500/520V and HF-S10/100 are good choices. Pick one up used and you can always resell or use it for a second cam if and when your business takes off enough to justify a bigger cam. Taking out a loan to buy a big fancy camera without a business plan just because you "think" it's what you need (it's not, it's what you "want", that's OK) is not a very practical plan. While the camera may in the long term "make you money", it's not going to do it on looks or specs, it will do it based on your shooting, editing, and business skills.

I'll ask what may seem to be a silly question, what camera do you currently have or have access to/use regularly?? You're obviously busy, and have "ideas", but sometimes you just have to get your hands on a camera and see what happens. You can shoot great stuff with a cheap camera and drek with a good one, and innate talent and experience both come into play, but you need to shoot...
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Old July 15th, 2009, 10:02 PM   #25
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I'll admit I'm still looking for another larger camera - the mythical XR in a bigger body with manual control and professional features to compete with the HMC150...
Why not just buy a HMC150 ?

I bought one a couple of weeks ago, after looking at everything I could find in the less than $6K price range. I love the "film look" from the Panasonic prosumer cameras. I like having a wide zoom as standard. Best of all SDHC cards are completely affordable.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 10:41 PM   #26
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Probably would if it fit the budget at the moment, or if the right price comes along... at the moment the HMC150 is commanding full price even used.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 07:39 AM   #27
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I bought mine from B&H Photo in New York for $3,400. I had to wait a month to buy mine because they kept selling out before I was able to place my order. ( I would get an email notification that more were in stock, but I was busy at work. When I went to place the order a day or so later they were sold out. )

I am surprised you were able to find a used HMC150, as I haven't seen any listed anywhere. ( lots of DVX100's and HVX200's, and occasionally a HPX170 ) B&H had a few used HPX170 cameras, but $3650 with no P2 card and a 90 day warranty didn't sound like such a great deal to me.
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