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Old October 28th, 2006, 10:14 PM   #1
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Like others, quandry on which camcorder to get

I am looking to upgrade from the Sony VX2100, to newer technological camcorder.

I have looked at the Sony FX1 but it is a year old or so...and evidently the next one will be 1/4" chips. So nothing there really, as I would prefer not to digress from 3 chips to 1.

The other option, is the Canon A1 that is due out. But there is not info out on it and the low light ability. Unless someone has a link to specs or anything now?

Are there any other brands/models I should be considering? The A1 is around my max budget of 4000 dollars give or take a couple hundred.

For now I will probably shoot SD until HD storage and Blu Ray and so on matures a little bit. But I understand that with something like the A1 you can get better quality of SD by downrezzing from something like the A1 from HD to SD, and then when HD things mature, go back and put it out in HD, or just shoot in the SD mode. So I would assume by this that a camcorder with 3 1/3 chips or larger would put out better SD than an SD only camcorder. I am not thrilled about the chips being only 16:9, would like the option of that or full screen, but you can't have it all.

As for SD only camcorders I don't think there are any new ones that put out much better quality video than the vx2100, so if and HD will give better quality SD and give me HD capability for later then may as well go with a new HD camcorder, and get better SD and have HD for later.

This will be for home video and that sort of thing. I don't do production work or anything like that.

So any advice would be appreciated. Any suggestions on brands/models etc also.

I like my Sony, it is just time to upgrade to better quality if it is possible.

Thanks for your time
Jerry
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Old October 28th, 2006, 11:46 PM   #2
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Hey Jerry -

You may want to take a look at these:

http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE....com/index.php

Same as above but with a few "pro" type features:

http://bssc.sel.sony.com/Broadcastan...V1U/index.html

Don't forget though, if you intend to do any editing, research the NLE's out there (along with any needed conversion utility tools) so your workflow will be as smooth as possible.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 03:38 AM   #3
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The low light capability from a Canon A1 will likely be pretty equal to a XL H1, and that camera got very good reviews on it's low light capability.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 05:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
I am not thrilled about the chips being only 16:9, would like the option of that or full screen, but you can't have it all.
Ah, but you can have it all! You can choose to shoot SD in 16:9 or 4:3, and even shooting in HD, you can choose guide marks in your viewfinder so it is easy to frame for 4:3. I recently shot a hockey game in HDV and produced DVDs in both wide screen and narrow screen from the same footage. I didn't even use 4:3 guide marks, but did a pan-n-scan of the wide screen to get a great SD narrow-screen edit. No sweat.

As I mentioned in one of the other threads you posted to, whether to down-rez in-camera or in post is a debateable point. HDV is compressed more than miniDV, so the actual file size is about the same as DV, so if you can archive DV on disk, you can archive HDV to disk just as easily. The main show-stopper for HD of any flavor is an old computer. You need a fast computer to handle the much greater amount of info while editing or rendering.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 10:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathieu Ghekiere
The low light capability from a Canon A1 will likely be pretty equal to a XL H1, and that camera got very good reviews on it's low light capability.
That sounds great...can't wait to see the reports from users.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 11:02 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Pete Bauer
Ah, but you can have it all! You can choose to shoot SD in 16:9 or 4:3, and even shooting in HD, you can choose guide marks in your viewfinder so it is easy to frame for 4:3. I recently shot a hockey game in HDV and produced DVDs in both wide screen and narrow screen from the same footage. I didn't even use 4:3 guide marks, but did a pan-n-scan of the wide screen to get a great SD narrow-screen edit. No sweat.

As I mentioned in one of the other threads you posted to, whether to down-rez in-camera or in post is a debateable point. HDV is compressed more than miniDV, so the actual file size is about the same as DV, so if you can archive DV on disk, you can archive HDV to disk just as easily. The main show-stopper for HD of any flavor is an old computer. You need a fast computer to handle the much greater amount of info while editing or rendering.
Hi Pete and thanks again.

What camcorder do you use? It would be nice to have both but I did not think there was this capability in the new Canon's A1 as it was native 16:9 chips.

Yes I saw your reply on downrezzing...I did not mean to post it twice, I am sorry. I have a 3.2ghz computer which should be fast enough and have tried the TMPgnc software a couple times but had bad results, i.e. it hung up, froze or other things.

Thanks
Jerry
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Old October 29th, 2006, 03:04 PM   #7
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When shooting with 16:9 chips, 4:3 is always available. Either by shooting DV 4:3 mode or cropping 16:9 HD down to 4:3 as explained by Pete. I think your concern stems from the reverse situation, getting 16:9 from a 4:3 SD chip. As in that case you would be throwing away part of the screen, it wasn't ideal.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 03:37 PM   #8
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For a given TV standard, cropped 4:3 from an original 16:9 should always be better than 16:9 derived from 4:3. The former only involves cropping (and some loss of horizontal resolution), the latter effectively involves standard conversion - don't forget the interlace.

The other issue is lens angle coverage, the lens will effectively become more telephoto.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 06:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Hodson
When shooting with 16:9 chips, 4:3 is always available. Either by shooting DV 4:3 mode or cropping 16:9 HD down to 4:3 as explained by Pete. I think your concern stems from the reverse situation, getting 16:9 from a 4:3 SD chip. As in that case you would be throwing away part of the screen, it wasn't ideal.
Ok, thanks Ken..that makes sense and clarifies Pete's answer a bit more....I had thought one like the new Canon A1 with 16:3 native chips, would not have a 4:3 mode. It is becoming clear now, and yes I think I was thinking the reverse situation as well. Thanks for the added clarification

Thanks Jerry
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Old October 29th, 2006, 06:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Heath
For a given TV standard, cropped 4:3 from an original 16:9 should always be better than 16:9 derived from 4:3. The former only involves cropping (and some loss of horizontal resolution), the latter effectively involves standard conversion - don't forget the interlace.

The other issue is lens angle coverage, the lens will effectively become more telephoto.
Right. I can understand that.
And that was kinda what I figured on the lens becoming long or wide angle, depending on which way and wanted to ascertain that to.
thanks for cofirming that also.

Jerry
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