Help me choose an hd camcorder 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 April 5th, 2010, 11:16 AM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Jamestown Ohio
Posts: 49
Help me choose an hd camcorder

I am currently looking for a new camera; I plan to use this for skateboarding mainly as well as filming my friends band for music videos and concerts. I was looking at the Sony fx7 I was wondering if this is a good choice, i know that the Canon A1 is a better camera; I am really only trying to spend 2 grand, but any suggestions are helpful even if I spend more. Also i am willing to go standard def if i will get a better camera.

Thank You for the input.
Matt McMeans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 5th, 2010, 12:09 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
Standard def is effectively history, not a good "investment".

FX7 is a great little camera, but it's around 3-4 years "old" now, making the technology in it a tad outdated, especially if you're talking about indoor (concerts?), low light shooting.

For about half of what you want to spend, you should look at the top of the line consumer cams from Canon, Sony and Panasonic. They are tapeless (AVCHD), meaning you need a beefy computer to edit, but in all honesty, the image quality you'll get with them will probably beat an "older" HDV camera like the FX7 under challenging conditions.

Model #'s to start with would be the Sony CX550V and XR550V (or pick up last year's "500" versions, but the latest ones might be better for your purposes), Canon HF-S21, and Panasonic's new "700" series. Personally I like the Sony as I've already got the accessories, but with a 2K budget, you can pick among them.

For active shooting I suspect the Sony active OIS will be your best choice, as it's pretty impressive at smoothing out the bumps, but the others are claiming improvements in their OIS this year too.
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 7th, 2010, 12:52 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Jamestown Ohio
Posts: 49
i appreciate that but aren't you limited on the camera setting on pretty much all consumer cameras?

please can i get some more input on this.
Matt McMeans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 7th, 2010, 09:09 AM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Byron Bay, Australia
Posts: 1,142
The Panny TM-700 would be good for your needs. It still has quite a few easily accessible controls, whereas the consumer sony's tend to just give you 'exposure control' which lets you make the image brighter/darker but you can't independantly control iris, shutter and gain. The Panny also has a focus ring, which is somewhat of an oddity on consumer cams these days. The TM-700 can also shoot 1080 60p which would be great for slow-mo skateboarding shots.

I have an FX7 and it is still my main camera but it sure is getting old. The picture is starting to look very soft compared to newer cameras, but in terms of control and features there isn't really anything comparable in the same price bracket unless you buy second hand.
John Wiley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 7th, 2010, 02:53 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Apple Valley CA
Posts: 4,866
FYI, the newest Sonys, the XR550 and CX550 now have more manual control available, but as with ALL small cameras, they will likely be a bit fiddly to access controls as opposed to the FX7, which is actually a great camera - I sold mine hoping for a solid state version, which still hasn't appeared :-(

Why none of the manufacturers has seen fit to make a camera just large enough to have proper button/dial/ring control access for manual control yet still compact and (relatively) inexpensive is beyond me - there's a big gap between "top of the line consumer" at around $1K and "prosumer/basic pro" at around $3K... the aging FX7 is rather unique at the $2K price point.

John's observations are spot on, the FX7 is a lot of camera for the money, but it is "getting old", if you can pick up a used one at a good price it's still a good way to go if you're on a budget, just don't expect it to excel in low light conditions (your mention of concerts put up the red flag - I'd sooner shoot an XR500 under that sort of light condition...).

You can do quite a lot with the small cameras, don't be decieved by the size, the imagers are pretty advanced and the technology seems to be updating faster than the "high end" cameras. The active OIS in the Sonys is going to be a BIG asset in shooting action video - it's hard to beat. Coupled with the wide lens range of the new 550's, and the low light capability, it's not a bad fit for your described use. If your buddies are going to give you a bad time about your "tiny camera", well, that may be a problem, but the output should shut them up...

My point was if you stick to the flagship models just released, you get a lot of camera for the $, with image quality that's likely going to beat a 3-4 year old camera by a significant (and noticeable) margin. If you "need" something bigger on a budget, the FX7 is not a bad deal, but take some time to read the threads here (search for FX7/V1U) so you know if it wil meet your needs.
Dave Blackhurst is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2010, 04:54 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Jamestown Ohio
Posts: 49
I know I'm going up in price but what about the fx1000 is that worth the extra thousand dollars?
Matt McMeans is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 8th, 2010, 09:50 AM   #7
Trustee
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Byron Bay, Australia
Posts: 1,142
Yeah, definitely. You get bigger sensors, excellent low light performance, and extra ring on the lens for iris (Sooooo much better than the fiddly little iris dial on other cams) among other things. The images are noticibly sharper than the FX7 and retain excellent colour even in low light. The FX1000 or AX2000 (solid stade AVCHD version) will be my next camera.
John Wiley 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 07:15 PM.


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