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Old May 23rd, 2011, 09:25 PM   #1
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Which Run & Gun HD Camera?

I need some direction from the folks here who know all the different camera models.

I'm comfortable shooting our Sony V1U cameras and the Nikon D7000, but now I find a need for something different. (We'll be looking at the Super 35 format video cameras soon, but this is for something else.)

I need to put together a small (as possible) rig for shooting HD video. The primary use is online (we have 600+ videos on our site now), but some of the video could go into the TV series we produce.

This would be a grab-and-go rig. It needs to shoot HD, have image stabilization, have two XLR inputs (phantom power would be a plus). I'd want it to shoot to solid state -- not tape. Don't care about the brand.

Budget? Just depends, but two grand would be okay. More, if necessary.

I would be using wired and wireless mics.

I'd use it to grab interviews at outdoor and indoor events, and to shoot cutaways (with some closeups of dinner-plate size objects).

Thanks.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 10:15 PM   #2
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Re: Which Run & Gun HD Camera?

Quote:
but some of the video could go into the TV series we produce
If you need professional quality HD, you might find a used HDV camera for about $2,000, but it uses tape and might be missing some important accessories. There are no solid state professional HD cameras in that budget.

The next best thing is to have a DSLR rig with lenses. If you go for the GH2 or 550D, you might be able to put together a full rig for under $2,000, including the audio option for XLR.

Some high end consumer systems at B&H:

Panasonic AG-HMC40 ($1,795)
Sony NEX-VG10 ($1,998)
Canon XA10 ($1,999,99)
JVC GY-HM100U ($2,395)

Hope this helps.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 06:33 AM   #3
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Re: Which Run & Gun HD Camera?

Thanks.

What if we take the budget to $5K?

I don't want to use a DSLR. The audio shuffle is more than I want to tackle when packing small and moving fast. I have a Nikon D7000 and separate digital audio recorders. It works great for beautiful video, but for a one-man crew (me) running around trade shows and other events, I'd rather have a small camcorder.

Also, how about the Canon XA10?
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Old May 24th, 2011, 10:54 PM   #4
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Re: Which Run & Gun HD Camera?

In that range there is one new player, and she is a beast that delivers unbelievable images: The Panasonic AF100.

Panasonic AG-AF100 Professional Memory Card AG-AF100PJ B&H Photo

If you can get it, go for it. You can mount any old lens with an adapter for film-like quality. I wouldn't think twice.
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Old May 25th, 2011, 06:37 AM   #5
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Re: Which Run & Gun HD Camera?

Thanks, Sareesh.

I've starting reading up on the AF-100. Impressive, to say the least.

I'll hop over to the section here about that camera.
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Old May 29th, 2011, 06:35 PM   #6
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Re: Which Run & Gun HD Camera?

If you're willing to consider the AF100 which is probably larger than your V1U, why not just continue using the V1U for the time being and just add a solid state CF recorder to the camera? Adding the recorder is a $800 upgrade vs. a $5,000 one.

Sony HVR-MRC1 Memory Recording Unit HVR-MRC1K B&H Photo Video
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Old May 29th, 2011, 10:09 PM   #7
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Re: Which Run & Gun HD Camera?

>>If you're willing to consider the AF100 which is probably larger than your V1U, why not just continue using the V1U for the time being and just add a solid state CF recorder to the camera? Adding the recorder is a $800 upgrade vs. a $5,000 one. <<

That may be the best way to go. I need to look into the solid state recorders. I have three Focus Drives (hard drives), but have found them to be flakey in hot weather.

After reading up on the AF100, I think it's not the right camera for grab and go work. No AF is a big negative.

I might end up with one for some of our other shooting (backed up with the DSLR).

Any suggestions for a solid-state recorder (HDMI) I can use with the V1U?
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Old May 29th, 2011, 10:45 PM   #8
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Re: Which Run & Gun HD Camera?

Hey Tom!
As you know I'm a Canon guy and the XF100/105 might be just what you need. It's got the same 4:2:2 codec as my 300 but in a much smaller package. I'm considering one myself to use on my Blackbird stabilizer as the 300 is too much for me to use for any length of time.

Canon XF100 HD Professional Camcorder 4888B001 B&H Photo Video


As I see now, its backordered! Arrrgh!

I also have a ton of hours on the panny hmc40 which works very well. I almost liked it better than the hmc150 I had. Almost!

The biggest tradeoff with these smaller cameras is the lack of manual controls. But leaving the hmc40 in full auto simply works. And you can find them for well under $2k.


I'd look at the KiPro mini for an hdmi recorder.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 09:25 AM   #9
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Re: Which Run & Gun HD Camera?

Perhaps you overlooked the link I posted. The unit interfaces with the camera with 1394.

Sony HVR-MRC1 Memory Recording Unit HVR-MRC1K B&H Photo Video
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Old May 30th, 2011, 10:06 AM   #10
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Re: Which Run & Gun HD Camera?

For $5K you can get EX1/R with less than 100Hrs on it, and with this budget no camera is better for run and gun kind of work.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 08:48 PM   #11
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Re: Which Run & Gun HD Camera?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Tori View Post
Perhaps you overlooked the link I posted. The unit interfaces with the camera with 1394.

Sony HVR-MRC1 Memory Recording Unit HVR-MRC1K B&H Photo Video
I did miss that, Brian. Thanks.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 10:12 PM   #12
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Re: Which Run & Gun HD Camera?

Just a bit of info on the MRC1----Back-ordered ----Probably because of the problem Japan had back in March. They are available in small numbers on the used market. I've seen them on Ebay.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 08:51 AM   #13
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Re: Which Run & Gun HD Camera?

I happen to have one for sale on the board here
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Old May 31st, 2011, 01:15 PM   #14
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Re: Which Run & Gun HD Camera?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Gresham View Post
I need some direction from the folks here who know all the different camera models.

I'm comfortable shooting our Sony V1U cameras and the Nikon D7000, but now I find a need for something different. (We'll be looking at the Super 35 format video cameras soon, but this is for something else.)

I need to put together a small (as possible) rig for shooting HD video. The primary use is online (we have 600+ videos on our site now), but some of the video could go into the TV series we produce.

This would be a grab-and-go rig. It needs to shoot HD, have image stabilization, have two XLR inputs (phantom power would be a plus). I'd want it to shoot to solid state -- not tape. Don't care about the brand.

Budget? Just depends, but two grand would be okay. More, if necessary.

I would be using wired and wireless mics.

I'd use it to grab interviews at outdoor and indoor events, and to shoot cutaways (with some closeups of dinner-plate size objects).

Thanks.

Canon X100 is a nice cam but it is a bit above your original budget range.

For the $2000 budget, you might want to look at the Canon XA10. Selling for about $2000 (US$), it is smaller than than the XF100 but uses the same sensor. Also on back-order for now. The XA10 shoots to 24Mbps AVCHD (versus the 50 Mbps Mepg-2 of the XF100). It has the XLR inputs you want but only records AC3 audio. (I believe the XF100 has an option to record in PCM). The XA10 as some manual control options but (being smaller) are less convenient than those on the XF100. OTOH, the little cams do a great job with auto modes. The XA10/XF100 are supposed to be pretty good in low light and have white balance adjustments for the wierd lighting you find in tradeshows. Has 64 gb of onboard flash memory. Shoots 24 mbps AVCHD. Goes very wide at the wide of the zoom but (I think) it only goes to about 10x, if that is a concern. There is a fair amount of discussion of this camera in the XA forum here at dvinfo and it includes a long thread comparing the XA10 to XF100.

Canon XF100 versus Canon XA10


Another small camera choice is the soon-to-be-shipping (supposedly soon) Sony NX70u. Derived from the new CX700 --- meaning it uses the same 1/3" chip, has 96gb of on-board flash memory, and can shoot full 1808/60p --- but comes in a slightly larger package (allowing for more manual control when you want it), has XLR connectivity, and is supposed to be water and dustproof. (I've got a pair of last-years' CX550 cams. I got them to use as locked-down b-cams with my NX5 but found them to be very impressive. Enough so that I have occaisionally used them (with XLR adapters) to good ffect. The active steaddy-shot (enhanced OIS) is very useful for run-in-gun, too.) There is a long thread on the NX70 here.

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/digital-...ust-proof.html

As for going tapeless with your V1, the Sony MRC1 units will work pretty well and the use the same batteries. (Have some older NP550 batteries -- great for use with the MRC). For about $200 (US$) less, you also might look at the Datavideo DN60. I've used MRC units to extend the useful life of my Canon XHa1 and Sony FX1000 and my one complaint is the awkward mounting. They are designed to go on the shoe at the front of the handle where they unbalance the cameras. If you get one, look into alternative mountings such as a bottom-mounted bracket or hook-and-loop (aka vlecro) strapping. Check out the MRC forum for various rigs people have tried.
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Old May 31st, 2011, 06:19 PM   #15
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Re: Which Run & Gun HD Camera?

Thanks, everyone, for the help. The info here steered me through the maze of options.

As always, the final choice may not be perfect, but an attempt at perfect is the enemy of good.

So, I just placed an order with Adorama.

I ordered the Canon XF105.

Certainly, it's toward the higher end of my price range. Not sure if I'll need the SDI, but I'll have it. Good to have options. Never know what project is coming around the bend.

Now, let the learning begin!
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