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Old September 17th, 2013, 05:33 AM   #1
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Still looking for a new camcorder, any suggestions?

I made a few posts here a few months ago with regard to obtaining a new replacement for my Sony Z5E but due to a few issues I had to put it on hold.

Now however I am ready to buy but am totally confused as to which camera to buy so I will give you experts some details about my requirements and hope someone out there will offer me some suggestions.

Budget is 3000 + VAT

Needs

I use Edius 6.03 as my main editor so the footage must work in this NLE
I want to get away from tape so the camera must take some form of CF card.

My bread and butter is corporate video promos or educational videos for internet use. I generally export in 720p to their website or social media.

I film quite a lot of pilots for a media company, these are just tasters for the TV commissioner to view so I guess any camcorder will be fine for this type of work.

I am hoping to do some online documentaries with my new camera, these will be on vimeo and youtube.

And finally I do get called to film a few sporting events where I use Auto Focus a lot so I need a camera that won't be searching around all over the place.

Suggested cameras have been the JVC GY HM600 but I read it has horrible Auto focus, has this been fixed yet in a firmware update?

The Canon XF300 was also suggested but I hear the low light is bad

Panny 160a was also a suggestion but it has no variable focus on the rocker which for me is a must.
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Old September 17th, 2013, 07:20 AM   #2
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Re: Still looking for a new camcorder, any suggestions?

I have the JVC HM600 and do a lot of the same sort of work as you. It's a fantastic camera for the price. As you said, the auto focus isn't great, but it's improving with each new firmware update.

But in saying that, I've had the camera for about 8 months now and I haven't once used the auto focus, even when shooting fast-paced sports events. The small sensor size means at the wide end of the lens, the depth of field is very deep. It's incredibly easy to obtain good focus, so I wouldn't let the crappy auto focus put you off.

The Sony EA50 is another good option, it's on sale at the moment for $2999 USD.
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Old September 18th, 2013, 01:20 PM   #3
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Re: Still looking for a new camcorder, any suggestions?

So did the latest firmware make a big difference as I read in the notes that they have added some love to Auto Focus?
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Old September 18th, 2013, 05:03 PM   #4
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Re: Still looking for a new camcorder, any suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Angel View Post
So did the latest firmware make a big difference as I read in the notes that they have added some love to Auto Focus?
Yeah it's better but still not good enough for me to trust it.
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Old September 19th, 2013, 04:21 AM   #5
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Re: Still looking for a new camcorder, any suggestions?

Alan , I agree with Jody's suggestion to look at the shoulder-mounted, large-sensor Sony NEX-EA50 (3199 pp and VAT incl. from H. Preston via Amazon UK). It is:

A great camera for sport:



A great documentary camera:


And a great low light camera:


If you prefer the small-sensor look, the best camera in this class is probably the XDCAM Sony PMW100.

You can get one for less than 3000 from Amazon UK shipped from Germany.

The challenge with this camera is that it records to expensive Sony SxS cards - but it produces broadcast quality results:


If you go with the PMW100, you will probably want to look at a 47 SDHC to SxS adapter instead of SxS cards.

Hope this is helpful!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution

Last edited by Bill Bruner; September 19th, 2013 at 12:40 PM.
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Old September 19th, 2013, 01:00 PM   #6
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Re: Still looking for a new camcorder, any suggestions?

That does look impressive but am not really in the market for a shoulder camera, I think it's going to be the HM600 if they are still looking to improve the Auto Focus.
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Old September 19th, 2013, 06:29 PM   #7
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Re: Still looking for a new camcorder, any suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Angel View Post
That does look impressive but am not really in the market for a shoulder camera, I think it's going to be the HM600 if they are still looking to improve the Auto Focus.
Put it this way.. I love my HM600, but I'm buying myself an EA50 because the HM600 just can't pull off the sharp, clean footage with the shallow DoF that the EA50 can.

So I guess it depends what type of videos you're making.

In my opinion, the HM600 is great for events, run and gun work, corporate videos.
And the EA50 is great for interviews, weddings, low light work, even short films.

As for the HM600s auto focus, I read somewhere that because of the extremely long lens, the auto focus suffers. So no matter how many firmware updates it gets, the auto focus may never be perfect, or even good.
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Old September 19th, 2013, 10:04 PM   #8
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Re: Still looking for a new camcorder, any suggestions?

Hi Alan

Also bear in mind that the EA-50 doesn't have to be a shoulder mount camera at all. The shoulder pad slides back under the body if you so wish and it becomes a hand held and is also quite nice and compact in that mode.

My Panny AC-130's were not shoulder mount but they seemed to be very bulky and awkward to hand hold too.

If you use the Sony lenses the EA-50 also has a magic touch screen focus that works extremely well when the cam is on a tripod and if you want to get creative you can also set two focus zones and the camera, on command will do a focus shift between the two for you at the touch of a button (programmable time delay on that too!!)

Chris
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 10:16 AM   #9
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Re: Still looking for a new camcorder, any suggestions?

What do you guys think of the Sony EA 50 rolling shutter issues?
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Old September 24th, 2013, 12:40 PM   #10
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Re: Still looking for a new camcorder, any suggestions?

Hi Alan there was a guy in Newcastle selling a six month old panasonic HPX371 for less than 4k recently, Ok that may be a lot more than you need at the moment but it does everything from DV to full broadcast HD in AVC Intra 100.

He was taking offers and it still has over four years warranty on it, OK no autofocus but if you are wanting to expand your skillset you need to be getting used to manual for most things anyway.

If you need any advice or wish to see an HPX371 I am near Lanchester and more than happy to help as I hwve used these cameras for over four years now and find them excellent.

There is also another one for 3,500 that has battery, charger and cards etc. I had a Z7 and a S270 before but the 301/371 has been a superb camera and I have grown into it and now use it for full pro work.
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Old September 24th, 2013, 05:02 PM   #11
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Re: Still looking for a new camcorder, any suggestions?

Alan - for what it's worth, I've just purchased a GY-HM600E, only had it about a week, and so far I like it a lot. I did have a unit for demo before I purchased it so I could get a hands-on feel. For me it's like buying a car, I wouldn't make a decision without a test drive first!

Produces very nice images, has a great lens, it's not too big, uses SDHC cards and the battery lasted me over just over 3 hours.

JVC currently have an offer in the UK and have reduced the camera by 400 to 2900 inc. VAT, this runs out in a few days though.

Have a look here: - - JVC - JVC Professional Europe

The dealer I bought it from just reduced the purchase price, I didn't even have to go through the rebate process of sending in the claim form and receipt to JVC!
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Old September 26th, 2013, 03:02 PM   #12
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Re: Still looking for a new camcorder, any suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Nattrass View Post
Hi Alan there was a guy in Newcastle selling a six month old panasonic HPX371 for less than 4k recently, Ok that may be a lot more than you need at the moment but it does everything from DV to full broadcast HD in AVC Intra 100.

He was taking offers and it still has over four years warranty on it, OK no autofocus but if you are wanting to expand your skillset you need to be getting used to manual for most things anyway.

If you need any advice or wish to see an HPX371 I am near Lanchester and more than happy to help as I hwve used these cameras for over four years now and find them excellent.

There is also another one for 3,500 that has battery, charger and cards etc. I had a Z7 and a S270 before but the 301/371 has been a superb camera and I have grown into it and now use it for full pro work.
Thanks Gary but it's a bit out my range at the moment and a bit big for what I want.
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Old September 26th, 2013, 03:03 PM   #13
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Re: Still looking for a new camcorder, any suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Fox View Post
Alan - for what it's worth, I've just purchased a GY-HM600E, only had it about a week, and so far I like it a lot. I did have a unit for demo before I purchased it so I could get a hands-on feel. For me it's like buying a car, I wouldn't make a decision without a test drive first!

Produces very nice images, has a great lens, it's not too big, uses SDHC cards and the battery lasted me over just over 3 hours.

JVC currently have an offer in the UK and have reduced the camera by 400 to 2900 inc. VAT, this runs out in a few days though.

Have a look here: - - JVC - JVC Professional Europe

The dealer I bought it from just reduced the purchase price, I didn't even have to go through the rebate process of sending in the claim form and receipt to JVC!
David I see that offer expires tomorrow so am hoping it's valid tomorrow. I will ring my dealer in the morning and see what details they have, thanks.
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Old September 27th, 2013, 02:02 PM   #14
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Re: Still looking for a new camcorder, any suggestions?

Thank you all for your help, I purchased the JVC HM600 today.
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