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Old November 6th, 2007, 08:51 AM   #1
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here's my short list.help deciding?

Canon ZR 850

Panasonic PV-GS320

Sony HDR-HC5 HD

I'm a consumer, not a pro at all. I am upgrading from my Digital Hi-8 Sony camera. My wife has the Canon XL1s which I've been using a little. I'd like to purchase one of these cameras which are all quite different but not _that_ different, price-wise. Any ideas are very appreciated.

btw, BroadwayPhoto.com seems to have the lowest prices for these cameras.

Chuck S
Los Angeles, CA
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Old November 6th, 2007, 10:16 AM   #2
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I can't help you on which camera to buy, but I will advise you to steer clear of unbelieveably low prices. Check the prices at one or more of this site's sponsors. If someplace else is offereing the same camera at a much lower price, it's probably a scam (pay extra for items actually included with the camera, hard sell techniques to get you to buy a warranty, delayed shipping, out of stock, etc.). Several years ago, I avoided buying from Broadway because of warnings on this site.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 11:02 AM   #3
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Go to a site 'reseller ratings' or something like that, there you will quickly find out how much you can trust the company and it's low prices...

http://www.resellerratings.com/seller1995-p2-s1-d1.html

It gets a 2.5 out of 10...
Some people are happy, but most of them had to pay huge fees to get extra items, which they almost force you to buy.
Like Philip said, this happens often with these kinds of scam-shops...

One of the many quotes about Broadwayphoto.com :

"This company has about 300 complaints against it on the Better Business Bureau web site and they operate under many names."
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Old November 6th, 2007, 11:54 AM   #4
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thanks

..for the news about BroadwayPhoto.com.
I'm still looking for ideas re: my camera selection.
Any discussion would be very appreciate.

Chuck
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Old November 6th, 2007, 12:59 PM   #5
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One thing you can do is go to reputable sights and look for customer feed back on each camera. I won't list any in my head fearing flogging, but every once in a who someone at BH photo will list a review.

CNET typically reviews these types of items pretty thoroughly. You may find these items locally, if so, how they feel or look up close may be a good factor to consider.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 01:23 PM   #6
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ZR is a good very cheap series, but the newer models (600+, and more so with the 800, etc) have awkward touchscreen and/or joystick controls and the manual controls are a pain because of it. The image won't look pro, but it's certainly decent and anamorphic is supported.
I have the 600 as a backup camera and I think it's great-- for the price and what I wanted it for.

GS is a bit older. A friend of mine had that and it seemed to be ok, probably a bit better image quality than the ZR. He had a few mixed comments on it, though nothing too bad, for a low price. He broke that (shooting basketball, the ball hit it-- ouch...), and now has the 500. That's much improved and a very solid camera. Though I'm really not sure what the big improvements are, so the 320 may be quite nice as well. I didn't use that myself, so I'm not sure. I've used the 500 and I like it, though I'm not too used to the controls-- seemed weird, but of course you'd get used to it.
You can see my entry to the DV Challenge [DVC10], "Trip", which was shot on that camera, and I believe another entry was as well.
Low light isn't great, but it's alright-- I really pushed it for the entry. (Lots of color correction on there, though.)

I have no real input on the other camera, though it's more expensive and also HD. That's certainly a plus, though consider if your computer can handle it and where you will be showing it.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 01:30 PM   #7
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I have a Panasonic GS200.
Good manual controls, and a manual focus ring. And I only needed a camera to capture footage, so it handled my needs perfectly.
Maybe you could look for a second hand GS400: has good manual controls (same system as GS200), pretty okay image quality and a big LCD screen which comes in very handy when shooting! (No touch screen, thank god).
Although I personally think the wheel system of the Panasonic GS series (could be the DVX has it too) is a bit akward. I don't like to handle it.

I prefer my trustworthy XL1s. If you could use the camera of your wife, it's a charm to work with (the camera I mean...). Everything has a dedicated button, fast to set-up, no going into menu's to get certain manual controls...
And I like it's image, considering it's age...
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Old November 6th, 2007, 01:47 PM   #8
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Since you're looking to upgrade, you should look to the Sony you mentioned. The other 2 may not be that much of an improvement over what you have. The Sony is HDV and will be a huge improvement in image quality over your Digital Hi-8. You might want to look at the Canon HV20 as an option too. It's HDV like the Sony but offers an audio input if you'd want to use an external mic and also offers a 24p recording setting if you like a filmic look.
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Old November 6th, 2007, 08:16 PM   #9
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thanks! ?re:instructional DVD for the XL1s

I really appreciate these tips. I'd like to upgrade to an HD camera and I will continue to investigate, in the meantime learning about the XL1s.

Has anyone seen or used the instructional DVD for the XL1s? Worth the $40?? Comments.

Thanks again,

Chuck S
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Old November 6th, 2007, 10:32 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=Chuck Silverman;771001]Canon ZR 850

Panasonic PV-GS320

Sony HDR-HC5 HD

I'm a consumer, not a pro at all. I am upgrading from my Digital Hi-8 Sony camera. My wife has the Canon XL1s which I've been using a little. I'd like to purchase one of these cameras which are all quite different but not _that_ different, price-wise. Any ideas are very appreciated.

btw, BroadwayPhoto.com seems to have the lowest prices for these cameras.

Chuck S
Los Angeles, CA[/QUOte

Broadway is a great place to go to be insulted, ripped off, and generally be treated with less than zero respect as a customer. I suggest avoiding them and their kind at all costs
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Old November 7th, 2007, 04:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Silverman View Post
I really appreciate these tips. I'd like to upgrade to an HD camera and I will continue to investigate, in the meantime learning about the XL1s.

Has anyone seen or used the instructional DVD for the XL1s? Worth the $40?? Comments.

Thanks again,

Chuck S
Chuck I don't know about the dvd, but I think 40 dollars is a bit much for a dvd to learn a camera, if you pretty much can learn it on your own.
Set it on manual. A couple of things you have to learn:

-setting the white balance
- shutter speed (although this preferabaly is always the same, around 1/60 for NTSC camera, and 1/50 for a PAL camera)
-exposure (your iris, use ZEBRA stripes, and if you need them, the ND filters that are inside the lens)
- manual focus

These are the most important things. You can only learn them by just practicing a lot with the camera. I think you'll already will have made huge improvements after spending one day with the XL1s.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 01:45 PM   #12
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Canon XL DVD

I went to one of Greg Salman's seminars on the XL series a year or so, and was impressed.

I think he sells a DVD called the Ultimate Guide to XL cameras.

If I were doing any serious work with the Canon XL or GL, I'd probably buy one.
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Old November 7th, 2007, 02:18 PM   #13
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Chuck,

Consider replacing the Canon ZR 850 with the Canon HV20. The HV20 will trump all the camera's on your list, *and* offer the greatest value (superior image quality and combined with competitively low price) for a consumer, as it'll have lasting power since it's HD natively and can do SD at anytime - this will save you from having to repurchase to get an HD camera in 2-5 years time. The HV20 is similar in price to the Sony HDR-HC5, yet offers a better image than an XL1s. IMO the ZR 850 shouldn't be on the list if you're willing to look at a camera in the price range of the HDR-HC5.

Strongly suggest you look at this short list of CamcoderInfo's 2007 Selection of Best Cameras - which is all about value, which is what we're all after! ;)

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...2007-33545.htm

Cheers!
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Old November 11th, 2007, 10:12 PM   #14
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thanks again!...

for the great info. I am checking out the Canon HV20 online now

CS
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