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Old April 16th, 2009, 12:25 PM   #1
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new video camera, around $1k budget

Hello.

I'm in the market for a HD video camera. I'd definitely like hard-drive based as opposed to memory cards. I've been looking at the Canon HG-20 & HG-21, but saw that Sony released that new line of HDR camera this year.

Any opinions on video quality between the two lines?

Thanks,
Rich P
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Old April 16th, 2009, 01:23 PM   #2
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I'm probably not the one who will be answering but you will need to supply more info...

What will it be used for?
What equipment do you have now?
What accessories will you be needing? Shotgun mic, Lighting, Wide Angle Lens, Tripod, Camer Bag?

Only because if your total budget is 1k, then the budget for your actual camera isn't 1k. Also what editing software are you using?
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Old April 16th, 2009, 01:28 PM   #3
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Hey Bradley.

Nothing fancy. Family videos. Am I in the wrong forum for light duty?
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Old April 16th, 2009, 01:54 PM   #4
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Under 1K, hard drive based - SONY HDR-SR11, get an extra battery and you good,
7Hrs of highest resolution on 60 Gb hard drive,
perfect for family videos.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 01:55 PM   #5
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I've used the Sony SR-12 and it should be perfect for just shooting some family videos. The Canon as some better manual control to it but if you're not worried about it then I'd suggest the Sony. It has decent auto controls with face recognition abilities. The SR-12 holds about 14 hours of video which should be plenty if you go on vacation and a computer is not nearby to unload the footage.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 01:57 PM   #6
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No definitely in the right spot. Just most people on this forum are either Indie film makers or professionals in some way.

I know from a salesman side, as I worked at Future Shop (Canadian bestbuy,) that we push for HDD camcorders as it is "simple" for the consumer. But what we fail to ever mention is the complexity if is to use with a computer. It records in AVCHD, so it is not widely suported as some of the other formats. So if you wanted to edit with Windows Movie Maker, you would not be able to. You would need to spend another 500$ or so on a decent editing software. Also for these big intense files, make sure your computer is fast enough. With video codects 15+ mb/s. Some of the older computers just don't cut it anymoe, expecially for rendering.

In terms of the HG20/21 vs. the new Sony's. I don't know your answer, so you should wait for some one's with better knowledge to come along.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 02:38 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies. Sounds like the folks here are liking Sony. I was leaning in that direction also because a review I read on CNET about the last CES gave Sony's new releases higher marks than Canon who didn't provide much in the way of upgrades to their hardware for the first half of '09. Just wanted to ask about the Canon because I'm a part-time photographer, and, even though I shoot Nikon, I'm familar with the Canon name in the world of optics, hence the question.
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Old April 16th, 2009, 03:43 PM   #8
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Canon does a have a very good rep for their lenses in the broadcast sector. However when it comes to cameras, Sony is one of the big players (or even THE biggest maybe) for eng cameras and studio equipment - Canon has virtually nothing in that field.
That doesn't necessarily translate 1:1 to consumer camcorders, but it might just explain what you as a still photographer may find odd (because Sony compared to Canon is nothing in the DSLR sector really)
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Old April 16th, 2009, 08:15 PM   #9
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I know you want a HDD, but in my opinion the best thing would be to pimp out a HV20. Get it for $400 at Tigerdirect refurbished, and put a juicedlink on it with a mic and some worklights. That will be better than any simple camera.
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Old April 17th, 2009, 06:45 AM   #10
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I would recommend that you concentrate on the size of the sensor (s) when deciding upon a camera. The light gathering ability of consumer cameras over the years has taken a back seat over bells and whistles even though in my opinion it is extremely important especially in low light. Autofocus and Image Stabilization, for example, automatically drop off on many consumer cams that have small sensors. So if you are shooting in your living room with only a lamp on that may happen with some of the small sensor cams.

John
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