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Old February 1st, 2012, 11:16 AM   #1
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Should I upgrade.

I made the mistake of putting my Canon GL2 up before I researched new camcorders. It sold for 660 on e-bay, but that included some extras MA-300, nice Canon hardcase. Now I am looking for something to replace it (has to have digital recording and at least 1080i). The Canon Vixia HF G10 seems like what I am looking for but the sound quality has been called into question and sound quality is al most as important as video quality to me.

My questions:
Should I not sell my GL2? - I still have it and am supposed to ship it tomorrow (sorry to the guy who bought it if I don't ship it, ill just return his money)
If I do sell it, what videocamera will meet these goals at a price under 1500. Great sound quality (I have external mics so all I would need is that it has an external mic input and records sound at CD quality or greater) 1080i at min, good low light recording.

Mod -If this isn't the forum for this then please either move my post or delete it. Thanks.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 11:39 AM   #2
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Re: Should I upgrade.

The short and simple answer is virtually all new small consumer Handycams in your price range meet or exceed your requirements. They're all digital; they haven't made analog camcorders in years.

The Vixia line is from Canon, not Sony. Anything in the Canon HFS line or the Sony CX7xx line will easily exceed your required specs.

More importantly, you agreed to sell your cam on eBay and you can't just change your mind. If you underpriced it that's your problem. Reneging on the sale will likely flag you in your feedback as an untrustworthy seller.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 12:08 PM   #3
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Re: Should I upgrade.

For sound quality - there are a ton of used HVX200 and Sony Z1U cameras out there now for $1500 and under - these were amongst the first prosumer HD camcorders and are still real workhorses in all sorts of professional environments. Both are switchable HD/SD, 3CCD (so they handle movement and action well), and have two XLR inputs. The HVX has a tape drive for SD recording only, and records broadcast-quality HD to solid-state P2 cards - infinitely robust, but somewhat expensive initially if your projects tend to run long. The Z1U records more compressed HDV to standard, inexpensive DV tapes.

HVX also has options for over/undercranking and excellent 24P and 720p. The Z1U can't over or undercrank, is 1080i only, and has a fake 24P mode that doesn't work at all convincingly, but DOES have capability to shoot 25p and 50i for PAL output. The Z1U is also slightly more light sensitive and has switchable auto gain control for audio.

Newer consumer-spec cameras can now marginally best them in picture quality in certain situations, but most are hobbled on the audio recording end. If $1500 is your price point, definitely consider used.
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Old February 1st, 2012, 12:50 PM   #4
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Re: Should I upgrade.

I would second what Adam said about not reneging on your prior agreement to sell. You should want to bring a level of integrity to your business dealings that would include not cavalierly backing out of agreements you freely entered. Actions like that tend to become widely known, and you don't want to create that kind of reputation for yourself.
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 08:27 AM   #5
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Re: Should I upgrade.

This post isn't about ebay. I got the price that I wanted and if I decide not to send it and take the hit, that is my problem. I was questioning if I should stick with the GL2 over buying a new nontape 1080 camera. You are right though, I put Sony when I should have put Canon. You are wrong in saying that consumer handycams will fit what I need as they are limited in their audio, both input and recording.

Thank you Kevin for actually answering my question. I would like to purchase a new camera, but I think what you suggested is the way to go since most new cameras under 1500 won't have decent sound. I've read a decent amount of complaints about the sound on these new lower end consumer/prosumer cameras.
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 12:09 PM   #6
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Re: Should I upgrade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derrick Michael View Post
...consumer handycams... are limited in their audio, both input and recording.
Can you be more specific about what you are looking for? What exactly does this mean? Limited how? The specific models I suggested, as well as the G series you mentioned, should have no audio issues. What exactly are you looking for that you think these models don't have or do? Are you looking for XLR inputs? A different recording format?

Buying a used cam can be a great deal, but you should note that newer models may have vastly improved hardware (i.e. the external shotgun mic on the older V1 [the Z1 doesn't include one, just the built-in internal mic] isn't nearly as good as the current mic that ships with the Z5, and the latter cam has many, many more audio options in the firmware).
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Old February 5th, 2012, 10:40 AM   #7
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Re: Should I upgrade.

I have a Sony HVR-HD1000U that I haven't used since buying my new NX5U. I'm willing to sell it with case, XLR adapter, battery and Azden on-cam shotgun mic for $1150. Everything works great. Let me know if you're interested.
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Old February 5th, 2012, 04:33 PM   #8
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Re: Should I upgrade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derrick Michael View Post
This post isn't about ebay. I got the price that I wanted and if I decide not to send it and take the hit, that is my problem. I was questioning if I should stick with the GL2 over buying a new nontape 1080 camera.
Is this your ebay listing as the seller browneyes84 with 100% positive seller feedback?
Canon GL 2 Camcorder Bundle - MA-300 adapter + more! (226083753873) | eBay

That's a decent price for an outdated piece of gear. In general, improving your audio production value means going to wireless and XLR mics and not looking to the onboard mics. Those are pretty much the last resort. The general rule you'll find around here is "Closest Mic Wins". It could be a piece of junk mic but if it's 14" off the subject versus your expensive camera mic yards away .... you get the idea.
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Old February 6th, 2012, 09:53 AM   #9
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Re: Should I upgrade.

Adam - I am not up to date on the newest technology, but what I saw is that handy cams compress the sound before storing it in digital format. I was wondering if there are cams out there that do not compress as much or at all? Also, I would like to have a better way of connecting mics to the camera than using a 3.5, if the handy cams even have a mic jack. I kept my mics and didn't sell them with the GL2, so I wouldn't want to use an onboard mic ever. Maybe that clears some things up?

Michael - I feel that I wouldn't be gaining much if I went from the GL2 to the HD1000, but thank you for your offer. I have a t2i that could be used as a camera to shoot 1080p, but without autofocusing, it is pretty much useless for half of my applications.

Les - Yes that is the listing. The camera has already been sent. They actually got a decent price because it came with the MA300 and a very nice hardshell canon case. I've never really used the onboard mic of the gl2. I have a pretty nice azden I used most of the time and then other mics depending on the situation. I'm not ready to invest in wireless but I would like an xlr connection or a 3.5 port at the least.
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Old February 6th, 2012, 12:09 PM   #10
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Re: Should I upgrade.

Thanks for the additional info. As you said, you'll never get good sound with a mic mounted on the cam, whether it's integral/internal or external. So good for you for keeping your external mics for getting close.

Nearly all high-end consumer handycams in the $1000-$1500 price range will have mini mic inputs and headphone outputs. The recording scheme can indeed vary and isn't always listed in the specs. The Z5, for example, specifies PCM 16 bit, 48k, while the cx700 just says Dolby Digital, which isn't very specific.

But I think the thing to consider is that this doesn't make too much real-world difference, as least not compared to miking technique, when recording wild or location sound. The real differences might be noticeable with music, but that's done in post and really doesn't have much to do with the cam.

So I guess what I'm suggesting is that aside from XLR inputs -- which pretty much require a pro or prosumer level cam -- the audio differences are pretty insignificant and aren't worth too much worrying about.

To be honest, if you're really concerned about audio, you should be thinking about getting an external recorder like a Zoom or Tascam and doing your audio recording that way.

This is just me, but I think of a camcorder as an image recording device only, so when I shop I put picture quality first and foremost, followed by workflow and ergonomics. These are all personal choices. But because there are so many economical alternatives for audio recording, I never really consider this as a factor because it's so easily worked around. Others will undoubtedly disagree.
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Old February 6th, 2012, 03:44 PM   #11
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Re: Should I upgrade.

Adam,

I have a cheapo Sony consumer Handycam, and it only records in 2-channel stereo lossy compressed Dolby digital with an audio bitrate of 256 kbps (I checked the audio after demuxing it from the video clip). If the CX700 is like the CX100 I have, it would be the same way.
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Old February 6th, 2012, 03:56 PM   #12
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Re: Should I upgrade.

Right, exactly, but my point is it doesn't matter much because A) you're probably only recording dialogue, B) you're using a cheap crappy built-in mic, and C) said mic is mounted on the cam. Any one of those render the codec largely irrelevant and insignificant.


Obviously, using good mics up close and off the cam will be much more important of an improvement that worrying about the recording format.

I'm not saying expert audiophiles can't hear the difference. But most of them think CDs sound horrible as well.

However, I get that others find this a crucial factor and I will defer to their expertise.
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Old February 6th, 2012, 07:01 PM   #13
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Re: Should I upgrade.

The GL2 is a prosumer class camera. The audio blocks of that class camera will typically give you better sound compared to the consumer class cameras. As noted by others, you have to dig out the specs to see what they are doing to the audio. PCM 16bit @48KHz was the DV standard. If you look at prosumer class HD cameras, you'll find the cameras with that spec and better (some are uncompressed).
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Old February 7th, 2012, 01:08 PM   #14
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Re: Should I upgrade.

The HVX records 48khz 4-channel 16-bit uncompressed in DVCPROHD modes. The Z1U records compressed 16-bit, a little more compressed than the DV codec (but still usually workable).

I'd second a recommendation at a relatively inexpensive 24-bit external recorder for shoots in which sound is a priority, but the HVX works pretty darned well for 16-bit in-camera.
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Old February 9th, 2012, 08:42 AM   #15
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Re: Should I upgrade.

Great information everyone. Thank you very much for the help.
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