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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old May 9th, 2007, 02:35 PM   #1
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Need to buy 2 HD cameras and need suugestions

As the title says.
I am using an XL1S and need to upgrade to an HD system.
I am filming somewhat high speed activities(sledz and jetboat racing)

My first requirement is a simple to use camera(like the xl1s) that a non pro can pick up and have all setting automatic and still capture decent footage. There are so many cameras to choose from I don't now where to begin....except here.

Also how will the footage look when edited together with the XL1S footage???
thanks for the help.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 03:01 PM   #2
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If you can dish out the money look at the Panasonic HVX200 or wait for the new Sony HD camcorder coming out. Their formats are better suited for high motion but if your on a smaller budget like me that shoots high motion then look into the Canon XH-A1. I went to B&H Photovideo the other day and the build of the camcorder is quite nice. Much nicer than the Sony HVR-V1U if you ask me. There are tons of info in the forums here. I'm still learning myself.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 04:54 PM   #3
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I second what mike said about the Xh-A1.

but it would be nice if you gave us a price range. so we could make recommendations.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 05:28 PM   #4
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I forgot about the price range.
I am thinking 4-9k canadian for the 2 cameras and a high capacity battery for each camera+ camera bag. No tripods needed.
I have heard the canon HX-A1 is mainly manual.
My cameramen have less exp. than I do, so point and shoot is best. We can't afford to have washed out or blurry video, the boats only go by once per leg and we need to get them on tape every time.

Last edited by Vince Halushka; May 9th, 2007 at 05:45 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old May 9th, 2007, 05:39 PM   #5
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Well if thats the case save yourself some money, get two Canon HV20 camcorders. Going consumer grade insures higher quality point and shoot.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 05:49 PM   #6
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The hv20 is pretty cheap. I want a prosumer camera that performs better than the XL1S and looks half professional.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 08:38 PM   #7
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For your price range, have you thought about the V1? Itís around 20 to 30% lighter than the XH-A1 and although itís a bit worse than the XH-A1 in lowlight situations itís arguably better during situations where theirís plenty of lighting and its takes less adjustments if any than the XH-A1 to get a decent picture. Perfect if you want to use it for just point and shoot.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 10:19 AM   #8
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If I go with two of these(http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Canon-XH-A1-...QQcmdZViewItem) how will the zoom and lens compare to the xl1s. I will be using it from helicopter chasing boats at 100mph.
Also how will the footage from the XL1S and these cameras mix. If I go A1 is the xl1s no longer useable for the same project??
thanks
I have narrowed my search to the following cams.
Canon XH-A1 $3600
Sony FX-7 $2600
SOny HVR VIU $3800
Of these 3 which is the most newbie friendly and easiest to use for a non pro.
I need to be able to use a decent mic for intervierws as well.

Last edited by Vince Halushka; May 10th, 2007 at 12:04 PM. Reason: Adding to post
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Old May 10th, 2007, 04:51 PM   #9
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The FX7 is a good camcorder but itís really just for people that are on a very tight budget. Its missing a lot of the pro features that youíd find in the V1u and the XH-A1 including XLR inputs.

For point and shoot I would advise you to pick the V1u because Iíve read that itís much easier to work with than the XH-A1 and like I mentioned earlier, itís much lighter.

I would advise you to get the camcorders from an authorized dealer not only because itís more reliable but the prices are pretty attractive. At B&H it will cost you $3,600 for the V1u and $3,250 for the XH-A1. Ėprices include rebates.

The V1u may cost more but it does include a microphone although if you spend around 200 to 300 dollars on a microphone for the XH-A1 it will still be cheaper.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 05:05 PM   #10
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Whoa there cowboy.........

1. I would seriously suggest that before you part with a cent for any HD - ish rig, you beg, borrow or steal one and give it a serious work out doing what you want to do. I've only used my A1 for hand held once in the last three months and I can assure you that wobbly, jerky HH video off a HD camera looks absolutely awfull on a big HD screen.

1 (a). "Fast" does not sit well with HDV. Because of the 25 mbs packing limitation on the tape transport, if there is considerable movement in the subject matter ,the encoder will trash detail at an alarming rate, which means the picture sometimes looks worse than an equivalent SD DV picture. In my experience, a fast - ish pan of a complex background just turns to mush due to detail loss, not so bad on still water, but "oh dear" against say, a heavilly wooded background.

2. The A1 does not work well in Auto mode, by which I mean - to get a great picture you have to work it constantly and know your camera really well. There is no comparison with an XL1s. At all. From 1. above, the HD rig magnifies every mistake by a factor of 5 and it is not only visible on a big screen, it reaches out and smacks you over the head!

3. Is your target audience HD screen equipped? Do you have an HD content production and delivery system in place? If your delivery system is going to be SD via DVD, save your money and get a "good" SD camera and save on some grey hairs.

Sorry if this is raining on your parade, but going HD (of any flavour) isn't necessarily always such a smart move.

Cheers!

PS. Why, oh why, oh why would you want to "mix" the O/p from an HDV camera with footage from an XL1s? If you're going to shoot SD, shoot SD (all things being equal). If your requirement for "HD cameras" is just part of some technological arms race, I think (IMHO) you haven't thought this one through!

Last edited by Chris Soucy; May 10th, 2007 at 05:16 PM. Reason: Addition
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Old May 10th, 2007, 05:44 PM   #11
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http://youtube.com/watch?v=3xcBVvP9Z4E
Here is a sample of the work and product.
I am now leaning back toward SD cams. Perhaps I will just buy another XL1S or XL2.
In the projects I am working on there is constant panning involved and quite often this happens really fast. If you are 5ft from shore a boat is passing by at 80-100mph the pan is quick.
Chris there are a ton of NZer's coming to canada for the race I am filming.
Here is a clip from your back yard.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p738vdw6UWo

As for why I would mix footage...budget, budget, budget and yes it might be a little of an arms race.

Thanks guys for adding to the confusion..I thought I was going HD but maybe I am not ready...SD for another year.
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Old May 11th, 2007, 04:47 AM   #12
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XH-A1 all the way. The footage on youtube doesn't really do it justice but have a look anyway....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaAC48myZM4
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Old May 25th, 2007, 12:31 PM   #13
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Well I bit the bullet and went with a Sony Z1U. 2 of them actually.
I had a look at one and it is easy to use, xlr built in and I like the lcd screen for set up of shots.

Any suggestions for capturing the video? My old deck won't allow me to capture the HD footage???
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Old May 25th, 2007, 10:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vince Halushka View Post
Well I bit the bullet and went with a Sony Z1U. 2 of them actually.
I had a look at one and it is easy to use, xlr built in and I like the lcd screen for set up of shots.

Any suggestions for capturing the video? My old deck won't allow me to capture the HD footage???
Yes, firewire out of your camcorder, the Z1U. If you don't like using your main cameras as a deck, I suggest buying a good consumer HDV camcorder like Canon HV20 or Sony HC7 and use it as the deck. It also makes a nice backup camera.
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