Consumer HD 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 June 28th, 2009, 07:35 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Aurora, IN
Posts: 45
Consumer HD

I get asked all the time, but is there a consumer HD camcorder you would recommend? Say around $500 range ? The Sony CX100 looks alright, or maybe canon HG20 or HF200? I just don't know much about the new formats AVCHD and how usable they are for most people.
Garry Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 28th, 2009, 07:59 PM   #2
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Los Angeles (recently from San Francisco)
Posts: 954
Canon HV30 or HV40. It's HDV, uses miniDV, has excellent glass, reasonable low-light performance and its auto functions work very well. It also appears to be the camera of choice for aspiring indie producers, with a variety of depth of field adapters and other toys.
Paul Tauger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 28th, 2009, 09:28 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,943
Before answering this question one must ask what will it be used to video. There will be a big difference if the intended purpose is family video or an aspiring film maker who wants to shoot their first feature film! For family video ease of playback and ability to "show" the video is important. In this case the large hard drive AVCHD cams will win because it is easy to show the video and certainly in the case of Sony easy to backup and make DVD's for others with the included software( not great but usable). My choice would be the XR520 with 240G hard drive that the user may never fill up! I know its outside your price range!
For the film maker HDV would be a better choice as this will be easier to edit etc.
I have a mix, FX1 ( HDV), the SR11 and XR500 AVCHD. Have to admit the new XR500 has the best picture in all but the most difficult situations.

Ron Evans
Ron Evans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6th, 2009, 06:51 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Aurora, IN
Posts: 45
Thanks Paul & Ron,
I really don't know anything about the new consumer camcorders using HDD or AVCHD, and I get asked from coworkers or family about what they should buy in a camera. Having a pro HDV camera I dont know how usable these formats are for consumers with beginner skills and limited computer knowledge. I would think you might need an up to date computer to download AVCHD files. My niece is having a baby so I know she will be filming alot of home movie stuff. 10 years ago I was still editing super 8 wedding videos to VHS tapes! Things have sure changed now... Thanks Garry
Garry Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6th, 2009, 07:51 AM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,943
I have to admit a bias to the Sony XR500 or XR520. The OIS is the best, they have excellent low light capability, face recognition that really works in most instances, good stills too and a large very clear LCD as well as a viewfinder. GPS is a little gimmick but at least will set the time correctly!!! They can transfer selected clips to the memory stick for transfer to others etc and easy in camera editing too. Sony have a stand alone burner so there is no real need for a computer at all if one doesn't want to do fancy editing. Either making backups or a menu based AVCHD disc to play on a Bluray player.
Any computer will do for backups so there will be no need to upgrade. However if one wants to do any sort of fancy editing a more powerful computer will be needed. The Sony Browser software that comes with the camera also solves the issues of FAT 32 file format by transfering long clips as one file into a NTFS file format on the PC that seem to be an issue for some people using Canon or Panasonic with flash memory. Long files are seen as one file on the LCD clip selection and one file when transfered to the PC.
With the XR520 there is no fear of running out of tape at a critical moment as it will record for almost 30hours at the highest data rate and with the largest battery would record for almost 6 hours. With the HDMI connection it is easy for one to show video to friends as long as they have a HD TV with HDMI. With this large storage most consumers would be able to keep several years of video on the camera to show others. I would certainly not recommend a tape based system for family video with these new AVCHD cameras being available.
I just wish Sony would make an AVCHD version of the FX1000 as the XR500 I have makes my FX1 look a little dated with better resolution and cleaner image by a long way.

Ron Evans
Ron Evans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 7th, 2009, 02:41 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
I too would recommend the XR500/520V - the super OIS helps a lot for a novice user to get usable footage (heck, it helps an experienced user!). AND the low light performance is a big help for the average sort of shooting many users will encounter (indoor events, birthday parties, etc. It also has pretty solid intelligent algorithms to set the key settings for "best" results. The only downside is the price, which is about double the $500 range... But aside from the "prosumer" camera Ron and the rest of us are dreaming of, it's hard to see where the XR will be "obsolete" right away, and it's a big step up from earlier cameras.

Under $500 becomes an interesting proposition if you're trying to do HD in ANY flavor, as the average user may not have the computer horsepower to edit comfortably (though they should be able to archive the footage and burn to DVD).

If one goes used, there are a lot of bargains around for the smart shopper willing to go with "last years model" or one of the lower models in the Canon or Sony lines (saw a HF20 or similar for under $500 brand new, almost bought one out of curiousity).

There isn't a simple answer for everyone - there are also some decent "dual mode" cameras that do both stills and video too, which may be more practical for some people - I've been playing with the Sony HX1, and while it's not quite up to the video quality I'd like (it's usable though), the stills are fairly good, it's got some trick features, and all in all it is not bad for a sub $500 "super zoom" camera you can stuff in your pocket (or purse)... wouldn't be a bad "general use" family camera for the money, it's actually rather fun to shoot with, and for a user that also might be wanting a still camera or is just testing the waters on video, it's one possibility.
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 7th, 2009, 06:38 PM   #7
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Saitama, Japan
Posts: 14
The usefulness of buying used and knowing your needs cannot be overstated. I bought an HV30 for my stay in Japan and found it gathering dust all year. Then I bought an HD1000 for $250 used recently and found myself doing nothing but shooting shooting shooting since it's so dang portable and gives a pretty good picture for the money!
Fernando Ramos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 9th, 2009, 12:18 PM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota (USA)
Posts: 2,171
Dang, if I could snag an HD1000 for $250, I'd grab one too! (the Sony)
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 9th, 2009, 01:12 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
Me too, but somehow methinks that that referred to the Sanyo... a pocket camera...

I don't see the Sony being "so dang portable"... unless one has really large pockets. I know I wouldn't lug my FX7 around unless I was getting paid...
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 9th, 2009, 05:14 PM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 773
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Evans View Post
For the film maker HDV would be a better choice as this will be easier to edit etc.
As the budding indie filmmaker, I have to say that since I switched over to AVCHD editing's a lot smoother as a whole, as I no longer have to worry either about dropped frames during capture (annoying) or dropped frames during recording (disasterous.) I simply do not trust digital tape as a recording or a backup medium - I know others feel differently.

I'd say that among indie filmmakers, the choice of Tape or Digital comes down to personal preference and advantages vs. disadvantages.

For me, I can't stand tape. In fact, I won't take a job if I know I'm going to have to be dealing with tape as a medium. Record on it if you wish, but as a director, I don't accept them, as an editor, I refuse to do capturing from tape.

Right now I use the Canon HG20 as my main camera, but will be getting the Panasonic Lumix GH1 as soon as it comes out. I'd recommend either the HG or HF series of Canon cameras, but the fact that it uses tape is why I sold off both of my HV20s.
__________________
Equip: Panny GH1, Canon HG20, Juicedlink, AT897, Sennh. EW/GW100, Zoom H2, Vegas 8.1
Brian Boyko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 10th, 2009, 08:04 AM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 66
I'm also an indie filmmaker and would never go back to tape again.. currently using an Hf s100 and love it! The thing with AVCHD is you can't really edit it natively at this point, you'll need something like Cineform neoscene or VoltaicHD to convert the footage to make it really easy to work with (all the editors I've tried so far haven't integrated AVCHD technology very well yet). Even with this current hurtle I'd much prefer doing a conversion than the hassle of transferring footage from tape.. not to mention how quick and easy it is to preview and delete unneeded footage from the card to avoid needless transfers..

I'm also doing a lot of car shooting and the flash card format has been so much more reliable than tape, on my old Canon dropouts weren't a serious issue but they did occur, and you definitely don't want that happening on a crucial take

Anyway, either format will probably be fine for regular consumer use.. if they plan on doing any editing I'd probably recommend they stick with tape for now unless they're willing to invest in some additional software and learn how to properly import footage
Cris Hendrix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 10th, 2009, 12:31 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 773
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cris Hendrix View Post
I'm also an indie filmmaker and would never go back to tape again.. currently using an Hf s100 and love it! The thing with AVCHD is you can't really edit it natively at this point, you'll need something like Cineform neoscene or VoltaicHD to convert the footage to make it really easy to work with (all the editors I've tried so far haven't integrated AVCHD technology very well yet).
Try Vegas. I actually don't see a difference in editing speed between AVCHD and HDV.
__________________
Equip: Panny GH1, Canon HG20, Juicedlink, AT897, Sennh. EW/GW100, Zoom H2, Vegas 8.1
Brian Boyko is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 10th, 2009, 05:53 PM   #13
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,943
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Boyko View Post
Try Vegas. I actually don't see a difference in editing speed between AVCHD and HDV.
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!!!
For a family camera I still think that HDD based cam is just great as the user can show everyone who has a TV ( SD or HD) videos they have taken for maybe several years!!! Learning to edit "in camera" can get rid of all the wasted shots of feet etc and then learning how to create a playlist is likely enough for most people. The supporting disk recorders from Sony means the user doesn't even need a PC to create disc to play on their Bluray player.

Ron Evans
Ron Evans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 10th, 2009, 09:13 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: California
Posts: 206
Would any of you recommend the Sony as a "first" camera for shooting wedding videos.. given it's superior low light performance and OIS? I haven't been able to see yet if it has an HDMI output on it?
Kevin Duffey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 11th, 2009, 11:59 AM   #15
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Woodinville, WA USA
Posts: 3,464
You mean the HD1000U? Yes, it has HDMI. All the specs are readily available at the Sony and B&H websites.

Edit: now clear that you meant the XR5xx. Several Sonys were mentioned previously so not sure which one you meant. The CX, XR and HD1000U all have HDMI, as shown on the respective Sony Product pages.

I'm not sure I'd call its (the HD1000U's) low-light performance "superior." Hm, what's the word I'm looking for.... Oh, yeah, "crappy." I don't shoot weddings but have read a lot of complaints about it here. I've found it's fine on a well-lit sports field at night but struggles mightily in a theatrical environment.

Last edited by Adam Gold; July 11th, 2009 at 03:07 PM.
Adam Gold 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 01:55 AM.


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