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Old August 19th, 2007, 12:12 AM   #1
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Which is more important, HD or 3CCD?

I'm going to be filming my first feature-length documentary. I've done shorts and stuff for the Web before but I think I'm hitting the point in my career where I need to take things to the next level.

I've got a budget of about $1700 (hard limit - $1701 is NOT in the budget, nor is $1699.99 + tax) and I was thinking about tossing out my 1CCD Canon ZR 80 and getting a Canon GL2, used. But, as this is going to be a feature, will 480p be enough resolution? Is everything going 720p or 1080i now?

Here's the pros and cons:

Canon GL2:
Pro: 3CCD camera 480p, takes MiniDV (which I have tons of), is a standard, can probably get better audio (w/out a mic-in port, I'm recording to a small audio recorder and syncing up the audio in post.) Backup camera is 1CCD 480p, so if it breaks or I have to use another camera, the backup camera won't look so out-of-place as it would if I was going from a brilliant HD picture to a SD one.

HD Consumer:
Pro:

Con: Will need to sync up audio in post, color not as great, less control. Footage shot with the backup camera will look significantly worse and out of place. Will create more of a strain on editing (my monitor only goes up to 1600x1200, it's not going to show a 1920x1080 picture.)
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Old August 19th, 2007, 12:40 AM   #2
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Okay, so the rest of everything else you said makes plenty of sense, but this!??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Boyko View Post
[...] color not as great [...]
I'm sorry, but I'm gonna have to stop 'ya there pal. My cheap canon Elura 100 has better color then some 3ccd panasonics I've seen. Heres the catch, 3ccd does not always make it better!!! HD is amazing. The three new consumer HD Canon cameras are outstanding! And at an amazingly low price... These are the HV10, HV20, and HG10. Be sure to check them out! This is something that I am heavily opinionated on.. so sorry if this comes out wrong. But really, these cameras are by far better color wise than the GL's IMO.

However, with your setup, you might have to spend some money in upgrading. However again, these cameras are cheap enough to the point where you could afford those! If I was in your case, this is the route I would take... I highly suggest it. Plus, if you were to take the SD route, in another year or two your gonna probably going to upgrade again but this time to HD. So you might as well get a head start on learning the new equipment.

Please try using the search button on the menu-bar, this has already been discussed about I'm pretty sure.

Good luck,
~Gabriel
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Old August 19th, 2007, 04:04 PM   #3
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Got the Canon HV20 for $1000 and a wireless lav set for $150. I don't regret the purchase but that's my budget blown in one shot; the tripod will have to be purchased seperately or I'm stuck with my $20 cheapo, and reflector, lighting, and stabilizer are all coming from Home Depot. :(

But I think it'll be worth it.
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Old August 19th, 2007, 04:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Boyko View Post

Canon GL2:
Pro: 3CCD camera 480p,
The GL2, and most DV cams for that matter, is 480i. 480p is usually native 16:9 and will generally provide you with a higher resolution image (TVL captured)
I would go the HV20 route unless you need specialized low light performance, the I would consider a DV cam that has the abillity.
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Old August 20th, 2007, 01:40 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Hodson View Post
The GL2, and most DV cams for that matter, is 480i. 480p is usually native 16:9 and will generally provide you with a higher resolution image (TVL captured)
I would go the HV20 route unless you need specialized low light performance, the I would consider a DV cam that has the abillity.
Well, I don't -think- I'll need low light. I stopped by Home Depot today, and picked up a work light in a reflective dish. Put in a 150W flourescent bulb and the thing's brighter than the stage lights they use at the local theatre. I spraypainted the back flat black, and left it to dry overnight. I figure it'll look slightly more professional that way. (Hey, this may be a 2-bit operation, but I want it to look like a 3-bit operation!) Instead of using a second light, I'm going to go with reflector - i.e., a bit of that lightweight board with the silver side on it.

The lighting is going to be provided by a 150 W flourescent bulb. I have incandescents at 100 W if I need 'em, but I chose a flourescent because I don't want the lighting equipment to get too hot... especially if my jury-rigged defuser is nothing more than a few sheets of paper!

Also picked up the equipment I need for the Steadicam rig... it's the $14 one that you hear about. Oddly enough, it cost significantly more than that (mostly because I wanted to have enough spare parts to experiment with height, weight, and length) though I'm not complaining about coming under $50 for it. I will, however, need to buy a drill... which are kinda cheap if you go really low-budg. Wal*Mart brand. It's the bit that needs to be HQ.

Still don't know what I'm going to use for a tripod. I've got a $20, very lightweight, cheap-ass tripod that I use for my $150 camera. I suppose I could drop $80 on a better one, but the guy at the camera store is kinda warning me away from that. But if I want to get any rotation shots...

I gotta e-mail FlipVideo or RCA and ask them if they'd finance some of it if I plugged their products in the videoblog I was going to make about making this movie anyway...
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Old December 29th, 2007, 12:59 AM   #6
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A "150w equivalent" fluorescent bulb or an actual 150W fluorescent bulb? Is it full spectrum, daylight balanced? Please, do keep us updated on your progress!
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Old December 29th, 2007, 01:17 PM   #7
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Look into this cam.

Look into the JVC GZ-HD7 , its a full 1080i (1920x1080 VBR, 1440x1080 CBR, and SD) 3CCD, records to a 60gig drive (about 5hrs at full HD) and has manual controls. the review sites kind of gave it a bad rap because its not really a good point and shoot cam due to its Automatic setting not being that great, but its performance really jumps out because its manual mode (more pro-like, and more options to create varied looks). there is a thread dedicated to it here on the board, they can be had for a little over 1k and that gives you the extra cash for a decent starter tripod and perhaps a mic. do yourself a favor and look into it. and more importantly "its not silver!!!!" lol.. well thats why I got mine anyways...LOL

And by the way , most newer NLE's can deal with the files easily contrary to some of the post, I use Vegas Pro 8 and it works flawless.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 01:23 PM   #8
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Tripod.

If you go for cam around the 1k range then you can pick you up a lower line Pro tripod that can do smooth pans, at $80 I dont think youll get that. and also keep in mind that you will probably start adding toys to your cam making it heavier. BH has several tripods for around 180 to 240 that will be worlds away from that $80 one and if you go for one of these newer non outdated cams youll have the budget for it, and perhaps a starter wireless or Rode Video mic. upgrading your capabilities in 3 different aspects of video making.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 04:27 PM   #9
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Brian,

I have used 1 CCD and 3 CCD SD camcorders (the Sony PD150, for example), and the 3 CCD SD camcorders of some years ago totally outperformed the 1 CCD models, especially in color rendition. I never would have thought a single CMOS sensor HD camcorder could perform as well as a 3 CCD SD camcorder in terms of color, but the Canon HV20 has proven that wrong. Image processing has progressed drastically such that gorgeous colors can be recorded from a single CMOS sensor. This makes sense since digital SLRs use single CMOS sensors (not 3 CCDs), and can make beautiful images. Certain Canon digital SLRs can take 10 fps at 10 megapixels per frame, and that is a substantially higher data rate (in megapixels manipulated per second) than an HDV camcorder is doing.

Also, you can shoot in HDV and for the time being down-res it to SD for editing in your system. It will look great, and when you have the horsepower to edit HDV, you can go back and re-edit in HDV.

I still have my PD150, but about the only time I'd use it is for low light shoots, where it will outperform the Canon HV20.
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