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Old September 20th, 2010, 01:01 AM   #1
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Terrible time to be shopping...

How can one possibly decide what to buy these days....without waiting for what could be years before the market sorts itself out.
Panasonic AF100 on the horizon. Sony's new VG10 and probably a more pro version coming soon, plus their other pro large sensor cam they previewed at NAB. New better DSLR type cams like the GH2 and possibly Sony a77 coming with amazing looking specs.
Canon sure to come out with some kind of killer hybrid after the buzz from their 5D & 7D success.
And all with different glass where adapters could cancel out some very helpful and seemingly more advanced auto functions like subject tracking auto focus etc.

Just can't justify buying an EX1R or XF300 anymore with all this stuff on the horizon!
This really is a terrible time to have money to upgrade from a Z1 where image quality is starting to look very dated....without waiting around forever for all this market flux to play out. It's frustrating, want to jump into something, but literally can't with all the possible choices. It was easy to buy my Z1. Would have been fairly easy about a year ago to buy an EX1/3......not anymore.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 04:53 AM   #2
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This really is a terrible time to have money to upgrade from a Z1 where image quality is starting to look very dated....
Image quality especially looks dated to us videographers because we all are pixelpeepers. Depending into what market your in your Z1 (which produces very nice colors) combined with a cheap 550d with a few good lenzes can easily get you going for a longer time, the versatility you can get with that combo will not look dated at all towards your clients. That would be a minor investment (compared to what a cannon xf serie will cost you) and will give you the time to see in which direction the videomarket evolves. You can still sell your z1 much later for that miracle camera and keep the dslr as b-cam or for fancy or low light shots.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 06:19 AM   #3
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I went through the same struggle. I found this assessment helpful and went with an EX1R: XDCAM-USER.com Micro 4/3, Super 35, DSLR and the impact on traditional Pro Camcorders.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 06:44 AM   #4
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Same struggle here in EU......
What to buy? AN xdcam? wait for this the new Nikon d7000 (that should be really from another planet)?
Let's wait wait wait......and for what it counts i have to upgrade from my fx1 (same sensor of the z1)!
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Old September 20th, 2010, 08:39 AM   #5
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I am in the same boat with my V1. I finally decided to wait on the camera and bought a Nanoflash to use on my V1. The plan is to wait for the new video cameras to sort them selves out, then make my best choice and put the Nanoflash on it. I also shoot still photos for covers and video projects as well so I upgraded my still camera to a Canon 7d. I used it last week with the V1+Nano to shoot a commercial and the combination worked well. The V1 for all the deep, depth of field, and audio. The 7d for shallow, depth of field. I am happy with the combination for now so, I can sit back and watch the New Camera Show.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Image quality especially looks dated to us videographers because we all are pixelpeepers. Depending into what market your in your Z1 (which produces very nice colors) combined with a cheap 550d with a few good lenzes can easily get you going for a longer time, the versatility you can get with that combo will not look dated at all towards your clients. That would be a minor investment (compared to what a cannon xf serie will cost you) and will give you the time to see in which direction the videomarket evolves. You can still sell your z1 much later for that miracle camera and keep the dslr as b-cam or for fancy or low light shots.
Great points, and exactly what I almost did. The T2i is amazing bang-for-buck. What stopped me is that I have a bunch of Nikon glass and was waiting to see what the D7000 brought to the table. I was a little disappointed unfortunately, no articulating screen is a biggie (why, the D5000 has one), the bit-rate seems low, about 19Mbps, some unknowns regarding changing exposure during record mode, unknown auto-focus performance with face-tracking ( I do some ENG work). Will wait for more tests, hopefully not too long from now!
But really, it comes to down to investing in more glass for a particular system. If I get a T2i, I'm going to need more than a kit lens....suddenly you start investing in glass and that can get you very married to one brand. I know adapters are there, but I don't want to potentially lose some great auto functions that can be very helpful. Maybe I can live with the D7000 as a stop-gap until the market evolves further. It is very cheap when you look at the alternatives.
It's frustrating because Nikon has no video division to cannibalize, they could throw the kitchen sink into a few models without worry about damaging sales of a pro line. They're basically in DSLR video market anyway, they could do some damage to the big boys.
I must say I'm watching Sony very closely with their new SLT cams, VG10 and the pro version rumors. If their alpha glass is interchangeable between all these bodies and retains all auto functions, could be very strong market position.
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Old September 20th, 2010, 12:08 PM   #7
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I am in the same boat with my V1. I finally decided to wait on the camera and bought a Nanoflash to use on my V1. The plan is to wait for the new video cameras to sort them selves out, then make my best choice and put the Nanoflash on it. I also shoot still photos for covers and video projects as well so I upgraded my still camera to a Canon 7d. I used it last week with the V1+Nano to shoot a commercial and the combination worked well. The V1 for all the deep, depth of field, and audio. The 7d for shallow, depth of field. I am happy with the combination for now so, I can sit back and watch the New Camera Show.
Interesting idea, does the footage match up well? Do you have to do a lot of correction in post to match well? What are you editing with?
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Old September 20th, 2010, 02:42 PM   #8
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What stopped me is that I have a bunch of Nikon glass and was waiting to see what the D7000 brought to the table.
You do know that there are adapters to fit Nikon lenzes to the Canon? I"m not an expert in these matters but I have 2 old Nikon nikkor lenzes that get used plenty with my 550d. It is however much more difficult to operate then my main workhorse, the xh-a1. It certainly is not a run and gun camera for me, takes much more set up time. I also only use it in very particular situations where I know the aliasing won't cause problems or where I have the time to operate it. It's also quite difficult to colormatch with my xh-a1 and I try to shoot as flat as possible with it so it's easier to correct, whitebalancing is often the key to get much better images as the auto setting is not very good in guessing.
My xh-a1 is now 3 years old and I was also having some doubt to sell it and move on to something better but buying the dslr instead as "add-on" has been a good decision. I do a lot of events where low light is an issue or where I need a real wide angle shots, there my xh-a1 doesn't cut it. One of my clients saw me running around with the 550d and said "oh, you are taking pictures also?" :) and when I told her the last assignment I did for her was 95% dslr she couldn't believe it. That assignment was at a very dark reception and with a fast nikkon nikkor 50mm prime (f1,4) and a very wide canon lens (11-16) I managed to capture some shots that never would have been possible with my xh-a1. Only when sound get's important or when I need to get a "one chance to get it right" shot I won't rely on the dslr for sure, then my xh-a1 takes over.

So, if my xh-a1 doesn't break down or gets stolen (knock on wood) it will have to support my business for a while, I also see that the videocameramarket is at a turning point where dlsr implementation into "real" videocamera's can change a lot but now I have the time to sit back, relax, make films and wait untill that supercam comes along. :) By then you can read a lot of user experience here and it makes deciding buying a new model much easier.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 09:41 PM   #9
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You do know that there are adapters to fit Nikon lenzes to the Canon? I"m not an expert in these matters but I have 2 old Nikon nikkor lenzes that get used plenty with my 550d. It is however much more difficult to operate then my main workhorse
Yeah, but like I mentioned, I don't like the idea of losing some of the newer auto functions, like face/subject tracking auto focus etc. Not sure it works all that well, but that could be handy for ENG style stuff. Just saw all the specs on the new GH2, looks very interesting, super fast auto focus, articulating screen, full 24M/bps AVCHD supposedly with B frames etc etc.
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 04:14 PM   #10
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Went browsing for the 5D Mark II today. Then read the rumor of Mark III coming. Oh dammit. Why did I have to read that? Ha ha! When I bought an XL1s years ago two months later the new an improved XL2 came out. Ratsafrackin! Got an HVX200 and then the HPX170 came out. Deja vous!

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Old October 31st, 2010, 06:36 AM   #11
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Just keep waiting or buy Used

Yes, I empathize with you......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike McKay View Post
How can one possibly decide what to buy these days....without waiting for what could be years before the market sorts itself out.

Just can't justify buying an EX1R or XF300 anymore with all this stuff on the horizon!
This really is a terrible time to have money to upgrade from a Z1 where image quality is starting to look very dated....without waiting around forever for all this market flux to play out. It's frustrating, want to jump into something, but literally can't with all the possible choices. It was easy to buy my Z1. Would have been fairly easy about a year ago to buy an EX1/3......not anymore.
Several years ago I was looking at video cameras and after spending a couple years looking at them I was finally ready to buy - they kept coming out with new features. Finally got down to the point of "just have to buy it and get on with life" when I saw the "new" color viewfinder. This was the eye-level one, not the flip-out ones as they hadn't been invented yet!

The salesman said that Black & White viewfinders were the only way to go because the color ones were too grainy. Well, I really liked the color one and ran out of time looking. The years rolled by...... big VHS tapes, mini tapes, DVDs, flip-out viewfinders, Steady Shot, HD, FHD, etc., etc.,......

Long story short: I FINALLY have a video now. Got it Used - second hand. Flash memory and a hard drive, Full HD, etc. Cost? FREE. Yes, I said FREE (!). My son-in-law gave it to me. Didn't have one of those when I first started looking!!!

Original cost new at discount? $1,495 (US). Used ASKING price one year old? in the $600 range, + or -.

Like you said, everything keeps changing. Just go used. You might not have a nice Son-in-law like I have but in the used market the prices really plummet. It takes a few months just to figure out how to use all the buttons and learn the in's and out's anyway. Buy a 6-month old unit at 1/2 to 2/3 of new price now and just live without a few of the bells and whistles.

And, besides saving all that cash you can get over your problem with waiting and waiting.

There will always be new stuff coming out. You don't NEED the newest and latest.

Hope this helps.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 12:20 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mike McKay View Post
How can one possibly decide what to buy these days....without waiting for what could be years before the market sorts itself out.
Ah, easy. It really is. You research the market so you know what's out there, and when you have to make a buy, you buy the biggest bang for the buck.

Now here's the crucial bit -- Now that you've bought, don't look back! Don't second guess; stop investigating the market. Put your energy into learning and using the bit you bought. Don't get back into the market until you need too.

Rinse and repeat.

That's my answer to how to deal with this market. YMMV.

Last edited by Bruce Watson; October 31st, 2010 at 12:53 PM.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 02:25 PM   #13
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Bruce is right on.

I tore my hair out a couple of years ago when I had the budget for about a $4000 camcorder. I had some requirements and there were only a couple that fit the bill. This was about the time Red announced the Scarlet for $3700 or somewhere in that range and was waiting as long as possible to see if it would become available. Finally the gigs started lining up so I had to pull the trigger and got the HMC150 which was a great camera for what I was doing.

With a couple of clients now doing stuff for broadcast, I felt the need to up the quality and about a month ago started the research again. The big caveat was I had to get a decent price for the 150. Panny just dropped the price of the 150 which meant I was on a pretty serious timeline to recoup a chunk of my investment. The stars aligned and literally sold it on a Friday and had a shoot the following Friday so needed to make a decision.

Once again, Scarlet was at the top of the list but with that big IF. Totally in budget even with the recent price increases. Also looked at the EX1r but ended up with the XF300. I have had the chance to edit footage from just about all the cameras in the "under $8k" range and exhaustively scoured the web (and dvinfo.net) for opinions and examples of the XF. I made the right choice.

I was about to have a stroke when I checked Red's site last night to see they had updated the front page proudly displaying the Epic and Scarlet. Luckily there's still no release date so I have once again abandoned the idea of Red.

The XF is a freekin' wonderful camera! Since buying it two weeks ago I've done 5 shoots with it along side my 7D and I couldn't be happier! My clients have noticed the difference in quality and are extremely happy! And that's the real bottom line.

No regrets and no looking back. I have a great 2 camera rig that will serve my needs for many years.
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Old November 7th, 2010, 11:08 PM   #14
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If you really need to buy a camera now, go with what's on the market. The EX and XF cameras are very good choices (plus several others). They won't become obsolete anytime soon. The large sensor cameras will undoubtedly make great images, but they won't be the do-all and end-all of video cameras. Actually, if you do lots of run & gun style shooting, they'd be pretty poor choices. Remember, you'll have to buy lenses for them as well.

Do what makes the best business sense. If you own an EX or XF camera, you'll still get work. If they bring in enough work, you can always expand to 2 cameras, and include the large sensor camera in your arsenal. Or at least that's what I'm hoping to accomplish.
If you don't buy a large sensor camera now, they'll still be around in a year or two. It's probably best to let other buyers be the first beta testers, anyway. That's what I'm doing. Then, you can make a more informed decision as to which camera will best suit your needs and budget. No rush.
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