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Old May 28th, 2009, 09:47 AM   #1666
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panasonic gh1

Quote:
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, 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.

If the GH1 is available in your area now, that's the one I'd get. It has 720 60p. Good enough to freeze some of that motion. The GH1 is U$1,500 give or take depending on where you are. The lens it comes with is a 14-140mm. It's a good all around lens for events, but it may still be too slow. You can get some old nikon mount lenses with f1.8 or so apertures to go for the low light. There's plenty of ai-s lenses floating about. Of course get the adapter for nikon. You understand that you will lose AF here?!

All in all, you can get within U$2,500 for those. You might even get a decent rode videomic for U$150 for your sound.


-----------
To Jay Rubin,

You should also consider the GH1 for indie and events work. You have the control of the larger cameras without the cost. It will also be good for low light. Much better than 1/3" sensors because it is 4/3". And DOF control will be super, especially if you mount nikon or FD canon lenses to it. Fast primes would be great.

You'd have spare to get the HV-30's (very good cameras and good in low light too and manual override for your 2nd cameras. Or you can get an HF-100/10/11 or even the newer hf-s100's or the sony xr-500/520. But if you stick with the Panny GH1, you could get the HV-30 for around U$600, and maybe an hf-11 for U$700. You'd have 3 cameras to work wtih an lots of spare cash for other things like good mics (I will be using Rode, cheap but good audio), spare batteries, etc. I think you will be within the U$4,000 budget if you spend wisely.

It would be nice to get 2 x GH1 for U$3,000. At this time, Panasonic is not selling the GH1 as body only or with the cheaper kit lens. It comes standard with the 14-140mm lens. You can just sell of the one of lens for around U$700 and get nikon or some other manual lenses in its place. You'd still have one of the gh1 with the 14-140mm and you can use the other gh1 body with manual lenses. Two GH1's will give you better creative control on a lot of things especially low light performance and shallow DOF. At the most, you can trade that U$700 for a HV-30 with an extra batt.

I'd suggest you do a research on the GH1. Check out Phil Bloom's impression of the lens and some of his shots with the camera.

Another option is to 5d mk2. The June 2 firmware update will let you get control of the aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Again, you can use nikon or canon lenses with it. If you go canon, the ability to change the settings is much easier. And the DOF and IQ of the 5d mk2 is to die for! Just get an HV-30 as your 2nd camera and I think you can still be within your U$4k budget. It will be very tight though, especially if you still have to buy some mics or other stuff. You are going to need spare batts, and lenses, that is why the U$4k, with a 50 f1.4, or some other lenses if you don't have them is going to eat up all that budget. This is why I'd rather take a close look at the Panasonic GH1.
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Old June 7th, 2009, 06:57 PM   #1667
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New Camera

Hi. I need some help getting into the HD scene, fast. I have shot professional video since 1980, as a news cameraman with Ikegamis to Sony Betacams. Then I left the big city and I purchased, after a VX1000, a JVC GY-DV500 mainly for its true manual lens (I couldn't shoot well with auto focus and poor iris controls back then) and affordable price seeing as I have to do something other than video for a living. I have been asked to travel to shoot HD for an online launch and TV handouts. I am looking at the Canon XH-A1S, again for affordability plus professional audio inputs and manual control. Anything else a long term video shooter like me should be considering in a tight budget, say $4000 for the camera and an extra battery? Other accessories I will need for this or another camera? Will my Miller Series 20 tripod be okay with such a small, light camera? Do I use miniDV tapes for HDV, or is there a good tapeless alternative that I could afford?
All comments welcome and appreciated.
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Old June 8th, 2009, 07:49 AM   #1668
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Pam, the XH-A1s is a tried and tested camera with a great following, so you'd not go far wrong. It will be the last of the MiniDV tape drives though, and the world and his brother move over to flash memory and greater compression. The Z5 and the HMC150 are worth a look, too. The Z5 has the option of recording to CF cards, the 150 only records to SDHC.

I can't live without an on-board video light and a wide-angle converter, and no tripod's too big if you can lug it about. You'll also need spare batteries, a lanc controller, a microfibre lens cleaning cloth and a head cleaning tape.

Then there's sound. An on-board shotgun (K6+ME66 + Softie, say) and a radio mic (G2) will see you through a lot of shoots and travel with you as you change your camera and PC over the years.

tom.
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Old June 8th, 2009, 09:47 PM   #1669
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HD Camera

Thanks Tom. I have most everything I need--good lavs, Sennheiser wireless, light kit, cables, great sticks--but the new camera and its accessories. I still like cheap tape for archival reasons, and I haven't heard great things about AVCHD in editing (I am a longtime Edius user). I like the idea of tapeless recording, sure, the saved time would be great. Looks to me like the Sony Z5U is the camera of the day, especially with the dual recording, but it may be a bit pricey for my part-time needs. Still...
Pam
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Old June 19th, 2009, 12:29 PM   #1670
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pam Partee View Post
Hi. I need some help getting into the HD scene, fast. I have shot professional video since 1980, as a news cameraman with Ikegamis to Sony Betacams. Then I left the big city and I purchased, after a VX1000, a JVC GY-DV500 mainly for its true manual lens (I couldn't shoot well with auto focus and poor iris controls back then) and affordable price seeing as I have to do something other than video for a living. I have been asked to travel to shoot HD for an online launch and TV handouts. I am looking at the Canon XH-A1S, again for affordability plus professional audio inputs and manual control. Anything else a long term video shooter like me should be considering in a tight budget, say $4000 for the camera and an extra battery? Other accessories I will need for this or another camera? Will my Miller Series 20 tripod be okay with such a small, light camera? Do I use miniDV tapes for HDV, or is there a good tapeless alternative that I could afford?
All comments welcome and appreciated.
Pam
Pam, one to consider, although a few thousand more than budget is the Sony S270U. I'm seeing them come down in price considerably on the used or b-stock market. It has the full sized body that you're used to, long tape length with full sized DVCAM tapes, includes the ability to shoot to compact flash and tape at the same time. And the big one for me, as I shoot in the studio is the HDSDI output. Not to mention the full sized camera look and feel. Just something to think about for a few grand more you can have features usually found on cameras costing way more. I compared the S270U to HPX500 in the studio with each going into an AJA capture card and actually found the S270U to have a cleaner picture. Pretty amazing as the HPX500 cost twice as much. Just something to think about, otherwise, the Canon XH-A1 is a great bang for buck camera or dare I say to take a look at the Canon 5D Mark II with a few lenses and a portable audio recorder...
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Old June 24th, 2009, 07:54 PM   #1671
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price range: $2,500.

Project: Documentary, and low light situations, fast movements/sporting events/car driving.
Audio: good audio outputs needed.
Video: Standard Definition im fine with. HD im fine with, either or.

as of cameras go, i've been researching on what popular documentaries are being filmed with. I see it doesnt take much for picture quality, as of i'm a strong believer in story first, camera later.

I know the dvx100 will go down as an all time classic camera, but is it an ending technology to go and buy a used for around 1.8? just wondering. also im aware of the dvx's non native 16:9 format, but letterbox basically makes it that by chopping down the 4:3. also if im filming letterbox, during filming would i be able to see the frame im filming in for letterbox or would i be seeing a 4:3 format then after finishing the shoot it will go to letterbox? sorry if my wording seems confusing.
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Old June 24th, 2009, 08:21 PM   #1672
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Schueppert View Post
price range: $2,500.

Project: Documentary, and low light situations, fast movements/sporting events/car driving.
Audio: good audio outputs needed.
Video: Standard Definition im fine with. HD im fine with, either or.

as of cameras go, i've been researching on what popular documentaries are being filmed with. I see it doesnt take much for picture quality, as of i'm a strong believer in story first, camera later.

I know the dvx100 will go down as an all time classic camera, but is it an ending technology to go and buy a used for around 1.8? just wondering. also im aware of the dvx's non native 16:9 format, but letterbox basically makes it that by chopping down the 4:3. also if im filming letterbox, during filming would i be able to see the frame im filming in for letterbox or would i be seeing a 4:3 format then after finishing the shoot it will go to letterbox? sorry if my wording seems confusing.
What's the final destination web, DVD? For SD, a used Canon GL-2 with 20x zoom, spend the extra on a WD-58 Wide Angle, a good tripod and LANC controller so you can zoom from the tripod handle.
If you go HD and deliver in SD, it's kind of cool that with such a larger frame size, you can zoom in even further in post. So a Canon HV30 or a Sony SR11 may better suit you. Just remember that with all those pans, you're going to want to get a really good tripod head. A Manfrotto 503HDV or Miller DS10 may fit the bill.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 01:08 AM   #1673
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Guy asks the right question - what's the film's final destination? If you've put a lot of work into your films, having their vertical resolution compromised by 25% seems a huge hit to take simply because you wanted to use the GL2 or DVX in their 16:9 modes.

Scott - the DVX has three 16:9 modes. The best (technically) is to buy the expensive Panasonic amamorphic, but this compresses the v'finder images and composing a shot with such distortion takes a bit of getting used to.

The second mode letterboxes the 4:3 frame, so the v'finders look correct (using black bars top and bottom). The third mode is the electronic anamorphic mode - again, compressed v'finder images and the image is expanded onto a widescreen set. Both lose resolution and the differences between them are minute.

Haven't helped you with camera choice, have I? The HV30 is a deal to behold, but it's manual controls are fiddly and low light is not its crowning glory. Still, the pictures are beautiful, and with the money left over you can buy an LED light, tripod, mic and bag.

tom.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 08:31 AM   #1674
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post
Guy asks the right question - what's the film's final destination? If you've put a lot of work into your films, having their vertical resolution compromised by 25% seems a huge hit to take simply because you wanted to use the GL2 or DVX in their 16:9 modes.

Scott - the DVX has three 16:9 modes. The best (technically) is to buy the expensive Panasonic amamorphic, but this compresses the v'finder images and composing a shot with such distortion takes a bit of getting used to.

The second mode letterboxes the 4:3 frame, so the v'finders look correct (using black bars top and bottom). The third mode is the electronic anamorphic mode - again, compressed v'finder images and the image is expanded onto a widescreen set. Both lose resolution and the differences between them are minute.

Haven't helped you with camera choice, have I? The HV30 is a deal to behold, but it's manual controls are fiddly and low light is not its crowning glory. Still, the pictures are beautiful, and with the money left over you can buy an LED light, tripod, mic and bag.

tom.
its for a class were doing so it will be converted to big screen in like 1 theater at my school. its a student film fest for summer classes. also dvd will happen. internet im not to worried about. i just know the dvx100b has a great track record, and the hv30 is possibly one of the hugest cult camera. whats the audio outputs for the hv30?? decent??
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Old June 25th, 2009, 02:50 PM   #1675
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Audio outputs? It records very high quality 16 bit 48 kHz audio in the DV mode, and compressed *but still very acceptable) audio in the HDV mode. Maybe I don't understand the question.
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Old June 25th, 2009, 06:38 PM   #1676
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Schueppert View Post
whats the audio outputs for the hv30?? decent??
Perhaps you are referring to the audio recording quality from the onboard mic? If so, such audio for a quality production is rarely considered decent. Decent audio is typically achieved by using appropriate external microphones designed for your specific audio recording needs and plugging them into the external microphone port of your camcorder, into an audio mixer, or into a dedicated audio recording device for syncing in post.

-Jon
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Old July 5th, 2009, 06:50 PM   #1677
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price range: 2,000-3,500

Project: Dance events, night club, car events, low light shooting
Audio: 3.5mm / XLR inputs
Video: 1080p 25p (PAL)

Hi folks,

Ive been using my trusty HV20 for the last 2 years now and I love it, but I feel Ive outgrown what it can offer. Im now doing a lot of nightclub shooting and although the 20 does work (when in HDV25p mode, 1/25 shutter) the grain and noise is a problem which I want to fix. Also the small size of the body, even with wide angle lens, brackets and such likedoesnt appear pro enough plus handling size makes shakes more noticable.

Ideally I'd have liked to see what the amazing RED Scarlet 3k for 3k would be like (the one for the soccor moms they touted but changed to something completely different further down the line) but time is marching on.

I love the lack of smear on the HV20 but am not so keen on the rolling shutter and when strobe lights are used at th events I cover.

What would you recommend for me? Ive looked at the A1 and A1S but feel they are borderline old tech and I'd like to move forward in that respect.

Many thanks,

Rik
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Old July 5th, 2009, 08:53 PM   #1678
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikki Bruce View Post
price range: 2,000-3,500

Project: Dance events, night club, car events, low light shooting
Audio: 3.5mm / XLR inputs
Video: 1080p 25p (PAL)

Hi folks,

Ive been using my trusty HV20 for the last 2 years now and I love it, but I feel Ive outgrown what it can offer. Im now doing a lot of nightclub shooting and although the 20 does work (when in HDV25p mode, 1/25 shutter) the grain and noise is a problem which I want to fix. Also the small size of the body, even with wide angle lens, brackets and such likedoesnt appear pro enough plus handling size makes shakes more noticable.

Ideally I'd have liked to see what the amazing RED Scarlet 3k for 3k would be like (the one for the soccor moms they touted but changed to something completely different further down the line) but time is marching on.

I love the lack of smear on the HV20 but am not so keen on the rolling shutter and when strobe lights are used at th events I cover.

What would you recommend for me? Ive looked at the A1 and A1S but feel they are borderline old tech and I'd like to move forward in that respect.

Many thanks,

Rik
Newer tech > HMC151
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Old July 6th, 2009, 01:25 AM   #1679
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Yes, it sounds like the Panasonic 151 is right up your street Rik. I might also suggest a look at the JVC HM 100 but in your shoes I'd go for the 151. You can always think about a secondhand XH-A1 or Z1 though - solidly tried and tested technology.

I too have been put off the CMOS chipped cams purely because so much electronic flash pervades my work, so I live with my Z1 a while longer. Half frame flash exposures are a lot more common than CCD smear, which you've got to positively go after by selecting high shutter speeds.

tom.
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Old July 6th, 2009, 07:14 AM   #1680
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Thanks for the replies, going to look into the 151! Does anyone have sample low light footage (direct files from the cam unprocessed) online I could take a peek at?

Thanks again,

Rik
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