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Old May 11th, 2009, 05:07 AM   #1651
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deciding on what to buy

I'm a 20+ year Mac expert (20 years!) and have an FCP workflow. I'm also a Nikon still shooter for years. I'm trying to figure out what will give me the best bang for my buck. I'm debating between three formats right now: HDV, AVCHD or direct-to-Quicktime (JVC).

The HMC150 has been recommended to me, but I'm concerned about AVCHD and the whole transcoding issue. Of course, I've read and been told it's better than HDV...however for ease, the JVC GY-HM100U records as .mov files -- no transcoding needed.

My camera budget is up to $4K, but I'd rather not spend it all on the camera itself...if I can find something I like and does what I want. I'll be shooting a variety of things from documentaries to webvideo to weddings.

Anyone have any experience with the JVC Quicktime cam (GY-HM100U) or the Canon XH-A1S? I'm grasping at straws for help.

Thanks.

(If this looks familiar, I posted to a different thread and received nary a glance, so I thought this would be a better place for it.)
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Old May 13th, 2009, 02:19 PM   #1652
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Is there anyone willing to help me? Please?
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Old May 13th, 2009, 02:35 PM   #1653
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Originally Posted by Jay Rubin View Post
Is there anyone willing to help me? Please?
Sorry you're left hanging Jay. I'm not able to help you because I don't have any specific experience with either of the two cameras you mention. Although I can state that I have long been a fan of Canon's cameras - and not quite as much for the JVC, mostly because of build - but I haven't used any JVC units in a while.

-Jon
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Old May 13th, 2009, 06:39 PM   #1654
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Jay - as a MacHead I would scope out the new JVC cameras. My eye is on the new JVC 700 with the Canon lens.

OTOH - The Canon Vixia HF 100 puts out a stunning picture (AVCHD).

The Canon XH-A1S has a lot going for it BUT I do not want to go tape based nor will I pay big $$$ for an aftermarket SSD recording option. The Canon is - IMO - overdue for a "real" upgrade.

More and more, my decision will be about image quality and I'll just have to work around whatever codec issues (if any) there are.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 07:37 PM   #1655
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Jay,

From the reviews I've read from both cameras, I'd say go with the JVC for the best work flow with Final Cut since it was designed for that. The Panasonic seems to be a great choice but like you've mentioned, the transcoding has being an issue with some users. Some have had a great experience, others have had frustrating ones.

Also look around in their respective forums and find any threads relating to their work flow. The Panasonic has being out for sometime now while the JVC has barely begun shipping and no definite answer can be given towards a long-term performance.

Here are two reviews done by Philip Bloom, thought it may be useful since he's a Final Cut user:

Philip Bloom CVP TV: Review of JVC GY HM 100

Philip Bloom CVP TV: Review of JVC GY-HM 700



As far as the Canon...it's tape based. There's nothing wrong with that, but if you're looking for a "hassle free" work flow, stick to the Panasonic and JVC.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 08:54 AM   #1656
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Adalberto - just for clarity - the Canon Vixia I mentioned records to solid state cards - I use the Transcend cards and have had only positive experience thus far. The latest Vixia HF S100 is even more capable and is about $1,000 USD
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Old May 17th, 2009, 06:27 PM   #1657
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Sony HD Xr500 vs. Cannon HFS10

I am debating the two above cameras. EDIT: I would also like to include the HV40. forgot to mention it but it is also in the back of my mind.
My Concerns:
XR500 - 16mb/s bitrate seems alot smaller compared to cannons 24
- image is "cooler" and not as sharp as cannons
- attempts to make auto-everything and less control
HFS10 - OIS is not as strong as sonys
- flash memory? everything I had heard said this was still not the way to go >_<
- poorer in low light?
I'm not looking for just a point and shoot camera and I need a camera that can shoot in low light for snowboarding films(night locations dont always have good plugs for lighting, therefor +1 to sony) and something that can keep up with fast pace/jumpy looking shots as well and not look terrible (why the OIS is a big plus(+1 sony) but at the same time everything I have seen says cannon has a much better picture. Every time I decide on one camera I change my mind half a second later. And yes I have read the vs. discussions but I would really like advice on the make-or-break points.

1. how much better is the OIS? can i get away without it if using a tripod?
2. how much more control does the cannon have?
3. flash memory vs. 16mbs.. is either that big of a draw back?
4. can cannon be adjusted to have just as good of a low-light picture?
5. I havent read anything about the field depth on either, any comments?

I have watched these comparisons for reference
SONY XR520 vs Canon HF S10 in low light on Vimeo
XR520 and HF S10 in day light on Vimeo

Thanks to any/everyone that can help!
ps first time post lol
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Old May 18th, 2009, 01:20 PM   #1658
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I'm a digital film maker in college (just finished my second year), and I have access to everything I need to make a video (camera, mics, lights, C-stands/flags, ect), but the cameras they have are 8 year old JVC mini DV cameras, and they kinda suck. I've been googleing and looking around these forums (which I found via google), and I've decided on getting the Canon XH A1 (or A1S). I was thinking about getting the XL2 used on ebay, but I think I would rather have some of the newer technology (aka HD).

I have a friend that has the canon GL2, so I want to stick with canon so that if we shoot footage on both cameras we can easily combine them and share batteries, ect.

Is there any major differences in the XH A1 and A1S that makes it worth spending the extra thousand on it? All I've really found is the A1S has a 6 pin firewire vs 4pin, and has a few minor updates.

What is a good tripod I should be looking at getting? I just need something to hold it steady and let me pan/tilt. I'd rather not spend more than $150 on it. Are there any other accessories I should get? Keep in mind that I can use the schools lights, mics, ect when ever I want (well except a few months when I'm off for summer).

Is the XH A1 (or A1S) a good choice? I've been making short videos with my friends on a sony handycam for a few years, and I think its time for something decent. Between using my friends GL2 and the schools camera I feel like I have a decent enough knowledge of cameras to know how to work it.

I dont have enough money saved up right now (only about $2k), but I'm going to get a job soon to save up some more, and hopefully buy it in the next 2 months.

Thanks.
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Old May 18th, 2009, 09:11 PM   #1659
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Kueper View Post
I am debating the two above cameras. EDIT: I would also like to include the HV40. forgot to mention it but it is also in the back of my mind.
My Concerns:
1. how much better is the OIS? can i get away without it if using a tripod?
2. how much more control does the cannon have?
3. flash memory vs. 16mbs.. is either that big of a draw back?
4. can cannon be adjusted to have just as good of a low-light picture?
5. I havent read anything about the field depth on either, any comments?

I have watched these comparisons for reference
SONY XR520 vs Canon HF S10 in low light on Vimeo
XR520 and HF S10 in day light on Vimeo

Thanks to any/everyone that can help!
ps first time post lol
Eric -
There's a good thread in the AVCHD section, but I think you've already seen that?

1. night and day difference in the OIS, the XR amazingly good, manages to keep a fairly steady shot if you can keep it aimed. My last experience with Canon OIS was the HV20, wasn't nearly as good as Sonys at that time, may be better now, but it's not going to match the XR.

2. Canon has LOTS more manual control, vs. Sony - if you're shooting action where you may not be able to adjust the camera anyway, the button/knob of the Sony could be enough.

3. Nothing wrong with flash that I know of, keep in mind the XR has a HDD, and can take only so much jostling (I haven't managed to shut it down, but it does have a sensor to protect itself), sometimes flash can have advantages, but you can use a MS Duo in the XR.
16Mbps vs 24Mbps is another thing, some people say they see no difference, others feel it's important for motion - I've no complaints with the Sony bitrate, but YMMV...

4. Depends on your opinion of what a "good low light picture" is - IMO, NO, the Canon isn't as good as the XR in low light, you'll get more usable image out of the XR, some are happy with the Canon in low light, but I don't see it in comparison footage posted.

5. Depth of Field... these are small cameras, not going to get a lot of DoF out of them without some trickery... nature of the beast.

HTH
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Old May 19th, 2009, 02:51 AM   #1660
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Is the XH A1 (or A1S) a good choice?
It's a good choice in that it's a lot of camera for the money, it's tried and tested and the s version has tweaked a few of the moans made by users of the original. Except that the top screen is still too small and still too low resolution for my (and lots of others) liking.

It's the last of the tape fed HDV cameras, that's for sure, but that's no problem in my view. Sony with their V1, Z 5 and 7 are on their last MiniDV cams too, as SDHC cards become the norm. So should you be looking at the Panasonic HMC150? I think so. But then again the Canon has that wonderful 20x zoom.

You should certainly be looking at a more expensive tripod, or you'll be binning it within a year and still going out to spend $450. Look at tripods as a 'buy once keep for ever' item (like good microphones), and look at the Manfrotto 525 / 503HDV.

tom.
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Old May 19th, 2009, 04:03 PM   #1661
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RE: Dave Blackhurst's post

That helped me alot, thanks for the reply.
I think I am going to do a little research more into the upcoming HV40 and make my decision then. Native 24p sounds enticing to say the least
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Old May 27th, 2009, 01:49 PM   #1662
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I am looking to purchase a camcorder to record girls high school basketball games . This is not meant as a high production effort, just some videos of our daughter playing for her high school. Budget is in the $2500 range, to include the addition of an external mic (tripod already available).

What are my best options? I understand for motion that I would want 60p, but the costs and my given budget would seem to prohibit that. The second issue is low light shooting. Having attempted to shoot these games with an SLR, it is not trivial to get the required shutter speed even with fast f/2.8 zooms. Usually fast primes (f/1.4-f/2) are needed. I would imagine that this is another consideration in selecting a camcorder.

These do not need to be professional quality recordings, but hopefully they are videos that are at least watchable for the parents. I am not looking necessarily for the best camcorders to purchase. I am mostly interested in which features and specs I should be researching.
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Old May 27th, 2009, 01:59 PM   #1663
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Originally Posted by Michael Mohrmann View Post
I am looking to purchase a camcorder to record girls high school basketball games . This is not meant as a high production effort, just some videos of our daughter playing for her high school. Budget is in the $2500 range...
the HV30 should be plenty for the mentioned requirements. Well within budget and you get HD, widescreen, 10x zoom, etc...

Also consider the old Panasonic DVX100b.

JS
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Old May 27th, 2009, 10:11 PM   #1664
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the HV30 should be plenty for the mentioned requirements. Well within budget and you get HD, widescreen, 10x zoom, etc...
The HV30 certainly is cheap enough. I could get three HV30s within my budget and still have money left over. Too bad I wasn't trying to capture the games from different angles.

I recall reading about the HV30 last fall when I was first considering taping the games instead of using an SLR. If I am not mistaken, the price of the HV30 appears to have risen in the past 6-7 months, similar to the spike in prices for SLR gear.

The Panasonic DVX100b is an interesting option, probably one I would consider if I had some extensive experience using a camcorder. But my experience is limited to a handful of times using an Elura 70.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 01:29 AM   #1665
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The Panasonic DVX100b is an interesting option, probably one I would consider if I had some extensive experience using a camcorder.
I can't go along with this recommendation Michael because of the fact that when switched into any of the DVX's 16:9 modes it's always soft. Not surprising really as it was designed in the 4:3 days, and we've all moved on - as will a lot of your basketball player clients. Go for the Canon HV30 or 40.

tom.
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