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Old September 22nd, 2004, 02:59 PM   #1
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picking camera

OK, I posted something similar to this in the General thread but haven't gotten much help.

Basically I am looking at several cameras to buy (used):

Pana DVC30
Pana DVC80

Sony vx2100
Sony VX2000

JVC GR-HD1

So, I have a few questions that I will gear specifically for this HDV forum...

I have heard the following about the HD1 (can't afford the HD10, and am not sure what the diff is between them) that concern me:

1) Lens isn't as wide-angle as the stock Pana or Sony
2) Performs very poorly in low light
3) Single CCD gives poorer color performance

Now, while I really like the idea of "Future Proofing" and being able to do true 16:9 in progressive mode, I'm not going to be outputting anything to film. Most likely DVD, at least for now.

So, would I *really* need the HDV functionality? For right now I see myself doing 4:3 480i (std DV), and possibly 16:9 480p (for DVDs).

I have seen screen caps of the camera, so #3 above doesn't concern me that much, more like #1 & #2.

Many of my environments will be lit indoor. However, many will in recording studios, whcih often have "mood" lighting (meaning dark), and also filming bands onstage. This obviously also presents problems with light.

Now I know that someone on the board has done a music video using an HD10. I went to the site but when I clicked on "Play" the clips wouldn't play, so I couldn't see the video itself. Also, I am guessing that this person has FAR more experience with the camera and lighting techniques than I. SHowing me what *could* be done in the hands of someone who knows exactly how to get the shots, etc. doesn't help me now. Maybe in several years, but not now. :-) I am still very new to this.

Are those lighting situations (band in a club, recording studio) dark enough that even something w/ great low light performance like the Sony's will have problems? IOW, at that point do I reach somewhere where it doesn't matter anymore about low light perf for either cause it is too dark and I will need to use external lighting or what?

The JVC looks really nice, and the price is right (about $1500 used), but I want to make sure that I make the right descision and dont trade off something like low light for HDV when I won't make *that* much use out of HDV, but I *would* make use of a better performing (in low light) camera.

Thanks for any help!!!!

Alex F
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 02:32 PM   #2
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If you want to shoot something dramatic, go HD because the inconvenience of adding more lights is outweighed by the improved resolution--it's better if you're making something for posterity.

But if you want to do something for only the here and now, like local commercials, training videos, etc., then the other cameras with their increased controls and better low light levels might be better for you.

I'll sell you my HD-1 if you want:) I'm saving up for the Sony!
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 10:58 PM   #3
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I'll be shooting stuff that would be more in the documentary vein than anything else. Shots in recording studios, warehouses, interviews, and some shots of bands playing in bars (darkly lit).

The stuff will most likely be edited and put on a DVD as a presentation to others... a proof of concept in a way. IT will be used as a tool to sell an idea to TV executive types. Obviously we will need big impact, but we are expecting much of the impact to come from the content rather than the presentation. That does not mean we don't want the best presentation that we can get though! Our worries are that it might be too difficult to get good low light shots, and that other things such as colors might suffer from a 1 CCD camera as well as other things that I mentioned. Some will be 4:3, some will be 16:9 (interviews will be 4:3 most likely, as an example).

We'd like it to not obviously be video (to the untrained eye), but figure we can do a lot of that in post like desaturate, etc.

Anyway, I think you get the idea.

So what would something like the GR-HD1 offer me over the others in this situation other than resolution numbers (by that I mean 'great, it can do 480p natively as opposed to 480i/60 - what does that get me other than not having to de-interlace and deal w/ any possible de-interlacing artifacts? Richer color? What?)? What would I be missing?

Thanks again,

Alex F
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Old September 23rd, 2004, 11:03 PM   #4
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When the Sony FX-1 3 chip, 1080i HDV camera comes out, read reviews here and maybe you might pick it up.

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Old September 24th, 2004, 11:52 PM   #5
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I think that the Sony will be out of my price range. Isn't it 50% or more greater in price than the HD1?

Alex F
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Old September 24th, 2004, 11:57 PM   #6
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$3700, but if that's the list price, then it may be a bit cheaper, closer to 3 grand. The HD10 lists at $3995, but I got mine for around $1000 less.

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Old September 25th, 2004, 06:16 PM   #7
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I am looking under $2k. I see the GR-HD1 going for well under $2k all the time. The VX2100s new got for just above $2k, so I think getting a used one at the price is not unreasonable. Ditto with the Panasonics. The HD10 and the Sony 3 CCD HD camera are just too far out of my price range. If I had more to psend I'd probably be looking at the Sony, and the Panasonic DVX100A as well. :-(

Alex F
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Old September 25th, 2004, 06:34 PM   #8
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If you're interested in seeing some HD1/10 footage of similar subject to what you are interested in shooting, take a look at this site.....courtesy of contributor Matt Willson

www.leontrackstar.com/main.html

The Hollywood clip is rather tasty....

Also check out the Brandy Rich demo/promo at

www.highlydef.com

courtesy of Ed Hill.....

Though the samples at these two sites are compressed and resized (due to band-width restrictions), they should give you some idea of the abilities of the cam in the hands of skilled operators.
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Old September 26th, 2004, 04:07 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Steve Crisdale : If you're interested in seeing some HD1/10 footage of similar subject to what you are interested in shooting, take a look at this site.....courtesy of contributor Matt Willson

www.leontrackstar.com/main.html

The Hollywood clip is rather tasty....

Also check out the Brandy Rich demo/promo at

www.highlydef.com

courtesy of Ed Hill.....

-->>>

I appreciate the links, but in the 3rd to last paragraph in my initial post I kinda discuss this. Leontrackstar is the site that I went to where I could not get anything to play. I installed Shockwave, and tried both IE and Firefox browsers. When I clicked on the "Play" button, nothing happened.

It doesn't matter anyway, because as I said in my initial post, I don't want to know about what I could do with great skill after years of practice. I don't have years to wait. I need to use the camera very soon, so I need to know which camera is best for my needs, not best for someone else's.

OK, let me ask this:

Why would I *need* or want HDV? I want a compelling reason why I should go HDV instead of std NTSC. I see plenty of nice footage taken with the panasonics (like a DVC30) and others, and turned into a DVD playing at 480p and it looks nice. Since this will most likely be my medium of distribution, why would I go HDV as opposed to std NTSC? Convince me. :-) What will the GR-HD1 give me that something like a Sony VX2100 or Pana DVC30 will not?

Then, if I decide that going HDV is really the way to go, what are the caveats with this camera (GR-HD1) and the type of work that I outline in my original post?

Thanks,

Alex F
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Old September 26th, 2004, 04:50 PM   #10
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Hmmm....
The main reasons that I purchased a JVC HDV cam were:

1) The HD resolution, which is capable of FTA HD broadcast without resampling.

2) Native 16:9 format (not anamorphic) for WS monitors which are fast becoming the norm.

3) Superior quality DVDs (not HD DVDs) from higher resolution source for distribution.

4) Future proofing of product when HD adoption reaches critical mass....maybe not that far off given the latest uptake data here in Australia.

If you feel that going the HD route is too big a risk (at this point), then avoid a HD cam until you feel more secure....
I certainly don't want to convince someone of the benefits I've seen in going HD if they can't see it for themselves.

BTW the leontrackstar.com site videos do play....they just take a while to begin streaming, so you have to wait a minute or two, then hit 'play' again.
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Old September 26th, 2004, 10:26 PM   #11
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OK, so basicaLLY the DVDs willl look a lot nicer when done on A JVC at 480p than w/ a std 480i (which would then be de-interlaced)...

Future proofing, while not that important to me now, could be soon (ummm, hence the term, right? :-} ).

So that is basicly confirmation of the reasons why i was considering the JVC to begin with, which *does* help.

I think whatever problems I was having on leontrackstar might have been PC-specific, so I'll try viewing those clips on a different computer, and then, once i learn a bit more about lighting, I'll see if he will let me pick his brain and pick up a few lighting tips...

I wouldn't say that going HD is a risk, I am just concerned about what features that other cameras offer that I might be giving up in trade for HD, so to speak. I am concerned about low-lighting, esp. since the camera is rated at 15lux, but on the otherhand I was concerned that some of the situations that I decscribed ANY camera would have potential light problems, which would mean that I would need external lighting of some sort, which could act as an "equalizer" between the JVC and other cameras. The other thing (that I had not really mentioned) is that even if the other cameras "perform better" in low light if that means I can see in low light, but the image is grainy (like a lot of digital still cams), then that doesn't help me much and I will still need to get lights to bring with me.

Thanks for the help,

Alex F
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Old September 28th, 2004, 01:53 PM   #12
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Will the GR-HD1 do SMPTE timecode?

Also, would everyone agree or disagree with the article here:

http://www.hdvinfo.net/articles/jvchd10/fordham1.php

I understand that he is comparing apples to oranges in a way, but he complains about the LCD image, being able to control the f-stop OR the shutter, but not both, and they are linked, lack of zebras, the image being too contrasty (lack of highlight and dark details), lack of color definition (due to single CCD), image being too sharp


Is it that difficult to control the field of depth (F-stop/shutter being interlinked)? Or is there a way to control it with the camera - a work around that he wasn't aware of?

I am thinking that the jumpstart guide will probably help me in determining some of this, but until I get it in the mail (I'll order one this week), I don't know...

And what's the story w/ the LCD? It was mentioned in the article and I read that the Jumpstart guide deals with this as well. Is there some sort of calibration that you must do or what? Why have I read that the LCD looks pretty bad out of the box?

THanks again,

Alex F
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Old September 28th, 2004, 06:56 PM   #13
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The review by Jon is, of course, subjective. Th HD10, though I love it, has limitations. I certainly don't like the 1 chip/not-so-manual design, but I saw through it. Jon and I are BOTH excited about testing the FX-1.

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