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Old December 28th, 2010, 01:07 PM   #1
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HD videocameras that record to both tape & other media like CF, P2, etc?

I am in the market to upgrade my old Sony FX-1 HDV 1080i camera. I would like to go full HD, probably 1080p based on my client's suggestions. I am a little leery about going all digital based as I do like tape backups. I am wondering if there are any HD cameras that record to both tape like Mini-DV or other tapes and also simultaneously to digital media like CF, P2 and whatever else is available now? I haven't been keeping up with the technology the last few years so maybe someone could make some suggestions for me to research under $4k if possible or higher if not? Thanks in advance.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 05:25 PM   #2
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The Sony Z5 and the Z7 will record HDV just like the FX1 and also to the CF card unit included with t he Z7 but an extra on the Z5 , I think.

Personally I went from an FX1 to the NX5U and would not now go back to tape. I still backup to tape in the form of LTO3 data backup unit tape. Much more reliable than video tape, a lot faster to backup and restore, cheaper and takes up less room than video tape. I have a Quantumm HH LTO3 unit ( about $1000 or so ) and tapes are $25 for the 400G LTO3. This is enough for about 40 hours of AVCHD and the tapes are about the size of 3 or 4 DV tapes. Transfer is fast from camera to PC 2 hours will transfer in about 12 min so you could have edited the AVCHD before the tapes would have finished capturing!!! Backup to the LTO3 tape is even faster. Camera to PC is limited by the USB2 speed of about 20MBps the tape unit on my system will transfer at 65MBps.

My advice would be to go all digital and learn to have a rigorous backup system. By the way the video quality of AVCHD is noticably better than HDV.

Ron Evans
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Old December 28th, 2010, 06:46 PM   #3
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same situation

Hi Jim,

I"m in almost the same situation you are. I was originally looking at the Z7 because it shoots tape and CF card, but now I"m looking at going tapeless and getting the NX5. It records to SDHC card and an optional hard drive. I know its hard going completely tapeless, but in the long run it better and cheaper.
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Old December 28th, 2010, 08:08 PM   #4
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Ron & Marty:

Thanks for the info guys. AVCHD isn't an option for me since one client will not accept it and I don't want to just get a newer HDV camera. If I am going to spend a few grand I am looking to go full HD, 1080p. I guess that rules out tape for me, right? I don't think there are any cameras that record to a tape like that.

I was looking at maybe a Sony Ex-1 (not the newer EX-1R) new or gently used from Ebay. I do not want to use interchangeable lenses or have the extra weight associated with the mount or higher price of an EX-3. I am also looking very hard at the spec sheet on the soon to be released Canon XF-100 with the following specs:

Product Highlights

* - 1/3" CMOS Sensor
* - 50Mbps MPEG-2 Recording
* - 4:2:2 Color Sampling
* - 60p/60i, 30p, 24p
* - MXF File Format
* - Dual CF Card Slots
* - 10x HD Zoom Lens
* - Multiple Bit Rates & Resolutions
* - Dual XLR Inputs
* - HDMI, Component, Composite Outputs

I wonder how good that one sensor on the XF-100 will record video? I can't wait to see reviews and sample footage.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 07:36 AM   #5
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Well AVCHD is clearly better than HDV having a much newer codec it is, some suggest, as good or better than the MPEG2 from the EX. We shoot with EX3 and my NX5U and on similar shots there is little to choose between them. Ex has better low light a better noise level. Interestingly neither the EX or the NX5U have as low a noise level as my single chip XR500 !!

Yes that new Canon looks interesting.

Ron
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Old December 29th, 2010, 07:44 AM   #6
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Ask, and ye shall receive. Here's some video of an XF100 at night. There's also some really cool infra-red video from the XF100.


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Old December 29th, 2010, 08:56 AM   #7
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here's a full review of the XF100 (translated from French) compared to a few other cameras:

Google Translate

"Of these 4 are the closest competitors as Sony HVR-A1, HVR-V1, Panasonic HMC-40, JVC HM100, it is certainly the best for image quality, ergonomics, assembly very flexible. If we broadened the circle, it has a definition better than the Sony Z5-Z7-NX5-AX2000 & the Panasonic HVX-HPX through its sensor / codec but the ergonomics and sensitivity are not as good because the only This ring and its mono-sensor."
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Old December 29th, 2010, 10:50 AM   #8
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You may want to consider keeping your current camera and adding an AJA Ki or Convergent Nano Flash recorder to it.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 11:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnie Schlissel View Post
You may want to consider keeping your current camera and adding an AJA Ki or Convergent Nano Flash recorder to it.
Won't he need an HD/SDI output for that? I don't think the FX1 has these outputs. I think it has a component output, though.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 01:34 PM   #10
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Yes, the FX1 doesn't have HD-SDI, nor does it have HDMI I think. Which rules out the Nano as a viable option.

I think a Z7 + CF recorder or Canon XHA1s + CF recorder would fit the bill fairly closely to what you are looking for. Both cameras should be a decent upgrade over what you are using now.

The new XF100 is nice, but it is quite a small cam, so you should judge it after trying it out and seeing if the ergonomics work for you.

The NX5 is something you should consider if you can live without the tape option.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 02:12 PM   #11
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Thanks for the suggestions guys. Some of them just won't do for me though. I don't want another HDV camera, no matter how much nicer it is than my current FX-1. And I cannot use an AVCHD camera, no matter how nice it may be. I am really looking for a progressive full HD camera so that I don't have to de-interlace video anymore and so I am shooting in 1920 x 1080, not 1440 x 1080 (with a pa.r. of 1.33). If that means giving up tape completely, so be it. Now the only question is which camera and at what price?

The upcoming Canon XF-100 looks like a sweet unit at a very reasonable price of $3200 or so supposedly. I just wonder how well the single CMOS sensor will work. I don't shot much low light and I do not need a large unit to impress clients. I would like to see some daylight clips for sure!
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Old December 29th, 2010, 05:05 PM   #12
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Let me add the Panasonic HPX170 and HVX200a to your choices. 100mbps 4:2:2 codec. P2 cards are not cheap, but you buy them and use them for years and years. Used ones can go in the $2,500 - $3,000 range.

But if you want full raster 1920 x 1080 HD that's not HDV or AVCHD, and for under $4,000, then you're limited to a used Sony EX1, if you get lucky and can find one that cheap. Or the XF100/105. Spend a few grand more and you get the XF300 or the EX1R.

If you want both tape and solid state recording with full HD (not HDV), that pretty much narrows your choice to some type of 2/3" HD camera with a Nanoflash or Aja. But we're talking in the $20,000 range for the absolute cheapest option. (Ex - used Varicam w/ cheaper lens, batteries, Aja mini.)

If you don't want HDV, then you've eliminated tape from your future productions.
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Old December 29th, 2010, 11:00 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
Won't he need an HD/SDI output for that? I don't think the FX1 has these outputs. I think it has a component output, though.
The larger Ki Pro has component in, along with SDI & HDMI. The smaller Ki Pro Mini does not have component.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 11:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen Vandermolen View Post
Let me add the Panasonic HPX170 and HVX200a to your choices. 100mbps 4:2:2 codec. P2 cards are not cheap, but you buy them and use them for years and years. Used ones can go in the $2,500 - $3,000 range.

But if you want full raster 1920 x 1080 HD that's not HDV or AVCHD, and for under $4,000, then you're limited to a used Sony EX1, if you get lucky and can find one that cheap. Or the XF100/105. Spend a few grand more and you get the XF300 or the EX1R.

If you want both tape and solid state recording with full HD (not HDV), that pretty much narrows your choice to some type of 2/3" HD camera with a Nanoflash or Aja. But we're talking in the $20,000 range for the absolute cheapest option. (Ex - used Varicam w/ cheaper lens, batteries, Aja mini.)

If you don't want HDV, then you've eliminated tape from your future productions.
Glen, thanks for helping to narrow down my choices. I am actually looking forward to eliminating tape now, Before I posted the original question I already had the Sony Ex-1 in mind. There are always a lot of good used ones on Ebay, some with P2 cards included, in the $4500 range, and I do like Sony cameras. I think it's going to be that or the upcoming Canon XF-100 and some big CF cards for me. I guess I need to see some video on the XF-100 to help make up my mind. I am curious about how the quality of a single CMOS lens is and how well it holds up on Blue-Ray or for broadcast and if there are any weird artifacts as a result of the CMOS technology. Properly lit and under the same circumstances, I would imagine that either camera's video would have to look better than the HDV footage from my FX-1 does now.
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Old December 30th, 2010, 11:38 AM   #15
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The aforementioned Panasonic HPX170 looks like a worthy third option as well. What would be the main appreciable differences between the Ex-1 and the HPX170? Both use P2 cards and both record 1080p, I believe. So mostly the lens and some of the other features? Plus each one uses a different codec, Panasonic's vs Sony's, but at the same bitrate and color depth?
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