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Old October 29th, 2008, 10:29 AM   #1
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Advice on the camera please

I need some users opinions on this one. I am in the process of shooting a documentary. I started it in March of 2007, as a smaller project using DVX100a. However do to interest it evolved into a much larger project. The bulk of it was shot with JVC GY-HD100. Later this winter I am supposed to shoot and alpine climb with the subject of the film. I need a very small camera that would do the job. HD type of cameras are out of the question (like GZ7). I am trying to decide between Canon HV30, HV20, HF100r new Panasonic HDC-SD100. I am looking for something that:
1. produces decent picture
2. has some manual controls
3. will work in tough outdoor situations
4. won't break my bank (good possibility of damage while shooting)
5. will somewhat match the quality (within the reason) of GY-HD100
any suggestions?
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Old October 29th, 2008, 11:22 AM   #2
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Hi Robert,

I am not the most expert with a JVC, but I am a mountaineer and have some experience trying to film while ice climbing and one belay and really understand what your issue is.

Out of curiosity, where will you be going?

The production house I work for uses the Canon HV20 and HV 30 for really tight documentary locations and it produces beautiful, for the size, 24f and 1080i footage. But, it is not the toughest build and we have broken one while filming in a hostile environment. The camera seems to have the ability to let dust and moisture in to a frightening degree.

While not quite as good, the Sony Mini DV HDV cameras are just as small, light, and a tougher built. Add to it a waterproof case, or even a tough ziplock bag with rubber bands or velcro to secure it, and that would probably be a decent solution.

Anyone else have any other ideas?
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Old October 29th, 2008, 11:51 AM   #3
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Thanks Jason! Here is a link to the trailer: YouTube - Painted Blue Trailer
This was film with my DVX. I have a lot more film now in HD. Anyway, the location is Canadian Rockies. Ice climbing is not that hard to film, just a lot of hard labor. However in February I want to be a third person for some serious winter alpine ascents. That's why I am leaning towards HF100. Tapeless is I think much, much less prone to drop-outs and damage. HF100 is also small enough to fit under my jacket.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 01:10 PM   #4
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Jason is right about the HV20 and 30, it is a great little camera but not particularly durable. The even he spoke about occurred when the camera encountered a dusty road after a rainstorm so it was quite humid. The tape drive gummed up and things went downhill from there. Beautiful images for such a little thing though.

Though a fan of tape (I know, I know, I know. But you can stash it more easily when cameras are seized plus a lot of other nice attributes), the HF100 is a nice little camera. Though perhaps not as robust as Sony's offerings, the images are really quite adequate. Especially for what your looking to do, and you can even hook a little beachtech adapter to the bottom so you can wire the other climbers with decent lavaliers.

Canadian Rockies? That is going to be a lot of fun. If you did the footage in the trailer, well done, hanging off an ice screw or axe is never fun when trying to hold a camera still.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 02:25 PM   #5
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Jason, indeed I was one filming, and rigging, and carrying the loads. I don't know if slogging with 85 lbs on your back 2500 feet up us so much fun, but the results were pretty good.
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Old October 29th, 2008, 04:39 PM   #6
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Out of curiosity, what mic were you using to get the deep bass of the ice axes hitting. I like that.
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 04:12 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Rogoz View Post
Thanks Jason! Here is a link to the trailer: YouTube - Painted Blue Trailer
This was film with my DVX. I have a lot more film now in HD. Anyway, the location is Canadian Rockies. Ice climbing is not that hard to film, just a lot of hard labor. However in February I want to be a third person for some serious winter alpine ascents. That's why I am leaning towards HF100. Tapeless is I think much, much less prone to drop-outs and damage. HF100 is also small enough to fit under my jacket.
how does SDHC react in extreme weather? I am a snowboarder and I am borrowing/using a GZ-HD7U and for some moderate bumps I get broken links once in a while. I have been playing with 4GB SDHC cards and it definitely seems better.
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Old November 22nd, 2008, 04:04 PM   #8
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It doesn't get get more extreme than this. How Simone Moro documented his attempt of a winter ascent of Broad Peak. There are a couple of videos of how he set up his cameras.

Expedition Technology News - Human Edge Tech
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Old November 24th, 2008, 03:43 PM   #9
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JVC very rugged. One of the first people to use it went to Madagascar for a very back-woods shoot (I want to say Andrew Young, but don't hold me to it). While there, he dropped it into a stream, dried it out over a fire and BAM! It worked.

I've used in some very cold situations (dead of winter in Michigan), where it seemed to hold up well.

You might have to warm up the tapes first though!

john
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